Dec. 12, 2014 – Bonus Week Budget

Dec. 12, 2014 – Bonus Week

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.

BONUS WEEK: These are still-timely stories that you may not have had space for due to election coverage and other fall news events.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

TEACHERSHORTAGES: The Education Department is searching for solutions to Michigan’s teacher shortage to fill vacancies in math, science technology, world languages and special education. Detroit and rural areas are hardest hit. Problems include the fact that Michigan’s 38 college and university education programs pump out too many students who want to teach elementary school or are in already-full subjects. We hear from an Ottawa Area Intermediate School District expert. Senators from Hillsdale, Battle Creek and Grand Ledge want to make it easier for retired teachers to return to classrooms. By Jordan Bradley. FOR ALL POINTS.

HARBORS: New federal grants will help coastal communities take advantage of their harbors to increase boating tourism. Four Michigan communities will take part in a study. We talk to a Sea Grant expert for the Northwest Lower Peninsula and the Alpena City manager. By Ian K. Kullgren. FOR ALL POINTS.

JOURNALISTSDANGER: It’s not just foreign correspondents in war zones and in the age of ISIS atrocities who face injury or death on assignment. Experienced Michigan photojournalists talk about perils they’ve confronted covering crimes and disasters in their own communities. By Anthony Cepak. FOR ALL POINTS.

TOXICAIR: The air near a mid-Michigan chemical plant that closed nearly 40 years ago because it threatened the environment remains contaminated with chemicals, a new study shows. Concentrations of banned DDT are about 18 times higher in bark collected near the Velsicol Chemical Co. site than in bark from trees more than half a mile away, and residents within six miles of the site are still subjected to “relatively high levels of HBB, PBBs, and DDTs in the air they breathe.” We talk to the lead researcher, Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force and Mid-Michigan District Health Department, which covers Montcalm, Gratiot and Clinton counties. By Amanda Proscia. FOR ALL POINTS.

SPAWNINGREEFS: A new 4-acre spawning habitat for whitefish, lake sturgeon and walleye is under construction at Harts Light in the St. Clair River, three times larger than one recently finished near Algonac. It’s part of a series of Sea Grant spawning habitat restoration projects in the Detroit and St. Clair river systems. We hear from Sea Grant, U.S. Geological Survey and Ontario experts. By Katie Amann. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/SPAWNINGREEFSGRAPHIC: Diagram of spawning reefs in the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. Credit: Michigan Sea Grant.

NATIONALGUARDWIND: The National Guard is spending $1.5 million on two new machines to generate electricity from wind at Camp Grayling and the Fort Custer Training Center. Unlike traditional windmills, the system captures wind from all directions and will be built by a Roscommon County company. We hear from the manufacturer, the National Guard and a skeptic. By Qing Zheng. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/NATIONALGUARDWINDGRAPHIC: Design of the wind funnels to be installed at Camp Grayling and Fort Customer. Credit: Sheerwind Co.

TRACKINGINVADERS: Citizen scientists are being recruited to fight invasive and non-invasive indigenous species through a smartphone app that lets the public report the presence of unwanted critters. Sea Grant experts in Ottawa County and Ann Arbor and the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network explain. By Chelsea Mongeau. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/TRACKINGINVASIVESIMAGE: This smartphone app lets the public play a role in detecting the spread of invasive species. Credit: Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.

CEMETERY: Old cemeteries contain the history, the fashions and the hopes of generations now gone, Thomas Dilley says in his new book, “The Art of Memory: Historic Cemeteries of Grand Rapids, Michigan,” a new book published by Wayne State University Press ($39.99). Dilley is the expert on Grand Rapids cemeteries, leading tour groups, researching markers and linking them to people and national trends. The thing is, Dilley says, almost every old town that once had a flourishing industry also had a cemetery of note, and the stories are there for the taking. We talk about touring cemeteries with Dilley and someone from the Marquette Regional History Center and add Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit for good measure. By Sheila Schimpf. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/CEMETERYCOVER: “The Art of Memory.” Credit: Wayne State University Press.

NURSETRAINING: While the Ebola crisis is focusing attention on the ability of the U.S. health care system to respond, nursing programs in Michigan see an opportunity to enrich the education of their students. Meanwhile, the state’s largest nurses’ union criticizes the readiness of hospitals and the Snyder administration to protect staff and patients in such crises. We hear from experts at Calvin College, Andrews University, Northern Michigan University, the Michigan Hospital Association, Michigan Nurses Association and Michigan Center for Nursing. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.

CNS

Dec. 5, 2014 Budget

Dec. 5, 2014 – Week 12

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.

LAST REGULAR FILE FOR THE SEMESTER: This is our last regular weekly file for the semester. As usual, there will be a Bonus Week file next Friday, Dec. 12, with still-timely articles you may not have had space for earlier.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

REFUGEESEDUCATION: Refugee children often struggle to find quality education and catch up with their schooling. Adult refugees, some of whom arrive without any formal schooling, also face educational obstacles. We talk to experts at the U.S. Committee for Refugees-Detroit, West Michigan Refugee Education and Cultural Center and Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids and an MSU sociologist. By Katie Amann. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, DEADLINE DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.

