Stateside Staff | Michigan Radio

Stateside Staff

Ford Motor Co. sign
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Today on Stateside, the Big Three auto companies are rolling back operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. What does that mean for the state's economy? Plus, we talk to faith leaders about how they are guiding their congregants during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Islamic Center of America.
Dane Hillard / Wikimedia Commons /

Houses of worship across Michigan are suspending in person services for the next several weeks to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The Imams Council of Michigan announced that Friday prayers would be cancelled at all mosques across the state for the next two weeks. That is just one example of the difficult decisions faith leaders are making as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the state continues to climb. Stateside talked to a few faith leaders about how they are adapting, and what they are telling congregants at a time when so much is uncertain.

someone with a computer pulled up on facebook and a phone in their hand

As the cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, public health officials are calling for "social distancing" to slow the spread of the virus. Schools are being shut down, large events cancelled, and an increasing number of organizations are asking employees to work remotely.

As people are spending more time alone, social media can be a place to gather, connect, and share information. But as stress runs high and half-truths circulates, do these platforms carry their own kind of risk?

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today on Stateside, the COVID-19 conundrum facing Michigan's courts. What's the best way to protect defendants, jury, and staff without the wheels of justice grinding to a halt? Plus, one writer considers what we can learn from Amish communities' cautious, considered use of technology.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Very few journalists have put as many miles on their shoes over the past few election cycles as Tim Alberta. Now the chief political correspondent for POLITICO, Alberta has worked for the National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and others. His book American Carnage was one of the most widely-read accounts of the 2016 election cycle and the rise of Donald Trump. 

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Michigan has its first state confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness. What sort of social disruptions will we face as more cases appear in our state? Plus, results from yesterday’s presidential primary—and what they tell us about the November election. 

A crowd of people
Hanson Lu / Unsplash

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

Today on Stateside, people around the state are casting their votes in the presidential primary and for more than 200 local ballot initiatives. We'll hear about turnout and tabulation, and what makes a teenager want to work a 13-hour day at the polls. Plus, we talk to the Michigan's chief medical officer about the state's capacity to test people for COVID-19. 

daisy elliott holds papers posing in front of the Michigan Capitol
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center


Many Michiganders have heard of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It's been in the news most recently because of a petition drive to expand the law's protections to members of the LGBTQ community. But while Elliott-Larsen is a well-known piece of legislation, few of us know much about the people who gave the law its name. One of those people was Daisy Elliott.

a young black boy's hands under a sink faucet
Adobe Stock Images

Today on Stateside, Democratic front-runners in the presidential primary are making their final pitch to Michigan voters. We spoke to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and heard about former Vice President Joe Biden's message to voters in Grand Rapids. Plus, the city of Detroit will restore water to thousands of households because of fears about the spread of COVID-19. 

2020 Census
Adobe Stock

When you think about the census, you might picture people knocking on doors and canvassing neighborhoods. But the 2020 census will look a little different. The U.S. Census Bureau is trying to move the count online where people would fill out a digital form with their information.

a barn sits behind a row of crops
Bob Jagendorf / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today on Stateside, as the remaining presidential contenders make for Michigan, can Bernie Sanders repeat his success of 2016 in Tuesday’s primary? Or will Joe Biden close the sale with voters he's connected with in the past? Plus, a renewal millage to fund the Detroit Institute of Arts is on the ballot in three counties. Some Detroit residents think the museum has taken attention away from more pressing challenges in the city.

Super Tuesday has thrust Michigan into the spotlight. The state is the top prize in the Democratic presidential primary next week with 125 delegates. On our Friday political roundup, we heard about what we can expect between now and Tuesday. We also talked about the closing of furniture chain Art Van, and the news that State Senator Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Township) has been removed from one of his committee chairmanships. That comes after several women who work in politics and journalism at the Capitol say Lucido was inappropriate with them.

Gary Jones stands at a UAW podium
United Auto Workers

Today on Stateside, former United Auto Workers president Gary Jones has been charged with embezzlement. What does this mean for the future of the union and its members? Plus, Senator Elizabeth Warren has dropped out of the presidential race days before the Michigan primary. Many supporters say they are dismayed, but not surprised, that Warren never caught on with more voters.

Elizabeth Warren stands next to union workers on strike
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s exit from the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee has left many of her supporters dismayed, but not surprised. With her steady decline in the polls—including a third-place finish in her home state of Massachusetts on Super Tuesday—few were expecting a comeback. On Thursday morning, Warren announced that she would not be continuing with her campaign.

