Apr. 29th, 2016 Budget

Capital News Service Budget – Week 14 (LAST FILE OF SPRING SEMESTER)

April 29, 2016

To: CNS Editors

From: Dave Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/. For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979) voloshin@msu.edu.

You can email us at cnsmsu@gmail.com

BONUS WEEK AHEAD: This week is our last file of the semester. We will move a bonus file next Friday, May 6, that will contain stories already moved this semester but that you may have missed the first time around.

Here’s your file:

Week 14 budget

INCARCERATEDPARENTS: One in 10 Michigan children have had a parent in jail or prison, the third highest rate in the nation. Experts say that’s a traumatic experience equivalent to domestic abuse and one that puts children at risk of depression and anxiety. We talk to officials with the League for Public Policy and the Department of Corrections, the Wexford County prosecutor and an MSU law professor.  By Joshua Bender. FOR CADILLAC AND ALL POINTS.

MOREL: Maps of last year’s forest fires could lead morel hunters to a greater bounty this year. The state Department of Natural Resources is releasing online maps that may help hunters find the elusive fungi with the help of a cell phone. By Jasmine Watts. FOR PETOSKEY AND TRAVERSE CITY ALL POINTS

w/MORELPHOTO: Morel Mushroom by National Morel Mushroom Festival

JURY: Michigan jurors may soon receive their first raise since 2003, a move that’s part of an effort to get more of them to court. Other measures include offering them Uber rides to get them to the jury box and paying them immediately with debit cards so they don’t have to wait for a check. By Jason Kraft. FOR CHEBOYGAN, CADILLAC AND ALL POINTS.

BEVERAGEDEPOSIT: There’s a new bid to expand the state’s beverage container deposit law to cover water, juice, wine, liquor and other non-carbonated drinks, but prospects for legislative approval are dim. All similar efforts to expand the 40-year-old deposit law have failed. We hear from the lead sponsor, from Kalamazoo, MUCC, the Michigan Recycling Coalition, DEQ and the Michigan Retailers Association. By Eric Freedman. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

FORESTS: Participation in a program encouraging private landowners to plan how to harvest their forests has more than tripled in three years, yielding a substantial increase in forest revenue primarily in northern Michigan and unusual agreement between environmentalists and the forest products industry. By David Poulson. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, ALCONA, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, GRAND RAPIDS, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, ST. IGNACE, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

NEONATAL: Babies who are born addicted to drugs are a growing problem in Michigan. Some of  the highest rates for what is called neonatal abstinence syndrome are in northern Michigan where health officials are calling for greater public awareness to fight what results in symptoms of drug withdrawal in infants. By Jasmine Watts. FOR ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, MARQUETTE, GLADWIN, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS

GUESTWORKERS The number of foreign seasonal farm workers coming to Michigan and the challenges they face are rapidly growing. They are coming in under a special kind of temporary visa and competing with other migrant workers for jobs. By Joshua Bender. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, OCEANA AND ALL POINTS.

COLLEGEPREP Some lawmakers want to change the standards for preparing students for college in hopes of raising Michigan’s education rankings. But critics say they are lowering them. By Jasmine Watts. FOR ALL POINTS


Senate panel passes bill to replace Common Core standards

Capital News Service

LANSING – Some lawmakers want to change the standards for preparing students for college in hopes of raising Michigan’s education rankings.

But critics say they are lowering the standards.

The state now falls under the national Common Core standard where schools work with a state’s four-year public university system to certify that students will not need to take remedial coursework in college. Standards are based on what students must know at each grade level to graduate from high school and college to be career-ready.

Some lawmakers are sponsoring legislation that would end the Common Core standard  and move to a new assessment based on one that Massachusetts used to use.

The  Senate Education Committee recently passed the bill by a 4‐1 vote.
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More addicted babies born, go through withdrawal

Capital News Service

LANSING— Babies who are born addicted to drugs are a growing problem in Michigan.

The disorder is called neonatal abstinence syndrome and it affects newborns whose mothers were addicted to opiate drugs while they were pregnant. The baby becomes addicted, along with the mother, to substances such as heroin, oxycodone or methadone.

