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A state agency charged with protecting children often failed to check a registry of child abuse offenders in the cases reviewed by a state audit. Also, caseworkers in up to 11 percent of the cases examined failed to meet promptly with their charges, according to the Auditor General. Lawmakers are calling for improvements to the Child Protective Services agency and Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a task force to make recommendations, including a member from Allegan County. Meanwhile child advocates say cases of abuse are increasing.
While state officials propose funding increases for the K-12 education budget, the impact is blunted by two large drains on the fund–pensions and higher education. Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed a diversion of the funds into higher education while current and legacy pension costs increase every year, school officials say.
What happens when saving the few – in this case, a small number of plants or animals in a species at high risk of extinction – may harm the many – here, members of more common species? That’s a real problem as conservation experts and public land agencies wrestle with how to allocate scarce funds for habitat protection. A new study by scientists from the Nature Conservancy’s Michigan chapter and three universities says tradeoffs are necessary, based on their research of about 35 species of native migratory fish – some extremely rare, some extremely common — in the 1,833 largest tributaries of the Great Lakes.