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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Writer speaks on state budget

Last week’s short-lived government
shutdown was just one part of a serious problem within the Michigan legislature, says a veteran Michigan reporter.

“Budget crises in Michigan are nothing new,” a Detroit Free Press political reporter Dawson Bell said in Reynolds Recital Hall on Friday, Oct. 5. “But economic anxieties, at least in southern Michigan, are as high as they’ve been since the Depression.”

Bell, a 1977 graduate of Northern Michigan University, has worked as a political and
public policy reporter for over 20 years. His presentation, titled “What’s Going On in Lansing: A View into Michigan’s Future,”
was one in a continuing series of symposiums sponsored by NMU President Les Wong and the Political Science Department.

Bell spoke about his views on current state government issues and other Lansing topics such as the recent state budget crisis and
government shutdown.

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Bell described how the budget crisis was in part brought on by Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s refusal to raise taxes when she initially
took office, while the departments she was running were “wildly overspending.”

“The budgets were spiraling out of control,” he said. Bell said the governor failed to mention the budget crisis in the first state address of her second term, then announced two days later that she was raising taxes by two billion dollars.

“There is a disconnect between the events in Lansing and what is happening in the
rest of the state,” he said.

Bell said that in the time leading up to the shutdown, Michigan’s government issued
phony deadlines for legislators to vote on new budget plans.

However, departments ignored the deadlines and continued to overspend, he said, adding that the legislators could not agree on the best way to deal with the crisis, which was what finally led to the shutdown.

The government enacted a budget plan three hours after it shut down at midnight on
Monday, Oct. 1.

Bell described the atmosphere in Lansing after the shutdown as filled with “exhausted participants, hostages that had
been released but didn’t know why. They just wanted to get out before it happened again.”

Bell said that while a lack of experience may have played a part in the recent government shutdown, it was a lack of
vision that brought on the crisis.

“Experience [on the part of the policy makers] may have helped,” he added. “But there’s no substitute for having a vision
for how Michigan should go.”

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