The babies have symptoms of withdrawal that include excessive crying, seizures, trembling, poor feeding, diarrhea and sleep problems, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. And it’s not just a problem in urban areas.

“The opiate drug epidemic in northern Michigan is hurting babies and tearing families apart,” said John Keller, director of the Alpena/Montmorency Department of Health and Human Services. “We’re seeing it in the growing number of babies going to the neonatal intensive care unit with the symptoms and we’re seeing it in the growing caseloads in the courts and Children’s Protective Services.”
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Looking for morels? Find a burn site

Capital News Service

LANSING— Forest fires are devastating one year, but can bring a tasty bounty the next.

In hopes of helping morel hunters, the  Department of Natural Resources (DNR) created an online map that highlights the state’s 2015 wildfires and prescribed burns.

“Morel mushrooms are often found in locations where large fires occurred the previous year,” said Jim Fisher, resource protection manager for the DNR Forest Resources Division. “Each spring we get calls from people who are seeking details on those sites to hunt morels.”


Morel Mushroom Credit: National Morel Mushroom Festival

So the agency created a tool that lets the fungi finders use their cell phones in the woods to track down likely hunting grounds.
Continue reading

Proposal would increase juror pay rates


Capital News Service

LANSING – Michigan jurors would soon receive their first pay increase since 2003 if a bill on compensation passes, a representative said.

Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, introduced a bill last year that would increase juror compensation by  $5 per full day and $2.50 per half day. They currently make $25 for a full day and $12.50 for a half day on the first day, then $40 and $20, respectively, on subsequent days.

“Jurors aren’t even making enough to pay for their parking,” Lucido said. “When you look at the economics of it, it’s just not fair. That’s why people have an attitude toward jury duty.”
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Temporary seasonal workers face language, legal issues

Capital News Service

LANSING — The number of foreign seasonal farm workers pouring into Michigan and the legal and economic challenges they face are rapidly growing, say some legal and agricultural experts.

The increase is the result of contractors bringing workers into the country under temporary visas called H2A visas. They are often referred to euphemistically as guest workers, said Tom Thornburg, co-managing attorney at Farmworker Legal Services, a Kalamazoo-based legal advocacy group for  agricultural workers.

The number of these guest workers from other countries has doubled every year since 2012, he said. In 2015 they numbered 928.
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Parents in prison add stress to children, family lives

Capital News Service

LANSING — One in 10 Michigan children has had a parent in jail or in prison, a rate so high it puts Michigan in a tie for the thir- highest rate in the nation, according to a newly released report.

And that has significant ramifications for the mental health of the children.

“This is as traumatic as experiencing domestic violence and abuse, in that the trauma continues to affect kids into adulthood,” said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count project director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, a Lansing-based child welfare advocacy group.

Losing a parent to the penal system puts children at greater risk of depression and anxiety, she said. The loss also puts a greater financial burden on families to cover basic household expenses.
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Private land finds home in Qualified Forest Program


Capital News Service

LANSING — A state program that more than tripled the private land managed for forestry in just three years earns unusual praise from both forest products producers and environmentalists.

If there is one thing the two groups agree on, it’s that both of their preferred uses “are better than subdivisions,” said Marvin Roberson, a forest ecologist with the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club. “If you got 160 acres and your only choice is to sell to a subdivision because you can’t afford the taxes, this keeps it in forested land.”

The Qualified Forest Program gives tax breaks to landowners who agree to manage their forests under a plan developed by a state-certified forester. The plans help them harvest their land sustainably, but they also can consider how to better provide for wildlife or keep invasive species from overtaking the land.

Industry officials agree it’s been a success.
Continue reading

New proposal would add deposit to water bottles


Capital News Service

LANSING — There’s another move underway in the Legislature to expand Michigan’s 40-year-old beverage deposit law to include water and juice containers.

But prospects for passage this year appear unlikely.

The latest effort would add the current 10-cent deposit requirement on metal, glass and plastic carbonated beverage containers to include noncarbonated drinks, with exceptions for milk, other dairy products, unflavored soymilk and unflavored rice milk.

