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October 07, 1998 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-07

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 7, 1998
LOCAL/STATE
Fieer unveilsroad plans; Enger opens M-59

DETROIT (AP) - Yesterday, democratic candidate for
governor Geoffrey Fieger unveiled his plans for Michigan
roads, and said Gov. John Engler had caused a costly delay
in the opening of a ramp at a Macomb County highway
intersection.
For his part, Engler officially opened that rebuilt stretch
of highway yesterday, and hailed what he called "a new era
for transportation in our state."
In a luncheon speech to an AFL-CIO group, Fieger
offered up the same criticisms of Engler's two terms that
he has throughout the campaign. He charged Engler had
diverted funds, ignored the environment and favored big
business interests at the expense of what was good for the
public.
And Fieger said Engler's claims of growing business
investment were false, and that Michigan was behind other
Midwestern states in new development.
"There's no boom going on here. What do we have
here?" Fieger said. "Go to Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Bay
City, Midland, Kalamazoo, Lansing. There's nothing going

Opponentsface off on state road plans
on here. Transportation and more money for roads from several
"The only thing we have in this town are two holes for sources, such as higher taxes on diesel fuel and heavy
billionaires ... and they're going to charge us $100 for a hot trucks.
dog, a ticket and a beer to watch a God-awful baseball Fieger also accused the state of lying about the condi-
team play," Fieger said, referring to two new stadiums in tion of an exit ramp at the intersections of Interstate 94
Detroit. and Michigan Route 59. The ramp from eastbound 1-94
A spokesperson for Engler said Fieger was ignoring to M-59 will remain closed due to shifting soil under-
reality. neath it.
"Where's he been? That's not the Michigan I live in," Fieger claims the ramp was rushed for political reasons,
said spokesperson John Truscott. "We've created 700,000 delayed due to shoddy work and will take $2.2 million to
new jobs in Michigan. We lead the nation in the number of fix.
new manufacturing jobs created. "And nevertheless, we had a press conference out there
"Those types of facts directly refute his claim. I just say, today extolling the fact that he has completed a road that
look about you. We have development and job creation we can't drive on, that still isn't done and was constructed
going on all over the place." as inferior," Fieger said.
Fieger's road plan calls for an overall road construction Engler reopened an 11-mile stretch of M-59, widened in
plan, reforms at the Michigan Department of a $300-million project that he said was completed one year

ahead of schedule.
"Today we are doing husiness differently," he said in a
statement. "We are fixing our roads and focusing on our
worst roads first."
Gary Nacyaert, a spokesperson for MOOT. said Fiegeri
charges about M-59 were outrageous. and the department
had used good judgment on the project.
He said engineers had been well aware of the problems
with the site. While workers were preparing to pave the
ramp the ground started shifting, and are now building a
retaining wall to hold it in place.
"We were not motivated by anything less than sound
engineering principles, not gubernatorial politics,"
Naeyaert said.
Naeyaert also criticized Fieger's road plan, saying parts
of it would violate federal law.
"It's kind of embarrassing and reckless to hear someo i
who knows so little about transportation profess to chimge
the way we do business when he lacks a fundamcnt ai
understanding of how we do business today."

Windsor improVes Goosing around
gambling appeal

GM names new
head, reorganizes.-
two units into one

WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) -Casino
competition is getting stiffer for
Detroit's expected three gambling hous-
es, as Windsor takes aggressive steps to
establish itself as a dominant local gam-
ing destination.
The latest move is a "racino." The
Windsor Raceway, a drab structure in a
remote part of the city, plans to install
1,000 slot machines next month to
make a racetrack and casino hybrid.
"We're molding ourselves into a
one-stop gaming facility for the new
millennium," Windsor Raceway
Chief Executive John Millson told
The Detroit News. "If you can't beat
'em, join 'em." The track derives
half of its business from the United
States.
Even with the government-owned
Casino Windsor 15 minutes away, casi-
no developers believe there's room for
more players -- and raceway officials
have elaborate plans.
At Windsor Raceway, 10 percent of
the machines' net win will go to horse
purses. "The slot machines will allow
us to invest more money in our racing.
It's a fabulous combination," Millson
said.
He said there may be plans for a
hotel, golf course and possibly a dude
ranch on the more than 300-acre race-
way site.
And with such plans in the works,
Metro Detroit racetracks fear being left
in the dust.

