Ferris State employee wins award in NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction Contest

For the past six weeks, NPR has promoted its latest Three Minute Fiction contest, asking people to write an original story about a real or fictional U.S. president. 
Now, NPR recently picked a winner from Ferris State University.
Ferris State University’s Communications Officer, Marc Sheehan is the winner of this award. 
His piece was called “The Dauphin” and was a fictional tale about a man taking care of his father suffering from dementia, who thinks he is Spiro Agnew, a fictional president. 
Sheehan’s win was announced on NPR’s All Things Considered the Sunday before the presidential election. 
“The winner of Round 9 of Three Minute Fiction is Marc Sheehan of Grand Haven Michigan who wrote the story the Dauphin” 
Sheehan said the idea for the piece came to him fairly quickly.
“Part of the piece was based on real experience. I had tried at different times to write about my father who had passed away, and when I tried to write about that in more realistic terms, it never turned out very well,” Sheehan said.
“And for some reason when it got wedded to this more kind of surreal idea of someone who believed they were someone they weren’t, wedding that to something that I already tried to do led me to kind of an emotional place in the piece that I hadn’t been able to get to before.” He said.
Sheehan’s piece will also be published in the next edition of the Paris Review. 

Survey finds that boomers are spending more


We’re four weeks removed from the presidential election and
four weeks away from the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

In the middle of both, the holidays, and a new survey is
looking at how Baby Boomers are responding to this intersection of economic
events and activity.

Ken Robbins is Founder and President of Response Mine
Interactive, an ad agency that serves and targets boomers. His survey found that boomers are spending
more than people might think, and ads might be missing a prime audience.

CMU Public Radio’s David Nicholas spoke with Robbins and
asked if reaction to the politics and the holidays are in sync this year.

Debate continues over wind energy’s impact


Among the many tax credits set to expire at the end of the
year is the Production Tax Credit, it has supported the development of
alternative energy.

Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder gave a broad energy policy
address while supporters and opponents continue to debate how much
environmental and economic impact alternatives have here.

Jacob Susman is on the Board of Directors of the American
Wind Energy Association and also the Founder and CEO of OwnEnergy in New York

The association recently held their annual symposium looking
at the present and future of wind power. CMU Public Radio’s David Nicholas spoke with Susman about the impact of
the potential end to the PTC.

Governor said action needed to encourage urban farms

Michigan Public Radio Network
Governor Rick Snyder said the state should do more to deal with blight and encourage urban farming in cities with lots of vacant land. 
It was part of Governor Snyder’s special message on energy and the environment. The governor says too much abandoned property in Flint, Detroit, and other cities is going to waste  when it could be put to a new use. 
“And all I’ve seen in my two years as governor is a lot of discussion about right-to-far, and urban farming.”
He said it’s time to settle issues dealing with zoning rules, pesticide use, and other barriers to using urban space for agriculture.  
“There’s too much talk and not enough action.”
The governor also wants to ban chronically delinquent property tax scofflaws from state land auctions, and make better use of brownfield redevelopment funds.
Copyright 2012, MPRN

Bills to put limits on recall efforts introduced in State House

Michigan Public Radio Network

A group of state lawmakers wants to make it harder to recall elected officials. Bills introduced in the state House Wednesday would put limits on the process.

Three democrats and three republicans from Macomb County are sponsoring the legislation. They said it’s a response to recent recall efforts, a number of which targeted officials from Macomb County.

Republican state Representative Anthony Forlini said it’s too easy for special interest groups to abuse the process.

“We saw a year ago where attorneys were getting involved, special interests were being involved, and voters were being disenfranchised.”

One of the six bills would only allow recall elections in May or November. Another would require all language in recall filings to be factually accurate.

Bill sponsors said they’re confident state lawmakers will pass the bills before the end of the year.

Copyright 2012, MPRN

Measure would authorize wolf hunting season

Michigan Public Radio Network

The Michigan Senate is expected to vote Thursday on allowing gray wolves to be hunted in the Upper Peninsula.

There are several hundred wolves in the U-P.

Jill Fritz of the Humane Society said the gray wolf was removed from the federal endangered species list in January, and state law already allows people to shoot wolves that threaten people, pets, or livestock.

“So there’s just no justification for starting a hunting season so soon on this species that’s still recovering.” Said Fritz.

“You take the Detroit Zoo or any major zoo, if they got some of their wild animals out into the city, I think we would call out the National Guard.” Said Casperson.

State Senator Tom Casperson is from the Upper Peninsula, where he said wildlife officers have already had to kill wolves for chasing deer or going through trash where people live.

Copyright 2012, MPRN

Bill could limit access to abortions

On Monday, state lawmakers canceled a vote on legislation that would have allowed people to claim a fetus as a dependent as early as 12 weeks along in development.
Opponents had said they viewed the proposed bill as a “backhanded attack on access to abortions.”
Women’s rights organizations are now expressing the same concern over bill pending before the state Senate, saying that it too could limit access to abortions in Michigan. 
The bill, HB 5711, would impose new regulations on abortion clinics, said Mary Pollock with the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for Women…
“It would close all but one clinic in Michigan, because it would require all abortions to be performed, medical abortions or surgical abortions, to be performed in a free-standing, outpatient facility.”
Supporters of the legislation said they’re trying to protect women by making abortion facilities safer.
Opponents are reiterating their position that it is “more proof that women’s rights are at stake” as the legislature returns to Lansing this week.