There’s a statistic that gets thrown around a lot in Michigan: agriculture is the state’s second-largest industry.

“And I think that’s probably what a lot of people believe because they’ve heard it so many times,” said Michigan State University economist Charley Ballard. “But it’s not even close to true.”

In reality, farms make up about half of one percent of the Michigan economy, he said. We talked to Ballard about the role agriculture plays in the state’s economy, and why the myth of its status as the second-largest industry persists.  

doctor holding red stethoscope

Today on Stateside, a federal judge has invalidated Michigan's Medicaid work requirements. Republican leaders in the state Legislature are already pushing back. What does this mean for the more than 200,000 people in the state subject to those requirements? Plus, we'll talk about how the Democratic candidates for president stack up when it comes to addressing the concerns of black voters.

four of the drag queens from MI Drag brunch
Michigan Drag Brunch

On Sunday mornings, the West Michigan brunch scene gets served a meal full of realness, thanks to the drag queens of Michigan Drag Brunch. The project is the brainchild of producer and CEO Trevor Straub and performer Gabriella Galore. They said the project started as a way to bring the drag scene to an earlier morning crowd in Grand Rapids.

As a Michigan voter, it can be hard to see all the excitement over Super Tuesday when our primary isn’t until March 10th. We need a very long German word for this—something that encompasses the envy and angst of watching the early primary states get their full pick of candidates. Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson has been feeling it hard this year. We talked to him about the agony of watching Super Tuesday from the sidelines, and why he thinks Michigan ought to have a more prominent spot in the primary line-up.

A collection of "I Voted" stickers

Today on Stateside, as Super Tuesday results roll in, Michigan voters wait on the sidelines and watch their candidate choices dwindle. Plus, we take a look at Mike Bloomberg’s massive campaign spending efforts in Michigan.

IRS Form 1040.

Today on Stateside, an activist group wants to convince voters to change Michigan’s constitution in order to restructure income taxes. Plus, how environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes region stack up among the Democratic presidential candidates.

Ali Harb, Middle East Eye

As the Democratic presidential contest intensifies and Super Tuesday looms, campaigns are seeking the support of particular communities or demographics. In Michigan, and the nation as a whole, many Arab Americans are aligning themselves with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders speaking in Traverse City, Michigan.
Todd Church / Flickr


In 2016 voters in the state of Michigan shocked pollsters when they elected Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as the winner of the Democratic presidential primary. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was favored to win Michigan according to most polls ahead of the primary. Now, the question is: will Sanders’ momentum following his recent successes be enough to secure another Michigan primary win amid a more crowded primary field?

Marion Hayden
Jodi Westrick

Today on Stateside, can Bernie Sanders pull off another surprise upset in Michigan's primary next month? Also, the state settles a case over juvenile offenders victimized by sexual assault. And, a lens on Detroit's jazz history and living legacy. 

people protesting the detainment of iraqi nationals in Detroit
Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk to a leader in Michigan's Chaldean community about his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence about the future for detained and deported Iraqi Christians. Plus, a conversation about why so many mentally ill people in Michigan end up in jail, and what we can do about it. 

a picture of a record that says Groovesville
Courtesy of Dan Austin


When you think of Detroit music in the 1960s, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is Motown Records. The iconic label produced some of that era's biggest hits.  But Detroit was full of plenty of other artists outside of the Motown label who were also deeply shaping the city's sound.  

outside of the Detroit Institute of Art
Author Sailko / Wikimedia Commons

On today's Stateside, lawmakers in Lansing may be ready to throw clerks a lifeline as they prepare to count an onslaught of absentee ballots this primary season. Plus, we'll talk to the state’s top health official about how Michigan is preparing for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

Justin Amash and Fred Upton
U.S. House of Representatives

Today on Stateside, we look at two traditionally Republican congressional districts in West Michigan that are going through political change. Plus, we talk to poet and prose writer Saladin Ahmed, who has made a stellar transition into comic books and written for several iconic Marvel characters. 

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Livingston County became the 28th county in the state to pass a resolution supporting gun rights. These resolutions are not legally binding. Language varies from place to place, but the basic idea is to affirm that counties should uphold constitutional gun rights, no matter what laws state and federal governments may pass.

Linda Brundage, the executive director of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, told Stateside that she thinks much of the outrage about gun control legislation stems from a misunderstanding about what those laws would do.