Nothing yet There’s still no consent agreement between the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. The team that’s been reviewing the city’s finances re-affirmed yesterday that they believe the city is in severe financial stress. But they did not recommend that the governor should appoint an emergency manager. Partner station Michigan Radio says the state and the city now have 10 days to reach a deal, before the governor is forced to take action.
Pure money Michigan’s tourism bureau says the Pure Michigan ad campaign helped attract a record $1 billion in travel sales last year. Partner station Michigan Radio reports that number is up from $605 million the year before.
Tripping up transit Chicago could lose $1.2 million per day if Congress doesn’t approve an extension of the country’s transit legislation by Saturday. The Chicago Tribune says the funding shortfall could jeopardize plans to buy buses, and modernize railway equipment in the Windy City.
Bigger, faster A study panel in Wisconsin has recommended a $207 million dollar expansion for the Lake Parkway in southern Milwaukee County.
Lottery online Illinois became the first state to sell lottery tickets online. The state made $15,000 on the first day of online lottery sales, according to NBC Chicago.
Off the hook Ohio legislators are considering a law that would allow phone companies to drop landline phone service in some areas of the state. Partner station WCPN Ideastream reports a collection of consumer groups say the change would hurt seniors and low-income people who don’t have cell phones.
The Chicago L route map overlaid on the city of Detroit. Credit: reddit user northsider1983
What would it look like if you took a platoon of helicopters and airlifted the entire Chicago L system and dropped it on Detroit? It would look like the map you see above. The map was made by a reddit user, who goes by the handle “northsider1983.”
The map gives a sense of the scale of both cities, and their very different transit options. Detroit, of course, doesn’t have a rail system. It has the People Mover, which covers all of 2.9 miles. It’s pretty arguable whether Detroit even has a functioning bus system these days (though there was a time when Detroit’s streetcar system was far more extensive than today’s L).
But Detroit’s transit dreams still have some life left in them. Businessman Dan Gilbert said again this week that he expects the new light rail line along Woodward Ave. “will be in the ground by the end of this calendar year.”
That’s a lot of clams GM made $7.6 billion last year. It was a record profit.
Mixed foreclosure news New foreclosure data is in. The numbers are down in Ohio and Michigan. But they’re up in Illinois.
Research and Decline R&D jobs dropped 43% in Chicago between 2000 and 2010, according to a new study. Crain’s Chicago Business has the write-up.
Collegial process The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio’s 37 colleges and universities have agreed on a construction wish list for this year’s state budget. Governor John Kasich called the unified process “unprecedented.”
Small power plants, big effect? The closure of four small, little-used power plants is stoking speculation that energy prices in Ohio could rise. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the common sense analysis would say that the change should have little effect on prices. But, the new world of online auctions for power prices “don’t necessarily make common sense.”
Bus cuts Detroit will cancel early-morning bus service in an effort to save cash.
Mining bill advances A special committee has been disbanded, and a controversial piece of mining legislation has been put on the fast track in the Wisconsin Senate, proving once again that nothing is simple in Wisconsin politics these days. The bill would loosen regulations to help open an iron mine in northern Wisconsin.
Indiana’s busy day Yesterday, the big news in Indiana was that legislators approved a new Right to Work law. But that wasn’t all the legislature accomplished. They also put the nail in the coffin of a $1.3 billion transit plan.
What the frack Bloomberg News says Ohio officials are hoping to stop the flow of fracking waste into their state. Meanwhile gas companies are still pushing their new natural gas drilling techniques further. Get ready for “super fracking.”
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Police The city of Cleveland is getting a $10 million tax windfall this year thanks to new construction. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the money will help pay for an extra 20 police officers.
Notable tax credit news A new report in Michigan says tax changes will hit poor families 1000 times as hard as families that are well off. One of the main reasons is the elimination of the state’s child tax credit. Meanwhile, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn proposed adding child credit in his State of the State speech last night.
700 jobs short Google is celebrating its fifth birthday in Ann Arbor. When the company first opened its Ann Arbor office in 2006, it was huge news for the state. The company said it would hire 1,000 workers in the first five years. The actual number is closer to 300. (We tried asking Google: “Where are the rest of our jobs?” The search didn’t turn up anything useful.)