Creating Electricity From Human Waste

With the planet’s population at 6 billion and growing, it’s
becoming more challenging to handle all the human waste. Now,
scientists may have a way to reduce that waste, while at the same time,
creating clean electricity. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy
Nelson reports:

Alzheimer’s Patients Take Up Gardening (Part 2)

  • Family Life Center founder, Cynthia Longchamps (right), and program participant JoAnn Scott. Longchamps says the sound of this waterfall helps soothe Alzheimer's patients, and its location encourages them to walk farther into the garden.

People have often turned to nature to rejuvenate their spirit –
whether they take a hike in the woods, or just look out the window. Now
there’s a type of therapy that taps into these powers of nature. In the
second of a two-part series, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy
Nelson visits a "healing garden":

New Feed Reduces Toxins in Manure

Large-scale livestock operations face a big challenge: how to
handle all the manure the animals produce. Manure spills and runoff can
contaminate water with nitrogen and phosphorous. The result can be
polluted drinking water, or fish kills in streams and lakes. But now,
Purdue University researchers have found a way to significantly lower
pollutants in hog manure. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy
Nelson reports:

Activities May Ease Alzheimer’s Disease (Part 1)

  • This garden at the Family Life Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is designed specifically to help Alzheimer's patients.

About 19 million Americans have a family member with
Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a diagnosis that can send a family reeling.
patients, even simple tasks become increasingly difficult, as the
robs them of their memory. And for families, caring for an Alzheimer’s
patient often becomes a fulltime job. In the first of a two-part
series, the
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports new approaches
in Alzheimer’s treatment are offering hope to both patients and their

Park Service Combats Exotic Plants

There’s a silent danger creeping through national parks across the
country. The parks – like many other wild areas – are being invaded by
alien species. Officials say these exotic plants are the most
significant threat to the parks’ natural resources. And now, the
National Park Service is taking action. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Gardeners Grow Healthy Bones

Medical experts have long known that certain types of exercise help
build bone density, and help prevent osteoporosis. But no one knew
which activities were most beneficial, until now. As the Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports, many people are sure to "dig"
the results of a new study:

Cockroach Contraceptive

If you’ve ever had cockroaches, you know how hard it is to get rid
of them. Many people turn to exterminators or pesticide sprays. But
often, roach-killing products are made with neurotoxins that may be
harmful to pets and humans. Now, some scientists have come up with a
different approach: a kind of birth control… for cockroaches. The
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson explains:

Preserving a Piece of Our Heritage

  • Barn preservation groups across the country are working to save old barns - both the common designs, and the more unusual examples, like this one in St. Joseph County, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Mary Keithan, from her book, "Michigan's Heritage Barns," published by Michigan State University Press.

In rural areas across the country, the landscape is dramatically
changing. But while strip malls, subdivisions and mini-marts all
contribute toward urbanization, there’s another type of transformation
going on, as well. The face of our farmlands is changing, as
becomes more modernized. And that’s got some people worried that a
classic symbol of American farming may soon fade away. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Pastured Poultry Caught in Red Tape

Consumer interest in healthier foods continues to grow. And
now, spurred on by the success of this market, some farmers are trying
their hand at raising chickens more naturally. But as the Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports, many of these farmers face a
rocky road getting their chickens from the farm, to your table:


According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the economic cost of drug-related crime is about fifty billion dollars a year. Much of that amount goes toward incarcerating offenders. But many of these people are nonviolent, low-level drug users… and now, instead of locking them up, some court systems are trying a different approach. In the first of a two part series, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson examines the growing trend of drug courts: