Oct. 20, 2006 – Week 7
Oct. 20, 2006 – Week 7
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Vic Rauch
A CAPITOL EVENT REMINDER: “A Capitol Event: Meet the Press” takes place today at 5:30 p.m. at MSU’s Kellogg Center. Kathy Barks Hoffman of the Associated Press, Charlie Cain of the Detroit News and Ron Dzwonkowski of the Detroit Free Press will discuss gubernatorial media coverage. CNS Bureau Chief Eric Freedman and Journalism Professor Sue Carter will moderate. It’s the annual Edward Zabrusky Endowed Lecture sponsored by the College of Communication Arts & Science, and it’s free and open to the public.
DEQ CHIEF AHEAD: Your correspondents will interview Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Chester Monday, Oct. 23. Likely topics include air and water quality, enforcement of anti-pollution laws, imported trash and landfill capacity, sand dune protection and brownfield redevelopment.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
SENIORSAFETY: Rep. Tom Casperson of Escanaba—coincidentally a member of the House Transportation Committee—remembers the day when an 83-year-old driver crashed into his truck. He’s worried about driver safety among those 65 and older. Accidents such as a fatal crashes that killed two elderly drivers in Grayling in October 2005 and August 2006 fuel such concerns. Groups like AAA Michigan and AARP offer safety classes and advice to older drivers, including upcoming classes in Petoskey, Bay City and Traverse City. By John Bronz. FOR MARQUETTE, GRAYLING, PETOSKEY, UP NORTH, MIDLAND, LEELANAU & ALL POINTS.
STEMCELLRESEARCH: It may be another ice-cold election season, but the debate on stem cell research will stay hot and steamy in Michigan long after the polls close. While there appears to be wide bipartisan support for state promotion of umbilical cord blood stem cell research—which has already passed the House—proposed legalization of embryonic stem cell research is prompting ethical and scientific arguments. We hear from lawmakers from Ferndale, Kalamazoo, Cascade Township and Eastpointe, and from Grand Rapids-based Right to Life and Lansing-based Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. By Alison Bergsieker, FOR OAKLAND, MACOMB, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, GREENVILLE, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
ENDOBESITY: Michigan is fat and getting fatter, and that worries public health experts, including the state surgeon general. There are some community programs in place aimed at reducing obesity, including Steps Up and Let’s Get Moving Northern Michigan in the northern Lower Peninsula. An Alpena lawmaker warns of the rising cost to the state of health care, and we interview an outreach nurse in Alpena. For news and lifestyle desks. By Chris Jackett. FOR ALPENA, CADILLAC, UP NORTH, PETOSKEY, GRAYLING, BAD AXE, CLARE & ALL POINTS.
GASPRICES: With gas prices dropping to their lowest level since May 2005, policymakers and energy experts are weighing the impact of the drop for consumers and the state. One concern: whether the price decline will hinder efforts to persuade producers and consumers to switch from foreign oil to biofuels. We interview a Monroe Community College professor and officials of the Agriculture Department and Public Service Commission. For news and business desks. By Kevin Lehman. FOR MONROE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
DRUGADS: A federal study says national anti-drug advertising has failed to stem substance abuse among youth, but state and local health and drug experts say such ads, coupled with programs like DARE and with law enforcement efforts like the crackdown on meth labs, do have a positive impact. We hear from the Community Health Department, a Lake County DARE officer and an MSU advertising professor. By Andrea Byl. FOR LUDINGTON, CADILLAC, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
ADVICEFORELDERLY: Pilot programs in Southwest and West Michigan, the Upper Peninsula and Metro Detroit are testing centralized, neutral information centers about long-term care options for the elderly. The goal is to help the elderly make informed decisions about home health care, independent living, nursing homes and other housing choices, but the nursing home industry expresses concern that the programs are biased in favor of home care and independent living. He interview a project official for St. Joseph and Branch counties and a Three Rivers legislator, as well as Community Health and nursing home industry officials. By Jeffrey Joe Pe-Aguirre. FOR THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, SOUTH BEND, MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, OAKLAND, MACOMB, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS.
ABORTION: Abortion remains a hot issue in this year's gubernatorial debate, with GOP nominee Dick DeVos favoring an overturn of Roe v. Wade and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm backed by the pro-choice EMILY’s List. Right to Life of Michigan and the ACLU also talk about the issue. By Nicole Hale. FOR ALL POINTS.
