Stateside Staff | Michigan Radio
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Stateside Staff

Linda Stephan


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Today on Stateside, Grand Rapids public schools are back in the classroom. The district’s superintendent discusses the return to in-person learning. Also, writer Rochelle Riley tells us about her new book, which features children dressed up as iconic and influential Black Americans. Plus, a look at the history of Black sailors on the Great Lakes.

picture of an old ship
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a person holds a vaccine vial
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Today on Stateside, the Michigan Republican Party meets this weekend to select a new chair. Two reporters discuss the candidates, as well as the latest power play that’s complicated the upcoming election. Also, why the small community of Hillsdale has a wealth of COVID-19 vaccines available for distribution. Plus, a curator discusses the Black Arts Library, which she’s brought to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

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Today on Stateside, Michigan has reached over one million COVID-19 vaccinations. We explore what this milestone means, and the work ahead. Plus, the pandemic cancels another event. This time it’s sled dog race. And, as the virus ripped through the country, misinformation tore through a small U.P. town.

Courtesy of Darlene Walch

From the ski slopes to the snow trails, decreased snowfall and heightened risk of COVID-19 has made this winter season a strange one for many Michiganders hoping to enjoy their favorite cold-weather pastimes. That means that in the Marquette area of the Upper Peninsula, this particular February won’t bring its annual major sled dog races — or the crowd of spectators, mushers, and dogs that usually attend the events.

an open sign in a shop window
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Today on Stateside, Michigan restaurants and diners face the re-opening of indoor dining. Plus, an etiquette guide to the first Super Bowl in the pandemic. And, a look at Michigan’s role as a bootlegging hub during Prohibition.

Courtesy of The Detroit News

One hundred years ago, in the aftermath of World War I — and, of course, a deadly pandemic — the United States was well into its experiment with national temperance. Michigan wasn’t a stranger to Prohibition — the state banned alcohol in 1918, about two years before Prohibition went into effect nationwide. Despite restrictions, thirsty Michiganders still found ways to get their hands on booze. And before long, alcohol smugglers in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor region developed a thriving trade, due in part to an increasingly popular tool for transporting the sauce to the speakeasies: the automobile.

Today on Stateside, a collision in Grand Traverse County between the region’s gun culture, and a growing awareness of how firearms inform public debate. Also, how Michigan’s winter recreational culture is weathering a warmer climate.

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COVID-19 has magnified and intensified so many of our society’s social and economic injustices. While many of these problems have been around for as long as the systems themselves, the complete upending of “normal” life brought on by the pandemic has left many people more acutely aware. When it comes to job loss, it is women, specifically women of color, who have been hit the hardest.

Chris DuPont

Last year may not have felt like a year to take a leap of faith, but for singer-songwriter Chris DuPont, a perfect storm of change converged leading him to leave behind a day job and pursue music full-time. 

“I decided to just take a leap of faith at possibly the stupidest possible time. But it seems to have worked okay,” DuPont said.

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Today on Stateside, General Motors has announced that it's working toward a fully electric fleet. Two journalists talk us through what the change could mean for consumers, as well as the auto industry. Also, a Michigan National Guard Specialist discusses the recent reversal of the federal ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. Plus, a look at the disproportionate losses women have suffered in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

military veterans
John M. Cropper / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Joe Biden this week reversed the federal transgender military ban implemented under former President Donald Trump’s administration. It’s another sea change in the lives of transgender Michiganders who’ve spent lifetimes reading shifting terrain. Blaire McIntyre is a Michigan Army National Guard specialist who fought against the ban in federal court. 

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Today, on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her third State of the State address after a year filled with crisis after crisis. Also, a big political shake up could be coming as legislative boundaries are redrawn this year. And yes, you can get involved.

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, Michigan voters passed the Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative (Proposal 2). In doing so, they commenced a process in which everyday citizens — rather than people who hold political office — draw the state’s new legislative districts, which are based on data from the 2020 Census. Now that the Census has finished gathering data from the public, who exactly is doing the work of redefining Michigan’s congressional boundaries? That would be a group of 13 randomly selected Michiganders who make up the state’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. And maybe you, too.

Ben Frederick

Last night, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her third State of the State speech. Instead of speaking before a full room at the Capitol, Whitmer gave a virtual address from her formal office. The governor’s message last night may have been one of unity and bipartisanship, but her relationship with Republicans in the state Legislature — especially during the pandemic  — has been fraught.

