The site of the former Velsicol Chemical Corporation in St. Louis is going to take a long time to clean up.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

TIMELINE: Velsicol Chemical leaves large toxic footprint in the "Middle of the Mitten"

The city of St. Louis, Michigan would much rather be talked about as the geographic center of the Lower Peninsula. Instead, there's a lot of focus on the legacy of pollution here. The story of Velsicol Chemical in St. Louis, Michigan is quite complicated.
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One Company's Toxic Legacy in Michigan

A five-part series by The Environment Report

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Falling crude oil prices may put the brakes on new oil exploration in Michigan.

Michigan’s not a big oil producer.   The state ranks 17th in the country in oil production. But companies have been drilling more wells in recent years. 

Around 8,000 people are employed by businesses that drill for oil and natural gas in Michigan.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

More than 130 scientists and the state’s environmental groups are calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to veto a bill they call anti-science. The bill would forbid the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from protecting native wildlife and plants on the pure merits of protecting nature.

  • The bill would prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing state lands for biodiversity.
  • It would prohibit the agency from managing forests for restoration.
  • It would end work to eliminate invasive species.
  • It would strike from the law the finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.

 

Curfews have always been about keeping us safe. What has changed is what we’re being kept safe from.

University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan says the word "curfew" has a long history that goes back to fire.

"The word first comes into English in the 14th century from Anglo-Norman, and the root of it is the word 'cover' and the word 'fire,'" Curzan says. "And for people who know French, 'couvrir' and 'feu' –  and that gives us curfew."

The story is that in medieval Europe, at a fixed hour in the evening, a bell would toll. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Before dawn this morning, five Satanists erected what they call a "snaketivity" on the east lawn of the state Capitol.

A fake snake coils its body around the display, which features the phrase “The Greatest Gift is Knowledge.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Environmentalists raised their voices in song on Friday to express their disappointment in the Michigan Legislature this year.

The group that gathered to sing carols at the foot of the holiday tree outside the state Capitol on Friday were not the best singers. But with songs like “Smoggy the Coalman," the quality of their singing was obviously not the point. 

Satanic Temple

The Michigan State Police will keep an eye on Christian and Satanic displays on the state capitol lawn in the days leading up to Christmas.

Christian groups were outraged when permission was given for a display honoring Satan to be placed on the east lawn just before Christmas.   

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak is not seeking another two-year term, which means someone else, will lead the party through the 2016 election cycle.

user Tqycolumbia / Wikimedia Commons

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss a long-awaited plan to fix Michigan’s roads, job cuts to one of the state’s largest agencies, and some holiday cheer from Rep. John Dingell.

Roads deal

After weeks of hemming and hawing over how to fix the state’s roads, Michigan lawmakers have OK'd plans for a sales tax hike.

There’s just one catch.

The state Legislature decided to give Michigan voters the final call on the 1% increase in a special election this May.

Lessenberry said he can see why the state’s politicians like the plan, but he’s got one question.

Governor Rick Snyder ended the lame duck session closer to his goal of more money for roads. But, we’re not ready to put this one in the ‘win’ column for the governor. Not yet, at least.

 That’s because the state won’t see a dime of this money unless voters approve the package in May. If voters reject the ballot question, the deal falls apart and the governor is back to square one.

Campaigner-in-chief

If the governor wrapped up his November reelection assuming he was done campaigning, he was sorely mistaken. We know voters say they want the roads fixed, but they don’t necessarily want to pay for it.

In order to get voters to actually go to the polls in May and vote themselves a tax increase, it will take a strong message and serious finesse. It will also take money.

U.S. Treasury

Almost six years to the day it was bailed out by the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, Ally Financial has exited.

"With this sale, we are exiting the last major TARP investment and winding down the Auto Industry Financing Program," said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. "This program was a crucial part of the Obama Administration’s effort to stop the financial crisis and protect the economy from slipping into a second Great Depression.  At the peak, more than 700 institutions were in the TARP bank program. Today, just 35 remain. " 

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