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Stateside Staff

man in a mask gets a vaccine from health care worker in a mask
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This weekend, a convoy of trucks rolled out of the Pfizer manufacturing plant in Portage, carrying the first doses of the freshly-FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine. As people watched this historic moment, hopes soared  that this could be the beginning of the end of this deadly pandemic. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, was one of those people.

A collection of "I Voted" stickers
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Today on Stateside, four Michigan congressmen have signed on to a legal brief in support of a Texas lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to nullify Michigan’s election results based on widely debunked claims of voter fraud. A reporter talks us through the significance of the lawmakers’ support of the suit. Also, a Lenawee County winemaker discusses how he’s trying to keep his business afloat. Plus, a Holocaust survivor and peace activist on the lessons history holds for today.

Black Fire Brewery owner Mike Wells
Black Fire Brewery


Kate Davidson / Changing Gears

Today on Stateside, a conversation with former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing about his celebrated NBA career, his life in business, and coming into politics during the Great Recession. Also, we discuss how the state House has cancelled session as several members were exposed to the maskless and COVID-positive Rudy Giuliani last week.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources


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A recent order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services requires remote learning to continue for public high school and college students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And while some districts offer face-to-face teaching for younger students, a number of larger districts—like in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor—have opted for virtual school at all grade levels. But now a group of physicians is urging the Ann Arbor local school board to open up in-person instruction for elementary and special education students.

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Today on Stateside, COVID has turned life upside down for many people. For homeless LGBTQ youth, their lives were already in a state of crisis. We speak with two people at the Ruth Ellis Center about what life looks like for these youths right now. Plus, Detroit extended its water shutoff moratorium until 2023. What that will mean for residents and the city.

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Months of prolonged isolation and stress have many Michiganders looking for a little extra holiday cheer this season—and finding it in that perfect Fraser fir. Christmas tree sales are up this season, an industry that usually adds about $35 million to the state’s economy, according to Michigan Christmas Tree Association executive director Amy Start.

Children in the hallway of a school
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Today on Stateside, a group of Ann Arbor physicians is calling for in-person schooling for the district’s younger students. We speak with a doctor about why he thinks the benefits outweigh the risks. Plus, as holiday traditions are put on hold, a performance of the Nutcracker moves online. And, Christmas tree sales are booming as people look for a slice of normal in 2020. 

Keith Ladzinski / National Geographic

The cover story in this month’s issue of National Geographic takes a deep dive into the many major threats to the health of the Great Lakes. In the magazine you’ll find dramatic photos of massive algal blooms and surging floodwaters, as well as up-close portraits of invasive species that are disrupting the local ecosystems.

Shikha Dalmia holds her head in her hand and looks up
Shikha Dalmia

President Donald Trump has defied many norms during his presidency. As his tenure in the Oval Office comes to a close, both the Republican and Democratic Parties have been considering the question: Where do we go from here?

The Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, as a second surge of COVID-19 cases continues across the state, hospitals in the hardest hit communities struggle to keep up with the demand for space and staff. Plus, what do the latest wave of COVID-19 restrictions mean for movie theaters, which had just recently opened for business again? 

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Michigan’s public schools have moved online, following orders from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nobody wanted to conduct a school year like this, least of all Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Since fall, the school district offered a hybrid model of instruction including online and in-person. Making that decision was difficult.

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Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases continue to rise and hospitals throughout Michigan are nearing capacity. A reporter who’s been following the story talks us through when a vaccine might be distributed to Michigan's frontline health workers. Also, the head of the state’s largest school district speaks to the challenges of 2020 and beyond. Plus, support for kids and families navigating grief this holiday season.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lansing has always been a busy place. It’s home to the state Legislature, which makes it a popular location for protests from across the political spectrum. And just down the road, in East Lansing, is the state’s largest public university, home to tens of thousands of Michigan State University students. But amid the ongoing pandemic, the large groups of people that tend to gather in the capital region have made containing COVID-19 particularly complicated.

