News Update For Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates edged downward in 15 of michigan’s 17 major labor market areas in February according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. The Ann Arbor area had the state’s lowest jobless rate at five-point-four percent while Northeast Lower Michigan had the highest at 14 percent. The U.P. rate was ten-point-five percent. Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was eight-point-eight percent.
Informational pickets by the Michigan Corrections Organization are continuing across the U.P. this week. An informational picket was held yesterday in Marquette against recent Corrections Department budget cuts. Correctional Officers gathered on US-41/M-28 in front of the Marquette Branch Prison yesterday protesting the planned budget and service cuts, including a $13 million statewide cut where state prisons will not have perimeter security vehicles staffed on a 24-hour basis. Two pickets are planned for this afternoon in Munising and Newberry.
The jury trial for an Eastern U.P. man accused of possessing over two tons of explosive materials has been scheduled for next month. 65-year-old John Lechner of Sault Ste. Marie will go to trial on five felony counts in connection with transporting and distributing of explosive materials, as well as improperly storing those materials. Under a plea agreement, he had plead guilty in February to one count of possessing explosives while under indictment, which is a 10-year felony. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would have dropped four other charges in the case, but Lechner withdrew the guilty plea last week. The trial is set for 9 a.m. May 14 in U.S. District Court in Marquette.
The U.P. Regional Blood Center, a service of Marquette General, is in critical need of O-positive, A-positive, O-negative and A-negative blood throughout the Upper Peninsula. The need is high is high in all service areas of Marquette, Escanaba, Hancock and Sault Ste. Marie. You can donate at the U.P. Regional Blood Center in Marquette at 427 West College Ave. – Adjacent to Marquette General Hospital Call for an Appointment (906) 225-4610. You can also donate at Blood Center offices in Escanaba, Hancock and Sault Ste. Marie.