Southwest Michigan Today Wednesday July 12, 2017

Jul 12, 2017

U.S. House Appropriations Committee makes a move to keep funding for Great Lakes restoration. Trump administration proposes cuts to university reimbursements for overhead costs in biomedical research. Lyme disease on the rise in Michigan.

It looks like money for Great Lakes restoration efforts might not go away after all. As the Detroit Free Press reports, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee drafted a bill to keep the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initiative funds projects that clean up polluted areas, protect wetlands, and improve habitat for aquatic life. President Donald Trump had originally proposed cutting the program. The legislation still has to be voted on by the appropriations committee and pass the full chamber before moving on to the Senate.

A Trump administration proposal would cut reimbursements for overhead costs in university biomedical research. If adopted, the Detroit News says the University of Michigan could lose $92 million. The proposal would also affect research universities that receive grants through the National Institutes of Health - like Michigan State, Wayne State, and Western Michigan University. School administrators say the proposal could force universities to reduce or shut down research activities funded by those grants.

More people in Michigan are coming down with Lyme disease. The Gongwer News Service says 279 cases of the illness have been reported so far this year. That's up from 233 last year and 150 in 2015. The disease is spread by infected ticks, and state officials say Michigan's tick population is booming. They recommend that people use a bug repellent containing DEET to keep the insects at bay. Removing ticks within 48 hours also makes infection less likely.