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Stateside Staff

Harold Becker (left) and Sean Tracy (right) in the Stateside studio.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When it comes to thanking the nation's veterans, some would say we can never do it enough.

Sean Tracy has taken that gratitude to a whole new level.

He travels throughout the Midwest recording veterans’ oral histories and crafting tribute walls at Independence Village and StoryPoint, senior living communities where he serves as the Veteran Project coordinator.

Michigan auto show
Michigan International Auto Show

 

President Trump says he has reached a trade deal with Mexico to replace NAFTA, even though the agreement announced on Monday does not include Canada.

Lines out the Charles Wright Museum
Imani Mixon / Michigan Radio

 

Outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History today, hundreds of people lined up to bid their final farewell to Aretha Franklin.

The public visitation is part of a week of mourning and will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Wright Museum, with thousands expected to be in attendance. 

 

Stateside 8.27.2018

Aug 27, 2018

On today's Stateside, state tests showed elevated levels of PFAS in the Flint River as early as 2011. State Senator Jim Ananich wants to know why no one told city officials about those tests before Flint switched its water source. Plus, what the West Michigan twin sisters running for office in opposing parties think about the country's partisan divide. 

The Flint River.
Sarah Razak / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

In the spring of 2014, Flint's water source was switched to the Flint River.

We know what happened when that untreated water leached lead from aging pipes, but in his story today for MLive, Flint journalist Ron Fonger revealed that before the water switch even happened, the state tested the Flint River and discovered rising levels of PFAS contamination. 

An architectural rendering of the Detroit Zoo biodigester.
Detroit Zoological Society

If zoos have a lot of one thing, it's manure.

That's why the Detroit Zoo turned to Michigan State University researcher Dana Kirk to help turn that manure into power.

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog on Flickr / Flickr

 


As summer begins to wind down, the fall football season is firing up. 

Michigan State will kick off its season this Friday at home against the Utah State Aggies. On Saturday, Michigan heads to South Bend for its season opener against Notre Dame. 

 

tyson and sparks together in red and blue dress
Courtesy of Monica Sparks

There's a unique story playing out in West Michigan politics. Twin sisters are both running for seats on the Kent County Board of Commissioners for opposing parties.

Since they live in different districts, they could end up serving on the board together, but on opposite sides of the aisle.

Jessica Ann Tyson is a Republican. Her twin sister, Monica Sparks, is a Democrat.

Vote here sign
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 


Michigan’s Democratic and Republican parties held nominating conventions over the weekend. 

Despite a few political snags, each party now has their full slate of candidates ready for the November midterm elections.

Stateside 8.24.2018

Aug 24, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear from the candidates for lieutenant governor on the Democratic and Republican ticket. Plus, a riff on the classic gimlet cocktail that uses an ancient Scandanavian spirit. 

Garlin Gilchrist II and Lisa Lyons
Courtesy photos

Two weeks after the primary election, both the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor have chosen their running mates.

Republican Bill Schuette announced last week that former state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons would join him on the ticket. And as of Monday, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will run with Detroit political activist Garlin Gilchrist II.

Topographic map of the counties of Ingham & Livingston, Michigan
Library of Congress

 

Lynching is one of this country's darkest legacies. It claimed the lives of thousands of black Americans, particularly in the South. But the South wasn't the only place where mobs of white people brutally murdered black citizens. In the wake of the Civil War, Michigan saw three lynchings of African-American men by white mobs.

cars on a highway
Joe Shlabotnik / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

 


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a handful of residents have filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan over the high cost of auto insurance.  

Michigan’s average rate is twice that of the national average. In Detroit, no-fault auto insurance costs about six thousand dollars a year.

delapidated Detroit house
Jason Paris / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Last week, the Detroit Free Press published an investigation detailing what happens to properties that are foreclosed upon because of delinquent taxes. It is a complicated tale with a now-predictable ending: previously well-kept houses deteriorate into blighted eyesores.

Stateside 8.23.2018

Aug 23, 2018

Today on Stateside, as prisoners participate in a nationwide strike, we hear from activists pushing for changes in the state's prison, and from corrections department officials. Plus, bestselling author Steve Hamilton on his surprising path to mystery writing.

governor rick snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republicans gather for their convention this weekend to line up their ticket, led by gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, for the November election.