BABYNAMES: If the 300 millionth American had been born in Michigan this month, would that baby’s name have been? Well, the best bet would have been Jacob or Emma, which rank as the state’s most popular boy’s and girl’s names, Department of Community Health birth registry records show. For news and lifestyle desks. By Jeffrey Joe Pe-Aguirre. FOR ALL POINTS.
FUELCOMMISSION: The newly appointed members of the state Renewable Fuels Commission face a range of challenges when they first meet in November, including how to promote the future of alternatives such as biodiesel. We hear from members including the head of an ethanol company in Blissfield, the owner of a fuel company in Greenville and the state Agriculture Department director. By Kevin Lehman. FOR MONROE, GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
w/IRWINPHOTO: State Agriculture Director Mitch Irwin. Credit Sarah McLeod, Capital News Service
w/IRWINCORNMOBILEPHOTO: State Agriculture Director Mitch Irwin with the E85-fueled Chevrolet Tahoe he drives. Credit Sarah McLeod, Capital News Service.
SENIORPOLICEACADEMY: The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department is graduating its latest class—about 50 senior citizens who took part in its Law Enforcement Academy. The program aims to improve communication between older county residents and the sheriff’s office and promote awareness of the law enforcement system. Washington Township and Clinton Township participants talk about their experience. By Nicole Hale. FOR MACOMB, ROMEO, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
w/SENIORSCUBAPHOTO: Deputy Michael VanderBoom of the Macomb County sheriff’s dive team demonstrates scuba gear to participants at the Law Enforcement Academy. Credit: Nicole Hale, Capital News Service.
INFOTECH: The Center for Digital Government ranks Michigan first in information technology, citing improved intercommunications among law enforcement and emergency agencies and a wireless access pilot program at 10 locations, including Holland and Ludington state parks, the New Buffalo Welcome Center, the Clarkston rest stop on Interstate-75, the DNR conference center in Roscommon and the East Tawas and the Mackinac Island harbors. By Alex Doty. FOR SOUTH BEND, OAKLAND, LAPEER, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, LANSING, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY BUSINESS, ALPENA, CLARE, CADILLAC, GRAYLING & ALL POINTS.
w/INFOTECHBOX: List of 10 state wireless access locations.
AUTOMOTIVEJOBS: After five years in Troy, AG Simpson Automotive Systems is returning home to Sterling Heights, with about $900,000 in state and city tax abatements and the prospect of 130 new jobs. It’s among 11 companies—including Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. of Auburn Hills, offered state tax breaks to expand in Michigan. Three local governments—Lansing, Berrien County and Flint also get financial incentives under the program. For news and business desks. By Alison Bergsieker. FOR MACOMB, OAKLAND, ROMEO, LANSING, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS.
w/AUTOMOTIVEJOBSBOX: List of 11 companies and three local governments offered tax abatements and financial incentives by Michigan Economic Development Corp.
NUCLEARTECH: Michigan is looking for nuclear medicine technologists to help meet the state’s health care needs, people like Amy Anderson of Petoskey’s Northern Michigan Hospital. It’s a growth industry, with popular programs at Beaumont Hospital, Ferris State University and Oakland Community College. We also hear from the Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland and Michigan Cardiovascular Institute in Saginaw. By John Bronz. FOR MIDLAND, CLARE, PETOSKEY, OAKLAND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, GREENVILLE, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS.
COLLEGERIGHTSBILL: A Southwest Republican Michigan representative and GOP House candidates from Frankenmuth and Leslie want a “college family bill of rights” to prohibit “hidden” fees and assessments and make it easier for students to transfer community college credits. But the Presidents Council, State Universities, says Michigan already does many of the things the plan calls for, and House Democrats say they have their own proposals to make higher education more affordable. Western Michigan University says it fully discloses all fees to its students. By Alex Doty. FOR SOUTH BEND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, MIDLAND, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
CONSTRUCTIONMONEY: Accelerating road construction projects may be good for creating jobs in the short run, but some industry and legislative leaders fear the boom will bust in a few years. House Transportation Committee members from Rockford and Westland talk about the issue, as do road association and road construction industry representatives. By Andrea Byl. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE & ALL POINTS.
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© 2006, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism