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AMKE: The List 8-24-11

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1. AMKE News Rundown

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Virginia yesterday and it was felt across the U.S. Officials are saying it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever to hit the East Coast. It forced evacuations at The Capitol, The White House and The Pentagon. Several people here in Milwaukee said they felt the quake hit their downtown workspace. I saw a few tweets saying that buildings were swaying and a few people hit the floor because they felt the shaking sensation.

Wisconsin’s farm crops are flourishing but there’s a lot of worry when it comes to ethanol, corn based bio fuel and the global economy. Wisconsin is eighth in the nation in corn production, yet some farmers are worried because Congress might end the tax credit that supports the bushels of corn that farmers raise. If the tax credit were cut, it would hurt ethanol sales and reduce farmers’ incomes.

Classes are almost back in session, but first there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in the actual schools. More than 2,500 GE Healthcare employee volunteers and 600 MPS staff, parents and local officials are cleaning and organizing all day today. They’ll be at 15 MPS schools for the 17th Annual Community Service Day. Everyone’s pulling together to get our schools cleaned up in time for the first day.

Hurricane Irene is getting stronger and it’s heading to the U.S. It intensified yesterday over the tropical waters of the Caribbean. Forecasters are saying hurricane Irene could land on the Carolina coast by Saturday. Right now it’s category two, with winds up to 100 MPH.

A national memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. is now open on the Mall in Washington D.C. It took over two decades of planning, fundraising and construction, but the granite statue of Dr. King is open to the public. The memorial will be formally dedicated this Sunday during a ceremony where President Obama will speak and be joined along with hundreds of residents.

Over two-dozen state charter schools are getting a total of $6 million in grant money from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Schools will use the money to plan for new schools or to expand existing ones.

There were 250 some residents that went to last night’s Hoan Bridge bike lane meeting in Bay View. They made their case that it’s time to have a two-mile bike lane that connects I-794 and the Lake Freeway. They outnumbered opponent’s 55 to 5. The Department of Transportation will make their decision sometime late fall.

2. Muppets + OK Go = Highly enjoyable