'Nuff said, though I was really looking forward to the Lincoln Navigator high speed police chase....
It even made the NY Times. Let the progress in Detroit begin!
Officials in Detroit who helped bring the Red Bull Air Race to this area appear to be in no rush to win back the event's return next year, but applauded Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis for travelling to London this weekend to meet with the company.

"Anything he can do to get them to seriously consider coming back to Detroit is positive," said Chris Baum, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for the Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Red Bull came to Detroit on a one-year deal thanks to Detroit Air Racing, whose leaders spearheaded the effort to form a committee and pursue the event.
That same committee is in the midst of assembling a three-year contract for Red Bull to return, Baum said.

"There is a committee and process in place," he said. "In terms of the proposal, it will be Detroit Air Racing's call on how to approach this."

Francis and Windsor's tourism boss Gordon Orr went to London this weekend because they felt Red Bull is leaning to moving the event elsewhere because of some operational concerns.
The company is poised to lock in its 2009 global air race schedule sometime within the next week or so, the mayor said.

But Baum did not seem overly concerned, noting this year's air race event in Detroit was not finalized until sometime around last Christmas.

Red Bull media officials could not be reached Friday, with a company spokesman indicating they were busy in Ottawa with its Flugtag event -- where everyday people build homemade flying machines and pilot them off 22-feet-high ramp.

Baum said everyone in Detroit was very pleased to host the Red Bull Air Race and are poised to gladly welcome them back.

"They drew large crowds -- paid and unpaid," he said.

Red Bull officials alone booked 5,000 room nights at the Ren Cen's Marriott Hotel, Baum said.

"From our perspective we are always interested in filling rooms. it was a very positive event, no negatives. The fact we outdrew San Diego (the only other U.S. stop) by a wide margin bodes well for a return to Detroit."
The new $431-million North Terminal is expected to open Sept. 17, right on schedule, at Detroit Metro Airport, ending the era of the shabby Smith and Berry terminals.

"With the McNamara and North terminals, we now have two beautiful front doors for anyone arriving in our region by air," Michael Conway, Metro Airport spokesman, said as the Free Press got a sneak-peek tour Friday.

On Sept. 16, after their last flights, airlines will transfer during the night to the new terminal.

North will open for business Sept. 17 with 24 gates open and two more to follow next summer.
Built directly across the street from the Big Blue Deck parking structure, the terminal is about half the size and with a fifth as many gates as McNamara. Yet in many ways it looks like McNamara -- light, lots of glass, straight-line design, lots of stainless steel.

The main thing passengers will notice is that the terminal will be easier to navigate than McNamara. Because it is smaller, it's easy to find the passenger walkway to the parking deck, baggage claim and the right gate.

The new terminal likely won't be named North very long, either. The airport is selling the naming rights to the terminal, perhaps even before it opens.

The new terminal is about a half-mile-long end to end. It won't have a tram.
Other features:
• Far more color than the understated McNamara. Many of North's walls, jetways and part of its terrazzo floor are a bright shade of royal blue. Funky white orb lights decorate the terminal at both ends.
• Four sets of moving walkways and 50,000 square feet of stores and restaurants, including a Hockeytown Café, a Borders and a Ruby Tuesday. Unlike McNamara, there also will be a restaurant at baggage claim and restrooms in the departures area before security.
• Many electrical outlets so travelers can plug in their laptops. (Like the rest of the airport, it also will have terminal-wide Wi-Fi.)
• Like McNamara, a transit center for airport shuttles, taxis and limos will be across the pedestrian bridge adjacent to the parking deck.

North does have some things McNamara doesn't, including the newest passenger screening machines, a hidden high-tech luggage screening system and a modular construction that makes layout changes easier.

Each gate also will have sophisticated, energy-efficient jet-refueling and power stations that save airlines fuel and electricity.

"We tried to take lessons learned from McNamara, which was built pre-9/11," said Scott Roberts, deputy director of public affairs who has been involved in the North project since it took off in October 2005.

From the main lobby, there are two security checkpoints on either side of the ticket counters. The terminal will be able to take international flights and have a complete customs and immigration facility.

North will service Spirit, Southwest, American, United, USAirways, Frontier and Air Tran, all of which have been forced to operate out of the 51-year-old Smith.

