March 31 2014 12:00 AM

Improving employment prospects, expulsions in schools, dealing with heroin epidemic and more

Courtesy photo
Monday, March 31 — Each week, City Pulse runs a series of stories produced by Capital News Service correspondents at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. This week’s topics include lousy job prospects in Michigan; why suspending kids from school can lead to a life of crime; a new branding campaign to boost Michigan tourism; and more.
  • If you’re 55 or older and hunting for a job, good luck; Michigan is one of the worst states for your employment prospects. A new state program tries to address the problem. By Becky McKendry.
  • Suspending kids for skipping school could help lead them to a life of crime, police say. Michigan law enforcement and school officials are advocating for other forms of discipline as Michigan school suspensions and expulsions are on the rise. By Darcie Moran.
  • Lawmakers are considering bills to give friends and family of heroin addicts access to medicine that could save their lives during an overdose. The bills would also give illegal drug users immunity from prosecution if they called 911 to save the life of a friend who has overdosed. By Nick Stanek.
  • State officials are pushing for an interconnecting network of land and water trails in a branding campaign to boost Michigan tourism. The initiative includes broadening a trail advisory council, developing a trail app and bringing attention to them through the state’s Pure Michigan campaign. By Danielle Woodward.
  • Michigan’s economy is recovering in most places with the exception of the Upper Peninsula, according to a Michigan State University economist. By Ashley Weigel.
  • The record-breaking ice gripping Lake Superior is bad news for the steel industry but not for Upper Peninsula tourism. When the Sault Ste. Marie locks opened Tuesday it was the first time since 2009 that a boat didn’t pass through on the regular March 29 opening. That keeps raw materials from steelmakers. But winter activities are drawing tourists and officials hope that expected increasing water levels will attract even more during warmer weather. By Nick Stanek.
  • Two men face an April trial on criminal charges involving the mishandling of asbestos on a project that converted a former church into a charter school in Bay City. Three other recent asbestos criminal cases were in Dearborn, Otsego and Utica. By Eric Freedman.