Commercial fishing is critical infrastructure — will it survive COVID-19?

Michigan’s commercial fishing is critical infrastructure for the state’s food supply during the pandemic, yet some of its practitioners may not survive COVID-19. Reasons: closure of restaurants, legal limitations on the species they’re allowed to fish and competition from Canadian fishing operations. We hear from commercial fishers in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, Trout Unlimited and DNR. By Kurt Williams.

Abandoned mines aplenty, but cash to clean, close them, scarcer

Despite spending billions of dollars, federal agencies don’t know how many potentially dangerous or environmentally hazardous abandoned mining features there are on government land nationally, including Michigan, a new General Accountability Office study of spending from 2008-2017 shows. The Forest Service spent $954,000 for gates and related work in the U.P.’s Ottawa National Forest. Isle Royale National Park and Keweenaw National Historical Park recently received funding to deal with abandoned mine features. By Eric Freedman.

Study finds fewer minority nurses come from Michigan nursing programs

None of Michigan’s nursing programs rank in the nation’s top 50 for the number of minority nurses they graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a new study from the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race shows. That’s despite the state’s large proportion of minority residents. Nursing program administrators at Northern Michigan University and Michigan State discuss the challenges. Other programs include CMU, Grand Valley State, Davenport, Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State. By Maddy O’Callaghan.

Leelanau County airport seeks historic designation

The push to secure state historic site designation for the Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport in Northport is advancing. The former dairy farm is named for a famed local aviator who died in a plane crash and who numbered Charles Lindbergh among his students. The airport manager, Michigan History Center director and head of the Historical Society of Michigan explain. By Joe Dandron.

Rising waters threaten wells, drinking water systems

Rising water levels, including the Great Lakes, inland waters and groundwater, could threaten the safety of drinking water from wells and damage septic and sanitary sewage systems. We talk to a well driller in Traverse City, a Grand Traverse County environmental health expert and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. By Katrianna Ray.

Study finds health risk from Pine River fish

A recent study finds a risk that anglers in the Pine RIver may become sickened by the bacteria E. coli from agricultural runoff. Researchers are from Alma College and the University of Toronto. We hear from the Mid-Michigan District Health Department, a member of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. By Kyle Davidson.

Report calls for more oversight of charter schools

A Citizens Research Council report calls for more state oversight over how charter schools are authorized. Grand Valley and Central Michigan universities are the state’s two largest authorizers. We talk to the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, an MSU education expert and the MEA president. By Joshua Valiquette.

Pregnant prisoners would get better conditions if bills pass

Some lawmakers want to expand the legal rights of pregnant inmates at Michigan’s only women’s prison, Huron Valley. The Corrections Department says its policies already match parts of the legislation. The ACLU, American Friends Service Committee and Michigan Prison Doula Initiative discuss. By Danielle James.

Remembering the UP’s break-away movement

A new study recounts the 1970s anti-environmental movement that fueled calls for the Upper Peninsula to secede from Michigan and form a 51st state called Superior. The leader of the movement was Rep. Dominic Jacobetti, who blamed tougher environmental laws for the sharp decline in mining, logging and farming in the U.P. We talk to the researcher, who is a CMU alum from Grand Rapids, and the director of the U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University. By Eric Freedman.