DEQ Great Lakes Office is celebrating 30 years with its latest State of the Great Lakes report

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A report released this week touches on future plans for the Great Lakes, and past work to maintain the quality of the lakes.

The report is released annually by the Department of Environmental Quality. This year is its 30th year. Continue reading

Detroit schools EM: Bankruptcy no option

School desksThe emergency manager of Detroit’s public schools says he thinks there should be changes to the state’s emergency manager law. Former federal bankruptcy judge Stephen Rhodes is the district’s fourth emergency manager in seven years.

He says the law focuses too much on finances.

Rhodes appeared on the Michigan Public Television show “Off The Record.” Rhodes says a state financial rescue of Detroit’s schools is necessary because bankruptcy is not a viable alternative for the district. Rhodes presided over the city of Detroit bankruptcy.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now conducting Zika tests in-state

falcontubes (1)In the past, testing for the virus was available but had to be done at out-of-state laboratories. That resulted in turnaround times of six to eight weeks.

Jennifer Eisner is a spokesperson for the department. She says by conducting the tests in Michigan, potential patients will receive results faster.

“A big part of this is with the quicker turn around time and the sooner someone knows their results, it can help reduce the potential for sexual transmission . Because if you know you have the virus you can take preventive measures to help stop the spread of the disease.”

The virus is spread by mosquito’s and through sexual contact. It is known to cause serious birth defects in infants.

Eisner said symptoms in adults are typically mild, including red eyes, rashes and fevers.

Amber Alert CANCELLED for missing 7-year old from Livingston County

Courtesy: Hamburg Township Police Department

Courtesy: Hamburg Township Police Department

May 12, 6:15pm: State police have cancelled an Amber Alert for 7-year old Sapphire Palmer of Hamburg Township in Brighton County. She went missing early May 10.

Police say she was last seen with her mother, Amanda Hayward. According to the Amber Alert website, Mother of missing child, Amanda Hayward is suffering from an apparent mental episode. She is paranoid, delusional and may be armed with a 9 mm Hi Point Semi-Auto handgun. Hawyard and her 7-year-old daughter, Sapphire Palmer, are believed to be in the company of Douglas Steven Stanko, age 64, who is a registered sex offender.

Police are not yet releasing the circumstances under which Sapphire was found.

Public Health officials are working to raise awareness on an illness that about half of the people infected don’t know they have

file00052669059Public health officials say over half of all people with Hepatitis C don’t know they have the illness. It often doesn’t show symptoms. The CDC says middle-aged Americans are one group at risk. And recently the spread of the virus has been tied to 18-29 year old drug users sharing needles.

Jennifer Eisner is a public information officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human services

She says Hep C is a blood borne pathogen that affects the liver. It’s spread by contact with contaminated blood.

“There’s no vaccines for hepatitis C but there are treatments that can cure the infection. But because people with hepatitis C are often asymptomatic then most people have not been tested it’s really important to talk to your doctor and have those conversations to determine if testing is appropriate for you.”

Eisner said if Hepatitis C isn’t treated it can lead to liver cancer and sometimes death.

To find out more information on Hep C and how to get tested visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

New academic programs, hall and a tuition raise approved for Ferris State University

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Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees has approved some major changes for the fall semester.

A new residence hall is slated to begin construction next month, two new academic programs will be added to the curriculum, and a two percent tuition increase was approved for next year. Continue reading

Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is presenting a ten day series on climate change, water access and food security

Associate Professor, Gayle Broad

Associate Professor, Gayle Broad

The goal of the series is to give young people a platform to discuss how issues like water access impact communities around the world.

Gayle Broad is an associate professor at Algoma University.

“We provided opportunities for youth to come together and exchange ideas about how they like to see a change in the word. And the issues that the young people were bringing forward were really big issue that they wanted to solve, centered around these three different themes.”

Broad said young people in Colombia will join students from Algoma University via Skype to discuss their changing world in the series’ final session.

To see the full list of events for the series visit Algoma University’s webpage

Beautiful sunsets caused by destructive wildfires in Canada

 Photo courtesy: Kai Petainen

Photo courtesy: Kai Petainen

Mesmerizing sunsets have been seen throughout the Great Lakes. They may be quite pleasant to look at, but their cause is rather destructive in nature.

Great sunsets come at great cost – in this case, it’s fires raging in Alberta, Canada. Continue reading