Capital News Service Budget – Week 9
Nov. 6, 2015
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman, Sheila Schimpf and Andi Brancato
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IN-DEPTH AHEAD: Next Friday, Nov. 13, will be our next in-depth file.
Here’s your file:
SENIORSEX: Sexually transmitted diseases among older Michigan residents is a serious but little-discussed public health problem, experts say. Most prevention and education programs target younger people. We hear from U-M, Department of Health & Human Services and the Washtenaw County health agency. By Zhao Peng. FOR LANSING CITY LIMITS & ALL POINTS.
JUDASHOGS: Some feral swine are turning traitor to their herds. These “Judas hogs” are fitted with tracking collars to lead eradicators to their herds in Gladwin, Mecosta, Arenac, Bay, Gratiot, Midland and Roscommon counties. The Michigan Pork Producers Association worries that the wild pigs will spread diseases to commercially raised pigs. Researchers at DNR, MSU, U-M Flint and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are studying various ways to eradicate the evil invaders. By Michael Kransz. FOR GLADWIN, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.
w/JUDASHOGSPHOTO: Feral swine. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
ENERGYREGULATIONS: A Senate proposal to change the state’s 2008 renewable energy law is stirring controversy. Large utilities favor the change but opponents counter that it will impede the state’s move toward more alternative and renewable energy sources. We hear from the sponsor from Battle Creek, the Sierra Club and the Michigan Municipal Electric Association that represents city and village utilities, including ones in Traverse City, Holland, Marquette, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Negaunee, Zeeland, Lansing and Sturgis. By Brooke Kansier. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, MARQUETTE, HOLLAND, LANSING CITY LIMITS & ALL POINTS.
MARIJUANATAX: The Senate is considering House-passed legislation to impose a 3 percent tax on medical marijuana and create a “seed to sale” tracking system. Sponsors include representatives from Nashville, Marquette, Cadillac, Presque Isle, East Lansing, Cadillac, Ann Arbor and Newaygo. NORML worries that the tax would drive prices up and help the black market. By Brooke Kansier. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, CADILLAC, MARQUETTE, LAKE COUNTY, LUDINGTON, ALCONA, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
UBERVERSUSTAXIS: Competition from Uber and Lyft is causing problems for traditional taxi companies in Michigan. In Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, for example, the number of licensed cabs is dropping. Macomb County is partnering with Uber to give free rides to jurors. Lyft serves five Southeast Michigan cities so far, while Uber operates so far in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Flint and Ann Arbor. By Amelia Havanec. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY LIMITS & ALL POINTS.
MUDSNAILS: The discovery of the invasive New Zealand mud snail in the Pere Marquette River in Lake County has DEQ and DNR worried because it spreads easily and threatens native snail species. Experts plan to examine other rivers for the tiny invaders. MUCC recommends measures that anglers and boaters can take to reduce the chance of accidentally spreading them. By Sierra Resovsky. FOR LUDINGTON, LAKE COUNTY, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.
w/MUDSNAILSPHOTO: New Zealand mud snails. Credit: National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration.
TRUCKSAFETY: Buoyed by a $3 million federal grant, Michigan is leading the nation in an initiative to increase off-road parking areas for weary tractor-trailer drivers in a bid to improve highway safety. The emphasis is on I-94 in Southwest Michigan and I-75 between the Ohio line and Flint. We hear the MDOT director, the U-M Transportation Research Institute and the Michigan Center for Truck Safety. By Zhao Peng. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, BLISSFIELD, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
YOUNGTRAVELTREND: We know that fuel-efficient vehicles and a gas tax that hasn’t risen in decades mean insufficient gas tax revenue to maintain Michigan’s roads and bridges. But the MDOT director and U-M researchers cite another reason to worry about money for roads — more young people opting for public transit and bicycles rather than buying cars. We also hear from the founder of a bike-sharing program in Grand Rapids and the Michigan Public Transit Association. By Stephanie Hernandez McGavin. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
LIQUORLICENSE: Some senators want the state to be able to issue liquor licenses to homes for the aged. They say the homes should be allowed to sell and serve booze to residents and their guests. Sponsors are from Rockford, East Lansing, Troy and Frankenmuth. By Yuehan Liu. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY LIMITS & ALL POINTS.
ECOSYSTEMRESTORATION: Ecosystem “assets” in the Great Lakes region, such as sport fishing, boating, beach use, park visits and birding, contribute significantly to the tourism economy of shoreline communities and can influence restoration priorities for the lakes, according to a new study that relies on ultra-detailed mapping. We talk to experts from the Nature Conservancy, U-M and the Lake Erie coordinator for Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes. By Colleen Otte & Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY & ALL POINTS.
ENERGYAPP: A new web application for Consumers Energy and DTE Energy customers calculates the sources of energy that customers use and lets them adjust the mix on their screen to reflect their preferences. PicMyEnergyMix – developed by the Clean Energy Now Coalition, Engage Michigan and Resource Media – is still in the piloting stage, with plans for national expansion. By Colleen Otte. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
w/ENERGYAPPGRAPHIC: PicMyEnergy app for DTE Energy customers. Credit: PicMyEnergymix.org.
CULVERTS: A pilot project in the Huron-Manistee National Forests shows that replacing culverts with bridges may benefit fish through improved connectivity of streams but creates risks of more pathways for invasive species and of fine sediments that can smother spawning beds. Meanwhile, DNR and nonprofit groups are inventorying all culverts in Michigan, with roughly 10,000 already tallied in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Other projects are underway or finished in Keweenaw, Gladwin, Newaygo, Crawford and Presque Isle counties. We talk to the Forest Service, DNR, Manistee County Road Commission and Notre Dame researchers. By Eric Freedman. FOR MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, CADILLAC, TRAVERSE CITY, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD STAR & ALL POINTS.
w/CULVERTSHINTONBEFOREPHOTO: Culvert before replacement at Hinton Creek in the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Credit: University of Notre Dame.
w/CULVERTSHINTONAFTERPHOTO: Bridge across Hinton Creek that replaced a culvert in the Huron-Manistee National Forests Credit: University of Notre Dame.
Capital News Service Budget – Week 9