News Briefs 6-12

Coach James Bibbs Youth Track and Field Invitational

      LANSING, MI — The Lightning Lynx Track Club (LLTC) will sponsor the Second Annual Coach James Bibbs Youth Track and Field Invitational, Saturday, July 21, 2007 at Madjeski Stadium – J.W. Sexton High School in Lansing, MI.  Coach James Bibbs is known throughout the nation for his support of track and field. A former runner and member of the EMU Sports Hall of Fame, his tenure at MSU as Track Coach spanned several decades. He coached many of the MSU greats including world class sprinter Herb Washington and Olympic Silver Medalist Judi Brown.  Since his retirement from MSU, he has continued to coach local track and field athletes and to promote the sport. He was inducted into the Lansing Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. This meet is named to honor his legacy in the sport and to publicly thank him for his contributions.

Teams and or individuals ages 7-18 years at all levels of athletic ability may register for the Bibbs Invitational for $10 before July 14, 2007.  After July 14, registration fees are $15.  Each entrant will receive a free t-shirt.  On site registration is available for individuals only.  Make cash, cashier’s check or money order payable to: Lightning Lynx Track Club.  Mail entry form and payment to: Lightning Lynx Track Club, Inc., c/o Track Meet Registrar, P.O. Box 46, East Lansing, MI  48823-0046.  Visit our website at for a list of events. Field events begin at 9:00 a.m. running events begin at 10:30 a.m.

The Lightning Lynx Track Club (LLTC) is a 501(c) (3) non profit organization with the mission to provide instruction, competition and recreation in track and field and cross country for youth in the Mid-Michigan area.  The club promotes health & fitness, athletic excellence, academic excellence and personal discipline. The club currently has fifty-two youth athletes ages 7 to 17 who compete in a variety of charity road races and track and field events across the country. Contact Head Coach, Garth Jackson at (517) 282-5632 after 6:00 p.m. or at  for more meet information.

MCB Highlights Summer Job Programs for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth
LANSING, MI — The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) has three summer job programs this year that are opportunities for blind and visually impaired youth to earn wages and gain valuable work experience.  Applications are still being accepted at this time for all three programs.  MCB is highlighting these programs during June, which Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has proclaimed Youth Employment Month in Michigan.
Governor Granholm’s proclamation states that hiring young people is “an investment in the future of the State of Michigan and the nation.”
MCB Director Patrick Cannon says, “Work experience is important for anyone beginning their career.  For a young person who is blind or visually impaired, it’s especially important.  Work experience shows a skeptical employer that visual impairment hasn’t prevented this person from being a productive worker.”
Eligibility, locations, dates, and other details of each MCB summer job program are listed below:
MCB Business Enterprise Program Summer Employment, June 18 through August 10, is an eight-week food service and vending internship in MCB’s Business Enterprise Program for blind and visually impaired youth ages 15-22.  Participants work 20-30 hours per week, at $6.95 per hour. The June 18 through August 10 timeline is flexible.  For more information, contact Lucy Edmonds at 517-373-3459.
The MCB Detroit Youth Summer Program, June 25 through August 17, is for blind and visually impaired youth ages 14-21. The program provides youth with work experience at minimum wage, a one-week computer camp, and opportunities to develop vocational and personal adjustment skills.  For more information, current MCB clients should contact their MCB counselor; others contact Shawnese Laury-Johnson at 313-456-1957.
Summer Employment Excursion (SEE) in Genesee County, June 18 to August 17 (eight weeks) for youth ages 14-21.   Participants must reside in Genesee County and be eligible for Michigan Commission for the Blind services. Students will have the opportunity to explore career possibilities, develop resumes, work with mentors in the community who have disabilities, discuss adult daily living skills, improve socialization skills, job shadow, and gain valuable work experience at minimum wage.  The program is a partnership of the Michigan Commission for the Blind, Genesee Intermediate School District, and Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan.  For more information, contact Debbie Wilson at 810-760-2035.
Through its state- and federally funded training and services, MCB provides opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve independence and employment, and annually serves approximately 4,500 state residents who are blind or visually impaired.  Visit the Michigan Commission for the Blind website at or call MCB toll-free at 1-800-292-4200 (voice) or 1-888-864-1212 (TTY).
The Michigan Commission for the Blind is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG), which is investing in Michigan’s future by helping to create the jobs of today and tomorrow, ensuring that our children and adults have the skills these jobs demand, making Michigan a better place to do business, and training and placing those who need jobs now. For more information about DLEG, visit the department’s website at

