April 27, 2018 – Week 1
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other matters, contact CNS Director Eric Freedman at (517) 355-4729 or (517) 256-3873; email@example.com.
LAST REGULAR FILE FOR THE SPRING: This is our final regular weekly file of the spring semester. You’re welcome to continue using prior stories and visuals from our website.
UPCOMING: On Wednesday, May 2, CNS will move a special package of articles about campaign financing reported by our partner, Spartan Newsroom.
ALSO UPCOMING: On Friday, May 4, CNS will move its end-of-semester Bonus Week budget. These are still-timely stories you may not have had space for when they were first reported.
MORE UPCOMING: During the summer we plan to move several packages of Michigan-related environmental stories in partnership with Great Lakes Echo.
Here’s your file:
EARLYLITERACY: Children should be developing literacy skills starting at birth but many parents don’t realize that ages 0 to 3 are critical for future reading success. Michigan is among the bottom 10 states for early literacy. We hear from the Kent and Ingham intermediate school districts and the MEA. By Agnes Bao. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
BROOKTROUT: Angling for brook trout? Fourteen U.P. counties — Menominee is the sole exception — now have at least one stream where the daily bag limit for brook trout is five rather than 10. In total, part or all of 36 U.P. streams have the higher limit. DNR explains. By Kaley Fech. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
w/BROOKTROUTPHOTO: A spring brook trout catch from the Upper Peninsula. Credit: Michigan.gov
IMPROVINGSCHOOLS: Thirty-eight of Michigan lowest-performing schools are about to wrap up their first year under a partnership program created to keep them open They had been in the bottom 5 percent for academic performance. They include schools in Lansing, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Saginaw and Pontiac. By Maxwell Evans. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
AFFORDABLEHOUSING: Michigan has a shortage of affordable rental homes for extremely low-income households, according to a national report and the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. We talk to a Ludington-based shelter organization and Grand Rapids real estate experts. By Gloria Nzeka. FOR LUDINGTON, OCEANA, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LAKE COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.
LICENSING: A new Mackinac Center for Public Policy report says Michigan unnecessarily requires licenses for too many occupations. A legislator from Mancelona says the state is too heavily regulated, but the Michigan Economic Impact Coalition says some occupations that should be licensed aren’t. The lieutenant governor says it’s important to streamline the licensing process. By Crystal Chen. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, PETOSKEY, MONTMORENCY AND ALL POINTS.
WINE: Predictions are that wine prices will rise because of global problems facing the industry, with 2017 production at its lowest level in 60 years amid poor crops caused by bad weather and wildfires. What does that mean for the prices of Michigan wines? The president of an Old Mission Peninsula winery discusses. By Riley Murdock. FOR LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
AUTISMEMPLOYMENT: There’s a high unemployment rate for Michigan adults with autism. Lt. Gov. Calley says the special education system needs improvements to help reduce that rate. We also hear from the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service and a nonprofit community rehabilitation organization in Sault Ste. Marie. By Maxwell Evans. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
SOLARBILLING: A new order by the Public Service Commission will reduce savings for homes deciding to generate electricity from solar energy, possibly creating a disincentive for homeowners to install solar systems. Some legislators, including ones from Ann Arbor, Potterville and Calumet, want to block it. We also talk to Consumers Energy, the PSC and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. By Casey Hull. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
SCHOOLDISCIPLINE: A new national study by the General Accountability Office finds that black students, boys and children with disabilities are disproportionately disciplined with suspensions and expulsions. in K-12 public schools. That’s true in Michigan as well, according to the head of the state Civil Rights Department and the ACLU. By Gloria Nzeka. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
ELECTRICCARS: Michigan is moving to better accommodate electric cars with upcoming pilot programs by DTE Energy and Consumers Energy. The Michigan Electric Auto Association, Consumers Energy and the Public Service Commission explain. By Riley Murdock. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
PLASTICSTRAWS: Americans use lots and lots of plastic straws, and that’s bad for the environment. Some grassroots group, including ones in Traverse City and Ann Arbor, are pushing to limit them and some restaurants are complying. We talk to the Great Lakes Environmental Center in Traverse City, an MSU expert and an activist. By Agnes Bao. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
OPIOIDS: The president announced a national opioid emergency last October, but Michigan started tackling the crisis before that. We hear from a Monroe lawmaker who wrote the law making it tougher for children to be prescribed opioids, from Lt. Gov. Calley, from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and from the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network. By Colton WOOD. FOR ALL POINTS.
MONARCHS: State agencies and their partners are working to save the declining monarch butterfly, which is threatened by the black swallow-wort, an invasive vine that resembles the milkweed plants that monarchs need to eat. The invader is found mostly in Southern Michigan but has been spotted in the Grand Traverse, Emmet, Delta and Cheboygan counties. We talk to DNR experts and North County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area that covers .
Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford counties. By Casey Hull. FOR LAKE COUNTY, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, LUDINGTON, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, HERALD-REVIEW, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY AND ALL POINTS.
w/MONARCHSPHOTO1: Black swallow-wort. Credit: Leslie Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut
w/MONARCHSPHOTO2: Monarch on milkweed. Credit: Michigan State University Extension.
FOURDAYSCHOOLS: Some states are moving toward a four-day school week, but Michigan districts show no such trend. The Education Department says only two districts, in Newaygo and Iron counties, have four-day schedules. We also talk to the Michigan Association of School Boards. By Agnes Bao. FOR BIG RAPIDS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
TERMLIMITS: Are term-limited legislators lazier than colleagues who can run again? A new national study finds that legislators who can no longer seek reelection sponsor fewer bills, are less productive on committees and are absent for more floor votes, on average. This year Michigan has 23 term-limited representatives and 25 term-limited senators. Commentary. For news and editorial pages. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.
WETLANDS: What’s good for the goose – and the duck and the swan – is good for the frog.
A new study done in Ontario and Michigan finds that waterfowl aren’t the only beneficiaries of wetlands management projects and restoration–many other bird and frog species benefit too. Meanwhile, Ducks Unlimited and its partners are working on restoration projects around the state, including recent ones in Lenawee, Manistee, Mason and St. Clair counties and the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. By Eric Freedman. FOR BLISSFIELD, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE AND ALL POINTS.
RIVERS&SOYBEANS: What do Chinese soybean farmers have in common with the health of Michigan’s rivers and fish populations? While their relationship may not seem obvious, both are now studied through an emerging concept in scientific research called telecoupling. MSU experts. By Lauren Caramagno. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/RIVERS&SOYBEANSPHOTO: Researchers studied the North Branch of the Paint River in the Upper Peninsula to help develop the decision-support tool. Credit: Andrew Carlson.
QUAGGAS: Scientists using GoPro cameras attached to dedges are documenting the troubling extent of the invasive quagga mussels in Lake Michigan. “It’s like a continuous carpet across the lake,” Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab scientist says. By Kate Hambrel. FOR LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, OCEANA, BENZIE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS..
w/QUAGGASPHOTO1: Collecting samples on Lake Michigan. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
w/QUAGGASPHOTO2: Quagga mussels collected in a benthic trawl on board the USGS Sturgeon as part of 2015 Lake Michigan Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative research. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
CATTLETRACKING: Michigan is among the first states to track cattle with ear tags that emit radio signals, a system livestock officials say should be adopted nationwide to track disease outbreaks. The system is important as foreign markets increasingly require such tracking for imported beef. We talk to a Sturgis livestock producer, a Michigan State University animal science professor and a livestock specialist at Michigan Farm Bureau. By Crystal Chen. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.