August 14, 1917 — November 23, 2010
Charles Gilles, a longtime resident of Delaware Avenue on Flint's East Side died on Tuesday at the age of 93. He was a WWII veteran who logged 38 years at Chevrolet. He will be missed.
Federal agents in a sting operation arrested a Somali-born teenager just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, authorities said.
The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him.
Yelling "Allahu Akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great!" — Mohamud tried to kick agents and police after he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.
This happened two blocks from our hotel. We considered going to the ceremony, but like any good Flint Expatriate I lobbied for a trip to the bar instead.
"Valeda stands on a revolving pedestal in a small auditorium at the Kansas Learning Center for Health where thousands of visitors have heard her describe the human body as various organs light up. Valeda was assembled bit by intricate bit. The original mold was made by completely coating the body of a living, 28-year-old German woman with a rubber composition. This was allowed to harden, then peeled off to form the mold for Valeda’s plastic skin. Her aluminum skeleton is situated exactly as it is in the normal human body."TAM, please come back to The Vehicle City.
"... A new generation of transparent women were created as public health education tools; some toured in mobile exhibits until finally settling down as the centerpieces of health museums. Transparent men, on the other hand, are hard to find (the Mayo Clinic Museum displayed one before it closed down, an original, sun-worshipping German model). This is probably because pregnancy makes for a more interesting story, and American educators, as always, are reluctant to expose kids to transparent glowing male genitalia.
"The greatest profusion of transparent women appeared on the health education scene when designer Richard Rush developed the first Transparent Anatomical Mannikin (TAM) in 1968. The see-through woman was 5' 8" of vacuum-formed, plastic organ goodness. TAMs were wired so specific areas and body systems would light up on command, as part of a pre-recorded presentation. Rush eventually produced 42 TAMs, many which are still in service."
A Michigan city is pleading with churches, schools and a hospital for donations to help cover its staggering budget deficit, reports Nick Bunkley of The New York Times.
The mayor of Mount Clemens, Barb Dempsey, sent a letter this week to 35 tax-exempt organizations asking them to voluntarily contribute to the city’s general fund, which pays for services like fire protection, streetlights and roads. Ms. Dempsey said the city has already drastically cut its expenses, having disbanded the police department six years ago, but still faces a $960,000 deficit that is projected to reach $1.5 million next year.
“Those are all services that they utilize at no cost to them,” Ms. Dempsey said. “We figured it can’t hurt to send out letters. If you don’t ask, you never know.”
The property has been owned by Motors Liquidation Company since GM emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, leaving its "bad assets" with MLC. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing a planned environmental cleanup of the site.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research released a study saying that government aid to G.M. and Chrysler saved more than 1.1 million jobs in 2009 and 314,000 jobs this year — the highest figure yet reported.
G.M. will return to the stock markets on Thursday, a year and a half after it filed for a quick government-sponsored bankruptcy to shed billions of dollars in debt and reshape its business.
The stock sale will also halve the Treasury Department’s stake to about 26 percent, speeding up the Obama administration’s effort to remove itself from G.M. That has also been a important goal for the company, which has long wanted to regain private ownership and shed the “Government Motors” label.
G.M. will sell 549.7 million common shares at $33 apiece, raising $18.1 billion by taking advantage of an overallotment option to cash in on bigger-than-expected demand. It will also sell 92 million preferred shares at $50 each, raising $4.6 billion.
Coburn, though, is a northerner, and an urbanite to boot, a native of Flint, Mich., home of unions and the birthplace of General Motors.
Still, Coburn claims to have the South in his blood, and not only because he has lived for the last four of his 34 years in Hill Country Revue's home base of Memphis. On the dirt road where he grew up, Coburn would watch his grandfather barbecue chicken in his own mustard-based barbecue sauce, with the country songs of Merle Haggard and Del Reeves playing in the background. Coburn's father had different tastes in music, but they were equally Southern: ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot. Coburn and his friends would sometimes talk about the roots of their respective families — in Kentucky, Georgia or Mississippi.
About the only thing about the upbringing that wasn't Southern, in fact, was the address. Flint might seem a part of the South only if you were standing in, say, Green Bay or Duluth. But Coburn says Flint was a destination for the mass migration of Southerners — including his paternal grandfather, from the southern Missouri town of Hornersville — who landed in Michigan's urban centers in the mid-20th century, lured by jobs in the auto industry. So in Flint, Coburn was surrounded by neighborhoods like Little Missouri, kids who had family back in Tennessee or Florida, and neighborhoods, like the one he grew up in, that were built to resemble the rural towns the people had left behind.
“It was the auto rush,” said the 34-year-old Coburn from a tour stop in Santa Fe, following a 10-hour drive from Dallas and a noon-ish wake-up cup of coffee. “He went north to work for Buick, and the whole family went. But my grandpa was so Southern, a Southern gentleman, and that resonated through the family. I call Flint, Mich. the biggest Southern city in the North.”
Flint firefighters said the man was walking down the street when he walked over some asphalt and the street cracked. The man's entire right leg was submerged in the hole. It took six people to get him out of the hole, officials said.
Still, McArdle admits that the bailout wasn't the nightmare scenario she and many others envisioned.
To start with, GM hasn’t shed all its legacy costs. The pension plan, which is underfunded by $26 billion, was not terminated in the bankruptcy, as such plans often are, with their assets turned over to the government’s pension insurer, and the beneficiaries frequently forced to accept a reduced payout. Instead, GM’s earnings will face a drag from that underfunding for years to come.
More worrying still is the possibility that GM’s labor woes are not over. Though the bankruptcy brought the firm’s hourly-compensation cost down to within spitting distance of what foreign-owned manufacturers pay their U.S. employees, Bob King, the new president of the UAW, already faces intense pressure to roll back some of the concessions.
Dealing with any new wage demands will be particularly sticky because starting in the middle of this decade, the automakers must comply with new CAFE standards, which raise the required fuel efficiency of cars from 27.5 miles per gallon to 39 mpg, with similar increases for trucks. The administration says the new rules will raise the cost of a car by $1,300, but data from the National Research Council suggest that the real cost could be at least twice that. With those higher costs, GM—which still has a major brand handicap—may have trouble making inroads into the small-car market.These factors will weigh on investors’ minds as they decide what price they are willing to pay for the initial public offering of shares that GM has scheduled for this winter. For the taxpayers to get their money back, the company needs to end up valued at about $70 billion. This is theoretically possible—but doesn’t seem very likely.
The bailout wasn’t a good idea, and it will probably cost billions. But the government wastes billions of dollars every year, because for the United States, $1 billion adds up to the equivalent of less than one venti latte per American. At least in this case, we got something in return: a functional car company, resurrected from the ashes of the old GM’s bloated carcass. Americans probably won’t notice the few extra dollars they spent on the bailout. But they may eventually be glad when another shiny new Buick Enclave rolls off the Lansing assembly line, and into their driveway.Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it was enough for Mickey Kaus to call her a "cheap date" on newsweek.com because she showed even a small level of enthusiasm for G.M.'s prospects after visiting a plant.
If libertarian Atlantic writer McArdle wants to take a trip to Lansing, Michigan, and suddenly be impressed with GM's industrial vigor, deciding that maybe the bailout wasn't such a bad idea after all--well, OK! I once visited a GM plant as a journalist and was impressed with its vigor, and the innovative new car they were about to manufacture. The name of that car? Pontiac Fiero.That prompted McArdle to clarify that she thought the bailout was still really, really stupid.
But that is not an endorsement of the bailouts, which remain an expensive boondoggle. We could have given every autoworker $100,000, offered retraining and relocation assistance to tens of thousands of employees at their suppliers, and still come out ahead on this deal. Had we done this, we would have helped eliminate some of the overcapacity in the global auto industry, and sent a clear signal to CEOs that they should not emulate Rick Wagoner's pigheaded refusal to prepare for a possible reorganization.The moral of this story? If you say something positive about G.M. or the concept of protecting U.S. jobs — no matter how tepid — you better be prepared to back it up. Or start back tracking.
New models, including redesigned versions of the Buick Lacrosse sedan and Chevrolet EquinoxChevrolet Cruze, have been brisk, and G.M. is about a month away from introducing the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid car that it says represents the company’s future direction. crossover vehicle, have been well-received by critics and consumers, to the point that G.M. has struggled to keep up with demand. Early sales of a critical new small car, the
G.M.’s public stock offering, expected to occur Nov. 18 and be worth at least $10.6 billion, will allow the federal government to begin recouping the bulk of its $49.5 billion investment in the automaker. The government plans to initially sell about a third of its 61 percent stake in G.M., in the hope that it can divest the remaining portion as the shares’ value increase.
No comment yet from Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who opposed helping the Big Three, saying "This is a dead end. It's a road to nowhere and it's a big burden on the American taxpayer."
Dick Scheer and his wife, Sally, have run the store for 40 years, enjoying a remarkable run fueled by students' thirst for beer and liquor and older adults' growing love of wine. They tapped into a wine craze that started in the 1960s and has grown for generations. "We hitched our wagon to that," said Scheer, 67, a graduate of U-M.
A few things have changed. Today's students are also interested in microbrews as well as wine. Years ago, students walked right past the wine and headed for the coolers. "A lot of the students today are really savvy," he said.
While the beer accounted for the most sales, the wine helped the owners weather the ebbs and flows of the school year and made them famous; the store is known around the country for its selection of smaller vintners from Europe.
Don't worry. Scheer plans to reopen at another location.
In a sign of the odd ingenuity that has grown from the real estate collapse, he is banking on an 1869 Florida statute that says the bundle of properties he has seized will be his if the owners do not claim them within seven years.Given Flint's abandoned housing problem, the story certainly resonated with me. The only problem? Guerette could end up in jail, and his tenants could end up on the street.
A version of the same law was used in the 1850s to claim possession of runaway slaves, though Mr. Guerette, 47, a clean-cut mortgage broker, sees his efforts as heroic. “There are all these properties out there that could be used for good,” he said.
God bless you Sparky. I’ll remember you jumping over the chalk on the way to the mound; Talking to fans at the 1988 Fenway opener and throwing your arm around journeyman Paul Gibson making his debut before the player introductions and an epic Clemens/Morris matchup. There was your trademark half-wave and grin offered to Tigers fans after a sweep at Comiskey in the eighties. And were those tears in your eyes as you waved to the fans on your last visit to Fenway?Here's more Sparky at the 25th anniversary of Detroit's 1984 World Series win.