Jan. 24, 2014 – Week 2
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From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
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PUBLIC POLICY AHEAD: On Monday, Jan. 27, correspondents will interview officials of the Michigan league for public policy. Topics may include poverty, public health and homelessness.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
BUDGETSURPLUS: It may be good politics to spread Michigan’s $971 million budget surplus across many needs, but some experts say that strategy makes for lousy economics. Even if you stuck all of it into tax relief, it would average only about 34 cents a day per family. We speak to the House Appropriations chair from Holland who favors the political solution. But an MSU economist and a former state treasurer prefer targeting the money to a single need such as roads or education. By Becky McKendry. FOR HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
BEARDAMAGE: A U.P. lawmaker whose corn has been ravaged by bears is pushing legislation to open bear hunting season earlier in areas where the animals destroy crops. While most bears live in the Upper Peninsula, they are increasingly moving south. We hear from the DNR, MUCC, Farm Bureau and PETA. Some sponsors are from Vulcan, Marquette, Newaygo, Petoskey, Lake City, Presque Isle, Onekama, Clare and Calumet. By Darcie Moran. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ALCONA, ALPENA, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, CRAWFORD COUNTY, CLARE, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD STAR, LUDINGTON, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE & ALL POINTS.
COLDBUGS: Some harmful Michigan insects are taking a hit from this winter’s frigid temperatures. But others, like the emerald ash borer, are already acclimated to low temperatures and snug under the bark of the trees they destroy. DNR and MSU experts don’t expect much cold-induced relief from their onslaught. By Lacee Shepard. For CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, ALPENA, ALCONA, TRAVERSE CITY, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, CADILLAC, ST. IGNACE, MANISTEE, GLADWIN, LAKE COUNTY, HERALD STAR & ALL POINTS.
LANDCAP: A move to expand how much state land the Department of Natural Resources can buy and manage has stalled while local and state officials discuss how best to handle land buying decisions. We hear from the sponsor from Traverse City, the Townships Association and the Association of Counties. By Ashley Weigel. For MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, ALPENA, ALCONA, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, HERALD STAR, LAKE COUNTY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS & ALL POINTS.
TEACHEREVALUATIONS: Lawmakers from Portage and Ann Arbor are pushing for a common statewide system of evaluating public school teachers and administrators. A Rochester Hills lawmaker isn’t convinced. We also talk to the Education Department, Grand Rapids School officials, Studentsfirst and Midwest Trust. By Danielle Woodward. For MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
WINE: So far the cold isn’t much of a threat to Michigan’s wine industry, although it could be a problem if the deep freeze returns after a spring thaw. Tourism could be hurt as well. Southern Michigan wineries are most vulnerable, a Brooklyn winemaker says, while one from Suttons Bay says Northwest Michigan varieties are used to cold and snow. By Nick Stanek. For TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, BLISSFIELD, HARBOR SPRINGS & AND ALL POINTS.
INFORMANTS: Law enforcement agencies should get parent or guardian approval to use juveniles as confidential informants in criminal investigations, say legislators from Detroit, Ann Arbor, White Lake, Warren, Rochester Hills and Clarklake. We talk to the Cass County prosecutor and experts at University of Detroit-Mercy, Sheriffs’ Association, ACLU and Bay County Public Defender’s office. By Eric Freedman. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, DEADLINE DETROIT, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, CITY PULSE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS & ALL POINTS.
BIRDBACKPACKS: Biologists are tracking the migration of endangered Kirtland’s warblers with tiny backpacks that record their location by measuring daylight . It’s part of an effort to further the recovery of the warblers that summer in Michigan and then somehow fly to the Bahamas for the winter. By Lindsay Dunbar. FOR CRAWFORD COUNTY, CADILLAC, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, ALPENA, ALCONA, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
w/BIRDBACKPACKSPHOTO: Kirland’s warbler. Credit:Howcheng. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
DRONEDESIGNATION: Michigan lost a bid to attract one of six federal drone test sites early but state officials say they remain optimistic about the fledgling industry that they are determined to lure here. The site had been proposed for the northern Lower Peninsula. We talk to state aviation officials and officials at Alpena Community College and Northwestern Michigan College. By Jessica Batanian and Evan Kreager. FOR ALPENA, TRAVERSE CITY, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
WESTMICHDRONES: A Grand Rapids company is shooting video of off-road races, adventure sports and high-end real estate from an unmanned aerial vehicle – more commonly referred to as a drone. Expertise in Aerial Imaging is among the pioneers in an industry that doesn’t yet have federal regulatory approval. By Heather Hartmann. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL AND ALL POINTS.
Jan. 24, 2014 – Week 2