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Tag Archive | "labor day"

Early school start takes bite out of Michigan’s tourism industry


 

Seventy-five percent of voters think local voters should decide school start date

From the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association released the results of a new survey this week finding that 75 percent of Michigan voters believe voters should get to decide if their schools start before Labor Day.

“As a record number of schools start before Labor Day, both the tourism industry and families are feeling the pinch,” Deanna Richeson, president/CEO of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) said. “The landslide results of this survey show both a steady support for post-Labor Day school start and a clear indication that voters want to have a say in the decision-making process.”

Recognizing the importance of July and August to the tourism industry, the Michigan Legislature passed a law requiring schools to start after the Labor Day weekend beginning in the 2000-2001 school year. A report issued by the Anderson Economic Group found that in just two short years, hotel revenue levels had increased over $20 million. The tourism industry has benefited significantly as families seized the opportunity to vacation in the warmer August weather.

Since 2006, the Michigan Department of Education has issued an increasing number of waivers allowing schools to start before Labor Day. This year 99 school districts plus 24 intermediate school districts—each of which encompasses multiple school districts—were granted waivers, with many schools back in session by mid-August.

“Voters deserve to have a voice on something that impacts both our children and families and the tourism industry—a vital segment of Michigan’s economy,” Richeson said. “The tourism economy is hit hard as families are forced to cut their summer vacations short, and families miss the opportunity to build lasting memories.”

Kent Wood, director of government relations for the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, supports starting schools after Labor Day because of the positive economic impact for tourism-centered industries in Northern Michigan and across the state.

“As a region, we have seen an increase in thousands of additional room nights, and millions of dollars in additional room revenues. One area noticed a 116 percent increase over a ten-year period since the law’s enactment—a period of time which includes the challenging recession years,” Wood said.

The survey conducted in August of likely Michigan voters clearly shows that Michigan voters support a post Labor Day school start, and they want to have a voice in that decision-making process.

Seventy percent support the law requiring that all public-school districts start after Labor Day; and seventy five percent support giving the voter, not the school board, local control over when their schools should start.

“Parents are the true local control when it comes to their kids’ education, and whether to start before or after Labor Day,” Richeson said. “It is clear voters want and deserve to have their voices heard on this issue.”

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Creative Technologies Academy SCHOOL CALENDAR


SCHOOL HOURS

Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

FlexTrac Grades 9-12: (7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. including 2 self-scheduled hours)

August

22 Open House (K-12) – 5:30 – 8:00 PM

28 First Day of School

31 Early Release Day (12:45 and 1:00 pm)

September

1-4 No School – Labor Day Break

6 XC #1 Conference Meet @Riverside Park

9 Hill & Bale XC Invitational @Fremont Middle School

12 School Picture Day

13 Mobile Dentist

15 Early Release Day

15 XC MSU Spartan Invitational @Forest Akers Golf Course

29 Early Release Day

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

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Labor Day wraps up cheapest summer at pump in 12 years


 

N-GasPrices-chart$18.9 billion saved 

With summer drawing to a close, motorists have enjoyed the cheapest summer at the pump since 2004, saving $18.9 billion over its duration versus last summer, a sweet note as they take to the roads to celebrate Labor Day.

“As the holiday approaches, it’s true that gasoline prices have risen across the country due in part to rumors of production cuts from OPEC which could begin to correct the balance of supply and demand, but take note—it could be just the third time in a decade prices are rising ahead of Labor Day,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “While today’s trend may lead to some frustration, gas prices are likely to soon revert, leaving behind what has been the cheapest summer at the pump in over a decade.”

According to GasBuddy analysts, gasoline prices have remained low even in light of high gasoline demand due to rampant oil production, leading supply to outpace demand for several years, causing oil inventories to bulge and depressing oil prices.

In addition, as U.S. production has increased over the last several years, oil producing countries have been fighting to win back market share. Saudi Arabia was a key player in driving oil prices down by announcing a new strategy to pump as much as they could late in 2014. The downturn accelerated when sanctions on Iran were eased, leading Iran to boost production and fight for market share against Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The U.S. national average for a gallon of gasoline is likely to close out the summer driving season having averaged $2.24 per gallon compared to 2015’s summer average of $2.70 per gallon. For Labor Day, GasBuddy expects the national average to be $2.19 per gallon, a slight decrease versus the current national average of $2.21 per gallon and far lower than prices during the early part of the decade.

Interestingly, GasBuddy data shows that since 2005, gas prices between the end of August and Labor Day have dropped seven out of ten times, with prices averaging a 2-cent decline. The largest jump was in 2005 when gas prices shot up 20 cents as Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. and oil rigs in the Gulf.

With the conclusion of Labor Day weekend comes the end of the summer driving season in the world’s largest gasoline consuming country, setting the stage for gasoline demand and prices to fall. In addition, EPA’s summer gasoline requirements end September 15 in much of the nation, opening the door for cheaper winter gasoline to return to pumps—a double whammy of downward pressure just in time for autumn—a yearly trend that’s unfazed by upcoming elections.

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Mackinac Bridge Walk less than a week away


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 August 29, 2016 – Have you made plans for the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk? If not, it’s coming up quick.

Gov. Rick Snyder will lead the expected 40,000 walkers across the 5-mile span beginning at 7 a.m. Monday, Sept. 5. Walkers can start across the bridge up until 11 a.m., and buses are available to bring walkers from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace for $5. All details on the walk are available on the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) website at www.mackinacbridge.org.

“Rain or shine, people love the annual bridge walk,” said MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney. “It’s a great activity for friends and family, and an opportunity to take in the sights of the Straits area from a wonderful vantage point.”