TRACKINGSMOKE: Researchers at MSU and the U.S. Forest Service in East Lansing have developed a system that predicts smoke direction from low-intensity forest fires to help safely manage prescribed burns. We also hear from DEQ and DNR experts. By Nyla Hughes. FOR MARQUETTE, ALPENA, SAULT STE. MARIE, BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, BAY MILLS, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, LAKE COUNTY, HARBOR SPRINGS, HERALD STAR, CADILLAC, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.

SMARTMETERS: Michigan utility companies are using digital smart-grid meters to locate power outages, resolve power problems, gather more accurate readings and help customers better manage their electricity use. There is controversy, however, about potential negative health effects. We talk to Consumers Energy, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Lansing Board of Water and Light and Homeworks Tri-County. By Nyla Hughes. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, BLISSFIELD, GREENVILLE, CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CADILLAC, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, BIG RAPIDS, PETOSKEY, ALCONA, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS & ALL POINTS.
w/SMARTMETERSPHOTO: Credit: Consumers Energy.

TROUT&SONAR: Maritime archaeologists are using sound waves to map the bottom of Lake Huron to help rehabilitate trout habitat. Lake Huron’s trout population is on the rise but still needs help. It’s a project of Thunder Bay National Maritime Sanctuary and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. By Kevin Duffy. FOR ALCONA, ALPENA, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE & ALL POINTS.
w/TROUT&SONARPHOTO1: Lake trout that spawn at Sixth Fathom Bank in Lake Huron are valuable to lake-wide research. Credit: Michigan Sea Grant.
w/TROUT&SONARPHOTO2: A Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary diver deploys fish egg traps on experimental reefs in Lake Huron. Credit: NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

BREWERYWATER: Despite an abundance of available water, craft breweries in Michigan are working to reduce their water use. Some are going beyond their own operations to push water conservation, including opposition to fracking, a process that uses huge amounts. A recent Great Lakes water conference in Grand Rapids drew many craft brewers. For news and business pages. By Cameron Vredeveld. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
w/BREWERYWATERPHOTO: Rochester Mills Brewery in Rochester celebrates the region’s “glacial gift” of water on its beer label. Credit: Ben Poulson.

 

CNS

Behind many great beers is a Great Lake

By CAMERON VREDEVELD

Capital News Service

LANSING — The Great Lakes basin supplies breweries with some of the freshest water in the country.
But if brewers like what they taste, some experts suggest they make some changes in how they use that water.

“You can’t brew great beer without great water,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder of Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids.

spawningreef

Rochester Mills Brewery in Rochester celebrates the region’s “glacial gift” of water on its beer label. Credit: Ben Poulson.


Engbers was a featured speaker at a recent Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference in Grand Rapids. Beer scientists, crafters and experts from as far as Alaska gathered for a three-day conference to discuss water sustainability.
Continue reading

Refugees increase, face education, language hurdles

By KATIE AMANN

Capital News Service

LANSING — The world has a growing number of displaced people driven from their homes because of conflict, more than ever before, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. For the 86 percent of them in developing countries, that means increasingly limited access to quality education.

“Education is vital in restoring hope and dignity to young people driven from their homes,” the agency said.

But even refugees living in Michigan may face serious obstacles in obtaining education, experts say.
Continue reading

Electric companies use more smart meters

By NYLA HUGHES

Capital News Service

LANSING — Utility companies across Michigan are using digital smart-grid meters to locate power outages, resolve power problems and gather more accurate readings.

The meters at homes and businesses are connected by a cellular power line to the utilities. The utilities can signal a meter for information and it will send data back.

spawningreef

Smart meters: Credit: Consumers Energy


But the meters aren’t without controversy.
Continue reading

Sonar mapping shipwrecks now hunt trout habitat

By KEVIN DUFFY

Capital News Service

LANSING – Maritime archaeologists are swapping shipwreck surveys for lake trout mapping in Lake Huron.
And they’re using sound waves to do it.

“Consider it double-dipping. The sonar on research vessels could map an area of interest for shipwrecks while also helping out some biologists,” said Russ Green, program coordinator at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena.

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A Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary diver deploys fish egg traps on experimental reefs in Lake Huron. Credit: NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


The biologists say they want to use the results in lake-wide rehabilitation of trout habitat.
Continue reading

Computer can predict which way smoke goes

By NYLA HUGHES

Capital News Service

LASNING — A team of researchers has developed a way to predict which way smoke will drift away from low-intensity forest fires.

Researchers at Michigan State University and the U.S Forest Service developed the system to help fire managers control prescribed fires. These fires are used to manage vegetation and fuel, said Warren Heilman, a research meteorologist for the Forest Service based in East Lansing.

“If there is a lot of flammable vegetation on the ground, the surface can catch on fire from lightning,” said Heilman.
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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.”
Continue reading

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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