Lead Stories

The Environment Report
7:56 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Students celebrate Earth Day by planting sequoia clones

Thousands of cuttings from ancient redwoods grow in a mist chamber at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Copemish, Michigan.
Sara Hoover Interlochen Public Radio

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 3:47 pm

Students in northern Michigan are planting clones of ancient sequoias today.

There's a grove of sequoias along the shores of Lake Michigan on the site of a former Morton Salt factory.

Sequoia trees are not native to Michigan, but this grove has grown in Manistee for more than 65 years when they were brought here from the West Coast. Now, those trees are going to take another trip, or their clones will.

Students who attend Interlochen Arts Academy are planting them on campus along Green Lake. The clones are from Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.

David Milarch is the group's co-founder. He says they’re planting clones of redwoods around the world today.

“Ninety-six percent of all of our redwoods have been cut down, butchered and sold,” Milarch says.

Here's a look at how the group collects genetic material from these old growth trees:

Both the Interlochen Center for the Arts and nearby Interlochen State Park have lost many trees recently due to disease and bug infestation.

Head park ranger Chris Stark has mixed feelings about the planting. He'd prefer to plant native varieties, such as the white pine.

Read more
Year-Round School
5:40 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Northern Michigan School District Could Switch To Year-Round Calendar

Credit Baldwin Community Schools

Summer vacation would be cut in half for students in Baldwin under a proposal for year-round school. Other breaks would be longer, however, amounting to the same number of school days in a year.

Baldwin Community Schools could make the switch next fall.

Superintendent Stiles Simmons says kids forget too much over the summer, especially math.

“That’s what we found here in Baldwin,” he says. “Our students are losing well over a month of knowledge and skills in the area of math due to the summer vacation.”

Read more
Around Michigan & State Government
5:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Lester Graham's upcoming documentary, "Growing up in Poverty and Pollution"

Brianna Allgood gets a checkup on her asthma.

Children growing up in poverty face huge challenges. One challenge that might not come to the top of the mind, though, is pollution.

As part of Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, reporter Lester Graham spent the past three months exploring the problem.

His documentary, "Growing up in Poverty and Pollution," will air tomorrow at 3 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

Lester joined us today to talk about his project.

*Listen to the audio above.

Read more
Historic Preservation
4:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Deal Nixes New Hotel On Mackinac Island

This walkway between the Arnold dock and Main Street will not be overshadowed by a new hotel under a deal signed this week.
Credit Peter Payette

The view of Mackinac Island’s oldest ferry terminal has been protected. Island officials worked out a compromise this week with a developer who wanted to build a new hotel in front of the Arnold Transit dock. It looks like a victory for supporters of new historic protections on Mackinac Island.

Read more
Affirmative Action
5:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Affirmative Action Ban

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Lee Bollinger, a former president at the University of Michigan, about Tuesday's ruling. Bollinger was president during two earlier landmark affirmative action cases.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

What can Finnish moths tell us about climate change?

Mark Hunter

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Many consider April 22, 1970 to be the birth of the modern environmental movement.

At that time, Earth Day organizers had an advantage: The environmental problems were highly visible, tangible problems that people came up against in their daily lives, such as toxic effluent from factories spilled into streams and rivers. Kids couldn't swim in lakes and rivers because they were too polluted.  Parks and highways were strewn with trash and air pollution made people sick.

You could draw a direct connection between these problems and the need for environmental action to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Many of today's biggest environmental concerns seem more abstract even though they are perhaps even more threatening than the burning river in Cleveland. Global warming is one example.

That's why a study by our next guest caught our eye. He found that what is happening to moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that we're underestimating the impacts of climate change because much of the harm is hidden from view.

Mark Hunter is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Read more
Affirmative Action
10:30 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to reporters after arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court in October. He's with XIV Foundation CEO Jennifer Gratz, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the justices said the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.

Read more
The Environment Report
9:47 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Explore a century-old freighter, "dive" on a shipwreck at new Great Lakes museum

The National Museum of the Great Lakes. It cost $12 million to build, with the vast majority of the money coming from public sources.
Rebecca Williams Michigan Radio

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:27 pm

I thought I knew a lot about the Great Lakes, until I met Chris Gillcrist. He’s the kind of guy you want on your Trivial Pursuit team.

This is the kind of fact I learned from him every few minutes:

“The first millionaire in American history is John Jacob Astor. It’s a guy trading beaver pelts from the Great Lakes and sending them to Europe.”

Gillcrist is the executive director of the new National Museum of the Great Lakes. It opens this Saturday, April 26, in Toledo.

There are a lot about shipwrecks here, sure,  but Gillcrist wants you to know it’s much more than that.

“We look at it as retrofitting American history to more accurately depict how the Great Lakes impacted the nation as a whole over the past 300 years,” he says.

Read more
Mackinac Island
8:47 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Oldest Mackinac Ferry Service Could Be Out

Mackinac Island officials have not heard whether this boat and others owner by Arnold Transit will run this summer.
Credit Peter Payette

UPDATE: Tuesday April 22nd, 9:00 AM

The president of Arnold Transit Company says boats will be ready to run to Mackinac Island when the ice breaks.

Brent Rippe acknowledged the company is having some financial difficulties and says the situation is “fluid.”

On Monday, the Mayor of Mackinac Island, Margaret Doud, said Arnold had missed a deadline to declare whether it would operate this season. Rippe says he spoke with a representative of the mayor over the weekend, stating the company’s intention to operate.

Read more
Election 2014
6:18 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Peters Files For Michigan U.S. Senate Race

Democratic U.S. Congressman Gary Peters.

Congressman Gary Peters has filed petition signatures to put his name on the ballot. Peters is a Democrat running to succeed retiring US Senator Carl Levin. Peters’ support for the federal healthcare law has been an issue in the campaign. Peters says that’s OK with him.

Read more

Pages