News briefs


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder joins U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, announcing $31 million in Detroit transportation

The funds for the transportation opportunities encourage the Regional Transit Authority to begin improvements to public transportation in southeastern Michigan.

A planning grant worth $6.5 million will provide funding to develop a bus rapid transit system that will serve four counties and Detroit.

Snyder announced that lawmaker Paul Hillegonds, senior vice president of corporate affairs for DTE Energy, will serve as chairman of the authority. The dollars will fund alternative analyses and environmental studies on Gratiot and Michigan avenues, and a cross-country route through northern Oakland and Macomb counties. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments estimates that building and operating the transit system will create more than 5,400 jobs in the area.

United Way of Washtenaw County has named Eastern Michigan University Regent Beth Fitzsimmons its ‘2013 Woman of the Year’

Eastern Michigan University Regent Beth Fitzsimmons will be honored at the United Way of Washtenaw County’s Power of the Purse event March 13 at the EMU Student Center.

Fitzsimmons founded Information Strategists LLC, which provides information services to high-tech businesses.

Fitzsimmons became an EMU regent in 2011 and served as the chairwoman of the National Commission of Libraries and Information Science from 2003-08. She has also served on the board of the YMCA, University of Michigan Libraries and the Library of Michigan Foundation.

Fitzsimmons was the president of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. She has also served on the Department of Commerce National Technical Information Services Advisory Board and in an advisory position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fitzsimmons earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Simmons College, a master’s degree in library science from the University at Albany-State University of New York and a doctorate in public policy from George Mason University.

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