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Families & Community

man putting wedding ring on woman
Cinematic Imagery / Unsplash

 


June in Michigan means time to tuck away the storm windows, dust off that swimsuit, and maybe attend a wedding or two. 

Weddings are currently a more than a $1 billion a year business in Michigan.

But the wedding industry here might be even bigger if the state's tradition of "quickie weddings" at the turn of the last century had continued.

three boys playing basketball
User: healthiermi / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

While Michigan is making some progress in terms of children's well-being, a new report shows it still falls behind neighboring states.

The 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation assesses how kids are doing in the areas of health, education, economic well-being, and family and community.

Mr. Earl's neighborhood

Jun 25, 2018

 

Long before the city of Detroit rebranded itself, a tight-knit neighborhood on the far east side decided to make a name for itself. The community formerly known as NEAR (Neighborhood East Area Residents) wanted a name that could state their wishes, dreams, hopes and struggles aloud.

prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan’s prisons are in crisis. The state cannot find enough corrections officers to staff them. Older officers are retiring, others are quitting, and there are hundreds of officer positions waiting to be filled.

For corrections officerss like Lorraine Emery, that shortage means an exhausting, dangerous job is getting even tougher.

Emery has been a corrections officer for about 17 years. She’s currently at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, in Ionia. When she gets home from her eight-hour shift, the first thing she does is change her clothes.

Stateside 6.20.2018

Jun 20, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear from a pair of Michigan foster parents who have opened up their home to three migrant children separated from their parents. Plus, a former paralympian wants to bring her passion for ballroom dancing to other dancers using wheelchairs. 

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below: 

In this episode, we meet the founder of the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, the head of an African American podcast network called Audiowave, neighborhood activists young and old, a closet poet, and the woman who taught The Slide to a generation of skaters at Royal Skateland roller rink.

Have no pity on our souls, ‘cause we don’t want it.

We’re proud, and we flaunt it, like a badge of courage.

We’ve taken blows, but we’re not discouraged.

Been down but never out, and you better know it.

Got scars, warts, and wrinkles, and we ain’t afraid to show it.

Poet and MorningSide resident Derrick Gray

Rachel and Adam / Bethany Christian Services

 


Young children separated from their families at the border cannot be held in immigration detention centers for more than three days. After 72 hours, the Office of Refugee Resettlement looks to find a shelter or foster care home for the child.  

 

Row of girls at ceremony
Courtesy of Michael Kuentz

 


Nine girls have made scouting history in Dearborn, becoming the first in Michigan to be recognized as official members of Cub Scout Pack 1112.

This comes after the Boy Scouts of America’s historic decision to allow girls to join the organization and advance through the ranks to Eagle Scout. 

Eight-year-old Carolyn Kuentz is one of those girls. Carolyn and her father Michael Kuentz, who is an assistant Cub Master for Pack 1112 talked with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty about the joys of scouting, and what this change means for the future of the Scouts.

Cynthia Drake lives in Ripley, just outside of Houghton. She holds a family photo album caked in mud.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Residents are beginning the process of recovery after flash flooding rocked the western Upper Peninsula Sunday morning, leaving dozens of sinkholes, impassable roads, and reports of damage to hundreds of homes in Houghton County.

Stacy Peck, Tyler Trowbridge, and Wendy Botts
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

 


The opioid epidemic has been devastating to families and communities across America. For those struggling with addiction, getting clean can be a grueling process, even when they are able to get into a rehab facility. 

Tyler Trowbridge knows that struggle well, which is why he helped design Dirt City Sanctuary. Trowbridge, along with his co-founders Stacy Peck and Wendy Botts, joined Stateside to talk about their efforts to build a new kind of community for recovering addicts. 

Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance border policy has meant some 2,000 migrant children have been taken away from their families.

a family at IHOP
Joey Horan / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand people filled the grand hall of Burton Manor in Livonia to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan. The event was organized by the Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs of Detroit whose director and Imam, Sheikh Ali Suleiman Ali, delivered the prayer.

The end of the holy month also marks the end of daylight fasting. To celebrate the occasion, the faithful hopped in their cars and drove up the street to IHOP, or should we say IHOb?

Hand holding
User: Mrs. Logic/flickr

 


The world is still reeling from the recent deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef and writer Anthony Bourdain. These tragedies have drawn the country's attention as rates of suicide continue to climb.

 

GabiSanda / pixabay

The Legislature has sent Governor Rick Snyder the new state budget, including a provision that attempts to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

Snyder and the Legislature disagree on the provision, which could lead to a showdown on whether it will be enforced.

The provision in the budget would require county health departments to favor family planning clinics that don’t also offer abortions. State law already forbids the direct use of public money funds for abortions, so this would apply to money for services unrelated to terminating a pregnancy.

Rudolph Owens
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 


Most Michigan residents can get a copy of their birth certificates within weeks by simply placing an order online. 

But for Detroit native Rudy Owens, attempts to obtain his birth records took decades of legal battles. 

Why? Because he is an adoptee. 

In this special episode, MorningSide 48224 teams up with WYPR's Out of the Blocks to share voices from MorningSide.

On the east side of Detroit, the streets of MorningSide are lined with stately, brick Tudor-style houses. But today, one in four of those houses is abandoned, boarded up, gutted, or burned out.

