Wood products from urban sources a growing trend

URBAN WOOD: City trees and demolished buildings could help save the environment and small businesses. A growing “urban wood” movement is producing building materials and lumber salvaged from city streets and buildings. The practice also locks global warming greenhouse gases into products. We talk to mill operators in Hillsdale and Detroit and an Ann Arbor-based wood recycling expert. FOR HILLSDALE, DETROIT, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS By Liam Jackson

Holidays can be stressful for all, including pets

HOLIDAY PETS: If your dog throws up her Thanksgiving dinner on that brand new carpet, don’t blame her. Instead, remember to include her in the plans of your next holiday gathering.
Just like people, pets need a routine and a stress-free holiday. We talk to a kennel owner in Ludington, an Oceana County animal control officer and the state’s veterinarian. By Liam Jackson. For news and feature sections. FOR OCEANA, LUDINGTON, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Undocumented workers could be untapped revenue source

DRIVER’S LICENSES: Undocumented Michiganders are fighting for the right to obtain a driver’s license, an action supporters say could generate $100 million for the state. An initiative called Drive SAFE could pave the way. Bills introduced last year will die at the end of the calendar year but advocates hope to push it in the next legislative session. We talk to Sparta apple grower who supports the legislation, a state senator, and the Michigan League for Public Policy. By Liam Jackson. FOR LANSING, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, WKTV, BLISSFIELD, ADRIAN, OCEANA, LUDINGTON, IONIA, HOLLAND, HILLSDALE, FOWLERVILLE, GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS, MONTMORENCY AND ALL POINTS.

Asparagus growers target online sales 

SPECIALTY CROPS – Promoting online sales of asparagus is among the $1.2 million in projects to support Michigan specialty crops recently awarded by federal officials. The COVID19 pandemic proved that asparagus didn’t benefit from the surge of online buying, farm officials said. Addressing that deficit is among the dozen projects recently awarded federal support. Others include hops and cherries. BY LIAM JACKSON. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CORP!, TRAVERSE CITY, OCEANA COUNTY, LANSING, GRAND RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

Levi Dutcher, with his family outside of Old Grove Christmas Tree Farm in Caledonia, will carry on a family tradition of selling trees.

‘Best year’ in long time boosts Christmas tree farms

CHRISTMAS TREES: This growing season for Christmas trees was the best year in a long time, benefiting Michigan’s 500 Christmas tree farmers. Michigan is third in the country in Christmas tree production, producing 2 million trees a year. We talk to farmers in Caledonia, Manton near Cadillac and Port Austin, as well as the head of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association. FOR CADILLAC, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS

Gaps grow for walking, biking behaviors

WALKING AND BIKING: Older and poorer people in Michigan walk and bike far less than their younger and richer counterparts, a gap that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent study reports. Age, education and identification as a minority correlate with less walking and biking for recreation, the study said. One reason why lower-income people walked less than wealthier people during the pandemic could be that more of them had to work in the service sector as essential workers. We talk to an Michigan State University expert, the Michigan Municipal League and the League of Michigan Bicyclists.By Liam Jackson FOR HOLLAND, LUDINGTON AND ALL POINTS.

Proposed fund would help reclaim old mines

MINING: Mining reclamation projects, such as creating a safety barrier between an abandoned mine and a hiking trail, could get a boost under legislation proposed by a Marquette lawmaker. But one big problem: the money would be diverted from education. The proposed Metallic Mineral Mine Reclamation Fund would be used to fill tunnels, shafts and entryways of land that had previously been used for mining. We talk to the Sierra Club, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Michigan Education Association. By Liam Jackson. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, IRON MOUNTAIN, ST. IGNACE and ALL POINTS.

Dreamboat on the water, a Coolest Thing Made in Michigan top 10 contest winner.

Contest finds Michigan’s coolest manufactured products

COOLEST THINGS: Mattresses that stay cool on hot nights, an electric motorcycle, a table for performing back surgery and a hand-crafted boat that took a year to build are in the running for the Coolest Thing Made in Michigan. The Michigan Manufacturers Association contest is down to 10 candidates that exemplify diversity of the state’s manufacturers. A winner is set to be announced Nov. 10. By Liam Jackson. FOR HOLLAND, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, HILLSDALE, ADRIAN AND ALL POINTS.

Legislative fixes to drain code stir controversy

DRAIN CODE: A proposed plan to revamp how Michigan manages water problems would give drain commissioners authority across county lines. The change is part of a package of legislative fixes to the state drain code that could set up water management programs based around a single drainage basin that overlap multiple counties. Advocates say that would make it easier to manage floods. By Liam Jackson. FOR ALL POINTS