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Politics & Government

Stateside: Lawsuit could shift 2020 MI political districts; “Elvis of UFOlogy;” studying squirrels

A detail Michigan congressional district maps drawn in 2011.
Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget
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A pending federal settlement could change the lines of Michigan's congressional and state legislative districts ahead of the 2020 election.

Today on Stateside, how recent developments in a federal gerrymandering lawsuit could shift some Michigan congressional and state legislative districts ahead of the 2020 election. Plus, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we hear from Michigan State University Dean Emeritus Robert Green about his experiences working alongside Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Michigan gerrymandering settlement could redraw some political districts ahead of 2020 election

SS_20190121_Gorchow_Gerrymandering_Lawsuit.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Zach Gorchow

  • Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service joined Stateside to talk about recent developments in a federal lawsuit alleging political bias in the drawing of Michigan congressional and state legislative districts by Republican lawmakers in 2011. Gorchow explains the plaintiffs' allegations, how the suit was affected when Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson took office, and how a proposed settlement might affect the state's 2020 elections. 

Studying the (not-so) secret lives of Hope College squirrels

SS_20190121_Winnett-Murray_Squirrel_Appreciation_Day.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Kathy Winnett-Murray

  • Today marks the 18th annual National Squirrel Appreciation Day, a tradition started by a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina. Kathy Winnett-Murray is a professor of biology at Hope College, where students in her animal behavior classes study the squirrels on campus. She shares what fascinates her about the ubiquitous little mammal, and what lessons she thinks humans could learn from them. 

Michigan man who first alleged extraterrestrial research at Area 51 highlighted in new documentary

SS_20190121_Bob_Lazar_Film.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell

  • In 1989, Bob Lazar claimed publicly that he worked alongside other scientists to reverse-engineer a crashed alien spacecraft at the now-infamous Area 51, a secret U.S. Air Force facility. Today, Lazar lives in mid-Michigan and runs a scientific supply company.
  • Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell is a documentary filmmaker. His latest film, Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, explores Lazar's experiences before and after he spoke out about his alleged work. Corbell tells us what he hopes audiences will take from the film, and why he thinks Lazar agreed to talk with him 30 years after he went public with his claims. 

“A lot to do and a long ways to go.” MSU Dean Emeritus reflects on work, legacy of MLK

SS_20190121_Green_MLK_Reflections.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Robert Green

  • Robert Green is a Dean Emeritus at Michigan State University, and a former education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Green joined Stateside to talk about his friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. and his experiences working in the Civil Rights Movement. Green tells us about his first meeting with King, his decision to leave his professorship at MSU to join the SCLC, and what lessons from that era of activism Green thinks can be applied to the social justice movements of today. 

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