Corn yield higher as temperatures warm

Capital News Service

LANSING – A changing climate has contributed to higher maize yields in Michigan and other Corn Belt states, a new study has found. It attributes more than one-quarter – 28 percent – of the region’s higher crop yield since 1981 to trends toward overall warmer conditions, cooling of the hottest growing-season temperatures and farmers’ climate-related earlier planting and choice of longer-maturing varieties. The climate trend accounts for 15 percent of the total yield gain, said lead author Ethan Butler of the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources. Maize is “an important food, feed and fuel crop in the Midwest that is both highly productive and strongly influenced by temperature,” according to the study. It includes corn used as grain for processed food, sweeteners and alcohol, animal feed and ethanol but not sweet corn.

Farm Bill threatens food supply for low-income veterans

Capital News Service

LANSING — Veterans using food stamps in Michigan may lose them under the proposed federal Farm Bill, experts say. The legislation, renewed every 5 years, regulates national forestry, agriculture and nutrition policy — including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps. The most recent version of the Farm Bill expired in September. Congress is set to take up the update soon. Under the proposed updated work requirements, some veterans who use food stamps would not qualify for them, said Julie Cassidy, a senior policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Millennials pine for real trees

Capital News Service

LANSING — Michigan produces the third most Christmas trees in the nation and no state grows more varieties, according to tree experts. “Any farm here in Michigan may produce eight to 10 different types of trees,” said Bert Cregg, an associate professor in Michigan State University’s Departments of Horticulture and Forestry. That’s good for Michigan growers as more and more millennials opt for real Christmas trees, growers say. “Young people that want to have that wholesome experience of looking for a tree are moving towards real Christmas trees,” said Amy Start, the executive director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association based in Durand. Tree farmer Mel Koelling also has noticed a growing number of younger people out on his Mason farm looking for that perfect tree.

Bringing Lansing to eBay

With the help of online shopping, people from all over the world are able to shop and help support businesses. Now, people from all over the world can shop and help support businesses in the greater Lansing area through eBay. It’s all part of eBay’s Retail Revival program where Lansing entrepreneurs and small business owners get the opportunity to sell their merchandise and goods online. “I’ve sold things just from my website to people across the country, but it’s me promoting it, but it’s nice to have eBay on my side and to help me promote my stuff as well,” said Cori Thackery, Owner of Sweetlees Boutique. Thackery wanted to be a part of the program because she says eBay is a platform she has never really sold on before and she thought she would reach a whole new customer base.

WATCH: Coverage on President Bush’s funeral, Amazon explosion and more

This week on the Spartan News Update: Former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral was today with over 3,000 people in attendance. Additionally, Amazon has a bear repellant fall and explode leaving 54 people injured. In more positive news, the Meridian Township Fire Department found a new way to recover patients from cardiac arrests. Please watch for more information.

Smartphone gambling–even on college sports–under review by state

Capital News Service

LANSING — A trio of bills that would legalize and regulate online gambling from a smartphone or computer is awaiting a vote in the Senate before year’s end.  

If the Senate approves, the state’s three commercial casinos and 24 tribal casinos could set up online platforms for players to gamble through. That includes sports betting, poker, blackjack and any online version of games offered at the casinos. Michiganders would be able to gamble on college and even high school sports, if a casino chooses. Supporters say it could boost state revenues.

Cherry growers happy to see new tariff on Turkish cherries

Capital News Service

LANSING — After years of battling what they see as unfair trade practices, Michigan’s tart cherry growers got a win last month. President Donald Trump revoked Turkey’s duty-free status for cherry juice, which means there is now a tariff on juice imported from Turkey. “We were very happy that the Trump administration had signed an order revoking Turkey’s duty-free status on tart cherries,” said Ben LaCross, a second-generation cherry farmer from Cedar in Leelanau County. In recent years, the state’s growers had trouble competing with cheap imports from other countries, especially Turkey. “That’s been a big issue for us,” LaCross said.

WATCH: Stormy Daniels Comes to Lansing, General Motors cutbacks and more headlines

Stormy Daniels is coming to Lansing for one night only at a Night Club. Dunkin has had its DD rewards memberships get hacked and some information has been stolen. Spongebob Squarepants creator and animator Steven Hillenburg has passed away. Washington Redskins claim a new player but he comes with attached difficulties. General motors is closing down several factories in Michigan, Ohio, and Maryland.

MSU junior creates clothing to reduce waste

Does a garment have to be just a garment or a platform for multiple garments? For Timosha Krivtsov, a junior in the department of Apparel and Textile Design, the answer is the latter. After discovering that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, Krivtsov embarked on a journey to create a new recipe for clothing, one that would reduce fabric waste and harm the environment less. He found that a lot of the same silhouettes are used recurrently. “For instance, a hoodie and a crew-neck are essentially the same thing, but a crew-neck just doesn’t have a kangaroo pocket and a hood,” he said.

Haslett teachers demonstrate the advantage of technology in the classroom


When Christopher Luea, a middle school Spanish and robotics instructor, teaches a lesson, a robotic device, called a SWIVL, records him while rotating to follow his movements. “Our Spanish language instructional theory is based heavily on comprehensible input and focused immersion,” he said. “Therefore, when students are absent or would do well to revisit lessons, these recordings offer a high-quality audio and video recording for them.”

During a Haslett School Board Meeting on Nov. 12, teachers from Haslett Middle School and Haslett High School showcased how they are incorporating modern technology into the classroom. Chelsea Pennington, a high school math teacher, records her algebra outlines using a different kind of device.