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I-Team: Failure to Report: School Lawsuits

Updated: Wednesday, January 22 2014, 08:46 PM EST
I-Team: Failure to Report: School Lawsuits story image
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team is investigating millions of dollars of perceived government waste.

Earlier this week, we told you how taxpayers paid for numerous mistakes by several local school administrators, when it comes to student attendance records.

You may not know about it, but your child's public school and the state of Michigan have been fighting in court for a very long time, public entity versus public entity, ringing up huge legal bills for taxpayers.

And would you believe that much of the casework has to do with these school statistics that we've been focusing on lately--the same ones we found were so very wrong.

Newschannel 3 Chief Investigative Reporter David Bailey joined us to discuss why he's finding waste on top of waste.
I-Team: Failure to Report: School Lawsuits
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Business News

Last Update on May 06, 2015 17:18 GMT

PRODUCTIVITY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. worker productivity declined in the first three months of the year as labor costs jumped, reflecting a slowdown in growth.

The Labor Department says productivity, which is the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.9 percent rate in the first quarter. Productivity dropped at a 2.1 percent rate in the final three months of 2014.

Labor costs surged at a 5 percent rate in the first quarter, after having increased 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

The drop in productivity and rise in labor costs are signs of nearly flat economic growth in the first quarter, when overall growth was hammered by harsh winter weather and falling oil prices that hurt energy firms.

Still, economists say quarterly changes in productivity and labor costs are extremely volatile.

ADP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. companies hired in April at the slowest pace in nearly a year and a half, as a strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back on spending in the face of lower oil prices.

Payroll processor ADP says businesses added just 169,000 jobs in April, down from 175,000 in the previous month. That was the fewest since January 2014. March's total was revised down from 189,000.

The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and sometimes diverge from the government's more comprehensive report, which includes government agencies.

FEDERAL RESERVE-YELLEN

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the Fed and other banking regulators have made significant progress in correcting flaws in the financial system that triggered the worst banking crisis in seven decades.

She also says banking regulators are remaining "watchful" for any areas where further reforms may be needed. She cites the need to address the problem of "too big to fail" -- the perception among investors that some institutions are so large that the government will step in and save them if they get into trouble.

In remarks at a financial conference, Yellen says the Fed and other regulators are taking steps to make sure that the collapse of even very large banking institutions can be handled in ways that don't jeopardize the stability of the entire system.

BRITAIN-FLASH CRASH TRADER

LONDON (AP) -- A British financial trader accused of setting off a "flash crash" in U.S. stocks in 2010 from his London home claims he was just good at his job.

Navinder Singh Sarao, 36, is fighting extradition to the U.S. and appeared at a London court Wednesday.

He failed in a bid to have the payment of a 5 million pound ($7.5 million) security removed from his bail conditions. The sum is equivalent to what he says he has in his trading account.

As he was being led away from the dock he turned to the public gallery and said: "I haven't done anything wrong apart from being good at my job. How is this allowed to go on, man?"

Sarao is accused of manipulating the market and setting off the crash.

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- With Greece's cash flow problems growing by the day and negotiations with its creditors on the ropes, Athens still managed to make a 200 million euro ($222 million) repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday.

But another, much larger repayment looms next week that Greece will struggle to manage. The country once more faces the possibility of having to default on its debt, which could set off a chain of events jeopardizing its membership in Europe's joint currency.

On May 12, Greece is due to repay 770 million euros to the IMF, money it will have to scrape together from local reserves, such as those of local governments and hospitals. It's not clear whether Greece will be able to meet both that payment and pay some pensions and salaries due mid-month.

The country's left-wing government has been locked in troubled negotiations with its creditors and the institutions overseeing its bailout -- the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission -- for the past three months.

A potential Greek debt default could set off a chain reaction that jeopardizes its membership in Europe's joint currency and roils the global economy.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

LONDON (AP) -- A closely-watched survey is indicating that economic activity across the 19-country eurozone grew at a steady pace in April, with Spain and Ireland doing particularly well.

Financial information company Markit says Wednesday its purchasing managers index, a broad gauge of business activity, was 53.9 points in April. Though slightly lower than the near-four-year high of 54.0 in March, it remains well above the 50-point threshold that separates growth from decline.

The firm says the survey provides further evidence that countries that have made bold economic reforms over the past few years are reaping the benefits.

Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist, says companies in Spain are seeing the largest inflows of new work for 15 years, while Ireland is enjoying one of its longest growth spells since the dot com boom.

EUROPE-DIGITAL ECONOMY

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union has unveiled a strategy to unify the continent's digital sector and help its technology companies compete with the dominant U.S. firms. It will also open an antitrust inquiry into the e-commerce sector.

EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip said Wednesday that the EU is still far too fragmented into 28 national markets and needs more common rules to be competitive inside Europe and around the globe. Ansip said that new plans to unite the digital economy should help create jobs and growth.

At the same time, the Commission opened an inquiry into the sector to see where open competition is stifled, especially when it comes to cross-border online trade in sectors like electronics and clothing.

QATAR-OIL

DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Qatar's state-owned oil company says it is soliciting bids from international energy companies for the chance to operate the small Gulf nation's largest oil field.

Qatar Petroleum said Wednesday it is inviting bids to operate and further develop the al-Shaheen field starting in the middle of 2017, when an existing 25-year deal with Denmark's Maersk Oil expires.

Maersk Oil is one of the companies that has been invited to compete for the project.

Al-Shaheen sits 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the coast of the OPEC nation and produces about 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT-NORTH DAKOTA

HEIMDAL, N.D. (AP) -- A town of about three dozen people in central North Dakota has been evacuated after an oil train derailed and caught fire.

Wells County Emergency Manager Tammy Roehrich says no injuries have been reported from the Wednesday morning accident near Heimdal (HYM'-dahl), about 115 miles northeast of Bismarck.

Roehrich says the town's roughly 35 residents have left and are staying with family and friends.

State Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong says 10 tanker cars are on fire, creating thick black smoke.

It's unclear how many cars were part of the train, or how many derailed. There's no immediate word on the cause.

A team of investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration was expected to arrive on the scene by mid-day Wednesday.

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