Category Archives: Causes

Over 2 million pounds of food have been delivered to Flint so far this year

food pantry-1As much as 400 thousand pounds of food are delivered to Flint residents every month. This according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The effort is part of a program that offers free high-nutrient foods available to residents to offset lead exposure.

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Project to bring Christmas gifts to foster children in need of pilots

AeroplaneA lot of adults know how Santa feels – giving presents to children during the holiday season. But if you’re a pilot and want to know what his reindeer might feel like, we have just the thing. The state is looking for volunteer pilots to help carry gifts to foster children across the state.

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Smart911 to be implemented statewide

911d995c3f544c56beea5d16133c50ef911 calls made from cell phones can now include user profiles with important information, thanks to a program called Smart911.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley announced says the state will provide two-million dollars to make the technology available to dispatch centers across the state.

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Anti-fracking group challenges petition limits

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The petition campaign to outlaw fracking in Michigan is asking the state Court of Appeals to overturn a 180-time limit on gathering signatures. The campaign is asking the court to strike down a law signed in June by Governor Rick Snyder.

Lu Ann Kozma is with the anti-fracking campaign. She would like the court to rule soon so the campaign can decide whether to continue gathering signatures. Continue reading

CMU hosts an event aimed at educating students on social justice issues

file2371256841486It’s called Issue Day, and it holds conversations about issues like Black Lives Matter, sex trafficking, and the environment.

This year’s event will bring in speakers and organizations to talk about things like safer sex, hunger, volunteering, and more.

Lauren Lynn is the events student coordinator at the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU.

“Someone was sitting here and was like how can we provide students with education that will preempt them to then do service and then allow to have that reflection. So someone came up with the idea, they had people come in and speak and for the last 16 years we’ve been doing it that same way.”

Lynn says the goal is to inspire students to become more active citizens and help within their community.

Issue Day is scheduled to run Saturday October 15th from 9am to 1pm in the UC rotunda at CMU.

Lawmakers say first responder health fund should cover breast cancer

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Some Democrats in the Legislature say a state health care fund for firefighters and other first responders should cover breast cancer treatments.

State Senator Curtis Hertel (East Lansing) says firefighters are commonly exposed to benzene and other chemicals linked to breast cancer. He says it’s only fair that breast cancer is covered by the first responders fund.

“Those that protect us should always be protected,” he said.

Detroit Senior Firefighter Elizabeth Szmrecsanyi says women in her profession are three times more likely than the average woman to develop breast cancer.

“We put our lives on the line, just like our brethren do in the fire department,” she said, “and I don’t see why females – why our parts shouldn’t be covered just as the gentlemen already are.”

Unions for police, firefighters and other first responders support the expansion.

Hertel says policymakers were slow to recognize the risk to female firefighters, in part, because there are so many more men in the profession. But he says new studies show the dangers to female first responders.

“Some of it’s just common sense,” he said. “We know that dangerous chemicals like benzene lead to breast cancer, and that’s what people in a fire are fighting. So, oftentimes, people are going to have exposure and we should make sure they’re protected.”

Michigan’s first responder health care fund already covers 10 types of cancer – including prostate and testicular cancer. It was created in 2014, but it wasn’t funded by the Legislature until this year.

New film argues women need equal protection under the law

MG_2225A new film explores what the director calls the assault on women’s rights in the U.S. and outlines the need for an Equal Rights Amendment explicitly giving women equal protection under the law.

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Accessibility equipment opens northern Michigan beaches to all

Photo by Alex Richards, courtesy of Petoskey News-Review Dayna Valpey of Disability Network of Northern Michigan, stands next to a brock dock boardwalk installed at the Petoskey State Park beach. The boardwalk allows those facing mobility challenges easy access to the beach and the water.

Photo by Alex Richards, courtesy of Petoskey News-Review Dayna Valpey of Disability Network of Northern Michigan, stands next to a brock dock boardwalk installed at the Petoskey State Park beach. The boardwalk allows those facing mobility challenges easy access to the beach and the water.

A disability advocacy organization hopes to raise funds and provide access to Lake Michigan in Wilderness State Park in Mackinaw City.

After building access infrastructure for people with disabilities at nine different public beaches throughout the region, Disability Network of Northern Michigan now has their sights set on Wilderness State Park. Continue reading

Enbridge Energy reaches settlement over Kalamazoo River oil spill

f369230151edf0a4e0101cbd111732a1It was announced this week the company behind the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill, Enbridge Energy, will pay 177 million dollars for the spill.

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