Local produce stores aim to bring affordability to food deserts

The way food travels from farm to table is complex. The food that shoppers normally see in massive grocery stores is grown on large farms, harvested in large quantities, stored until it can be transported to market and finally sold in grocery stores. When the food supply chain is local, the process can become even more nuanced. Two stores in Lansing that promote local food production are The Eastside Lansing Food Co-op and Campbell’s Market Basket. 

MCAH works “behind the scenes” to end homelessness

Chronic homelessness is defined as living on the streets for 12 months out of the last 36. A number of shelters and organizations are finding their own ways to address the needs of these citizens in Lansing. One of the organizations is the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH). According to MCAH’s communications manager Amy Stephenson, MCAH works more “behind the scenes.”

A student in the PRIME program at Grand Haven High School.

Michigan manufacturers work to expand engineering training to high schools

PRIME PROGRAM: The Michigan Manufacturers Association plans to expand its PRIME program that teaches high schoolers skills and technologies that are badly needed by the manufacturing sector. We talk to the association and a Grand Haven High School teacher. Among other participating high schools are ones in Alpena, Hancock, Rudyard, Pontiac. Cheboygan, Grand Rapids, Three Rivers and Bay City, with Traverse City slated to join later this year. By Sophia Ceru. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HOLLAND, IRON MOUNTAIN, SAULT STE. MARIE, MIDLAND, DETROIT, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, MARQUETTE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

Controversial loan program benefits Michigan colleges 

COLLEGE LOANS: Five Michigan colleges have taken advantage of a USDA loan program for rural and agricultural areas to finance new buildings and facilities. Alma College’s president says the $39.4 million it borrowed has paid off in rising enrollment. Others are Adrian University of Olivet, Glen Oaks Community College and Bay Mills Community College. The Michigan Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says the benefits are visible on participating campuses. Some rural borrowers nationally haven’t seen the expected benefits, however. By Elijah Taub. FOR ADRIAN, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.

Professor Alan Steinman is a water researcher at Grand Valley State University.

Salty groundwater in Michigan could hurt agriculture, business and homeowners

SALINITY: Rising salt levels in some Michigan groundwater is killing crops and tainting drinking water. The problem is especially severe in Ottawa County, which is closely monitoring the situation, and also of concern in Southwest Michigan and the Thumb. We talk to a Grand Valley State University researcher, Ottawa County’s director of strategic impact and a Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy expert. By Alex Walters. FOR HOLLAND, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, MIDLAND AND ALL POINTS.

Road rage: How Michigan promotes efforts to keep drivers safe

ROAD RAGE: Only 0.03% of car crash fatalities in the state are caused by road rage or aggressive driving, making Michigan the fourth-safest state for road rage deaths. However, experts warn that anger still plagues Michigan’s roads. Recent incidents include crashes in Ottawa County, Traverse City and Rockford. Includes references to Hillsdale, Lenawee, Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties. We hear from the State Police and the founder of a Detroit-based road safety group. By Theo Scheer. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, GREENVILLE, WKTV, DETROIT, HOLLAND, HILLSDALE, ADRIAN, BLISSFIELD AND ALL POINTS.

Nicole White is the policy director BirthDetroit.

Measures, new birth center, take aim at disparities in maternal health care

IMPLICIT MATERNAL BIAS: New Senate legislation may allow Michigan to join 41 other states in licensing and reimbursing birth centers for their services. The proposal comes as a Detroit organization plans to open a Black-led birth center later this year. Sponsors are from Detroit, Lansing, Taylor and Redford Township. We hear from BirthDetroit, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. By Sophia Ceru. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

The fall 2023 orientation for international students at Oakland University.

Universities strive for more growth in international student enrollment

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Enrollment of international students at Michigan’s public universities is rising after a pandemic-related decline, bolstering the state’s economy and diversifying perspectives on campuses. We hear about Ferris State, Oakland and U-M. By Anish Topawila. FOR BIG RAPIDS, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, IRON MOUNTAIN, MIDLAND, CORP, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

The Kirtland’s warbler is one of the rarest songbirds in North America, living only in Michigan and parts of Wisconsin and Ontario during breeding season.

New names slated for birds, including Kirtland’s warbler

BIRD NAMES: Michigan’s endangered Kirtland’s warbler is about to be de-Kirtlandized as the American Ornithological Society moves to remove the names of people, some with racist connections, from the names of 70 birds, 21 of them in Michigan, including the Cooper’s hawk, Wilson’s snipe, Bonaparte’s gull and Harris’s sparrow. Bird lovers disagree on that action. By Clara Lincolnhol. FOR CADILLAC, MIDLAND, CLARE, BIG RAPIDS, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON AND ALL POINTS.