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Today on Stateside, we hear about the shifting political sands in Oakland County. Also, climate change and Michigan birds. Plus, we discuss the arid conditions in much of Michigan. It’s creating a greater risk of wildfire, earlier in the season than normal.

A fire rescue truck sits in the aftermath of a wildfire.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Droughts in parts of West Michigan put large swaths of land at an increased risk of wildfire. 

Despite storms rolling through much of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula over the weekend, some parts of the state are abnormally dry for this time of year.

“There was actually a severe drought north of Kalamazoo, up to Grand Rapids, and then towards the Saginaw Bay area. . . We haven’t seen these conditions in quite a while,” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission wants more time to do its job.

Attorneys for the commission made their case Monday before the Michigan Supreme Court. They say the problem is the court won’t get all the U.S. Census data it needs in time to meet its deadlines, because the COVID-19 crisis has delayed sharing those numbers.

A worrying spike of coronavirus infections in Europe is being driven by the delta variant, according to global health leaders, even as immunization rates in some countries are on the way up.

Increased cases reported in the U.K. and Portugal have forced officials to reimplement lockdown restrictions or hold off on lifting pandemic mandates. Officials in France, Germany and Spain said they are closely monitoring clusters of infection tied to the delta variant.

An image of the highway sign for the bridge to Canada in Detroit
Ken Lund / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Despite hopes otherwise, the international border with Canada will remain closed for nonessential travel for another month, until July 21.

Canadian Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair announced via Twitter Friday morning that this decision was in coordination with the United States, and that the government would provide more details about fully vaccinated Canadians travelling.

concert
Yvette de Wit / Unsplash

On today’s Stateside, music festivals are back in business this summer. Plus, podcasters Michelle Jokisch Polo and Araceli Crescencio discuss bringing news to Michigan’s Latinx community. And, a conversation with music producer Waajeed about passing the Detroit-techno baton.

Bakpak Durden

Murals by Bakpak Durden that glaze through the streets of Russell, Brush, and Hazelwood -- covering a Detroit vs. Everybody store, the Brush Street Viaduct, and LGBT Detroit -- have illuminated the city.

A self-taught interdisciplinary artist, Durden began their work years ago, making small pieces out of items found around the house and selling them to the two people who loved them most.

The United States has a new national holiday to celebrate: Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 — in the aftermath of the Civil War — when U.S.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Almost all COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan will be lifted Tuesday, but that won’t put an end to arguments in Lansing about how the crisis was handled and what should happen next.

Republican lawmakers say the decision is overdue and that the Legislature will continue its inquiries into the administration’s handling of COVID, including restrictions on gatherings and businesses.

Let's sing a song for freedom this Juneteenth. Let's lift every voice. Let's celebrate our freedom of will, of mind, of spirit — our freedom to march on. We know that this march isn't over, this fight isn't won.

The past has taught us a thing or two about faith; the present has brought us, at last, some hope for tomorrow.

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