The foreclosure crisis of 2008 hit MorningSide like a tidal wave, and the neighborhood is struggling to sprout again from the rubble. There’s a lot of buzz about a new Renaissance in downtown Detroit, but the locals in this corner of town are wondering when – and if – the revival is going to make its way to them. In the meantime, they’re holding their own and looking out for each other.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay.com / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A work requirement for some people on Medicaid in Michigan is on the verge of becoming law. The Senate sent the bill to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk today, and despite earlier reluctance he's now signaling his support for the plan.

SpringChick/FLICKR

Gov. Rick Snyder has approved nearly $50 million in spending to boost public recreation statewide.

The $49.9 million for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund enacted Monday will go to 34 land acquisition projects and 97 development projects . It includes $12.5 million to buy up to 372 acres surrounded by Ludington State Park.

Among the state or local development projects are trails, parks, canoe and kayak launches, playgrounds and splash pads across Michigan.

About $45 million in matching funds will be provided locally.

prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan’s top prosecutor is on board with proposed changes to how the state parole board determines if an inmate can be released from prison.

The bill gives the parole board a specific list of objective reasons for denying an inmate parole – like the inmate shows a pattern of ongoing behavior that shows the inmate would be a substantial risk to public safety. Another reason is if the inmate fails to complete a program ordered by the prison system.

The goal is to parole inmates who can safely re-enter society and reduce the prison population.

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

A Detroit-area dance studio is blazing the trail for wheelchair ballroom dancing in the U.S. - with the help of a retired Paralympic swimming world champion-turned-dancer.

Cheryl Angelelli and her dance partner, Tamerlan Gadirov, are among the people leading what's billed as the first U.S. training for Para Dance Instruction. The sessions will be held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Township, where Gadirov is an instructor and the pair teaches a Dance Mobility class.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

If you’re a Grand Rapids resident with an idea for a community engagement project, the city could give you money to make that idea happen.

Residents can apply every three months for up to $2,500 in match funds for neighborhood projects. These projects can range from community gardens to community yoga classes.

Residents have the entire month of June to fill out an application, which the city is willing to help people with. Application forms are on the city’s website.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay.com / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There are few moments more stressful than witnessing your child in the grips of a mental health crisis.

In Kent County, parents who are in the middle of that situation can turn to the Children's Crisis Response Team operated by network180, the community mental health authority in Kent County.

Andrew Boekestein manages the team made up of mental health clinicians. He spoke with Stateside about the need for more services for kids experiencing a mental health crisis. 

racers at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from last year, 2017
Nic Redhead / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The finishing touches are being put on the Detroit Grand Prix course. This weekend, June 1-3, racecars will be screaming around the track on Belle Isle.

But not everyone is excited about the Grand Prix's presence on the island. This weekend's race has stirred up a long-standing dispute between backers of the race and critics who don't want the racecars and crowds in the public park.

Family photos document memories and milestones in MorningSide.
Ali Lapetina

Over three generations, grandmother Patricia Robinson, mother Tamiko Clark, and daughter DaTrice Clark have lived on the same street in MorningSide. Their family story doubles as a history lesson in the neighborhood.

side view of a red Detroit Fire Department Firetruck.
user cutedtownboi / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A newspaper investigation has found the Michigan fire marshal's office hasn't performed annual inspections of churches, theaters, restaurants or other places of public assemblage as required by state law.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the Legislature has never funded the requirement. The state fire marshal's office alleges local fire departments perform the inspections.

But surveys show that most fire departments statewide are all-volunteer with no inspectors on staff.

SpecialKRB / flickr

Quicken Loans is introducing computer coding to 5,000 Detroit students.

The mortgage lender says Code(D)etroit will teach modern coding fundamentals to 1,250 students each day, beginning June 18, during the Techstars Startup Week Detroit.

Quicken Loans is partnering with Detroit-based technology training institute Grand Circus. Grand Circus will work with Quicken Loans to find and train volunteer instructors for the code training.

The HIV virus
typographyimages / Pixabay

Medical experts in Michigan say reducing the stigma of HIV is key to stopping the spread of the disease.

A package of bills in the state Legislature would update the state’s laws. That would include changing the criminal penalty for someone who doesn’t disclose they have HIV to a sexual partner. Right now it’s a felony to not disclose – even if the partner doesn’t get HIV. The bill would make it a misdemeanor and require the partner actually get HIV.

The Spoke Folks, a Grand Rapids non-profit, wants to put "More Butts On Bikes" and help people maintain them.
user kconnors / morgueFile

Nearly 500 Detroit second-grade students have received new bikes, helmets, locks and bells after completing a bicycle safety program.

The bikes and other items were given Tuesday to the students by the Detroit Red Wings, Chevrolet and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation during a special assembly at Little Caesars Arena.

The students attend 10 schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. They have been practicing riding and learning road safety since April in their physical education classes as part of the Road & Bicycle Program.

Flickr User Thetoad / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Long-debated legislation in response to the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal could move out of House committee. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually assaulting his patients.

There are more than 30 bills in the committee in response to Nassar. The committee has made amendments to some of them – but others might not get a vote at all. Bills getting changes include those passed earlier this year by the Senate.

Group of five people in graduation cap and gown
User Kyle James / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Foster care advocates gathered in Lansing Tuesday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Fostering Success Michigan.

The statewide initiative's mission is to help teens and young adults who've been in foster care graduate from college and build successful careers. 

Getting a college acceptance letter is exciting for most students, but especially for those who've spent time in the foster care system. That's because only 20 percent of graduating teens who've been in foster care make it to college. 

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