Stateside Staff | Michigan Radio
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Stateside Staff

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Today on Stateside, a conversation with two Black farmers about the causes and consequences of systemic racism in the agriculture industry. Also, an update from the Michigan Radio newsroom on what we know about COVID infections in nursing homes.

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In March of 2019, Daqwan Fistrunk opened up The Green Mile Grille in Detroit. Prior to starting the restaurant, Fistrunk spent seven years in prison, mostly at Lakeland Correctional in Coldwater, Michigan. That's where he met Jimmy Lee Hill, the executive chef at Lakeland who eventually became his mentor.

people sitting inside a movie theater
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Today on Stateside, how a Detroit restaurateur went from prisoner to proprietor with help from a prison food program. Plus, a film critic discusses the future of movie viewing.

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

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Dr. Howard Markel, medical historian at the University of Michigan joined Stateside to talk about the history of vaccine development and what a coronavirus vaccine will and won't mean when it's finally ready.

a face mask on top of an absentee ballot
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Today on Stateside, we check in with two reporters and a county clerk about what the primary turnout —both in-person and absentee — tells us about the upcoming general election. Plus, a medical historian walks us through the history of vaccine development and what complicates the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

A wastewater treatment facility
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Today on Stateside, what a primary election looks like in the midst of a pandemic. Also, a deep dive into how leftover human feces and other waste from water treatment plants ends up on our farm fields. Plus, what back to school might look like for the University of Michigan. 

Courtesy of Owen Bondono

Owen Bondono, Michigan’s newly named Teacher of the Year and a ninth-grade English language arts teacher at Oak Park Freshman Institute, works to create a classroom community in which students feel comfortable sharing their experiences and ideas with eachother. But as a fall semester unlike any other approaches, and some schools lean toward virtual learning to limit the spread of COVID-19, Bondono is having to rethink the way he conducts meaningful class conversations with his students.

a photo of "Beach Finds II" which is a light blue box filled with vials laid out in front
Courtesy of Geo Rutherford

Today on Stateside, we'll talk about the biggest races and issues on the August 4 primary ballot. Plus, a conversation with the Michigan Teacher of the Year about the return to school and what it means for his students to have a transgender adult to look up to in their lives.

Michigan’s Primary Election is Tuesday, Aug. 4 and mail-in ballots are already being received by city, township, and county clerks all over the state. 

With all 14 of Michigan's U.S. House seats, one Senate seat, and 110 state House seats at stake this fall on top of community-level elections, there's a lot to keep in mind on Tuesday.

Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service and Emily Lawler with MLive join us to go over the top issues, and voting etiquette during a global pandemic. 

GM towers
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Today on Stateside, what big funders and foundations can do to make sure arts groups are welcoming to everyone. Plus, an update on how the auto industry is faring during the pandemic.

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

Courtesy of the artist, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, and MOCAD.

Today on Stateside, a conversation with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s board chair about the termination of the museum’s director, who was fired after allegations of racial discrimination surfaced. Also, we revisit a conversation with a couple of art collectors about how the business of buying and selling work by Black artists has changed over the past few decades. 

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The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has given the green light for some fall sports to get underway. Golf, tennis and cross country can begin competition August 19 and 21. The decision for football, volleyball and soccer isn't expected until August 20.

The experiences of professional and collegiate athletes bring up more questions about resuming competition than answers. John U. Bacon is Michigan Radio's sports commentator. He has been keeping an eye on professional and student athlete's return to the field.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved challenging for restaurants, with operators struggling to navigate continuously shifting questions about staff support, finances, safety, and retooling to meet consumer needs. A restaurant’s return to patio or indoor service might look different depending on its business model, and for fine dining, where the high-end menu is just one part of the overall experience, the path to reopening is uniquely complex.

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Today on Stateside, Senate Republicans have developed a proposal for COVID stimulus that would, most notably, reduce unemployment benefits from the federal government from $600 a week to $200 a week. We talk about the pushback and potential consequences. Plus, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. Will fine dining survive?

Dan kildee
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking on federal unemployment benefits. While states provide most of the money, the federal government has been kicking in $600 extra in monthly payments. 

Senate Republicans have developed a proposal for COVID stimulus that would, most notably, reduce the federal unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $200 a week. Democrats in the House say that's a non starter. Represntative Dan Kildee, Democrat representing Michigan's 5th congressional district joined Stateside to discuss the proposals. 

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President Trump says he’s preparing to send federal agents to Detroit. 

Earlier this month, the president sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon, to deal with what he called the city’s inability to stop nightly Black Lives Matter protests.

books, and apple, and ABC blocks on a desk
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Today on Stateside, we discuss the many legal questions surrounding the president’s authority to send federal agents into a city like Portland, or Detroit. Plus, we talk to the superintendent of schools in Whitefish Township about the unique challenges rural districts face in reopening.

