Southwest Michigan Today: Monday May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018

The latest survey of West Michigan's industrial economy shows a strong start to the second quarter. A Seattle man and a woman from Washington D.C. are top finishers in the Kalamazoo Marathon. WMU baseball loses its final MAC home game of the season. 

The latest survey shows West Michigan’s industrial economy continues to grow. Grand Valley State University Economist Brian Long says his monthly report for the Institute for Supply Management shows economic indicators remained positive last month. Long says the survey of purchasing managers conducted during the last two weeks of April, showed the strong economic performance to start the year continued into the beginning of the second quarter.

The state House Republican leader says a vote in the Legislature on legalizing marijuana is possible, but not likely. That’s after a petition drive put the question in front of the Legislature. House Speaker Tom Leonard appeared to rule out a vote on the issue two weeks ago. But he says that question isn’t settled. If 40 days go by, and the initiative is not adopted, the question goes on the November ballot. Some Republicans are concerned a marijuana proposal on the ballot could drive up Democratic turnout in November.

Wayne State University faces a deadline Monday to decide whether to extend a century-old partnership with the Detroit Medical Center. The medical center is offering to extend its agreement with Wayne State until the end of August. Doctors from the Medical Center teach at Wayne State and the Medical School uses the hospital systems facilities as well. But some Wayne State officials have said the school and medical center have visions that are increasingly incompatible. Wayne State has reportedly been examining partnership arrangements with other health systems…and officials with the Medical Center say they are prepared to begin negotiating with other providers. The outcome will impact thousands of patients and hundreds of physicians. (WDET

A Seattle man was the winner of Sunday’s Kalamazoo Marathon. Evan Williams finished the 26.2 mile race in just over two hours 33 minutes. Natalie Patterson of Washington D.C. was the top woman runner. She ran yesterday’s marathon through the streets of Kalamazoo in two hours, 59 minutes and 10 seconds.

The Wall Street rating firm Moody's Investor Services has downgraded Michigan State University's long-term debt rating. The action dropped MSU from a AA-1 rating to a AA-2 rating. AA-2 is the third-highest credit rating that Moody’s assigns to fixed-income securities. The action is due to worries over the potential financial effects of lawsuits the school is currently facing involving former physician Larry Nassar. (Michigan Radio

Consumers Energy has begun phase two of its Saginaw Trail Pipeline Project which will place 94 miles of natural gas pipe between Oakland, Flint, and Saginaw. In the next phase, slated to start in mid May, the company will replace pipe running through the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. A spokesperson for Consumers Energy says some portions of the pipeline were placed in the 1940s and are due for a replacement. The company says it is working with the Wildlife Refuge to make sure they minimize any impact on the environment. (WCMU

In baseball, Western Michigan lost to Miami Sunday 3-1. The Broncos will play their final home game of the season on Wednesday against Valparaiso. Western’s final seven games of the season will be on the road.