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Environment & Science
9:00 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Biologists look for answers to pine marten mystery in Michigan (PHOTOS)

Pine martens are elusive creatures.
Robert Sanders Courtesy of Jill Witt

by Bob Allen for the Environment Report

Nearly a hundred years ago a small animal that most people have never heard of was wiped out of the northern forest. In the mid-1980’s, wildlife biologists reintroduced the pine marten in two locations in the Lower Peninsula. They thought the population would take off and spread but it hasn’t. And now researchers are trying to find out why.

The pine marten is the smallest predator in the northern forest. It’s a member of the weasel family… related to otters and ferrets. It weighs roughly two to two-and-a half pounds, has big furry ears, a pointed nose, a bright orange patch on its chest and a bit of a temper.

“I don’t know how big of an animal they would take on but they do have a reputation for being quite fierce.”

Jill Witt is a wildlife biologist with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. She has a marten caught in a wire cage tucked next to a fallen log, half buried in twigs and leaf litter.

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Health
2:55 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Childhood health poll: Americans most concerned about inactive, obese children

user kahle MorgueFile.com

People in the United States are more concerned about the physical fitness of their community's children than any other health issue.

That was the finding of a University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital poll on children’s health.

When asked about the nation's most pressing childhood health concerns, 39 percent of adults listed "not enough exercise," trailed by "childhood obesity" with 38 percent.

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Transportation
12:36 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

U.S. 127 closed in both directions after semi accident

U.S. 127
user Shadowlink1014 Wikimedia Commons

Both directions of U.S. 127 traffic near Mason will be closed for the rest of today after a semi crash.

The Lansing State Journal reports the highway was first closed early this morning after a northbound semi carrying 10,300 gallons of a liquid asphalt overturned, spilling its load just south of Kipp Road.

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That's What They Say
9:19 am
Sun August 19, 2012

The 'ofen' confusing world of English pronunciation

When you say the words soften or often, do you pronounce the "t"?

This week on That’s What They Say, we explore the reintroduction of the silent letters. Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, who specializes in linguistics.

The words "soften" and "often" have gone through some pronunciation changes, says Curzan.

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Environment & Science
10:59 am
Thu August 16, 2012

New barrier to keep blood-sucking parasite under control?

The invasive sea lamprey preys on all species of Great Lakes fish.
USFWS

Michigan is taking ownership of a dam on the Manistique River in the Upper Peninsula.

That will allow the federal government to build a new barrier there to keep sea lampreys from breeding in the river. Managers of the fishery expect that will bring the lamprey problem under control in Lake Michigan.

For more than fifty years Canada and the U.S. have been battling the eel-like creature across the Great Lakes. Sea lampreys are parasites that drill holes in fish to feed on blood and body fluids. They often kill the fish. The sea lamprey was one of the first invasive species to arrive in the lakes, and it’s the only invasive to be successfully controlled by humans.

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Health
4:04 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Swine Flu variant strain found in Michigan child

user Julo Wikimedia Commons

The Kent County Health Department today reported that the first case of H3N2v influenza infection has been identified in a child from Washtenaw County.

The press release says the child was reportedly around swine at the Ingham County Fair this August, where the child may have contracted the infection.  The H3N2v flu was mild in this case, and did not require hospitalization.

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State of Opportunity
11:52 am
Wed August 15, 2012

State of Opportunity: Preschool in the summer

David Blair and his classmates listen to story time during a Grand Rapids Public Schools summer preschool class.
Dustin Dwyer Michigan Radio

This week, Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity reporter looked into children's first glimpse of classroom education-- preschool.

Dwyer reports that although early education can have a profound effect on the development of children, there aren't enough classes to go around.  Only about half of preschool-aged children attend classes.

He found one solution in Grand Rapids Public Schools, where preschools have extended classes into the summer.

Listen to Dwyer's story, in which parents, guardians and teachers of preschoolers speak about the benefits of summertime preschool and the challenges they face providing education opportunities for their children.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Health
10:56 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Grand Rapids duo begins postpartum depression awareness swim across Lake Michigan

The starting and ending points on the couple's swim across Lake Michigan
Google Maps

11:04 a.m.

Jeff and Sara Tow had to cut their swim across Lake Michigan short. The couple was publicizing the swim to raise awareness about postpartum depression. Strong currents in the lake and exhaustion were to blame.

From the Associated Press:

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Pontiac's City Council challenges city's emergency manager

Pontiac's City Council

The Pontiac City Council is trying to reclaim its authority lost to the state-appointed emergency financial manager.

Louis Schimmel became the cash-strapped city's third emergency manager in 2011.

The Detroit Free Press reports that yesterday, all present council members approved a resolution demanding that authority over all city finances and financial decision-making be restored to the mayor and council.

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Law
11:47 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Michigan Court of Appeals: Casino ballot initiative is 'unconstitutional'

user clarita MorgueFile.com

This morning, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled a ballot initiative that would approve eight more private casinos in the state will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The court ruled the ballot proposal is unconstitutional.

