March 16, 2012 – Week 8
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
All articles ©2012, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
MICHIGAN JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME: The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame will induct Nolan Finley, Diana Lewis, Dwayne X. Riley, Joe Swickard and Bill Thomas on Sunday, April 22, at MSU’s Kellogg Center. Philip H. Power will receive a special recognition award. For information and reservations call 517-353-6430 or see
WELCOME CRAWFORD COUNTY AVALANCHE: We’re pleased to welcome the Crawford County Avalanche as the newest CNS member.
IN-DEPTH WEEK AHEAD: Our second in-depth file of the semester will be next Friday, March 23.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
NATURALGAS: Lower natural gas prices could spur Michigan producers to drill less, industry experts say. Reasons include a growing supply and the warmer-than-usual winter. We hear from a Traverse City energy company, the state Oil and Gas Association and MSU experts. By Jennifer Chen. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, CLARE, GLADWIN, CADILLAC, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, BIG RAPIDS, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
FIRESAFETY: Cost and lack of knowledge are largely responsible for a lack of working home smoke detectors, increasing the risk of serious injuries and deaths. The state fire marshal, a Jackson landlord and fire officials in Three Rivers, Traverse City, Grand Rapids and Jackson discuss the problem By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, SOUTH BEND, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, JACKSON, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
MENTALHEALTHCOURTS: The governor wants to spend more money on mental health courts, including a new one in Saginaw County, to reduce the number of mentally ill criminals sent to prison. The money would expand a pilot program operating in Grand Traverse, Jackson, Berrien, Genesee, Wayne, Oakland, St. Clair and Livingston counties. A U of M study says 20 -25 percent of inmates have severe psychiatric problems. By Jon Gaskell. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ANN ARBOR, JACKSON, LANSING, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS.
PRISONPATROLS: The union representing corrections officers says the Snyder administration’s plan to eliminate round-the-clock patrols outside prisons could endanger staff, inmates and the public. The Corrections director says new technology can provide enough security and save the state $13 to $15 million a year. Protestors included officers from prisons in Jackson, New Haven, Adrian, Detroit and Eastlake. By Wei Yu. FOR MARQUETTE, LAPEER, JACKSON, MACOMB, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, BLISSFIELD, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, ROYAL OAK, GREENVILLE & ALL POINTS.
w/PRISONPATROLSPHOTO: Corrections officers picket Department of Corrections headquarters to protest elimination of round-the-clock prison exterior patrols. Credit: Wei Yu, Capital News Service.
ANIMALSHELTERS: Voluntary tax return check-offs have generated another $134,000 for pet spaying and neutering services across the state. Shelter officials in Jackson, Traverse City and Livingston County tell how they’ll use the money. Other recipients include facilities in Grayling, South Haven, Atlanta, Ionia, Jackson, Oxford, Muskegon, Columbiaville, Otsego and Prudenville. By Patrick Lyons. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, JACKSON, LANSING, ALPENA, GREENVILLE, GRAYLING, LUDINGTON, ROYAL OAK, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
w/ANIMALSHELTERSGRAPHIC: Table of grants to local animal shelters and public agencies.
ENERGYSTANDARDS: An Onekama lawmaker wants to repeal the state’s energy standard that requires 10 percent of electricity to be renewable by 2015, while an environmental coalition wants the standard raised to 25 percent. We hear from municipal utility agencies in Marquette and Zeeland. Co-sponsors include lawmakers from Caledonia, Brown City, Ray Township and Newaygo. By Patrick Howard. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, BROWN CITY, MACOMB, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, CADILLAC, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
WETLANDS: New $1 million federal grants will protect wetlands and migratory bird habitat in the Saginaw Bay area, Southeast Michigan and the West Michigan coast. The projects are partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited and organizations such as the Michigan Nature Association and Nature Conservancy. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, BLISSFIELD, MANISTEE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, JACKSON, SOUTH BEND, BROWN CITY, ANN ARBOR, GLADWIN & ALL POINTS.
MERCURYBIRDS: Scientists are finding more Great Lakes birds, especially songbirds, with elevated mercury levels. Aquatic species such as loons and swans remain at greatest risk., say experts at DNR, a loon research group in Hancock and a national biodiversity institute. By Sam Inglot. FOR MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, ALPENA, CADILLAC, GRAYLING, CLARE, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY & ALL POINTS.
MERCURYBIRDSGRAPHIC: Species vary in their sensitivity to mercury. Credit: Biodiversity Research Institute.
WHITEPINE: The population of Michigan’s state tree has dropped drastically during the past two centuries. Forest ecologists explain how that loss threatens forestry diversity, vital habitats and one of the region’s most beneficial trees. Ecologists are trying to repopulate the white pine despite significant hurdles. By Erica Hamling: FOR CADILLAC, ALPENA, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, HARBOR SPRINGS, CLARE, GLADWIN, BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, CHEBOYGAN, LAPEER, GRAYLING, BROWN CITY & ALL POINTS.
w/WHITEPINEPHOTO: Old-growth white pines form a supercanopy, rising 32 to 50 feet above the general hardwood canopy. Credit: Robert Fahey, Morton Arboretum.
ABSENTEEOWNERS: Landowners in Michigan increasingly don’t live on the property they own, making it difficult for conservation officials to reach them and teach them about stewardship. Foresters and conservation experts say the situation is more about who cares than who’s there — but recent research shows that caring isn’t always enough. Michigan Forest Association and other experts explain. By Brian Bienkowski. FOR MARQUETTE, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, GLADWIN, CLARE, ALPENA, GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING, GRAYLING & ALL POINTS.