New state fund aids veterans programs but not all counties will apply

County veteran services are poised to get an additional $2 million this year that could lead to more counties opening offices and counties with offices expanding their services. The new County Veteran Service Fund will give at least $25,000 to each county that fund veteran service programs or open new offices and that apply. But some counties have suggested that the paperwork is too demanding.

Proposed law would make some medicine bottles adult-proof

Certain child-proof medicine containers could become adult-proof, too, under legislation sought by a state lawmaker and gaining local support. The idea is to limit access to opioid medicine bottles with a lock requiring a code to open. Experts say a leading contributor to opioid addiction is the theft of small amounts of pills from someone who has a prescription for a legitimate use of the medication. By Lance Cohen.

Audit: State child protection agency fails to adequately protect kids

A state agency charged with protecting children often failed to check a registry of child abuse offenders in the cases reviewed by a state audit. Also, caseworkers in up to 11 percent of the cases examined failed to meet promptly with their charges, according to the Auditor General. Lawmakers are calling for improvements to the Child Protective Services agency and Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a task force to make recommendations, including a member from Allegan County. Meanwhile child advocates say cases of abuse are increasing.

Proponents of kratom, an herb from the Southeast Asian Kratom tree, claim it can fight depression, pain, anxiety and opioid addiction. Federal and state authorities, however, consider it a health risk.

State officials raise health alarm over herb kratom

Food poisoning linked to a controversial herb supplement recently sickened four Michigan residents. They are the latest of 39 reports of poisoning linked to kratom, a Southeast Asian herb that proponents claim can fight depression, pain, anxiety and opioid addiction but that federal and state authorities consider a health risk. Efforts to regulate the substance are underway.