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delapidated Detroit house
Jason Paris / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Detroit is ready to restart its sweeping demolition program, Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Friday.

Detroit voters approved Proposal N, a $250 million bond proposal, in November. The city will use that money to both demolish and rehab many of the city’s remaining abandoned properties.

Win a ticket to The Moth National Mainstage virtual event coming up January 27 at 7 p.m. 

Michigan Radio is giving away five tickets (links) to the show. Each ticket is good for one household online admission. Deadline to enter is Monday, January 25, 2021. Winners will be notified by email or telephone on Tuesday, January 26,  Contest rules available here

On April 25, 2014, Flint officials toasted each other as they flipped the switch to the Flint River.
WNEM-TV

Rich Baird, a former top advisor to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, has resigned his post as a regent of Eastern Michigan University, after being charged with four felonies by state prosecutors for his role in the Flint water crisis.

Baird is accused of perjury in an interview during the investigation into the crisis, extortion, for allegedly threatening investigators looking into the cause of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the crisis, obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to influence and/or interfere with ongoing legal proceedings arising from the Flint water crisis; and misconduct in office, for improperly using state personnel and resources.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated Michigan National Guard units ahead of protests expected Sunday at the state Capitol.

The coordinated law enforcement effort also includes the FBI and local police departments.

Police agencies have ramped up intelligence gathering and a visible presence following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that turned violent and out of control.

Courtesy of Eddie Gillis and Third Man Pressing

When Frank Solis found the tapes, he almost threw them out.

He and his family — as well as the music world — had assumed that his father, Michigander and Tejano music pioneer Martin Huron Solis Jr., had never recorded the songs that made him a pioneer in Detroit’s music scene of the 1940s and ‘50s. Though Martin was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame in 2018, he was best known for his compelling live performances and hadn’t ever released an album with his fellow musicians, who made up Los Primos.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has set special elections to fill a pair of vacant state senate seats.

The former holders of the 8th and 28th state senate seats won elections to other offices in Kent and Macomb counties in the November election.

The 8th Senate District seat was previously held by Peter Lucido, who was elected as the Macomb County Prosecutor.   

The Michigan’s 28th Senate District seat was previously held by Peter MacGregor, who was elected as the Kent County Treasurer.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

Today on Stateside, the Mayor of Flint talks about the charges filed against former state officials for the city’s water crisis. Plus, we review new work by Michigan poets, including a nominee for the National Book Award. We end show with story of a collaboration between 3rd Man Records and the family of a Tejano music star from Detroit.

City of Flint

Flint's residents, many of whom experienced serious medical problems, including a lethal outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease, may be able to take part in a multimillion-dollar civil settlement, but the question of accountability remains. That's why many were heartened by the news Thursday that criminal charges were being filed against Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials for their parts in the water crisis. We wanted to check in with the man currently leading Flint right now about what all this means for his community.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Michigan — so far — has not seen a large spike in COVID-19 cases since the winter holidays.

 

“While I am concerned about the slight uptick in cases after the holidays, we are not seeing the surge of hospitalization that we saw in the beginning of November,” Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said at a press conference Jan. 13.

silhouette of mom holding hands of two kids in front of sunset sky
Serjik Ahkhundov / Adobe Stock

Kent County shelters are seeing more families experiencing homelessness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family Promise in Grand Rapids usually houses 30 to 40 families a night during the winter. This year, they're providing shelter to twice that amount. The families are staying in hotels, with many people working and going to school remotely.

Former Governor Rick Snyder is one of nine people arraigned Thursday on criminal charges tied to the Flint water crisis. Michigan state senator and long-time Flint resident Jim Ananich is glad the prosecution is happening.

Michigan cities must begin replacing lead pipes. But who has the cash?

12 hours ago
Courtesy of the City of Jackson

It’s the first month of a 20-year effort to replace every lead service line connecting a Michigan home to a public water supply. Already, Jeff Lampi is predicting his city won’t meet the deadline.

“I requested an additional 10 years, so that we don’t hit the ratepayers as hard as what they’re telling us to,” said Lampi. 

Demostrators in downtown Detroit protest police-involved shootings that have killed African-Americans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A judge has dealt a blow to the City of Detroit’s criminal prosecution of Black Lives Matter protesters. Judge Larry Williams, Jr. dismissed - without prejudice - cases against 28 people who were arrested during last summer’s anti-police brutality demonstrations.

John Royal is president of the National Lawyers Guild chapter in Detroit. He is defending those charged by the city. Royal says he’s asked judges to dismiss cases because city attorneys have withheld evidence.

betsy devos
U.S. Department of Education

Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was an advocate for education issues that are popular with many conservatives while she was at the helm in Washington D.C. But DeVos' tenure in the Trump Administration came to an abrupt end last week when she resigned in protest after thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

One of the great things about being Catholic is that you can do whatever you want to do, go to confession, say a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys, and all is forgiven — you are healed and free to start over! Except... that's not really how it works. At least, not the way it's supposed to work.

