This week from Capital News Service

By Capital News Service
Credit: Michigan State Police

Saturday, Sept. 28 — Each week, City Pulse will run a series of stories produced by Capital News Service correspondents at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. While reports cover the entire state, some will be focused on the greater Lansing region.

This week’s topics cover the Michigan State Police’s aircraft fleet; young prostitutes as victims; public transportation agencies contracting out services; and botulism killing off loons in northern Michigan.

The State Police’s three-aircraft fleet based in Lansing is flying more than ever — chasing suspects, conducting search-and-rescue missions, hunting for pot fields and more. The pilots also patrol Detroit, Pontiac, Flint and Saginaw from the air. The aviation unit commander would like to add another helicopter based in the Saginaw area and possibly more aircraft further north. By Matt Hall.

Some legislators, led by one from White Lake, say Michigan law should presume that 16- and 17-year-olds caught in prostitution are victims, not criminals. Cosponsors include legislators from Clayton, Six Lakes, Detroit and Constantine. Some anti-human trafficking advocates say the state should go further and follow a federal policy that is more sympathetic to minors. We talk to U of M and Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force experts. By Becky McKendry.

A majority of public transit agencies nationally contract out some of their transportation services, most often paratransit for passengers with disabilities and dial-a-ride programs, a new federal study finds. We look at transit agency practices in Michigan, including those in St. Joseph County, Grand Rapids, Detroit, suburban Detroit and Monroe County. By Eric Freedman.

A waterborne bacteria is killing Northern Michigan’s iconic loons. We talk to experts at DNR, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Northern Michigan University. By Lacee Shepard.

All articles 2013, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.