March 1, 2013 CNS Budget

March 1, 2013 – Week 7

To: CNS Editors

From: Eric Freedman For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Alyssa Firth (; (248) 635-2398.

All articles ©2013, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.

SPRING BREAK AHEAD: Because of MSU’s spring break, there will be no file next Friday, March 8.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY FURTHER AHEAD: On Monday, March 11, your correspondents will interview Dan Wyant, director of the Department of Environmental Quality. Possible topics include environmental enforcement, brownfield cleanup and fracking.

MORE INFORMATION FOR EDITORS: In response to comments from our editors, we are now adding web addresses for documents referred to (studies, bills etc.) at the end of our stories. CNS editors can go directly to the documents for additional information or to add hyperlinks to stories you post on your website. We’ll see how this experiment works. An alternative would be to include web links with the budget lines rather than at the end of the stories.


POACHING&TRESPASSING: Lawmakers from Evart, St. Joseph, Traverse City, St. Clair Township and Escanaba want tougher penalties for trespassing hunters and for poachers who bag big bucks. We hear from Saline and Cadillac hunting club leaders, DNR and MUCC. For news and outdoors pages. By Kyle Campbell. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, TRAVERSE CITY, BLISSFIELD, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CRAWFORD COUNTY, LAPEER, BROWN CITY, GLADWIN, PETOSKEY, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, SOUTH BEND, ST. IGNACE, ALPENA, LAKE COUNTY, STAR HERALD & ALL POINTS.

MICHIGANDRONES: Northwestern Michigan College has the federal OK to fly drones, while U of M is reapplying after its FAA authorization expired. The Montcalm County sheriff said drones could help law enforcement agencies, although his department can’t afford them. An Ann Arbor company makes them, the ACLU in Detroit has privacy concerns and a Rochester Hills lawmaker is looking into the issue. By Michael Gerstein. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, GREENVILLE, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, LANSING & ALL POINTS.

CROSSBOWS: Easing of restrictions has boosted the number of crossbow hunters during deer archery season, even as the overall number of hunters dropped in the state. We talk to DNR and a leader of the Bow Hunters Association district covering Alpena, Antrim, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet, Montmorency, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. For news and outdoors pages. By Celeste Bott. FOR CADILLAC, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY, GREENVILLE, LAPEER, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, LAKE COUNTY, STAR REVIEW, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS, BLISSFIELD, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.

HEALTHCAREDEMAND: Michigan’s public universities are pumping out twice as many bachelor’s degrees in health fields as eight years ago, but there’s a severe shortage of qualified applicants for jobs, especially nurses. We hear from the Michigan Health Council, Forest View Psychiatric Hospital, Spectrum Health and Health & Hospital Association. Lawmakers, including ones from Grand Rapids, Montague, Ann Arbor and Muskegon, want all hospitals to implement staffing plans. Cortney Erndt. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.

w/HEALTHCAREDEMANDGRAPHIC: Number of Michigan licensed professionals in a variety of health fields. Credit: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

COLLEGEDEGREEWORTH: A national study says people with four-year degrees fared better economically during the recession than less-educated counterparts, an argument that business leaders and the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, use in seeking an extra $100 million a year in state aid. We hear from the Grand Valley provost and a Kalamazoo lawmaker. A Stevensville lawmaker proposes such funding conditioned on universities not trying to get around the right-to-work law. But a Mackinac Center researcher questions the study’s conclusion. By Justine McGuire. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, MARQUETTE, BIG RAPIDS, ROYAL OAK, ST. IGNACE, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.

COLLEGEDEGREEWORTHGRAPHIC1: Average 2011 income by education level. Credit: Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan

COLLEGEDEGREEWORTHGRAPHIC2: 2012 unemployment rate by education level. Credit: Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

HOSPITALRANKINGS: Eight Michigan hospitals in Grayling, Holland, Southfield Greenville, St. Joseph, Troy and Ann Arbor made the roster of the top 100 hospitals in the nation. By Celeste Bott. FOR CRAWFORD COUNTY, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, SOUTH BEND, DEADLINEDETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.

w/HOSPITALRANKINGSTABLE: Michigan hospitals ranked among the nation’s 100 best. Credit: Truven Health Care Analytics.

SEXTRAFFICKING: Senators want tougher penalties for sex traffickers and their patrons. Wayne State and Human Trafficking Task Force efforts say there are serious underlying social programs. Attorney General announces arrests in Southfield. Sponsors include lawmakers from Sheridan, Harrison Township, Olive Township, Hart, Detroit and Grand Ledge. By Michael Gerstein. FOR GREENVILLE, ROYAL OAK, ALPENA, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, SOUTH BEND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, DEADLINE DETROIT, MACOMB, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.

AUTONOMOUSCARS: A bill would authorize testing of driverless vehicles on Michigan roads, a step the governor endorses to boost the state’s auto industry, Sponsors include senators from White Lake, Sheridan, Olive Township, Warren, Detroit and Hart. We talk to MDOT and an Ann Arbor manufacturer. For news and auto pages. By Michael Gerstein. FOR ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, MANISTEE, GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, DEADLINEDETROIT & ALL POINTS.

