Environmental group finds toxic chemicals in university promotional items

Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan might be a divided house when it comes to college sports but the in-state rivalry might be more toxic than fans know. Both University of Michigan and Michigan State University fan gearcontained varying levels of potentially toxic chemicals, according to a recent study by the Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit environmental organization. The study examined 65 products for 19 universities bought from prominent retail stores around the country, environmental health campaign director Rebecca Meuninck said. Most University of Michigan products were purchased from a Walgreens in Ann Arbor and most Michigan State University products were purchased from a Kroger in East Lansing. Other universities in the study included University of Wisconsin, University of North Carolina, Duke University and University of Connecticut.

Focal Point Fall 2013 [Special Sports Edition]

Michigan State Football took back the Paul Bunyan Trophy after a sizable win over the University of Michigan. MSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are off to a great start, winning every game at home so far. And, MSU students react to the new Detroit Tiger’s manager. Focal Point is an Emmy awarding winning, student produced newscast from the School of Journalism at Michigan State University.

Empty lots, 'shrinking city,' bring opportunities to Detroit

Capital News Service
LANSING — The vision of Detroit that Andrew Herscher presents isn’t the glitz of the Renaissance Center, the renovation of the Cobo Center or new townhouses with Detroit River views. Nor is it the proliferation of burned-out crack houses, abandoned cars or graffiti-marred overpasses. Instead, the University of Michigan architecture professor offers community gardens flourishing in empty lots, artists using fire-damaged buildings as palettes for creative projects and neighborhood fairs in the city’s alleys. Herscher recasts what’s often characterized as a “shrinking city” – shrinking population, shrinking places to shop, shrinking jobs, shrinking economic prospects – and portrays Detroit as a venue for “new understandings of the city’s spatial and cultural possibilities.”

Opportunities come from what he labels “unreal estate,” meaning “urban territory that has fallen out of the literal economy, the economy of the market, and thereby become available to different systems of value, whether cultural, social, political or otherwise.”
One such endeavor on the Eastside, the 27-year-old Heidelberg Project, is well-known as a self-described “outdoor community art environment” that relies on recycled and found materials. But there is far more grassroots, future-looking activity going on across the city, according to Herscher’s new book, the “Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit” (University of Michigan Press, $29.95),
Thus a community group harvesting wild blackberries and mulberries on public and abandoned property, then trading the fruit for products or services.

Prison population continues to drop

Capital News Service
LANSING —- Michigan has its smallest prison population since 1997. “Prison populations have been dropping in the last five years,” said Russ Marlan, the public information officer at the Department of Corrections. Michigan prisons had 42,940 inmates at the end of December, compared to a peak of 51,554 in March 2007, according to a new department report. “It’s good news,” said David Moran, clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan. “As of 2008, the U.S. had the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Minority enrollment hurt at public law schools

Capital News Service
LANSING– Michigan public law schools are admitting fewer minority students than most of the state’s private law schools, a new study shows. The reason, experts say, is a 2006 constitutional provision, Proposal 2, which prohibits public colleges and universities from considering the race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin of applicants. The University of Michigan and Wayne State University have public law schools with 22 and 16 percent minority enrollment respectively. The state’s private ones are Michigan State University, Thomas M. Cooley and the University of Detroit Mercy. The minority enrollment rate for these institutions ranges from 19 to 27 percent.