Michigan Public Radio Network

MT. PLEASANT, MI (MPRN)--   A group of Michigan lawmakers is asking the Canadian government to change their plans for nuclear waste storage near Lake Huron.

Canada says the facility will be safe, but the legislators and tribal leaders are not convinced.

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization is considering storing radioactive materials more than a thousand feet below the ground in a spot in the Great Lakes Basin.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   COVID cases among kids are higher in counties where school districts do not have mask rules.

That's according to researchers at the University of Michigan, who looked at the data from the first few weeks of the school year.

Marisa Eisenberg is an epidemiology professor. She says they looked at the mask mandates in individual school districts and compared them to new cases among school-aged kids in each district’s county.

They saw districts without mandates had the highest case rates.

Hearing held on FBI mishandling of Nassar investigation

Sep 16, 2021
Saul Loeb / Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MPRN)--   The FBI’s mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation is under scrutiny by the federal government.

The Office of Inspector General released a report this summer, which said the FBI’s Indianapolis field office failed to notify the Lansing office of reports of abuse by Nassar.

Former U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She says if the FBI and other adults had taken action, more victims could have been spared abuse.


ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   The author of a new report on the cause of the Edenville Dam failure last year says the collapse may be linked to its construction nearly a century ago.

The May 2020 flood that followed the dam’s failure caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials says “Saturated, loose sands” in part of the dam are the “most plausible” cause of the failure.

The Association’s John France says “static liquefaction instability” is “rare,” but may be a bigger problem that previously realized.

INTERLOCHEN, MI (MPRN)--   Authorities are looking to arrest two men who allegedly attacked a Traverse City Record Eagle reporter.

Brendan Quealy was reporting outside an anti-mask and anti-vaccine mandate event in Grand Traverse County. Quealy says two men approached him and one punched him in the face.

Michael Adams of Kingsley and Joseph Welsh of Traverse City face assault and battery charges.

Prosecuting Attorney Noelle Moeggenberg filed the charges. She says it appears they targeted Quealy because he was doing his job.

Lawmakers to get update on MI hospitality industry

Sep 13, 2021

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   State lawmakers are scheduled to hold a hearing this week on the state of Michigan’s hospitality industry.

Restaurants and hotels have continued to struggle, even as other parts of Michigan's economy have shown signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Representative Steve Marino [R-Harrison Township] chairs the House Commerce and Tourism Committee. He says the committee is holding a joint hearing with the state Senate Economic and Small Business Development committee.

Marino says they’ll hear from industry reps on Wednesday.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   A U.S. House Committee takes up the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday.

At least six current or former military bases in the Great Lakes region are confirmed to have PFAS-contaminated groundwater. Three of those sites are in Michigan.

Jared Hayes is with the Environmental Working Group. He says as contaminated water and fish enter the Great Lakes, the problem gets bigger.

“The water is all connected and PFAS is highly mobile. When it gets into the Great Lakes, it enters the fish population and that travels around,” he says.

Literacy proficiency in MI drops due to COVID

Sep 1, 2021

EAST LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   New research indicates that the pandemic has slowed student progress across the board in Michigan.

State law required benchmark assessments for the first time last year.

But a report by the Michigan State University Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, or EPIC, reveals relatively high proportions of students are behind grade level.

One result is that more than 3,600 third graders in the state have been flagged for retention due to low reading scores, though not all will be held back.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan State Medical Society says it’s time for people to return to masking up indoors, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. The reason is the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The recommendation from the doctors’ organization comes amid fights over whether schools should be allowed to adopt COVID-related requirements and restrictions.

From the MSMS statement:

MT. PLEASANT, MI (MPRN)--   An Upper Peninsula health department is warning people the coronavirus Delta variant is spreading rapidly, and the largely rural district has to rely on its neighbors for intensive care.

The LMAS District Health Department, which covers four counties in the Eastern U.P., is reporting more than 200 COVID-19 cases this month.

It’s a small number compared to some more populated health districts in Michigan, but LMAS spokesperson Kerry Ott says it’s almost a 3,000-percent increase from last month.