For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841; email@example.com. For other matters, contact Dave Poulson at (517) 432-5417 or (517) 899-1640 firstname.lastname@example.org. CNS EDITORS: Here are some stories that moved earlier during the spring semester but that you may not have had a chance to run. Note that periodically through the summer we will move stories produced by our partner, Great Lakes Echo. HERE IS YOUR FILE:
VEHICLE THEFTS — Michigan vehicle thefts dropped from 50,000 in 2006 to less than 20,000 in 2017, according to a recent auditor general’s report.
For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841; email@example.com. For other matters, contact Dave Poulson at (517) 432-5417 or (517) 899-1640 firstname.lastname@example.org. Editors: This is the final file of the spring semester. Next week we will move for your consideration a budget of stories that moved earlier in the semester and that you may have missed. Periodically through the summer we will move a package of environmental stories produced by our partner, Great Lakes Echo.
LANSING — A proposal to ban people high on marijuana from possessing firearms is pending in the House, but some law enforcement experts say there are too many questions around how marijuana affects the body to make such a move. Bills sponsored by Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, would criminalize possessing a firearm if a person has more than two nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter in their blood. THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes you high. Six states and Canada have set impaired driving thresholds for THC blood levels. None have set such limits on firearm possession, although the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2016 that a federal ban on gun sales to medical marijuana patients does not violate the Second Amendment.
LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2020 budget proposal would increase school funding by more than a half-billion dollars. The boost to the School Aid Fund would come from a proposed transfer of all higher education funding — which has in part relied on K-12 education dollars for almost a decade — back to the General Fund. The increase would provide an additional $235 million to foundation allowances, which is the state’s funding of basic classroom needs and daily operations. That amounts to $120 to $180 per student, with the largest increases going to districts with the lowest foundation allowances. Whitmer’s budget proposal also calls for an additional $120 million in special education funding, $102 million for at-risk students and $50 million for career and technical education.
LANSING — Most teachers wouldn’t recommend that their students follow in their footsteps, according to a recent Michigan survey. Launch Michigan, a diverse coalition of groups that are sometimes at loggerheads but come together to advocate for education changes, reports that 75% of Michigan educators would not recommend education as a career. That contributes to the challenges of recruitment and retention, experts say. Launch Michigan is a coalition of business, teacher, administrator and other organizations seeking education reform. Their hope is to find solutions and strategies for the problems teachers face and retain more educators, said Emma White, the principal researcher at Emma White Research who did the survey.
LANSING — Michigan doesn’t have enough personal care workers for the growing population of elderly residents and more aren’t coming, experts say. The state will need 32,000 more elder care aides next year, said Clare Luz, an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine who has studied the need for the past 10 years. The study said that personal care workers help reduce falls by 76% and the number of emergency hospital visits by 56%. They can improve emotional health by 79% and overall physical health by 77%. The shortage is at a critical level, she said.
LANSING — Blackpoll warblers are on a 12,400-mile trip to their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska from the Amazon Basin and northern South America — with tiny backpacks. What sort of luggage did they take? Tiny backpacks with geolocators given to them by researchers hoping to understand their migration paths and the pit stops they make to refuel. They’ll be here in the Great Lakes Basin, a crucial stop, around mid-May, according to a recent study, “A Boreal Songbird’s 20,000 km Migration across North America and the Atlantic Ocean,” published March 19 in “Ecology.”
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario are the only substantial stopover points that blackpoll warblers make during their spring migration, according to William DeLuca, one of the researchers on this study and an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts. The warbler stops here in early and mid-May to indulge in insects before making the final push to Alaska and northern Canada, DeLuca said.
LANSING — Rolling hills, beautiful beaches, great sunsets and a lot of water are just a few things you’ll find in Leelanau County, according to Jon Constant. “People need to see this,” the Leelanau County resident said. “It’s just so pretty.”
It was his love for the area that inspired Constant to write “Leelanau by Kayak,” a love story to the Michigan county. Leelanau County is the little finger of Michigan, about 30 miles north of Traverse City. The cover of “Leelanau by Kayak” describes the book as containing “day trips, pics, tips and stories of a beautiful Michigan peninsula.”
The first edition was published last spring by Mission Point Press, and can be purchased for $22.
LANSING — How a sea lamprey responds to the threat of predators could be another key to keeping their population under control, according to researchers. Using a sharp-toothed, jawless sucker mouth, sea lampreys suck blood and bodily fluids from other fish. A single sea lamprey feeds on about forty pounds of fish in its lifespan, making it a damaging invasive species. It’s sensible to research a variety of methods to keep their numbers in check, said Michael Wagner, an associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Ongoing research at Hammond Bay Biological Station off Lake Huron investigates using sea lamprey odors to do that.