State Roundup

State moving on efforts to reduce leased office space

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan plans to accelerate efforts next year to cut costs by reducing the amount of office space it leases and consolidating government employees in buildings it owns.
The Detroit Free Press reports employees in the state-owned Constitution Hall and the Mason Building were recently notified via newsletter about renovation plans that will at least temporarily relocate most or all of them.
Work that’s expected to start in January is part of the early steps in a cost-cutting plan that would reduce the 5 million square feet of office space the state leases by up to 1.5 million square feet.
A state study released earlier this year said Michigan could save millions of dollars by reducing the size of employee work areas and consolidating space.

Ann Arbor
Bernanke to speak next month at U. of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to speak next month at the University of Michigan.
The school says Bernanke will speak at a 4 p.m. Jan. 14 event at the Ann Arbor school as part of the “Policy Talks (at) the Ford School” lecture series.
The event is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Arts council approves nearly $5.7M in grants

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has approved nearly $5.7 million in grants, an increase from last year’s funding.
The grants announced last week are for 312 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, educational institutions and municipalities in 47 counties. The council had additional arts and cultural funding for the effort that was approved by the state Legislature.
Last year, the council approved grants totaling $2.1 million.
This year, the council received nearly 600 applications requesting more than $8.2 million in funding. A list of recipients is posted online.

Carrollton Twp.
Authorities find body of missing Saginaw Co. man

CARROLLTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve found the body of a 67-year-old Saginaw County man who was the subject of a search since being reported missing last month. says two people searching for scrap metal Sunday in a drainage ditch in Saginaw County’s Carrollton Township found the body of Paul Moore of Saginaw Township. Police say it appears Moore walked into the wooded area.
Cause of death wasn’t immediately released.
Moore was missing since Nov. 23 and authorities had searched an area around his home, about 80 miles northwest of Detroit following his disappearance.
Police have said he was diagnosed with onset dementia in 2010.

U.S.: Pilot action caused plane crash that killed 3

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A federal investigation says a Michigan pilot attempting a low pass at high speed hit the runway with a propeller, causing his plane to crash in a soccer field and kill him and two passengers.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the March 29, 2011, crash at a Monroe city park also says that 58-year-old pilot Rick E. Howell of LaSalle had the medication hydrocodone in his blood, but its role in the crash is unknown.
Howell was flying to Custer Airport from a Pennsylvania business meeting with two Conforming Matrix employees, 30-year-old Nathan Brahier of Fremont, Ohio, and 40-year-old Jeremy Tate of Oregon, Ohio.
The Monroe Evening News says a propeller struck the surface when Howell made a low pass in the six-seat Piper aircraft.

East Bay Twp.
Students aim to keep cigarette butts off beach

EAST BAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Some community college students say beachgoers should see fewer cigarette butts in the sand next summer, thanks to their cleanup project.
Six members of a Project Management class at Northwestern Michigan College came up with the idea of installing five decorative trash containers at Keith Charters Traverse City State Park beach. It’s on Grand Traverse Bay in Grand Traverse County’s East Bay Township.
The beach hasn’t had trash cans for several years. Student Erik Thornbury tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that the state Department of Natural Resources agreed to empty the new trash cans.
Student Chris Pataky helped pay for the materials, and Traverse City High School after-class art teacher Phil Wilson recruited students to paint natural scenes for the containers.