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Editors: This week we have a variety of news, business and feature stories appropriate throughout your publications and that will remain fresh for multiple days.
Here is your file:
FARM TO SCHOOL: The state continues to expand a program for schools to buy local fruits and vegetables. The 57 grant-winning school districts purchased 93 different fruits and vegetables grown by 143 farms in 38 counties so far this year.
LANSING — The state shortfall in funding a tuition waiver program for Native American students has more than doubled over the past decade, leaving universities to make up the growing difference. The North American Indian Tuition Waiver Program waives tuition and fees for eligible students attending public universities, community colleges and tribal colleges. Participants must be at least one-fourth Native American, enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and have been a Michigan resident for at least a year. The program is “imperative for our students to move forward” in their careers and lives, said Kerstine Bennington, the higher education specialist for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She would know — she’s a former program participant who used her waiver to attend Michigan State University.
LANSING — The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has lasted for nearly one year and has already affected U.S industries and consumers, especially buyers and sellers of two items important in Michigan — soybeans and auto parts. Economists have long argued that tariffs come with real income losses. A newly published research article from the Centre for Economic Policy Research, a research network based in London, found that by the end of 2018, import tariffs were costing U.S. consumers and companies that import goods an extra $3 billion per month in added tax costs and an additional $1.4 billion per month in reduction in real income. “Everything affects everything, and everything is related to everything,” said Erkan Kocas, an international trade specialist at the Michigan State University International Business Center. Kocas said that an individual’s income and needs don’t change in spite of tariffs.
LANSING — Advocates are launching a two-prong effort to reform Michigan’s system of bail that they say is too high for low-income people and forces them into jail while awaiting trial. The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recently sued the 36th District Court in Detroit over excessive bail. The action came just after state lawmakers in March proposed a package of bail reforms.
Bail is money pledged to release an individual charged with a crime but ensure that they will appear in court. The money is forfeited if they don’t appear. Supporters of reform say that too often people cannot afford to bail their family members out of jail, even if the evidence against them is scant.
LANSING – The allure of copper. The power of copper. People in the prehistoric Hopewell civilization of southern Ohio managed to get copper from distant points – the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale and Ontario’s Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior – as much as 750 miles away. And as far back as 2,000 years ago. What made copper so treasured that it motivated gargantuan efforts to obtain and use it for such items as tools, headpieces, beads and breastplates?
LANSING — More Michigan students than ever have access to fresh produce, thanks to a state farm-to-school program. The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms program this year provided 135,000 children with locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. “I’m all about kids eating healthy food, and there’s nothing healthier than fresh produce that’s grown right in their home state,” said Diane Golzynski, the director of Health and Nutrition Services in the Department of Education. Grant-winning school districts purchase fresh fruits, vegetables or dried beans grown in Michigan. The schools report how many meals they served that contained the fresh produce.
LANSING — The White River Light Station in Whitehall might never have existed had it not been for the dedication of Capt. William “Bill” Robinson III. Robinson moved to the the area in the 1860s with his wife, Sarah, and seven of their children. He petitioned the U.S. Lighthouse Service to have a beacon built, and until it was he hung a lantern on a pole at the mouth of White River to aid passing ships. The lighthouse was finally lit in 1876, and the Robinsons were the first keepers. Capt. Bill died while keeping the light lit at the White River Light Station.
LANSING — Repurposing seeds into art is how botanical artist Shilin Hora helps people appreciate nature. In 2007, Hora founded Grow Studio in Montreal to provide nature education through community engagement workshops. Growing up in Stevensville, Michigan, Hora was drawn to “the world of the minuscule and details in nature,” she said. She would draw objects she’d collect outside, she said. She started printmaking after viewing her observational objects collection as art.
LANSING – A federal judge has tossed out a suit accusing Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers of illegally arresting and prosecuting a hunter who admitted “shining” – using artificial light – for deer at a private Alpena County hunting camp. U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington found no grounds for Trent Sherman’s claims against the DNR, the officers and department officials. Sherman’s lawyer, Racine Miller of Southfield, said her client will take the case to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. According to Ludington’s decision, a DNR pilot saw a vehicle shining along a two-track road at the Fleco Camp in Green Township late one night in October 2015. Two DNR officers on “shining patrol” responded and found Sherman and a second man there.
LANSING — A “silent crisis” is brewing beneath Michigan that threatens what experts say could be considered the sixth Great Lake. It’s hard to imagine a state that enjoys 3,288 miles of freshwater coastline, 242 streams and 11,000 lakes and ponds could be in danger of droughts like those in the western United States. But if groundwater management trends continue, that’s precisely what’s on the horizon for Michigan, according to Liz Kirkwood, the executive director of the water advocacy organization FLOW: For Love of Water based in Traverse City. Among the threats that worry Kirkwood are deep-well injections that store hazardous chemicals underground. “Even though those injected wells are confined, there’s room for error and contamination,” Kirkwood said.