Dec. 8, 2017 – CNS Budget

Dec. 8, 2017 — Week 14

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact David Poulson:

Editors note: This is the last original file of the fall semester. We will move another budget next week of previously moved stories that you may not have yet used.

Here is your file:

WOMENLAWMAKERS: Former  lawmaker Barb Byrum was once admonished on the floor of the state House for using the word vasectomy. Her mother, a state senator, was reprimanded for allowing her son to sit in her seat. Lana Pollack said she was ignored and verbally and physically assaulted during her service as a state senator. And current Sen. Margaret O’Brien says sometimes when she is in the Capitol, she feels like she’s in a boy’s lockeroom. While charges of sexist behavior are leveled in Washington, women who served in the Michigan Legislature say such behavior is hardly confined to the nation’s capital. By Stephen Olschanski. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS

LEADPIPES: The Department of Environmental Quality has proposed  replacing all of the state’s lead water pipes within the next 20 years. The mammoth undertaking would include replacing about 500,000 lead service lines at the cost of billions of dollars. The final decision is up to a legislative committee. By Kaley Fech. FOR LANSING CITY LIMITS AND ALL POINTS

DUNES: While Michigan’s dunes are certainly scenic, they’re also valued as vantage points to view Great Lakes storms. Respondents to the first-ever “How you dune” survey also credit them with benefits to the local ecology and economy. The survey is a first step in building an organized constituency of dune supporters.  By Jack Nissen. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LUDINGTON, LEELANAU, HI+OLLAND, OCEANA, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, ALCONA, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, HARBOR SPRINGS  AND ALL POINTS.

w/DUNEPHOTO: A roll cloud moves over Sleeping Bear Dunes near Empire, Michigan, in June 2016. Credit: Art Bukowski

BUDGETWOES:  Michigan programs are especially vulnerable to looming federal budget cuts as 42 percent of its budget comes from the federal government. That’s the second- highest in the country, behind only Mississippi, according the Michigan League for Human Services. Funds for health care, roads and other public services are at risk. We talk to local government groups and policy experts. By Jack Nissen. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

TICKETS: Drivers with unpaid parking tickets might be given a break by the Secretary of State when it comes to license renewal if current  law reverts  to an earlier, tougher form. The Secretary of State can refuse to renew your license if you have three unpaid parking tickets. A bill that recently passed the Senate would keep that number from reverting back to six, which is slated to happen Jan. 1. If that happens, lawmakers say cities will not be able to effectively collect unpaid fees because there will not be a big enough incentive for drivers to pay their tickets. We hear from the sponsor, from Lowell, and the city of Grand Rapids .By Stephen Olschanski. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

CHIPFUNDS: More than 100,000 Michigan children who don’t qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance are at risk of losing their health insurance. The federal government failed to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and now state officials are scrambling to figure out if it can be patched. By Kaley Fech. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

HEADINJURIES: Sixteen high school sports saw a decrease in head injuries from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year, according to a report by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. They increased or remained the same in 13 sports. But with only two years of data, the numbers can’t be relied upon as indicating a trend, experts say. The report indicated that the rate of injury is higher among girls than boys which could be attributed to a difference in anatomy or more honest reporting. Football led the list for boys and basketball led the list for girls. Soccer ranked second for both genders. Editors note: your local schools may provide you with data on their own rates. For sports and news pages. By Emily Lovasz. FOR ALL POINTS.

w/HEADINJURIESTABLE: High school sports with the most head injuries, 2016-17. 2015-16 in parentheses. Source: Michigan High School Athletic Association.

FROZENFISH: Stomachs of more than 1,000 fish from lakes Huron and Michigan are in a freezer at Michigan State University awaiting dissection as part of a study critical to managing gamefish. Lack of funds is putting the project on ice. Now fisheries scientists are asking Great Lakes residents to contribute to a campaign to raise the $8,500 needed to pay MSU students to analyze what’s in the stomachs of those fish. By Evan Kutz. FOR LUDINGTON, MANISTEE,  OCEANA, HOLLAND, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, HOLLAND, MONTMORENCY, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

           w/FROZENFISHPHOTO1: Fish stomachs are stored in this freezer, sharing space with samples from another study. Credit: Evan Kutz

           w/FROZENFISHPHOTO2: MSU grad student Katie Kierczynski slices fish stomachs in half, like this one belonging to a walleye. Credit: Evan Kutz

HURRICANES: What does a hurricane sound like from underwater? Researchers may soon find out after recovering listening devices planted off the coast of Puerto Rico in a test that could lead to year-round underwater monitoring of the Great Lakes. Ann Arbor-based researchers are part of the project, and the results could be used to monitor environmental impacts of the upcoming construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge spanning the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers in the agency’s Great Lakes office in Ann Arbor secured $60,000 to monitor reefs off the southern coast of Puerto Rico, in part to learn more about how they might be used in the Great Lakes. By Steven Maier. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ALCONA, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.