John U. Bacon

After weeks of waiting, University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel finally agreed to extend Harbaugh’s contract through 2025.

There are no polls tracking fan reaction, but it’s clear Michigan fans don’t feel the same way they did six years ago, when Harbaugh surprised the sporting world by returning to coach his alma mater.

unsplash

Robert Massey, the president of Oil Chem, Inc. in Flint, has pleaded guilty to a charge of violating the Clean Water Act.

Massey had a permit from the city of Flint to send treated oily liquids to a wastewater treatment plant, but he didn't have a permit to dump landfill leachate directly into Flint sewers.   

Landfill leachate is formed when water filters downward through a landfill, picking up dissolved materials and contaminants from decomposing trash.  Federal authorities say some of the leachate contained PCBs, chemicals known to be harmful to humans.

Lester Graham

Two Democratic lawmakers are introducing resolutions calling for the investigation and censure of state Representative Matt Maddock (R-Milford).

Representative Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) and Representative Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Twp.) said each of them had formally submitted one of the two resolutions on Wednesday, and both resolutions would be officially read into the record during the House session on January 19.

A water tower advertising the Detroit Zoo
Courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society

Today on Stateside, Governor Rick Snyder and several people in his administration face criminal charges for their parts in the Flint water crisis. Plus, the Detroit Free Press profiles a central figure in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

a woman in scrubs puts on gloves in front of a car
Beenish Ahmed / Michigan Radio

Detroit launched its first major COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Wednesday at a drive-thru clinic set up in the garage of the TCF Center. City health officials made 400 appointments for Detroit seniors, teachers, and childcare providers.

“I'm an active person,” said Francena Dudely, an 87-year-old lifelong Detroiter, who was among those vaccinated. “I want to be able to get out a little bit and even if I still have to wear a mask, I will feel more comfortable.”

vaccinator giving someone a covid vaccine through the window their car
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It'll be May, the state estimates, before Michigan can open up COVID-19 vaccines to the next wave of people. But if Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail could somehow get her hands on 83,000 doses of the vaccine – one for each of the county's currently eligible frontline workers, as well people older than 65 – she’s pretty sure she could get all those shots in arms in, say, three weeks.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

More than $58 million in state money will soon be available to small businesses and entertainment venues that have suffered economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses can apply for the one-time grants from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program.

A water tower advertising the Detroit Zoo
Courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society

Ron Kagan, who’s run the Detroit Zoo for 28 years, will retire from his role as executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society this summer. He led the zoo through significant changes, bringing it from an entertainment-based attraction to a conservation-focused, educational destination. Stateside spoke with Kagan about his approach to his work and some of the zoo’s accomplishments under his leadership.

creative commons

Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that she wants all schools to offer at least some in-person learning by March 1. At the same time, she opened up eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to K-12 teachers, among other “frontline essential workers.”

Michigan Radio spoke with a number of teachers, all of whom said that they—and most of their colleagues—are eager to return to the classroom. But most want to get vaccinated first, and worry about whether educators will be able to get the necessary two doses before that happens.


headshot of congressman Peter Meijer
House Creative Services, Ike Hayman / Public Domain

When the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232 to 197 to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time Wednesday, 10 Republicans joined House Democrats to vote in favor. One of them was newly elected West Michigan Congressman Peter Meijer.

We're No. 33! Or are we? How Michigan tracks COVID-19 vaccines could cost us

Jan 14, 2021
syringes in a blue basket
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The federal government gave states even more incentive this week to make sure they're getting COVID-19 shots injected into arms as quickly as possible.

States that don't efficiently immunize their people — and report the data accurately — won't get as many doses of COVID-19 vaccines as states that do. The change in the way vaccines are being distributed comes as the virus continues to spread across the nation, filling hospital beds and killing people at a record pace.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been charged in the Flint water crisis. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who nearly seven years ago, noticed something was wrong.

Courtesy of Keith Kindred

I’ve been teaching social studies since 1992 and have seen my fair share of historically important events. Many happened while I was actually in the act of teaching.

I was teaching when the Oklahoma City bombing took place in 1995.

I was teaching when the Columbine High School shooting occurred in 1999.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty in the Flint water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It will be another week before a federal judge expects to decide whether to give preliminary approval to a massive settlement of Flint water crisis related lawsuits.

During a brief hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy said she may need until January 21 to complete her written ruling. She had originally hoped to have her decision ready by the end of this week. 

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