Friday, Oct. 18 — Each week, City Pulse will run a series of stories produced by Capital News Service correspondents at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. This week’s topics cover the still-controversial wolf hunt that starts in a few weeks; stricter penalties proposed for squatting; threats to the U.P.’s moose herd; online classes ramping up for high schoolers; and more.
- With the state’s first wolf hunt only a few weeks away, the debate continues. We talk to the Escanaba sponsor of the bill legalizing such hunts, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, a Michigan Tech wildlife expert and the organization that is running a petition drive for a statewide vote on the issue. By Greg Monahan.
- A Wayne County representative wants felony penalties for squatters, saying they’re gaming the legal system in ways that are unfair to property owners and taxpayers. Squatting has grown since the foreclosure crisis left many homes empty or abandoned. A Warren senator, who says there are problems in Macomb and Oakland counties, is also working on the issue. We also talk to a Macomb County homeless organization and the directors of MSU and University of Detroit Mercy housing law clinics. By Eric Freedman.
- Parasites, climate change, disease and a deadly beetle threaten the U.P.’s moose herd, a DNR expert warns. Michigan United Conservation Clubs says the slow growth of the moose population means delay in allowing hunting, and a U.P. tourism official notes that many visitors try to see moose, although usually unsuccessfully. By Matt Hall.
- It would be easier to keep roadkill and avoid the salvage tag process under a bill sponsored by senators from Evart and Troy. It would also give first dibs to drivers who want to take the carcasses they hit. A DNR official questions its necessity but a Marquette County Road Commission official says it’s a good idea. By Becky McKendry.
- It will soon be easier for high school students to take more classes online. We talk to Michigan Virtual University, the Michigan Education Association and school officials in Blissfield and Big Rapids. By Stephen Ingber.
- An improved network of equestrian trails in Southeast Michigan is part of the DNR’s public lands strategy, along with more public access to Great Lakes shoreline, smaller inland lakes, parks and trails. We talk to DNR and the Sierra Club. By Matt Hall.
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