Dec. 1, 2017 – CNS Budget

Dec. 1, 2017 — Week 13

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact David Poulson:

Here is your file:

TRAPPING: Nearly 30,000 people buy a Michigan fur harvester license each year. Some are trappers. The others are hunters of furbearing species. But only about half of the people who buy a license actually participate because of the time commitment involved, state officials say. By Kaley Fech. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, BLISSFIELD, GREENVILLE, GLADWIN, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD-REVIEW, CADILLAC, BIG RAPIDS, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, HOLLAND, OCEANA, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON AND  ALL POINTS.

DRONES: State officials say that Michigan prisons are buzzed by drones almost weekly as people try to get cell phones, drugs and other contraband to inmates. State lawmakers want to ban flights over prisons, but they’re stepping on the toes of the FAA which regulates the nation’s airspace. By Jack Nissen. FOR MARQUETTE, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.

PRESERVES: Michigan’s shipwreck treasures are protected by about a dozen underwater preserves. But they are threatened by a declining corps of volunteers struggling to mark, protect and interpret their history. By Carl Stoddard. FOR ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MANISTEE, LEELANAU, OCEANA, BAY MILLS AND ALL POINTS.

w/PRESERVESLIST: List of Michigan underwater preserves By Carl Stoddard

w/PRESERVEPHOTO: Shipwreck AUDUBON in upper Lake Huron. Credit: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

HISTORICTAX: Michigan’s historic buildings could get a facelift under new legislation to bring back a preservation tax credit that was cut in 2011. Officials say bringing it back could cost the state up to $12 million in general fund revenue. But advocates including a Traverse City senator say it would improve towns and local economies, particularly in the north. By Stephen Olschanski. For TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, MARQUETTE, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS


COWS&WOLVES: Farmers who dump rather than bury dairy and beef cattle may be unwittingly feeding wolves — an “unintentional wildlife food subsidy” — a new study of U.P. wolf feeding habits shows. State law requires burial, but that can be expensive. Nearly a quarter of the diet of wolves consists of cattle in areas near dairy and beef farms, but that doesn’t mean the wolves prey on livestock. We talk to the lead researchers and experts at DNR and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Lucy Schroeder. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

           w/COWS&WOLVESPHOTO1: Cattle carcass dump found during a U.P. study of how people change wolf behavior. Credit: Tyler Petroelje

           w/COWS&WOLVESPHOTO2: Researchers used GPS collars to track Upper Peninsula wolves. Credit: Nate Svoboda

HURONPERCH&WALLEYE: The resurgence of Lake Huron walleye is good news for anglers and biodiversity, but maybe not such good news for yellow perch because they feature prominently on the walleyes’ menu. Fisheries researchers at the DNR, Great Lakes Research Lab in Ann Arbor and Purdue University explain their latest findings and the impact on the Saginaw Bay fishery. By Steven Maier. FOR ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, MONTMORENCY, GLADWIN AND ALL POINTS.

           w/HURONPERCH&WALLEYEPHOTO: Juvenile yellow perch. Credit: Roger Tabor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

WATERFALLSBOOK: A Cadillac photographer ‘s new book showcases 202 of Michigan’s most beautiful and easiest-to-reach waterfalls, from famous ones like Tahquamenon and Agate Falls to some that photographer Phil Stagg named himself. He’s visited all of them and says he hopes the book and photos lure other people to visit them. By Kate Habrel. FOR CADILLAC, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, BAY MILLS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

           w/WATERFALLSBOOKPHOTO1: The photo of Tahquamenon Falls that started it all. Credit: Phil Stagg

           w/WATERFALLSBOOKPHOTO2: Cover of “Waterfalls of Michigan: The Collection.” Credit: MI Falls Publishing

BLACKTERNS – The once-abundant black tern is far less abundant in Great Lakes wetlands, a victim of habitat loss, shrinking coastal wetlands, invasive plant species and fluctuating water levels. There’s a high risk that more colonies will be abandoned, according to a new study of nesting sites, including ones near Sault Ste. Marie, Manistee, Cedarville, Whitefish Point, Pointe Mouillee Marsh and Sebewaing. The number of nesting pairs dropped from 50 to 100 in recent years to 15 in 2016 and to none this year in Ogontz Bay near Escanaba. St. Clair Flats, a major nesting area where the St. Clair River hits Lake St. Clair, faces development pressure nearby. We talk to a lead scientist and Audubon experts. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, HARBOR SPRINGS, SAULT STE. MARIE, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

           w/BLACKTERNSMAP: Black tern colony sites on the U.S. Great Lakes, 1976-2009. Credit: Francesca Cuthbert and Linda Wires.

           w/BLACKTERNPHOTO: Black tern. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Nov. 21, 2017 – CNS Budget

Nov. 21, 2017 — Week 12
To: CNS Editors
From: Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Sheila Schimpf:

Editors note that if you need additional copy to fill holiday papers you may also wish to review last week’s file for stories you have not yet used.

Here is your file:

STUDENTATHLETES: Michigan high school sports officials are angered by a national report by the Korey Stringer Institute that ranks the state 41st in terms of protecting student athletes from injury. They say that Michigan loses points for not requiring athletic trainers be onsite for contact sport practices, as well as having an undeveloped athletic emergency action plan. MHSAA officials say the study tried to take a one-size-fits-all approach and ended up with a one-size-fits-nothing. By Jack Nissen. FOR  AND ALL POINTS

BALLASTWATER: Since Michigan cracked down on how ships discharge ballast water into the Great Lakes, the state’s exports via shipping have dropped, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association. Shipping advocates say they can rebuild that industry by easing Michigan regulations so that they match federal requirements. But advocates for the stricter standards say they are necessary to keep out invasive species which also have an economic cost. By Kaley Fech. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, OCEANA, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS AND ALL POINTS.

RAISETHEAGE: Experts agree that it makes sense to handle 17-year-old lawbreakers in the juvenile justice system rather than as adults the way Michigan does. It’s cheaper and there is a better chance that they won’t become repeat offenders. But making that switch is fraught with funding challenges. By Stephen Olschansky FOR LANSING CITYPULSE AND ALL POINTS


EMERGENCYCALLS: An improved emergency 911 system would allow more Michigan residents to text police if they are held hostage by an active shooter. Crime victims could text for help without alerting a burglar in the next room. And police could accurately locate crime victims who use cell phones to report when they are threatened. But lawmakers are struggling to figure out how to pay for the expansion of the new system called Next Generation 911. We talk to the bill sponsor from GRAND LEDGE, a Traverse City dispatcher and an Upper Peninsula communications official.  By Jingjing Nie. FOR CITY PULSE, TRAVERSE CITY, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

PREDICTWEATHER: A network of weather stations called flux towers atop five offshore lighthouses on Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie are helping meteorologists more accurately predict lake-effect snowstorms and other weather events. Experts say more towers are needed to give meteorologists the lake-wide measurements necessary for better forecasting. By Jacqueline Kelly. FOR ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, HOLLAND, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, LUDINGTON, OCEANA, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU & ALL POINTS.

w/PREDICTWEATHERMAP: Location of flux towers on five Great Lakes lighthouses. Credit: Lindsay Fitzpatrick

w/PREDICTWEATHERPHOTO: Stannard Rock Lighthouse with flux tower in Lake Superior. Credit: Chris Spence, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Nov. 17, 2017 – CNS Budget

Nov. 17, 2017 — Week 11

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:

Editors note that next week we are moving our package Tuesday afternoon for your use over the long Thanksgiving weekend.


Here is your file:


WOOD: A construction technique that makes wood so strong it could replace steel and concrete as building materials for skyscrapers and other large buildings could bring new markets for Michigan trees, fight climate change and produce new jobs. Michigan has the trees, but the state needs a production plant and savvy architects and builders to take advantage of the fledgling industry, experts say. By Jack Nissen. ATTENTION BUSINESS EDITORS. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, GLADWIN, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CRAWFORD COUNTY, COEANA, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS

w/WoodPhoto: Cross-laminated timber panels. Source: Open access journal Sustainability

STATESLOGANS: You must be living in a cave if you haven’t heard of Michigan’s ubiquitous “Pure Michigan” tourism slogan by now. But how about “Honest-to-Goodness” or “Find It Here” or “Pursue Your Happiness” or “When you’re having fun, we’re having fun?” These are some of the sloganized weaponry used by states in the Great Lakes region battling for many billions of dollars of tourism revenue. By Kaley Fech. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

DOGSLED: Michigan winters are going to the dogs as sled riding and racing climb in popularity. We talk to operators of dogsled riding operations throughout  the Upper and Northern Lower peninsulas.  By Carl Stoddard. FOR CADILLAC, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN, CADILLAC, CRAWFORD COUNTY, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY AND ALL POINTS.

