April 18, 2014 – Week 13
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
MDOT AHEAD: On Monday, April 21, your correspondents will interview MDOT Director Kirk Steudle.
LAST REGULAR FILE AHEAD: Next Friday, April 25, will be our last regular file of the semester. The following Friday, May 2, will be our traditional Bonus Week file of still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier.
All stories ©2014 by Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
GOLF: A tougher-than-normal winter means many golf courses, especially in southern Michigan, are opening later than usual. That means a revenue loss, plus vulnerability of the grass to fungi. We hear from golf course managers in Alpena, Traverse City and Lansing, as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association. For news and sports pages. By Nick Stanek. FOR ALPENA, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
TEENPREGNANCIES: The Department of Community Health reports that teen pregnancies are generally down in the state—except among 10-14-year-olds. That uptick may be only a one-year anomaly . We hear from the department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Farmington Hills-based parent group that runs programs in high-risk areas such as Detroit, Muskegon and Saginaw. By Lacee Shepherd. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, DEADLINE DETROIT & ALL POINTS.
CHILDRENHEALTH: The Department of Community Health is pushing a pilot project to expand health centers for low-income children and youth and to provide them more mental health services. We hear from the department and School-Community Health Alliance. Senators from Ann Arbor and Saginaw are among the big supporters. By Danielle Woodward. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, DEADLINE DETROIT, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.
ROADFUNDING: Michigan’s not the only state with road woes. However, its unusual funding formula for maintenance and construction, coupled with low diesel and fuel taxes, create some unique problems. Legislators from Traverse City and Marshall are trying yet again to raise fuel taxes. We hear from MDOT, an MSU economist, the state Chamber of Commerce and transportation officials in Indiana and Wisconsin. By Darcie Moran. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY & ALL POINTS.
AGENCIES: Little-known state agencies often affect the everyday lives of Michigan residents, ranging from boards that license cosmetologists and health professions to one that safeguards workplace health to those that promote agricultural commodities such as asparagus and dairy products. Meanwhile, the Snyder administration is working to eliminate what it considers unnecessary regulations that impede business. By Ashley Weigel. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
BRIDGEFUNDS: Our bridges are falling, our bridges are falling—or at least in serious peril of collapse. Bridge problems have closed portions of interstates in Oakland and Jackson counties, and it costs school districts, including one in St. Joseph County money, to bypass closed bridges. That’s the message from MDOT, County Road Association of Michigan and a Portage lawmaker as the legislature wrestles with how much or how little to spend on bridges. By Danielle Woodward. FOR ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
w/BRIDGEFUNDSPHOTO1: Mackinac Trail Bridge over Chubb Creek, Mackinac County. Credit: County Road Association of Michigan.
w/BRIDGEFUNDSPHOTO2:Bridge at Wallace Park. Roscommon County. Credit: County Road Association of Michigan.
BIGBOX: The Court of Appeals is considering challenges by two U.P. townships to Tax Tribunal property tax rulings in favor of big box stores. Local governments say the Tax Tribunal position will cost them vital revenue, while the Retailers Association supports the tribunal. Legislation by Escanaba and Marquette lawmakers has stalled in committee. By Ashley Weigel. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
FARMDELAYS: Prolonged weight limits on roads are causing delays for farmers but could be lifted soon. Problems include delayed delivery of fertilizer. Also, dairy and cattle farmers haven’t been able to put their herds out on pasture as early as usual, driving up feed costs. We talk to affected businesses in Hillsdale County and Lake Odessa and the Beef Industry Commission. For news and farm pages. By Nick Stanek. FOR BLISSFIELD, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE & ALL POINTS.
PROTECTION: The state Supreme Court is considering a rule change that would prevent local courts from posting online some personal information from protection orders as federal privacy law requires. Oakland and Macomb counties already changed their practices, while Emmet and Kent counties already don’t post such information online. We hear from the court, a Kalamazoo County judge, a Macomb County court official and a board that serves victims of domestic and sexual abuse. By Darcie Moran. FOR MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS & ALL POINTS.