12/10/21 CNS Budget — Week 14
To: CNS Editors
From: David Poulson and Judy Putnam
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NOTE TO EDITORS: This is the last regular file of the fall semester. Next Friday will be our Bonus Week file with still-timely stories that you may not have had space for earlier in the fall semester. In early January you’ll get our winter break package of environmental stories in collaboration with our partner, Great Lakes Echo.
The first regular file of 2022 will come on Friday, Jan. 21.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
FARMERS MARKET LIQUOR: Sunday morning strolls to the farmers market could include a few stumbles home if distillers are given permits to sell at them. Small winemakers already can get permits to conduct tastings at farmers markets and now a Watervliet lawmaker would extend that to local distilleries. We talk to the owner of a Grand Rapids distillery, the Marquette farmers market manager, Walloon Lake-based Michigan Craft Distillers Association and the Michigan Farmers Market Association. For news and business pages. By Danielle James. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, WKTV, MARQUETTE, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, STURGIS, WKTV, THREE RIVERS and ALL POINTS.
TEEN BARTENDERS: As restaurants and bars struggle for staff, the pool of bartenders, servers and liquor sellers could increase with an effort to lower the minimum age to sell and serve alcohol. The proposed change would lower the age from 18 to 17 while the legal age for drinking would remain 21. That would help areas like Northern Michigan, which had worker shortages even before the pandemic. We talk to the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Michigan Retailers Association, a Perry-based policy group opposing the move and lawmakers from Manton and Mt. Pleasant. For news and business pages. By Kyle Davidson. FOR CORP!, CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPID BUSINESS, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, PETOSKY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, CADILLAC, HERALD-REVIEW, BIG RAPIDS and ALL POINTS.
BAIL REFORM: Michigan’s bail system punishes poor people and should consider risk of flight, the ability to pay and other circumstances when deciding to grant it, say reform advocates. We interview Grand Rapids and Detroit lawmakers, the American Bail Coalition and Safe & Just Michigan officials. By Emerson Wigand. FOR DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, LANSING CITY PULSE and ALL POINTS.
SOLO LIVING: Living alone is increasingly common throughout Michigan and the rest of the world, a trend worrisome for older folks and particularly so during the pandemic. Michigan is bolstering programs to help older people living solo to connect socially, especially in the U.P. and other rural areas. More than 2.4 million of Michigan’s population is aged 60 and up, and 41% of them live alone. COVID-19 is only making the problem more profound. Experts from MSU and Aging and Adult Services Agency in the Department of Health and Human Services. By Cameryn Cass. FOR MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE and ALL POINTS.
IMMIGRANT CHILDREN HEALTH CARE: Michigan is one of 16 states that has yet to provide health care to children who are lawful immigrants. That amounts to denying health care to 3,000 to 4,000 children who are in the state legally with a green card or visa, advocates say. To cover them, the state would have to approve a federal option, like most states, to extend benefits to them. We talk to Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, League for Public Policy and Health & Human Services Department. By Barbara Bellinger. FOR ALL POINTS.
SURVIVOR FOIA: Advocates are seeking to give survivors of sexual misconduct greater control over their stories by providing them with stronger privacy protections.The House recently passed a bill to prevent Freedom of Information Act requests from revealing the identity of alleged victims of sexual misconduct involved in civil cases. We talk to sexual assault victims advocates, the Michigan Press Association By Kyle Davidson. FOR DETROIT, MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS, LAKE CITY, LANSING and ALL POINTS.
COPS AND DOGS: Incidents of police shooting non-threatening pet dogs are more common than you’d think, animal advocates say. “It is so common in Detroit, there’s a form for it,” said Royal Oak lawyer Chris Olson. “They’re called destruction of animal reports.” But the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police defends the shootings. We also talk to a researcher for the U.S. Department of Justice, PETA, an Inkster dog owner whose pet was killed by police and a Detroit pit bull rescue group. By Emerson Wigand. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE and ALL POINTS.
WORKER SHORTAGES: “Help Wanted” and “Now Hiring” signs make up the storefronts of many Michigan businesses as employers struggle to find employees. Business officials blame unemployment benefits for discouraging workers from returning. But others say unemployment insurance doesn’t come close to replacing regular wages for most workers. Low wages and a dramatic shift in interest in finding a new job is more likely the reason, they say. For news and business sectionbs. By Cameron Cass. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! and ALL POINTS.
w/WORKER SHORTAGES GRAPHIC: Michigan and U.S. Jobless Rates 2020-21 Source: Department of Technology, Management and Budget Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives
DEATH THREATS: A little more than a year after police thwarted a kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and just weeks before the anniversary of the Jan. 6 protests in Washington D.C., threats against Michigan politicians and government officials are on the rise, police say. By Nicholas Simon FOR DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS and ALL POINTS.
