DENSE FOG ADVISORY

Montcalm

The National Weather Service issues a DENSE FOG ADVISORY for Montcalm County through 10 A. Visibilities of less than a quarter-mile to near 0 miles have been reported early this morning. We encourage you to leave plenty of distance between cars and drive slowly.  

Always get your new workweek weather at wwmt.com/weather/ 

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I-Team Special Report: Fare Warning Part II

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 |
I-Team Special Report: Fare Warning Part II story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In a special report, the Newschannel 3 I-Team determined that the Kalamazoo cab industry was a largely unregulated industry with no accountability or oversight.

After seeing the results of our investigation, state and local leaders say they want to make changes.

We brought what we found to Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and other city officials.

“I do believe this has to be addressed because it's the right thing for a city and for our county and community to do and we have to find a way to address it," says Hopewell.

But the I-Team uncovered that even though it's cities that have to deal with bad taxi service there’s little they can do about it on their own because of the loophole in the state law.

“It was designed with Detroit in mind but now it doesn't apply to any community in Michigan, well maybe that means we need to take another look at it, perhaps its slipped into being a bit outdated and problematic," says State Representative Sean McCann.

McCann says he wants to look at updating the state laws.
As it's written now the "State Limousine Transportation Act" says a limo carrier has to follow city laws only when, "within a city with a population of 750,000 or more." Right now no city in Michigan is that large and so none of them can regulate limos.

“I want to look into it further, see if it’s gotten out of date and see if there’s a way cities and the state can work together to provide this service," says McCann.

And Kalamazoo city commissioners have already started the process of looking into changes.

"Our city attorney is reviewing the ordinances we already have on the books, we're looking at where the gaps are, we're looking at what's going on in the other cities, how are they containing these different things, and we're gonna come up with a reasonable solution," says Cooney.

"We have to find a way to address it and the only way we're going to do that is working with legislators and governor’s office to look at this," says Hopewell.
 
Even though there are not a lot of regulations on limos they are still required to register with the state and you can check the state website to make sure the one you use is on the list. They also need to have a M-DOT sticker in the back window to show they at least have a state chauffeur's license.

To check out a list of authorized limousine carriers by county, click here.
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Business News

Last Update on September 04, 2015 07:33 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Today's Labor Department jobs report for August, a key gauge of how the U.S. economy is doing, could play a big role in guiding an upcoming decision by the Federal Reserve. The Fed will decide this month whether it will raise U.S. interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

While chances of a September interest rate increase have diminished because of signs of weakening global growth and a sell-off in Chinese stocks, many believe the growing U.S. economy may be ready to withstand higher interest rates.

Economists are forecasting that employers created 220,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent.

The Fed's two-day meeting begins Sept. 16.

STAR WARS MARKETING

NEW YORK (AP) -- The release of the new Star Wars movie may still be months off, but Disney is unleashing its full marketing "Force" behind the launch of hundreds of toys and other items related to the film.

The massive marketing blitz, which Disney has named "Force Friday," spans all kinds of media and included an 18-hour global "unboxing" streamed live on YouTube. Meanwhile, major toy retailers planned to be open and hold special events when the toys first became available just after midnight Friday.

The marketing push behind "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," is unique because it's so far ahead of the movie's U.S. release, 116 days to be exact. But analysts say it can work because Star Wars is such a popular franchise.

KRAFT HEINZ-EXPANDED RECALL

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kraft Heinz is expanding a recall of Kraft Singles products, saying a problem with the packaging film affects 10 times as many cases as it first thought.

The company recalled 335,000 cases Thursday because a thin strip of packaging film may stick to the slice after the wrapper has been taken off, creating a choking hazard. Kraft Heinz took 36,000 cases off the market July 31 for the same reason.

The privately-held company said it's received two new reports of customers choking. It disclosed three such reports in July.

The recall covers 1-, 3- and 4-pound Kraft Singles American and White American cheese product sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and 10 other countries and territories. The cases have "Best When Used by Dates" from Dec. 29 through Jan. 4.

HIDDEN GULF SPILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Environmental groups have signed a settlement agreement to resolve their lawsuit against a New Orleans company that has failed to end a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The agreement was filed Thursday in federal court. Taylor Energy Company announced details of the pact in a news release last week, before it was finalized.

The New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance says the company will release more information about its efforts to stop oil from leaking at the site where one of its offshore platforms toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Taylor Energy also agreed to donate $300,000 to a Louisiana marine research consortium and pay an additional $100,000 for research on the ecological effects of Gulf oil pollution.

The alliance sued the company in 2012 over its secretive response.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES-PILOTS

DALLAS (AP) -- Southwest Airlines says it has reached an agreement with union negotiators on terms for a new contract with pilots, whose approval would be needed before it takes effect.

Terms weren't disclosed on Thursday.

Leaders of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association are expected to meet later this month to decide whether to hold a ratification vote. Southwest Vice President Craig Drew says the process is far from complete but the company is pleased to have this agreement.

Southwest has about 8,000 pilots. It's the nation's fourth-biggest airline, and 83 percent of its workers are represented by unions, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Shares of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. fell 29 cents to close at $37.43. They have fallen 12 percent this year.

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