Category Archives: Federal Government

Three Michigan species considered for national endangered list

Woodturtle, Courtesy of the DNR

Woodturtle, Courtesy of the DNR

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is studying whether or not to add three Michigan species to the National Endangered list.

The Rusty-patched Bumblebee and the Regal Fritillary, which is a butterfly, are under consideration along with the Wood Turtle.

Georgia Parham is a Public Affairs Manager for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. She said that although they’re small, insects are important species.

“I think it’s interesting that we have a couple insects in this group of species, both of which are pollinators. Pollinators and other species are very important to lots of different kinds of things. We sometimes get the question, ‘Well, what does it matter if we lose a species of Butterfly or a Bumblebee or something like that.’ I think it’s important to think about the big picture and the roles that these insects play in the pollination of not only wildflowers but agricultural crops as well.”

She said this is the beginning of a long road to get on the list.

“It is a long process. Or it can be…Depending on how many resources we have and what kind of information we need. Some species are very local and it’s not as difficult to gather information about them. Some of ‘em are very wide ranging and it takes time to collect information that accurately reflects its status.”

Both of the insects have been petitioned for the list in the past, but didn’t make it on. The Wood Turtle is already listed as threatened in Michigan.

Tittabawassee River cleanup continues to keep community content

RiverLast nights Saginaw Community Action Group meeting with the EPA went well according to Dave Sommers, the President of the group. Community members gave their recommendations for cleanup of the next segment of the Tittabawassee River.

In short, they encouraged the EPA to keep doing what it’s doing.
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Republicans dream of winning at Mackinac conference

logo-GOPMany Michigan Republicans spent the weekend on Mackinac Island, where they enjoyed fine dining and cocktail receptions, listened to the campaign pitches of five presidential candidates, and plotted the future of their party.

And it was done mostly without the rancor that’s marked other Republican gatherings in recent years.
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Former Ambassador Pickering voices support for Iran deal

Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Congress has a little over a month left to approve or reject the nuclear agreement negotiated between the Obama Administration and Iran.

One prominent U.S. diplomat is lending his name to the approval effort: Thomas Pickering. He’s the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Russia and Jordan, and was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the first Gulf War. Continue reading

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative renewed for 5 more years

Logo of the EPA

Logo of the EPA

It’s been five years since the federal government’s largest initiative to restore the Great Lakes was passed into law, and Congress recently agreed to fund the program for another five years.

According to Cameron Davis, the senior adviser to the administrator of the EPA, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is one of the few pieces of legislation that repeatedly gets bi-partisan support.
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Preparing for Clean Power Plan state legislators tour solar facility

One of J. Ranck's solar panels.

One of J. Ranck’s solar panels.

State legislators met August 5th at the home of one of Michigan’s largest solar arrays following this week’s Clean Power Plan proposed by President Obama.
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St. Louis residents continue to deal with Velsicol health impacts

Bench outside former Velsicol plant site

Bench outside former Velsicol plant site

The former Velsicol plant site is surrounded by several community blocks where people still live.

Originally the EPA thought the contamination from the plant could be contained within the borders of the site. However, years after the initial cleanup, EPA officials determined this wasn’t the case. Continue reading

St. Louis still recovering from Velsicol contamination

T.S Nurnberger excavation

T.S Nurnberger excavation

Dust and dirt settled around me in a mound the size of a mobile home when T.S Nurnberger Middle School’s practice football field was excavated.

The field is contaminated with chemicals that came from the Pine River. Continue reading

New statewide program to give more access to benefits for veterans

A new regional coordinator program will ensure that some 660,000 Michigan veterans and their dependents have easier access to services.03_01_01_01_Little_Logo

The Regional Coordinator Program was created by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) and the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC), to better service Michigan veterans.

Through the program, veterans have access to a system of coordinated services right in their own communities.
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River restoration beginning final step

After more than 20 years, restoration work on the St. Mary’s River in the Eastern Upper Peninsula is nearly complete

Scientists from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality plan to remove a blockage from the river which they say will help restore roughly seventy (70) acres of prime sport fishing area.
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Supreme Court decision means 230,000 Michiganders keep insurance subsidies


About 230,000 Michiganders receive the federal healthcare subsidies upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

A number of state officials cheered the ruling. They say losing the subsidies would likely have meant higher premiums for everyone shopping on the health exchange in Michigan. Continue reading

U.S. House urges Iran to free imprisoned Americans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved a resolution calling for the release of three Americans who are imprisoned in Iran.

Among the Americans being held in Iran is Flint-native Amir Hekmati, who was arrested there nearly four years ago on charges of spying. He says he was in the country visiting family. Continue reading

Ferris recognized by NSA for Information Security and Intelligence Program

ferrisstateFerris State University is receiving a national recognition for their efforts to train a new generation of cyber-security professionals.

The recognition comes from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading

Michigan breaks top 10 list nationally for Medicare overpayments

moneyMore than 50 million Americans count on Medicare for health coverage, but there is growing concern Medicare is not doing enough to root out waste within the program.

According to data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2013, Michigan had $108 million in Medicare overpayments — a dramatic increase over previous years. Continue reading