Blue-collar suicides focus of state prevention effort

BLUE COLLAR SUICIDES: Construction workers are experiencing disproportionately high suicide rates, and other blue-collar occupations are also witnessing high levels of mental health problems. We talk to the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and a national suicide prevention group. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

How Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget would allocate $437 million in state spending on housing programs in the upcoming fiscal year.

Advocates say affordable housing budget proposal falls short

AFFORDABLE GREEN HOUSING: The governor proposes spending $437 million to expand affordable, energy-efficient housing, an amount far below what some Democratic lawmakers, environmental groups and social welfare activists say is needed. We hear from nonprofit group leaders in Detroit and Grand Rapids, the Michigan Environmental Council, the governor and several national organizations. By Andrew Roth. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY LIMITS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

State budget proposal aims to fill kids’ hunger gap

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.

The avian flu has not harmed Michigan’s commercial turkey farms to date.

Turkey farms spared so far from avian flu

TURKEYS: While avian flu hit Michigan’s chicken farms heavily, contributing to higher egg and chicken prices, the state’s commercial turkey farms have largely been spared so far. Only one turkey farm, in Muskegon County, has been hit. Turkey farmers have ramped up biosecurity measures but worry about the impending spring bird migration to the state. We talk to the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, DNR and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Dan Netter. FOR HOLLAND, OCEANA, WKTV, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan experiences spike in calls to mental health hotline 

MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS: The number of calls to the state’s mental health crisis line has been on the rise, fueled by the pandemic and especially trending upward for adolescents and young adults. Rising demand for help comes at a time when the state has too few psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.We hear from the Mental Health Association in Michigan and a Wayne State psychology professor. By Jaden Beard. FOR DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Polluter-pay laws could return under Democratic majority

POLLUTER PAY: During the governorship of John Engler, Michigan weakened laws intended to make polluters foot the bill for cleanup of contaminated land and water. Now there are lawmakers calling for holding the polluters financially liable rather than relying on tax money for cleanups. We hear from Clean Water Action, Ann Arbor and Royal Oak senators and the Attorney General’s Office. Andrew Roth: FOR PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.