Courtesy of Commissioner Mai Xiong

Today on Stateside, the U.S. Senate has begun setting parameters for proceedings in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Senator Gary Peters talked to us about the upcoming trial and the likelihood of a conviction. Also, an update on Michigan's sobering job loss numbers during 2020. Plus, how a business owner, elected official, and mother of four balances the challenges the pandemic poses for women—particularly women of color.

gary peters headshot
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The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is underway as the Senate begins to set parameters for the proceeding. This is the first time a president will undergo a Senate trial twice, and although Trump is no longer in office, the trial will continue.


a person holds a vaccine vial
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Vaccine distribution in Michigan has been geographically uneven. But there’s a reason for that, says a public health official in the Upper Peninsula. The hard part, she says, can be explaining that to residents anxious to get vaccinated.

Today on Stateside, how the new COVID variant, present on the University of Michigan campus, is affecting the school and what it could mean for the rest of the state And, shelters in Grand Rapids are seeing an increase in the demand for services as the economic fallout from COVID pushes people out of housing. Plus, how new guidelines for vaccine priority have cut off much of the supply of doses for the Upper Peninsula.

Arguably, the most powerful pro-business-advocacy group in the state is the Detroit Regional Chamber. They have announced that they’re changing the way it handles political contributions in light of the insurrection at the United States Capitol. Dozens of Republican lawmakers, including some from Michigan, voted in favor of rejecting election results that same day on January 6.

Jeff Daniels
Luc Daniels

Michigan’s favorite son is back, and is biding his time at home like the rest of us. Jeff Daniels, esteemed actor, playwright, and musician, released his new album late last year. It’s aptly titled “Alive and Well Enough,” which pretty much sums up how many of us are doing these days. He joined Stateside to talk about the album, politics, and his virtual concert at the Midland Center for the Arts on Friday, January 29.

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Today on Stateside, a pro-business advocacy group says the insurrection and denial of election results will fundamentally change how they make political endorsements. Plus, we talk with acclaimed actor and musician Jeff Daniels about writing songs during COVID. And, a conversation with former Detroit Mayor and NBA legend Dave Bing.

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Today on Stateside, what President Biden's executive order on deportation will mean in Michigan. Also, ready for some reads? The annual list of Michigan Notable Books might give you a new lens on strange times.

 

Courtesy of the Library of Michigan

Every year, the Library of Michigan releases a list of Michigan Notable Books, which features books that are about or set in Michigan — or that were written by authors from the state. But in 2020, the selection committee faced a unique challenge: compiling a list of notable works published in a year like no other.

President Biden speaks at an event in Jackson, MS standing in front of an American flag
The White House / whitehouse.gov

Today on Stateside, President Joe Biden signed a stack of executive orders on his first day in office, including an end to President Donald Trump’s travel ban on a number of countries with large Muslim populations. A reporter discusses the state's Muslim American communities’ responses to the controversial ban’s reversal. Also, a look at the debate over absentee ballots — during the American Civil War. Plus, a grocery store tackles food insecurity in Grand Rapids with tools from social justice.

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

 

 

It was an election year in a divided America. Tens of thousands of absentee ballots were sent out by the state. Eventually, the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in. 

 

No, we’re not talking about the 2020 election, but rather the presidential election of 1864. It was a contest between Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party and former General George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party.

 

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Today on Stateside, Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who served as co-chair of the inauguration committee, tells us about preparations for the event and the work ahead for President Biden. Also, a journalist discusses how former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s conviction shaped politics in the city. Plus, as former government leaders face criminal charges for their roles in the Flint water crisis, we take a look at what investigation of elected officials entails.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
michigan.gov

On Wednesday, the nation turns to Washington D.C. to watch the Inauguration of the 46th U.S. President Joe Biden. Among those in the unusually small, socially distanced crowd will be Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer serving as one of the co-chairs of the inauguration committee.

Today on Stateside, after the Capitol insurrection on January 6, some immigrants are feeling unsettled by the kind of political instability they once fled. Plus, we’ll take a look at the role a UAW leader played in tying organized labor to a broader movement for civil rights. And, could COVID-19 sideline college basketball tournaments… again?

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