March 31, 2017
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks and Sheila Schimpf
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CYBERATTACK: Small businesses are vulnerable to a wide variety of cyberthreats, like web-based attacks, scripting, phishing and ransomware. According to a 2016 report, 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses. We talk to small business development experts, people working in information companies and a nonprofit network, including ones in Traverse City and Grand Rapids. They all see the lack of awareness and knowledge among small business companies when it comes to cyberattacks. There are low-cost resources available to help small business boost its cybersecurity. By Chao Yan. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU & ALL POINTS.
GENDERLEGISLATURE: Women make up just over 20 percent of the Legislature. According to female legislators, this suppresses progress on issues that they say tie back directly to women. Recently, there has been bipartisanship in the Legislature dealing with certain subjects, but others remain stagnant. Female legislators, including the House minority floor leader, talk about how gender plays a role in legislation and how patriarchy prevails in all parts of the process. By Isaac Constans. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
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TAMPONTAX: Legislation in the House and Senate is aimed at eliminating the 6 percent sales and use tax on feminine hygiene products, and women’s advocates say they feel it was about time. Advocates discuss potential economic, equity and health benefits to the proposed legislation. We talk to a Grand Rapids lawmaker who sponsors the bill in the House, the president of the Grand Rapids National Organization for Women and the president of the Traverse City American Association of University Women chapter. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, THREE RIVERS, LEELANAU, STURGIS, HOLLAND, BIG RAPIDS, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
MARIJUANALAWS: New legislation going into effect later this year will further commercialize the medical marijuana industry, potentially giving card-carrying patients easier access to care while a new tax on dispensaries provides additional revenue to the state. There are still concerns from growers that not all important issues are being addressed. We speak with the former owner of what used to be a medical marijuana dispensary in Norton Shores, the Muskegon County prosecutor, and the city clerk and marijuana licensing officer for the city of Muskegon. By Laina Stebbins. FOR BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY, OSCEOLA, GLADWIN, GREENVILLE, OCEANA, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE & ALL POINTS.
OPIOIDEDUCATION: New bills in the Legislature would provide standard health education curricula to schools struggling with the opioid epidemic. Opioid abuse, still a relatively recent phenomenon, has trickled into Michigan communities, but there is still no common procedure for instruction . Drug prevention specialists and bill sponsors from Monroe and Mattewan speak on the current climate of opioid abuse and why more messaging could make the difference. Having had their communities directly impacted, they say they hope the legislation will cause parents and children to carefully consider the issue. By Isaac Constans. FOR BLISSFIELD, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MARQUETTE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, BIG RAPIDS, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS & ALL POINTS.
WICPROGRAMCUTS: Public health officials are uncertain how President Donald Trump’s proposed $150 million cut to a federal women’s food assistance program will impact local agencies. Some local health departments say they fear possible repercussions due to funding losses, while others don’t anticipate any significant changes. We talk to three health departments that offer WIC services — one in Traverse City, one in Charlevoix and one in Coldwater. We also talk to the previous chair of the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, BLISSFIELD, HARBOR SPRINGS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, STURGIS, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
DRIVERLESSCAR: As Michigan accelerates toward leadership in the emerging driverless car technology, industry experts say its workforce needs to catch up. Gov. Snyder signed legislation approving the sale and use of autonomous vehicles when they’re ready. But analysts note significant gaps in skills among workers who could be developing driverless technology. They call for big changes in education and training programs to fill looming jobs that haven’t been fully created yet. We talk with a member of the state’s autonomous vehicle task force, a robotics educator at the University of Michigan, and a workforce development manager in Oakland County. By Chao Yan. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS
CARECENTERDATABASE: Day care centers, adult care centers and foster homes would have to meet higher standards for reporting injuries for an online database, under bills introduced in theHouse. Although these institutions already face state reporting requirements, the sponsor from Shelby Township said his bills would ensure patterns of more minor incidents would not be overlooked. But some day care center owners, including one in Traverse City, worry the new requirements would create more paperwork and less time to spend with children. By Laura Bohannon. FOR MARQUETTE, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, BIG RAPIDS, PETOSKEY & ALL POINTS.
COASTALCUTS: A popular program that helps Michigan beachfront communities improve their shorelines is jeopardized by proposed federal budget cuts.The Trump administration recommended a 17 percent cut in funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that supports the Coastal Zone Management Program. The program awards about a dozen Michigan grants a year, and such a cut could limit the number and amount of grants. By Carl Stoddard. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, ALCONA, HOLLAND, OCEANA AND ALL POINTS.
WRENS: That short burst of tweets you hear from wrens might be the best way to tell if they’re near, but it isn’t the only way. For the most part, where you find people is where you likely won’t find wrens, according to a new study that surveyed 840 points along the Great Lakes coastlines, many of them in Michigan. Human development, including agriculture and industry, have a major adverse impact on where wrens live. We interview the author from the University of Minnesota Duluth, the Michigan chapter of the Nature Conservancy and an MSU expert. By Jack Nissen. FOR MARQUETTE, ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, HOLLAND, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, ST. IGNACE, LEELANAU, OCEANA, TRAVERSE CITY, BAY MILLS & ALL POINTS.
w/WRENPHOTO1: Hannah Panci, a member of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth, counts wren calls on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Credit: Jerry Niemi.
w/WRENSPHOTO2: Elisabeth Condon, the whooping crane outreach coordinator at the International Crane Foundation, records the frequency and distance of the wren she hears on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Credit: Jerry Niemi.
ECOLI: The Department of Environmental Quality has a new online tool for the public to use to check their watersheds for the presence of high levels of E. coli. The E. coli bacteria come from sewage and run-off contaminated by human and animal feces and can lead to public agencies closing beaches to protect public health. We hear from experts at DEQ and MSU. By Ben Muir. FOR ALCONA, OCEANA, LEELANAU, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
March 31, 2017