W/ DOGSLEDPHOTO.  A sled dog team runs through the snow in Cadillac. Credit: Pure Michigan

FLEXROUTE: An experiment moving traffic on the shoulders of one of Michigan’s busiest highways could lead to similar uses elsewhere as the state highway agency seeks to save money, ease congestion and improve safety. By Stephen Olschansky. FOR ALL POINTS.

KESTRELS&CHERRIES: Research done in Leelanau County finds that nest boxes can boost breeding pairs of American kestrels — sparrowhawks — a raptor species that’s in decline. More kestrels would be good news for cherry growers because the birds, the smallest of North American falcons, feed on critters such as voles and robins that damage cherry crops. Michigan is the country’s top tart cherry producer and fourth-largest sweet cherry producer. Apple and grape crops may benefit from more kestrels, and similar research is underway for Western Michigan blueberries. We also talk to the Audubon Society and an MSU horticultural research expert. By Eric Freedman. FOR LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, OCEANA, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS.

W/ KESTRELS&CHERRIESPHOTO: American Kestrel. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

EYES:  Nelson Edwards decided to see the world. As a result, he helps the rest of the world see.  While studying optometry at Ferris State, Edwards joined Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity an organization with a mission to provide eye care in developing countries. From Haiti to Kenya, he’s been on more than three dozen humanitarian missions so far. We also talk to the advisor to the group’s student chapter at Ferris. By Casey Hull. FOR BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY, GREENVILLE, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS.

Nov. 10, 2017 – CNS Budget

Nov. 10, 2017 — Week 10

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:

Here is your file:

SNOWMOBILE:  Warm weather and a cool economy mean fewer snowmobile riders on state trails — and less money in the pockets of those who rely on them. There were 283,884 snowmobiles registered in Michigan in October, down from 2007 when there were 390,168. Lack of snow, a slow economic recovery and expensive machines have depressed numbers. Local retailers say that rentals are increasing. We  hear from a Calumet store, DNR and the Michigan Snowmobile Association. By Carl Stoddard. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY AND ALL POINTS.

w/SNOWMOBILE-TABLE: By the numbers, snowmobile registrations in Michigan

w/SNOWMOOBILE-GRAPHIC: Michigan Snowmobile Registrations

FOODFORSCHOOLS: More Michigan students can enjoy local fruits and vegetables with the expansion of a Traverse City program that supports buying them. The state program pays certain schools 10 cents a meal to buy local food. It has served 3.8 million meals and is expanding to include 32 school districts. By Jingjing Nie. FOR ALL POINTS. EDITORS NOTE: CNS SCHOOLS NOW IN THE PROGRAM INCLUDE HARBOR SPRINGS PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HOLLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, GLEN LAKE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, KALEVA NORMAN DICKSON SCHOOL DISTRICT


STORMWATER: Communitiess are looking to use more trees to act as urban umbrellas to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff expected to increase as the climate changes. When rainwater falls on impervious surfaces such as parking lots, rooftops and roads, it sweeps contaminants into lakes and rivers. A leafy strategy slows the flow and helps put some of that moisture into the air, experts say. Projects are for Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Bellaire, Kingsley, Northport, Kalkaska, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and other communities. By Kaley Fech. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.

