Short Takes (Feb. 26)

Oakland County officials honor former women commissioners

On Wednesday, March 3, Oakland County commissioners will honor former women commissioners who have served as members of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. The gathering is part of a special recognition celebrating Women’s History Month.

These former elected women commissioners will be honored for their public service to Oakland County. The board meeting held next Wednesday will begin at 7 p.m. in the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Auditorium located at 1200 North Telegraph Road in Pontiac.

Since the inception of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, women have had a pivotal role in board leadership. Presently, there are seven women commissioners serving. These current women commissioners are Sue Ann Douglas, Marcia Gershenson, Mattie McKinney Hatchett, Janet Jackson, Christine A. Long, Shelley G. Taub, and Helaine Zack.

Many former women commissioners have ascended to other levels of government and currently hold office such as Oakland County Clerk Ruth A. Johnson, Michigan State Senator Gilda Z. Jacobs, Michigan State House Representative Eileen Kowall and Oakland County 45B District Judge Michelle Friedman Appel.

The board would like to honor as many former women commissioners as possible and is trying to locate them. Former women commissioners are encouraged to contact the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Liaison Julia Ruffin at (248) 858-1092, by Monday, March 1.


Governor Granholm says Congress must extend unemployment help

LANSING (AP) — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says governors from both parties attending their national conference in Washington agree Congress must extend unemployment benefits.

More than 1 million jobless workers nationally could see their weekly unemployment checks end if the Senate doesn’t vote this week to extend benefits.

The House has passed a $41 billion extension through June, but the Senate has yet to act.

Speaking Monday on MSNBC from the National Governors Conference, Granholm says Michigan and other states need the Senate to approve extending the benefits.

The Democratic governor says cash-strapped states “have no money to do this” and that jobless workers are counting on Congress to act.


Number of illegal immigrants in U.S. falls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department estimates the number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. fell about 7 percent to 10.8 million in January 2009.

The drop is the second in two years. The population rose to 11.8 million in January 2007. It fell to 11.6 million in January 2008.

The government says about two-thirds of the illegal immigrants who were in the country in 2009 entered the U.S. before the year 2000. About the same share were from Mexico.

The Homeland Security Department noted that the decline has coincided with the economic downturn in the U.S.