Stateside Staff | Michigan Radio

Stateside Staff

Today on Stateside, remembering the life and legacy of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who died Thursday at 87 years old with his close friend Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Plus, a discussion about whether the Olympics are still relevant, and what this year’s gymnastics competition is doing for a conversation about mental health and athlete safety.

Rachel Denhollander
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Like any Olympic summer, gymnastics is at the center of attention for many viewers. However, the event is seen in a different light this time around—this is the first Olympics since disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar’s widespread abuse towards USA gymnasts and other survivors became known to the public.

People hanging out along the water in Havana
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a conversation about how the legacy of abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is changing our conversation on athlete health at this year’s Olympics. Then, a Michigan man turns his paddleboard-making hobby into a full-time career, and we learn about the patchwork regulations on using paddleboards on Michigan lakes. And finally, what Michigan farmers could gain from a shift in U.S. relations with Cuba.

Courtesy of Little Bay Boards

Little Bay Boards, a custom stand up paddleboard shop in Petoskey, is known for their beautiful, locally-grown wooden boards. Jason Thelen, the company’s founder and owner, shared what it took to grow the business from a solo project in his parents’ garage to the operation it is today.

Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, considering post-pandemic redevelopment for Michigan’s cities. Also, musician Izzy Johnson plays music for walking the forests, tending the fields, or just being. And, the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Artifacts plans expansion in West Michigan. 

A weapon seized from Barry Croft, one of the men on trial for the kidnapping plot.
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for an armed anti-government militia continue to lay groundwork for a trial set for later this year.

The group of mostly-Michigan men, the so-called Wolverine Watchmen, are accused of plotting last year to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The defense has indicated it will show jurors that the plot never would have happened, had FBI informants not drawn the militia members in.

A groundwater well head
Engdao / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, how the Delta variant is behaving in places where Michiganders are resistant to vaccination. Also, a conversation about the Gelman dioxane plume, a quiet, deadly threat in Ann Arbor's groundwater. Plus, hear from the head of Detroit’s Plowshares Theatre about returning to the stage, and the challenges COVID-19 continues to pose for Michigan’s only Black professional theater.

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

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The roseate shoebill perched on top of a branch
Mike Perini

Observers have been flocking to Saline since last Wednesday to get a glimpse of a roseate spoonbill, a bird more typically found along the Gulf Coast region and in South America. It is the first recorded sighting of the species in Michigan, according to The Associated Press. The light-pink bird caused such a commotion that local law enforcement was required to direct the overflow of traffic.

prescription drugs
flickr/Charles Williams / Flickr -

Today on Stateside, what the national opioid settlement could mean for Michigan. Also, the founding of Detroit’s long-lived and well-loved Black LGBTQ Pride event, Hotter Than July. Plus, Matthew Milia’s new record, delivers lovely, if angsty odes to summer in Keego Harbor.

Zola, sex work, film
Anna Kooris

Anna Kooris, A24

Today on Stateside, an update on the Michigan Independent Citizen’s redistricting commission, which is tasked with redrawing the state’s lines of political representation. Plus, a conversation with the Detroit dancer who inspired, co-wrote, and executive produced the film Zola.

Amy Miller and her family at their cottage
Courtesy of Amy Miller

Since 1929, Amy Miller’s family has spent every summer on Lake Erie at property in Ontario until the pandemic disrupted that tradition. On a typical summer, the Millers would be sailing or sharing a meal. But, due to the non-essential travel ban at the Canadian border, they haven’t been to their second home in more than a year. 

But that should change in August, as Canada and the U.S. plan to lift travel restrictions.

a sad woman out of focus talking to a psychiatrist
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, a partial border opening has Michiganders with Canadian ties packing their bags. Also, reforms to a tangled mental health system. And, we revisit the history of the wall that cut through a northwest Detroit neighborhood, with the explicit intent of keeping Black residents out. 

a lot of cars lined up outside the detroit windsor tunnel
Wikimedia Commons /

Today on Stateside, fully vaccinated Americans will soon be able to cross the border into Canada for non-essential travel. We'll hear from a reporter about what they can expect. Plus, a conversation about the many varieties of vaccine hesitancy—and effective strategies to convince skeptics. And, we’ll talk with the directors of the Williamston Theatre, outside of Lansing, about their reopening plans. 

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

Federal health officials recently declared the current COVID-19 spike to be a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. The announcement is a national public reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. 