LANDCAP: Some counties are unhappy about public land purchases and so a proposed bill would grant local governments more power when DNR buys land, while also making sure the state pays its tax bill on time. Critics say the bill restricts statewide land management decisions. Counties with more than 40 percent of state land: Crawford, Dickinson, Cheboygan, Luce, Roscommon and Kalkaska. We talk to a senator from Escanaba, U.P. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Association of Counties, DNR and Michigan Environmental Council By Jack Nissen. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CRAWFORD COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, BAY MILLS AND ALL POINTS

RECOUNT: Losers of Michigan elections would have to suffer narrow losses and pay more to qualify for a recount under legislation proposed in the wake of a Green Party challenge to the state’s presidential election. Sponsors are from Park Township and Sherman Township. The Ottawa County clerk opines. By Stephen Olschanski. FOR HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

UPBOOKS: Two new books shed light on U.P. identity and culture. One is about Yooper dialect and the other an anthology of U.P. writings, including poetry and songs. We interview the authors, one a Grand Valley State professor and the other a writer raised near Marquette. By Steven Maier. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

           w/UPPHOTO1: “Yooper Talk” cover. Credit: University of Wisconsin Press.

           w/UPPHOTO2: “And Here” cover: Credit: Michigan State University Press.

Nov. 3, 2017 – CNS Budget

Nov. 3, 2017 — Week 9
To: CNS Editors
From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:

Here is your file:

SKILLSGAP: West of Flint, homeowners have learned to schedule construction projects a year in advance because the demand for construction workers outweighs the supply. And it’s due to a shortage of skilled workers such as electricians, welders, nurse technicians and carpenters, state officials say. Recently introduced legislation would allow schools to hire licensed career-technical professionals as teachers and to expand career technical education exploration in K-12 schools. The bills by an Owosso lawmaker came from recommendations of the Career Pathways Alliance, a group of teachers, business and union leaders formed by the governor,. Not everyone thinks it is a good idea. We talk to the bill’s sponsor, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the Michigan Education Association. By Stephen Olschanski. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

NURSES: A high burnout rate caused by too many hours caring for too many patients is compounding Michigan’s shortage of nurses, advocates say. That’s not good for patient care and it could get worse. Forty percent of the state’s nurses are eligible to retire within the next 10 years. Lawmakers, including ones from Kalamazoo and Mount Pleasant, are looking at capping patient load and working hours and requiring hospitals to report nurse to patient ratios. But replenishing the nursing pipeline is complicated by a disagreement between the state’s universities and community colleges over which can provide the most cost-effective training to boost their numbers. We talk to nursing and hospital associations and the MSU Nursing College dean. By Jack Nissen. FOR GRAND  RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

WEATHERIZATION: Old Man Winter is an expensive guest in a home that has not been weatherized. But a state program can help low income families make the visit a bit warmer. Weatherization in cold states like Michigan reduces heating costs by an average of 30 percent. State officials and community agencies say a properly weatherized home could save a family $450 in a single winter. By Kaley Fech. FOR HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CADILLAC, CRAWFORD  COUNTY, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

FISCALHEALTH: The fiscal health for local governments in Michigan rebounded last year, but local officials say it still lags the state’s economic recovery, according to a recent University of Michigan study. And looking ahead, only 29 percent of local officials predict their government will be better able to meet fiscal needs next year. Another 22 percent think they will be worse off. We hear from Alcona Township and Allegan County officials,   a University of Michigan expert and Townships Association and Association of Townships officials. By Kaley Fech. FOR HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, ALCONA AND ALL POINTS.

DISABLEDHUNTERS: Lawmakers are considering allowing disabled people to hunt with an air-powered crossbow under an Iron Mountain representative’s proposal. The idea is to create more hunting experiences for hunters who cannot pull back the string of a traditional crossbow. Bur some hunting groups, including Michigan United Conservation Clubs, say it may kill too much game and that there are already plenty of programs for disabled hunters in the state. By Jack Nissen. FOR MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, ALCONA, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, BAY MILLS, MONTMORENCY, LAKE COUNTY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, HERALD-REVIEW, HOLLAND, OCEANA AND ALL POINTS

wAIRBOW.JPG: Benjamin Pioneer PCP Powered Airbow. Source: Manufacturer photo

DEMENTIAPOETRY: A new book by Hudson poet-teacher, Janet Kauffman, explores the relationship people have with the environment, based on her work as an environmental advocate and her experiences with her father’s dementia. Some poems are physically oriented, describing the joy found in the natural world, another examines environmental undercurrents in everyday life and others deal with the sense of loss brought on by dementia.


w/DEMENTIAPOETRYPHOTO1: Janet Kauffman. Credit: John Klein

w/DEMENTIAPOETRYPHOTO2: Eco-Dementia cover: Credit: Wayne State University Press

FOREIGNWASP: Call it bug wars. Entomologists at Michigan State and the University of Delaware say the samurai wasp could be the country’s best chance at beating back a stink bug — the brown marmorated stink bug — that’s invading the Great Lakes region and threatens such major Michigan crops as apples and peaches without threatening native stink bugs. For news and farming sections. By Jack Nissen. FOR GREENVILLE, TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, LEELANAU, OCEANA & ALL POINTS.

w/STINKBUGPHOTO: Brown marmorated stink bug. Credit: United States Geological Survey (USGS) Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab.

Oct. 27, 2017 – CNS Budget

Oct. 27, 2017 — Week 8

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:


Here is your file:

SUPERINTENDENTS: As the job of school superintendent gets tougher, the pool of applicants for the roughly 80 positions that open a year is increasingly inexperienced. It’s a dilemma that can be felt by teachers and students. Since 2013, the number of experienced superintendents applying for the role has fallen from 33 percent to 25 percent. At the same time, the number of applicants looking for a job as a superintendent almost doubled from 20 a year to 35. State school officials are trying to improve the situation with training and mentorship programs. We talk to superintendents in Gladwin County and elsewhere, and to the state associations of school boards and school administrators. By Jack Nissen. FOR GLADWIN AND ALL POINTS

LAGGINGKIDS: Michigan has the lowest score for overall well-being of African-American children across the nation. White children fare better but  lag behind the average of white children nationwide. The Kids Count people have things to say about what this means. The state tells us they are on track to right things in 10 years. The Michigan Education Association says the new third-grade reading program should help. We also hear from the Michigan League for Public Policy and the state Education Department. By Kaley Fech. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

FANTASYSPORTS:  Attention sports and business editors. Michigan could join 16 states in regulating fantasy sports that offer cash prizes. A key question to resolve: Do they require skill or are they simply luck-based gambling. Right now they are unregulated in Michigan — anyone can sponsor a league and anyone can play. The bills would bar anyone under 18 from playing the games and bar contests from being based on youth sports, high school sports or college sports. Sponsors are from Traverse City and East Lansing. By Stephen Olschanski. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS

BROWNFIELDS: New developments are springing up around Michigan on formerly polluted, abandoned sites, thanks to the state-funded Brownfield Redevelopment Program. Since 1992, the program has awarded $200 million in brownfield grants and loans for 350 projects, including ones in Holland, Greenville, Traverse City, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Dowagiac. Just last year, $6.1 million was awarded for 26 new projects. By Carl Stoddard. FOR GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.



EXCUSESEXCUSES: Deer firearm season is nearly here but DNR’s 212 conservation officers are busy year-round with problems such as illegal baiting, hunting and fishing without licenses, ORV and boating violations, even illegal trash dumping and public urination. Not surprisingly, some suspects lie to COs or weave bogus excuses. We draw on recent Law Enforcement Division field reports to tell such stories. Local references to the Boyne and Pere Marquette rivers, Drummond Island,  Western UP and Oceana, Marquette, Benzie, Lake, Mason, Gladwin, Charlevoix, Ottawa and Chippewa counties. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, LAKE COUNTY, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, OCEANA, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.

           w/EXCUSESEXCUSESPHOTO: A conservation officer talks to hunter in the woods. Credit: Department of Natural Resources


Oct. 20, 2017 – CNS Budget

Oct. 20, 2017 — Week 7

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:


Here is your file:


MICHWINE: The fires in California wine country have little impact on Michigan wine sales which are continuing to climb. Even if the devastation is severe in the nation’s top wine-producing region, Michigan wine producers say it could be a few years before they see any effect — if at all. Meanwhile, Michigan wine sales and grape plantings continue to rise, putting the state squarely within the nation’s top 10 wine-producing states. By Carl Stoddard. FOR LEELENAU, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS

WAGES: Community colleges are seeking wage information from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to help figure out if their programs are working and how to change them so they do. But unlike the state’s universities, they are barred by law from accessing the information that they say is helpful for them to meet the needs of students. By Jack Nissen. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS

LAKEERIE: A diverse group of Michigan organizations has formed a coalition to improve Lake Erie water quality that could be a model for fighting similar problems in Saginaw Bay and the state’s inland lakes. Farm, environmental, university, government and landscape groups are fighting unsightly algae that threatens human health. By Kaley Fech. FOR ALL POINTS

HEPATITISA – Some outstate health officials are bracing for the possible spread of hepatitis A from Detroit where there is a significant outbreak of the disease that particularly targets the homeless and drug abusers. By Stephen Olschanski. FOR ALL POINTS