The major additions would be water, juice, wine and liquor containers.
Continue reading

April 22, 2016 Budget

April 22, 2016 — Week 12

To: CNS Editors

From: Eric Freedman and Sheila Schimpf

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/. For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979) voloshin@msu.edu.

You can email us at cnsmsu@gmail.com

WELCOME OCEANA HERALD-JOURNAL: We’re pleased that the Oceana Herald-Journal has become the newest member of Capital News Service.

LAST REGULAR FILE & BONUS WEEK AHEAD: Next Friday, April 29, will be our last regular file of the semester. On Friday, May 6, we’ll move our traditional end-of-semester Bonus Week budget with still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier.

SUMMER ENVIRONMENTAL COVERAGE: Through our partnership with Great Lakes Echo, we will again this summer send you three packages of environmental stories — in early June, early July and early August.

CNS CORRESPONDENTS HONORED: The Journalism School has announced $14,000 in scholarships and awards exclusively for our 2015-16 CNS correspondents, funded by endowments, donations and annual memberships from CNS newspapers and online news outlets. They are:

  • Richard Milliman Scholarship: Yeuhan Liu and Zhao Peng
  • William Cote Scholarship: Yeuhan Liu
  • CNS Connections Award: Stephanie McGavin and Michael Kransz
  • Edward A. Augenstein Memorial Scholarship: Zhao Peng

Here is your file:

INFANTMORTALITY: Although infant mortality rates have decreased, they’re rising for member of some ethnic groups and in some locations. The Allegan County Health Department says it’s hard to collect infant mortality data since its hospital obstetrics unit closed. Among other counties without units are Cheboygan, Lake, Leelanau, Gladwin, Benzie, Mackinac and Montmorency. We also hear from the Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan League for Public Policy. By Jasmine Watts. FOR HOLLAND, LAKE COUNTY, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, GREENVILLE, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, GLADWIN, LANSING CITY PULSE, MONTMORENCY, OCEANA, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.

WASTINGDEER: DNR wants to double the number of areas monitored for chronic wasting disease, adding six townships in Eaton and Clinton counties. The concern is over the disease’s long-term impact on the state’s deer population. Other positive samples have been found in Ingham County and elsewhere in Clinton County. We talk to DNR, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Josh Bender. FOR ALL POINTS.


EXPORT: Michigan growers and processors of agricultural products can gain access to market research without paying thousands of dollars, thanks to a new, free export opportunity analysis. It’s a valuable tool for growers and processors of a variety of products including apples, wine, potatoes, dry beans, tart cherries, dairy products, blueberries and breakfast bars. China is a prime opportunity location. We hear from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Cherry Marketing Institute. By Jasmine Watts. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, GREENVILLE, LUDINGTON, BIG RAPIDS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, BLISSFIELD, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, CADILLAC, MONTMORENCY, ALCONA, OCEANA & ALL POINTS.


DEADBIRDS: Using satellites to follow dead waterbirds drifting on Lake Michigan may be the key to locating the source of the elusive botulinum toxin, which causes paralysis and death in birds. In 2012, hundreds of dead loons were found at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. To track down where waterbirds might be exposed to the toxin, a new study developed a model of how loon carcasses drift, using an approach similar to that of search-and-rescue operations, Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service explain. By Colleen Otte. FOR LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, OCEANA, CHEBOYGAN, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, ALCONA, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS & ALL POINTS.

w/DEADBIRDPHOTO: Loon. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

INLANDFISHERIES: Inland fisheries and aquaculture account for more than 40 percent of the world’s reported fish production but their harvest is frequently under-reported and ignored, including in the Great Lakes region, a new study says. And the condition of inland fish in aquatic ecosystems makes them “aquatic canaries in the coal mine” concerning ecosystem change, including threats from agriculture, hydropower projects and deforestation, as well as overfishing and invasive species. We hear from researchers at MSU, the U.S. Geological Survey and Carleton University in Ottawa. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, GREENVILLE, BAY MILLS, ALCONA, OCEANA, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, MONTMORENCY, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.