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"I find that a great part of the information I have, was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way" -- Franklin P. Adams, early 20th century American writer.

* Illinois' governor may call a special session of the Legislature to deal with public pension programs. Bridge's coverage on Michigan's pension problems.

* "The Associated Press reports that upwards of 18,000 cases have been reported so far this year, nearly twice as many as the same period last year. At this rate, the year’s total will surpass every year since 1959, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects. ... The rising occurrences of whooping cough is being attributed to the “cyclical nature of the disease,” ... Other factors are families who opt not to vaccinate their children, or teens and adults who haven’t been immunized catch it, ignore it, and pass it on." Bridge recently covered the economic and health costs of gaps in vaccinations among children and adults.

* A precursor of the debate to come? Gov. Rick Snyder's backing of a rewrite of Michigan's school funding law is a plan to "defund public education," writes education researcher Diane Ravitch. Since there's so little known so far about this effort, such a label seems more premature suspicion than anything. One irony: Ravitch reports on her blog that her children attended private school. Snyder uses a private school, too.

* Michigan is 10th in overall sales and ninth in sales per capita when it comes to lottery tickets, according to this graphic of 2011 data. According to the Michigan Lottery, fiscal 2011 brought annual sales of $2.34 billion, which generated $727.3 million in net revenue for the state School Aid Fund. Retailers received annual commissions of $168.4 million, while prizes totaled $1.34 billion. So, about 31 cents of every $1 spent with the Michigan Lottery goes back to public education.

* No shock – visits to emergency rooms this summer for heat-related complaints are up, reports the state Department of Community Health. Question to ponder: What, if any, benefits accrue to Michigan when the thermometer exceeds 90 degrees? The historical average highs for July in Michigan are in the low to middle 80s – warm enough to enjoy the lakes and outdoors, without the hassle of heat exhaustion, don’t you think?

* A writer for the New York Post visits the Traverse City area and finds the natural surroundings rather inspirational:


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