Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

An assortment of microplastics
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

One year after the United States banned microbeads - the small plastic particles you might see in a face scrub - scientists are now turning their attention to microfibers - hairlike plastics in our clothing.

Both types of plastic have been cluttering up oceans, rivers, and lakes. But clothing and personal care products aren’t the biggest sources of microplastics. Scientists are having a hard time finding out what these microplastics are and where they come from. 

An unidentified woman loads clothes into a washing machine at a coin-operated laundry in Los Angeles' Echo Park district, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003. A freeze on regulations Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared on his first day in office may delay or alter a
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

If you’re one of those people who stopped using microbeads because you care about the environment, we have some bad news. Microbeads are those tiny plastic bits in your toothpaste and facewash that pollute oceans, rivers, and lakes.

Scientists say there’s a new microplastic to blame - and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper. Plastics in our clothes are sending billions of microfibers into our waterways - making fish and other aquatic life sick. 

Andy Robins / WMUK

Most students at Western Michigan University feel safe from sexual violence on campus. The university says that's according to the results of a national "campus climate" survey earlier this year.

Eight of ten Western students who responded said they felt safe on campus, and that the university's faculty and administration was concerned about them. But almost a third of female students said they have experienced unwanted sexual contact before coming to Western.

The university says about 12-percent of Western's 36,000 students took the survey last spring.

Protesters at WMU's flagpoles
Stephen Williams/WMUK

About 50 students gathered Thursday afternoon at Western Michigan University to protest the election of Donald Trump as president. 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Last month, “Why’s That?” found itself with a stumper about pavement on a certain block of Kalamazoo’s Michigan Avenue. For listeners who haven't slept well since then, today we have an answer. Then we find out what Michigan Avenue, which used to be called Main Street, has to do with a famous novel.