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Stateside Staff

A young Black child with curly hair writes in a notebook while sitting in the grass
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Today on Stateside, new data finds that colleges and universities are now Michigan's biggest COVID-19 hot spots. We talk to an epidemiologist about the challenges of containing campus outbreaks. Meanwhile, to make in-person learning safer, one Detroit school is moving all of its classrooms outside. Plus, one of the Detroit activists leading protests against police brutality talks about how the game changed this summer.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
michigan.gov

Today on Stateside, a petition aiming to curb the governor's executive powers is nearing the number of signatures it needs. And, graduate students at the University of Michigan are continuing their strike against the school over concerns about COVID-19 regulations and precautions. Plus, a conversation with the director of Michigan Opera Theatre about how he plans to add to Detroit’s illustrious musical legacy.

Credit Paul-David Rearick

  

The Michigan Opera Theatre has a new artistic director: renowned opera director and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Yuval Sharon. He’s bringing his experimental approach to Detroit right from the start: his first project at the helm of the organization will be a condensed, drive-in staging of Richard Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods, set in a parking structure. Stateside spoke with Sharon, who is succeeding the theatre’s late founder David DiChiera, about his work and his hopes for how opera can evolve in the years to come.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today on Stateside, we check-in with Crain’s Detroit Business about the latest in vaccine development for COVID-19. Plus, we talk to a hip-hop artist from Detroit whose career was just picking up steam when the pandemic came crashing down on the music industry. And we ask parents and kids how they're handling the new school year.

Unsplash

At this point, nearly all Michigan students are back in class for the fall semester, through Zoom meetings, physically distanced instruction, or shepherding from grownups at home. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces teachers and families to navigate a new world of education, Stateside checked in with parents feeling their way through the first days of a back-to-school season unlike any other.

virtual orchestra playing
Grand Rapids Symphony

Today on Stateside, a violinist from the Grand Rapids Symphony talks about rehearsing without an ensemble, and other oddities of 2020. Plus, we talk about the shift in Michigan’s car culture.

Noah / Unsplash

On Stateside, a church in Romeo grapples with systemic and politically motivated vandalism. And, what six months of COVID have looked like. Plus, we continue a focus on Detroit Month of Design with a conversation with the winner of the Design in the City competition.

Kristen Dage

Way up in the Andes mountains sits a little bit of East Lansing. On the Cerro Pachón mountain in Chile, the Southern Astrophysical Research, or SOAR, telescope looks out at the stars. It’s a partnership between four institutions including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michigan State University. Talk about working remotely.

Trice Clark

Today on Stateside, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says Michigan students need to take standardized tests this year. We check-in with an educator and an administrator who have thought a lot about the role of testing. Then, Detroit's creative pros talk about what design has to offer during a time of crisis. And, Michigan State takes stargazing to high heights.

Lady Ace Boogie

Today on Stateside, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson discusses the state's preparedness for a deluge of absentee ballots ahead of the November election, and how the new redistricting commission is shaping up. And a Michigan MC hangs up the mic to spend time on herself and her family.

congressional map of Michigan
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The state is moving forward with preparations for redistricting following the passage of Proposal 2 in 2018. The ballot initiative established the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is tasked with redrawing Michigan’s congressional districts based on the 2020 census. Thirteen people—none of whom are political officeholders—were randomly chosen for the commission, which will be overseen by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office. 

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden picked up a cross-party endorsement Thursday from Republican former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder published an op-ed in USA Today explaining his support for Biden and disappointment in President Donald Trump's leadership. He wrote that Trump is a bully who doesn't represent the interests of all Americans, rather, just his supporters.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s political world got baked into an upside down cake on Thursday as former Republican Governor Rick Snyder endorsed Joe Biden, and Democrat Mark Hackel threw his support behind a push to limit Governor Whitmer’s emergency powers. We'll talk to a reporter covering the party-flipping endorsements. Plus, we hear from a Detroit child care provider who is feeling the financial pressure as the pandemic continues and parents remain at home. 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, President Donald Trump placed a phone call to the Big Ten commissioner to discuss what might expedite the start of the season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A Sports Illustrated writer weighs in on the politicization of sports in 2020. Also, how U.S. presidents’ historical treatment of Black Americans informs the present moment. Plus, the thawing of the Great Lakes, as seen through the lens of a National Geographic photojournalist.

a large expanse of lake surrounded by trees at dusk with a purple blue sky
Amy Sacka

In the latest edition of National Geographic, you'll find a big spread dedicated to exploring how ice coverage has dramatically decreased on the Great Lakes over the past 40 years. The photos you'll see, of not-so-solid lakes, and people navigating warmer Michigan winters, were taken by Detroit photojournalist Amy Sacka.

