December 9, 2016 CNS Budget

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Dec. 9, 2016
To: CNS Editors
From: David Poulson and Sheila Schimpf
For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Pechulano Ali, (517) 940 2313,
For other issues contact David Poulson, (517) 899-1640.
Note: This is the last original file of the semester. Next week we will move a bonus file of stories that moved previously this semester but remain timely.
Here is your file:
CONFINEMENT: State officials are worried that solitary confinement in prisons can exacerbate violence and mental health issues among inmates. Michigan has no age or time limits for putting inmates in administrative segregation, most commonly known as solitary confinement. While advocates push for statewide reforms, Marquette’s Alger Correctional Facility is pioneering ways to minimize the impact of solitary confinement. We talk to corrections officials and prisoner advocates. By Ray Wilbur. FOR MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS

PUBLICHEALTH: Michigan residents particularly in rural areas could gain greater access to health care if lawmakers allow physician assistants to practice with less supervision and a greater ability to prescribe drugs. The bill attempts to address a wildly fluctuating ratio of physicians to population throughout the state. If approved, the state would be the first in the nation to allow that level of authority. By Bridget Bush. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LAKE COUNTY, AND ALL POINTS
w/PUBLICHEALTHTABLE: Editors, this table contains the ratio of population to doctors for every county and can be added to PUBLICHEALTH for additional localization.

SOOLOCKS: The decades-long effort to build a new lock connecting Lakes Superior and Huron at Sault Ste. Marie is getting renewed state attention while advocates hope it will also gain from President-elect Donald Trump’s push for a huge investment in federal infrastructure. The project could boost Michigan employment, boost Great Lakes shipping and protect the nation’s economy. By Karen Hopper Usher. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.

VOTERID: It would cost $10 million to implement a voter identification program narrowly approved by the House and now before the Michigan Senate. Voters without an ID at the time of voting would fill out a provisional ballot that would only be valid when the  voter returned to the clerk within ten days to either show an ID or provide evidence as to why they can’t have one. Critics say the legislation makes it harder for people to vote. By Caitlin DeLuca. FOR ALL POINTS

MIDWIVESBILL: Pregnant Michigan women might soon have another state-recognized labor and delivery option. More than a year after the House approved the licensure of midwives, a similar bill is before the Senate. Supporters say the bill improves access to pregnancy care and paves the way for Medicaid reimbursement. Critics say the education requirements just don’t compare with certified nurse midwives and obstetricians and gynecologists and are not clear enough about when and how women should be sent to doctors and hospitals. By Karen Hopper Usher. FOR MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

MILITARYSPOUSES: Attorneys married to someone on active duty in the military would be admitted to the Michigan Bar without taking the exam, if a pair of bills passes. The idea is to make things easier for lawyers to follow their spouses as they are posted around the country. Twenty-two states already allow such an exemption. By Bridget Bush. FOR ALL POINTS.

NURSINGCOMMUNITYCOLLEGES:  Michigan community colleges are pushing to add nursing to a limited list of four-year degrees they now offer to meet a growing need. That requires state legislation for a significant expansion from the culinary, maritime technology, energy technology and cement technology four-year programs they now offer. Supporters say it will give more access to people wanting the four-year degree that hospitals increasingly require. But officials representing four-year universities that offer the program now say there is plenty of access and that community colleges will have difficulty finding qualified instructors. By Caitlin DeLuca. FOR ALL POINTS.

DRONES: An increase in the use of drones across the state has prompted lawmakers to regulate their use for commercial and private use. While some drone operators see the proposed regulations as necessary, others see them as barriers. We talk to a drone aviation director from Northwestern Michigan College and other drone operators around the state to gain insight on how proposed legislation could impact the drone industry in Michigan. By Ray Wilbur. FOR TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

ANIMALWELFARECOMMISSION: Lawmakers are considering a new Animal Welfare Commission to create new rules for licensing and inspections for breeders. But critics say it is unnecessary in light of other regulatory controls. Dog organizations have rallied against the bills. By Caitlin DeLuca. FOR ALL POINTS

MICHPRAIRIES: Only .01 percent of remnant prairie has been left unaltered in Michigan but planting native plants at home to restore prairies is increasing. The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute near Hastings helps property owners restore prairie plants and teaches children about their value. The DNR’s Southwest region has a stewardship program for volunteers to collect native seeds to continue the expansion of prairies in state parks. By Becky Wildt. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.
w/PRAIRIEFIREPHOTO:  Prescribed burns take place every three years. Native plants have adaptations such as a deep root system to survive fires. Credit: Jennifer Howell.
w/PRAIRIESEEDCOLLECTIONPHOTO1: Native plants with deep roots thrive after prescribed burns every three years. Image: Jennifer Howell
w/PRAIRIESEEDCOLLECTIONPHOTO2: A false dandelion, one of the first clues that there was a sand prairie on Pierce Cedar Creek’s new property. Image: Jennifer Howell
w/PRAIRIESEEDCOLLECTIONPHOTO3: Volunteers collect native seeds that DNR will use to expand prairies. Credit: Heidi Frei.

HOBBYISTS&INVASIVES: A federal public education and outreach program designed to inform aquarium and water garden hobbyists about the risks of releasing non-native fish, animals and plants into the environment is poorly known in Michigan and other Great Lakes states, a new study finds. However, Michigan has a similar program called RIPPLE that seems more successful. We hear from experts at the DNR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and MSU. By Eric Freedman. FOR LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, ALCONA, BIG RAPIDS, CHEBOYGAN, CADILLAC, MONTMORENCY, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, HOLLAND, HARBOR SPRINGS, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, LAKE COUNTY, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.
        w/HOBBYISTS&INVASIVESPHOTO: Logo of the RIPPLE — Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes – program.

UNDERSIEGE: The Great Lakes are under siege, and not just those in North America. Lake Victoria, one of East Africa’s Great Lakes – and larger than Superior – confronts many of the same problems, including pollution, invasive species, agricultural runoff, overfishing and micro-plastics. Analysis. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, OCEANA, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.
w/UNDERSIEGEPHOTO: Research director Anthony Taabu-Munyaho of the Uganda National Fisheries Resources Research Institute. Image: Eric Freedman

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