USA 3000 airlines will transfer from the virtually empty Berry Terminal.

Lufthansa and Royal Jordanian airlines, now based at McNamara, also will move there.

Northwest Airlines and its partners will remain at the McNamara Terminal.

Smith and Berry terminals will be demolished in the coming months.

The new terminal is built for 7 million passengers. About 4 million are expected to pass through it the first year. Five more gates could be added if necessary, Roberts said.

One other change? "Airlines aren't going to chisel their logos into the finish" at the gates, said Scott Wintner, another Metro spokesman.

In a nod to the swiftly changing airline picture, electronic signs will tell passengers which gate and ticket counter belongs to which airline.

North Terminal is being paid for with bonds that will be repaid by a $4.50 surcharge on passenger tickets.

The new terminal may draw new airlines to Metro, Roberts said.

"If a new airline wanted to come in, they could start right away," he said, "which gives more service at the airport, keeps the prices down and gives travelers another option to get someplace."
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House committee approved a compact Wednesday to prevent the diversion of water from the Great Lakes, one of the world's largest sources of fresh water.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the compact, building momentum in Congress for the Great Lakes agreement.

"The compact will ensure that our Great Lakes will remain stabile and vibrant for generations to come," said Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and the committee's chairman.

The agreement was negotiated by eight Great Lakes states and bars countries or remote states from tapping into the lakes from their natural drainage basin with rare exceptions.

It also requires the states to regulate their own large-scale water uses and promote conservation.

"The sooner this compact can be ratified by the Congress, the sooner it will become effective and the greater protection will be given" to the lakes, said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

The Senate Judic iary Committee was expected to hold a hearing on the compact later Wednesday as lawmakers hope to act on the interstate compact before the end of the year.

State leaders in the region developed the plan amid concerns that the worldwide freshwater shortage would lead thirsty regions to attempt to access the lakes.

Governors in the region negotiated the compact for more than four years before reaching an agreement in December 2005. Michigan was the last of the eight states to approve the pact earlier this month.President Bush has urged Congress to approve the agreement, and both major presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, have said they support the compact.

House and Senate leaders from the region have said they are not aware of any significant opposition to the plan, which is common among states. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia currently belong to at least one interstate water compact, and many state s belong to more than one.
Oakland University and Royal Oak-based William Beaumont Hospitals have raised $25 million in donations to launch their joint medical school in fall 2010, leaders of both institutions announced Thursday.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine will open with an inaugural class of 50 students, presuming it obtains accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education sometime next year.

Beaumont and OU also announced the appointment of Robert Folberg, currently professor and department head of pathology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the school’s first dean.

Gary Russi, president of OU, estimated that “about 25” private and corporate donors have committed the first $25 million toward the $100 million in operating costs needed before the institution can fully fund itself through tuition and other sources. Russi estimates the institutions will need another $100 million or more, in addition to the operating costs, for two construction projects — an instructional building at the OU campus, and a clinical building devoted to medical education at Beaumont’s main medical campus in Royal Oak.

“But with the $25 million we already have in place, there’s enough to get it going,” Russi said.The medical degree program at OU-Beaumont could help change the mix of local doctors and turn more Michigan residents into medical professionals, according to OU Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Virinder Moudgil, and John Musich, vice president and director of medical education programs at Beaumont.

More than 70 percent of students who graduate from OU’s current pre-med programs and apply to medical schools elsewhere are successful, though many end up enrolling out of state.

At the same time, Musich noted, less than 50 percent of any given class admitted to the University of Michigan’s medical school are in-state residents.Moudgil said the university cannot legally give preferential admission treatment to its own pre-med students, but he hopes to see the university help pre-med students prepare for the OU-William Beaumont program.

Moudgil said the university will apply for its LCME accreditation sometime later this year and hopes to obtain at least a probationary approval by 2009, allowing the school to begin recruiting students.
According to Automative News:

-Cash incentives to move trucks, including hybrids.

-Zero percent financing for 72 months for customers with A credit rating on five 2008 vehicles.
-40 percent off sticker price for the Dodge Ram, 25 percent off the Aspen, 24 percent off the Town & Country minivans and 28 percent off Grand Cherokees.
-A lease loyalty incentive former lease customers can apply toward a purchase, including waiver of a $425 lease disposition fee.