To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman
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EDITORS: This the first of two Bonus Week files with still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier in the semester. Our second Bonus Week file will be next Friday, May 8. During the summer, we plan to file packages of Michigan-focused environmental stories in collaboration with our partner, Great Lakes Echo.
GOODBYE, SHEILA SCHIMPF: Our longtime Friday copy editor, Sheila Schimpf, is leaving at the end of this semester to spend more time traveling. We greatly appreciate her careful eye, questioning mind and willingness to mentor our correspondents, skills homed during her prior journalistic career at the Lansing State Journal and Bureau of National Affairs.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
EVART DEPOT: Evart is pushing for historic site designation for the abandoned Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad depot as part of a move to restore the building for use as city hall. We hear from the public works department director and a consultant from Rockford on the restoration project. By Danielle James. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/EVART DEPOT PHOTO: West end of the Evart Depot. Credit: Historic District Study.
w/EVART DEPOT MAP: Proposed Evart Depot Historic District. Credit: Historic District Study.
INFANT HEALTH: Michigan has a large disparity in deaths of African American and white infants, and critics say the state isn’t doing enough to close the gap. Wayne, Saginaw and Ionia counties have the highest overall infant mortality rates, while Livingston, Ottawa and Allegan counties have the lowest. We hear from experts at MSU, the University of Minnesota, a Detroit nonprofit and the Michigan League for Public Policy. By Joshua Valiquette. FOR ALL POINTS.
NATIONAL PARK FUNDING: National parks in Michigan and across the country are in a $12 billion hole in funding for infrastructure repairs and deferred maintenance, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study. Among those affected are Pictured Rocks, Isle Royale, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Keweenaw National Historical Park and River Raisin National Battlefield. The mayor of Munising and the River Raisin National Battlefield Park superintendent discuss. By Kyle Davidson. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/NATIONAL PARK FUNDING LIST: Breakdown of deferred maintenance needs at national parks in Michigan. Credit: Pew Charitable Trusts.
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 the Michigan Education Association. By Katrianna Ray. FOR ALL POINTS.
MINORITY VOTERS: When it comes to the level of African American political participation, Michigan ranks in the middle of the states, a new study shows. Democrats are pushing to increase black turnout for the November election. The coronavirus pandemic complicates access to voting. We talk to a Detroit lawmaker, the ACLU and the Lansing branch of the NAACP. By Joe Dandron. FOR ALL POINTS.
TEACHER SHORTAGE: Some districts are struggling to find and retain teachers because of low salaries, lack of public respect and declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs. We hear from the Benton Harbor district, Michigan Education Association, Michigan Association of State Universities and the state superintendent of public instruction. By Maddy O’Callaghan. FOR ALL POINTS.
BYE-BYE UP? A new study recounts the 1970s anti-environmental movement that fueled calls for the Upper Peninsula to secede from Michigan and form a 51st state called Superior. The leader of the movement was Rep. Dominic Jacobetti, who blamed tougher environmental laws for the sharp decline in mining, logging and farming in the U.P. We talk to the researcher, who is a CMU alum from Grand Rapids, and the director of the U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.