Volunteers on a Moosewatch Expedition search for bones of moose that died in Isle Royale National Park.

Moose lessons: What they can teach us about human aging

AGING MOOSE: Getting old can be rough. Osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis. Periodontitis – a trio of chronic diseases that make bones fragile, make joints degenerate and make teeth become loose. That triple-whammy also besets moose, say Michigan Technological University and Duke University researchers who’ve studied the bones of 180 moose that died of natural causes in Isle Royale National Park. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.

Norm Hess is executive director of the Michigan Association for Public Health.

Limited access to health care contributes to higher rural death rates

RURAL MORTALITY: The gap in death rates between urban and less healthy rural areas has widened, USDA figures show. Rural hospitals are reducing services and communities are having trouble recruiting and retaining health care providers. We hear from the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health. By Anish Topowala. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, SAULT STE. MARIE, IRON MOUNTAIN, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

The ExpandXR exposure therapy program

Mental health resources expand for first responders

LAW ENFORCEMENT MENTAL HEALTH: Law enforcement personnel and other first responders face mental health problems from the demands of their jobs, and there are growing resources to help them. We hear from the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Police Officers Association of Michigan and Frontline Strong Together based at Wayne State. By Anish Topawala. FOR DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

New tax-form check box boosts Michigan organ donor registry

ORGAN DONORS: More than 6,000 Michigan residents so far have taken advantage of a 2023 law that lets them check a box on their income tax returns to be designated as an organ donor. A pending bill would mandate organ donor education for 9th graders. Ohio and Illinois have higher rates of organ donors among new drivers. We talk to Gift of Life and to lawmakers from Pittsfield Township and Berkley. Other sponsors include legislators from Grand Rapids, Detroit and Eastpointe. By Owen McCarthy. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS

A prototype of the net system used to trap mallards for relocation.

Researchers pioneer method to combat swimmer’s itch by relocating ducks

SWIMMER’S ITCH: Researchers from U-M, Hope College and Calvin University have designed a new system to relocate infected mallards from inland lakes where they cause swimmer’s itch. We talk to the Larks Lake Association in Emmet County. Other participating associations are at Higgins Lake in Roscommon County, Crystal Lake in Benzie County and Cheboygan County’s Black and Douglas Lakes. Ducks are being relocated to beaches on Lakes Huron and Michigan. By Alex Walters. FOR PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CRAWFORD COUNTY, CLARE COUNTY, BIG RAPIDS, GLADWIN COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

Black-legged tick

Climate change makes ticks a year-round pest in Michigan

TICKS: Climate change is transforming the patterns of disease-carrying ticks, raising public health concerns as winters become warmer and spring weather arrives earlier. We talk to an MSU researcher, an East Lansing dog groomer and an Oakland Township veterinary technician. By Gabrielle Ahlborn. FOR PLANET DETROIT, DETROIT 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.

GAAY Sports cultivates community through athletics

April 6 marked the final day for GAAY, which stands for GLBTQIA+, Athletes, Allies and You. The non-profit hosts many sports, including dodgeball, kickball and bowling across Lansing, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. For Lansing’s final dodgeball game of the season, it didn’t take long for the group of almost 60 players to mingle, make new friendsn and let the anxiety of gym class fade away.