March 23, 2012 – Week 9
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From: Eric Freedman, Sheila Schimpf & Matt Hund
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All articles ©2012, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AHEAD: On Monday, March 26, your correspondents will interview DNR Director Rodney Stokes. Possible interview topics include public lands acquisitions and policies, wildlife diseases, changes in hunting and fishing regulations, and protection of maritime and historical resources.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
LIBRARIES: Public libraries are under economic pressure as state aid and local tax revenue drop. But they’re seeing an increase in patronage and material circulated, as well as requests for learning how to use computers and find jobs. Librarians in Marquette, Holland and Jackson and the state Library Association discuss the trends. By Jon Gaskell. FOR MARQUETTE, HOLLAND, JACKSON, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
MANUFACTURINGWORKERS: Unemployment remains high but many manufacturers, including some in Macomb County, face a shortage of skilled workers—a shortage they predict will worsen. One company offers scholarships to Macomb Community College students who take machine-related classes. Industry officials and Kalamazoo-based W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research explain. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR MACOMB, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ROYAL OAK, ANN ARBOR, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS & ALL POINTS.
ORGANICFOODS: Economic times are still tough in Michigan and organic foods cost more than non-organics, but demand is outstripping supply. We talk to farmers in Grand Rapids and Kent City, as well as MSU, state Organic Food and Farm Alliance and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development experts. For news and agriculture pages. By Wei Yu. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
w/ORGANICFOODSPHOTO: Michigan State University Student Organic Farm. Credit: Wei Yu, Capital News Service.
INFANTMORTALITY: Public health agencies are working to reduce Michigan’s high infant mortality rate, a problem worsened by insufficient prenatal care, teen pregnancies and transportation difficulties in rural areas such as northern Lower Michigan. Lapeer County, Grand Traverse County and experts explain. Wayne State researchers are working on the problem too. By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, TRAVERSE CITY, LAPEER, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CADILLAC, ALPENA, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.
HOMEOWNERS: Michigan has committed only 6.1
percent of its nearly $500 million allocation of federal funds to help the hardest-hit homeowners avoid foreclosure. Top counties for assistance so far are Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Saginaw and Washtenaw. By Jennifer Chen. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, ANN ARBOR & ALL POINTS.
YARDWASTEBUSINESS: A proposal by DeWitt and Frankenmuth lawmakers to modify the ban on dumping yard waste in landfills could put many private compost companies and county operations out of business, critics say. The change is intended to produce more methane as alternative energy. Companies in Zeeland, Ada, Byron Center, Lansing, Wixom and Ann Arbor, an Emmet County official and the Michigan Environmental Council discuss. By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR HOLLAND, ANN ARBOR, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING, GREENVILLE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.
HEALTHINSURANCETAX: Small business groups, U.S. Rep. Upton and business owners in Troy and Grand Rapids say a “hidden” insurance tax in the federal health care law favors big companies and unions and could cost workers at small companies an extra $500 a year. U.S. Rep. Peters disagrees. AARP Michigan, although neutral on the tax dispute, says the country should give the overhaul law time to work. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, ROYAL OAK, STURGIS, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
ATHLETEEATINGDISORDERS: The stress on highly competitive athletes can lead to life-threatening eating disorders, according to experts, including an MSU professor. Michigan High School Athletic Association trains coaches to prevent and recognize medical problems, including nutrition. For sports and news sections. By Patrick Lyons. FOR LANSING & ALL POINTS.
AGINGPRISONERS: The state’s aging prison population is driving up the cost of health care and mental health care for the Corrections Department. It costs about $10,000 more a year to incarcerate older than younger inmates, and an advocacy group says many older inmates could safely be paroled. By Patrick Lyons. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LAPEER, JACKSON, MARQUETTE, LUDINGTON, ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, GREENVILLE & ALL POINTS.
NURSES: Representatives from Warren, West Bloomfield, Muskegon, East Lansing and Detroit are pushing for legislation to require minimum nurse-to-patient ratios at hospitals and to ban mandatory overtime for nurses. We hear from an MSU nursing instructor, the Health and Hospital Association and Michigan Nurses Association. By Wei Yu. FOR MACOMB, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, ROYAL OAK, HOLLAND, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
NURSESPHOTO: Nurses rally at the Capitol for minimum patient-nurse rations at hospitals. Credit: Wei Yu, Capital News Service.
FLIESFORFISH: Get the waders and rods ready: Unseasonably warm weather may spur an early emergence of the aquatic insects—mayflies and caddisflies—that trout love to eat. We hear from a Grayling fly fishing guide, Trout Unlimited and experts at MSU and Northern Michigan University. By Brian Bienkowski. FOR MARQUETTE, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, GLADWIN, CLARE, ALPENA, GREENVILLE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GRAYLING & ALL POINTS.
w/FLIESFORFISH: Mayfly. Credit Minnesota Sea Grant.
TIRES&SANDALS: A Detroit community group and U of M design students have teamed up to manufacture sandals from old tires. The project is intended to create jobs for homeless Detroiters and recycle material that would otherwise go into landfills. By Kam Moore. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, ANN ARBOR & ALL POINTS.
w/TIRES&SANDALSPHOTO: Made-in-Detroit sandal produced from scrap tires. Credit: University of Michigan.
March 23, 2012 – Week 9