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L O C A L/STATE lThe Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 15, 2001-
State unemployment rate reaches six year high
LANSING (AP) - Michigan's unemploy-
ment rate rose to a six-year high in October,
but was below the national rate for the first
time this year, state officials said Monday.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemploy-
ment rate was 5.3 percent in October, up from
5.1 percent in September and well above the
state's October 2000 unemployment rate of 3.6
percent. The last time Michigan's rate climbed
as high as 5.3 percent was August 1995.
Still, economists said the nation overall saw
much larger unemployment increases in Octo-
ber than Michigan did. The national unemploy-
ment rate soared from 4.9 percent in Septem-
ber to 5.4 percent in October.
Because unemployment data is collected
around the 12th of each month, October was
the first month economists could measure the
impact of the Sept. 11 attacks. State economist
Joe Billig said the attacks had a greater effect
on states that depend on tourism and the airline
"Michigan has certainly seen some negative:'
consequences, but maybe not to the extent that
other areas have seen,"he said.
Still, some transportation-related businesses
are taking a hit. At the Fairfield Inn near
Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, man-
ager Adrien Baskett said her 133-room hotel
sold out almost every night last year. Right
now, around 90 rooms fill up each night, leav-
ing the hotel nearly one-third empty.
"It has noticeably gone down, more so than
at my sister hotels around Detroit," she said.
Baskett hasn't had to lay off any of her 20 staff
members so far.
Service jobs saw the most layoffs in Michi-
gan in October. That included a large cuts in
the number of temporary workers, state econo-
mist Bruce Weaver said.
"Temps are often the first workers to be laid
off in a downturn such as this," Weaver said.
Construction, transportation and utilities also
reported some layoffs. There were small gains
in government jobs, retail and wholesale trade.
Manufacturing jobs held steady through
October, Billig said. While the attacks caused
some stoppages because of delayed shipments,
that was offset by skyrocketing auto sales dri-
ven by zero-interest financing deals.
The long-term impact of zero-interest
financing remains to be seen. Ford Motor Co.
yesterday promised zero-interest deals through
Jan. 14, while General Motors Corp. is extend-
ing the same offer through Jan. 2. Daimler-
Chrysler AG's Chrysler Group is offering
zero-interest financing through Nov. 19.
"Will that take sales from next year? We're
waiting to see," Billig said.
Average weekly earnings and hours for auto
workers are lower than last year, in part
because average weekly hours are down by 2.4
hours, to 42.7 hours. In October 2001, the aver-
age weekly wage was $1,160, down from
$1,210 in October 2000.
'Tuxedo Bandit' arrested for
robberies in Bloomfield Twp.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP (AP)
- Police yesterday arrested a man
suspected of being the armed robber
who dressed formally, drove a BMW
and showed good manners during
stickups in an affluent corner of subur-
The 25-year-old suspect was
charged with carrying a concealed
weapon and could be charged soon
with armed robbery, police said.
Pontiac police arrested him early yes-
terday at an apartment complex after
they spotted his trademark white BMW.
"They ran the plate and it came
back stolen," Bloomfield Township
police Lt. Kirt Bowden told The Oak-
land Press of Pontiac. "They investi-
gated it further and found the gun.
Sure enough, it was our guy."
Police in Oakland County's Bloom-
field Township and Bloomfield Hills
were looking for the man who has
staged two robberies in three days.
He first struck Saturday, Bowden
A couple were leaving a bar about
8:20 p.m. As they approached their
car, they heard a white BMW pull up.
"He's very polite He said 'Excuse me sir,
give me all your money.
- Lt. Kirt Bowden
Bloomfield Township Police
Members of the 927th Security Forces squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base move supplies as they prepare
for deployment Tuesday. Members of the squadrom were called to active duty Nov. 8.
Local airforce base prepares
as Its troops prepare to leave
"He's very polite," Bowden said.
"He said, 'Excuse me sir, give me all
The man looked and saw a black
semiautomatic handgun in the robber's
hand, so he complied. The gunman
said he was not interested in the wallet
or the credit cards, just the cash.
