3:31 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Toxic PCBs behind aging Kalamazoo River dams pose new risks

On the other side of the Kalamazoo River sits the last remnants of the Plainwell Dam. It was removed in 2007.
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

A long time ago,  paper mills dumped toxic PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, into the Kalamazoo River. Though the Environmental Protection Agency has been working to remove them, there are still PCBs lurking behind the river’s dams...and those dams are getting too old to hold them.

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Fun for Kids
5:08 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Learn how to make a fairy house

The inside of a Fat Blossom Farm fairy house

Fat Blossom Farm is a family farm run by Jacob and Liz Quincy. They grow certified organic food and flowers in Allegan on green space that includes agricultural land and over 20 acres of woodlot. They teach workshops on gardening and harvesting wild food and Liz teaches children how to build houses for fairies.

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Arts & More
4:54 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Henna: Temporary tattoos with a rich cultural history

Henna artist Jen Helsel's hand
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Henna, or mehndi, is a type of temporary tattoo usually used in India, Africa, and the Middle East. Over the past few years, henna has become more popular in the U.S.

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SW Michigan
2:10 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

State Senate fails to vote on Medicaid expansion

Michigan Capitol Building
Credit Melissa Benmark / WKAR

The State Senate adjourned Wednesday without voting on an expansion of Medicaid. Minority Democrats tried to force a vote on the issue but failed.

The Gongwer News Service says only one Republican sided with Democrats in their attempt to get the bill out of committee. The proposal would add 470,000 Michigan residents to the list of those eligible for health coverage under Medicaid.

The State House has approved the idea but it remains stalled in the upper chamber despite strong pressure by Governor Rick Snyder.

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SW Michigan
2:50 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Portage Schools sign contract with new superintendent

Credit WMUK

The new superintendent of the Portage Public Schools has a three-year contract. School Board trustees signed the agreement with Mark Bielang on Tuesday. Bielang, who is now superintendent of the Paw Paw Public Schools, will take over in Portage August 5th. He'll be paid just under $214,000 a year.

Portage School Board trustees picked Bielang as the district's new superintendent June 21st after a protracted search process that saw an earlier finalist drop out and charges that the board had violated Michigan's Open Meetings Act. PPS officials say that was not the case.

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