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Messages to the Editors
NO FILE NEXT WEEK: Reminder. There will be no file
on March 12, thanks to Michigan State’s spring break.
MDOT AHEAD: Your correspondents will interview state Transportation
Director Gloria Jeff on Monday, March 15. Likely topics include
the status of highway and mass transit projects in light of budget
problems, transportation safety and the future of state subsidies
for passenger trains and small airports.
Articles for week of Friday, March 5, 2004
A Holland senator wants teacher contract negotiations to be held
in public, a controversial idea that troubles both school board
members and teachers’ unions. Teachers in more than 400
of the state’s 1,200 public school districts are working
without contracts. By Alex Nixon. FOR HILLSDALE, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE,
MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
Water protection for more than two million southeast Michigan
residents moved a step closer after a House committee approved
resolutions by a Chesterfield Township lawmaker to improve monitoring
along Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. The effort includes
a push for an international response system to deal with hazardous
spills from Sarnia. By Mike Weber. FOR MACOMB, ROMEO, C&G,
MONROE, LAPEER & ALL POINTS.
--Wisconsin cities along Lake Michigan are pumping so much groundwater
that they’re actually reversing the water flow direction
of the lake, a new federal study finds. That worries some Michigan
lawmakers who agree with the governor’s call for a comprehensive
state policy on water use, although scientists are more cautious
in predicting dire environmental damage from the practice. By
Ann-Marie Murphy. FOR HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, MANISTEE,
PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, ALPENA, LEELANAU & ALL POINTS.
--Michigan public universities and community colleges, as well
as the Granholm administration, are pushing efforts to convince
new college grads – especially those in the sciences and
engineering -- to stay in the state. Efforts include the universitytalent.com
program at Northern Michigan University, and a Lake Michigan
College official talks about how many of his grads want to stay
in western and mid-Michigan. By Jamie Gumbrecht. FOR MARQUETTE,
SOUTH BEND, LANSING, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND,
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
-- The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has picked nine sites
for special tax credits to induce small businesses to relocate
in brownfield areas, including sites in Grand Rapids and Monroe.
By Arjun Kashyap. FOR GRAND RAPIDS, LUDINGTON, GREENVILLE, MONROE
& ALL POINTS.
-- Soybean farmers in St. Joseph County are happy to see the success
of a campaign encouraging West Michigan consumers to buy Michigan-grown
produce. The program, which will expand to the Detroit area this
year, also has been good news for apple growers, asparagus farmers
and other fresh fruits and vegetables. By Linda Stephan. FOR GRAND
RAPIDS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY
& ALL POINTS.
-- A Greenville apple grower is pleased with the state Agriculture
Department’s promotion of Michigan-grown produce and says
that’s good news for the state’s apple industry.
By Linda Stephan. FOR GREENVILLE.
-- For 2004, the state Agriculture Department is escalating
the war on the devastating emerald ash borer. Much of the focus
is in Macomb, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw
counties, with other activities in St. Joseph, suburban Lansing
and other communities. By Kevin Hardy. FOR MONROE, MACOMB, C&G,
LANSING, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS
-- A legislative proposal sponsored by a Huntington Woods senator
and backed by the Macomb County prosecutor would eliminate the
three-year deadline for bringing civil suits against alleged
child molesters. A Bloomfield Hills criminal defense lawyer
calls the proposal “frightening,” and a victims’
rights advocate worries about “false memory” accusations.
Co-sponsors include senators from Detroit, the Upper Peninsula
and Macomb County. By Gitte Laasby. FOR MACOMB, C&G, ROMEO,
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
--Legislators from Holland, Kentwood, North Branch, Manistee,
Richmond and DeWitt are pushing proposals to strengthen classroom
teaching about sexual abstinence. The president of the State Board
of Education and a Detroit senator call the proposal unnecessary.
By Stephanie Korneffel. FOR HOLLAND, MACOMB, LAPEER, MICHIGAN
CITIZEN, MANISTEE, C&G LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
--Pop and politics have long-lasting legacies in Michigan. Pop,
as in the Detroit-born, quintessentially Michigan Vernor’s
ginger ale. Politics. As in behind-the-scenes accounts of political
deals and dealers by correspondent Tim Skubick. By Eric Freedman.
FOR MACOMB, HOLLAND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.