MLive reports that Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch broke the news on his Twitter account this morning.

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Health
4:37 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

VIDEO: UM Survival Flight adds three helicopters to the fleet

American Eurocopter 155
Elaine Ezekiel Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan Health System is phasing in three new helicopters to their Survival Flight fleet this week.

The new helicopters look like slender U of M football helmets. They can travel faster, farther and more quietly than the old helicopters, and carry additional equipment and fuel.

The new helicopters will replace their 14-year-old counterparts, the Bell 430. Flight nurses expressed enthusiasm for the new aircrafts, but they were also sad to see their old helicopters go. 

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Environment & Science
3:07 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

DNR turns down request for moratorium on mute swan killings

A pair of mute swans.
Photo by Mary Hollinger, NESDIS/NODC biologist, NOAA

Mute swans are flourishing in Michigan. The state’s Department of Natural Resources estimates their population almost tripled from 5,700 to more than 15,000 between 2000 and 2010.  We've previously reported the DNR says mute swans eat a huge amount of vegetation in lakes. They can push out native birds, such as the trumpeter swan, and officials say mute swans can snap and charge at people.

To keep the population under control, the DNR is killing the birds and destroying their nests.

The Humane Society of the United States and the Michigan Save Our Swans Committee argue the DNR’s methods are inhumane.

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Health
4:57 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Listeners and doctors weigh in on 'Living with Cancer'

John Klein Wilson Michigan Radio

Yesterday, we hosted a live web chat that coincided with the airing of our one-hour documentary, "Living with Cancer."

People who logged on could ask our cancer experts, Dr. Anthony Shields and Dr. Michael Harbut from the Karmanos Cancer Institute, their questions about cancer and the environment. Some weighed in via Facebook and our blog, as well.

Here is a recap of the chat:

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Politics & Government
1:48 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bing's plan to light up Detroit

A still of a broken light from WXYZ's video
WXYZ 7 Detroit

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced a plan today that may help illuminate some of the city's darkest streets and freeways.

The plan aims to fix 3,300 reported burned out lights, broken light posts, or light outages in six months after the creation of a public lighting authority.

But in order to establish the new authority, the state Legislature must approve a bill allowing communities to establish lighting authorities.

Bing says the plan also needs the passage of a utility users' tax and suspension of an income tax rollback.

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Politics & Government
1:47 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Three former McCotter staffers arraigned on election fraud charges

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette Facebook.com

Not guilty pleas were entered today on behalf of three former staff members accused of forging or falsifying signatures on nominating petitions for former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.

McCotter's former deputy district director Don Yowchuang and district director Paul Seewald appeared in court in Livonia for arraignment. Both are free on $50,000 personal bond.

Mary Turnbull was a district representative for McCotter in Howell. She appeared this morning in Troy district court and was released on $5,000 bond.

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Health
2:54 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Live Web Chat: Talking about cancer

Clockwise from top left: Carol and Loren Schultz, Karrie Martin, Amy Lobsiger with her partner Dan Sicko, Jason Ratliff with his father
Michigan Radio

Welcome to our live Web chat with the producers of our documentary, Living with Cancer: Rebecca Williams, Meg Cramer and Sarah Alvarez.

The show is airing now on Michigan Radio, 91.7 FM/91.1 FM/104.1 FM, or you can listen to the live stream above.

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Olympic
1:05 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

SPOILER ALERT: Claressa Shields Olympic Result

Watch Party in Flint
Kate Wells Michigan Radio

Scroll down for the result!

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primary 2012, election 2012
2:33 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

August primary election results in selected races

Michigan Radio

Here's a selected list of the August Primary Election results.  Follow the links on the names of many of the candidates to read more about them. Winners are in bold.

Senate Race

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Sports
12:40 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

RESULTS UPDATE: Your personalized Michigan Olympian TV guide

Gymnast Jordyn Wieber from DeWitt
Team USA Flickr

Update 12:40 p.m., Aug. 8

(SPOILER ALERT)

Here's another update on how the Michigan Olympians are faring so far:

Ann Arborite Betsey Armstrong and the U.S.A. Women's Water Polo Team tied 9-9 in a game against Spain, and went on to beat China 7-6, moving them onto the quarterfinals.  They won in a game against Italy, 9-6, and against Australia in the semifinals, 11-9. Tomorrow, they will play against Spain for the gold medal.

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Sports
12:35 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Cyclists complete 97-day ride around Great Lakes

Great Lakes
NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Flickr

Last Sunday afternoon, Kris McNeal, 26, and Zach Chase, 25, rode their bikes into Duluth, Minnesota after a more than 5,300 mile bike ride around the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The duo had previously completed a 1,700-mile trip from Seattle to Mexico, but that seems like child's play compared to this 97-day long trip.

Averaging about six hours of riding per day, McNeal and Chase covered between 60 and 70 miles before making camp each night. They got their first flat tire after 3,000 miles and ended up having 15 flats by the end of the trip.

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