Sept. 11, 2015 Budget

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Capital News Service Budget –
Week 1: Sept. 11, 2015
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman, Sheila Schimpf and Andi Brancato For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979)
You can email us at
WELCOME BACK TO CNS: This is our first file of fall 2015. The editors and our crew of new correspondents look forward to working with our CNS member news organizations again this academic year.
WELCOME ANDI BRANCATO: Andi Brancato joins long-time CNS copy editor Sheila Schimpf on the Friday morning copy desk. Brancato is a former reporter for Gongwer News Service and the Coldwater Reporter, former legislative communications director and former public relations director for the Lottery Bureau.
SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION AHEAD: On Monday, Feb. 14, your correspondents will interview Mike Marzano, director of government relations for the Small Business Association of Michigan. Potential topics include economic development initiatives, workforce needs, tax legislation and SBAM’s legislative priorities.
Here’s your file:
ROBOTCARS: Cars that drive themselves may be safer, smarter and more efficient than those driven by people. But will they be better for the environment? There’s no definitive answer, says a research professor at the U of M Energy Institute. By Brooke Kansier. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
COMPUTERCOURSES. The sparsity of computer science classes in Michigan high schools puts new graduates at a disadvantage when entering the job market at a time when the state has 15,000 unfilled jobs requiring computer skills. We hear from a Petoskey teacher, Michigan School Boards Association and the executive director of the Michigan Science Teachers Association from Grand Haven. By Amelia Havanec. FOR PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
DOWNGRADING: Dozens of school districts had their long-term credit ratings downgraded this year by Moody’s, meaning that it will be more expensive for them to borrow money for capital projects and technology. We talk to the Carson City-Crystal, Chippewa Hills and Morenci districts, Michigan School Business Officials and the Michigan Association of School Boards. Some other affected districts are in Alcona, Allegan, Ottawa, Lenawee, Cheboygan and Mecosta counties. By Zhao Peng. FOR GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, BLISSFIELD, HOLLAND, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA & ALL POINTS.
SOCIALMEDIAPOLICY: A legislative proposal would require all public school districts and charter schools to have a social media policy that regulates e-contacts between students and staff. The Michigan Association of School Boards explains. Sponsors include lawmakers from Clayton, Holland, Marquette and Ann Arbor. By Yuehan Liu. FOR BLISSFIELD, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.
TEACHERPAY: Statewide, average public teacher salaries in Michigan declined during the last school year at a time of declining student enrollment and inadequate state aid. The situation varies from district to district. For example, average pay dropped in Suttons Bay but rose in nearby Glen Lake Schools, with a similar divergence between Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills. A Ferris State economist, the Crawford AuSable superintendent, Michigan Education Association and Michigan Association of School Boards discuss. By Stephanie Hernandez McGavin. FOR LEELANAU, CRAWFORD COUNTY, TRAVERSE CITY, BIG RAPIDS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
w/TEACHERPAYTABLE: Changes in average public school teacher salaries statewide and in selected districts. Source: Michigan Department of Education.
LGBTED: There’s debate about how public high schools across the state are addressing LGBT-related issues, including bullying and gay-straight alliance groups. We hear from the Greenville High School principal, Ottawa Area ISD superintendent, ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health and a state Education Department consultant. By Michael Kransz. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
SNOWMOBILETRAILS. DNR is awarding grants to buy easements for snowmobile use across private land. Some U.P. landowners have cut off access. Expansion of the snowmobile trail system is intended to promote tourism in the state. We hear from MUCC and a DNR expert based in Marquette. For news and outdoors sections. By Sierra Resovsky: FOR CADILLAC, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GLADWIN, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, ALCONA, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, TRAVERSE CITY, ST. IGNACE, PETOSKEY, STURGIS, BAY MILLS, THREE RIVERS, GREENVILLE, HERALD STAR, LAKE COUNTY, LEELENAU & ALL POINTS.
POTHOLEPREVENTION: If Michigan ever gears up to fix its crumbling roads, engineers might be well-served to consider a new ingredient in the road-making mix. A sensor developed by MSU could have a big impact on road budgets and repairs nationwide. The sensor records traffic data and measures impacts and damage to roads. By Brooke Kansier. FOR ALL POINTS.
W/POTHOLEPREVENTIONGRAPHIC: How smart roads signal repair needs. Credit: Shantanu Chakrabartty.

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