FRIDAY, Sept. 30 — A roundup of news from around the state, provided by our partners at Capital News Service. Follow the links for the full stories.
Audit says inspectors need to recheck more school buses that fail safety checks: A recent state audit says state officials should more aggressively re-inspect school buses that fail safety checks. The number of buses with safety defects rose by 684 to 3,038 in 2016. That’s 19 percent of Michigan’s fleet. But a September state audit report of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division says that state inspectors rarely reevaluated a bus tagged as defective. In 2016, only 30 percent of tagged buses were reevaluated by state inspectors, the audit said.
Park, shop and nest in new downtown buildings: Medium-sized cities looking for ways to expand parking in cramped downtowns are turning to mixed-use structures that combine retail and housing with parking. Such projects spur downtown activity and serve people who can walk to work, but a challenge is to make them attractive.
Michigan towns trying to catch up on broadband expansion - Small towns across the state are eyeing ways to build their own utilities that boast high-speed internet reliability and better access for residents than traditional internet providers. Cost is a significant challenge and experts say Michigan lags in a race that could better attract high tech jobs.
Tax break for veterans faces resistance from local governments: A bill to broaden how many disabled veterans receive property tax exemptions faces cautious resistance from the local governments that would lose revenue if it passes. And representatives of some veterans groups sympathize with their position.
Culling deer herd reduced chronic wasting disease: DNR reports that federal sharpshooters and more hunting permits reduced the deer population and helped fight chronic wasting disease among white-tailed deer. The fatal disease has been found in Michigan since May 2015, most recently in Ingham and Clinton counties.
Lake fish, even with some mercury, good for your health: Eating Great Lakes fish that contain mercury may threaten your health, but nutritional benefits may outweigh risks, says a new study of lake trout and lake whitefish consumption by members of U.P. and Northern Lower Peninsula Native American tribes with high rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Thousands celebrate bats at festivals: Bat lovers have found festivals just for them and bat conservationists have found festivals help people understand an often misunderstood mammal. At the Great Lakes Bat Festival in September, 3,000 folks showed up.