Once he got the cash, he drove off.
The couple told investigators the man
was white and appeared to be about 5-
foot-9 and weigh about 160 pounds.
He wore a white tuxedo shirt and a
black top, possibly a jacket, with a-
black trench coat over that,
"He's possibly a waiter or a maitre
d'," Bowden said.
The same man apparently struck
again Monday afternoon about a mile
down the road.
Bloomfield Hills police Sgt. Rick
Matott said a woman was walking to
her car about 3:05 p.m. in an office
complex parking lot. She heard a car
pulling up behind her slowly, and then
the man driving a white BMW asked
her to throw her purse into his car.
When the woman asked what he had
said, the man replied: "Excuse me,.
throw your purse in the car." He also
pointed a handgun at the woman.
She threw her purse in the car and
he drove off. That victim also
described the man as having a calm
"We believe it's the same person,
Matott said. "He obviously was
dressed for the area and he was very
SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE,
Mich. (AP) - As many Detroit-area residents were
beginning their workday yesterday, 44 Air Force
reservists with the 927th Air Refueling Wing embarked
on an undisclosed mission.
With about, 50 family members waving and shouting
goodbyes - and several children waving American
flags - the reservists headed away from Selfridge on a
gray KC-135 refueling plane.
Fifty-seven Security Forces members in the 927th Air
Refueling Wing were called up last Thursday by the
secretary of defense for up to two years, but only 44 of
those members - 40 men and four women - were
deployed yesterday morning.
More than 53,000 reservists have been called to
active duty nationwide since President Bush authorized
a partial mobilization on Sept. 14.
"They are anxious and ready to serve," said Lt. Jeff, a
927th squadron commander whose last name isn't
being used for security reasons.
In the days since being activated, the reservists have
been checking equipment, having medical tests and
shots, packing gear and making sure all personal mat-
ters - like wills and life insurance - are in order, the
Members of the 927th Security Forces Squadron
have been on active-duty missions before, but many
said the battle against terrorism is like no other.
"Morale is very high. They've been training for this,
and they're ready to do their mission," Jeff said yester-
day before departing.
He said he's excited about the mission, but will miss
his wife, son and three daughters.
"My wife told me to keep my head low and take care
of my troops," he said. "And I'm sure my daughters
have tucked something away in my gear for me."
Capt. Bruce Messer, with the public affairs office,
said the families of deployed reservists will be well
taken care of while their loved ones are away. He said
there are many support programs for family members
and help is "just a phone call away."
The military has tried to improve morale among
reservists and Guard members who are activated. Most
branches of the military reserves and National Guard
now have family readiness offices - not available dur-
ing the Persian Gulf War - which help those serving
and their families prepare fpr the possibility of being
Deer hunting season set to begin
today as 700,000 take to the wood's
The Associated Press
He's been hunting for 66 years, but
Roger Gervais has lost none of his
zeal for bagging a prize buck.
"I'm looking for big horns first,"
says the resident of Barbeau in
rural Chippewa County. "Then after
Thanksgiving, I'm not so fussy."
Some 700,000 like-minded people
were taking to the Michigan woods in
the murky pre-dawn today for the
opening day of firearm deer season,
renewing a time-honored ritual.
The season ends Nov. 30. By then,
the state Department of Natural
Resources expects about 328,000
deer to have been taken and $1.2 bil-
lion spent on guns, licenses, food,
beverages, gasoline, room rentals and
an endless supply of accessories -
from blaze-orange outer clothes,
warm boots and long underwear, to
Dave Grigg, of Ishpeming, had one
final errand before heading to camp
Tuesday: buying groceries for the
nine hunters sharing his camp.
To supplement the double batch of
spaghetti and meatballs his wife provid-
ed, Grigg bought steaks, bratwursts,
ham, pancake mix and beverages.
He'll be at camp for the entire two
weeks of firearm season, except for a
quick dash home for Thanksgiving
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