Unemployment rate lower

May 27, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Unemployment in St. Joseph County was 1 percent lower in April compared to March.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives show the county’s April unemployment figure was 5.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March. The 5.5 percent rate was also lower than the county’s 6.9 percent unemployment compared to the same month in 2013.

The county also had a lower unemployment rate in April against the state average, which was 7.3 percent for the month.

Agency officials said seasonal hiring, specifically in construction, retail, and leisure and hospitality, contributed to the monthly decrease in joblessness.

Van Buren, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties had the highest April unemployment rate in the region, with 7.5 percent, while St. Joseph County’s was the month’s lowest in the 13-market region.

New state map is available

May 21, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The new State of Michigan map is out, featuring Belle Isle on the Detroit River as a state park for the very first time. The Michigan Department of Transportation has posted the 2014 state transportation map online while paper versions of the map will be available free of charge at all Michigan Welcome Centers and M-DOT offices. In addition to the paper map, M-DOT’s interactive mobile site, Mi Drive, features real-time traffic information, camera views, rest area locations and construction information at that travelers can use to plan their routes in advance. About 750,000 maps will be printed this year, at a cost of 13 cents per copy. M-DOT has reduced the number of paper maps printed over the years from a high of 2 million maps in 2007, to 1.5 million from 2008 through 2011, to 1 million in 2012, to 750,000 in 2013 and again in 2014.  (MRN)

Unemployment is down

May 15, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The state says Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged slightly down to its lowest level in six years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Wednesday that April’s state jobless rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.4 percent. It’s the lowest since April 2008 and marks the eighth consecutive monthly decline. The national rate for April was 6.3 percent. Michigan’s jobless rate stood at 8.8 percent in April 2013. State labor market officials say the jobless rate has been nearly cut in half since the end of the last recession. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 14.2 percent in August 2009.  (AP)

Man injured after crash

May 14, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A White Pigeon man was airlifted to a Kalamazoo hospital following a two-vehicle accident Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. 12 and U.S. 131.

Thomas Lapham, 50, was in serious condition following the 4 a.m. accident.

He was driving east on U.S. 12 when a westbound vehicle driven by 25-year-old Kevin Groff, of Burr Oak, turned south onto U.S. 131 and into Lapham’s vehicle.

Groff was not injured.

Investigators said alcohol was not a factor in the incident.

Package to fund repairs

May 9, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

State Rep. Matt Lori on Thursday commended House approval of a legislative package to fund repairs to Michigan’s transportation system.

He called the action a good first step toward a sustainable solution.

Lori voted in favor of the bills that will dedicate $450 million to help fix the state’s transportation system.

The increased funding would go into effect in 2015. Its source comes from an increase in permit fees and fines for overweight or oversized trucks.

Other components of the bills include dedicating sales-tax revenue not earmarked for schools or local governments to the fund, expanding the competitive-bidding process for road and bridge projects to ensure efficient funding, and late fees for vehicle registration as an additional source of funding.

The bills are on their way to the Senate for consideration.

Governor Snyder visit

May 1, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited Armstrong International Monday, addressing area business leaders and key Armstrong personnel.

Snyder focused on the state of the economy in Michigan during his one-hour visit and speech.

Snyder cited the importance of education, deteriorating roads, health care and creating more jobs as areas of consideration moving forward in his role as governor.

He also commended Armstrong International for its long and successful history over the past 114 years.

Snyder’s stop at Armstrong International was one of five on the day, as he also spent time in Marshall, Coldwater, Niles and Kalamazoo.

David Casterline, Corporate Director of Communications at Armstrong International called Governor Snyder’s visit a tremendous honor for the company.

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