CNS bonus budget, Dec. 15, 2023

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Dec. 15, 2023

To: CNS Editors

From: Eric Freedman and Judy Putnam

For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Eryn Ho at (616) 485-9295;

For other matters, contact Eric Freedman at (517) 256-3873;

You are welcome to use the CNS logo

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Editors: This is our traditional end-of-semester Bonus Week budget with still-timely stories you may not have had space for earlier in the fall. Of course, you can also use any of our archived stories and visuals.

Here is your file:

RAILROAD DEATHS: Western Michigan University researchers see a need for more information about train-pedestrian and train-motor vehicle fatalities to combat a rising number of deaths nationally. They advocate mandatory audio and video cameras and giving crash investigators access to the recordings. They analyzed 14 West Michigan fatalities, nine involving pedestrians and five involving vehicles. We talk to MDOT and Michigan Operation Lifesaver. By Kayte Marshall. FOR ALL POINTS.

w/RAILROAD DEATHS PHOTO: Michigan has seen a steady increase in railway-related deaths, a new report finds. Credit: Department of Transportation Office of Rail via Twitter.

GREEN ROOFS: The green roof movement is expanding in Michigan as a way to reduce energy costs and promote sustainability. We learn about efforts in Grand Rapids, talk to a company based in Nunica that constructs green roofs and look at the green roof at the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn. By Stephanie Rauhe. FOR ALL POINTS.

w/GREEN ROOFS BIRD PHOTO : A killdeer on the green roof at the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn. Credit: Don Russell, Ford Motor Co.

SPEEDING FATAL CRASHES: Michigan has the country’s ninth-lowest rate of speeding-related fatal crashes, a new analysis shows. Neighboring Indiana ranks even better, while Ohio and Wisconsin are worse. Non-interstates are more deadly than the superhighways. The Office of Highway Safety Planning and State Police offer comments. Includes reference to Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. By Kenzie Terpstra. FOR ALL POINTS.

REDLINING & HEALTH: The racially discriminatory practice of redlining neighborhoods does more than push up residents’ cost of insurance, mortgages and other financial services. It also worsens their health. We hear from a Wayne State expert, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan and the founder of an air quality monitoring company with offices in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit and Kalamazoo. By Liz Nass. FOR ALL POINTS.

BIRTH EQUITY: The Department of Health and Human Services has a plan to eliminate birth-related inequities for pregnant women and their infants regardless of race and ethnicity. March of Dimes gives Michigan a D+ grade for its high proportion of premature births and high infant mortality rate. We also hear from a midwife who founded a birthing center in Traverse City. By Brandy Muz. FOR ALL POINTS.

HAUNTED: Visitors to an Upper Peninsula lighthouse say they can still smell the cigar smoke of a keeper who died a century ago, and a paranormal researcher has found other evidence that the structure is haunted. We interview Kat Tedsen, an author who has researched more than 300 haunted sites in Michigan. By Kelsey Lester. FOR ALL POINTS,

w/HAUNTED PHOTO 1: The Seul Choix Point Lighthouse is a haunted attraction many tourists visit in the summer. Credit: Kat Tedsen

w/HAUNTED PHOTO 2: A portrait of Capt. Joseph Willie Townsend, a lighthouse keeper who died there in 1910. His frozen body was stored in the cellar until he could be buried. Credit: Kat Tedsen

WATER LEAKS: The Great Lakes Water Authority and an Israeli company are using technology developed to find water on Mars to detect costly leaks in public water systems. The authority provides water to parts or all of Wayne, Monroe, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Genesee, Lapeer and Washtenaw counties. Detroit, Livonia, Pontiac, Redford Township and Walled Lake are participating in the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) project. By Vladislava Sukjanovskaya. FOR ALL POINTS.

w/WATER LEAKS MAP: Map of an area scanned by SAR technology. Credit: Asterra.

JOURNALISM COMMENTARY: These are tough times for journalists as traditional news outlet staffs shrink, news outlets cut coverage and media companies merge or close. Nonprofit start-ups are emerging but often struggle financially. There is a disturbing growth in public distrust of journalism’s commitment to democratic values of fairness, balance, ethics and accuracy. Even so, a new Pew Research Center study finds most journalists are satisfied with their work and hold more positive attitudes than the public about their reporting. At Michigan State, a record number of incoming journalism and digital storytelling majors enrolled this fall and student journalists nationally play a growing reporting role. Commentary for news and opinion pages. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.

 w/ERIC FREEDMAN PHOTO: Credit: Michigan State University


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