Semaj Brown

The American Academy of Poets has chosen Flint’s Poet Laureate, Semaj Brown, as one of twenty-two 2021 Poet Laureate Fellows. Brown will receive $50,000 for her literary work. 

Brown intends to put the award toward the Poetry Pod Project, or P3. The virtual programming series, a project of her own design, aims to support literacy in Flint. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a discussion about what needs to change to prevent massive flooding as torrential rain pours in Southeast Michigan. Also, an update on a week of Michigan politics, and a conversation with two cast members from the Steven Soderbergh film “No Sudden Move,” which is set in 1950s Detroit.

Getty Images

Today on Stateside, a new report outlines how the FBI failured to investigate Larry Nasser. Also, one theater company in Dexter on taking risks during the lockdown and finally getting back onstage. Plus, poet Semaj Brown on the power of introducing people to writing.

A collage of the Flint River
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, an update on the Flint Water Crisis settlement with Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody. Also, why mosquitoes are swarming Michigan this summer. Plus, botanical artist Lisa Waud brings flower power to the party store. And, a parts scarcity within the Michigan auto industry.

swarm of mosquitoes
Adobe Stock

Slap! Spray! Scratch! The most biting of topics in Michigan right now is mosquitoes. Yes, there's a boom of bloodsuckers going on in the Great Lakes state.

Getty Images

Less than a month away from the July 23 opening ceremony, the nation is full of anticipation and excitement for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Team USA boasts fantastic athletes like Simone Biles and Ryan Murphy, alongside an exceptional first-time Olympic hopeful from Michigan.

flickr user trebol

Today on Stateside, why mosquitoes are swarming Michigan this summer. Also, we talk with an Olympic BMX freestyle rider about the road to Tokyo. Plus, why the tidal wave of visitors in Michigan’s public parklands is keeping rescue teams busy. And, one of Michigan’s busiest library systems welcomes visitors back to its branches.

Jonah Mixon-Webster

In his debut poetry collection Stereo(TYPE), Jonah Mixon-Webster expresses the tensions and traumas he endures as a Black man, a queer individual, and a Flint native. Stereo(TYPE) was first published by Ahsahta Press in 2018, and will be re-released under Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on July 13.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr -

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Supreme Court declines to extend deadlines for redrawing legislative boundaries. Also, one union pushes back on Trinity Health vaccine policy. Plus, how some Michigan college athletes flex the earning potential of their names, images and likeness. And, how the Detroit Public Theatre leveraged the pandemic year to find a new home, and set the stage for a new future.

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

Eric Hemenway

Last month the U.S. Department of Interior announced an investigation into the hundreds of now-closed residential boarding schools across the United States. For more than a century, the federal government forcibly enrolled Native American children in these schools, meant to assimilate them into white culture.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
United States Department of Agriculture

Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow talks about who gets the child tax credit expansion—and the pile of federal money headed to Michigan cities to make infrastructure fixes. Plus, the painful legacy of Native boarding schools in Michigan, and how tribal communities are reclaiming what was lost during an era of assimilation. And, we’ll hear how music educators took on virtual learning during the pandemic.

A blue, geometric framework with flowers
Cyrah Dardas

Detroit artist, educator, and organizer Cyrah Dardas is making the art she wants to see in her community. But sometimes, getting integrated into a community as a queer artist is challenging. Luckily, that was not Dardas’ experience coming to Detroit.

american flag and lgbt flag
Flickr user Praveen / flickr

Today on Stateside, we’ll find out what’s in the proposed education budget. After that, Detroit artist Cyrah Dardas talks about how she tries to help others address trauma with art. Then, what it means for openly gay Michiganders to stand at the front of a classroom.

After much discussion, and pandemic delay, the Tokyo Olympics begin this month. It’s an exciting moment for both athletes and viewers. While the Olympics can be really fun to watch, they’re also a stage in which the discrepancies between global haves and have nots is in plain sight. And the politics of who gets to host the games can tell a story, too. Today, we’ll dig into Detroit’s multiple bids to host the Summer Games, and whether those bids could have changed the course of history for the city.

John Curnow / Flickr

Today on Stateside, how the Delta COVID variant could affect Michigan. Then, two business owners talk about getting through the pandemic, and back to “normal.” And, we dig into Detroit’s multiple bids to host the Olympic Games.