Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Al Goldis / The Associated Press

(MPRN-Lansing) Governor Rick Snyder declared victory over the state’s economic hardships Tuesday night in his eighth and final State of the State address. The governor says choices made over the last seven years leave room now for more investment in schools and infrastructure. But, the Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports, it’s not clear that he can win support for his plans in the Legislature.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

With winter far from over, the City of Kalamazoo has had dozens of water main breaks already this year, according to Public Services Director James Baker. As of Jan. 22 the city had had 28 main breaks. They range in severity from small leaks to a rupture that heaved up part of Paterson Street.

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.