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

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

As the nation grapples with how its institutions treat people of color, the surge in conversations about how systemic racism exists in our social structures isn’t confined to the criminal justice or health systems. It’s also affecting the arts community, including in Detroit, where current and former staff and volunteers at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have formed public campaigns asking for change at these institutions.

Michigan football stadium
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her decision to only reopen schools if public health officials agree it is safe.

What are the discussions happening between the Governor and the Republican led legislature regarding schools and education funding? Plus a conversation with former Detroit Institute of Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit employees about systemic racism in art institutions. Also, we spoke with the reporter who wrote about University of Michigan football star Jon Vaughn’s story of survival in “an ecosystem of abuse.”

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On May 25, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer set off protests across the country, as well as conversations about how racial discrimination and disenfranchisement are upheld by different sectors of American society. This summer, Stateside is conducting a series of conversations on what systemic racism looks like. This week we hear from a journalist, a landlord, and the director of a community center about how systemic racism affects housing, from property rental to the way neighborhoods are structured.

Daguerreotype of Strang attributed to J. Atkin
Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The United States faced growing turmoil in the mid-19th century as technological change, abolitionist and religious movements and westward expansion altered American society. Out of the fracture and fervor emerged an unexpected king: a lawyer named James Jesse Strang. He claimed he was a prophet and the new head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, moved his followers to Beaver Island and declared himself the monarch of a Mormon “utopia” in northern Lake Michigan.

DAN WANSCHURA / Interlochen Public Radio

Today on Stateside, we dig into the history of King James Jesse Strang— a self-professed mormon monarch who held court on Beaver Island. Plus, we look back on the worst oil spill into an inland waterway in US history, which took place here in Michigan.

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School districts are rolling out plans for the fall with two main strategies taking form – all online or a hybrid approach that includes some digital learning and some in-person classroom learning. With this information some parents are considering creating learning “pods" with other families. Pulling their kids away from public school options and paying private teachers to come into a home or space and teach just a few kids in person.

Ian Freimuth/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today on Stateside, a conversation about how childcare collectives are being modeled to fill in where our institutions are falling behind. Also, a look at housing inequality through the lens of a landlord. 

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Today on Stateside, while the United States Census of 2020 is still being counted, Michigan responses are higher than the national average. But some communities in the state are vulnerable to being left out of the official count, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, how the inequalities Black Michiganders discussed at the state’s first Convention of Colored Citizens in 1843 compare with those Black Americans still face today. Plus, kids and parents negotiate privacy and trust in the age of smartphone tracking.

2020 Census
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Every 10 years, the United States attempts a massive feat: trying to count every person who lives here. Not only is the census a huge undertaking, it has serious implications for communities across the country. It determines how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, and helps determine the districts for state and local races as well. It also plays a role in the allocation of federal funding. 

a still from a stop animated film about Sarah Elizabeth Ray
A still from "Sarah Elizabeth Ray: The Rosa Parks of SS Columbia," a video by Aaron Schillinger, with animation by Bec Sloane.

For many Michiganders, summer used to mean a stop at Boblo Island. Trips to the amusement park island on the Canadian side of the Detroit River ended in the early 1990s, but folks still talk about carefree days on Boblo, or riding one of the two ferries that took you to the island: the Columbia and the Ste. Clair. Those boats are the subject of a documentary underway, Boblo Boats: A Tale of Two Sisters. Within that documentary is the story of Sarah Elizabeth Ray, a woman hailed as “Detroit’s other Rosa Parks” for her experience on the Boblo Boats. 

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
U.S. House of Representatives

Today on Stateside, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell discusses the string of arrests of protestors by heavily armed agents in Portland, Oregon, and what it could mean for Michigan. Also, a conversation about how systemic racism reaches easily into the housing sector. Plus, the history behind the integration of Boblo Island ferries and the Rosa Parks-like woman behind it.

kids with backpacks on going back to school
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As we inch closer to the start of the school year, more and more schools are announcing plans about what school could look like this fall. Detroit Public Schools recently approved in-person instruction, a move that was met with criticism. The Ann Arbor teachers’ union has called face-to-face instruction unsafe. As teachers prepare for the upcoming year, many are worried about what they’ll be preparing to face.

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Today on Stateside, a new ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court will have major implications on how counties collect money on tax foreclosed homes. As back to school season comes into view, how are teachers feeling about returning to work in uncertain times. Plus, how Sundown Towns across Michigan defined systemic racism in housing and neighborhoods.

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