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Stateside Staff

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Stateside for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today on Stateside, we take a look at the troubling rise in COVID-19 cases in Kent County. Also, a conversation about Jackson County’s history as a birthplace for  Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party. Plus, we talk to two election attorneys about the possibility of contested election results after the presidential election.

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This Election Day is likely to be a bit different from those of years past: State election officials have been warning voters that it’s possible we won’t know the outcome of the presidential election and all the down-ballot races by election night. That’s because there’s been an increase in absentee voting, which is allowed for all Michigan voters and offers a safe alternative to voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum / Unsplash

Stateside for Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Today on Stateside, democrat Haley Stevens tries to hold on to a swing seat in one of the tightest congressional races in Michigan. Then, a conversation around “unschooling” as an alternative to the hectic school year. Plus, how the FBI turns insider tips into a viable case.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, what military leadership makes of Michigan's active militia movement. Also, we look into a hotly-contested race Up North that could help decide which party has control of the Michigan House of Representatives.

a political cartoon about tuberculosis
Michigan History Center

To make sense of the present, it sometimes helps to look to the past. One moment in history that’s particularly relevant to our current moment is the tuberculosis epidemic during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Despite the differences in daily life and the advances in medicine and technology since then, the country’s response to tuberculosis outbreaks has clear parallels to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Courtesy of Adrienne Lenhoff

If this were any other year, Michiganders could expect the usual costume parties, trick-or-treating, and corn mazes that signal the approach of Halloween. But now that COVID-19 is circulating, bobbing for apples is definitely out, and families might not be comfortable accepting candy from strangers this year. For holiday-driven businesses like haunted houses, the pandemic presents challenging questions about how to open up for the Halloween season safely.

Erebus Haunted House outside of building
Courtesy of Ed Terebus

Today on Stateside, an artist and an architect come together to rethink what performance spaces look like in the era of physical distancing. Also, with Halloween right around the corner we’ll explore the changed aspects of the haunted house business.

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan


Scholastic Kids Press

Today on Stateside, we talk with two entrepreneurs about launching a cannabis business amid a global pandemic. Also, we catch up with Governor Whitmer about her alleged kidnapping plot and the stakes of the upcoming election.

Healthcare.gov

Today on Stateside, the hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett have been dominating the news and one of the biggest questions has been what her nomination will mean for the Affordable Care Act. We discuss what it has meant for patients for the past 10 years. Also, an update on the men involved in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer.

A maks on top of an absentee ballot envelope
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In the middle of a pandemic, a lot of voters are planning to cast their vote via absentee ballot. It's a fairly simple process (which you can learn more about here). You fill out your ballot, put it in the mail, track it to your local clerk’s office where it will be counted come Election Day. But between November 2018 and August 2020, the ACLU of Michigan says there were around 35,000 people who thought they had voted, but actually had their absentee ballots rejected. The organization has been sending letters out to those voters to let them know what went wrong, and how to avoid it this time around. 

Southwest Michigan Volunteer Militia members training in 2010
Pete Tombers

Rick Foreman heard the news on Thursday like everyone else. A group of men, many with ties to Michigan’s militia community, many who’d stood side-by-side with Foreman at demonstrations this spring and summer, had allegedly plotted to overtake the state capitol and kidnap the governor.

“When I heard about it, I couldn’t believe it,” Foreman says.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
michigan.gov

Today on Stateside, what we’ve learned about the accused conspirators in what prosecutors call a terrorist plot against Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other state leaders. Also, families separated by the coronavirus pandemic get some relief as the state begins loosening restrictions on nursing home visits.

Child looks at computer screen
Thomas Park / Unsplash

School has been back in session for more than a month now, and Michigan families and educators are beginning to settle into the strange new reality. Teachers and kids have shared how they’re adjusting to things like Zoom discussions, asynchronous learning, and masks in the classroom. Now that the back-to-school season is behind us and the rest of the year looms ahead, Stateside wanted to know: How are parents doing?

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, as more information emerges about an alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, there's a renewed debate about banning guns in Lansing’s halls of power. Also, we take a deep dive into how Michigan families are doing as they balance uncertain school plans, childcare needs, work, and mental health. 

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Federal investigators have foiled a domestic terrorism plot, hatched by an anti-government extremist group, to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and take hostages at the state Capitol. That’s according to an unsealed criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. 

Yusef Lateef plays a flute
Charles Andersen / Wikimedia Commons - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, an alleged plot from an anti-government extremist group to kidnap Governor Whitmer and take hostages at the state Capitol has been foiled by federal investigators. We'll talk about what we know about this case so far and how it ties into a broader discussion about the rise of violent alt-right movements in America. Plus, we talk about the life and legacy of the late Detroit native and jazz legend Yusef Lateef ahead of his 100th birthday. 

