Nov. 25, 2014 Budget

Nov. 25, 2014 – Week 11
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & 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.

All articles ©2014, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
EARLY FILE FOR THANKSGIVING WEEK: Well be back on our regular Friday schedule next week.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:
CLEANENERGYSOURCES: Aiming to take advantage of the growing demand for clean energy-related jobs, Alpena Community College is preparing for a new bachelor’s degree program in electrical systems technology. Meanwhile, Lansing Community College is dealing with complications in its alternative energy technology program, including a drop in students because of tougher math requirements. By Jordan Bradley. FOR ALPENA, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL & ALL POINTS.

THREATENEDENDANGERED: A fight over logging restrictions is delaying federal protection of the northern long-eared bat, a Great Lakes species that’s vulnerable to white-nose syndrome, a fatal fungal disease first reported in Michigan in April. The forest industry worries that federal listing as threatened or endangered will hinder logging and it prefers state guidelines instead. The Fish & Wildlife Service delayed a decision on the issue until April. We hear from the Bloomfield Hills-based Organization for Bat Conservation, Center for Biological Diversity and Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. By Kevin Duffy. FOR MARQUETTE, ALPENA, SAULT STE. MARIE, BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, BAY MILLS, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.
w/THREATENEDENDANGEREDPHOTO: Bat infected with white-nose syndrome. Credit: Organization for Bar Conservation.

TIMBERJOBS: There’s a shortage of skilled labor for Michigan’s forest products industry, in part because of better-paying opportunities in other fields in the state, such as oil and gas, construction and mining. Gogebic Community College launched a forest technology program and an Onaway-based manufacturer created an industrial arts institute to teach welding. We also hear from the Michigan Association of Timbermen and an Escanaba-area logging company owner. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, CADILLAC, ALCONA, ALPENA, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD STAR, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.

CNS

Feds study bat protection but loggers disagree

By KEVIN DUFFY
Capital News Service

LANSING— A fight over logging restrictions is delaying federal protection of the northern long-eared bat, a Great Lakes species already decimated in the American Northeast.

A decision on whether to list the bat as endangered or threatened has been pushed back to April.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has federal jurisdiction over protected species, is using the extra time to respond to the unexpected controversy, said Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist and a bat disease specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

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A bat with white-nose syndrome. Credit: Organization for Bat Conservation.


Endangered means a species is at high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Under federal law, a threatened species “is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”
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Jobs in timbering, wood products go begging

By ERIC FREEDMAN

Capital News Service
LANSING — The woods are calling, and so are logging and wood products companies.

Calling for skilled employees, that is.

Experts say the labor shortage hampers economic growth.
Many experienced foresters and other workers in Northern Michigan are retiring. At the same time, jobs in other industries such as mining, energy and construction often pay higher wages than those at timber-related companies.

The demand is expected to continue as the state looks for new uses for forest resources, including products and energy, according to the Michigan Biomaterials Initiative.
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New college program trains clean energy technicians

By JORDAN BRADLEY

Capital News Service

LANSING – Alpena Community College is developing a bachelor’s degree in electrical systems technology.

Jay Walterreit, director of public information and marketing at Alpena, said the community college is hoping to have the program running by August 2016.

The “rigorous” program’s curriculum is awaiting accreditation. Unlike the other energy technician programs available at Alpena, the program will qualify a student with a bachelor’s degree.

Walterreit said that there would not be much overlap between existing programs and the new program, except a few prerequisites.
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Nov. 21, 2014 Budget

Nov. 21, 2014 – Week 11
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & 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.

All articles ©2014, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: We will have an early file on Tuesday, Nov. 25, because of the holiday.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

GASTAX: As lawmakers debate how to fix the state’s crumbling roads, local voters are more willing to pay higher property taxes to help fund road maintenance. As of the Nov. 6 election, voters in 28 counties have approved road millages. We talk to officials in Grand Traverse, Gladwin and Cheboygan counties and the Country Road Association. Counties that approved millages this year include Ottawa, Arenac, Keweenaw and Kalkaska. By Ian K. Kullgren. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, GLADWIN, CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.
W/GASTAXTABLE: Eight counties that approved road millages in 2014. Source: County Road Association of Michigan.

ETHANOL: New research suggests increased ethanol fuel use could be dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan. Scientists found ethanol use is reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the state by nearly 1.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of emissions from 294,000 cars. There are nearly 200 gas stations that sell ethanol, including E85 fuel — the third-highest in the county behind Minnesota and Illinois. Growers harvested a record 348,750,000 bushels of corn in 2013. Lenawee, St. Joseph, Montcalm and Ionia counties are among the 13 that harvested more than 9 million bushels in 2012. By Ian K. Kullgren. FOR BLISSFIELD, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.

KURDS:: Turkish Michiganians say the Turkish government should act more decisively to help the largely Kurdish residents of the Syrian border town of Kobani in their fight against ISIS. They criticize the slow pace of Turkey’s humanitarian efforts. By Duygu Kanvar. FOR ALL POINTS.

LINGERINGPESTICIDES: Pesticides, mostly from farm runoff and yard use, remain a concern for fish and aquatic insects in many streams and rivers in urban and agricultural areas, a national study warns. However, the study looked for only about half the 400 pesticides used in agriculture, and funding for continued monitoring has shrunk. The U.S. Geological Survey research includes long-term testing on the River Raisin and the Clinton and Black rivers. By Eric Freedman. FOR BLISSFIELD, CADILLAC, GREENVILLE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, PETSOKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ALPENA, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, HOLLAND, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.

CNS

Ethanol use in Michigan cuts greenhouse gas, study finds

By IAN K. KULLGREN
Capital News Service

LANSING — New research suggests increased ethanol fuel use could be dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan.

