Black bear carrying fish carcass
Alan Vernon / Creative Commons

Bear attacks are something we're used to hearing about out west or in Alaska, but in northern Michigan it can be rare just to see one.

The Detroit Free Press reports a hunter fought off a mother bear that was trying to climb into his tree stand.

Chad Fortune was bow hunting when two cubs tried to climb into his stand. He pushed them off, but the mother of the cubs put up more of a fight. Fortune was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital. Wildlife officials say they plan to euthanize the bear.

In this morning's news...

Oct 13, 2010

Governor Granholm Vetoes Alcohol Bill

Abandoned house in Flint, MI
Flickr user jamesharv2005 / Creative Commons

More houses are coming down in Flint. Kristin Longley reports in the Flint Journal that 174 houses will come down by December 31st. That's on top of the 125 houses city crews are expected to take down by the end of the year.

Flint union leader Sam Muma says city crews can't take down all the homes scheduled for demolition:

"There's no way the crews I represent, the city employees, can handle all that. We have a situation quite unique in our time."

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

General Motors (or should I say General Motors Holding Company) is planning to hold a public stock sale in mid-November. It will be the first since the world's largest company emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last year.

General Motors Holding Company emerged as the wheat. Motors Liquidation Company emerged as the chaff.

Inside the Chevy Volt electric vehicle
Charles Manley / Michigan Radio

The Chevy Volt got one step closer to the showrooms this week. The electric vehicle was unveiled to the media.

Sarah Palin
Therealbs2002 / Wikimedia Commons

The Associated Press reports that:

Sarah Palin is backing Tea Party favorite Dan Benishek to represent northern Michigan in Congress.

Benishek was among nine candidates Palin endorsed Monday on her Facebook page.

The former Alaska governor describes Republican political newcomer Benishek as a "commonsense voice" who supports repealing President Barack Obama's health care plan.

3 Things: Ruth Johnson

Oct 12, 2010
Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson
Photo Courtesy of www.rj4mi.com

All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for their ideas on how to improve things in Michigan. The series is called 3 Things and, this week and next, we're mixing it up a bit. We're talking to the major candidates running in statewide elections. Today, we hear from Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson. She's the Republican candidate for Secretary of State.  You can hear her interview here.

In this morning's news...

Oct 12, 2010

Report: State Budget Cuts Impact Birth Statistics

3 Things: Jocelyn Benson

Oct 11, 2010
Photograph courtesy of the votebenson.com website

All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for three ideas of what we can all do to improve things. Now, we're mixing it up a bit. We're asking the candidates for statewide office to make three promises to the people of Michigan. It's 3 Things: Election Edition. This morning, we heard from the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson.  You can hear the interview here.

In this morning's news...

Oct 11, 2010

The (One and Only?) Debate

Flickr user music2fish2 (Eric Lanning)

The winner of ArtPrize was announced last night in Grand Rapids.  Grand Rapids-based artist Chris LaPorte came in first place with his life-size pencil drawing titled, "Cavalry, American Officers, 1921." LaPorte won $250,000.  The drawing is based on a photograph that LaPorte saw in a Grand Rapids antique shop.

John Dingell and Rahm Emanuel holding a paczki
Official photo from the United States Congress

This November Michigan voters will cast ballots in 15 races for the U.S. House of Representatives. Right now, two of those races are considered "toss-ups", according to NPR  - the race between Mark Schauer (D) and Tim Walberg (R)  in the 7th District, and the race between Dan Benishek (R) and Gary McDowell (D) in the 1st District.

ArtPrize Winner Announced

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that U.S. District Judge George Steeh refused to issue a preliminary injunction to stop "preparations for putting federal health reforms into full effect in 2014. He also dismissed the key points of the suit — requiring Americans to buy health insurance and penalizing those who don’t starting in 2014."

Oak Reed sitting on fence
Photo courtesy of Oak Reed

Oak Reed ran for Homecoming King at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, but school officials tossed out Reed's ballots because, anatomically, Reed is not a male. That set off a national debate over transgender rights:

Building a knee wall in an attic
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio's The Environment Report

Habitat for Humanity says it's saving money by fixing up foreclosure in Michigan, rather than building new. The Environment Report's Rebecca Williams visited volunteers working on rehabbing a house in Ypsilanti Township. Megan Rogers with Habitat says rehabbing foreclosures costs about 1/3 less than building new, but it can be a bit more challenging:

It appears there may be another oil spill in Michigan... this time on a beach on Lake Huron.  The Associated Press is reporting that investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for the cause of a spill at Cheboygan State Park.

