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Nonprofit hopes to profit from 'conservative anger'

(10/11/09 8:10pm)

DALLAS – A month after President Barack Obama took office in January, Drew Ryun moved to Texas and began organizing the state office of American Majority. Ryun is among many political organizers across the nation who watched the Tea Party phenomenon and is now asking the question: "Can you harness conservative anger about the direction the country is headed and convert those sign-waving protests into votes for 2010 and 2012? "I think the chances are about 50-50," Ryun said.

Rural hosiptals worry reforms won't be helpful

(10/11/09 8:12pm)

WASHINGTON – The Peach County Regional Medical Center, a small, Cold War-era hospital in Fort Valley, Ga., 40 miles from the nearest trauma center in Macon, is in critical condition. Medical specialists and surgeons – physicians who are hard to recruit to rural areas – often take one look at the hospital's worn and soiled carpet and peeling wallpaper and decide to hang their shingles elsewhere. The emergency room has only five beds, so when patients with serious injuries or illnesses are admitted other less critical patients must get out of bed and walk or are rolled to a nearby waiting room. Most of those patients are uninsured and can pay little, if anything, toward their treatment, forcing the hospital to absorb the costs.

Obama: Nobel prize a 'call to action' not award for past accomplishments

(10/11/09 8:13pm)

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, who has pledged to place diplomacy ahead of confrontation in world affairs, won the Nobel Prize for Peace on Friday, a remarkable and controversial honor for a leader nine months in office. Obama, as if acknowledging the unusual nature of the award, accepted it "as a call to action" rather than as a reward for past accomplishments. "This award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity," Obama said at a Rose Garden appearance. The gold medallion given to recipients of the prize does not come with a ribbon, but the award could end up being a weight around Obama's neck. Intended to honor how Obama has altered the nation's diplomatic direction, the peace prize is likely to call attention to how much of the administration's agenda – from closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay to winding down the war in Iraq – remains undone. The prize also poses political risks for a president routinely depicted by Republicans as more focused on seeking international approval than defending the security interests of the United States. That criticism could be compounded if Obama rejects the military's request for an additional 40,000 troops in Afghanistan. Mindful of such perils, the president sought to downplay the significance of the Nobel, describing it as a "means to give momentum" to causes that others also embrace, and saying, "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve" it. The award undoubtedly carries benefits.

Municipal employee's union files grievance in Ypsilanti Township

(10/11/09 9:28pm)

Ypsilanti Township’s municipal employees union have filed a grievance against the township. Township officials said the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union filed its grievance shortly after the Township reduced hours for municipal employees to 32 hours a week.

Aggravated assault on Huron Drive under police investigation

(10/18/09 5:57pm)

Police are investigating an aggravated assault that took place near Eastern Michigan University Monday, according to a release from EMU Police. According to an e-mail release to the “campus community” this afternoon, an EMU student was assaulted by three men on the 800 block of Huron River Drive near Ann Street at 9 p.m.