SEAL: Within the next two years Michigan may offer high school graduates a chance to earn a “Biliteracy seal” to place on their diplomas. The program, already in place in 27 other states, encourages students to become fluent in a foreign language. By Jingjing Nie.  FOR ALL POINTS


CORPS: Michigan will allow governments and businesses to more easily access its volunteer Cyber Civilian Corps under legislation the governor is expected to sign this week. It will no longer require a state of emergency declaration to activate the group of computer security experts. The legislation also protects the volunteers from lawsuits if they inadvertently cause problems. By Jingjing Nie. ATTENTION BUSINESS EDITORS. FOR ALL POINTS.

CYCLINGPROF: A professor bicycled around each of the Great Lakes to write a book that shows how central they are to the nation’s history. Thomas Shevory’s “The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour” takes readers on a cruise through friendly towns in Michigan’s Thumb and by steel plants in Sault Ste Marie while relating such stories as how trappers drove the country’s colonial economy. By Jacqueline Kelly. FOR ALL POINTS

W/SHEVORY PHOTO Thomas Shevory and


Oct. 13, 2017 – CNS Budget

Oct. 13, 2017 — Week 6

To: CNS Editors

From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Dave Poulson:;

Here is your file:

USEDCARS: Attention business editors. Sales of used cars and trucks in Michigan are rising, thanks in part to more vehicles coming off leases. They’ve been increasing for the past five years and show no signs of slowing. Unlike other states, Michigan sales of new and used vehicles tend to be less cyclical. We talk to dealers in Traverse City and Cheboygan and an executive with the East Lansing-based Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. By Carl Stoddard. FOR CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS

CRANE: Some lawmakers want to reverse 100 years of conservation and allow hunting of Michigan’s sandhill cranes. The move comes as hundreds of the 5-feet tall birds are expected to land at the  annual CraneFest on Big Marsh Lake in Bellevue. A Cedar Lake representative recently introduced a resolution asking the Natural Resources Commission, whose chair is from Marenisco, to add them — with a 6- to 7-foot wingspan — to a list of  game species, and to seek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval for a hunting season. Cosponsors include legislators from Hudsonville, Grant, Manton, Walker, Clare and Lake City. Bill passed committee. Supporters say that the birds damage crops, particularly freshly planted corn. Conservationists say the birds still require protection. By Jingjing Nie. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, STURGIS, THREE RIVER, GLADWIN, OCEANA, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD-REVIEW AND ALL POINTS

W/CRANEPHOTO: Sandhill cranes can grow up to 5 feet tallwith a wingspan of up to 7 feet. Credit:

ORANGESNOW: A Plainwell company is turning orange traffic barrels into surfaces to ski on. It gives ski resorts, including Caberfae, Crystal Mountain and Caberfae, a jump on the season, and homeowners could also establish a small hill in their backyards. But don’t count on it as a hedge against global warming. By Stephen Olschanski, FOR CADILLAC, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

w/ORANGESNOWPHOTO1: A Plainwell company, mSnow, is turning orange traffic barrels into artificial skiing surfaces for use in backyards and ski resorts. Credit: mSnow

and ORANGESNOW PHOTO2: A Plainwell company, mSnow, is turning orange traffic barrels into artificial skiing surfaces for use in backyards and ski resorts. Credit: mSnow

NOSTRICTER: For the third time in six years,lawmakers are trying to prevent state agencies from creating rules tougher than federal regulations. They back a bill that would allow only the Legislature to do that, unless there are exceptional circumstances. It would apply to rules that regulate things as diverse as business, pollution, manufacturing. Supporters say stricter rules put Michigan companies at an economic disadvantage. Critics say federal rules should be minimum requirements and states should be able to approve stricter regulations. We hear from Midland and Rockford senators. By Kaley Fech. FOR ALCONA, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS

MEDICAIDLEAD: Michigan received $24.8 million in Medicaid funding to abate lead- contaminated buildings last January, the first state  to tap that source for lead cleanup. But a lack of contractors, awareness and reluctance to fill out paperwork has made it difficult to put those dollars to work. That has an impact in West Michigan, not just Flint. By Jack Nissen. FOR LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, BIG RAPIDS, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

GREENFRAUD: A fraudulent green energy scheme in Detroit cheated Chinese investors of $4,475,000, according to a federal indictment and Securities and Exchange Commission suit against the project promotor. He promised an eco-friendly “green energy” waste processing facility to recycle paper, process other waste and produce synthetic fuel. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. refused to authorize tax-exempt bonds for the project. Much of the money went to personal items such as Green Bay Packers tickets, his wife’s dental work and an $89,000 Cadillac. Investors who put in $500,000 each expected to qualify for U.S. visas. By Eric Freedman. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.

