Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Lyla Eslick (left) and Caden Cook (right) came to the Women's March with their mothers
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

This year's Women’s March in Kalamazoo focused on getting out the vote and making feminism more inclusive for people of color. Organizers say about 2,800 protestors walked from Western Michigan University to Bronson Park and back again on Sunday, advocating for women’s rights and other human rights issues. 

Hemlock woolly adelgid makes this small, cotton-like sacs at the base of the needles of a hemlock tree
Elizabeth Willhite, USDA

A bug that kills hemlock trees has invaded West Michigan. Hemlock woolly adelgid has been found in four counties: Allegan, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana. It's a tiny bug that makes small, cotton-like sacs at the base of a hemlock tree's needles. 

Forester Ben Savoie looks closely at a dying cherry tree. The field he's standing in used to be farmland and very few species of plants are growing there.
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

Extreme temperatures are hard on plants. They’re not used to having frost one day and 60-degree temperatures the next. But just like people will huddle together for warmth, plant species have strength in numbers. New research suggests that biodiversity — or a good variety of plants and animals — is about as important as climate for a healthy ecosystem. 

John Todd / John Todd Collection, Portage District Library

Rosamond Robbert lived in Dublin and London, then moved to the US in the 1970s. When she got to Southwest Michigan, she wondered: Why are Kalamazoo and Portage separate cities?

“Both with own taxes as far as I knew, both with their own rules, both with a board of governors and everything. And why’s that? They’re so teeny-weeny,” she says.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County says it has some details to work out before it can start issuing ID cards to residents. The task force in charge of the program says it needs more time to get its equipment and space in order.

“We still have to get more supplies, we are moving, expanding the clerk’s office to share in the same space where the drain commissioner’s office so work still needs to be done,” Commissioner Tracy Hall said on Tuesday.