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FERAL SWINE: The number of feral swine in the state is declining, but there’s still concern about their transmitting diseases to domestic pigs — threatening a $500-million-a-year industry — and to people, as well as damage to vegetation. Allegan, Cass, Branch, St. Joseph and Ottawa counties are the top producers. We talk to the Michigan Pork Producers Association and MUCC. By Katrianna Ray. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
w/FERAL SWINE GRAPH: Top pork-producing counties in Michigan. Credit: National Agricultural Statistics Service.
w/FERAL SWINE PHOTO: Feral swine. Credit: Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
BOND COUNTY ROADS: All of the governor’s $3.5 road bonding plan, approved by the state Transportation Commission, would go to state-maintained roads with no benefit to the counties and cities that own most Michigan roadways, critics say. MDOT defends the plan, while we hear opposition from a Montcalm County official, legislators from Lake Ann and Brighton Township, and the County Roads Association. By Joe Dandron. FOR GREENVILLE, LAKE COUNTY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, FOWLERVILLE, CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
PHEASANT STAMP: A proposal crawling through the Legislature would require a $25 stamp for pheasant hunting, with the proceeds earmarked to stock the birds on state-owned land and to improve their habitat. Sponsors include legislators from Adrian, Wolverine, Lake City and Marquette. We talk to Pheasants Forever, DNR and MUCC. For news and outdoors sections. By Maddy O’Callaghan. FOR BLISSFIELD, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, CRAWFORD COUNTY, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS AND ALL POINTS.
MENTAL HEALTH: New programs are helping elementary schools address students’ mental health problems, according to the Michigan Education Association. Funding remains a major obstacle to implementing more of them, a psychiatrist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital says. We talk to a U-M expert, a Grand Traverse Academy counselor and a Rockford fourth-grade teacher. By Joshua Valiquette. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
GAMEFISH: Michigan’s commercial fishing industry wants the ability to catch and sell game species like trout and perch, while recreational anglers say that change would threaten fish populations and hurt fish-related tourism and spending. Sponsors include lawmakers from Park Township, Marquette, Waucedah Township, Ludington and Lake Ann. We talk to Trout Unlimited, Michigan Fish Producers Association, Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association and MUCC. For news and outdoors sections. By Danielle James. FOR ALCONA, HOLLAND, MANISTEE, CADILLAC, CRAWFORD, LUDINGTON, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CORP!, LAKE COUNTY, MICHIGAN FARM BUREAU, OCEANA, BENZIE AND ALL POINTS.
ELDER ABUSE: A proposal to allow recording devices in nursing home patients’ rooms is sparking controversy between lawmakers and the industry, including questions about residents’ privacy rights. The goal, sponsors say, is to reduce elder abuse by staff. Nursing home employees in Kent and Delta counties are among those recently prosecuted. We talk to a State Bar expert and the Health Care Association of Michigan. By Kyle Davidson. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, AND ALL POINTS.
SCHOOL SUICIDES: Students in rural areas in Michigan are more likely to commit suicide than their urban and suburban counterparts, and counselors across the state carry caseloads far higher than what national experts recommend due to inadequate funding. Story mentions schools in Howell, Kingsley, Baldwin, Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor. We hear from the Michigan chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Michigan Education Association. By Katrianna Ray. FOR LAKE COUNTY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, FOWLERVILLE AND ALL POINTS.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE COMMENTARY: Money is the mother’s milk of politics, and campaign money is flowing in Michigan this year. But money, like milk, can turn sour. Here are lessons for candidates in the run-up to the November election. For editorial, opinion and news sections. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.