Some therapists say virtual visits should last beyond the pandemic

THERAPY: The pandemic has widened the use of teletherapry for mental health counseling. Some experts say it’s just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy and moe convenient for many clients, especially amid the pandemic-related exacerbation of mental health problems and constraints on travel and indoor activities. It also makes therapy more accessible to residents of rural areas in the state. Health insurers may determine how much teletherapy continues after the pandemic. We talk to psychologists and therapists Eastern Michigan and Grand Valley State universities, Milford and Farmington Hills explain. By Sheldon Krause. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Will remote learning mark the end of school snow days?

SNOW DAYS: With remote learning, why do school districts still call snow days? Reasons include the fact that some students, especially in Northern Michigan and other rural areas in the state, lack reliable access to the internet and computers. Biden, Whitmer and a U.S. Rep. Moolennar of Midland are among the political leaders proposing ways to deal with the problem. We hear from superintendents in Lake City and Traverse City, the MEA and the state Association of Superintendents & Administrators. By Chloe Trofatter. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, CADILLAC, CLARE COUNTY, CADILLAC, LEELANAU, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, BIG RAPIDS, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, BENZIE, OCEANA, CRAWFORD COUNTY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, HERALD REVIEW, LAKE COUNTY, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.CIVILIAN REVIEW: Battle Creek is considering establishing a civilian review board. Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Lansing, Benton Harbor and Ann Arbor have them, while Detroit’s would like broader powers. We hear from officials at the Civil Rights Department, Battle Creek NAACP and Detroit board. By Elaine Mallon. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Professor inspects black tubing running into a machine.

MSU professor aims to turn wastewater into drinkable water

 A new water treatment facility is coming to East Lansing. The project, spearheaded by Michigan State University professor Dr. Wei Liao will be just south of 1855 Place on campus. The goal of the plant, according to Liao, is to turn wastewater into drinkable water. However, Liao says that goal is not attainable at this moment due to regulations. For now, Liao is focusing on turning sewage water and wastewater into renewable energy by extracting nutrients from food waste and sewage water and converting them into energy.

Providers call for expansion of telehealth services beyond COVID-19

TELEHEALTH: The COVID pandemic has spurred the growth of telemedicine as safer, less expensive and more efficient than in-person medical visits, especially for patients in rural areas. Between February and April of last year, primary care telehealth visits in Michigan jumped over 59%, and there is a move in Congress to permanently assist telehealth efforts. The Michigan Primary Care Association, which has 44 affiliated health centers, explains. By Chloe Trofatter. FOR ALL POINTS.

Doorbell cameras worry privacy advocates as police use them to cut crime

DOORBELL SNOOP: Sixty Michigan police and sheriff’s departments have agreements with Amazon letting them access footage from Amazon Ring video doorbells. Supporters say such arrangements promote community safety, but privacy experts worry because such surveillance lacks regulation and transparency. We talk to a Macomb Community College expert, Livonia and Ann Arbor police and residents of Clawson and Pinkney. Program partners include police in Three Rivers, Grand Rapids, Holland, Traverse City, Lansing, St. Johns, Portage, Kentwood, Auburn Hills and Ferndale. By Hannah Brock & Chloe Alverson. FOR DETROIT, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS AND ALL POINTS.

Rob Blackshaw, director of operations for the Michigan State Capitol Commission, walks through the Capitol’s former basement boiler room, which now contains equipment for the building’s new geothermal heating and cooling system.

Cutting-edge heating and cooling technology, 21st century style, returns to state Capitol

An obscure door tucked beneath one of the massive stone staircases outside of Michigan’s state capitol reveals yet another steep stairwell leading to a coal-fired boiler room. It was once the center of one of the most sophisticated heating and cooling system of the 19th century. Today, the same room is poised to gather heat from 272 wells sunk 500 feet below the Capitol grounds as part of a complex multi-million dollar utility upgrade. By David Poulson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS

Lansing, East Lansing work to get online education right

Kendra Freeman doesn’t know what she should do. When the Lansing School District decided on July 17 it would move to fully virtual learning for the first marking period between Aug. 31 and Nov. 6, Freeman, a mother of a 9th grader and kindergartner, was left wondering how she was going to make it work. “It has been very tough as far as moving online,” Lansing School District parent Kendra Freeman.

Novi teacher unites students and staff online

The Coronavirus has disconnected students and staff. But one teacher decided to change that… Novi High School French teacher Nicholas LeTarte, is infamous in Novi for the countless number of videos he’s made with staff and students. So when an administrator decided to start #NoviTogether, a community where students and staff can remain connected during the school closure, LeTarte decided to join in on the fun. “I’ve found myself trying to interact a little bit more with Twitter,” LeTarte said.