Amanda Sewell

Before 1968, most Americans had never heard music played on a synthesizer, which was then still an emerging technology. Many would also have said at the time that they didn’t know anyone who was transgender. All that began to change, though, when composer Wendy Carlos released her debut album, Switched-On Bach.

Philippe Bout / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, the Yemeni community in Hamtramck recently marched with Detroit Will Breathe protesters through the city and into Detroit. We spoke with an editor of the Yemeni American News about the community and their role in the protests. Plus, a new biography about Wendy Carlos, the woman who changed electronic music and reset the boundaries for composition.

people marching with a banner in Hamtramck
Simon Albaugh / Yemeni American News

Southeast Michigan – specifically cities like Hamtramck and Dearborn – is known as a hub of Arab American culture. But that group is not a monolith. Individual ethnic groups have their own cultures, cuisines, and stories about how they settled down in Michigan. That includes the more than 30,000 Yemeni Americans living in the region.

empty classroom
Adobe Stock

School is back in session for many districts in Michigan, including Detroit. If your local district, or college, or university hasn't restarted, you may at least be picking up supplies, and in some cases, technology for distance learning. But the ticker is already in motion for COVID-19 cases associated with schools.

Ron French covers education for Bridge Michigan, and he joined Stateside to talk about how the pandemic is disrupting education across the state.

Eric Milikin

It’s been difficult to honor those who have passed due to COVID-19 with social distancing guidelines making memorial gatherings impossible. Rochelle Riley, the director of arts and culture for the city of Detroit wanted to change that.

Washtenaw County Courthouse
Charles W. Chapman / Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

After a months-long investigation into Washtenaw County court records, a citizen-led group has released hard data on racial disparities in how people are charged with crimes. The report found that in one of Michigan’s most populous, and progressive, counties, Black people are charged with felonies at rates between two and 29 times higher than white people charged with the same crimes.

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

Today on Stateside, a new report shows Blacks citizens are far more likely to face felony charges in Washtenaw County, one of the state’s most populous and progressive counties. Plus, we talk to the architect of a memorial on Belle Isle to honor the 1,500 people in Detroit who have been killed by COVID-19.

Native American protesters of the George Armstrong Custer monument dance in front of the monument
Katybeth Davis

Which historical figures deserve a monument? Many Americans are asking that question as the nation continues to reckon with racial injustice in the current moment. There are campaigns across the country to remove public monuments that honor people from America’s past who upheld racist systems, including slavery and the removal of Native people from their ancestral lands. That debate reached the city of Monroe this summer after a petition to remove its downtown statue of George Armstrong Custer received nearly 14,000 signatures.

back view of four kids with colorful back packs in a line of aother children
note thanun / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, after two weeks of political conventions, we’ll get an analysis about how both parties presented their nominee and what takeaways there were for Michigan voters. Plus, Monroe is making some changes to its monument honoring Civil War General George Armstrong Custer. We’ll hear from one of the people who pushed for the city to acknowledge Custer’s role in the displacement and genocide of American Indians.

The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions

The sports world almost stopped on a dime as NBA teams, and even some baseball teams, followed the lead of the Milwaukee Bucks and declined to play in recognition of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot and paralyzed August, 23 by Kenosha, Wisconsin police.

The players have agreed to resume play tonight. But, it is an extraordinary moment in sports that brought attention to racial injustices and police brutality in America.

A black and white photo of Richard Austin
Public Domain

Today on Stateside, we talk to Detroit News sports columnist John Niyo about how professional athletes found their voice and their power as teams in Michigan and across the country protest racial injustice. Plus, Michigan's chief mobility officer joins us to talk about the changes coming to the way we get around.

Sara Habbo

As protests against police brutality toward Black Americans continue across the country and in Detroit, reports that Detroit Police Department officers are using excessive force on nonviolent demonstrators are increasing. And this violence isn’t solely directed at protest participants. A volunteer Legal Observer said police officers beat, pepper sprayed, and arrested some of her fellow Legal Observers at a protest Saturday, too.

police in downtown detroit on May 31, 2020
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, protests in Detroit over police brutality have been peaceful for weeks. That changed this past Sunday when police arrested protesters. Legal observers, there in a citizen oversight capacity, say they were assaulted by police. We'll hear from a legal observer who was there. Plus, a look at Michigan’s preparedness for the upcoming school year amid a profound decline in state revenue.

Back of a school bus
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, a highlight of Michigan Radio's deep dive into the many allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of University of Michigan's Dr. Robert Anderson. Plus, the case for paying parents to stay home and take care of kids. And, a group of friends swam 54 miles across Lake Michigan.

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