RIVERWALK: The Detroit RiverWalk and a tree-planting project in Grand Rapids are examples of efforts to improve outdoor access for residents of Michigan cities. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy explain. By Jake Christie. FOR WKTV, DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.
OUTDOOR EQUITY: For years, lack of outdoor equity has been something the DNR has been trying to find solutions for. There are projects in Detroit and Flint tackling the problem, as well as other programs such as free fishing weekends and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. By Camryn Evans. FOR PLANET DETROIT, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.
East Lansing’s Independent Police Oversight Commission discussed the findings of the police department’s “Fair and Impartial Police Assessment” at the commission’s monthly meeting on Feb. 1.
SCHOOL MEALS: The Whitmer administration wants to use state funds to close the hunger gap created when the federal government ended its pandemic-era program that paid for free breakfast and lunch for all schoolchildren regardless of household income. We talk to the food services director of the Jenison & Hudsonville Schools, who also heads the School Nutrition Association of Michigan, XXX and YYY. By Sophia Brandt. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
WHEELCHAIRS ON PLANES: Airline travel has its hassles, but the experience can be harrowing for wheelchair users. Possible ways to allow passengers to travel using their own chairs are getting a renewed look. We talk to a Lansing disability advocate who travels by plane, a University of Michigan transportation researcher and the International Air Transport Association. By Samuel Blatchford. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
CIVIL RIGHTS EXPANSION: A Senate committee is moving ahead with legislation to expand the state civil rights law to better protect LGBTQ residents. Advocates contend the legislation would reinforce a 2022 state Supreme Court ruling on the scope of the current law in a case brought by businesses in Sturgis and Gwinn. Story includes lawmakers from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bay City, Southfield, Warren, Flint and Kalamazoo. By Morgan Womack. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MARQUETTE, MIDLAND AND ALL POINTS.
PARK: The DNR and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe jointly manage and make decisions about Sanilac Petroglyphs State Historic Park in the Thumb. It’s the state’s largest known collection of early Native American teachings carved in stone. Includes reference to Cranbrook Art Museum. By Sophia Brandt. FOR LAPEER, MIDLAND, BAY MILLS, TRAVERSE CITY, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.
CIVIL RIGHTS PRIORITIES: The new Democratic chair of the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, from Detroit, wants the panel to address such issues as gender identity and sexual orientation and advocating for juvenile justice. The GOP vice chair, from White Lake, wants the panel to look at increased transparency of Child Protective Services cases. We also talk to the Michigan Association of Counties. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
In addition to climbing suicide rates, the LGBTQ+ community faces disparities regarding the law. Student-led organizations offer safe spaces for queer youth on Michigan State University’s campus.
ENERGY INSECURITY: Household energy bills rose after the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows, creating energy insecurity and leading to people looking for techniques for coping with finances and behavior, including reducing temperatures to an unsafe level. In Michigan, DTE Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Public Service Commission designed a process to provide energy efficiency education and assistance to those struggling with utility bills. We hear from DTE and a researcher. By Borjana Alia. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.