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Stateside: Race for Oakland Cty. top office; MI folk songs reimagined; climate change at the zoo

A water tower advertising the Detroit Zoo
Courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society
Detroit Zoological Society CEO Ron Kagan says that the Detroit Zoo has been committed to growing its sustainability initiatives for nearly two decades.

Today on Stateside, there are 21 people vying to succeed the late L. Brooks Patterson as Oakland County Executive. We talk to the Oakland Press reporter covering this story about the frontrunners and what happens next. Plus, how the Detroit Zoo is educating its visitors on sustainability and conservation while empowering them to fight climate change in their daily lives.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.  

Amid controversy and infighting, 21 people apply to become next Oakland County executive

Stateside’s conversation with Mark Cavitt

  • It’s been 10 days since long-time Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson died. As of today, 21 people have applied to succeed him. Reporter Mark Cavitt has been covering this story for the Oakland Press. He tells us about the backgrounds of some of the applicants, the backlash facing Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub, and when the Board of Commissioners is expected to reach its decision on Patterson's successor.

Swartz Creek’s new “Dragon Diner” keeps students fed during summer vacation

Click above to hear an audio postcard from Michigan Radio’s Adam Rayes

  • Many school districts offer places where students can get meals during the summer, but Swartz Creek Community Schools in Genesee County realized that many of their students lacked reliable transportation. So the district — where more than 50 % of students quality or free or reduced lunch — came up with a new approach: a mobile food bus they call the “Dragon Diner.” Stateside’s Adam Rayes rode along as they brought lunch to kids around the district. 

Theater Talk: Summer heats up with “Mamma Mia,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,” and more

Stateside’s conversation with David Kiley

  • As we swing into the tail end of summer, there are still plenty of great performances going on at  professional theaters around the state. David Kiley of Encore Michigan talks about his recommendations, including Mamma Mia at the Barn Theatre in Augusta; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at both the Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck and the Dio Dinner Theater in Pinckney; and Painting Churches at the Flint Theatre Guild.

Inspired by folklorist Alan Lomax, West Michigan musicians reimagine songs of state’s past 

Stateside’s conversation with Aaron Kates and Noah McLaren

  • In 1938, famed folklorist Alan Lomax traveled around Michigan recording and documenting folk music. Hearing about Lomax’s work inspired a group of West Michigan musicians to bring some of those old Michigan folk songs back to life in a new album titled Michigan-I-O. Aaron Kates and Noah McLaren are two of those musicians. They explain what it took to put this album together, how they reinterpreted the songs for a modern audience, and what they learned about Michigan history along the way.

Detroit Zoo wants kids to be active part of the climate change conversation

Stateside’s conversation with Ron Kagan

  • It's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of ecological challenges the size of global climate change. But many organizations — including the Detroit Zoo — are committed to helping the communities they serve learn about and take action. 
  • Ron Kagan is the CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. He joined Stateside to talk about why climate change education is such an important part of the zoo’s mission, and how they communicate that mission to its 1.4 million annual visitors.  

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