Local officials convert paved roads to gravel as lawmakers debate funding repairs

Michigan communities might see more local roads turned to gravel in coming months, thanks to winter’s remaining grip. The rough winter has given Michigan’s road funding concerns a violent push into statewide spotlight as discussion swirls at the Capitol. But road commissions across the state are eyeing the immediate impact that deeply rooted frost has on a local level. County road commissions have increasingly taken up the practice of permanently or temporarily turning paved roads into gravel in recent years to deal with issues of low funding and poor road conditions, said Joe Pulver, Clinton County Road Commission managing director. Last year, about half of Michigan counties were forced to convert paved roads to gravel, said Monica Ware, the communications and development manager for the County Road Association of Michigan.

Snow delays spring corn planting, asparagus harvest

By Nick Stanek

Farmers may be off to a late start this year after snowfall and low temperatures put them behind schedule. There is good news and bad news associated with the snow. The heavy snow insulated the ground, protecting micro-organisms that are good for corn. But the high water remaining in fields could strain the industry, said corn grower Scott Lonier, owner of Lonier Farms near Lansing. “We are at the mercy of Mother Nature right now,” he said.

Photo Friday: Ice and snow cover Green Bay

By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo 
This photograph taken recently from the International Space Station shows the city of Green Bay, Wis. Just north of the city is the ice-covered Green Bay off the west coast of Lake Michigan. The landscape is covered in snow. Because the sun poorly illuminates the area, the entire scene is set in gray. Fields can be seen purely covered in white snow, and forests look dark.

Emergency officials brace for floods from snow, warmth

State and local officials in Michigan are bracing for spring floods after record-breaking snowfalls in some areas.

And the risks are high, with a 50 percent to 90 percent chance of flooding predicted statewide this year.

Photo Friday: Ice forms Lake Michigan stringers


By Evan KreagerGreat Lakes Echo Ice stringers, the lines of ice that can be seen traveling out across these Lake Michigan waters, are formed when strong winds blow ice off a point of land and into a long, connected string. This photograph produced by astronauts on the International Space Station shows Washington Island off the point of Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and two smaller adjacent islands. They are joined by ice. When this photo was taken on Feb. 22, strong southwesterly winds blew against their ice-covered shores, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory.