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Stateside Staff

an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula were allowed to open for sit down dining. We spoke with two restaurateurs; one who opened and one who stuck to take-out orders. Plus, how one high school senior is preparing for his future amid uncertainty.

Courtesy of the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City

After being shut down for nearly two months, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan received permission from the governor to allow sit-down dining at limited capacity just in time for Memorial Day. Some welcomed the flood of tourists for the busy holiday weekend, but others erred on the side of caution and are sticking to takeout-only service for a while longer.

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Remember the question, “Doing anything fun this weekend?” You might not have heard it much these past few months, as the COVID-19 public health crisis and executive orders have kept many people at home and practicing social distancing.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel talks about plans to restart on-campus instruction in the fall. Plus, an epidemiologist's advice for navigating reopened public spaces.

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

A red bridge flooded in Midland
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces loosened restrictions on some Michigan businesses and small gatherings just in time for the holiday weekend. Plus, we'll hear about the environmental threats posed by massive flooding in Midland County this week. 

"A Strange Loop" actors on stage
Joan Marcus

Detroit native and Cass Technical High School alum Michael R. Jackson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this year for his off-Broadway musical A Strange Loop. Jackson's show is a kind of meta-musical whose central character is writing a musical himself. It’s an effervescent mix of traditional Broadway songs with gospel, R&B, and a heavy dose of Liz Phair. It is also the first musical to win the Pulitzer without making it to Broadway.

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Today on Stateside, thousands have evacuated Midland County after dam failures led to an emergency. We check in with a hydrologist about what causes dam failure. Also, the superintendent of the West Bloomfield Public School District discusses why waiting for state guidance about this fall is not an option. Plus, a Michigan business’s quick pivot from hotel to front-line food provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A red bridge flooded in Midland
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio


Jermale Eddie stands in Malamiah Juice Bar and Eatery
Courtesy of Jermale Eddie

Today on Stateside, we introduce you to a doctor with a very personal story about COVID-19. Plus, funeral director Thomas Lynch talks about what grieving means when you can’t come together.

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

kids with backpacks on going back to school
WavebreakmediaMicro / Adobe Stock

When schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way students were taught had to shift on a dime. Online platforms like Zoom became the new classrooms. These sudden changes have also highlighted the shortcomings and inequities of our current school system. That has some educators thinking about whether this crisis could be an opportunity to reinvent what school looks like this fall and beyond.

Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, what will the impending re-opening of Michigan’s economy mean for public health. Plus, how the pandemic could allow districts to reshape learning in the fall.

Scarlett London and Cate Weiser

"Bored, exhausted, and restless" probably describes how a lot of Michigan’s kids are feeling these days. They have been stuck at home for nearly two months now, ever since the COVID-19 outbreak shut down schools and hangouts. This week, we spoke with two of the million and a half young people who are adjusting to this new normal. 

Photo courtesy of Sarah Ombry, Mission Point Resort

Maybe you can’t imagine traveling anytime soon. Or maybe visiting another place—any other place—is all you can think about right now. Either way, summer’s almost here.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, summer tourism will likely look a bit different this year, and businesses at popular destinations like Mackinac Island are preparing for a season that has already been affected by the ongoing health crisis, even before the island opens to the public.

Mackinac usually opens around the end of April. But not this year.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today on Stateside, summer vacation plans up in the air— places like Mackinac Island likely won’t reopen until late June, if at all. Plus, we talked to two high school students on how they are adjusting to online school and being home.

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

Sarah Anthony at a podium smiling
Courtesy of Rep. Sarah Anthony / https://www.votesarahanthony.com/media

Protesters were back at the Michigan Capitol on Thursday to voice their displeasure with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders. After armed protesters entered the State Senate Gallery during a protest two weeks ago, some in Lansing began calling for a ban on guns inside the statehouse. That debate picked up steam after reports that people in anti-quarantine Facebook groups were calling for violent action against the governor.

Today on Stateside, we discuss an evolving story about a COVID-related condition that has infected dozens of kids in Michigan. Plus, we get details about protestors back at Michigan's Capitol today.

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

Stevie wonder at the piano
Pete Souza / The White House

Happy birthday to you, Stevie Wonder! The Michigan soul legend was born 70 years ago Tuesday in Saginaw, and has been filling our lives with wonder ever since.

