WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

TUESDAY 7AM - 8PM

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Eaton, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Van Buren starting Tuesday at 7am and ending at 8pm.  

Snow will start to move into the area by daybreak Tuesday.  This will lead to a few slick spots during your morning commute.  Snow will start to mix with sleet by mid morning with accumulations totaling around 2-4 inches along and north of I-96 and 1-2" along and south of I-94.  Sleet will transitions into freezing rain by early to mid afternoon.  One to two tenths of an inch of ice accumulations are possible south of I-96.  Light rain showers are possible during the late afternoon/early evening and then will wind down quickly into the later evening hours.  Light freezing drizzle is possible after sunset. 

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Berrien, Branch, Cass, Hillsdale, St. Joseph starting at 6am Tuesday and ending at 1pm. 

 

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Special Report: Highway Headache: Part 1

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
Special Report: Highway Headache: Part 1 story image
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The stretch of I-94 from Kalamazoo to Battle Creek is one of the busiest stretches of road in the entire state.  There are often big  traffic tie-ups, bad accidents and road shutdowns. It's the one road we all hate to be on.  In fact some have told us, they even fear driving on it.

So the I-Team started asking questions about future expansion of the road. For four months we investigated whether our leaders have a plan of action for I-94 expansion. But as we found in this, the politics of today are stopping the progress of tomorrow.

Part of the danger with this road is congestion. The numbers we found are astonishing. The freeway at it's busiest near Kalamazoo carries close to 10,000 trucks per day. That's close to double the normal daily truck traffic on any road in Grand Rapids and is very close to the amount of truck traffic coming out of Detroit. Up to 90,000 total vehicles per day between Kalamazoo and Battle creek make I-94 the busiest four-lane highway in the state of Michigan.

This winter there were many bad accidents causing closures and often chaos for commuters.

The congested, slimmed-down road is also causing problems for our leaders to pitch our area to companies looking to locate in West Michigan.

"We know companies have told us that that issue not being six lanes across the state is absolutely in their decision stream," Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens said.

Some work's already been done on I-94.  The interchanges at Westnedge Avenue and at U.S. 131 are complete but so much work is left to be done.

So is there any plan to expand considering the new bridge to Canada is planned to be built? There's been talk for 20 years and there's even an I-94 committee within M-DOT but we found that committee is not looking at expansion. The focus instead is patching problems to get the most out of what's available.

Well the I-Team found the folks in Detroit aren't just thinking of patching. There are plans for a major reconstruction of I-94 through Detroit, a $1.6 billion dollar shovel-ready project. Folks on our side of the state aren't anywhere close to being shovel-ready for our bottleneck.  We found there's a reason for it. Instead of innovating and imagining, many just feel defeated before they can ever get started.

"Your chances of getting something through the federal government is tough," Sen. Mike Nofs (R) Battle Creek. I think that's where the defeatist attitude is coming from personally."

"Things are divisive so we're in a culture that doesn't lend itself to the kind of collaboration it would take," M-DOT spokesman Nick Schirripa said.

Governor Rick Snyder is trying to get some more road funding now. He's asking lawmakers to approve more than $1 billion just to fix our roads, not expand them. That extra revenue request isn't going over real well with lawmakers in both parties because nobody wants to raise taxes.

"That's where you should talk to your legislator about coming forward with a plan being involved in this process," Governor Snyder told us.

Governor Snyder's take on I-94 expansion: "If you stop and look at it without these resources, there's virtually no way there would be any consideration for that"

For a list of billion dollar projects around the country, click here.

For average daily traffic maps for Michigan, click here.
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Business News

Last Update on March 02, 2015 18:30 GMT

CONSUMER SPENDING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer spending fell for a second consecutive month in January, weakness that was expected to be temporary. Income grew, reflecting strong job gains during the month.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending fell 0.2 percent in January following a 0.3 percent drop in December. Economists had expected a dip, reflecting a big drop in gas prices during the month. That decline should prove to be a positive for the economy going forward, giving consumers more money to spend on other goods.

Income grew 0.3 percent in January as wages and salaries increased a strong $42.4 billion. Analysts expect that solid job gains and low unemployment will bolster consumer spending and lift economic growth this year to what they predict will be the fastest pace in a decade.

ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories expanded last month at the weakest pace in a year, with orders, hiring and production all growing more slowly.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index slipped to 52.9 in February from 53.5 in January. It was the fourth straight drop and the lowest reading since January 2014. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion.

Measures of production and employment fell sharply, though they remained in expansionary territory. That suggests that factories are still adding jobs but at a slower pace than in January.

U.S. manufacturers have been held back in recent months by weak growth in China, Europe and Japan. That's been partly offset by strong consumer demand in the United States.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending fell in January, reflecting weakness in spending on office buildings and other nonresidential projects and in government activity.

The Commerce Department says construction spending fell 1.1 percent in January following a revised 0.8 percent increase in December.

Spending on home construction rose 0.6 percent but spending on nonresidential projects dropped 1.6 percent, reflecting declines in hotels, office buildings and the category that covers shopping centers. Spending on government projects also declined in January, falling 2.8 percent.

Private economists had predicted a small overall gain in January.

HP'S BIG ACQUISITION

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is buying wireless networking company Aruba Networks for about $2.7 billion, the biggest acquisition by HP in recent years.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP said the deal will boost its commercial technology business as it prepares to split into two companies, one focused on selling commercial computer systems and the other selling personal computers and printers.

Aruba, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., makes wi-fi networking systems for shopping malls, corporate campuses, hotels and universities.

HP is paying $24.67 in cash for each Aruba share. That is slightly below its close of $24.81 on Friday.

The deal announced Monday is HP's biggest since CEO Meg Whitman launched a turnaround effort aimed at reorganizing in the face of declining revenue.

GREECE-BAILOUT

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's economy minister says eurozone nations are negotiating a third bailout for financially strapped Greece that would give the country as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion).

Luis de Guindos also says that "Greece will not leave the eurozone" because that would not be good for the country or the other 18 countries that also use the common euro currency.

De Guindos says that the bailout would provide between 30 billion euros and 50 billion euros.

He spoke Monday at an economic conference in the city of Pamplona and his comments were sent via email to media outlets.

De Guindos says "the central scenario for Greece is a deal on the basis of the current bailout, and new conditions to be set with flexibility."

MORGAN STANLEY-NY LAWSUIT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Morgan Stanley, which agreed to a $2.6 billion settlement with the federal government last week, says it expects to be sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over subprime mortgage bonds.

The bank says it was told about the lawsuit in January and that it will involve about 30 subprime securities. Morgan Stanley say the lawsuit will say that it misrepresented or omitted important information related to loans and the properties securing them.

On Wednesday Morgan Stanley said it would pay $2.6 billion to settle with the federal government over its role in the mortgage bubble and subsequent financial crisis. Wall Street banks have paid tens of billions in similar settlements over the last two years, and Morgan Stanley has reached smaller settlements with federal and state agencies.

EUROPE-GM CROPS

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is giving member states the power to ban the cultivation of genetically-modified crops even if they have been approved by the bloc's food safety authority.

The 28 EU member states on Monday approved the rule that national governments can have the final say in the matter -- a move that goes counter to many EU initiatives, which traditionally seek a common stance on EU policies.

Mute Schimpf of Friends of the Earth Europe says the new law "is a massive opportunity for national governments to shut the door on biotech crops in Europe."

Only one GM crop -- corn -- is planted in the EU so far, predominantly in Spain. Under the rules, governments would still have to consult biotech companies when banning a crop.

FRANCE-OBSOLETE APPLIANCES

PARIS (AP) -- France is ordering manufacturers to inform consumers how long they can expect their TV, cell phone or other appliance to last -- before they buy it.

A new French government decree that came into effect this week aims at fighting so-called planned obsolescence. That is when companies design strategies to limit the life span of appliances, so that consumers will have to replace them.

The measure requires manufacturers to inform vendors how long spare parts for an appliance will continue to be produced. The vendor is then required to inform the buyer, in writing. Violators face up to 15,000 euros ($16,800) in fines.

A similar French measure coming into effect next year will require manufacturers to replace or repair faulty appliances for free for the first two years after purchase.

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