Grants aim to spruce up Michigan county fairgrounds

Capital News Service

LANSING — Julia Arian had to look hard to find great food the last time she visited a county fair.

“There was only one dingy shelter that had a line that stretched out of the door serving food,” said Arian, a longtime fair enthusiast from Lansing.

“The shelter was not appealing at all.”

But the length of the line prompted her to try the food, “which ended up being fantastic!” she said.

Continue reading

Federal grant aids seniors’ transportation


Capital News Service

LANSING – Seniors will be one step closer to independence with the help of a $1 million federal grant to assist them in getting to doctors’ appointments.

U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, announced that a grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation would allow more access to transportation to and from physician visits, appointments and other tasks. The grant would assist non-emergency transportation services that use buses or vans to accommodate seniors.

MDOT sponsored a grant application from the Michigan Transportation Connection, a statewide nonprofit, under a federal program called Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility.

“We were the supporters of the grant for the Michigan Transportation Connection. But the Michigan Transportation Connection will implement the structure of the Rides to Wellness programs,” said Tim Fischer, director of communications for MDOT Continue reading

Animal shelter grants awarded

Capital News Service

LANSING – About $135,000 in funds donated by taxpayers who ticked a box on their state income tax forms will go to 23 registered animal shelters throughout the state.

The Animal Welfare Fund grants range from $175 to $10,000, and many will be used for spay and neuter programs, staff education and to cover the cost of housing animals involved in legal cases, according to Jennifer Holton, a communications representative for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

But, she said, some of the money will go to innovative programs that teach children how to take care of animals.

Grants for three such programs will finance public education on pet care on local television, a visit to a school with shelter pets to talk about animal care and a virtual fostering program that allows a classroom to follow the course of a shelter pet’s experience.

Gladwin County Animal Shelter in Beaverton will get $10,000, its first grant from the Animal Welfare Fund, said Krystal Moore, one of its officers. It will use the money for spay and neuter programs, mostly for cats, she said.

“We take in more cats,” she said, “and dogs are more adoptable. “

The idea is to spay or neuter the cat before putting it up for adoption, making it more attractive to some, she said.

But the $10,000 won’t last the year, she said. “We’ll run out.”

The same is true at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter in Stanton, according to Director Angela Hollinshead. The shelter will also get its first Animal Welfare Fund grant — $8,800.

It will pay for spaying and neutering 80 canines and 80 cats, she said. It will last four to six months.

The fund has provided tax check-off grants since 2010 totaling $967,000, according to the state. Shelters submitted 68 applications asking for $580,000.

Holton said all the money is distributed to shelters every year.
Some shelters winning grants:

• Capital Area Humane Society–$5,116
• Chippewa County Animal Control Shelter–$2,000
• Gladwin County Animal Shelter–$10,000
• Ionia County Animal Shelter– $6,750
• Montcalm County Animal Shelter– $8,800
• St. Joseph County Animal Shelter –$175
• Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Society –$2,100.

For more information on grants, go to

State grants give vets more counselors, faster service

Capital News Service

LANSING – Almost $200,000 in state money is on its way to veterans’ services offices in 19 counties, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency said.

Another $50,000 could be awarded before the year ends, part of a $250,000 allocation from theLegislature, according to the veterans affairs agency.

Most of the county offices will use the grants for new technology and to hire more counselors. Wexford County will establish a new office.
Continue reading

Water quality testing limited to few beaches


Capital News Service

Michigan received $152,000 in federal grants for 2014 to monitor the cleanliness of its lakes and beaches.

Many beaches in Michigan will not be monitored with federal funds this summer. (Photo: USGS)

Many beaches in Michigan will not be monitored with federal funds this summer. (Photo: USGS)

That’s more than $200,000 less than the state was allotted in 2013, according to Department of Environmental Quality toxicologist Shannon Briggs.

And state lawmakers have already spoken for nearly two-thirds of this year’s money by allocating $100,000 of it to the Macomb County Health Department in southeast Michigan.

“We had a re-direct of $100,000 of that $150,000,” said Brad Wurfel, communications director for the Department of Environmental Quality. “It is done.”

Continue reading

Health centers receive cancer screening grants


Capital News Service

LANSING – Twenty-two community health centers are receiving federal grants to improve quality of care, especially for reproductive cancer screenings for women.

The Michigan centers are among 810 nationwide to receive grants funded by the Affordable Care Act.

Facilities receiving $55,000 grants include Cherry Street Services in Grand Rapids; the Ingham County Health Department in Lansing; Center for Family Health in Jackson; Upper Peninsula Association of Rural Health Services Inc. in Marquette; and Detroit Community Health Connection.
Continue reading

State promotes spaying, neutering of pets


Capital News Service

LANSING — Grants to support spaying and neutering in Michigan shelters will help save animal lives, experts say.

Steve Hall, the director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter, received $9,173 from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to allow his shelter to pay for more work time from its veterinarian.

“That would allow us to spay or neuter an additional 312 animals, and that is 312 animals that would otherwise be euthanized,” Hall said. Continue reading