Water quality testing limited to few beaches

Capital News Service
Michigan received $152,000 in federal grants for 2014 to monitor the cleanliness of its lakes and beaches. That’s more than $200,000 less than the state was allotted in 2013, according to Department of Environmental Quality toxicologist Shannon Briggs. And state lawmakers have already spoken for nearly two-thirds of this year’s money by allocating $100,000 of it to the Macomb County Health Department in southeast Michigan. “We had a re-direct of $100,000 of that $150,000,” said Brad Wurfel, communications director for the Department of Environmental Quality. “It is done.”

The downside is that there is far less money allocated to testing water safety elsewhere in the state this year.

Health centers receive cancer screening grants

Capital News Service
LANSING – Twenty-two community health centers are receiving federal grants to improve quality of care, especially for reproductive cancer screenings for women. The Michigan centers are among 810 nationwide to receive grants funded by the Affordable Care Act. Facilities receiving $55,000 grants include Cherry Street Services in Grand Rapids; the Ingham County Health Department in Lansing; Center for Family Health in Jackson; Upper Peninsula Association of Rural Health Services Inc. in Marquette; and Detroit Community Health Connection. Each recipient is part of the Federally Qualified Health Center Program and is eligible to receive such funding to supplement health care outreach initiatives. “Community health centers in Michigan are committed to providing high quality health care services to our residents,” said James Haveman, the director of the Department of Community Health.

State promotes spaying, neutering of pets

Capital News Service
LANSING — Grants to support spaying and neutering in Michigan shelters will help save animal lives, experts say. Steve Hall, the director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter, received $9,173 from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to allow his shelter to pay for more work time from its veterinarian. “That would allow us to spay or neuter an additional 312 animals, and that is 312 animals that would otherwise be euthanized,” Hall said. Dave Burke, a veterinarian and the president of the board of directors of the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City, said spaying and neutering increase adoption rates. “An animal that is already neutered or spayed has a higher probability of being adopted because the people think that this is one additional expense they don’t have to worry about,” Burke said.

New roundabout proposal finds opposition

By Alyssa Firth
Meridian Times staff writer

A third roundabout is being considered for Meridian Township at Burcham and Park Lake Road in Okemos. Though the board has yet to make a decision on it, residents have already shown concern at the Feb. 1 Township Board meeting. One roundabout already exists at Marsh Road and Hamilton and another at Hulett and Bennett roads. Residents have complained that the roundabout at Marsh has caused more congestion and backups, but Police Chief David Hall has seen a difference in accidents at the intersection since the installation in 2009.