11/06/20 CNS Budget — Week 9
To: CNS Editors
From: David Poulson and Judy Putnam
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COVID IN SEWAGE: Michigan is searching the state’s sewers for the virus that causes COVID-19. The $10 million project could serve as an early alarm of spikes in the disease. It represents the first coordinated statewide network of testing labs to detect the virus in wastewater. The results will be shared with local health departments so that they know where to keep an eye out for outbreaks. By Taylor Haelterman. FOR ALL POINTS
W/WASTEWATERIMAGE 1: Researchers Becca Ives and Nishita D’Souza pull wastewater out of a manhole for sampling. Credit: Joan Rose
W/WASTEWATERIMAGE 2: Researchers Becca Ives and Nishita D’Souza lower a container into a manhole to sample wastewater at Michigan State University. Credit: Joan Rose
UNIVERSITY BUDGET WOES: Declining enrollment and new costs related to the pandemic have Michigan universities cutting costs, deferring construction projects and laying off employees. The Michigan Association of State Universities projects that the state’s 15 public universities will take a $1.2 billion hit. We talk to Lake Superior State, U-M, MSU, Wayne State, Saginaw Valley and Eastern, By Zholdas Orisbayev. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, LANSING CITY PULSE, BIG RAPIDS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.
TART CHERRIES: Struggling Michigan cherry farmers hope to cash in on a growing consumer trend during the pandemic: We’re eating more snacks. The DeWitt-based Cherry Marketing Institute will use a $125,000 federal grant to promote the benefits of cherries to manufacturers of snack food and beverages. An April survey of just over 1,000 adults reported that 32% said they are snacking more since the start of the pandemic. The annual survey also found that COVID-19 had altered the way we eat: 85% reported changed eating habits with 60% reporting they were eating more at home. We interview the president of the Cherry Marketing Institute and a Hart cherry farmer. By Judy Putnam FOR TRAVERSE CITY, OCEANA HERALD JOURNAL, PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, LEELANAU, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS
W/CHERRY SHAKER IMAGE: Family members operate a cherry shaker at the Hart-based DeRuiter Farms Inc. Credit: Michael DeRuiter
GREEN CANDIDATES: Only a minority of Great Lakes region congressional candidates endorsed by national environmental advocacy groups were victorious on Election Day. The winners – including seven U.S. House candidates in Michigan and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters – had a couple of things in common: All were Democrats and running for re-election. They were endorsed by at least one of three national environmental groups: the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Green groups also backed five unsuccessful Michigan Democrats for Congress. We also talk to a Northern Michigan University political scientist. By Capital News Service. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, FOWLERVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.
BLACK SQUIRRELS: If you live in Michigan, you are more likely to see a black squirrel, although they are found throughout the Great Lakes region. A new study, using photos and data gathered with an app by the general public, tracks how two types of the Eastern gray squirrel — one black and one gray — vary dramatically across the region. The citizen science survey has implications for the study of evolution. By Chioma Lewis. FOR ALL POINTS
w/BLACK SQUIRRELS PHOTO: A black squirrel on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing is an Eastern gray squirrel. Credit: Chioma Lewis
INNER COAST: Farm auctions in Southeast Michigan. The trauma of the Flint water crisis. Ice canoe racing in Quebec. Ann Arbor writer Donovan Hohn’s book of essays looks at where the natural and the historic overlap to make sense of where we are. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.
W/INNER COAST COVER: Ann Arbor author Donovan Hohn explores Michigan’s ‘inner coast’ in his collection of essays.