Jan. 27, 2012 CNS Budget

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TELEWORKING: A new report says Michigan would benefit from more teleworking in terms of employee satisfaction and environmental benefits. Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo and Chrysler Group in Auburn Hills are among large companies that offer telecommuting and flexible schedules. We hear from a Wayne State labor studies expert and the Small Business Association. By Jennifer Chen. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS.
CYBERSCHOOLS: A House committee is set to approve lifting the cap on cyberschools—online charter schools—but Democrats want more data to see how well students are learning in the two existing ones. A Commerce Township grandfather tells how a cyberschool “saved” his special needs grandson’s life. Other voices include Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Lathrup Village legislators, a Genesee County school official and a former state schools superintendent. By Jon Gaskell. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
SEPTICWASTE: Municipal waste treatment facilities would be required to accept septic waste if their local governments prohibit spreading the stuff on land under a bill awaiting Senate action. Local officials worry about the extra cost. We hear from the sponsor, from Ray Township, and groups representing local governments. Other sponsors include legislators from Six Lakes, Brown City, Holland and Presque Isle. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR MACOMB, GREENVILLE, BROWN CITY, HOLLAND, ALPENA, LAPEER & ALL POINTS.
AFTERSCHOOLPROGRAM: While Michigan is making progress in afterschool programs, 31 percent of K-12 students take care of themselves, according to the Michigan Association of School Boards and a national survey. One such program is in Battle Creek. We talk to the state school board president, from Ann Arbor, and a Grand Valley State education professor. By Wei Yu. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, SOUTH BEND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ANN ARBOR & ALL POINTS.
MINORITYLAWADMISSIONS: Proposal 2 hampers the state’s two public law schools in admitting minority applicants, an obstacle that the three private law schools don’t face. A federal appeals court is considering whether the ban on use of race in admissions decisions violates the U.S. Constitution. U of M, Wayne State and MSU officials explain. By Patrick Lyons. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, OAKLAND, MACOMB, LANSING, ANN ARBOR, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
          w/MINORITYLAWADMISSIONSTABLE: Percent of minority students at Michigan’s five law schools. Sources: Law School Admissions Council and Michigan State University.
 SCHOOLBUDGETDEFICIT: More districts are running deficits than a year ago, victims of lower state aid and higher costs, and some are fighting to avoid a state-imposed emergency manager, the fate of Detroit and Highland Park. Among them: Pontiac and East Detroit. Among districts in the red are Vanderbilt Area Schools, Flint Bridgeport Spaulding, Mason County Eastern and Galien Township. The Mackinac Center, MEA and Education Department also speak. By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
MORECOPS: Local officials are split on a proposal by Attorney Gen. Bill Schuette to use $140 million in extra state money to hire 1,000 more police and sheriffs deputies. A Hart senator, the Mason County undersheriff and the Pentwater police chief explain. It’s uncertain how the governor wants to use the surplus. By Patrick Howard. FOR LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
APPLEBLIGHT: Michigan wants federal approval to use a new fungicide on 10,000 acres of apple trees to fight the devastating fire blight disease that threatens the state’s $700 million-a-year apple industry. Kent, Oceana, Ottawa, Berrien and Van Buren are the top producing counties. We hear from a Traverse City horticultural researcher, a Mattawan farmer and state officials. By Brian Bienkowski. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, PETOSKEY & ALL POINTS.
w/APPLEBLIGHTPHOTO: Fire blight scorches leaves of apple trees. Credit: Michigan State University.

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