KDPS confirms fatal shooting in Kalamazoo   Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley confirms male in his 20's was shot and killed at Wayside West on Stadium Drive.

BREAKING NEWS

FLOOD WARNINGS CONTINUE

Flood Warning & Areal Flood Warnings

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids maintains a FLOOD WARNING for the Muskegon river at Croton Dam indefinitely.  While the river is falling, the latest measurement of 12.4' is still more than 3' above flood stage, which is 9.0'.  

AREAL FLOOD WARNINGS remain for Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Montcalm counties for county and backroads that are under water.  Driving will be dangerous in some cases.  These warnings expire tonight.   

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Energy Independence

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Energy Independence story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant on the lakeshore just south of South Haven is drawing national scrutiny now that it's been shut down for the eighth time in two years.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says the aging facility is a poster child for our nation's lack of a comprehensive long-term energy policy.

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I don't know about you, but I don't take much comfort in the fact that the 80-or-so gallons of radioactive waste that leaked into Lake Michigan two weeks ago was, as the Palisades people described it, "highly diluted."

After all, that plant has been shut down a lot over the years—not just recently. And the people at Palisades have had tons of practice at projecting peaceful, easy feelings in the face of one unsettling problem after another.

But what can we really expect from a plant that was built more than 40 years ago at a cost of $180-million dollars—and now holds the dubious distinction of being one of the NRC's four worst nuclear plants in the United States.

It has entered the patch, patch, patch phase of its life span and the NRC is now making rumblings about giving it just four more years before pulling the plug. And whatever happens, its not to be taken lightly.

The Palisades reactor provides 18 to 30 percent of the electricity used in West Michigan. Some 600 people work there.

The lives of thousands of people hang in the balance.

But the truth is, the United States remains uncertain of where its headed in this 13th year of the 21st century.

We've long backed away from building nuclear power plants. They're deemed too dangerous after what happened in Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island, and Fukushima.

Not to mention, they're enormously expensive--$5 to $10 billion each now—and return on investment is slow, and therefore kind of unpopular. But they produce no greenhouse gasses.

France, for the record, has about 60 nuclear plants—gets 80 percent of its energy from them—the highest in the world; and 85 percent of the reactors are owned by the government.

According to surveys, the French love their reactors.

On the other hand, in the U.K., a number of reactors were so unprofitable they could not even be sold, so they were actually given away to companies who wound up needing government bailouts to stay afloat.

In Germany, reactors are slotted, for now, anyway, to be decommissioned completely in the next nine years.

And in China, meantime, they're building them like crazy.

But we in the United States have no policy, no direction, no national sense where we're headed.

It's true and exciting that with new ways of finding abundant oil and natural gas reserves, we are quickly reducing our dependence on the middle east.

But both enterprises are ecologically problematic. From the very real fear of spills to the still-unknown hazards of fracking.

It's also true that we're learning more and more about the renewable powers of sun, wind and waves.

But we have no policy.

Maybe that's the way it ought to be: where things are determined by a free market; where entrepreneurs chart our energy futures. Where what's profitable will work.

But I have long wondered why we can't muster our best and brightest—to assemble, agonize, analyze, argue and chart a new energy direction for this country: One with focus; one that appreciates our environment as a legacy for our children; one that makes efficient and affordable use of what we have.

I hear politicians talk ad nauseum about achieving the American dream in this the greatest country the world has ever known.

There are a number of components to making any dream come true—and among them, not the least of them—is reliable, affordable energy.

And without the kind of road map into the future that a comprehensive energy policy would provide, it's reasonable to fear that we will wind up with energy that, while profitable to some, will be for the rest of us neither reliable nor affordable.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.
Energy Independence
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Business News

Last Update on April 17, 2014 07:32 GMT

WORLD MARKETS

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly lower today, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally.

Profit taking set in following a sharp rise in Tokyo the day before and as comments from the country's central bank governor left investors unimpressed.

Other regional benchmarks were unable to find direction in spite of optimism in the U.S., where major benchmarks closed at least 1 percent higher, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would continue to provide stimulus for the job market.

Trading in some markets such as Hong Kong and Australia was subdued ahead of a long weekend.

Benchmark crude oil rose above $104 a barrel.

The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen.

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

Major business and economic reports scheduled today

WASHINGTON -- Investors today will be taking a close look at the government's weekly jobless claims report.

Also due out is Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate report.

There are a slew of companies set to report their quarterly financial results today. All results will be released before the bell.

Among the major companies reporting are industrial giants DuPont and General Electric.

Two big investment banks, Goldman Sachs; and Morgan Stanley, will report earnings.

Also set to release quarterly results today are PepsiCo, Philip Morris International, Union Pacific, Mattel, UnitedHealth and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

FAST TRADING-SUBPOENAS

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- An official familiar with the investigation says the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any unfair advantages.

The official tells The Associated Press the subpoenas went last week to trading firms including Chicago-based Jump Trading LLC and Chopper Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the subpoenas.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said advantages in computer hardware and placement enable some traders to get millisecond timing advances on trades.

His office, with New York authority to investigate securities fraud, is seeking details about trading strategies and special arrangements with trading venues.

DISNEY-SECURITIES FRAUD

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A man will plead guilty to securities fraud and pay regulators around $801,000 for using insider information to profit from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

According to the deal filed in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, Toby Scammell learned from his then-girlfriend, a Disney corporate strategy employee, that Disney would acquire a well-known company she didn't name.

Scammell learned from his consulting company that Disney had previously wanted to acquire Marvel. He bought call options in Marvel stock for around $5,500, and later sold them for $192,000 in profit.

Last month, Scammell agreed to settle a parallel civil case and pay $801,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will be credited to his fine in the criminal case. He also faces prison time.

VOLKSWAGEN-UNION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fight over whether workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee can unionize is moving to Washington.

Two House Democrats said Wednesday they will investigate whether Republicans in that state may have violated "or otherwise run afoul" of any federal laws ahead of a February vote in which workers narrowly opted against joining the United Auto Workers.

Congressmen George Miller of California and John Tierney of Massachusetts say they want to know if any Tennessee Republicans attached any inappropriate strings to the state's $300 million incentive package to get VW to expand the Chattanooga plant.

The union claims the election was tainted by Republicans including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

Corker and others have denied doing anything inappropriate.

A hearing on the UAW's complaint is set for Monday in Chattanooga.

YAHOO SEVERANCE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

The disclosure in a regulatory filing may lead to more second-guessing of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her second-in-command in October 2012.

Mayer dumped de Castro in January after concluding he wasn't executing on her plan for reviving Yahoo's lackluster ad growth. De Castro had been in charge of ad sales.

Yahoo Inc. previously disclosed de Castro would be getting a severance package, but didn't reveal the amount until Wednesday.

The company's board said most of the severance stemmed from the costs of luring de Castro from his previous job at Google Inc.

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