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Great Lakes water diversions could be more numerous

1 hour ago
J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue

When Monica Evans gets together with her friends they talk economics, politics, the weather. They also discuss a subject that arises periodically in the news - the prospect that Great Lakes water could be diverted to other parts of the country. 

Evans, who is known in the Traverse City region as an effective environmental activist, has long worried that water could become in the 21st century what oil was in the 20th. As the global climate warms and water scarcity mounts, Great Lakes water is more valuable than ever before. 

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan residents have a first-ever opportunity to be directly involved with the re-drawing of political district lines tonight when the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) hosts its first of 16 public hearings on the redistricting process.

The hearing from 6-9pm tonight at One American Event Center in Jackson will also be livestreamed. Any Michigander can RSVP to attend the in person or online, and submit public comments virtually, here.

inside a prison
Adobe Stock

A Dearborn man accused of joining and supporting ISIS was denied bond by a federal court judge on Monday. 

Ibraheem Musaibli is charged with supporting the Islamic State and taking part in its military training. The 30-year-old could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted. 

Musaibli has denied membership in the terrorist organization despite his name appearing on one of its rosters. Musaibli told the FBI that he was forced to feign the role of an ISIS supporter because the terrorist organization was monitoring communications of those within its territory.

A photograph of the exterior of Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state House committee is expected to vote Tuesday on bills that would set tougher ethics standards for lawmakers.

The package has bipartisan support and it’s expected the bills will be sent to the House floor.

The legislation would require both the House and the Senate to create bipartisan ethics committees, with the chairmanship rotating between Republicans and Democrats every six months.

arm of a person laying in a hospital bed
Shutterfly/thaiview

Today on Stateside, Michigan sees a boom in the use of monoclonal antibodies to keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. Plus, the coach of the University of Michigan's women's gymnastics team talks about a tough pandemic year that ended in a national championship. And, singer-songwriter Rachel Curtis talks about new ways of producing and releasing music during a pandemic.

City of Detroit

Detroit police chief James Craig plans to talk to reporters today amid speculation that he will retire after eight years and consider a turn to politics.

Craig told The Detroit News that he will hold a news conference Monday.

“I’m a lifelong public servant,” Craig said. “I want to continue to serve.”

The 64-year-old Detroit native has been chief since 2013. He returned home after a long police career in Los Angeles and short stints as chief in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It felt like a war. And the doctors, nurses and health care workers at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing were losing.

“We’re battling out there, but no new troops are coming,” said Dr. Paul Entler, Sparrow’s Vice President of Quality and Performance Improvement.

It was March, and Michigan’s third COVID-19 surge seemed to have no end in sight: 3,000, then 4,000, eventually more than 7,000 new daily cases on average at the peak in April.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The push is on to get Michigan parents with children under 17 years old to file their federal tax forms to qualify for an expanded child tax credit. The credit will include children who turn 17 in 2021.

As part of federal COVID-19 economic relief, a child tax credit will provide families with a monthly payment up to $300 per child starting in July, running through December.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

National Republican Party leaders say they plan to target three incumbent Michigan Democrats in next year’s Congressional elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee helps elect GOP candidates with direct financial contributions, as well as technical and research assistance. The group also organizes voter registration and election turnout programs.

It can be helpful, as well as potentially confusing, to have vague expressions of time such as “by and by.”

The more we thought about this expression, the more trouble we had trying to think of how we even use “by and by.”

Sure, it shows up in poetry and music, but those contexts don’t exactly lend themselves to everyday use.


A cell phone with the apps Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pulled up
dole777 / Unsplash

Some stories, there's just not a lot of gray area.

A few months ago, I was driving behind a vehicle that kept lurching from one side of the lane to the other. It was pretty bad. I thought the driver was drunk.

Finally, I passed the car, and I saw that the motorist was driving with one hand on the wheel, whilst her other hand held a cell phone aloft, the better to conduct a Facetime chat.  

She was driving about 70 miles an hour down the highway. Yikes. Not good.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan is planning for a mostly in-person fall semester after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many operations to go remote. 

Part of that process is getting faculty and staff who have been working remotely back on campus for in-person work. President Mark Schlissel announced today that the school is beginning a gradual phasing-in of on-site work.

Spectrum Health

Plenty of Michiganders went to neighboring states like Ohio and Indiana to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially when availability was more limited at home. Now, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is asking them to notify their primary care provider.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced a plan for the state's reopening called MI Vacc to Normal. The plan will relax COVID-19 restrictions to the percentage of residents that are at least partially vaccinated.

Courtesy of Roberta King

Patti Kornoelje says that when her son Casey Kornoelje was a teenager, she worried about the direction in which he seemed to be heading. He had multiple encounters with law enforcement over marijuana use, which led to cannabis-related convictions and changed the trajectory of his career.

But, Patti says, sometimes certain doors open for a reason.

A photograph of the exterior of Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A commission has recommended salary increases of 2% a year for the governor, legislators and other state elected officials.

The State Officers Compensation Commission adopted the proposal Friday. The increases would take effect in 2023 and 2024, after next year’s elections.

But it’s not a done deal. An amendment to the Michigan Constitution requires the Legislature to ratify the recommendation. And that hasn’t happened in a while.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Black residents faced disparities in hospitalizations during the third coronavirus wave, according to data from the University of Michigan. 

The MI Safe Start Map’s latest complete data spans from March 30 to April 27. This covers the middle of the recent hospitalization peak, which came close to surpassing spring 2020’s heights. (The dashboard's disparities feature updates every Tuesday for the last week.)

Jars of marijuana strands
Rob / Adobe Stock

Today, on Stateside, misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility has made some people hesitant to get a shot. We’ll talk to a doctor about how the rumor started and what she’s telling patients. Plus, in a year of social distance, one college lecturer connected to her students through letters.  

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Using asparagus in a cocktail seems odd. I mean, if you throw it in with the messy mix of garnish in a garish, way over-the-top Bloody Mary complete with celery, olives, banana peppers, and bacon, okay, it might work. But, really, asparagus as a ‘real’ ingredient in a cocktail? Sounds weird.

Well, weirdly delicious.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings had a couple of bottles of spirits, some concoction in a plastic bottle and asparagus on the cutting board.

Courtesy of Derrick L. Turner/Michigan State University

Forty-two years after the state of Michigan became the state of Michigan, a botanist named William Beal buried 20 open bottles of seeds to see how long they could remain viable.

A few weeks ago Frank Telewski, a professor of plant biology at Michigan State University, along with a few colleagues, continued the decades-long experiment by digging up one of those bottles on the MSU campus.

Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michigan farms during the harvest.
Craig Camp / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Each year, Michigan becomes a temporary home to tens of thousands of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and Lupita Perales with the United Farmworkers Foundation says some of them have been arriving with unfounded fears about the COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s tough to know what kind of information those workers have gotten before their arrival in Michigan, so she’s working on distributing flyers and holding Facebook live sessions to disseminate the facts.

cartoon showing an employee, business owner, and politician
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

I usually try to stay away from sweeping generalizations — all workers good, all politicians bad — that sort of thing. But there has been so much partisan hackery lately (especially in Lansing) that I felt a need to comment, and sweeping generalization seemed to be the best angle to take.

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.

Unsplash

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:

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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