A study by scientists at Michigan State University shows ethanol use in the state is reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of emissions from 294,000 cars.
Ethanol fuel production, meanwhile, has nearly doubled in the past seven years, from 276 million gallons in 2007 to 452 million in 2012.

The findings suggest ethanol could serve as one tool to slow global warming, experts said.
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Pesticide levels in rivers may threaten fish, insects

By ERIC FREEDMAN

Capital News Service

LANSING — Pesticides, mostly from agricultural runoff and yard use, remain a concern for fish and insects in many of the country’s streams and rivers, warns a national study based in part on research done in Michigan.

Although levels of pesticides usually didn’t exceed benchmarks for human health, their potential to harm aquatic life is likely underestimated, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey, part of the U.S. Interior Department.

That’s because the agency can afford to monitor “less than half of the more than 400 pesticides currently used in agriculture, and monitoring focused only on pesticides dissolved in water.”
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Where rubber hits road, new taxes fix them

By IAN K. KULLGREN

Capital News Service

LANSING — As lawmakers wrangle over how to fix the state’s crumbling road system, one group is increasingly volunteering to foot the bill: Local taxpayers.

More than a third of counties now have local property tax increases in place to help fund road maintenance.

In 2006, voters in 12 counties had approved local road maintenance levies. That number has now risen to 28 as of this year, when eight passed new increases in the August primary and November general elections.

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Source: County Road Association of Michigan.


Although the taxes are expected to bring in millions of dollars in additional road funds each year, local leaders say it will barely make a dent, even if the House passes a bill in December to double the gasoline tax.
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Turkey should help Syrians, Turkish students here say

By DUYGU KANVER

Capital News Service

LANSING – The Syrian town of Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish city by the Turkish border, has been under assault by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since mid-September, leaving about 800 dead and 300,000 displaced from their homes.

While airstrikes led by the U.S. have supported ongoing resistance by Kurdish forces in the region, Kurds say Turkey’s collaboration by opening its borders with Syria and Iraq is central to saving Kobani.

“We ask for nothing from the Turkish government but this,” says Ruken Sengul, a Turkish Kurd postdoctoral fellow in the Armenian Studies program at the University of Michigan.
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Nov. 14, 2014 Budget

Nov. 14, 2014 – Week 10

To: CNS Editors

From: Eric Freedman & 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.

All articles ©2014, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

URBANFORESTS: Twenty-one communities and environmental groups are sharing $90,000 in DNR urban forestry grants to plant trees, including replacements for those killed by the invasive emerald ash borer. Recipients include Wayne County for projects in Detroit and Livonia. Replacements will be a diversity of species to better resist potential invaders such as the Asian longhorned beetle, DNR says. Among the other recipients are Traverse City, Three Rivers, Cadillac, Holland and Big Rapids. By Ian K. Kullgren. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, DEADLINE DETROIT, CADILLAC, THREE RIVERS, BIG RAPIDS, STURGIS, TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
w/URBANFORESTSLIST: Urban forestry grants awarded. Source: Department of Natural Resources.

ANIMALWELFARE: The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has received about 65 applications for grants to train animal control personnel, neuter pets before they’re adopted and educate the public about anti-cruelty laws and animal care. Past winner Cheboygan Humane Society has applied again to fund its neutering program. Other past recipients include groups in Ottawa County, Negaunee and Manistee. An announcement of winners is expected by Dec. 15. By Jordan Bradley. FOR CHEBOYGAN, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE, MANISTEE & ALL POINTS.

SHIPWRECKTECHNOLOGY: Lasers, underwater robots, photo sleds, sonar and other innovative technologies are simplifying the discovery of and research about hundreds of shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes. Experts from Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Alpena Community College and Grand Valley State University explain. By Juliana Moxley. FOR ALPENA, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, PETOSKEY, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, HARBOR SPRINGS, SAULT STE. MARIE & ALL POINTS
w/SHIPWRECKTECHNOLOGYPHOTO1: This image of the shipwreck Monohansett in Lake Huron was created with a laser. Credit: Sarah Waters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
w/SHIPWRECKTECHNOLOGYPHOTO2: A laser is used to map the wreck of the Monohansett in Lake Huron. Credit: Sarah Waters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

DIGITALINVASIVES: Michigan researchers are building a time machine to fight freshwater invaders, helping to digitize 150 years’ worth of plants and animals hidden in the storerooms of Great Lakes museums. It will help track past invasions and predict future ones. Participants include Central Michigan, Grand Valley State, Eastern Michigan, Andrews and Western Michigan universities; Calvin, Hope, Hillsdale and Albion colleges; and Seney National Wildlife Refuge. By Kevin Duffy. FOR HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GREENVILLE, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, ALCONA, ALPENA, BAY MILLS, HARBOR SPRINGS, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.
w/DIGITALINVASIVESPHOTO1:This digitized hydrilla, an aquatic invasive, will be added to the online collection. Credit: University of Wisconsin Herbarium.
w/DIGITALINVASIVESPHOTO2: Three-dimensional specimens like this fish will be added to the digital collection. Credit: Field Museum.

WOODPRODUCTS&ENERGY: A new round of U.S. Forest Service grants could propel expanded markets for wood products and wood energy, boosting the forest products industry in the state, and not just in the U.P. and Northern Lower Michigan. Research into bio-products is underway at Michigan Tech, and some wood-based construction materials are 100 times stronger than steel. We also talk to the Michigan Association of Timbermen, the head of a UP research center and a Menominee County logger/forestland owner. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, CADILLAC, ALCONA, ALPENA, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD STAR, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
w/WOODPRODUCTS&ENERGYMAP: Counties with commercial forests. Credit: Michigan Biomaterials Initiative.

CNS