Museum to highlight Michigan's legacy of stormy weather

Capital News Service
LANSING – Almost a century ago, two intense storms merged to form a massive, deadly blizzard that ravaged most of the Great Lakes – and almost everything in, on and around them. The hurricane-force winds were so violent that the storm killed more than 200 sailors and caused millions of dollars in damages. That tragedy, the Great Storm of 1913, stands as one of the defining moments in Michigan’s weather history. Alongside other Michigan weather history events, people can reexamine that storm in the Michigan Historical Museum’s upcoming exhibit, “Lake Effects,” set to debut Oct. 5.

Bicycling deaths drop, safety urged

Capital News Service
LANSING – The number of Michigan’s bicyclist deaths dropped 17 percent between 2011 and last year. Meanwhile, cycling groups continue to advocate more safety measures. Fatalities are down from 24 in 2011 to 20 in 2012, according to the Office of Highway Safety Planning. One fatal bicycling crash occurred in Holland and four in Grand Rapids between 2004 and 2011, Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Josh DeBruyn said. Overall, 788 crashes involving bicyclists were reported between 2004 and 2011 in Ottawa and Allegan counties, and 1,487 crashes in Kent County.

Fewer Michigan chestnuts roasting over an open fire this year

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan’s chestnut growers are facing the same problems other fruit growers confront this year. The early surge of temperatures in March and the inevitable cold weather in April and May curtailed nut production, just as it did for apples and cherries. “Our yield is about a quarter of last year’s,” said Joyce Ivory, the sales representative of Chestnut Growers Inc. (CGI), Michigan’s only chestnut grower coorperative based in Jackson. Ivory grows 20 acres of chestnut trees with her husband in Hadley Township near Flint. “There are huge demands and our supply can’t meet them,” she said.