Michigan schools may soon be required to test water for lead

Michigan lawmakers may soon require schools and other facilities to regularly test their water for lead and other harmful contaminants. The House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on a series of proposed bills that would require yearly testing at both public and private schools, including colleges and universities, child care centers, hospitals and veteran centers. House Bills 4120, 4372 and 4378 each focus on specific areas of education. All three bills have sat in the House for over a year, some going back as far as January 31, 2017.  Recently, there has been an increase in the support of the bills from both sides of the aisle. Committee Chairman Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, voiced his support for the bills, and added that he can’t imagine there will be much resistance.

Meridian Township helps those in need

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12 percent of Meridian Township residents are living below the poverty level. For those who are struggling, Meridian Township has many resources and programs for families in need. One is Meridian Cares. Darla Jackson is a human services specialist for the Meridian Cares program. Jackson helps families with finding shelter, covering utilities, rent to avoid eviction and even help with medications and furniture.

In Williamston, running a business, being a mother is a juggling act

The house at 5108 Barton Road in Williamston looks like any other house. There are trees out front, a few cars parked in the driveway and a garage door wide open, giving people a glimpse of the backyard. All seems normal until the sound of dogs, chickens and alpacas fill the air. Yes, alpacas. In the backyard of this home lies Circle 6 Alpacas, a fiber production farm that houses 30 alpacas, one goat, three horses, two dogs, five cats and 10 chickens.

Calls for national cattle tracking system follow Michigan’s success

By CRYSTAL CHEN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan was the first state to implement a mandatory cattle traceability program. Michigan was prompted in 2007 by an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis to better track beef and dairy cattle from the farm to the consumer. All Michigan cattle must be identified with radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags before they are moved. The tags are scanned by readers when they leave a farm or go to a slaughter house. A state database tracks their location.

New invasive plant plan fights monarch nemesis

By CASEY HULL
Capital News Service
LANSING —  A new invasive species management plan may help state agencies combat intrusive plants — and rescue wildlife at risk. That’s good news for the monarch butterfly which has declined in numbers and lost its habitat because of  the black swallow-wort. The invasive vine displaces milkweed, the butterfly’s source of food. It is also poisonous to monarch caterpillars. The vine grows predominantly in Southern Michigan.