Sept. 7, 2012 CNS Budget

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Sept. 7, 2012 – Week 1
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
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All articles ©2012, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
FIRST FILE OF THE SEMESTER: Our new cohort of CNS correspondents is in place and looking forward to serving you and your readers this election season.
COUNTIES AHEAD: On Monday, Sept. 10, your correspondents will interview officials at the Michigan Association of Counties. Possible topics include impact of ballot issues on local governments, impact of redistricting, local government revenue needs and legislative priorities for the fall.
RECALL: A financial scandal involving the Genesee Intermediate School District has a Flushing lawmaker pushing to make it easier for voters to recall ICD board members. Past efforts failed, including one by now-Secretary of State Johnson stemming from an Oakland County scandal. A Muskegon group says it’s better to require ISDs to post financial records online, and the Association of School Boards questions the need for a new recall law. By Celeste Bott. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LAPEER, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.
TAXCHEAT: The state is getting tougher on tax cheats with a new law that bans zapper and phantom software. We talk to the Troy senator who sponsored it, a Grand Valley State University expert and the Treasury Department. By Silu Guo. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, LANSING, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
VIRUSES: The risk of insect-borne viruses such as West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis remains high in the northern Lower Peninsula, health experts caution. We talk to health officials for Grand Traverse, Cheboygan, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties and the departments of Community Health and Agriculture and Rural Development. By Lauren Gentile. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, ALPENA & ALL POINTS.
FISCALHEALTH: A new U-M study suggests that local governments are more optimistic about the fiscal future of their municipalities, but there are still major concerns, including declining property tax revenue and cuts in state revenue sharing. We also hear from a St. Ignace official and the Michigan Municipal League. By Lauren Gibbons. FOR ST. IGNACE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ANN ARBOR, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
BRIDGEENVIRONMENT: The debate over a proposed second bridge between Detroit and Windsor is focusing on economic and social issues, not environmental ones. State and Canadian officials who support the project say such concerns have been studied and addressed, and the Michigan Environmental Council isn’t getting involved in the pending ballot issue. By Anjana Schroeder. FOR MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
w/BRIDGEENVIRONMENTTABLE: Source: Canadian Transit Co.
MOREJOBS: Small businesses have created about 10,000 jobs so far this year, almost 40 percent of them in Detroit. The gains reflect tax changes, revision of state regulations , a growing sense of entrepreneurship and incubator programs. We hear from the Small Business Association of Michigan, U.S. SBA and Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. By Yanjie Wang. FOR & ALL POINTS.
HEATINGFUND: A temporary $58 million fund will subsidize heating bills for low-income residents this winter while the Legislature works on a long-term revamp of he program. The Michigan League for Human Services says the interim fund is insufficient, and the sponsoring senator from Battle Creek hopes action will be completed this year. By Edith Zhou. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, JACKSON, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
LAKEHURONRESEARCH: Lake Huron, the least-studied of the Great Lakes, is now coming under closer scientific scrutiny, with research about water quality, invasive and native species, nutrient levels and its physical characteristics. By Sara Matthews. FOR ALPENA, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, MACOMB , LAPEER, BROWN CITY & ALL POINTS.
FARMEMISSIONS: Farmers who cut their fertilizer use could reduce greenhouse gasses and if done through a new emissions trading program, could get other industries to pay them to do it without harming crop yields. We talk to a Tuscola County farmer, Farm Bureau and MSU research in Hickory Corners. For news and farm pages. By Matthew Hall. FOR BROWN CITY, LAPEER, GREENVILLE, BLISSFIELD, MACOMB, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.
PARKRECREATION: DNR’s Recreation 101 program of free classes in state parks expanded rapidly this year, with more activities planned for next summer, including yoga and Pilates on the beach. We hear from the department, a Sleepy Hollow State Park ranger, a Hartland outfitter and an Oakland County group that would prefer that DNR put more money into park maintenance. For news and outdoors pages. By Sara Matthews. FOR ROYAL OAK, LANSING, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, CADILLAC, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, MARQUETTE, CHEBOYGAN, GRAYLING, GLADWIN, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS & ALL POINTS.

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