State trail usage survey reveals thousands of annual users

trail users 2Michigan’s recreational trails have been feeling the love. A community forum is planned in Petoskey to discuss survey results that show the usage of some northern Michigan trails.

The Top of Michigan Trails Council and Emmet County commissioned the study last summer. Continue reading

U.S. Geological Survey awards $9.7 million to build new invasive species lab

Anyone who fishes the Great Lakes are probably familiar with pesky aquatic invasive species, things like sea lamprey and certain gobies.

Now, officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say they are granting $9.7 million to build a new invasive species laboratory in Presque Isle county.

The construction contract has been awarded to an Alpena county company, Crittenden. The work there will focus on how to repel and remove invasives from the Great Lakes. Continue reading

Flint grassroots groups address inequity through stories

Race 2 Equity screen image

Race 2 Equity screen image

Event planners for an upcoming event, plan to come up with solutions to local racial inequity, by using storytelling to convey key issues.

March 21 grassroots groups are hosting an event in Flint called “Healing Stories on Racial Equity”.

Organizers said it will focus on unique stories related to water, housing, and criminal justice. Continue reading

Democrats propose rollback of marriage ban with anniversary of DeBoer decision

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At the state Capitol, Democrats have called for a new statewide vote on Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. It was approved by voters in 2004.

Democrats rolled out a package of legislation that would also repeal state laws that discriminate against same-sex couples. One would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Another would specifically allow gay and lesbian couples to jointly file state tax returns.
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DNR Fisheries officials say late March marks annual walleye egg collection

State fishing licences expire later this month. And as people look forward to spring fishing season, DNR officials say they are helping Walleye populations one generation at a time.
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Gladwin County recognized for improving internet access

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Gladwin county officials said the county has struggled with internet access barriers for years. Now they have been awarded the latest Michigan certified connected status.

The status means the county met internet access goals and offers a variety of service providers to 95 percent of the county.

Officials said even though Gladwin is certified, they will keep improving broadband access. They said they are working on overcoming physical barriers like valleys and a scattered population. Continue reading

State Board of Education considers taking Snyder to court over executive order

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The state Board of Education (SBE) is considering a court challenge to an executive order signed last week by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The order takes control of Michigan’s School Reform Office away from the elected SBE and state education officials. It puts the office, which is meant to oversee Michigan’s lowest performing schools, directly under Snyder’s control.
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Tittabawassee river cleanup update

Tuesday night the EPA will give an update on cleanup work along the Tittabawassee River. It’s part of the at the bi-monthly Community Advisory Group meeting’s.

The current portion of the cleanup is focused on the floodplain of the river. It requires certain areas of soil to be removed and replaced.

The public is invited to the meeting and the local community group is looking to recruit new members.

The meeting is scheduled for the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Park Building in Freeland and begins at 6 PM.

Earlier this year the EPA estimated the entire cleanup would be completed in 2018.