Michigan's capitol dome
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Today on Stateside, as Rudy Guiliaini draws crowds to Lansing for a hearing on alleged election irregularities, Ingham County’s health officer is urging people there to take precautions to avoid a super spreader event. Plus, a conversation about reckoning with past abuse in the University of Michigan football program. And, as Detroit develops, we talk to an urban planner who says centering its Black residents holds the key for a more vibrant and equitable city.

Two older white men holding a sign that says "I miss the America I grew up in"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, now that Michigan's ballots have been counted, political demographers are examining the state's 2020 election results. An expert at the Brookings Institute talked to us about how and where support for President Donald Trump formed roots in Michigan—and whether it's likely to continue after he leaves office. Also, we revisit a conversation about parenting amid the COVID-19 pandemic and talk to a Detroit hip-hop artist about breaking the mold in a city rich with talent.

restaurant closed sign
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Today on Stateside, we talk about the pushback from restaurants over new restrictions on indoor dining. Plus, it’s been one year since recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan, and business is booming. We check in with a reporter covering the cannabis industry and a dispensary employee about what the year has been like.  

Rep. Haley Stevens smiling in front of an American flag
U.S. House of Representatives

Today on Stateside, recently re-elected Democratic Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11) explains what’s next in the process of getting COVID-19 vaccines to Michiganders and talks about the presidential transition process. Plus, a conversation about the lasting influence of jazz legend Yusef Lateef. 

Today on Stateside, a conversation with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) about making mental health accessible and the future of the Senate under President-elect Biden. Plus, a look at the history of some notable Black Michiganders—from the pre-Civil War era to the suffrage movement.

web image of four people sitting at tables in government building
Michigan Board of State Canvassers Zoom Meeting

Today on Stateside, we talk about the Michigan Board of State Canvassers meeting to certify this year’s general election results. Also, reimaginging the look and feel of dinosaurs with a National Geographic explorer.

senatormikeshirkey.com

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders headed to the White House to talk to President Trump about his desire to reverse the will of Michigan voters. Also, the founders of Michigan’s first black-owned brewery talk about carving out their place in the craft beer scene and starting a business during a pandemic.

Jamaal Ewing and Terry Rostic
Black Calder Brewing

It’s no secret that Michigan has an incredible wealth of craft beer and breweries. But while the microbrew industry might be booming, it’s obvious that it is lacking in diversity— from brewmasters to brewery owners. While we do know some part owners and brewers who are Black, the state’s first fully-Black-owned brewery is set to release its debut beer next week.

Photo by David McClister

This has been a complicated year. It’s brought pain and grief, as well as lessons about love and hope. For musicians Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount Trotter, 2020 has been “eye-opening.” The duo, who until recently were living in Albion, now perform as The War and Treaty. 

restaurant workers
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Today on Stateside, we talk about the restaurant association’s lawsuit against the state’s orders hitting down in-person dining experiences. Also, as the CDC recommends Americans not travel for Thanksgiving, we check in on the travel industry which has been improvising day to day throughout the pandemic

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Marcela Rubio-Orozco and Andrew Epstein are married co-owners of Dolores, a restaurant and bar that served homemade Mexican food in Ypsilanti. They made the difficult decision to close the business earlier this year amid the first COVID-19 surge and the public health restrictions that accompanied it.

Courtesy of Eric Bouwens

Dr. Eric Bouwens, a physician and photographer, spent several years in Sparta, Michigan treating migrant farm workers who were harvesting in “Fruit Ridge,” an agricultural area northwest of Grand Rapids.

absentee ballot boxes in a large room
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, as COVID surges across the state, we talk to a healthcare administrator about the situation in the Upper Peninsula. Plus, a photo project focusing on the people who harvest the  the food we put on our tables. And, a look into the wild ride that was the Wayne County vote certification last night.

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
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Today on Stateside, we check in with the director of Michigan’s department of Health and Human Services in light of the new COVID-19 orders going into effect Wednesday. We'll also hear about how Native Americans in nineteenth century Michigan were at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights in the state. Plus, a conversation about how to have awkward conversations surrounding your Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof).

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