The Memory Of Oldsmobile Fades As Its Hometown Moves On

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Lansing State Journal, Motoramic and The New York Times.

Ten years after the end of Oldsmobile, Lansing's auto heritage remains strongLansing State Journal

Personally, the dozen-or-so times per year I come across an Oldsmobile Intrigue or Alero, I think it's a decent looking car for the early '00s. But even in the city that birthed Olds, they're a fading memory. On the upside, Lansing is making a lot of GM's better cars these days.

Because of that, Lansing's auto economy is not tied to the success — or failure — of any one brand.

The region remains an important manufacturing center for GM — now General Motors Co. — which continues to build new facilities and vehicles here. Some, like the Cadillac ATS, are among its most innovative and celebrated. And while the workforce is a fraction of what it was in Oldsmobile's heyday, GM regularly touts the vehicles coming off its Lansing lines as among the best in its fleet.

This is life post-Oldsmobile.

Trading a $100 SUV into a charity's windfall through used carsMotoramic

Who thought buying a $100 1994 Ford Explorer would be a good idea? So far it has been, and contributing to a good cause.

I've spent 15 years working around wholesale auto auctions; with over 10 million vehicles sold annually between dealers, it's the second-largest auction market in the United States (just behind Wall Street). I also happen to be a third-generation trader; my grandfather was a cattle trader in Germany, and my dad imported food for 60 years. I have an eye for buying, fixing and selling cars in much the same way as my dad and grandpa had an eye for gourmet foods and livestock.

So that's what I decided to do after selling the Explorer. I would invest the money. Buy. Fix. Sell. Repeat. By the end of the year, I would hopefully be able to raise enough money to buy and donate a refrigerated truck to Helping Hands, a charity here in rural Georgia that provides food and other assistance for those in need.

Chernobyl: Capping a CatastropheThe New York Times

It's one of the most ambitious and technical achievements. But the arch being built to contain radioactive dust in Chernobyl is more than an engineering feat. It's also a big step in moving forward from a nearly 30-year-old disaster.

If all goes as planned, by 2017 the 32,000-ton arch will be delicately pushed on Teflon pads to cover the ramshackle shelter that was built to entomb the radioactive remains of the reactor that exploded and burned here in April 1986. When its ends are closed, it will be able to contain any radioactive dust should the aging shelter collapse.

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