But one prominent member of the party won't be there: Governor Snyder.

His office says a "scheduling conflict" will keep him from being at the final convention of his time in office.

papers that say last will and testament
Melinda Gimpel / Unsplash

 


When Aretha Franklin passed away last week, she reportedly did not leave a trust or will behind. Her four sons have filed documents listing themselves as interested parties in her estate, but the details will have to be hashed out in Oakland County Probate Court.

Franklin joins a long list of celebrities and public figures who did not leave behind instructions for their estates including Prince, Amy Winehouse, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Marvin Gaye.

prison cell
Pixabay

Incarcerated Americans are on strike.

A national protest by prisoners started August 21. It will run until September 9, the anniversary of the deadly uprising in 1971 at Attica Prison in upstate New York. 

author steve hamilton
Franco Vogt / Courtesy of Steve Hamilton

 


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Alex McKnight mystery series, and author Steve Hamilton is still turning out new books.

His most recent, the 11th in the series, is Dead Man Running

Hamilton joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss this new novel and his surprising journey to becoming an award-winning writer.

Stateside 8.22.2018

Aug 22, 2018

On Stateside today, a disbute between the Grand Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and neighboring counties and cities over reservation boundaries. Plus, how poor sanitation led to a deadly 1834 cholera outbreak in Detroit. 

To hear individual segments, click here or see below: 

Sewer cover
WikiCommons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Michigan has a long list of water problems: raw sewage overflowing into the Great Lakes, PFAS chemicals in groundwater and, of course, the countless lead pipes that contributed to the Flint water disaster.

The state's first-known water crisis, though, happened more than 180 years ago.

 

Director David Van Wie and the films narrator Thomas Howell
Courtesy of David Van Wie


In 1971, the Detroit Police Department launched the S.T.R.E.S.S unit, an acronym for “Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets.”

The unit was eliminated by Mayor Young in 1974, but the stories of those three years are dark and violent.  They included tragedies of unchecked use of excessive force against the city’s African-American community. 

Woollam Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs
Charles Dawley / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some of Northern Michigan's top vacation destinations are at the heart of a lawsuit filed by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

The tribe argues that a treaty signed in 1855 set the boundaries of a reservation that would cover 337 square miles in what is now Emmet and Charlevoix Counties. That would include popular vacation spots like Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and parts of Charlevoix.

Waves on Lake Michigan.
user ellenm1 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


It has been a dangerous month on Lake Michigan.

While there has been a below average number of drownings in the lake overall this year, there was a significant spike in deaths during August. 

Ten swimmers have already drowned. One is still missing.

Stateside 8.21.2018

Aug 21, 2018

Today on Stateside, what happens when someone's relationship to food - and to their own body - spirals out of control? We talk to an eating disorder expert. Plus, a Detroit Mixtape tribute to the Queen of Soul. 

To hear individual segments, click here or see below: 

pollution
veeterzy / Unsplash

Michigan is one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to investing in public health. According to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the results of underinvestment are clear.

Empty classroom
Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Summer is winding down. Parents and kids are out doing their back-to-school shopping. But many school districts in Michigan are still trying to find enough teachers to fill their classrooms.

The issue of understaffing seems to be impacting almost all schools — whether they are small, large, public, or charter.

person on scale
unsplash

 


Food is supposed to nourish us, both body and spirit.

But what happens when someone's relationship to food  - and to their own body - spirals out of control? 

An eating disorder not only interferes with someone's quality of life. It can also be fatal if it's not treated. 

A sidewalk plaque outside the Apollo Theater in New York City.
Rocor / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

When Aretha Franklin died last week, the world lost a voice unlike any other. To honor Franklin, a tried and true Detroiter, we bring you an all-Aretha edition of Detroit Mixtape.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

For many kids, summer camp is a rite of passage. It’s the first time away from family for an extended period of time. There are new activities to explore like horseback riding and archery.

But for kids with autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities, summer camp isn’t always an option.

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