Families & Community | Michigan Radio
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Families & Community

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. 

pixabay

A question to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 an hour could be headed to the November ballot. A petition drive says it’s gathered enough signatures to force the Legislature to adopt the initiative, or it goes to voters.

Michigan’s minimum wage rose to $9.25 an hour in January.

Campaign chair Alicia Farris says the initiative will not only increase the minimum wage again, it will also end the lower minimum wage for workers who earn tips.

Lily Holshoe in her Mermaid Nadie costume touching a fish
Courtesy of Lily Holshoe

 

If South Haven figures in your Memorial Day plans, get ready: You're going to see mermaids, mermen, and even merkids. 

It's the first-ever Mermaid MegaFest – four days of celebrating merfolk while focusing on preserving our natural freshwater resources. 

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawmakers in Lansing say a settlement between Michigan State University and survivors of Larry Nassar doesn’t mean their quest for justice is over.

Nassar is the former university sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients under the guise of treatment. More than 300 survivors are suing the school for not stopping him, and MSU faces a potential $500 million settlement.

In the Legislature, lawmakers have crafted more than 30 bills in response to what Nassar did.

An abandoned and boarded up house in Detroit
University of Michigan School for Environmental and Sustainability / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

The first line of Sarah Alvarez's report in Bridge Magazine packs quite a punch: "Antoinette Coleman lost her home for less than the cost of an iPhone."

 

That price tag was just $291 to be exact.

Nicole Beverly
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

Lawmakers in Lansing are focused on giving some crime victims more rights and protections.

Governor Rick Snyder will have to decide if convicted criminals should be required to listen to their victims in court. The legislation, on its way to his desk, is in response to a defendant who was convicted of killing a woman – but who left the courtroom during the family’s statements.

“For me, it’s a matter of putting victims first,” said bill sponsor Holly Hughes, R-Montague. “Putting humanity first is the principal of all this and making sure you do the right thing.”

Samar Baydoun Bazzi

The holy month of Ramadan begins this evening. For the next month, Muslims around the world will fast from sunrise to sunset and devote more time to reading the Holy Koran.

Samar Baydoun Bazzi of Dearborn wanted to make the holy month a little festive for her family. After years of seeing Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, she came up with a Ramadan tree. She joined Stateside to talk about how she came up with the idea and its reception by her family and local community.

matthileo / Flickr

Activists from across the state shut down streets in Lansing Monday. The Michigan Poor People’s Campaign launched at the state Capitol.

The campaign wants a massive overhaul of voting rights laws, new programs to get people out of poverty, and measures to boost the economy in favor of working people.

Jerry Goldberg is with a coalition to stop foreclosures, which is part of the campaign. He said all the struggles they’re fighting against – from racism to worker’s rights – are similar.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A controversial company will provide some Flint residents with bottled water for the next several months.

Nestle has been criticized for its deal to pump more water from rural Michigan for its bottled water business.

The company has agreed to distribute thousands of those bottles for free to Flint residents.

Stateside 5.8.2018

May 8, 2018

Today on Stateside, we play a new mixtape from West Michigan featuring The Go Rounds, Lady Ace Boogie, The Founding, and The Hacky Turtles. Also today, we discuss mandatory reporting and whether it hurts survivors of campus sexual assault.

needle
Partha Sahana / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It began in Switzerland in 1986 as a way to combat overdose deaths and diseases linked to opioid drugs: safe injection sites, also known as supervised injection sites.

It’s a place where users can inject drugs in a clean place, with clean needles, and under medical supervision.

PUBLIC DOMAIN

More children in Michigan are dying because of abuse or neglect compared to a decade ago. Back then, the state settled a federal lawsuit, promising to improve its child welfare system. The state has spent millions of dollars on that effort.

Welcome to MorningSide 48224, a community podcast. We’re loaning out audio equipment so MorningSide residents can record themselves and conduct interviews to tell their own stories through sound.

Listen to the stories below:

Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It wasn't all that long ago when proud parents might carry a small photo album they would happily whip out to show photos of their kids.

Today, parents have various options for sharing photos of their kids on social media. But what do kids think about all that sharing?

Michigan leaders want to make crumbling Detroit fort into national park

May 3, 2018
Historic Fort Wayne
Wikimedia Commons

A movement is afoot to make the historically rich but deteriorating Historic Fort Wayne in Southwest Detroit into a national park, Bridge Magazine has learned.

As construction is set to begin this fall on the $4.5 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, community and state leaders increasingly are focusing on the future of the fort grounds that lie directly to the east.

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