CNS budget, March. 27, 2020 – Week 10
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
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HERE’S YOUR FILE:
MICHIGAN OLYMPIANS: Where does postponement of the summer Olympics until 2021 leave the elite athletes who’ve been training hard for Tokyo? A Team USA softball player from Allen Park and a Team USA BMX racer from Southwest Michigan share their thoughts. For news and sports sections. By Katrianna Ray. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.
SCHOOL WORKERS: Many hourly workers at schools and employees of companies that provide bus, custodial and food services worry that they won’t get paid for time lost under the mandated school shutdown. The Michigan Association of School Boards says the decision whether to pay is up to individual districts. We talk with the Delta County School District and Alcona Community Schools. By Kyle Davidson. FOR ALCONA, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
NONPROFIT NEWS: While traditional newspapers are pummeled by industry economics and now the economic impact of the CORVID-19 pandemic, some Michigan nonprofit news outlets are financially sustainable. We hear from the Bridge, Michigan Advance and East Lansing Info. For news and business sections. By Joshua Valiquette. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.
OUTDOOR REVENUE: The CORVID-19 pandemic is slamming outdoor recreation-related businesses and their employees, especially in communities that rely on tourism and outdoor activities like hunting and camping. Ski resorts closed early. Restaurants are shuttered. We hear from Marquette, Boyne and the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. By Lucas Day. FOR MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, GREENVILLE, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BENZIE, IONIA, OCEANA, CADILLAC, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.
MIGRANT FARMWORKERS: Michigan agriculture depends heavily on migrant and seasonal labor, much of it from Mexico, but these workers — especially those living in camps — are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition, the government’s suspension of the H-2A visa program leaves many farmers worried about a sufficient labor force for this year’s crops. We talk to a Gregory farmer, Migrant Legal Services in Grand Rapids, the Department of Health & Human Services and Great Lakes Bay Health Centers with clinics in eastern Michigan, including Belding and Owosso. By Kurt Williams. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, IONIA, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, CORP! FOWLERVILLE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.
w/MIGRANT FARMWORKERS PHOTO: Migrant farmworkers outside a mobile health clinic at Buurma Farms in Gregory. Credit: Great Lakes Bay Health Centers Migrant Program.
TOUGH GENERATION: How does the COVID-19 pandemic compare with other crises and significant social disruptions older Michiganians survived? CNS partner Great Lakes Echo assigned a group of young reporters to interview members of their grandparents’ generation on how they’re coping. Most said nothing – wars, recessions, terrorist attacks – compares to this threat that they’re particularly vulnerable to. Some noted similarities with fear of contagion during polio outbreaks. Their seasoned advice? Fear is real, but faith and family see you through. We share seven stories from Hudsonville, Hermansville, Detroit, West Bloomfield, Oxford and a CNS journalism alum in Anchorage, Alaska. Editors: Feel free to run individual stories or a package. FOR HOLLAND, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
w/TOUGH WATKINS PHOTO: Doris Watkins of Detroit and great-grandson Denzel Terrell. Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH GOLDMAN PHOTO: Margo Goldman’s family sing Happy Birthday outside her West Bloomfield home. Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH DAY PHOTO: Chuck and Judy Day of Hudsonville: Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH WILLIAMS PHOTO: Charles Williams Jr. of Detroit. Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH CORK PHOTO: Janice Cork of Oxford. Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH BELLMORE PHOTO: Rose Bellmore of Hermansville and granddaughter Taylor Haelterman. Courtesy photo.
w/TOUGH BAUMAN PHOTO: Margie Bauman of Anchorage, Alaska. Courtesy photo.
MENTAL HEALTH: Some lawmakers want the state to develop a “mental health first aid” course for teachers. We interview the lead sponsor from Plymouth Township, an education professor from Lake Superior State University and the Michigan Association of School Districts. Cosponsors include legislators from Meridian Township, Holt, Fowlersville and Lansing. By Danielle James. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, FOWLERVILLE, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
LGBTQ RIGHTS: A national report criticizes Michigan for failing to explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination under the state’s civil rights law. The ACLU and Transgender Michigan talk about legislative inaction and a pending U.S. Supreme Court case from Michigan. By Maddy O’Callaghan. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
PREGNANT INMATES: Some lawmakers want to expand the legal rights of pregnant inmates at Michigan’s only women’s prison, Huron Valley. The Corrections Department says its policies already match parts of the legislation. The ACLU, American Friends Service Committee and Michigan Prison Doula Initiative discuss. A cosponsor is from East Lansing. By Danielle James. FOR MARQUETTE, IONIA, GREENVILLE, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
FROGS SURVEY: The DNR and Michigan Wildlife Council are counting the state’s frogs and toads because of concern over threats to their species. We hear from an MSU Museum herpetologist and a DNR wildlife biologist. By Maddy O’Callaghan. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/FROGS SURVEY PHOTO1: Blanchard’s cricket frog. Credit: Michigan Natural Features Inventory.
w/FROGS SURVEY PHOTO2: Fowler’s toad. Credit: Laura Perlick, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Advocates are pushing the Whitmer Administration for more state government action to promote electric vehicles. The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor and the Institute for Energy Innovation in Lansing both issued recent reports on the issue. We hear from other advocates as well. By Joshua Valiquette. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
FUTURE VOTERS: A senator who served as secretary of state is drafting a bill to automatically register teens to vote when they get their first driver’s license. It’s intended to speed up voting lines now that the state has same-day voter registration. Some supporters say it might also increase political participation by young voters. We hear from an aide to the Senate Elections Committee chair and the clerks for Lansing, Grand Rapids, Pere Marquette Township and East Lansing clerks. By Kyle Davidson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE AND ALL POINTS.
w/FUTURE VOTERS PHOTO: East Lansing voters waiting in a long line on primary day. Credit: Mara Zumberg.
TSA: A government watchdog agency has criticized TSA for not keeping up with airport security screening technologies. A passenger rights group says the agency is more concerned with its image than with holding employees accountable. By Katrianna Ray. FOR ALL POINTS.
HIGHER ED FUNDING: Michigan lags far beyond the national average in state spending per resident on higher education. A new study says that hurts the state’s economy. We hear from the Michigan Community College Association and Michigan Association of State Universities. By Joe Dandron. FOR BIG RAPIDS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
JUDGESHIP: It’s up to the governor whether to sign a bill that saves the district court judgeship for Mason and Lake counties. The spot was slated for elimination at the end of this year when the incumbent retires. The Legislature has passed the measure, which now awaits Whitmer’s signature or veto. We talk to the retiring judge, the sponsoring senator from Ludington and a court system official. By Joe Dandron. FOR LUDINGTON, LAKE COUNTY, MANISTEE, OCEANA AND ALL POINTS.