Travis Sleight

Student Reporter

Travis Sleight is a student reporter for WCMU, joining our staff in early 2017. You can hear him report daily for 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered.'

Flickr user Marty Hogan /

Midland county has been recognized by the National Association of Counties for its work utilizing GIS. That’s computer based mapping software that experts describe as google maps on steroids.


Midland county officials said they were fortunate to have received a $16,000 state grant in 2015 to fund the GIS system launch.


Flickr user David Lofink /

The EPA has awarded nearly 10 million dollars to begin cleanup of the old Velsicol chemical plant in Saint Louis, in Gratiot County.

Local advocates said they’re excited for EPA support after decades of chemicals leaching into nearby groundwater.

Jane Keon is the former chair of the Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force. She said hired contractors will run high voltage electricity through the ground to volatilize the chemicals.

Flickr user takomabibelot /

Who knew too much water could be bad for your well?


Flood waters could pose health risks for mid-Michigan residents who get their water from private wells. Fred Yanoski is the the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Midland County Health Department. He said people whose well head was submerged by flood water should have their well tested for bacteria.


Travis Sleight

Midland and Isabella county residents still affected by high waters should see relief soon.


The Tittabawasse River in Midland County is about one foot over its 24 foot flood stage. The Chippewa River near Mt. Pleasant is also about a foot over its’ eight foot flood point.


According to the National Weather Service both rivers are expected to fall below flood stage within the next twelve to twenty-four hours.


Flickr user Dave Dugdale /

Helping you get the most out of your money is what a financial advisor is supposed to do, but financial experts say the fees some advisors charge may be costly to clients.


A recent study says sixty percent of people don't understand the fees they pay their advisors.


Geoffrey Brown is the CEO of the National Association of Personal Advisors. He recommends finding people that work on a fee only basis. He says advisors who work for commission don't always have their client's best interests in mind.

Michigan Secretary of State

They said a picture is worth a thousand words.  Supporters of Michigan’s lighthouses are hoping a picture will be worth thousands of dollars.

Flickr user Eli Christman /

Two U.S. senators from Michigan have introduced legislation which they said kills two birds with one stone.


Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both democrats,say their bills would update crumbling bridges and dams around Michigan. They said improving the infrastructure would create more habitat for Michigan’s fish, and reduce the number of dangerous structures around the state.

Flickr user John Pasden /

Michigan Braille and Talking Book Libraries are turning to technology in an attempt to increase the number of visually impaired people using their services.  


Susan Chinault is the Manager of the Braille and Talking Book Library of Michigan. She said the library is looking to raise awareness because many visually impaired people don't realize there is a service to help them obtain reading materials at no cost to them.


Flickr user Virginia State Parks /

Fresh Water is one of Michigan’s greatest resources.  June tenth through the sixteenth residents and visitors are encouraged to celebrate access to Michigan’s lakes by going out on a boat.


Officials with the Department of Natural Resources said Michigan Boating Week exists to highlight the importance of the state’s 7.4 billion dollar boating industry, as well as its influence on resident’s quality of life.  


Flickr user Martijn Barendse /

Many people say their pets are considered members of the family but experts said when families make emergency plans -- furry friends are often overlooked.


Officials said taking a few minutes to consider what you would do, and where you would go with your pets during an emergency could protect your pet’s life.


Dale George is a Spokesperson for the Emergency Management Homeland Security Division of Michigan. He said when an emergency occurs it's often too late to figure to what to do with your pet.