‘On The Map’ visits CMU’s Beaver Island facility

Uzarski and crew sinking equipment.

Uzarski and crew sinking equipment.

Our first stop on Beaver Island is a one-of-a-kind biological research facility operated by Central Michigan University.

Don Uzarski is director of CMU’s Great Lakes Research Institute, and my captain when I went for a lesson on the water. Continue reading

MI Supreme Court: limits on immunity of medical marijuana cards

potHaving a Michigan medical marijuana card does not provide sweeping immunity from drug charges, according to a ruling from the state Supreme Court. But, at the same time, the unanimous opinion says prosecutors can’t argue a single misstep proves a cardholding-caretaker under the law is a drug dealer.
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Lake Superior State University has lowest net-tuition in Michigan

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A new study shows Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie has Michigan’s lowest net-tuition rate for public universities.

The recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education ranked LSSU first among the state’s 15 public universities for net-tuition costs. Continue reading

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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Previously dismissed Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal Court case may be re-opened

Protesters outside the Mt. Pleasant tribal courthouse.

Protesters outside the Mt. Pleasant tribal courthouse.

Signs were held and chants were shouted outside the court house where more than 150 members of the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe are awaiting a judge’s decision on whether their membership status can be reconsidered by the tribe.

They are still facing the termination of their tribal membership about their blood lineage. Those questions were first dismissed by a judge, with prejudice, in 2009. Continue reading

Vintage trailers and motor coaches tour around Northern Michigan

The Tin Can Tourists, a vintage camping group, will tour state parks in northern Michigan July 30-Aug. 8

The Tin Can Tourists, a vintage camping group, will tour state parks in northern Michigan July 30-Aug. 8

A vintage camper and trailer tour is hitting the road this week.

A group called the “Tin Can Tourists Club” is sponsoring the tour. The group enjoys the restoration and history of trailers and campers. Continue reading

MI Supreme Court upholds murder conviction despite jury taking wrong oath

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The state Supreme Court will allow a murder conviction to stand despite the fact that the jury took the wrong oath before trial.

The court clerk mistakenly swore in the jury using the oath given to prospective jurors that they answer questions about their juror qualifications truthfully. Continue reading

Ballot campaign aims to boost business tax for roads

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A union-led petition drive is trying to increase the state’s Corporate Income Tax rate from 6 percent to 11 percent. The revenue would be used to fix roads.

Increasing the rate by 5 percentage points would generate about $900 million a year toward Governor Rick Snyder’s goal of $1.2 billion in new revenue for road repairs. It would also be a major change to the 2011 business tax overhaul engineered by Snyder and Republicans in the Legislature. Continue reading

Northern Michigan beef herd tests positive for Bovine TB

For the second time this year, a northern Michigan beef herd has tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis disease.MDARD

The small herd in Alcona County was found to be infected with Bovine TB during routine testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD.)

The herd is located in a part of Michigan where Bovine TB is common among wild deer. The deer in turn spread it to captive animal herds. Continue reading

Snyder affirms Wayne County fiscal emergency

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Governor Rick Snyder has made a decision that pushes Michigan’s most-populated county closer to state oversight.

Governor Snyder ratified the findings of a state board that found Wayne County faces a financial crisis that could reach 171 million dollars by the end of the decade if it goes unchecked. Continue reading

New proposals seek to increase access to birth control in Michigan

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The state would have to take measures meant to increase access to birth control under new proposals in the state Legislature.

Democrats unveiled the forthcoming bills on Wednesday. They would require businesses to inform workers and job applicants of reproductive health care coverage and require the state to distribute information about emergency contraception. Continue reading

Large scale puppy breeders may soon have to follow stricter guidelines

puppiesLawmakers in Lansing are considering legislation that would further regulate large scale breeding kennel operations.

The package of bills, being dubbed the “Puppy Protection Act,” would require puppy mills to register with the Department of Agriculture.

The department would then conduct periodic inspections and enforce stricter guidelines. Continue reading