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Flood Warnings Until Further Notice

The Muskegon river at Croton Dam measures by reference markers at 13.1' and is forecast to crest at 13.3'.  Major flooding will continue.  The structural integrity of the Dam remains, which is very good news.  Remember, flood stage is 9.0'.  

FLOOD WARNINGS remain along the Rogue river below Rockford and the White river above Whitehall.  The White river has already crested and will begin falling.  The Rogue sits at 8.0', which is flood stage, and should rise to 8.3'.  

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Why Mitt Romney lost

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Why Mitt Romney lost story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After what will probably be long-remembered as the $6 billion election that changed almost nothing, President Barack Obama is moving on to his second term in office.

House Speaker John Boehner has sent a carefully worded message to the President, suggesting he'd be open to new revenues, showing there's a kind of guarded optimism pervading Washington.

But there are still legions of people trying to figure out how Mitt Romney lost.

In Tom's Corner tonight, Tom Van Howe says he can save them all a lot of time.

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

A lot is being said, and a lot will be said, as the inspectors sift through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign.

How in the world did he lose this thing? It seemed so ripe for the taking.

The economy still in doubt; unemployment  still almost eight percent.

They'll be a while in figuring it out, but I think I can save them some time. Even if I don't have the micro-intelligence capacity to tell me why Mabel Hotchkiss of Hoboken and Stanley Callaway of Kalamazoo voted the way they did.

In my view, though, the reason the former Governor of Massachusetts lost the big one is easy to identify.

First though: forget the rich-guy gaffes—the two Cadillacs driven by his wife, that he likes to fire people, that he knows racing-team owners,  that he told a room of one-percenters in Boca Raton that 47 percent of the country are moochers; they were bad enough.

But put them aside.

And forget the drawn out Republican primaries in which his Republican opponents attacked him in harsher and more vitriolic tones than President Obama did later on.

They're the ones who called him a flip-flopper, big spender, vulture capitalist and all around know-nothing.

The truth is, in the final analysis, we discovered we didn't really know who Romney is. And we still don't. And the 'a-ha moment' came toward the end of the Republican primaries when a CNN reporter asked Romney advisor Eric Fehnstrom if his candidate wasn't getting pushed so far to the right that it might be hard for him to moderate.

For anyone listening, Fehnstrom's response was a show stopper.

He said they would just hit the reset button for the fall campaign. "It's kind of like an etch-a-sketch," he said. "You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."

In other words, up until then he was just kind of funnin' with us, just sayin' stuff he and his staff figured would be convenient for us to hear.

About what was he sincere? And about what wasn't he? We don't know. The etch-a-sketch candidate.

After that, how could anything Romney said be taken seriously?

By the time Election Day rolled around, a lot of people who hated Obama voted for Romney. A lot of people voted for Romney because they were Republicans.

If more people voted for Mitt Romney because he was Mitt Romney, very likely he would have won.

Here's what an outsider-looking-in wrote for the Daily Mail in London yesterday: he said hindsight will probably view Romney as a man who appeared to have no core values. "He made plenty of mistakes," the paper said, "but his biggest failing was that even after running for the White House for the best part of six years it was hard to fathom exactly who he was or what he really believed--as opposed to what he thought voters wanted him to believe."

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.
Why Mitt Romney lost
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Business News

Last Update on April 15, 2014 17:50 GMT

BUILDER SENTIMENT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market is a bit better right now but remains relatively low for the third straight month, reflecting the impact of tight credit for home buyers and a shortage of workers and land.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index for April has edged up to 47 from 46 in March.

Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor. The index had been above 50 from June through January. But builders recently have complained that they can't find enough workers or lots.

Builders expect sales to improve over the spring and summer. The index measuring their confidence in home sales over the next six months rose to 57, highest since January.

CONSUMER PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lower U.S. gasoline prices kept consumer inflation in check last month, helping offset higher costs for food and clothing.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in March, after scant 0.1 percent increases the previous two months. Prices have risen just 1.5 percent year over year. That remains well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for inflation.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices increased 0.2 percent in March and 1.7 percent in the past year.