WASTEWATER MONITORING: State officials are publishing data from 19 Michigan sewage treatment plants and more than 400 wastewater collection systems to create an early warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks. The wastewater monitoring dashboard went live the week of Dec. 6 on the Department of Health and Human Services wastewater website. We talk to an MSU water expert, a Hope College professor, the Detroit-based Great Lakes Water Authority and the state health department. Grants to Traverse City, Lake Superior State, Ferris State, Wayne State, Northern Michigan, Oakland University, U-M, Saginaw Valley State, Central Michigan, Ottawa, Kent and Macomb counties. By Barbara Bellinger. FOR BIG RAPIDS, DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, WKTV, TRAVERSE CITY, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS and ALL POINTS.
W/PROJECTS AND FUNDING: A list of 19 wastewater monitoring projects funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.
POACHING COMPLAINTS: Illegal hunting complaints in Michigan reached record numbers during the pandemic, but arrests were down. The state’s poaching hotline received around 60% more complaints related to hunters and wildlife crime in 2020 than it did in 2018. The spike in complaints could be caused by more people using outdoor areas during the pandemic, outdoor officials say. Includes U.P. reference. We hear from DNR, MUCC and and National Deer Associaiton. By Nicholas Simon. FOR CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE and ALL POINTS.
SEED LIBRARIES: More than 650 libraries, garden and community centers across Michigan will receive packets of Boston Pickling cucumber seeds next spring as a part of a seed saving and swapping program. Seed libraries contain seeds that circulate among community members. We talk to advocates from Grosse Pointe, Sanford and Lyon Township, with photos from Holland and Union City. Includes references to Munising, Marquette, Pickford, Lakeview, Benzonia, Lexington and Jonesville. With interactive map to check for local locations. By Kayla Nelsen. FOR COLDWATER, HOLLAND, DETROIT, GREENVILLE, IONIA, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BENZIE COUNTY, BAY MILLS, LAPEER COUNTY, HILLSDALE and ALL POINTS.
w/SEED LIBRARIES UNION CITY PHOTO: The seed library at the Lucile E. Dearth Union Township Library in Union City provides seeds and other gardening resources. Credit: Michigan Seed Library Network
w/SEED LIBRARIES PUMPKIN-RADISH PHOTO: Seed packets in the seed library cabinet at the Herrick District Library in Holland. Credit: Michigan Seed Library Network
w/SEED LIBRARIES MAP: Michigan has more than 100 of the 400 seed libraries in the United States. Credit: Michigan Seed Library Network
CRANE HUNT: Efforts by politicians to create a hunting season for eastern sandhill cranes in Michigan are stirring debates among hunters, farmers and birders. A legislative resolution to encourage the Natural Resources Commission to explore the possibilities of issuing tags for cranes was introduced but not adopted. We hear from Michigan Audubon, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, DNR and the Humane Society. A similar push is underway in Wisconsin.
For news and outdoors sections. By Nicholas Simon. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS and ALL POINTS.
w/CRANE HUNT PHOTO: A pair of eastern sandhill cranes keep a lookout for predators. These birds normally stay together unless one dies, in which case they’ve been known to start other family groups. Credit: Department of Natural Resources
AGRITOURISM: Farms offering agricultural tourism opportunities have seen record-breaking attendance over the past two years. Hot rural travel destinations like cider mills, corn mazes and U-pick farms were supercharged by the shift. We hear from the president of Traverse City-based Michigan Agritourism Association, who owns a farm in Frankenmuth, Travel Michigan and the Farm Bureau. References to Saugatuck, Grand Rapids and Holland. For news and agriculture sections. By Nicholas Simon. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, WKTV, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY and ALL POINTS.
w/AGRITOURISM BUILDING PHOTO: Grandpa Tiny’s Farm in Frankenmuth. Courtesy photo
w/AGRITOURISM BOY PHOTO: A young visitor holds a rabbit at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm in Frankenmuth. Courtesy photo
PARASITIC ASH KILLERS: We know about the devastation that the invasive emerald ash borer is wreaking on Michigan’s ash. Now we learn about some parasitic wasps that are killing the ash-killers. We talk to USDA expert and the stewardship director at the Little Traverse Land Conservancy, which operates in Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Mackinac and Chippewa counties. By Max Copeland. FOR PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, BAY MILLS. TRAVERSE CITY and ALL POINTS.
w/PARASITIC ASH KILLER SHIELS PHOTO: Derek Shiels of the Little Traverse Conservancy points to a dead ash tree at the Charles Ransom Nature Preserve in Charlevoix. Credit: Max Copeland
w/PARASITIC ASH KILLER DEAD TREE PHOTO: Derek Shiels points to an old emerald ash borer exit hole on a dead ash stump at the Charles Ransom Nature Preserve in Charlevoix County. Credit: Max Copeland