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Friday, April 25,2014

This week from Capital News Service

Medicaid expansion, improving state crosswalks, Detroit’s street art scene and more

by CNS correspondents
Flickr/Creative Commons

Friday, April 25 – This week’s file from Capital News Service includes stories on a new tuition assistance program proposed for Michigan National Guard members; the rapid success of Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program; efforts to improve Michigan’s crosswalks; a new art book highlighting Detroit’s burgeoning street art scene and more.

  • Members of the Michigan National Guard could be eligible for $4,500 in state tuition assistance under a plan lawmakers say will move Michigan from the bottom rank of states offering benefits to the military. By Danielle Woodward.
  • Michigan farm officials are fighting an attempt by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ponds, ditches and other small bodies of water. They say it will impose unneeded costs and restrictions on agriculture, but environmental advocates say all water is connected and should be regulated. By Ashley Weigel.
  • In just three weeks the state’s Medicaid expansion program is almost halfway to its annual signup goal. The online enrollment for the program that offers health insurance to low-income residents managed to dodge the high profile glitches associated with the federal health insurance roll out. By Becky McKendry.
  • Communities looking to improve their walkability are increasingly asking highway officials for signs warning cars to yield to pedestrians. But some experts say such a move provides a false sense of security and could lead to more accidents in crosswalks. Meanwhile a lawmaker is developing legislation to make crosswalk safety rules standard across the state. By Darcie Moran.
  • Lawmakers are proposing a way to resurrect school districts that have disbanded for financial reasons. It turns out that some of the districts kids from dissolved districts now attend are having just as many problems. We focus on Inkster and Buena Vista. By Nick Stanek.
  • New research shows that when lake levels drop, woody habitats that help small prey fish hide from predators can dry up and disappear -- serving those fish up on a smorgasbord to binge-eating fish. We talk to the researcher of the study, a Petoskey water policy specialist and the vice-president of the Three Lakes Association in Bellaire to explain what that means for fish and fishing. By Becky McKendry.
  • From massive murals on East Grand Boulevard to garden sculptures that manage rainwater, Detroit is brimming with diverse street art. We talk to Nichole Christian, one of the co-authors of a new book highlighting Detroit's expansive art scene. By Becky McKendry.
  • While the need is growing for more alternative energy from wind and other sources in Michigan and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region, challenges by local residents and environmental groups have delayed some projects. Lawmakers from Onekama, Kewadin, Saginaw Township, New Boston and Saugatuck want to prohibit offshore wind turbines. A Consumers Power wind project is under construction in Tuscola County. Commentary.
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