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Feb 22, 2014

Thirteen billboards, one paint-shop worker helped defeat union at VW plant in Chattanooga

WASHINGTON/CHATTANOOGA (Reuters) – In the aftermath of the United Auto Workers’ crushing defeat in a vote to represent workers at Volkswagen’s sole U.S. factory, a key question remains unanswered: did conservative politicians and anti-union groups work together to stymie the union?

In an appeal to the National Labor Relations Board on Friday, the UAW said there was a “coordinated effort” by state politicians, anti-union groups and Tennessee’s U.S. Senator Bob Corker to coerce a no vote in the February 12-14 election.

Jan 26, 2014

Analysis: Gov Walker needs Wisconsin win to vie for GOP presidential nod

MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Over the past year Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, has worked his way down a checklist of items commonly associated with a run at the U.S. presidency.

He has written a campaign-themed book and visited Iowa, New Hampshire and other pivotal election-year states. He has stumped for candidates nationwide. He even has criticized conservatives who challenge moderate incumbents, pleasing party elders.

Jan 21, 2014

Iowa Republican caucus to test conservatives in U.S. Senate race

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa, Jan 21 (Reuters) – In one of the first
skirmishes of 2014 between opposing wings of the Republican
Party, conservatives and moderates vie on Tuesday for an early
lead in the fight to nominate a candidate to run for the U.S.
Senate seat of retiring Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin.

Republicans need to win six seats to gain a majority in the
U.S. Senate in congressional elections in November. If they
retain control of the House of Representatives, they would gain
considerable leverage in dealing with Democratic President
Barack Obama.

Jan 7, 2014

Polar freeze grips United States, disrupting travel, business

CHICAGO/CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) – A blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the United States on Monday with the coldest temperatures in two decades causing at least four deaths, forcing businesses and schools to close and canceling thousands of flights.

Shelters for the homeless were overflowing due to the severe cold described by some meteorologists as the “polar vortex” and dubbed by media as the “polar pig.”

Jan 6, 2014

Big freeze grips United States, disrupting travel and business

CHICAGO/CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) – A blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the United States on Monday, with the coldest temperatures in two decades threatening lives, forcing businesses and schools to close and canceling thousands of flights.

Shelters for the homeless were overwhelmed and oil production could come to a standstill as the severe cold, described by some meteorologists as the “polar vortex” and dubbed by media as the “polar pig,” brought temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius).

Dec 16, 2013

Regional water deal elusive for Detroit emergency manager

DETROIT (Reuters) – In bankruptcy and looking for cash, Detroit would like to lease its water utility to raise as much as $9 billion to fund basic services long term, but talks with neighboring suburban counties are stalled.

County officials say they are stuck over the price tag and estimates of repair costs, likely delaying plans by Detroit’s emergency manager to deliver a financial restructuring plan early next month.

Dec 11, 2013

Amid slight data, Michigan’s right-to-work law fight rages on

LANSING, Michigan (Reuters) – When Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state in December 2012, conservatives hailed it as a sign the Rust Belt state was “open for business,” union workers decried the law as “union busting” and labor leaders vowed to use it to quash Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s reelection bid in 2014.

A year later, the impact of the law remains up for debate.

Conservatives say it has already made Michigan more attractive to businesses, but it could take years before the economic benefits can be measured. Unions and Democratic opponents are pronouncing it a failure because unemployment has gone up. And in the gubernatorial race, it does not seem to be a central issue – at least not yet.

Dec 11, 2013

After long fight, new bridge for Detroit may be in sight

DETROIT, Dec 11 (Reuters) – A decade ago Les Cadman stopped
making improvements to his small house in Detroit’s declining
Delray district because it stood in the path of a proposed
bridge to Windsor, Ontario, the bustling Canadian city just
across the Detroit River.

“Why bother fixing the place up when it looked like it would
become a tear down?” asked Cadman, a former trucker, still spry
at age 83.

Nov 20, 2013

For Illinois tornado survivors, relief is just being alive

, Nov 20 (Reuters) – After breaking her leg
late last year, having a double mastectomy in the summer and
seeing her house destroyed by a tornado that swept through
Washington, Illinois, on Sunday, Kim Wright said her luck was
due to change.

“They say bad luck comes in threes and I’ve had my three,”
Wright, 56, said on Wednesday, standing in the pulverized
wreckage of what just three days ago had been her home. “I’m due
now for some good fortune.”

Nov 20, 2013

Residents of tornado-hit Midwest city regroup amid looting

WASHINGTON, Illinois (Reuters) – Residents of a central Illinois city hit by a powerful tornado worked feverishly on Tuesday to salvage belongings from the rubble of their homes, as an over-burdened police force tried to stop looting.

Authorities doubled to 1,000 their estimate of homes damaged or destroyed in the fast-moving storm that hit Washington, a town of 15,000 located 145 miles southwest of Chicago, on Sunday. Winds reached up to 200 miles per hour (322 km per hour), and many houses were reduced to piles of sticks.

    • About Nick

      "Nick Carey is a Chicago-based, British-born journalist who has covered everything from the near-collapse of the Big Three automakers to the U.S. housing crisis. Nick is currently on general assignment, reporting on the human impact of the recession. He previously spent ten years working in central and eastern Europe."
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