Lindsey Scullen

Lindsey Scullen started at Michigan Radio last year as an intern for Stateside. Now she’s with the Environment Report as a newsroom and web intern. At the same time, she’s finishing up her final semester at the University of Michigan where she majors in Comparative Literature and Spanish, and minors in Environment and Complex Systems. She moonlights as a fairly poor, yet resolute, salsa dancer.

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews spend the day praying and fasting, seeking forgiveness from God and fellow man.

In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, some observant Jews perform kapparot, a ritual involving live chickens.

Each person swings a chicken over their head and says a prayer. Afterward, the chickens are taken elsewhere to be processed and donated as food for those who need it.

It's that time of year again: the end of summer.

The nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter. And today is the fall equinox. 

How do you feel about it? Are you happy to say hello to fall, or more sorry to say goodbye to summer? 

So many people spend their days sitting – and sitting a lot.

People who work desk jobs might spend a minimum of eight hours a day sitting hunched over a desk. I’m doing it now as I write.

Experts like Rebecca Hasson, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Schools of Kinesiology and Public Health, say this much sitting could increase risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and even cancer.

So, some companies are taking strides to keep employees moving throughout the day. Some have gyms onsite. Some hand out Fitbits.

And then there’s United Shore, a wholesale mortgage company in Troy. Employees there take a 15-minute dance break every Thursday at three.

Soon, tiny houses will start popping up in Detroit. Construction on the first house is slated to begin within two weeks. The goal is to provide homes for some of the city’s homeless, senior citizens and students who have aged out of foster care.

Drinking lead-tainted water is out of the question, as is cooking with it and bathing in it. But what about gardening? Is it safe to water your garden with leaded water through a hose without a filter?

More and more hospitals around Michigan and across the country are starting to implement what’s called “Kangaroo Care,” skin-to-skin bonding for mothers and their newborn babies.

It’s hard not to picture the movie Taken when someone says “human trafficking” – the women lured into a Frenchman’s car and Liam Neeson’s ensuing action scenes.

But filmmaker Laura Swanson said that narrow idea of what human trafficking encompasses is misleading.

“Certainly that does happen, but that’s not the majority of the cases,” Swanson said. “And I think people really need to start reframing the ways in which they see human trafficking so that we can amend our laws and legal system to accompany what we need to do to get resources and to provide the best support for victims and survivors.”

Swanson’s documentary film Break the Chain aims to do just that – to reframe how we understand human trafficking.

A comedy showcase in Hamtramck Saturday night will have a somewhat jarring theme: suicide.

The event is called “Suck It, Suicide,” and is a benefit show performed by Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase

Proceeds from the event go to Six Feet Over, a non-profit helping people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

White-nose syndrome is a deadly disease caused by a fungus. It’s killing bats in 27 states including Michigan, and five Canadian provinces.

It was first discovered in North America around a decade ago. Researchers think it came over from Europe, possibly on the shoes of a tourist or caver.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is holding public meetings on Tuesday about a proposal to divert water from Lake Michigan.

Waukesha, Wisconsin wants to build a pipeline to the Great Lakes.

It has a radium problem in its groundwater supply. Radium occurs naturally, but it’s a carcinogen.

The city wants to divert 10.1 million gallons a day from Lake Michigan in the beginning, and up to 16.7 million gallons a day by 2050.

  

An industrial chemical is showing up in trout from the Great Lakes. It’s called perfluoro-1-butane sulfonamide, or FBSA.

Researchers traced this chemical back to several products on the market. Those include detergents and surfactants first used in 2003. Surfactants are materials made to stainproof and waterproof products.