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Sarah Leeson

Stateside Production Assistant
Derek Smith
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

When you think of a mandolin, you may think of Europe during the Renaissance or bluegrass music from the South. But it turns out the mandolin actually has roots right here in Michigan.

This past weekend, mandolin enthusiasts descended on Marshall, Michigan for the Marshall Mandolin Summit. Visitors spent the weekend sharing their love for the instrument and learning under world-renowned mandolin players like Don Julin, author of Mandolin for Dummiesand Mike Marshall (no relation to the town).

A chain-link fence and barbed wire
Max Pixel

 


Last year, a state prisoner complained of chest pain and difficulty breathing. According to a Detroit Free Press report, 37-year-old John Stein at the Cotton Correctional Facility at Jackson went to the prison healthcare unit. A short time later, he was sent back to his cell. There, he collapsed and died.  

 

A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan Department of Corrections and a private company hired to handle inmate health care, Corizon Health. 

Richard Phillips (left) and David Moran (right)
Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

 

Here is a story of murder, of injustice that took decades to correct, and of forgiveness.

Imagine yourself going about your life, when, suddenly, you're accused of murder. And nobody believes you when you say, "I didn't do it!" 

You're convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. 

Yoga mats set out and ready for the class to begin
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

After what is often years of waiting and paperwork, some refugees from desperate situations around the world are fortunate enough to be accepted into the U.S. But then what? If you’ve been in a war-torn area or are a victim of torture, you’re glad to be safe.

But you’re in a strange country. You might not speak English. You might be confused by government bureaucracy or an unfamiliar medical system. Then there’s a chance you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental health issues. 

Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened with the bang of a thermal detonator this weekend, becoming the second-highest grossing opening weekend for a film ever in North America.

But your local theater isn't the only place where aspiring Jedi knights can be found learning to wield a lightsaber.

Chad Eisner co-founded a group called Terra Prime Light Armory in 2012. The group promotes traditional martial arts and weapon arts by sparring with lightsabers.