Stevie Wonder’s career began at an incredibly young age. He was just 11-years-old when he signed to Motown Records. WDET host Ann Delisi joined Stateside to talk about Wonder’s prodigious career and life.

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Today on Stateside, a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the housing market. We talk with an affordable housing expert to find out what the public health crisis means for renters, particularly as expiration dates for eviction moratoriums approach. Also, an update from Michigan’s chief medical officer, with the latest on the state’s response to the pandemic. Plus, a musical love letter to the National Park System.

woman in personal protection equipment talking to woman in wheelchair
Wikimedia Commons

Public health in Michigan has undergone a radical shift. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 4,700 people and sickened tens of thousands of others in the state. Most businesses are closed, and one million-plus children are learning in place as best they can. 

As the Whitmer administration begins to make decisions on which businesses to reopen and when, the state’s chief medical executive says the numbers are improving.

“We are seeing a significant decline overall in the number of cases and deaths in the state and that is positive,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Man holding bass in a national park
GVSU New Music Ensemble / Flickr

Have your daily walks around the block lost their luster? Do you long to be transported to somewhere with spacious skies and purple mountains majesty? A new record from Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble called Dawn Chorus does just that by taking listeners on a sonic trip to some of  the country’s most beloved national parks.

red for rent sign in front of house
karagrubis / Adobe Stock

Back in March, we spoke with a renter, a landlord, and a lender about the domino effect the coronavirus outbreak was having on Michigan's residential rental market. Now, with only a few sectors of the economy going back online, rent coming due, and the governor's eviction ban set to end this month, we decided to check back in on what's happened since the lockdown began. 

Raul Petri / Unsplash

Stateside for Tuesday, January 22, 2020

Today on Stateside, how a renter, landlord, and lender are being affected by the pandemic. And an update on the story about a man accused by multiple Michigan families of sexually abusing children.

people on a zoom chat with the words house calls at the top
University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities

Without gallery openings or open studios, artists are heading online to connect with their audience. A new YouTube series from the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan is giving them a platform to do just that. 

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, one couple’s experience of recovery from COVID-19. We hear how they had to relearn everything, from walking to communication. Also, the Michigan Capitol Commission has delayed its decision regarding open carry regulation on statehouse grounds—Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta breaks it down. Plus, a YouTube series of studio visits with some of the state’s most creative minds.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Atlantic Council / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Thursday that Michigan factories will soon be allowed to resume operations. This is good news for the thousands of auto workers who will now be brought back on the line. But as we've heard this week, it's not a simple process. There are two equally critical aspects of reopening the economy—public health and financial stability.

three roast chickens
Courtesy of Essence Restaurant Group

Today on Stateside,  a conversation with Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about reopening the auto industry. Also, a check-in with a few more of Michigan's small businesses, including a barber shop in Ypsilanti that provides much more than haircuts. 

protesters at the capitol
Abigail Censky / WKAR

Last week, dozens of anti-lockdown protestors, some of them carrying firearms, crowded into the Michigan Capitol building to make their views known to the assembled lawmakers at full volume. It’s not unusual to see guns around the Capitol. Second Amendment Day brings gun enthusiasts to the House and Senate galleries every year. But photos and footage from the April 30 protest shook up a lot of people, and the Michigan State Capitol Commission is discussing whether some action might be appropriate. 

no gun sign on glass door
Bumble Dee / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, plant managers are making plans to restart some of the biggest manufacturing operations in the state. We talk to Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes about what has to happen first. Plus, a protest on reopening the economy gives way to a discussion about guns at the state Capitol—and the politics around who is allowed to carry them.

Satellite image of algal bloom in Lake Erie taken in 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Stateside for Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Today on Stateside, a Michigan doctor talks about his experience recovering from COVID-19 after contracting the illness and going on a ventilator. Also, we hear about the pandemic’s potential effects on a Lake Erie water quality initiative. Plus, we check in with the Detroit Metro Times about current challenges and the alt-weekly's hopes for the future.

Dr. Eugene Vovchuk with his wife and two daughters.
Courtesy of Eugene Vovchuk

In mid-March, Eugene Vovchuk was going about his work as an anesthesiologist at Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital. He had heard about COVID-19, of course, but he hadn’t treated any patients with the disease yet. And the 38-year-old doctor was not prepared for his own ordeal with the virus, which would land him in the hospital for nearly a month. 

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