Behind many great beers is a Great Lake

By CAMERON VREDEVELD

Capital News Service

LANSING — The Great Lakes basin supplies breweries with some of the freshest water in the country.
But if brewers like what they taste, some experts suggest they make some changes in how they use that water.

“You can’t brew great beer without great water,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder of Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids.

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Rochester Mills Brewery in Rochester celebrates the region’s “glacial gift” of water on its beer label. Credit: Ben Poulson.


Engbers was a featured speaker at a recent Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference in Grand Rapids. Beer scientists, crafters and experts from as far as Alaska gathered for a three-day conference to discuss water sustainability.
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Refugees increase, face education, language hurdles

By KATIE AMANN

Capital News Service

LANSING — The world has a growing number of displaced people driven from their homes because of conflict, more than ever before, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. For the 86 percent of them in developing countries, that means increasingly limited access to quality education.

“Education is vital in restoring hope and dignity to young people driven from their homes,” the agency said.

But even refugees living in Michigan may face serious obstacles in obtaining education, experts say.
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Electric companies use more smart meters

By NYLA HUGHES

Capital News Service

LANSING — Utility companies across Michigan are using digital smart-grid meters to locate power outages, resolve power problems and gather more accurate readings.

The meters at homes and businesses are connected by a cellular power line to the utilities. The utilities can signal a meter for information and it will send data back.

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Smart meters: Credit: Consumers Energy


But the meters aren’t without controversy.
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Sonar mapping shipwrecks now hunt trout habitat

By KEVIN DUFFY

Capital News Service

LANSING – Maritime archaeologists are swapping shipwreck surveys for lake trout mapping in Lake Huron.
And they’re using sound waves to do it.

“Consider it double-dipping. The sonar on research vessels could map an area of interest for shipwrecks while also helping out some biologists,” said Russ Green, program coordinator at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena.

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A Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary diver deploys fish egg traps on experimental reefs in Lake Huron. Credit: NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


The biologists say they want to use the results in lake-wide rehabilitation of trout habitat.
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Computer can predict which way smoke goes

By NYLA HUGHES

Capital News Service

LASNING — A team of researchers has developed a way to predict which way smoke will drift away from low-intensity forest fires.

Researchers at Michigan State University and the U.S Forest Service developed the system to help fire managers control prescribed fires. These fires are used to manage vegetation and fuel, said Warren Heilman, a research meteorologist for the Forest Service based in East Lansing.

“If there is a lot of flammable vegetation on the ground, the surface can catch on fire from lightning,” said Heilman.
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