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MICHIGAN ROBOTICS — Economic development and manufacturing experts say Michigan’s deep roots in industrial innovation are leading to yet another industrial revolution. Robots, software and other automation technology are at its forefront, but a skilled workforce is needed to make it work. This could be the emerging bright spot of an economy built on the state’s automotive heritage. We talk to experts at Michigan Technological University, Northwestern Michigan College, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan Tech, a robotics company and a Bay City lawmaker. For business and news pages. By Evan Jones. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL, TRAVERSE CITY, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
ISLAND INVADERS — Researchers recently laid out a strategy to show people how to rid Great Lakes islands of invasive plants and animals. “We always felt that the state wasn’t going to ride in on a white horse and solve all of our problems because we are in the middle of Lake Michigan,” said Pamela Grassmick, who started a grassroots educational campaign to treat invasive species on northern Beaver Island. It inspired scientists to develop a defense against invasive species that can be replicated at other islands. Michigan has 1,709 islands, but 14 comprise 90% of the state’s entire island area. By Helen Korneffel. FOR PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, HARBOR SPRINGS, HOLLAND, OCEANA, BENZIE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE AND ALL POINTS.
W/ISLAND INVADERS PHOTO 1 Boys stand with a healthy crop of invasive Phragmites at Cheyenne Point on Beaver Island in 2004. Credit: stoptheinvasives.wordpress.com.
W/ISLAND INVADERS PHOTO 2 Brandon Shroeder, senior educator with Michigan Sea Grant, and students monitor Phragmites on Charity Island. Credit: Tracy D’Augustino.
W/ISLAND INVADERS PHOTO 3 Invasive species locations on High Island. Credit: Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
AGING — The state Aging and Adult Services Agency should tighten up criminal background check policies for employees, contractors and volunteers to better protect older adults from possible abuse and exploitation, the state Auditor General’s Office says. The critique cited problems such as insufficient background checks and inconsistent guidelines for reviewing such checks. The audit looked at four local agencies: Northwest Senior Resources covering Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska and Emmet counties; Tri-County Office on Aging covering Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties; Metro Detroit’s Area Agency on Aging; and the Senior Alliance in Wayne County. We hear from AARP and Northwest Senior Resources. By Eric Freedman. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, MANISTEE, LEELANAU, BENZIE, PETOSKEY, LANSING CITY PULSE, HARBOR SPRINGS AND ALL POINTS.
WILDFIRE – Seventy-five years after Smokey Bear’s emergence as the poster-animal for wildfire suppression, federal and state land managers in the U.P. are taking a different tack by deliberately setting fires to burn off fuel. They say prescribed burns also provide environmental benefits to plants and wildlife and help train firefighters to battle blazes. We talk to DNR and Forest Service experts. By Leigh Anne Tiffany. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.
W/WILDFIRE PHOTO 1: Prescribed burn in the Hiawatha National Forest in late June 2016. The objective of the burn was to improve wildlife habitat. Credit: U.S. Forest Service.
W/WILDFIRE PHOTO 2: Hiawatha National Forest one month after a prescribed burn in late June 2016. When a large fire burns through this region, dead and dying trees act as critical forage and nesting habitat for the black-backed woodpecker, a species of special concern in Michigan. Credit: U.S. Forest Service.
W/WILDFIRE PHOTO 3: Hiawatha National Forest one year after a prescribed burn in late June 2016. The white blossoms are blueberry bushes. Credit: U.S. Forest Service
WARM WATER THREAT A new study says a warming climate may make it harder and more expensive to rid the Great Lakes of the sea lamprey. Warmer water increases the larval sea lamprey’s tolerance to TFM, a chemical widely-used to kill them during their larval stage.
By Weiting Du. FOR LUDINGTON, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.
W/WARM WATER THREAT PHOTO A sea lamprey in a booth at a boat show in Duluth, Minnesota. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.