For the fifth year in a row, the MBA and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are asking the public to share their bridge walk experiences on social media with photos and videos. One person sharing their memories will be chosen at random to receive a once-in-a-lifetime tour to the top of the Mackinac Bridge. Memories can be posted on MDOT’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT, or on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MightyMacWalk16. For contest details, go to the MDOT website: www.michigan.gov/mdot.

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Whatever your party, choose a designated driver 


CAR-Driver-sober

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign supports driving safety  

Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are hoping the designated driver gets your vote this election season, as stepped up drunk driving patrols continue through Sept. 5 across the state. The patrols are part of the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

“When it comes to traffic safety there is no debate, the designated driver always wins, yet Michigan alcohol-and/or drug-involved fatalities were up 20 percent in 2015,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Hundreds of families are suffering tragic consequences because drivers made the wrong choice to drive drunk. The law enforcement officers participating in this campaign are dedicated to changing that.”

Fifteen people died in 12 traffic crashes during the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, a significant increase from six fatalities during the 2014 Labor Day holiday. Nearly two-thirds of the 2015 Labor Day holiday cashes involved alcohol. During last year’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement, officers arrested 351 drunk drivers and issued 2,630 seat belt and child restraint citations.

This year’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will also include stepped up seat belt enforcement. A recent observation study indicates Michigan’s seat belt use rate is increasing this year after remaining fairly constant for the last five years.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher. Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the OHSP. Grant-funded impaired driving and seat belt enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

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Post travels across Mackinac Bridge


N-Post-goes-to-MacBridge

On Labor Day, September 7, 2015, the Post walked across the Mackinac Bridge with Rose Hankins, her daughter Vickie Totten, and great-granddaughter, Addy Rose.

Great job to all of you, and thanks for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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More than 300 arrested for drunk driving 


N-MSP-logo

Officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and Michigan State Police posts across the state arrested 351 drunk drivers and issued 2,630 seat belt and child restraint citations during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown. The stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement began Aug. 21 and ran through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“To enhance safety and reduce traffic fatalities, Michigan law enforcement officers have zero tolerance for motorists who fail to wear a seat belt, and they are experts at finding drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Motorists were warned to drive sober or get pulled over, and more than 300 drivers failed to heed that advice.”

Preliminary reports also indicate officers made 152 drug arrests and 41 felony arrests during the nearly three-week effort. Of the 351 arrests for drunk driving, 57 persons had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 percent or higher.

Law enforcement officers in Branch County stopped a vehicle for motorist seat belt violation and found the passengers had open intoxicants as well as outstanding arrest warrants.  A driver stopped for not wearing a seat belt in Wayne County had a BAC of .21. A motorcyclist arrested for operating while intoxicated in Clinton County had 11 prior drunk driving arrests.

According to preliminary reports, there were 13 traffic fatalities during the 2015 Labor Day holiday period. Three of those deaths involved alcohol and five vehicle occupants were not buckled up. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, five of the six fatal traffic crashes involved alcohol.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired.  Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Michigan law requires drivers, front seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall, and children under 4 years old must be in the back seat.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign was supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP.  Grant-funded impaired driving and seat belt enforcement are part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

 

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Social Security tips


 

By Stephanie Holland, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Labor Day isn’t your only reward for hard work

On Labor Day, many Americans enjoy a long weekend to commemorate the hard work they do the rest of the year, as well as those who support working people. With barbecues and ballgames, beach trips and fireworks, this annual holiday often marks the unofficial end of summer. Established in 1882, Labor Day has become a timeless American tradition that many look forward to all summer.

Labor Day also reminds us that all our hard work is paying off in more ways than one. If you work 10 years, and receive four credits each year for a total of 40 credits, you’ll enjoy the security of Social Security retirement benefits. Remember, those years don’t have to be consecutive. You can check your Social Security Statement and make sure you have enough credits by opening a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

The best way to see what those benefits might be is to visit Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. The Estimator uses your actual earnings history to compute a benefit estimate.

In the past, applying for benefits could be laborious, requiring you to drive to a Social Security office, wait, and fill out paperwork. Now, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline to apply online for retirement benefits.

In most cases, after you submit your online application electronically, that’s it. There are no additional forms to sign or paperwork to complete. In rare cases, we’ll need additional information, and a representative will contact you.

Labor Day might mean something a little different once you’re retired. Spend a few moments considering what your hard work has earned in the form of Social Security protection for you, your family, and working people everywhere.

Stephanie Holland is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 455 Bond St, Benton Harbor MI 49022 or via email at stephanie.holland@ssa.gov

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Fatalities down over holiday weekend


The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that preliminary reports indicate four people lost their lives in three separate traffic crashes during the 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend. In comparison, eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend.

Of the four fatalities, two persons were known to have used restraints. Alcohol was a factor in one crash. One crash involved a bicyclist struck by a car, and another crash involved an unhelmeted motorcyclists.

“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013,” stated Capt. Kari Kusmierz, commander of the MSP Training Division. “The preliminary numbers show a decrease in fatalities from this same holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drink and drive, to always use proper restraints and to drive safely at all times.”

The 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, through 11:59 p.m., on  Monday, September 2.

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Safety tips for Labor Day weekend


OUT-Red-Cross-logoFrom the American Red Cross

 

Many people view Labor Day as the end of summer and their last chance to travel, hit the beach, and fire up the grill. The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

“While many people will spend the Labor Day weekend traveling and spending time with family and friends, no one should take a vacation from safety,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “It’s still important that people work to remain vigilant on the road, at the beach, and at cookouts.”

Tips for Safe Travel 

Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

Buckle up and observe speed limits.

Don’t drink and drive.

Tips for Safe Swimming 

Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.

Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.

Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.

Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling 

Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Keep children and pets away from the grill.

Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

For more information on emergency preparedness, go to redcross.org. Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafety.

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