YOGURT: The state might get a yogurt plant that exclusively uses milk, fruit and sugar grown or produced in Michigan, but government officials and commodity groups are secretive about details. There’s a major yogurt plant now in Reed City. We hear from the Farm Bureau, Michigan Sugar Co. and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Edith Zhou. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, LAPEER, BROWN CITY, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD REVIEW, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.



Should driverless cars get the green light?


Capital News Service

LANSING – This isn’t the remote controlled car you played with as a kid.

Companies across the state are in the process of unveiling cars that drive themselves, while a bill that would allow testing driverless vehicles revs through the Legislature.

If passed, it would open the roads to companies like Google and General Motors – and smaller Michigan-based firms – to try their shiny new toys on the road.

Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is sponsoring the bill, which is in the Transportation Committee. Cosponsors include Sens. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart; Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; Morris Hood, D-Detroit; Steven Bieda, D-Warren; and Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Township. Continue reading

Push on to toughen sex trafficking laws


Capital News Service

LANSING – In the midst of what experts call the second-fastest growing criminal industry in the world after drug trafficking, some legislators are pushing for tougher punishment for sex traffickers.

The new legislation would ensure that defendants convicted of coercing children ages 16 and 17 into prostitution are more stiffly punished, said Senate sponsor Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan.

Sex trafficking is widely considered a form of modern-day slavery.
Continue reading

New yogurt plant may be in the works


Capital News Service

LANSING – With its dairy industry and a wide variety of fruits and sugar produced in the state, Michigan has become one of the best choices for yogurt companies to expand their businesses in, advocates say.

According to Heather Throne of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with more than 2,000 dairy farms, Michigan is the 8th largest milk producer in the nation, and the industry provides a $14.7 billion economic impact to the state.

Throne said Michigan has the edge for new and expanded milk processing because of its plentiful supply of high-quality milk and other ingredients, including sugar and fruits. It also has easy access to consumer markets.
Continue reading

Michigan hospitals score big in national rankings


Capital News Service

LANSING – Eight Michigan hospitals were ranked among the top 100 in the nation, based on new a study, including ones in Grayling, Holland, Southfield and Greenville.

Truven Health Care Analytics, the company that conducted the study, analyzes nationwide Medicare data in an effort to improve health care.

Jean Chenoweth, Truven’s senior vice president, said the list is intended to recognize health care facilities that best serve their local communities.
Continue reading

College degrees pay off, new study shows


Capital News Service

LANSING – A four-year college degree is still worth paying for – even during recession years, a recent study shows.

The Pew Charitable Trust concluded that during the recession, recent college grads had a lower unemployment rate than their counterparts with only high school diplomas or associate’s degrees, and the reason was largely not because they took pay cuts or accepted jobs they were overqualified for.

“It’s indisputable that a full college education puts people at a better economic standing,” said Rep. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, a member of the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
Continue reading

Poachers, trespassing hunters could face higher fines


Capital News Service

LANSING — Deer poachers might soon be paying big bucks for illegally killing big bucks in the Great Lakes State.

A pair of bills in the Senate aim to deter hunters from trespassing on farmland, as well as increasing penalties for poachers who target large-antlered deer by tacking on additional restitution fees.

Ypsilanti resident Jim Pryce, president of the Tri County Sportsmen’s League in Saline, authored a resolution for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) that inspired the legislation.
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Drones in Michigan skies raise hopes, concerns


Capital News Service

LANSING – Amid a roiling national debate about U.S. military-targeted drone strikes abroad and privacy concerns at home, some higher education institutions in Michigan are seeking authorization to fly their own unmanned aircraft for testing and research.

Public entities like universities and police departments need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use unmanned aircraft outside of a lab, even when flying under 400 feet.

Among them are the University of Michigan and Northwestern Michigan College.

Continue reading

Crossbows gain popularity with Michigan deer hunters


Capital News Service

LANSING – The number of deer hunters using crossbows has doubled since 2009, according to a survey by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The survey indicated that while the overall number of hunters in the state have declined, the method of crossbow hunting is growing in popularity.

In 2011, about 74,120 hunters used crossbows in the deer archery season. In 2012, the number grew to 88, 565.

The rapid growth is attributed in part to the loosening regulations over the past three years.
Continue reading

Despite more grads, health care providers struggle to fill jobs


Capital News Service

LANSING – Health care providers are having trouble hiring although undergraduate degrees in health fields have doubled over the past eight years at the state’s 15 public universities.

In fact, there’s not only a strong demand for health professionals across the state, but nationally, said Michigan Health Council President Anne Rosewarne.

“We are very sure that there is some shortage,” Rosewarne said.

Although there are more than 4,000 health care bachelor degrees earned each year at Michigan’s public universities, qualified candidates remain in demand, Rosewarne said.
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