Wayside shooting suspect faces possible life sentence  A Kalamazoo bar employee was charged with murder and felony firearm Friday in connection with the deadly shooting inside Wayside West.

DEVELOPING

News Junkies

Updated: Thursday, March 21 2013, 06:52 PM EDT
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Even for diehard news junkies, it's getting hard, and sometimes depressing, these days to keep all the storylines straight.

There are people who say it's gotten so bad their outlook only brightens when they shove aside the morning paper and turn from TV news to, say, an old movie.

Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe concedes that news has gotten a bit hard to take, and has a way to cope.

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Here we are only three weeks into the new year and I feel like I'm on overload.

I think I started going catatonic a few days ago when some talking heads started talking about who the Presidential candidates would be four years from now.

Really? Does anybody care in these days after his inauguration who might try to replace President Barack Obama four years from now?

And then a friend of mine said to me: "I'll tell you...I've been a news freak all my life. A total freak; and what do I have to show for it? I hate to say it, but...nothing. All that effort, all that interest, and worry, and time invested, and I haven't helped change one darn thing. I know a lot, but what do I do with it?"

I don't know.

I know what he's talking about. I get it. It's tough.

And then last night, I got an e-mail from a spiritual leader, a woman, a long-time friend, who always seemed to have an even-handed handle on just about everything.

"My desire to be well-informed," she wrote, "is at odds with my desire to be sane."

Whoa...

Maybe its 24-hour news machine overload. Maybe it's that try as we might, these days, the issues are so complex we really don't understand them except vaguely.

Like the whys and wherefores of universal health care. How it'll work, or if it'll work at all. Either way it'll be without me quite understanding why.

How can the NRA fight universal background checks on people who want to buy guns. What can be so sinister about learning a little more about this guy who wants to buy that revolver or that guy who wants to buy this assault rifle?

No one I've heard so farno onehas said anything about wanting to circumvent the second amendment.

No one wants to take your rifle, your shotgun, or your  handgun. No one, believe me, no one is going to force your son to marry a gay Muslim.

It's true the people who live in the beltway of Washington, D.C. don't really get it.

If they did  would they spend tens of millions on the President's inauguration celebration?  Some reports have it at more than a hundred million dollars.

The first lady's gowns for the event and the ball are said to have cost $20,000.

The median income in this country right now is $26,000 dollars. One suspects even the Romneys wouldn't be so clueless. The Obamas just out-Romneyed the Romneys.

What's wrong with more and more states, including Michigan, spending morea lot moreon locking people up than on education?

How did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell become millionaires as public servants?

When did politics become a dirty competition between parties instead of leadership and consensus for the people?

Why can't somebody fix our tax code to get rid of loopholes  for the rich and make it simple enough that I don't have to get professional help to file a tax form?

I don't care that Michelle Obama had bangs. I don't care that Beyonce lip-synched, although Carrie Underwood and James Taylor didn't.

I do care that corporations were allowed to give unlimited donations to help pay for the inaugural parties. Not that they're trying to buy future favors or anything.

News junkies keep up on everything. And they're starting to wonder why. All it does is get in the way of their sanity.

But...know what? Somebody has got to do it. And as with anything, ya gotta learn which stuff you can pitch and which stuff you ought to hang on to. The important stuff has a way of rising to the top. Let the rest go.

We have elections every two years, and each and every time an educated citizenry is what makes us who we are. We, who can't help but read and watch all we can have just got to hang on, know that, eventually...in some way...something will happen to make us all profoundly glad that we did.

In this corner...Oh...and you know what else...conversations are better.

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

Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits last week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. Jobless claims continue to be near pre-recession levels despite the slight increase.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.

MORTGAGE RATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.

EARNS-GOLDMAN SACHS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment bank Goldman Sachs says its first-quarter earnings fell as fixed income trading slumped.

The bank earned $1.9 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year earlier when it made $2.2 billion.

The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $3.49 a share.

Revenue totaled $9.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier, when the bank generated revenue of $10.1 billion. The latest quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.

Goldman's stock rose $2.78, or 1.8 percent, to $160 in pre-market trading.

EARNS-PEPSICO

NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo reports a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, says global snack volume rose 2 percent while beverages were even from a year ago.

In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. says volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $12.62 billion, higher than the $12.39 billion analysts expected.

EARNS-MATTEL

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel says weak sales of Barbie and markdowns to clear out excess inventory left over from a sluggish holiday season led to an unexpected first-quarter loss.

Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets.

The largest U.S. toy maker says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 totaled $11.2 million, or 3 cents per share. That compares with net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share.

The company which makes Disney Princess dolls and Hot Wheels cars says revenue fell 5 percent to $946.2 million. Analysts expected $947.6 million. Barbie revenue dropped 14 percent.

TARGET-SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

NEW YORK (AP) -- Target is vastly expanding the goods that are available to order by subscription as it fends off its biggest non-traditional retail rival, Amazon.com.

The nation's second-largest discounter first dabbled with subscriptions last September, trying to win over haggard parents with 150 baby care products.

That program has been expanded more than tenfold this week to nearly 1,600 items across a much wider array of consumer goods. Everything from beauty products and pet supplies, to home office supplies like printer ink, are now available through subscription.

Target, based in Minneapolis, is playing catch up in the subscription arena, which has exploded as companies test consumer appetites for almost every niche, from socks to razors, to clothing and entertainment.

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