Stateside Staff | Michigan Radio
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Stateside Staff

protests, black lives matter, police, police force, police training
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

 

This time last year, the world as we knew it looked quite different than it does today. And although issues like police violence against people of color aren’t new, the murder of George Floyd, Breyona Taylor and so many other Black Americans jolted our country in new ways last summer.

 

Stateside wanted to spend some time thinking about the activism that has shaped the past few decades, and the many parallels and differences between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today’s movement for black lives. 

 

Picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
WMU Archives

Today on Stateside, it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We spoke with a historian about King’s work in Detroit and the legacy it's left behind. Plus, a conversation about the parallels between the civil rights movement of King's era and the continued fight for racial justice today. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

City of Flint Water Plant
Adobe Stock

Nine individuals were indicted January 14 on criminal charges related to the Flint water crisis, including former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. This case, overseen by State Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, is one of several seeking justice for the people in Flint who’ve suffered loss of life and irreversible health damage because of tainted water flowing through their city’s system.

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.

students and teachers in masks in classroom
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer said last week she is hoping schools will be able to reopen in-person classes by March. She also announced that K- 12 school teachers are among the groups who can get the COVID-19 vaccinations. We talk about how that process will begin. And, we continue our look at Betsy Devos' legacy after her resignation from her position as Secreatary of Education. Plus, we’ll discuss yesterday’s news that former Governor Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water crisis.

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

People who are accused of a serious crime often have two options: sit in jail or pay up. Advocates for criminal justice reform have been pushing to move away from that system, which they say has serious consequences for poor and working-class people. Eli Savit, who was recently elected prosecutor for Washtenaw County, is one of those people. His office is ending the practice of cash bail in the county because, he says, it creates an “inherently inequitable system.”

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, many Michiganders have received a second round of COVID-relief stimulus checks over the past couple of weeks — but for some, it’s not enough. We take a look at how far a one-time $600 check goes when you’re living on the edge of poverty. Also, a reporter talks us through the latest developments with Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes. Plus, the future of cash bail programs, which have come under scrutiny in Michigan.

Today on Stateside, a new cohort of Michiganders are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. We break down the logistical issues surrounding getting the shots. Plus, state lawmakers have banned the open carrying of weapons in Michigan’s Capitol building following the insurrection in Washington D.C.

Mike Duggan
City of Detroit

  

Motor City Match, a program championed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, was launched in 2015 to support small and emerging businesses in the city with federal funding. But after investigating the program, the Detroit Office of Inspector General released a report January 4 that revealed concerns about Motor City Match’s spending and administration.

GVSU.org

After this unprecedented week of political violence fueled by President Trump himself, followed by a flood of resignations from his own top cabinet members, how will history remember the final days of the Trump presidency?  Presidential historian Gleaves Whitney was the long-time director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, and now serves as the Executive Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.

betsy devos
U.S. Department of Education

Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow talks about why she’s joining the calls for President Donald Trump’s removal from office. Also, a historical perspective on the transfer of presidential power — and why the one that’s happening right now is abnormal. Plus, a look at the legacy of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who’s resigning weeks before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The US Capitol
Jonothan Colman / Flickr

Today on Stateside, we talk with the former head of Michigan’s Republican Party about the rioters that stormed the Capitol yesterday. Plus, we discuss security at the Capitol building in Lansing with State Representative Sarah Anthony.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The state of Michigan has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines, and frontline health workers and residents of long-term care facilities are first up to receive the vaccination.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, old tensions between Governor Whitmer and state legislative leaders flared during the lame-duck session. Plus, a conversation with the author of the satirical novel The Great American Cheese War about its eerie parallels with some of 2020’s biggest stories. And, we talk more about the vaccines and how distribution is going in Michigan. 

illustration of nurses and doctors wearing PPE
Kevin Kobsic / United Nations / Unsplash

While we can’t know for sure the number of COVID cases in our communities, the number of confirmed cases has just rounded the 500,000 mark today. As we reckon with these huge numbers, we spoke with Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells, who covers Southeast Michigan, and Dustin Dwyer, who covers West Michigan, about what reporting on COVID throughout the state has looked like over the past 10 months.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we talked with Politico correspondent Tim Alberta about the rift in the GOP over President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud. Plus, two Michigan Radio reporters who’ve covered COVID-19 talk about the future of the pandemic as we enter a new year.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a look at the year in music. We review the latest records from Michigan musicians—released despite all the live event cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic—with music aficionado John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins. Plus, we revisit recent releases from Flint musician Tunde Olaniran and Albion-turned-Nashville duo The War and Treaty.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a look at the year in books. We check in with an independent bookstore in Detroit about what 2020 has meant for their business. Also, Detroit nightly news anchor and children’s book author Devin Scillian discusses how satisfying stories can effectively broach delicate topics with kids. Plus, our longtime literary contributor Keith Taylor talks us through some of his favorite Michigan releases in 2020.

closed sign in shop window
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we take a look back at this year in business. For those invested in the stock market, it’s been the best of times. For those waiting in food lines, it’s been the worst. We’ll talk with some experts about what’s been going on with the economy and looking ahead to a new year.

Green Chameleon / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we look back at the pandemic year in K-12 education. We check in with the superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools about hopes to return to classrooms in 2021 and what else the new year may bring. Also, we talk to two experts about what educational divides that widened during the pandemic. Plus, we’ve gathered voices of teachers who share their first-hand experiences teaching this year.

Inside the Michigan Capitol looking up at the dome.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, reviewing the year in Michigan politics. We take a look back at this hectic year for Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state lawmakers, and what 12 months of uninterrupted and often absurd political news does to a country. Plus, a peek into what 2021 could bring.

Photo taken from a BLM protest in Detroit this summer
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

This was a wrenching year of racial reckoning both nationally, and right here in Michigan. Detroit journalist Stephen Henderson has been grappling with these issues both on-air as a radio host on WDET, and also in writing. Many of his conversations about race and racial justice this year featured prominent American writers and thinkers, and those conversations became the basis of a new season of Henderson’s podcast “Created Equal”.

Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, although the COVID vaccine has many excited for a brighter 2021, many people are still in desperate need of relief. We talked with two Congressional representatives about the COVID relief bill that so many are waiting on. Plus, a conversation with a radio news veteran about going the distance for broadcast.

blonde woman, jennifer granholm
jennifergranholm.com

Today on Stateside, news broke Tuesday that President-Elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former two-term Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as the next U.S. Secretary of Energy. We speak with Granholm’s former communications director about what the former governor would bring to the role if confirmed. Also, songs of isolation from a Detroit-based singer-songwriter. Plus, longtime Southeast Michigan news anchor Devin Scillian talks to us about his secret life as a bestselling children’s book author.

Harlan Hatcher, Thomas Francis, Jonas Salk, and Basil O'Connor at Polio Vaccine announcement
University of Michigan News and Information Services Photographs, Bentley Historical Library

Crowds cheered this weekend as the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine rolled out of the production plant in Portage, Michigan. It was an emotional moment for some health care workers, too, as they became the first in the state to receive vaccinations. This historic step brings a cautious hope at the end of a devastating year. It also highlights how vaccine production has changed amid shifts in American science, medicine, and culture over the past several decades.

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