The spill war reported Tuesday and cleanup crews were at the site yesterday.

The AP says the oil, "covered a section of beach measuring about 25 yards by 300 yards."

Other People's Money

Hundreds of brokers for oil and gas companies are offering landowners in northern lower Michigan contracts to drill for natural gas. Energy companies are betting the access to deep shale gas reserves will pay off big. But landowners don't always know about the risks.

An exploratory well has produced good results from a new source of natural gas in northern lower Michigan. So, energy companies have hired agents, called landmen to go knocking on doors of private landowners, trying to get them to sign contracts to lease their land for drilling.

Bureau of Land Management

A regulatory agency in Michigan says it can handle a new type of drilling for natural gas. That's what regulators in other states said before complaints about water contamination and leaking gas started coming in.

Casey West

(By Kyle Norris) Gerry Bose has worked as paint contractor for much of his life in new construction. He actually painted the insides of a lot of new mc-mansions. But when the housing bubble burst a few years ago, Bose lost 80% of his work. Since then he's laid off his two employees, and he's had to scramble for work as a painter.

But he's also had more time and energy to book jobs as a juggler.

Gerry Bose is setting up his show at the Grant Public Library, about 30 miles north of Grand Rapids. Bose cracks-open what looks like a pirate chest.

Juggling for love & money

Sep 29, 2010

Gerry Bose has worked as paint contractor for much of his life in new construction. He actually painted the insides of a lot of new mc-mansions. But when the housing bubble burst a few years ago, Bose lost 80% of his work. Since then he's laid off his two employees, and he's had to scramble for work as a painter.
But he's also had more time and energy to book jobs as a juggler.
Gerry Bose is setting up his show at the Grant Public Library, about 30 miles north of Grand Rapids. Bose cracks-open what looks like a pirate chest.

World Resources Institute

When the Great Lakes water levels fell a few years ago, people began thinking more about how much water we use. Now, this new kind of drilling, called horizontal hydraulic fracturing, again is causing concern about how we use water.

Water already has been used for vertical hydraulic fracturing in thousands of gas wells in Michigan. It takes about 50,000 gallons to drill each well and fracture shale layers underground to release the natural gas.

Horizontal fracturing, also called horizontal fracking, uses a hundred times more water.

Gas drilling rig in Appalachia
User Meridithw / Wikimedia Commons

What a fracking week on Michigan Radio!

Lester Graham of Michigan Watch and Rebecca Williams from the Environment Report are bringing us a series of reports on what might be a big part of Michigan's future: energy companies moving in and using a practice called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to get at gas deposits buried deep under Michigan.

Just how interested are energy companies in these gas deposits? Graham reports

James Hansen being arrested in Washington D.C.
Rainforest Action Network / Creative Commons

NASA Scientist James Hansen has been arrested in front of the White House. Hansen was participating in a protest against mountaintop removal coal mining. The Associated Press covered Hansen's arrest. The article said Hansen issued a statement saying mountaintop removal...

Lester Graham

Environmentalists are concerned drilling for new sources of natural gas in Michigan could contaminate water. They're basing that on reports from other states that blame a new method of drilling for contaminating their water.

This new kind of drilling is called horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Until recently in Michigan, it was only used in vertical wells. Drill down, pump water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into a layer of shale, fracture it and release the natural gas trapped there.

Creative Commons photo by user Meridithw

Michigan could be seeing the beginning of a new boom in drilling for natural gas. Leases for drilling rights are going for unheard of prices in northern-lower Michigan.

Drilling for natural gas in Michigan is not new. The first natural gas production began in the 1930s according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. Since then we've seen drilling booms come and go.

Next week we'll be airing special, live call-in shows with the candidates running for governor.  On Monday, from 9-10AM we'll hear from Democratic candidate Virg Bernero.  On Friday, also from 9-10AM, we'll hear from Republican nominee Rick Snyder.  Rick Pluta, the Michigan Public Radio Newtork's Lansing Bureau Chief, will host.  You can call-in and ask your questions at (877) 952-7870.

sun rays shining through clouds
Piccolo Namek / Creative Commons

Fall officially began on the 22nd. So far we've been treated with the Harvest Moon and warm weather. My kids even broke out the inflatable pool on Wednesday. They splashed around for 5 minutes before they gave up and asked for towels.

 President Obama discusses patient bill of rights in backyard
White House

New census data says 16.7% of Americans are without health insurance:

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009

But starting today, that will change for many without coverage, including young adults and kids with pre-existing conditions.

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