PM River Has a New Invasive Species to Watch For

A tiny snail is the latest invasive species to pose a threat in Michigan. The "Detroit Free Press" reports the New Zealand mudsnail has been confirmed in the Pere Marquette River in Baldwin. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality aquatic biologist Sarah LeSage discovered the snails on a floating trip down the river and tests confirmed they were the first New Zealand mudsnails found in the state. 

Chicken Pox Outbreak in Traverse City; Non-Vaccinated Asked to Stay Home

Nearly a dozen Traverse City Area Public School students have to stay home because they’re not vaccinated and there’s been a chicken pox outbreak in the district. Eight students at three different elementary schools have the infection. UpNorthLive-dot-com reports any student who isn’t immunized has to stay home for 21 days.

Great Lakes Being Protected From Microbeads in New Legislation

A ban on environmentally damaging microbeads is a step closer to reality. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has unanimously passed legislation cosponsored by Chairman Fred Upton of St. Joseph. He says it's designed to help protect the Great Lakes. The beads are used in soap, face wash and toothpaste and are small enough to get through water treatment systems. Once into the water, they're mistaken for food and eaten by fish.

Up to 5 inches of Snow in the Forecast for Saturday

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Here comes the snow. The first significant snowfall of the season is in store for parts of the Lower Peninsula throughout the weekend. In West Michigan, up to five inches of snow could fall by Saturday evening. It's nothing to compare to last year however, when Grand Rapids saw 31 inches of snow in November. That was a record.

DNR Says Check Your Deer

With the deer hunting season kicking off this week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is encouraging hunters in four Lower Peninsula counties to have their harvest checked for Chronic Wasting Disease.
It’s currently mandated that harvested deer be checked in a nine-township Core CWD Area in and around Lansing, where three deer were confirmed to have the disease earlier this year.
But Chad Stewart of the DNR says they’re also urging hunters in Eaton, Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties to have their deer tested for CWD.
Eaton was recently added to the suggested testing area after preliminary tests on a deer killed in DeWitt indicated the one-and-a-half year-old buck had the illness.
Stewart says the DNR has also launched an education campaign in the Upper Peninsula, so hunters going into Wisconsin, which has been dealing with a CWD problem since 2001, know they are not supposed to bring entire deer carcasses back into the Michigan. He says the disease tends to stay in the brain and spine and the illness can be spread if the deer carcass is discarded in the environment. 
CWD is a neurological disease that causes erratic behavior in deer and elk and eventual death. It cannot be spread to people.

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