Michigan National Guard works to make bases resilient to climate change

610temp.newThe Michigan National Guard and the Air National Guard will work to make its bases – and the communities near them – resilient to climate change. This comes three years after President Obama signed an Executive Order that instructs federal agencies to help state and local leaders prepare for extreme weather caused by climate change.
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This week is Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan

P1000474The awareness week is scheduled in the fall because we are approaching the winter months when water heaters, furnaces, and other fuel burning entities are more frequently used.

Jennifer Eisner is the Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Carbon monoxide is very hard to detect, the warning signs would include flu like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. So if you start to have sudden, severe flu like symptoms there is the potential that it’s carbon monoxide poisoning so it’s very important that you leave the area immediately and seek medical attention.”

Eisner says infants, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and typically show symptoms earlier.

She says if you notice symptoms it’s important to leave the area and immediately seek medical attention.

Flint city council expected to vote on trash collection service Monday

Rizzo Environmental Services, a trash collection agency that was vying for a contract to pick up trash in Flint, is under investigation with the FBI for what federal investigators call a pay-for-play scheme in a nearby county.

Rizzo Environmental Services is under investigation for allegedly paying bribes to a Clinton Township official. Dean Reynolds was arrested Thursday and charged in federal court.

FBI officials said between 50-70 thousand dollars was paid to Reynolds to secure a lucrative contract to tune of 18 million dollars.

In the meantime, Flint’s mayor and city council are working to reach an agreement on who should collect trash in the city;  Rizzo, who the mayor wants or competitor Republic Waste Services, which most of the city council has voted for.

Scott Kincaid is the Ninth Ward City Council Member for the city of Flint.

“The tentative agreement is a one year contract starting November 12, 2016 through November 12, 2017, with the option for an extension of the contract from November 12 2017 through November 12, 2018 with Republic Waste Services at the bid price that Rizzo quoted in their three year bid proposal.”

Kincaid says  Rizzo’s legal woes did not influence the city council’s decision to oppose them. He says council member never believed that Rizzo was a “responsible bidder” to begin with.  

The Flint City council has reached a tentative agreement, awarding the trash contract to Republic. The agreement is expected to be voted on Monday.

EPA decides to cap Kalamazoo landfill

LANDFILL 1After years of debate, the EPA has decided to cap and consolidate hazardous waste at Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. Several residents wanted all of the waste removed from the Superfund site.

Others suggested hiring the bioremediation company BioPath Solutions – which uses microbes to neutralize toxic chemicals. Michael Berkhoff is the EPA’s remedial project manager for Allied. He says BioPath Solutions could not prove to the EPA that their product works on PCBs.

The EPA’s record of decision released Friday calls for consolidating about half the contaminated soil into a capped mound in the middle of the site. This would allow room for industrial or commercial business – which the City of Kalamazoo advocated for last year.

Once the work starts, the agency expects the 63 million dollar project will take three years to complete.

“Keep GM” movement leaders in Lansing speak to CMU about community collaboration


Collaboration between private and public sectors is the main focus of a discussion tonight on the campus of Central Michigan University.

In 1996, General Motors was set to close a Lansing plant and displace seven-thousand workers. A group created a campaign to keep GM in Lansing, and even convinced them to build another plant.

David Hollister and Ray Tadgerson were key in convincing GM to stay in Lansing. Continue reading

There has been another sighting of a bull Elk in Mid Michigan

file2211281264306The elk was spotted earlier in the month in Isabella and Clare counties. The most recent report of an ambling elk came from Gratiot County.

Officials speculate all the sightings are the same animal, but without a photo, there is no way to be sure.

Brian Mastenbrook is the Wildlife Field Operations Manager with the DNR.

“These are wild elk, from up in Otsego and Cheboygan and it’s pretty rare for them to wander this far, they’ve done it before they’ve been to the north side of Bay City, they’ve been down around Houghton Lake, but it’s like every two or three or five years ya know one or sometimes two take off and make these long travels.”

Mastenbrook says elk are typically not a hazard to humans or other animals. He says he expects the animal to eventually make its way back up north.

Grants available for programming for people with developmental disabilities

484665892062d4dbb8c17fe028a65441The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council is looking for organizations interested in creating opportunities for developmentally disabled people.

The Council will award $650,000 in grants through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for programming increasing support for persons with disability. Continue reading

CMU Professor uses old photographs to create an imagined history of gay and lesbian relationships

On display at the 10th annual GETXOPHOTO festival in Getxo, Spain

On display at the 10th annual GETXOPHOTO festival in Getxo, Spain

A Central Michigan University Professor has traveled the world exhibiting her art.

Her exhibit Through the Lens of Desire was displayed in New York City and just finished displaying in Getxo, Spain.

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