Category Archives: Uncategorized

Isabella County organization to show film on human trafficking

Advocates against human trafficking in mid Michigan are hosting a free community film showing to raise awareness of human trafficking April 19.

Jennifer Fields is with the book club that’s organizing the event. She said after reading the book that the film is based on, her group wanted to raise awareness.

She says residents often think trafficking is a problem that happens ‘somewhere else’ or abroad. But, she says, she wants to change that perception. Continue reading

2nd Annual 5K-9 Race in Bay City

On Saturday, April 11th, the second annual 5K-9 race will take place in Bay City, Michigan.

The race proceeds go to the Judy V. Spencer fund, which is equally monitored by the Humane Society of Bay County and the Bay Area Women’s Center.

Michael Spencer said he promised his mother before she died in 2011 to keep her memory alive.

Judy Spencer was a victim of domestic violence several years ago. She also had a deep love for her dog, Montana.

Montana was there for Judy as she battled ovarian cancer for 23 months.

Michael says he wanted to do something that would help support pet coming out of domestic violence homes.

The fund now supports the care and shelter of pets being taken out of an abusive environment.

To sign up for the race, or to just donate to the fund, visit

UAW Membership grows to largest point since 2008


U-A-W membership grew to 400,000 people last year. That’s the largest the union has been since 2008. Kristin Dziczek is the Director of the Labor and Industry Group for the Center for Automotive Research. She says the U-A-W has been expanding for the past five years… but she’s not sure if the trend will continue.

“They represent teaching assistants, graduate students, at a number of universities. They also have a very high profile campaign to organize some of the southern automotive plants that are not yet members of the UAW.”

Dziczek says the union has experienced recent success recruiting members from higher education institutions… as well as from automotive plants in the Southern U-S.

“This is a cyclical industry, and after years and years of upticks, people who have been around for a while know that there’s a downturn coming at some point. So as long as, you know, a majority of the UAW membership is made up in the auto industry, they’re going to be subject to those cyclical changes in that industry.”

Dziczek also says at the peak of the auto industry, the U-A-W had about 650,000 members. She says the union will be renegotiating contracts with Detroit automakers this year.

This story was provided by WDET’s Marissa Gawel.

Appeals court rules utility poles as forestry crop, not farming

Farmers are getting out for planting around the state. And some in Michigan are planting a new crop; utility poles.

Educators with the Michigan State University Extension Office said they recently started growing utility pole crops in northern Michigan.

They said this new crop is great, but, they say, in some areas, farmers are running into problems with neighbors who don’t like the crop.

Kurt Schindler is with the MSU Extension Office. He said these neighbors took the case to the state court of appeals.

He said the township wanted to prohibit the crop production, so they took their case to the state court of appeals.

“And the reason why, is the local organization NIMBY Inc was upset because utility poles are a portrait or vertical orientation and they’re trying to sell their landscape for purposes of attracting tourists as a horizontal landscape,” Schindler said.

Schindler said group wanted to draw in tourism to the area -and says the crop landscape wouldn’t be inviting to tourists.

“We’ve had a Michigan Court of Appeals case which has ruled that growing utility poles is a forestry product and thus not subject to the protections under the right to farm act. And in Joe Rural Township, there was an opposition group,” Schindler said.

He said the crop is resistant to acorn woodpeckers.

The regulations take effect, Today, April 1.

MDOT continues to keep travelers safe with Mi Drive App’s first update

Looking to drive around Michigan? There’s an app for that The Michigan Department of Transportation has updated its MI Drive app.

Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications said the app uses cameras to notify users in real time. Users are also able to save their favorite cameras.

“Everything we do is about safe travel and trying to help people avoid congestion, avoid construction zones, anything that causes backups because it’s in backups that people get impatient and do things that can lead to crashes,” Cranson said.

Cranson said he hopes to see more cameras in rural areas.

The MI Drive App was originally released in November. The new version has faster loading speed and new map layers.

Cransons said it also helps cut down on pollution as well.

“It’s about the environment because any time you can avoid congestion and sitting stalled in traffic, you’re not idling, and you’re conserving fuel and cutting down on emissions too,” he said.

Transportation officials say they plan to continue updating the app as it receives feedback.

State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said the app has some 38,000 downloads.

Mi Drive App

Home heating representatives say homeowners are using dangerous methods to stay warm

According to data from the U.S. Fire Association, 130 people died in residential fires in Michigan last year.

Even though it’s officially spring, officials said homeowners are still struggling with heating their homes.
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Michigan locations in the running for best travel nationwide

Spring break may be a great time to travel, and not all travelers choose warm southern beach destinations. Some travel around Michigan.

USA Today is running a 10 Best, Readers Choice Awards contest.

Michigan has three destinations in the running.

Saugatuck, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and Seney Wildlife Refuge are in the running.

USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice Contest