A Northern Michigan school district promotes diversity in a non-diverse region

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Northern Michigan is not a very diverse region, which is reflected in the extremely small percentage of different ethnicities in Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS). Shown here are the total numbers of students of each ethnicity via Mary Beth Stein, a student services coordinator at TCAPS. Below are the numbers from the 2010 census year. Gina McPherson, a preschool teacher at TCAPS, has a lot of experience with this.

Traverse City has some special things to offer entrepreneurs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.

Northern Michigan pioneers effort to reduce food waste

Capital News Service
LANSING – Emmet County’s recycling program has been recognized as one of four model programs in the state for having a high quality service that matches the needs of the community. The Michigan Profile of Recycling Programs and Potential Recycling studied recycling programs across the state, concluding that the level of participation among residents and businesses is a strong social cue to encourage others to recycle. The study was done by the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments with a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality. Under a recent law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, beginning October 1, establishments that recycle 100 tons or more per year must collect data and report their activities to the state. The law requires the Department of Environmental Quality to operate a statewide database of recycling efforts, exclusive of food waste, by the facilities, which will be published annually online.

Undaunted by federal rejection, Michigan pursues drone opportunities

Capital News Service
LANSING – While the state recently lost its bid for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone test site in northern Michigan, aviation officials insist they’ll be able to advance the new industry. The FAA recently designated sites in six other states, none in the Great Lakes region. Those now have federal support for civil and commercial exploration of what are known as unmanned aerial systems.
The competition received 25 applications from 24 states. The winners are Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia. Michigan remains committed to advancing the fledgling industry, said Rick Carlson, transport and safety manager for the Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of Aeronautics.

Schools spotlight anti-bullying programs

Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan’s anti-bullying law is only a year old, but some northern Michigan districts such as Alpena and St. Ignace have much more experience with anti-bullying policy and prevention. Alpena Public Schools has had an anti-bullying policy for at least 15 years, said Michelle Cornish, the district’s bullying prevention coordinator and Thunder Bay Junior High assistant principal. The program teaches students how to recognize, react to and report bullying, including cyberbullying. “We encourage students to report all incidents of bullying so that we can establish patterns and identify who the bullies really are,” Cornish said.

Lawmakers want more local authority over ORVs

Capital News Service
LANSING – Northern Michigan local governments may soon be able to authorize off-road vehicle (ORV) regulations and ordinances. Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, said he is trying to make it easier for ORV riders to use the designated trail systems within the counties in northern Michigan. The proposal would allow local governments to adopt ordinances to permit ORV riders to avoid the long detours between designated ORV routes. Riders could either drive on shoulders of state trunk line highways or local governments could authorize connections on dislocated segments of ORV trails in certain northern roadways, including ones in Mason, Gladwin, Wexford and Crawford counties. Johnson’s bill would give the state Transportation Department 60 days to decide if local governments could authorize such ordinances.

Wildlife moves north, south, as climate warms, forest regrow

Capital News Service
LANSING – Bears, porcupines, bobcats and pileated woodpeckers are moving their homes far to the south, while small mammals like mice, squirrels, chipmunks and opossums are moving north, according to the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy. This mutual shift in wildlife distributions and densities – together with an exploding population of certain species – is becoming evident in many locations across the state. John Niewoonder, a Department of Natural Resources(DNR) state wildlife biologist based in Grand Rapids, said the best example is the black bear. “Black bears are rare, even seven years ago in Grand Rapids. Usually they appear in the Upper North, but this year we see them outside the city.”

“People saw bears a couple of years ago in the Lansing area.

Virus risks still high in northern Michigan, experts warn

LANSING — Although temperatures are beginning to drop as summer winds down, the risk for insect-borne illness is still on the rise in northern Michigan. The highest risk for contracting an insect-borne illness like West Nile or Eastern equine encephalitis occurs between August and early October, according to the Department of Community Health. “We don’t see a rise in cases of West Nile until mid-August and this year is up from last year a lot,” said Angela Minicuci, public information officer for Community Health. West Nile is spread by a mosquito species that easily reproduces in a warm, dry climate. With the little rainfall Michigan has had over the summer, the population of these mosquitoes has risen, said Minicuci.