April 28, 2017
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks and Sheila Schimpf
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BONUS WEEK AHEAD: This is the last original file of the semester. Next week (May 5) we will move a bonus file of stories that moved previously this semester but remain timely.
SUMMER ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS PACKAGES: Again this summer, CNS plans to move three packages – in June, July and August — of Michigan environmental stories in partnership with Great Lakes Echo.
Here is your file:
MAYDAYACTION: On May Day, workers and immigrants will rally to protest President Trump’s immigration policies under the slogan “Rise up.” The seven Michigan cities scheduled to participate are Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac, Battle Creek and Rochester. The action in Michigan is primarily sponsored by Michigan United. Other pro-immigrant groups are also supporting the event. By Chao Yan. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
Two stories on pay equity:
PAYEQUITYPACKAGE: Democrats introduced a 12-bill pay equity package in the House and Senate. Half of the bills propose amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in order to ensure equitable pay in the state. We talk to three bill sponsors, president of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, executive director of the Michigan Women’s Commission and the AAUW government relations coordinator. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
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PASTCOMPENSATION: An East Lansing senator and a Farmington Hills representative introduced legislation aimed at preventing employers from inquiring about an employee’s previous compensation. It’s a new addition to a 12-bill pay equity package reintroduced by Democrats. We talk to the sponsors, the president of Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, AAUW government relations coordinator and the state Chamber of Commerce. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
OPIOIDGRANT: The state is set to receive $16 million in federal grants to help deal with the opioid epidemic, and it has big plans for the incoming revenue. Programs will show physicians how they can work to reduce addiction rates, how Medical Assisted Treatment could start to trickle into rural communities. Individuals can make a difference, too, by disposing of unneeded painkillers and medications in responsible ways. By Isaac Constans. FOR LANSING, GRAND RAPIDS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, CADILLAC, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, GREENVILLE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, LAKE COUNTY, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN, BIG RAPIDS, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, BAT MILLS, HERALD-STAR & ALL POINTS.
YOUNGPROFESSIONALS: The “brain drain” in Michigan is a real phenomenon, and officials are piecemeal carving out ways to reduce it. Numerous programs across the state center around helping returning Michiganders find their spot, and legislators are taking it upon themselves, as well. Gov. Snyder, DNR director Keith Creagh, legislators Lansing and Frankenmuth, state program officials and local advocates including in Marquette all contribute to the dialogue. By Isaac Constans. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
DARKSTORES: A newer way of valuing large commercial properties like big box stores has impacted townships, cities, counties and other local taxing authorities in recent years. The Tax Tribunal’s decisions favoring valuations based on vacant, deed-restricted “dark stores” have created a shrinking tax base that can’t be readily offset by new construction in many cases. Localities hope legislation or the courts will do something to fix the loophole. They are looking closely at the case between Escanaba and Menards, which the state Supreme Court is expected to hear later this year. We speak with a legislator, local officials in Big Rapids and Breitung, and the Michigan Association of Counties. By Chao Yan. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, BIG RAPIDS, HARBOR SPRINGS, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, STURGIS & ALL POINTS.
ANIMALCRUELTY: Proposed legislation to stiffen punishments for abuse to pets during domestic disputes is headed to the full Senate after the unanimous approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Supporters say increased penalties would help prevent both animal abuse crimes and domestic violence. We hear from primary bill sponsors from Warren and Grand Ledge, in addition to the president of Attorneys for Animals. By Laina Stebbins. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
Two-story concealed carry package:
CONCEALEDCARRY: A package of bills would eliminate requirements for a concealed pistol license, according to a sponsor from Mancelona. A Kalamazoo representative finds these bills problematic because they take out the required training currently in place to carry a concealed firearm. We speak to bill supporters and opponents. By Laura Bohannon. FOR MARQUETTE, PETOSKEY, BIG RAPIDS, MONTMORENCY, ALCONA, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS.
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CPLDEADLINES: Current concealed pistol license renewal deadlines could punish people who missed the deadline to renew their CPL by a few days with felonies. A Port Huron lawmaker introduced a bill that would reduce that felony to a civil misdemeanor with a $330 fine instead if someone’s license has been expired for six months or less. A Kalamazoo lawmaker said he doesn’t think people who messed up paperwork should be charged as felons, but he sees problems with other aspects of the bill. By Laura Bohannon. FOR MARQUETTE, MONTMORENCY, ALCONA, PETOSKEY, BIG RAPIDS, ALPENA & ALL POINTS.
RENTFARMLAND: MSU researchers were surprised when they offered to rent farmland to grow bioenergy crops such as switchgrass and poplars – landowners weren’t interested, even at triple the normal rental rate. The researchers say marginal land – land that’s not good for growing other crops such as corn – can be productive with bioenergy crops, but only if landowners are agreeable. By Jack Nissen. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS ALL POINTS.
ALGAEDECAY: As if you needed another reason not to play with stinky piles of algae, whether on the Great Lakes or an inland lake: Decaying algae can promote the growth of bacteria that makes people and animals sick, according to a new study. We hear from the DEQ and the U.S. Geological Survey. By Lucy Schroeder. FOR ALL POINTS.
BUGS&PRAIRIES: — Bugs hinder prairie restorations more than previously thought, according to a new study from MSU. The study found that arthropods — which include insects, spiders and crustaceans — account for the majority of seeds removed from prairie restoration sites. The findings have implications for every prairie restoration project, a researcher said. By Liam Tiernan. FOR ALL POINTS.
ARCADIADUNES: A new book tells the inside story about the successful grassroots movement to save Lake Michigan’s Arcadia dunes from development. By Ian Wendrow. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELENAU, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, MARQUETTE, OCEANA, HOLLAND, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.
w/ARCADIADUNESCOVER: Credit: Wayne State University Press.
HORSEPULLING: A Chippewa County man accused of doping a horse is still fighting for reinstatement in the Manistee County-based Michigan Horse Pulling Association. He denies drugging his horse but paid a fine and now wants back into the group. The dispute has been going on for five years. We talk to him, his lawyer from Bay City, the association vice president and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Ben Muir. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS
April 28, 2017