Oakland County officials hope to
bring a full-service casino to Hazel
Park Harness Raceway under a bill
introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe
Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Township).
The bill, scheduled to be heard
Wednesday by the House Natural
Resources Committee, would recognize
the Swan Creek Black River
Confederated Ojibwa Tribes of
Michigan. Tribes must be federally rec-
ognized to open casinos.
"It would give them the right to peti-
tion the Interior Department to ask for
competitive gaming, said Hazel Park
Mayor Ben Colley, who has talked to
the tribe about opening a casino at
Hazel Park.
But, the bill won't be acted on until
the next Congress takes over. And Gov.
John Engler has opposed the expansion
of Indian gaming to off-reservation
sites such as Hazel Park.
Once the Detroit casinos open, some
predict Casino Windsor could lose as
much as half of its revenues. But, like
Casino Windsor officials, Windsor
Raceway executives believe their prop-
erty can keep pace, citing no taxes on
winnings and a favorable currency
exchange rate.
"We're in the middle of a massive
construction program, and we'll have
1,000 slot machines ready for gam-
ing on the second of November,"
Millson said. Casino Windsor has
3,000 slots.

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors
Corp. promoted G. Richard Wagoner
Jr. to president and chief operating offi-
cer yesterday in a major reorganization
aimed at making the biggest automaker
more responsive to markets worldwide.
Jack Smith, who gave up the presi-
dent's title, remains as chair and chief
executive officer. The move raises
Wagoner's visibility in the competition
to replace the 60-year-old Smith when
he retires.
Effective immediately, GM will
merge its two big, independent automo-
tive units for North America and the
rest of the world into one unit called
GM Automotive Operations. Wagoner
will head it.
As the most bureaucratic automaker
among the Big Three, GM has long
been criticized for the time.it takes to
develop new vehicles. Smith said a sim-
pler organizational structure was need-
ed to get new products to market faster
in response to rapidly changing tastes
and needs.
"Intense competition, diverse global
markets and the speed with which the
world is changing politically, economi-
AP PHOTO cally and technologically call for a
r faster and leaner General Motors,"
Smith said.
The new automotive unit will be
divided into four regional divisions:
North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific
and Latin America-Africa-Mideast.
Each region will have its own president
who will report to Wagoner.
"This theoretically should make GM
much more fleet of foot on the product-
development side," said analyst Joseph
Phillippi of Lehman Brothers. "It just

streamlines the organization."
But Phillippi said the reorganiza-
tion, while needed, will not address
GM's biggest problem: "At the end of
the day, they still have too many div0
sions, too many brands and too many
models."
Smith has said he is committed to
keeping each of GM's six North
American sales divisions. Phillippi said
he expects GM eventually will merge
some of those divisions, as it did in
1996 with Pontiac and GMC.
The consolidation of the North
American and international automotiA
operations had been expected.G1
recently moved the headquarters of its
International Operations unit to Detroit
from Zurich, Switzerland, in anticipa-
tion of the move.
The change is part of the steady
streamlining that began after Smith
took control of GM in a boardroom
coup in 1992 after the automaker's
brush with near-bankruptcy. It is simi-
lar to the consolidation of No. 2 Fork
Motor Co.'s North American aiW
European automotive operations four
years ago.
"It doesn't fall into the category of
leapfrogging the competition," said
analyst Gregory Kagay of McDonald &
Co. "Rather, it's catching up with the
competition."
The merger of the automotive units
coincides with GM's cost-saving
efforts to produce all its vehicles frol@
just seven global "platforms," the
common chassis and parts used for a
variety of different cars. GM now has
16 platforms, but they are not used
globally.

Justin Kirinovic laughs while feeding geese and ducks with his grandmother
Darlene Nutter along the Shlawassee River in Owosso, Mich., yesterday.

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