The changing face of motorcycling: Popularity among women, families gives
riders a new look but there is  a need for training
     Greater interest among women and families is changing the face of motorcycling but the need for training and caution remains constant, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land reminded all riders today as she kicked off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“The traditional look of motorcycling is evolving but some things never change,” said Land, flanked by other safety advocates at a Capitol news conference.  “That means completing the required training, earning the motorcycle endorsement for your driver’s license, observing the rules of the road and wearing appropriate safety gear.  Whether you ride as a hobby or for daily transportation, remember that you share the road with others.”
Men still make up the overwhelming majority of Michigan’s 506,000 licensed riders.  More women, though, are taking to the road on motorcycles.  Michigan has more than 51,000 female licensed riders, up from 37,000 just seven years ago.
Detroit television personality Lila Lazarus represents that growing number.  An avid rider, she emphasized the importance of proper training before taking to the road.
“Taking a motorcycle safety course can mean the difference between life and death,” Lazarus said.  “You learn the techniques needed to deal with the dangers of the road.  The reality is there are elements you cannot control when riding a motorcycle, but the course teaches you the elements you can control.  It’s about riding safe and living for the next ride.”
Land recognized Lazarus as Michigan’s unofficial traffic safety “ambassador” for promoting the need for motorcycle training and safety.
Motorcycling is a family pastime as well, according to Phil Mowers, a West Michigan rider coach.  Mowers, his wife Susan, and their daughters enjoy riding together.
Office of Highway Safety Planning Director Michael L. Prince said that as the number of motorcycle riders grows both nationally and in the state, OHSP has increased its support for training and education efforts in 2007.  Motorcycle fatalities in the state fell from 122 in 2005 to 114 last year, a 7 percent decline.  But, he cautioned that the job is far from over.
“Michigan cannot let its guard down,” Prince said.  “We will continue partnering with other safety advocates to remind riders – and all motorists – of their responsibilities.  The best way to enjoy riding is to follow the rules and make safety a priority.”
Almost half of the more than 3,200 motorcycle crashes in 2006 involved no other vehicles except the motorcycle, which suggests that greater caution or training could have helped to prevent some of the incidents.
Land is taking steps to reinforce the need for training and safe riding, including:
·        Working with the Michigan Department of Transportation to post motorcycle safety reminders on more than 70 highway message boards in Detroit and Grand Rapids beginning next week.
·        Engaging stakeholders in the safety effort.  Through a partnership with the Office of Highway Safety Planning, informational literature will be distributed by more than 200 motorcycle dealerships, 13 public training providers, 15 private training providers and the Honda Gold Wing Touring Association.  It also will be available in Secretary of State offices.
·        Sending the Department of State’s Mobile Branch Office to various areas, giving riders a convenient way to get their motorcycle endorsements.
·        Proposing that the number of training facilities be expanded to accommodate more riders.  Land also advocates a law change that would require people to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license before being allowed to register a motorcycle.
The Department of State administers Michigan’s Motorcycle Safety Program.  It oversees the network of public and private training schools.  Land worked with lawmakers last year to secure additional funding for more training opportunities and the purchase of additional motorcycles for public training sites.  More than 20,000 residents are expected to attend motorcycle training or go through a third-party skills test this year.
All riders must take a knowledge test and successfully complete a safety class or a skills test with a third-party examiner before a motorcycle endorsement is issued.  The endorsement is designated as “CY” on a driver’s license.  A safety course is required for 16- and 17-year-olds as well as for adults who fail the rider skills test twice.         
Land cited the critical role that instructors play in preparing riders.  She recognized the achievements of the Mowers family as well as those of Jana Barry and Jessica Slusser, a mother-daughter team that coaches riders enrolled in Mott Community College’s Motorcycle Safety Program.
Visit for more information about motorcycle safety.

Source:  Press releases