Michelle Renne Leach

I'm Michelle Renne Leach, an independent writer, reporter, editor, consultant and communications specialist. I've developed news articles, features, press releases, TV and radio scripts, whitepapers, blog posts, and other memorable content for media outlets, news services and organizations in Sydney, Australia, London, U.K., Washington, D.C., Chicago, the active Detroit-area Flint market and throughout America's Heartland. Name an industry, I've probably written about it. Name a type of communication, I've probably developed it. A passionate storyteller at heart, I take pride in consistently bringing topics to light and to life across communication type and media.

5 Controversial Questions About Marijuana

The New Year marked the opening of the country’s first legal marijuana store in Colorado. Washington is slated to open the first of its 300-plus pot shops as early as summer 2014, while pro-legalization campaigns in Alaska, Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada are poised to move marijuana from the shadows of the underground market to legitimate enterprise within the next two years. But for every study touting the plant’s medicinal qualities, there is another survey or or

Addiction expert: Why teen celeb chose prison over rehab

When Teen Mom's Amber Portwood opted to go to prison for five years instead of moving forward with rehab, a collective "What?!" sounded through the blogosphere. But addiction treatment pioneer Dr. Karen Khaleghi explains, with drugs in control, a mother will give up her daughter and her freedom.

As Amber Portwood reports to prison, Creative Care Malibu's Dr. Karen Khaleghi said understanding the reality star's decision to forgo continued treatment for a five-year prison term really isn't about "choice."

5 Health Risks Associated With Video Games

Love Child, a 2014 Sundance Film Festival documentary, explores the death of a 3-month-old girl in South Korea. When detectives found the infant, she weighed 5.5 pounds, less than her birth weight. It turns out that her parents, instead of caring for their newborn daughter, were nurturing a “virtual” child — spending six to 12 hours a day online with that make-believe child. Similar horrifying incidents of video-game addiction can be found online. While the American Psychological Association rep

10 Numbers Outlining America's Obesity Epidemic

The number of obese Americans has risen dramatically in recent years, prompting the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention to label the trend an “obesity epidemic.” While some have questioned the use of that term to describe the situation, there is no question that the growing number of obese children and adults poses problems on a couple of levels. First, being overweight puts individuals at risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and even cancer ...

5 Ways Stress May Help Your Body

Stress has been blamed for everything from nosebleeds to heart disease. But research also indicates that stress, at least when properly channeled and controlled, can help you bounce back faster from surgeries, help your body ward off infections, and make you a more productive worker. In fact, too little stress has actually been linked to a number of undesirable traits, including psychopathic tendencies and excessive risk-taking. The trick is finding the right balance between what has been termed

10 Numbers to Watch For a Healthier Lifestyle

Forty pounds in four months? Three dress sizes in three weeks? Two inches in 20 days? These are not the numbers you should be thinking about when it comes to a healthier “you” in the new year. If you want to get results, you need to set realistic goals and focus not on short-term gains, but a lifestyle change. To get started, here are some time-tested numbers to keep in mind to help in your quest. Instead of targeting an ideal “size,” go forth and shed bad habits and adopt a new lifestyle for lasting, positive change.

10 Strange But True FBI Files

In another case of truth being stranger than fiction, earlier this year the FBI established a website containing thousands of files, formerly papers tucked away in file cabinets for decades. The ominous-sounding FBI Vault allows anyone to go online and sift through documents detailing everything from unexplained phenomena (UFOs) to investigations that seem ridiculous now (hundreds of pages dedicated to the immorality of a rock ‘n’ roll song or artist). You can check out the FBI Vault yourself ...

5 Controversial Theories About the Discovery of America

Once upon a time, American schoolchildren learned how Christopher Columbus discovered America. Of course, then we had to qualify that “fact,” because Columbus “discovered” a land where Native Americans had already lived for thousands of years. Then it turned out that Columbus wasn’t even the first European to reach the New World, as evidence emerged proving the Vikings had reached North America hundreds of years earlier. Several other theories exist that still others may have reached American sh

5 Regime Changes That Went From Bad to Worse

As the world speculates about the future of post-Gaddafi Libya, it’s hard to believe any successive regime or leader could harm the country more than the man who for four decades unleashed both bloody social experiments on his own people and sponsored notorious terrorist attacks abroad. But we need only look to history to find that ousting the “bad guy” can have the unintended result of elevating to power a far worse monster. Below are five dark chapters in modern history where regime changes ...

Witness to Westroads Mall tragedy ... Recalls what was deadliest mall attack

The nation is reeling from the deadly rampage at a mall theater that left 12 dead and dozens more injured during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

Before there was Colorado, there was Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. On the afternoon of Dec. 5, 2007, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins stepped off the elevator and on to the third floor of the Von Maur department store. Inexplicably, he opened fire. In 90 to 120 seconds, Hawkins struck a dozen people before turning the gun on himself, taking six lives immediately, with two more victims dying from their injuries on the way to hospitals.

Costs, aging infrastructure barriers to safe structures

As if Nebraskans needed yet another reminder of the power of tornadoes, in late May the world watched an EF5 barrel down on the Oklahoma City-area of Moore, hitting three schools and claiming the lives of two dozen people, including 10 children. As fellow residents of Tornado Alley, these tragic events bring to the surface what some AEC professionals grapple with in their day-to-day work lives; what can be built into offices and homes to at least mitigate damage associated with a side of Mother Nature so fierce that it can't possibly be outwitted?

State of Online Auctions: Going? Going? Going?

For thousands of years, auctions remained largely unchanged -- until 1995, when a computer programmer posted a single item online. The result: A broken laser pointer found a home, and Pierre Omidyar founded eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY).

Unlike its slow-to-change offline predecessor, the online auction has gone through some rocky reincarnations in the past few years. Still, don't expect online auctions to go the way of the dinosaur -at least, not anytime soon.

5 Great College Rivalries Lost to Conference Realignment

The death of some of the greatest college sports rivalries happened virtually overnight, with storied matchups that had lasted a century or more disappearing from the schedule the past few seasons. Nebraska, a founding member of the Big 12, rocked the college football world when the school jumped to the Big Ten effective in 2011. But the Cornhuskers are hardly alone, as heavy-hitters such as Texas A&M, Pitt, Syracuse, TCU, Missouri, West Virginia, Louisville and Notre Dame all switched conferenc

10 Bizarre U.S. Trademark Claims

An obscure group, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, voted in early July to rescind Washington Redskins trademark registrations on the grounds that the name “may disparage” Native Americans. Cancellation of this federal trademark is not automatic, as the franchise is appealing the decision. But the fact the board acted on such a politically charged issue raised questions about many other trademarks that enjoy federal protection; many people would find some of