Prices at the gas pump tumbled 1.7 percent in March, lowering costs for the entire energy category.

But food prices jumped 0.4 percent, led by increases in eggs, milk, butter, oranges, pork chops, ground beef and poultry. Prices for clothing, used cars and cable television also rose.

EARNINGS

J&J profit up 8 percent on sales jump; Coca-Cola profit dips, but more drinks sold

UNDATED (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson says its first-quarter profit rose 8 percent.

The world's biggest maker of health care products easily beat Wall Street expectations and raised its earnings outlook. J&J's report credits restrained costs and a big jump in prescription drug sales for its gains. Its stock is up more than 1 percent.

Coca-Cola says its first-quarter profit fell nearly 8 percent despite selling more drinks worldwide.

Soda sales actually fell for the first time in a decade, but the drop was offset by stronger sales of non-carbonated drinks, such as juice. Still, a stronger dollar hurt profits.

Excluding one-time items, Coca-Cola's net income totaled 44 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations. Coca-Cola shares are up more than 3 percent.

EPA-EMISSIONS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

The new regulations are designed to clean the air of toxins such as mercury, lead and arsenic, which contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects and developmental problems in children.

In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to the rules. Industry groups argue it would cost billions of dollars annually to comply with the new rules and the EPA overstates their benefits.

When the rules were brought forward three years ago, there were no limits on how much mercury or other toxic pollutants could be released from a power plant's smokestacks.

The EPA calls the decision "a victory for public health and the environment," adding that the new standards will "prevent heart and asthma attacks" and slash emissions that can impair children's ability to learn.

PAP SMEAR DEBATE-FDA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer is facing pushback from more than a dozen patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women's health: the Pap smear.

The new test comes from Roche and uses DNA to detect the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While such technology has been available for years, Roche now wants the FDA to approve its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, bypassing the decades-old Pap smear.

But a number of women's groups warn that moving to a DNA-only testing model would be a "radical shift" in medical practice that could lead to confusion, higher costs and overtreatment in some women.

YELLEN-BANKS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says recent initiatives by the Fed and other regulators to help banks make it through periods of financial stress are important, but they may still need to be strengthened.

Yellen believes current rules governing how much capital banks must hold in case of losses do not address all threats. She said that the Federal Reserve staff is actively considering what additional measures may be needed.

Bank regulators need to focus on this area, Yellen says, since bank runs generated at shaky firms were the primary engine that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

Yellen's comments Tuesday came in an address delivered by video to a financial markets conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve's regional bank in Atlanta.

EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union Parliament has completed the biggest overhaul of the bloc's financial system since the introduction of the euro currency.

Lawmakers in Strasbourg today passed laws aimed at minimizing the risk and cost posed by failing banks. They signed off on the establishment of a European authority to unwind or restructure failing banks as well as new rules designed to prevent any further bailouts with taxpayer money.

The EU Parliament also passed legislation that protects all deposits of up to 100,000 euros ($138,000) in case of bank failures across the 28-nation bloc.

The EU Commissioner in charge of financial market reform says the new rules "put an end to the era of massive bailouts and ensure taxpayers will no longer foot the bill when banks face difficulties."

During the global financial crisis, European governments pumped more than $800 billion into ailing banks.

IRS-PRIVATE COLLECTORS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A public employees union is fighting a bipartisan effort in Congress to force the Internal Revenue Service to hire private contractors to collect some delinquent taxes.

The IRS stopped using private tax collectors in 2009 after determining that agency employees could do a better job.

The Senate Finance Committee passed a bill two weeks ago that included an amendment requiring the IRS to revive the program. The amendment was offered by Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. It was accepted without opposition.

The amendment was attached to a bill that extends several dozen tax breaks that expired at the start of the year.

The National Treasury Employees Union said the program failed in the past and should not be forced on the IRS.

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