Oct. 6, 2017 – CNS Budget

Oct. 6, 2017 — Week 5

To: CNS Editors

From: Perry Parks and Andi Brancato

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841 or

For other matters, contact Perry Parks:


MICHIGAN JOURNALISM HALL OF  FAME: Nominations are open and due by Jan. 22, 2018. The induction ceremony is scheduled for April 15. For details on how to submit nominations, go to

Here is your file:

LIQUORRULE: Some state officials want to eliminate a restriction that keeps liquor stores at least a half mile apart. They say it stifles competition. But opponents say it helps limit the number of stores in a particular area and protects small operators from getting squeezed out of business. A bill is moving through the Senate to keep the restriction in place. We hear from Grand Ledge and Wayland senators and Traverse City and Holland retailers. By Kaley Fech. FOR HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY LIMITS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS

MENTALHEALTH: Up to 64 percent of county jail inmates in Michigan have some form of mental illness. That has police scrambling to increase training to learn how to handle people who should be in mental hospitals instead of behind bars. Advocates say cooperation among agencies is at an all-time high. We hear from and about law enforcement and mental health experts in Oakland, Cheboygan and Kalamazoo counties, Clinton-Eaton-Ingham counties, AuSable Valley and Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, as well as the ACLU and Sheriffs’ Association. By Jack Nissen. FOR CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPIDSBUSINESS, METRO TIMES, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

XMASTREES: While warm weather hangs on, Michigan Christmas tree growers are readying for another strong year of sales. Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying about 1.7 million fresh trees to the national market each year. We talk to growers from Mason and Manton, as well as the state and national growers’ associations. By Carl Stoddard. FOR CADILLAC, TRAVERSE CITY, CRAWFORD COUNTY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LUDINGTON, LAKE COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, GLADWIN, MONTMORENCY, PETOSKEY, MANISTEE, BIG RAPICS, HERALD-REVIEW AND ALL POINTS

W/XMASTREEPHOTO: The Windy Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Thetford Township, north of Flint, is one of many tree farms in Michigan. The state is the third-largest Christmas tree producer in the country, after Oregon and North Carolina. Credit: Carl Stoddard

CLEANUPCRITERIA: Emergency rules for how much of a hazardous solvent can be left in contaminated  groundwater are set to expire Oct. 27. But the Department of Environmental Quality is proposing a new limit for the chemical responsible for a high-profile groundwater contamination west of Ann Arbor. Other affected sites are in Oshtemo and Metamora townships. The change may be the first among a series of revisions to cleanup criteria for up to 300 other chemicals. We also hear from the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Petroleum Association and a Wayland senator. By Kaley Fech. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, METRO TIMES AND ALL POINTS

ENROLLMENT  — Public school enrollment in Michigan will decline by more than 5 percent by 2025, according to one projection. It is one of only nine states facing that fate. That means even less revenue for struggling schools, whose expenses don’t drop in proportion to lower student counts. Officials say not enough young people are staying and having children in Michigan. We hear from an Allegan Schools official. By Jack Nissen. FOR HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS& ALL POINTS

FARMRUNOFF: Federal officials are launching a two-year study to determine the best ways to convince farmers in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region to help fight water pollution. The pollution has created conditions ripe for excessive algal blooms that perennially appear in Lake Erie and other lakes and bays and threaten water quality. The culprit: nutrient-laden runoff, much of which comes from farmland. We learn about the Saginaw River Watershed and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. By Steven Maier. FOR GLADWIN, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, OCEANA, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

LYNX: It’s scientifically feasible for the National Park Service to reintroduce the Canada lynx onto Isle Royale after the predator’s disappearance eight decades ago, according to a new study. The island has a sufficient supply of the lynx’s favorite food, snowshoe hares, to support a population of about 30 lynx. They’d probably be imported from Ontario. Meanwhile, the Park Service is expected to decide the controversial issue of whether to bring more wolves to the island to replenish that animal’s population late this fall or early this winter. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

           w/LYNXPHOTO: Canada lynx. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service