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Editors: The first story is a new one shared by our partner at Great Lakes Echo. The rest of this package is our traditional end-of-semester bonus week package of still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier. During the winter break we plan to move one or two packages of Michigan-focused environmental stories in partnership with Great Lakes Echo.
Our first file of the spring semester is Friday, Jan. 17.
Here is your file:
OLD GROWTH WINTER — Hartwick Pines State Park is battling the winter’s chill with a slate of lantern-lit snowshoe hikes through its 49 acres of old growth forest. By Taylor Baker. FOR NEWS, OUTDOOR AND RECREATION PAGES OF ALL POINTS
W/GUIDED SNOWSHOE HIKE: Guided snowshoe hike during the day through the old growth forest of Hartwick Pines State Park. Credit: Hillary Pine.
W/Old GROWTH SELFIE: Selfie after a night hike through the forest. Credit: Hillary Pine
CYBER GUARD — Cyber security requires constant updates and reviews, experts say — and a group of Michigan volunteers that responds to attacks on government databases just got one of its own. The state’s auditor general recently reported that 35 of the 99 volunteers of the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps failed to undergo background checks. Two volunteers failed the checks and had their status revoked. Coordinators of the network say improvements have been made in a service needed to keep data secure. We also hear from a Western Michigan University expert. By Evan Jones. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
DRIVERLESS BUSES: The greatest gripe about driverless buses? No music, according to a group of Michiganders who tested some. That’s good news for officials worried about the public’s more substantive concerns about getting on a bus without a driver. Officials are cautiously experimenting with driverless shuttles on university campuses and elsewhere. One promising opportunity is their use by people with disabilities. For news, business and lifestyle sections. By Evan Jones. For CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
COUNTING HOMELESS: As the 2020 census approaches, state and local officials are striving to make sure that homeless and young residents get counted. That’s key to getting the state’s fair share of federal funding and representation in Congress. Particularly hard to count are homeless children. By Evan Jones FOR ALL POINTS
Localization note: HOMELESS KIDS BY COUNTY below lists the percentages of homeless children in your counties.
W/HOMELESS GRAPHIC: Percentage of children under four who are homeless. Credit: Michigan League for Public Policy.
W/HOMELESS KIDS BY COUNTY: List of percentages by county of children under four who are homeless. Credit: Michigan League for Public Policy.
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.
STRESSED FARMERS: For Michigan farmers, this year’s unusually wet weather is yet another stress on an already stressful occupation. It is taking a toll on their mental health, farmers and health experts say. And climate scientists say to expect extreme weather to worsen and further disrupt agriculture as the planet’s average temperature warms from greenhouse gas emissions. Tiling and irrigating may help them prepare their fields. Bracing for the mental stress is another task entirely. We talk to farmers in Ravenna and Monroe, MSU Extension and the National Weather Service. By Cassidy Hough. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, IONIA, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.
w/STRESSED FARMERS HELP: A list of agencies and websites where depressed farmers can seek help.
w/STRESSED PHOTO 8: A rain-soaked sugar beet field on June 20, in Ionia County. Credit: Michigan Farm News
W/STRESSED PHOTO 9: A tractor stuck in a muddy corn field on Nov. 10, in West Branch. Credit: Mary Kartes