The Midwest Report is a daily news-roundup dedicated exclusively to the American Midwest.
“Indiana’s beginnings date back to Ice Age,” written by Andrea Neal for NWI Times, and published on 06/19/13.
“Long before Indiana was Indiana, a river of ice glided across the state, bringing with it monsoon-like rains, mudflows to rival Mount St. Helens and rich sediment deposits that to this day nourish the crops that are the backbone of the Hoosier economy.
Indiana the state has been 200 years in the making. Indiana the place goes back 2 million years to a time when ice sheets blanketed the middle latitudes and shaped the landscape we know today.
Virtually all aspects of modern Indiana were ‘in one way or another affected by some facet of the Ice Age,’ said geologist Anthony Fleming.”
“Why are Michigan’s child abuse/neglect rates so high?” written by Ron French for MLive, and published on 06/18/13.
“The number of abused and neglected Michigan children rose in recent years, during a period when state spending on abuse and neglect prevention plummeted.
The state’s rate of abuse and neglect, below the national average as recently as 2006, is now more than 50 percent higher than the national rate. Michigan now ranks 41st, according to an analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.”
3) Wisconsin & Minnesota
“Wisconsin is from Mars; Minnesota is from Venus,” written for Minnesota Public Radio, and published on 06/19/13.
“Wisconsin and Minnesota share many things in common, but when it comes to political leadership, the two states couldn’t be more different.
The Democrats in charge in Minnesota have raised taxes on the wealthy, legalized same-sex marriage, voted to let child care workers unionize and led the way in establishing a state health care exchange.
In contrast, the Republicans running Wisconsin have lowered taxes, enacted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, curbed collective bargaining rights for many state workers and chosen not to set up a state health care exchange.”
4) Kansas – Story One
“Kansas Bleeds the Middle Class,” written by Monica Potts for the American Prospect, and published on 06/18/13.
“Kansas City is a little bit plainsy, and a little bit Southern, straddling the Missouri-Kansas border. It is an old city, especially compared to others west of the Mississippi, fueled in its early years by farming money and trade from settlers heading west. Kansas City proper is on the Missouri side, and Kansas City, Kansas, or KCK, sits like a stepchild on the other side, absorbing most of the urban core’s poverty and crime. The cities themselves have some of the fastest-growing poverty rates in the country, but in the suburbs, the number of low-income families has more than doubled since before the Great Recession.
Suburban poverty has been exploding for a decade, and that growth accelerated so much during the Great Recession that the Brookings Institution devoted a special research project to the trend, and released their report a few weeks ago. It has continued to grow: Overall, poverty in suburbs rose by 64 percent, increasing at a rate that was twice as fast as the growth in cities. In some suburbs, like the communities surrounding Kansas City, Brookings found that the number of poor increased by 97 percent.”
5) Kansas – Story Two
“Kansas Secretary Of State Compares Immigration Reform Protestors To KKK,” written by Perry Stein for Talking Points Memo, and published on 06/18/13.
“Kansas’ Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, said that the immigration reform activists who protested on his porch over the weekend were committing acts of ‘intimidation’ and were no different than the ‘Ku Klux Klan.’
‘They’re just not wearing white cloaks, but this is exactly KKK type of intimidation,’ Kobach told Glenn Beck on his radio show Tuesday. Beck responded by saying that ‘these people have learned from the Klan.’
‘The left is set up on revenge and so they are using the tactics of those who have kept them down in the past, that we all tried to defeat, or at least all decent-minded Americans wanted to defeat and tried to defeat, so they are just changing their hood, and changing their language, but it is not changing who they truly are and what they are trying to do,’ Beck continued.”
“New study raises concerns about Wisconsin’s economic future, reliance on shrinking industries,” written for the Star Tribune, and published on 06/18/13.
“Wisconsin’s economy relies too heavily on the paper industry and other declining sectors, raising concerns that the state lacks the innovation and technology to be competitive in the 21st century, according to a study released Tuesday.
Three of the state’s five largest sectors have to do with paper and printing, which doesn’t bode well as the nation shifts toward digital media, the study found. It also said Wisconsin’s main industries aren’t as globally minded as are manufacturers elsewhere, another competitive disadvantage.”
7) The Midwest
“AUDIO – Is the industrial Midwest gone forever?” interviewed by Kai Ryssdal for APR’s Marketplace, and published on 06/18/13.
“The Midwest was once the industrial heartland of America — in many towns, local businesses and high schools were completely integrated into the industrial life of the region.
In his new book, ‘Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland,’ author Edward McClelland explains how his high school in Lansing, Mich., represented the embodiment of industrial culture of Michigan.
‘People could walk across the street and just get a job right out of high school,’ said McClelland.”
Available on Amazon here.
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