Jenny Brown, CEO of Dutton Farm, with her sister, Rebecca ‘Becca’ Smither.

Addressing disability complaints a top priority for Civil Rights Department

DISABILITY COMPLAINTS: Disability discrimination complaints to the Department of Civil Rights now outpace complaints based on race. The department wants to ramp up its enforcement of legal protections and increase public education and awareness. The governor wants the Legislature to provide more money to do so. We talk to the executive director of the department, its head of special projects, and an advocate in Rochester. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Tom Boyd, who heads the State Court Administrative Office, testifying about court funding at a House Judiciary Committee hearing

Upcoming court ruling could impact trial court funding as deadline approaches

LOCAL COURT FUNDING: A quarter of local trial court funding is set to expire in 2024 or even earlier if the state Supreme Court says judges can’t continue to impose costs on convicted criminal defendants. Unless the Legislature acts, local taxpayers would then be saddled with those expenses. We hear from the Association of Counties, state court administrator and the president, from Gratiot County, of the Michigan Judges Association. Alpena County reference. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR ALPENA, DETROIT, IRON MOUNTAIN, DETROIT, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

Blue-collar suicides focus of state prevention effort

BLUE COLLAR SUICIDES: Construction workers are experiencing disproportionately high suicide rates, and other blue-collar occupations are also witnessing high levels of mental health problems. We talk to the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and a national suicide prevention group. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

An X Shore electric boat

Electric boats expected to make a splash in Michigan this year

ELECTRIC BOATS: Amid concerns about climate change, air quality, lakeside quality of life and future supplies of fossil fuels, more Michigan boaters are switching to electric-powered vessels which are quieter and less polluting.We hear from DNR, an Elk Rapids marina owner, is thinking about installing chargers WHERE. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR CLARE, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, BENZIE COUNTY, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, DETROIT, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY GREENVILLE, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY ALPENA, CADILLAC, PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

Local ballot proposals create complex cannabis environment

CANNABIS: Local voters split last November on whether to allow pot businesses in their communities, but interest in legalizing access in Northern Michigan is expanding. We talk to NORML, the state Cannabis Regulatory Agency and marijuana business owners. Story includes references to and sources from Kalkaska, Alpena, Traverse City, Cadillac, Frankfort, Missaukee County, Petoskey, Gladwin County, Benzonia and Pittsfield Township sources. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR ALPENA, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, BENZIE COUNTY, CADILLAC, GLADWIN COUNTY, LANSING CITY PULSE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan’s low labor force participation rate remains a problem

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION: Business groups are hoping for action to raise the labor participation rate so employers have a better chance of filling job vacancies. We hear from the Small Business Association of Michigan and Michigan Chamber of Commerce. For news and business sections. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR CORP! GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

MSU playing central role in vaccine distribution in Ingham County

An individual arrives outside the pavilion to check-in to receive their vaccine. Photo by Kayla Richards. By April 13, a little more than 100,000 Ingham County residents, 42.9% of the county’s population, received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  

At the heart of Ingham County’s vaccination effort is the Michigan State University Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education, which opened Dec. 21 for vaccinations. MSU works with the Ingham County Health Department, which receives the vaccines from the state, to administer vaccines via drive-through at the pavilion, eight hours a day Tuesday through Friday. 

Lt. Dave Oslund, emergency management unit commander for the MSU Police Department, said the university works with the City of East Lansing and Ingham County’s emergency management unit.

Parents raise concerns about Haslett schools communication on in-person learning

Photo by Jack Harrsion

The timeline and communication by Haslett Public Schools officials offering in-person learning has caused parents to raise questions. The district first offered in-person learning in February. A district survey with 72% participation found that 58.8% of students are enrolled in the in-person hybrid option, while the remainder are entirely virtual. On March 12 Steven Cook, superintendent of Haslett Public Schools, announced the district will increase in-person learning to 20 hours per week by March 22. This came after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4048, requiring districts to offer at least 20 hours of in-person instruction to avoid additional funding loss.