MBI employee Laurel Hills inspects a tub of corn stover used in the AFEX project. It's a process by which leftover corn residue, or stover, is treated with ammonia and heat to release sugars. The end product makes a good feedstock for cattle as well as a promising biofuel.
Spring planting season for corn in Michigan is still at least a month away, but scientists who study the crop’s amazing versatility want you to cast your vote for a “home-grown” project. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute, or MBI, is developing a process that seeks to get more use out of the leftover residue of the plant that’s not fit for human consumption.
Believing in a destiny can be very addicting. It can add security, and maybe even help the world feel like less of a harsh place. But how do you tell the difference between destiny, luck and just the pure happenstance of living? In Matthew Quick’s new novel “The Good Luck of Right Now” he takes on this question through the character of Bartholomew Neil.
The Pure Michigan brand has brought attention to the state’s lakes, breweries and museums. Some are hoping that the Pure Michigan designation may bring the same attention to the state’s trail systems. Recently, a five bill package was introduced to lawmakers that would promote a “Pure Michigan Trail Network.” The bill would solidify trail standards and connect trail ways with communities.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its latest Kids Count Report yesterday that looks at child well-being across the country. For the first time, its researchers broke down the numbers across ethnic and racial groups and found disparities nationwide when it comes to how our children are faring.
If you live in Michigan, you live in the Midwest, right? Well, maybe not. While the U.S. Census Bureau defines the Midwest as a 12 state region between Ohio and North Dakota, many other organizations and individuals have their own definitions.
General Motors has recalled 2.6-million vehicles for ignition switch failures, failures that are linked to at least 13 deaths. Considering the recent $1.2 billion dollar penalty levied against Toyota for that company’s problems related to sudden accelerations, dealing with the ignition switch problem could become very costly to the automaker.
Today in our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place, we feature the Michigan Minority Health Coalition. It’s a statewide organization that works to improve the health of Michigan’s ethnic and racial minority populations.
Today on Current State: the Michigan Corps Social Entrepreneurship Challenge; MSU launches a fund drive to save audiovisual archives; tar sands shipping on the Great Lakes; the Abrams Planetarium's 50th Anniversary; and East Lansing’s Moist Towelette Museum.
Social entrepreneurship, where for-profit businesses seek to offer creative solutions to our society’s biggest needs, has become a rising trend across the country. Last year, Detroit was home to the nation’s first social entrepreneurship competition, which attracted more than $1-million in new investment for a diverse group of new businesses that focus on such issues as energy efficiency, affordable medical devices, and coffee roasting.
The Michigan State Spartans had a great run through March Madness, making the Elite Eight. Coach Tom Izzo may want his team to watch the playback of Sunday’s game against the U-Conn Huskies for a little self-analysis. MSU has a lot of tapes like that and other sporting events, some of which pre-date World War II. However, those old film and video clips are falling apart over time. Now, MSU is asking the public for donations to digitize those records for posterity.
Last week, as much as 1,600 gallons of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, 20 miles from Chicago. After a week-long cleanup, authorities say they have found no further trace of spilled oil in the area. However, the political ramifications of the spill are likely to remain long after this incident. The BP refinery processes oil from tar sands found in Canada. Tar sands contain a thick petroleum that’s gaining popularity as a new energy source. New technology is making it easier to mine tar sands, but some worry that could increase the likelihood of more spills like the one last week.
This year MSU’s Abrams Planetarium is celebrating 50 years. To mark the milestone the Planetarium's original star projector is being resembled by one of the original staffers. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with John Hare, who worked at Abrams nearly 50 years ago.
Every year, thousands of people from around the state and elsewhere visit a museum in the Lansing area: the state of Michigan Historical Museum downtown perhaps, or the dynamic new Broad Art Museum in East Lansing are two that come to mind.
At the end of every calendar month, Current State hosts its regular reporter roundtable to review the biggest stories of that month. Current State looked back at the drop out of a shoe-in, the unresolved gay marriage issue, the bumps facing road funding and the contest for Attorney General in Michigan.
While for some media outlets photography is taking a back seat, at National Geographic it continues to be a central part of the brand. The photos featured in the magazine not only take readers around the world, but they also help tell the story of our changing environment.
One of the issues being considered at the state capitol in recent weeks is the regulation of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat up a liquified nicotine solution. That produces a vapor rather than the smoke from tobacco cigarettes. Users call this “vaping” as opposed to smoking.
Today on Current State: Cong. Mike Rogers' departure triggers speculation among Dems, GOP; Healthy Michigan Plan begins enrolling low income residents next week; LSO to feature American composers Copland, Bernstein.
Mike Rogers, U.S. representative of our 8th district in East Lansing, says he will not seek reelection after his term ends this year. He made the announcement official on a Detroit radio station, and said that he has been invited regularly to talk about national security issues on T.V. and radio.
Two notable developments related to health insurance take place in just a few days. Monday is the last day for Americans to sign up for coverage on healthcare.gov without incurring a penalty on their federal taxes next year. Healthcare.gov is the federal website functioning as an insurance exchange for 36 states, including Michigan. The next day, April 1st, is the first day close to a half-million low-income Michigan residents can enroll for coverage offered by the ‘Healthy Michigan’ plan.
Today on Current State: 'Storming the Hill' to stem veteran suicides; Newly married gay couple from Lansing faces legal limbo with confidence; Director of noted English choir leads Grand Rapids ensemble.
The lives of a Lansing couple took a profound and very public turn last weekend. After more than 12 years in a serious relationship, attorney Douglas Meeks and investment executive Greg McNeilly became one of Michigan’s first same sex couples to be legally married.