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STATEOFTHESTATE: The Michigan public is dissatisfied with state government’s handling of environmental issues. That’s what the latest State of the State Survey found when it asked more than 1,000 residents how they feel their state and local government officials are doing on the environment. Forty-two percent of respondents rated Gov. Snyder as “poor” in carrying out environmental responsibilities, with a 34.2 percent “poor” rating for the Legislature, 27.7 percent “poor” rating for state agencies and only 15.8 percent “poor” for local officials. We also talk to an aide to the Republican chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee and to the Sierra Club. Exclusive to Capital News Service. By Marie Orttenburger. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
RECOUNT: Local election officials are preparing for something no one has ever done in Michigan – recount the ballots of a presidential election. The Board of Canvassers Friday deadlocked 2-2 over President-elect Donald Trump’s objection to a recount. We interview clerks from Kent, Montmorency and Emmet counties. By Caitlin DeLuca. FOR PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, MONTMORENCY COUNTY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL AND ALL POINTS.
COLLEGEDISTRICTS: The Legislature may finish action this year on a proposal to make it easier for community college districts to grow by annexing non-adjacent areas. Supporters say it would benefit students through lower in-district tuition rates and help businesses that contract with community colleges to train employees and develop workforce skills. Sponsors include lawmakers from Grand Rapids and Cadillac, as well as Park, Gaines and Georgetown townships. We talk to officials at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Talent 2025 Coalition, Muskegon Community College, Michigan Community College Association, West Ottawa Board of Education and Herman Miller Cares. By Bridget Bush. ATTENTION BUSINESS EDITORS. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, GREENVILLE, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.
BODILYMATERIAL: Inmates who throw excrement and other bodily fluids at their jailers would be charged with a felony if a bill under consideration by the state senate passes. The behavior constitutes a health threat and is unlikely to be prosecuted under current law, supporters say. Some corrections officials say the legislation is unnecessary. The bill makes throwing excrement, urine, spit, semen or blood onto a corrections employee a felony punishable by up to four years in the slammer. By Karen Hopper Usher. FOR MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
SOLARTAX: Alternative energy advocates say that lawmakers may discourage investment in solar power with bills that reimburse utilities for use of the power grid. The language is part of a key energy package likely to be approved before the end of the year. By Ray Wilbur. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL AND ALL POINTS.
EMPLOYERTAXCOLLECTOR: Opposition has cropped up to a new tax proposal by Republicans in both chambers to require businesses who employ residents of cities with income taxes to withhold city income taxes even if the business is not in that city. We talk to the Michigan Municipal League, which supports the bill, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids Chamber, which oppose the bills. By Caitlin DeLuca. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
NEWJOBSPROGRAM: Business groups and community colleges are pushing to expand a statewide new job training program financed by capturing the state income tax revenue of the newly hired employees for the first year. The program hit its $50 million cap and they want to support even more such training. But local officials say the tax diversion robs them of desperately needed revenues. Other critics say employers should fund the training that they need. By Caitlin DeLuca. ATTENTION BUSINESS DESKS. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL AND ALL POINTS.
SICKBIRDS: Researchers battle bird botulism on the Lake Michigan shore. By Sam Corden. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, CHEBOYGAN, MANISTEE, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.
w/SICKBIRDSPHOTO1: Williams and Ray walk along the Sleeping Bear Dunes coast looking for dead birds. Image: Samuel Corden
w/SICKBIRDSPHOTO2: Image: Sam Corden
HORSEANDHOUNDS: The iconic sport of chasing foxes with hounds and horses lives on in Michigan with hunt clubs near Augusta, Metamora and Grass Lake. By Karen Hopper Usher. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS AND ALL POINTS.
W/HORSEANDHOUNDPHOTO1:Bob Carr, huntsman of Battle Creek Hunt, rides in a field in Augusta with the hunt’s hounds. Photo: Karen Hopper Usher
W/HORSEANDHOUNDPHOTO2:Bob Carr, huntsman and joint-master of foxhounds at Battle Creek Hunt, instructs hunt members and guests before beginning hunting on the hunt’s public day, Oct. 30. Photo: Karen Hopper Usher
W/HORSEANDHOUNDPHOTO3:Battle Creek Hunt members and guests wait at the edge of a field while hounds search for fox or coyote scent. Photo: Karen Hopper Usher
W/HORSEANDHOUNDPHOTO4:Kathy Taylor, hunt secretary and whipper-in for Battle Creek Hunt, waits for riders and horses to cross North 42nd streets in Augusta. Photo: Karen Hopper Usher
TREESTOBIOFUELS: Scientists at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a collaboration between MSU and the University of Wisconsin, have discovered an enzyme that makes it easier to break down trees and other plants for biofuel, paper and other products. Poplars and other trees can be bred to produce higher levels of the enzyme. By Chao Yan. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT ST. MARIE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BIG RAPIDS, GLADWIN, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, CADILLAC, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
w/TREESTOBIOFUELSPHOTO: Researcher Steven Karlen studies plants in a greenhouse lab. Credit: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
To: CNS Editors