This Week's File
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April 11, 2008—Week 12
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
IN-DEPTH WEEK AHEAD: Next week will be our third in-depth file of the spring semester.
JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME REMINDER: Our annual induction ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus. The inductees are: the late Roberta (Bobbie) Applegate of the Associated Press and Miami Herald; Keith Crain, chair of Crain Communications; Richard Mayer, formerly of Ward’s Automotive; Norman Sinclair of the Detroit News; and Timothy Skubick, a syndicated political columnist and host of public television’s “Off the Record.” For reservations and other information, contact Linda Hartwig at the School of Journalism, 517-355-1520.
HERE’S YOUR FILE:
ANIMALJUSTICE: A Detroit man who “hoarded” 400 cats in his small house apparently suffered from a psychiatric disorder known as “animal hoarding.” The Michigan Humane Society and ASPCA, as well as animal cruelty investigators, want the Legislature to make changes in state law and require psychiatric treatment for animal hoarders—not merely removing the animals from the premises. Sponsors include lawmakers from Ann Arbor, Lansing, East Lansing, Southfield, Chesterfield and Warren, By Brooke Meier. FOR MACOMB, LANSING, OAKLAND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ROMEO, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.
ECONOMICSUCCESSSTORIES: Why are the economies of Oakland County and Grand Rapids growing while much of the rest of the state still struggles? Local economic development experts credit a sense of community teamwork, as well as pro-business policies that encourage companies to come, stay or expand there. By Whitney Lloyd. FOR OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
CAFORULE: The Department of Environmental Quality wants the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a proposed rule that would allow concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to certify their own compliance with water quality standards. One DEQ official said, “That’s akin to me saying `I don’t plan to break any traffic laws so I’m not going to get a driver’s license.’” We also hear from the Sierra Club, Farm Bureau and EPA. By Andrew McGlashen. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS.
COMPUTERWASTE: Moves by government, nonprofit groups and businesses are underway to divert old computers and other electronic products from Michigan’s landfills. Recycling makes environmental and economic sense, say experts from the Department of Environmental Quality, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan and the Michigan Environmental Council, although Michigan lags behind other states with laws that mandate recycling of electronics. By Matt Flint. FOR LUDINGTON, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, HOLLAND & ALL POINTS.
ARTISTS: Artists and artisans could receive tax incentives to persuade them to settle or stay in Michigan under a suburban Detroit lawmaker’s plan. The proposal is offered as a way to promote culture and create more stable and diverse neighborhoods. We also hear from the state Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph and a Bay County legislator. By Diane Ivey. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, SOUTH BEND, MACOMB, OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
RECAPTURE: Republican efforts to recapture the Michigan House seem to be mired in the reality that the state is rapidly becoming solidly blue, some political experts say. But the House minority leader, an Oakland County Republican, and a state GOP official say the prospects are good that John McCain will carry the state and give a boost to GOP legislative candidates. The House Democratic floor leader, from Detroit, has a dramatically different opinion. Parties are eying a number of open seats or weak incumbents, including districts in Grosse Pointe, Oakland County, Jackson, Battle Creek and the Thumb. By Tim Wardle. FOR OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, BAD AXE & ALL POINTS.
CASHASSISTANCE: The House is considering a proposal to increase Family Assistance Program grants for the first time in 18 years, although the 82,036 families now receiving benefits would see a hike of less than 2 percent. The legislation, which has passed a committee, would also up the annual clothing allowance from $75 to $100 per child. The Michigan League for Human Services, a Tipton legislator and the Department of Human Services back the plan, but there’s opposition from a Three Rivers lawmaker. By Harry Gillen. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, MACOMB, OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
SMARTZONES: Legislation awaiting the governor’s signature would expand the number of SmartZones across the state from 12 to 15, with Holland and Jackson potential sites for the new designations intended to promote research and jobs. We hear about the success of the Grand Rapids SmartZone and talk to legislators from Zeeland, Liberty Township and Plainwell. Among the other existing zones are ones in Troy, Rochester Hills, Detroit, Muskegon, Lansing, Houghton and Hancock. For news and business desks. By Clay Taylor. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, MARQUETTE, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
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© 2008, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism