Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Six O'Clock News: Michigan, The Battery State

  • Big car battery announcement today - four, count 'em four, companies will receive tax credits to build car batteries in this state. Over 6,600 direct jobs and $1.7 billion in research and manufacturing facilities for us, yea! The one that came as a surprise to West Michigan was Johnson Controls, who had recently announced major downsizing that had everyone nervous, so Holland is happy tonight. Here are the four, from the Freep:

    • Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC. It will supply batteries to Ford from facilities in Holland.

    • LG Chem-Compact Power. The company is developing batteries for Chevrolet.

    • KD Advanced Battery Group LLC, a joint venture with Dow Chemical Co. to build an 800,000-square-foot plant to make batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

    • A123Systems Inc. It will build a plant in Livonia to make rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for Chrysler Corp.

    Unity Studios, the new TV/film production center in Allen Park, also held their official announcement today - the DNews has a good story about them. Altogether, Governor Granholm and MEDC announced 14 projects will create over 7,700 new jobs and bring over $2B in investment to Michigan - you can see the total list here.

  • WWJ reporter Jeff Gilbert got to test drive a Chevy Cruze with Volt technology (basically a Volt with a Cruze body), and he liked it. Check out the video to see what he had to say.

  • The Bay City Times is the latest paper to make the plea to lawmakers to leave the film credits alone.

  • DeVos Heliport Update: The Ada township board has put off a voter referendum on personal helicopters until August of 2010. This means that Dick is free to do as he pleases, and even if the referendum passes, it would still be up to the board to decide whether to change the ordinance. Moral of the story: Buy your own township board. While we are in the area of the Dick, it should be noted that Amway will hold a series of concerts celebrating its 50th anniversary, performers will include Sting, Wynton Marsalis and LeAnn Rimes. The public need not apply, the celebration is for distributors and top-level executives only.

  • A new Lions logo will be unveiled on April 20th, with stuff for sale on their website soon after. Don't everybody log in at once!

  • Michigan state employees overpaid? Not so, says a new study that finds they are at average or falling behind their peers in other states. Interesting fact from the article: According to the state Civil Service Commission, the number of employees has dropped 15.2 percent, from 62,057 to 52,600, since 2001. Hey, wait a minute, I thought someone said that government was growing...