Friday, Oct. 11 — Each week, City Pulse will run a series of stories produced by Capital News Service correspondents at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. While reports cover the entire state, some will be focused on the greater Lansing region.
This week’s topics cover a new state report on HIV rates; lawmakers working on an official state sweet; an influx of heroin in the western U.P.; proposed BYOB legislation; and more.
- Detroit leads the state by far in local HIV rates, but Macomb, Allegan, Oakland, Ingham and the rest of Wayne County also have high rates, a new study shows. We hear from the Department of Community Health, AIDS Partnership Michigan and the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park. By Becky McKendry.
- Forget Michigan’s ninth-place national ranking in obesity. The state needs an official sweet, some lawmakers say, and it should be the iconic but calorie-laden Mackinac Island fudge. The idea comes from Grosse Point schoolchildren. Sponsors are from Highland Park, Detroit, Warren, Evart, Flint and Westland. Meanwhile, the Legislature is considering an official reptile and three contenders for state fruit. By Justine McGuire.
- Law enforcement agencies report an influx of heroin into the Western UP, possibly driven by a perception of more lenient sentences for dealers in Michigan than in Wisconsin. Also, increased police focus on prescription pill abuse may be pushing some users to heroin. We talk to a State Police detective, a Delta-Menominee County health official, the DEA and a Calumet Township drug treatment center official. By Matt Hall.
- A new legislative proposal would allow diners to bring their own unopened bottle of wine to restaurants and pay a minimum $25 "uncorking fee" to drink it there. We talk to the sponsor from Midland, the Restaurant Association and the Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. By Becky McKendry.
- The State Police will expand use of data-driven approaches to combating crime and improving traffic safety. A pilot program in the highest-crime cities of Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw has been successful, officials said. The department also will expand its community service efforts. By Matt Hall.
- A national study finds many low- and middle-income employees in the resort and tourism industry can’t afford to live where their jobs are. But tourism industry experts, such as ones in Traverse City and Mackinac Island, say that’s largely not the case in Michigan. By Lacee Shepard.
- What impact does the invasive emerald ash borer have on timber sales on state-owned forestland in the northern Lower Peninsula and UP? A big impact, and not for the better, according to DNR and the Association of Timbermen. An MSU specialist sees no immediate hope of wiping out the pest By Lacee Shepard.
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