Oct. 6, 2017 — Week 5
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From: Perry Parks and Andi Brancato
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MICHIGAN JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME: Nominations are open and due by Jan. 22, 2018. The induction ceremony is scheduled for April 15. For details on how to submit nominations, go to
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LIQUORRULE: Some state officials want to eliminate a restriction that keeps liquor stores at least a half mile apart. They say it stifles competition. But opponents say it helps limit the number of stores in a particular area and protects small operators from getting squeezed out of business. A bill is moving through the Senate to keep the restriction in place. We hear from Grand Ledge and Wayland senators and Traverse City and Holland retailers. By Kaley Fech. FOR HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY LIMITS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS
MENTALHEALTH: Up to 64 percent of county jail inmates in Michigan have some form of mental illness. That has police scrambling to increase training to learn how to handle people who should be in mental hospitals instead of behind bars. Advocates say cooperation among agencies is at an all-time high. We hear from and about law enforcement and mental health experts in Oakland, Cheboygan and Kalamazoo counties, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham counties, AuSable Valley and Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, as well as the ACLU and Sheriffs’ Association. By Jack Nissen. FOR CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPIDSBUSINESS, METRO TIMES, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS
XMASTREES: While warm weather hangs on, Michigan Christmas tree growers are readying for another strong year of sales. Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying about 1.7 million fresh trees to the national market each year. We talk to growers from Mason and Manton, as well as the state and national growers’ associations. By Carl Stoddard. FOR CADILLAC, TRAVERSE CITY, CRAWFORD COUNTY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LUDINGTON, LAKE COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, GLADWIN, MONTMORENCY, PETOSKEY, MANISTEE, BIG RAPICS, HERALD-REVIEW AND ALL POINTS
W/XMASTREEPHOTO: The Windy Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Thetford Township, north of Flint, is one of many tree farms in Michigan. The state is the third-largest Christmas tree producer in the country, after Oregon and North Carolina. Credit: Carl Stoddard
CLEANUPCRITERIA: Emergency rules for how much of a hazardous solvent can be left in contaminated groundwater are set to expire Oct. 27. But the Department of Environmental Quality is proposing a new limit for the chemical responsible for a high-profile groundwater contamination west of Ann Arbor. Other affected sites are in Oshtemo and Metamora townships. The change may be the first among a series of revisions to cleanup criteria for up to 300 other chemicals. We also hear from the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Petroleum Association and a Wayland senator. By Kaley Fech. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, METRO TIMES AND ALL POINTS
ENROLLMENT — Public school enrollment in Michigan will decline by more than 5 percent by 2025, according to one projection. It is one of only nine states facing that fate. That means even less revenue for struggling schools, whose expenses don’t drop in proportion to lower student counts. Officials say not enough young people are staying and having children in Michigan. We hear from an Allegan Schools official. By Jack Nissen. FOR HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS& ALL POINTS
FARMRUNOFF: Federal officials are launching a two-year study to determine the best ways to convince farmers in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region to help fight water pollution. The pollution has created conditions ripe for excessive algal blooms that perennially appear in Lake Erie and other lakes and bays and threaten water quality. The culprit: nutrient-laden runoff, much of which comes from farmland. We learn about the Saginaw River Watershed and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. By Steven Maier. FOR GLADWIN, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, OCEANA, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
LYNX: It’s scientifically feasible for the National Park Service to reintroduce the Canada lynx onto Isle Royale after the predator’s disappearance eight decades ago, according to a new study. The island has a sufficient supply of the lynx’s favorite food, snowshoe hares, to support a population of about 30 lynx. They’d probably be imported from Ontario. Meanwhile, the Park Service is expected to decide the controversial issue of whether to bring more wolves to the island to replenish that animal’s population late this fall or early this winter. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
w/LYNXPHOTO: Canada lynx. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Oct. 6, 2017 — Week 5