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.

Fatal head-on crash involving fire truck   The Kalamazoo County Undersheriff says that a person has been killed in a head-on crash Thursday morning.

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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The budget busting sequestration

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
The budget busting sequestration story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It made for an unusual standoff last week when Congress insisted on providing the U.S. Army with more tanks.

Even while the Army insisted it didn't want any more.

Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says the faceoff in these budget-conscious times would be high comedy, if only it was funny.

=====================

So there they were last week—General Ray Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the Army, facing a subcommittee of the House of Representatives.

All members of the same body that preaches austerity at every turn. The same bunch that has sequestered enough budget cuts that, according to the Washington Post, thousands of cancer patients have reportedly been turned away from clinics that could no longer pay for their treatments; that who knows how many seniors and disabled are going hungry because their Meals-On-Wheels have been discontinued; that children are being booted from head start programs.

And there they were, telling the Army's top general that he needed more Abrams tanks, at nearly $8 million a pop, while he told them the Army neither needed nor wanted any more.

"If we had our choice," the general said, "we'd use that money in a different way."

Rep. Jim Jordan chose the standard empty patriotic response: "...IF it was not in the best interests of the national defense for
 
The United States of America," he said, "then you would not see me supporting it the way I do."

Sure.

Jordan is a former college wrestler and coach who is now the darling of the American Conservative Union for campaigning to require a vote of the people to raise taxes or increase spending. He's never been in the armed forces but does have a law degree.

And there he was, this fiscal hawk, telling the Pentagon that, only in the interest of national security, it should be compelled to purchase a half-billion dollars worth of new upgraded Abrams tanks that the Pentagon says it doesn't want.

The Pentagon points out that it already has two-and-a-half thousand such tanks, and would be interested in brand-new, redesigned tanks four years from now.

But Jordan says, "no...do it now."

It may or may not be of interest to point out that Jordan represents the city of Lima, Ohio, the very city where the Abrams tank is put together.

Why the rest of Congress seems to be going along with this is beyond comprehension.

I don't know how many hungry people could be fed with a half-billion dollars... But I'd guess a lot.

This kind of upside-down thinking in a time of government austerity—I don't know what else to call it—affects all of us, so I have an idea.

So many people enthusiastically buy military-style weapons for their personal arsenals these days: you know, the much-talked about assault weapons with the giant magazines, that surely there are some among them who'd like to be the first on their block to boast of their very own Abrams tank.

It's true the Army pays nearly eight million dollars for each one, but, as you might guess, they depreciate enormously the minute they get driven off the lot. Particularly if they're battle-scarred.

So, according to various internet postings, they'd wind up costing cost as little as two-and-a-half million dollars each.

What a deal.

And I'm sure the argument could be made, just as it has with assault rifles, that Abrams tanks, with all their incredible fire power, would be just super for deer hunting.

Then the proceeds could be used to assist cancer patients get treatment, provide meals for the hungry, and get kids back in headstart programs.

It's a natural. A twofer. Congress can force the Pentagon to buy that which it doesn't want, then authorize the sale of surplus at a reduced rate to raise money for programs that need the money.

But while writing this, something Will Rogers said maybe a hundred years keeps keeps running through my mind.

"I never lacked material for my humor column," he said, "when Congress is in session."

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.
The budget busting sequestration
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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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