Dec. 12, 2014 – Bonus Week
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From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
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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.