A young Black child with curly hair writes in a notebook while sitting in the grass
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we talk to a Michigan Teacher of the Year about how he creates an inclusive learning environment for LGBTQ students in his classroom. We also talk about how educators can challenge white supremacy and advance racial justice within schools. And we'll hear about a project that aims to tell a more complex, nuanced story of Native American communities in Michigan by hiring Indigenous reporters. 

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
Rido / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we revisit some of our favorite conversations from this year. We discuss why many experts say we should think about racism as a public health crisis. Plus, what the history of vaccine development can tell us about the timeline for a COVID-19 vaccine.

HarperCollins Publishers

Sometimes fiction tells new truths about history. That’s what happens in author Alice Randall’s latest novel Black Bottom Saints, which draws from the experiences of Black Detroiters who lived in the city’s historic Black Bottom neighborhood. The book is structured like a book of saints in the Catholic tradition. Many of the saints are based on real people, and they give voice to a place that continues to influence Detroit, and the rest of the world, today.

red and yellow leaves
Patrick Hendry / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, the state Supreme Court says Governor Gretchen Whitmer can’t extend her emergency declaration indefinitely amid the spread of COVID. That leaves local leaders in charge of putting plans in action. Also, we’ll check in with a teacher about returning to in-person instruction with her middle school students.

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Today on Stateside, COVID-19 hits home with Michigan’s Republican leaders. We hear from two journalists about how the lack of a mask mandate at the Michigan state Capitol hampers work in the legislature. Also, a veterinarian weighs in on the cheap vaccine that can prevent Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses--if owners choose to use it. Plus, an artist on bringing texture to children’s book illustrations.

A person playing video games with screens showing games above him
Florian Olivo / Unsplash

Remember the first time you outraced your sibling in Mario Kart? Or, back in the heyday of arcades, the rush of seeing your name pop up on the high score board for Pac-Man? Well, the thrill of competitive video gaming isn't limited to living rooms and arcades anymore as esports teams take their place among traditional college athletics.

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

Today on Stateside, a conversation about the developing future of esports in Michigan. Plus, what the closure of Detroit's Reentry Center means for prisoners transitioning back into society after serving their time.

A man is making a model of the Spinosaurus
Paolo Verzone / National Geographic

Dust off your shovels, aspiring paleontologists, we’ve got some digging to do. October’s issue of National Geographic focuses on new discoveries in paleontology, straight from the researchers who made them.

Nizar Ibrahim was one of those researchers, and his work is featured prominently in the magazine. He’s an assistant professor of biology at University of Detroit Mercy. He’s also a National Geographic Explorer, a grant program that National Geographic extends to groundbreaking researchers in  many disciplines.

absentee ballot and envelope
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, President Donald Trump raised doubts about the integrity of elections Tuesday night during the first presidential debate of 2020. We hear from a member of a Michigan coalition fighting those claims. Also, physical barriers between Grosse Pointe Park and Detroit have aggravated racial and social tensions over the years. We’ll hear from two activists who want to see them torn down. And finally, paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim talks about how his discoveries in the Sahara have helped us rethink what we know about dinosaurs. 

Unsplash

During the first debate between President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, President Trump raised questions about the safety and integrity of elections this November. But Michigan clerks and election officials have said for months now that they have no such fears--rather, their primary concern is whether they can produce results in a timely manner on Election Day, as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to lead to a significant increase in absentee voting.

The Dog 'n Suds sign in Muskegon
Dog 'n Suds of Muskegon and Montague

For some Michiganders, the potential health risk of a pandemic has made dining out seem like a faint memory. This has been a huge stressor on a majority of the restaurant world, but one little pocket of the industry has been booming. Drive-in restaurants seem to be handling the uncertain times quite nicely.

While other restaurants scramble to add outdoor space and rearrange seating, drive-in restaurants have had to make surprisingly few changes, says David Hosticka. He owns two Dog 'n Suds locations in Muskegon and Montague. Hosticka said both have been hopping this past summer.

Michigan Tech University from an aerial view
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, former Congressman Bart Stupak joins us to talk about the political climate in rural Michigan, and what he observes as the Democratic party moves left. Plus, the Upper Peninsula is dealing with some scary spikes in COVID-19 infection rates. We'll talk to Michigan Tech University's president about how that influenced his decision to pause some face-to-face classes.

Pickpik

Fungi foragers rejoice: a new mushroom-hunting season is upon us. Many species of wild mushrooms grow throughout Michigan, and this is the perfect time of year to try to find them. But before you savor that tempting toadstool, make sure you’ve done your research. (No, really.)

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