Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 13, 2012

Michigan in Brief: 12/13/2012


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Senate OKs bills on donated medicines

LANSING — The Michigan Senate has approved two House-passed bills that would allow collection and redistribution of prescription medication.

The bipartisan measures the Senate passed on Wednesday would allow medical facilities to donate unused drugs for distribution to needy patients. The bills also would require that drugs donated to pharmacies participating in the redistribution program have never left medical facilities or oversight to ensure safety.

The legislation also would require participating pharmacies to become disposal sites for excess drugs.

Most other states have enacted similar laws.

Ethanol plant survives court challenge

MARQUETTE — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging a proposed ethanol plant in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Sierra Club and Chippewa County resident Larry Klein said the federal government did an inadequate job of analyzing the environmental impacts and investigating alternatives. But Marquette federal Judge R. Allan Edgar said the risk to local health was adequately considered.

The judge said Tuesday that mitigation projects would make up for any impact on wetlands. He also said that state and federal officials found no endangered species near the location.

Frontier Renewable Resources will break down wood into sugars that ferment and become ethanol. The plant would use about 560,000 tons of pulpwood a year from public and private lands. The U.S. Energy Department is providing $100 million.

Boys find mastodon bone in backyard

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A researcher has confirmed that two 11-year-old boys found a mastodon bone over the summer while exploring a southeast Michigan yard.

Eric Stamatin of Macomb County's Shelby Township and his cousin Andrew Gainariu of Troy found the bone near a stream while exploring Eric's backyard, The Detroit News reported. Eric said it looked like a rock, but a hole made them think it was a bone.

A researcher at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills confirmed it was an axis bone from an extinct American mastodon, a relative of the elephant. Paleontologist John Zawiskie said the fossil is likely between 13,000 and 14,000 years old.