With the addition of three new all-terrain wheelchairs, the total in Michigan state parks will be 14.

More all-terrain wheelchairs added to state parks

ACCESSIBILITY: More all-terrain wheelchairs will be added to state parks, making the outdoors more accessible to people with disabilities. Parks in Emmet, Berrien and Crawford counties will feature the wheelchairs this summer. That brings the total to 14. Holland, Grand Haven and Ludington already have them. We talk to a Department of Natural Resources official, three nonprofits including one in Coopersville and the Friends of Island Lake in Brighton. By Sophia Brandt. FOR ST. IGNACE, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, CRAWFORD COUNTY AVALANCHE, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, GRAND RAPIDS, WKTV AND ALL POINTS

Bill proposes universal mandatory lead poisoning testing for Michigan’s children 

LEAD TESTING: Only 14% of the state’s 6 year old were tested for lead poisoning in 2021. Advocates say all should be. A package of bills would require testing of all children between 9 to 12 months and again at 2-3. High-risk kids, such as those living in pre-1978 housing, would be tested again at 6. We talk to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes and a national nonprofit. By Jaden Beard. FOR DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS, LANSING AND ALL POINTS.

Ingham Committee recommends candidate for Racial Equity Task Force

Ingham County’s Human Services Committee has recommended a candidate for the Racial Equity Task Force.

The committee unanimously moved to recommend Amirika Richardson to the task force at the Human Services meeting in Lansing on April 3.

Richardson was interviewed by Ingham County Commissioner and Human Services Committee Chairperson Todd Tennis during the meeting. Richardson said  she wishes to bring the community together and collaborate with different organizations.

A family of four with homemade signs made by each family member that say "protect kids rights"

Michiganders rally together to celebrate transgender day of visibility

Dozens of community members endured rain and wind in celebration and protest as they rallied in front of the state capitol building to support transgender youth. March 31 was International Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual celebration created by Michigander Rachel Crandall-Crocker in 2009. 

LGBTQ+ members and allies across the country rallied to protest legislators’ attempt to prevent transgender people from being legally recognized and from receiving gender-affirming care.

Public land in small communities eyed for solar grids

SOLAR: Parks, vacant lots and even former dumping sites are being eyed as sites for solar grids. A pair of unlikely lawmakers – a Republican from the Upper Peninsula lawmaker and a Democrat from Ann Arbor – introduced bills to encourage the building and regulation of community solar power centers in smaller communities. By Dan Netter. FOR DETROIT, IRON MOUNTAIN, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan ranks 27th on 2023 national education ranking

EDUCATED STATES: When it comes to best-educated and worst-educated states, Michigan ranks 27th, slightly below the middle of the pack, a new analysis shows. It was higher than Ohio and Indiana but below Wisconsin and Illinois. High education rates can make the state more competitive for jobs and businesses, the Small Business Association of Michigan tells us. We also hear from the Michigan Education Justice Coalition in Detroit. By Jaden Beard. FOR CORP! GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Midwest environmental ethics examined in new book

ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: Ethical questions of how resources are allocated between people and nature rarely address those problems in the Midwest, but philosophy professors from MSU and Washburn University have tackled that gap in scholarship with a new book. One author says, “Think about all that’s been said about water issues (on the West Coast) and water rights in the East Coast. Not a lot has been said about the Midwest.” By Jack Armstrong. FOR PLANET DETROIT, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.