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Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Plastic debris is getting into the Great Lakes, our drinking water, and our food

There’s been a lot of news about the amount of plastic debris in the oceans. But plastic pollution is also affecting the Great Lakes. A study out of the Rochester Institute of Technology estimates 22 million pounds of plastic debris enters the Great Lakes from the U.S. and Canada each year.

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Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation were prominent in the Michigan House Oversight Committee’s first hearing Thursday on a bill that would preemptively outlaw government-sponsored “vaccine passports.”

The bill’s supporters expressed concern about privacy and government overreach if people are required to prove they’re vaccinated.

“Although the conversation at this point in time is specific to a COVID-19 vaccine passport, we must ask ourselves the question: if this is allowed, what might the next step be?” said Representative Sue Allor (R-Wolverine), the bill sponsor.

C/O Spectrum Health

When we first realized COVID would be the biggest public health crisis of our lifetime, Governor Gretchen Whitmer came out swinging. She set up mask mandates and physical distancing recommendations. That earned her respect from many public health officials both within Michigan and around the country. 

But the governor’s message now is very different. So, what changed? 

Karen Woolstrum / Unsplash

Federal help is on the way for restaurants, bars, food trucks, caterers and other food establishments across the country that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to help them keep their doors open.

The U.S. Small Business Administration opened up applications on Monday  for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The RRF was established under the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Michigan Radio, NPR's largest member station in the state, is looking for a Detroit-based community engagement reporter to join our news team. You will report to the News Director.

You will serve Detroit residents whose news and information needs are not well represented. You will partner with neighborhood groups, block clubs, and organizations on stories Detroiters want told -- enlisting their participation in our storytelling process and reporting stories in service to these communities.

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Today on Stateside, a look at the messaging behind Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s latest public health guidelines. Also, an athlete and coach discuss winning streaks in women’s college athletics despite the challenges of practicing amid the pandemic. Plus, a Black-led food cooperative partners with local farmers in preparation for its 2022 opening in Detroit’s North End neighborhood.

John U. Bacon / Michigan Radio

250 years ago my mom’s side of the family lived in Yonkers, New York. But being United Empire Loyalists, when the Revolutionary War started they escaped to New Brunswick, Canada. And that’s what makes me Half-Canadian Bacon.

Mom grew up in Milltown, New Brunswick, a town so small it no longer exists. It had one school building, with no lab, no gym, no school teams. 

young woman holding a cell phone
freestocks / Unsplash

Updated Thursday May 6, 2021, at 3:31 p.m.  

Traverse City students who participated in a racist social media group chat won’t be criminally charged.

In late April, local authorities began investigating a Snapchat group titled “slave trade.” That’s where some high school students in Traverse City pretended to place bids on people of color, including their classmates. 

Michigan Radio has been recognized with four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the Large Market Radio category. The station won awards in the Breaking News, Feature Reporting, Investigative Reporting, and News Series categories. The Murrow Awards are presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) to honor outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. The winning entries from Michigan Radio are as follows:

Video by Xueying Chang, Kaz Fantone, Michaeleen Doucleff and Ben de la Cruz/NPR / YouTube

When will the pandemic end? How many more COVID-19 waves will the U.S. go through?

Sarah Sutherlin and Carmela Palamara
Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press

Advocates say they're still confident that a $2.25 pay increase for direct care workers will be included in next year's budget.

That's even though the state House Appropriations Committee did not approve an amendment for the pay increase on Wednesday.

Direct care workers take care of Michigan's most vulnerable adults, who are elderly or have disabilities or mental illness, often in the adults' homes.

Robert Stein is with the Michigan Assisted Living Association. He says many people could lose their caregivers if the pay bump doesn't stay in place.

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