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Stateside: Pet coke in Detroit; GRPD and ICE; women and minority entrepreneurs

James Fassinger / Stillscenes
Fisherman on the river with the petroleum coke piles and Michigan Central Station in the background

Today on Stateside, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is accusing Grand Rapids police of engaging in racial profiling after one of its officers contacted immigration authorities upon the arrest of a Marine combat veteran last December. Plus, two members of Michigan's business community talk about what "business friendly" means to woman and minority business leaders. 

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

ACLU says documents show "racial profiling" by GRPD in case involving Marine combat vet

Stateside's conversation with Michigan Radio's Dustin Dwyer

  • Last December, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) held Marine combat veteran Jilmar Ramos-Gomez at a detainment center for three days and released him when a lawyer presented proof of his citizenship. Now, the ACLU of Michigan is accusing Grand Rapids police of engaging in racial profiling because one of its officers contacted ICE after Ramos-Gomez's arrest. 
  • Michigan Radio’s Dustin Dwyer joined Stateside to break down the latest developments in this story.

Environmental groups raise concerns over Marathon request to store pet coke uncovered

Stateside's interview with Nick Leonard, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

  • In 2013, huge piles of black powder and ash were stacked up along the Detroit River. Big clouds of dust swirled over the river, and the neighborhoods of southwest Detroit. Environmental concerns led the city of Detroit to pass an ordinance requiring cancer-causing substances like petroleum coke — commonly referred to as pet coke — to be properly stored. Now, Marathon wants the city to allow it to store its pet coke uncovered.
  • Nick Leonard is the executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. He talks about the public health concerns over pet coke and why Marathon is asking to be exempted from the city ordinance meant to regulate it. 
  • Stateside received a statement from David Bell, the director of Detroit’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department. In summary, it says the department issued notices to every dwelling or business within 300 feet of the location in question and also posted notice of the meeting in the Detroit Legal News. Notice was not published on BSEED’s website due to “human error,” he said, and the City regrets the oversight. However, the Law Department has reviewed the matter and maintains that another meeting to accept public comment is not required.

Statewide awards to honor contributions to Michigan humanities

Stateside’s conversation with Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki

  • For years, MIHumanities has worked to expose as many people in Michigan as possible to the humanities. Now, they’re celebrating the work their partners have done in furthering that cause. Shelley Hendrick Kasprzycki is the president and CEO of MIHumanities. She tells us about the upcoming Michigan Humanities Awards and the kinds of people and organizations she hopes to honor.

Book review: “Elemental,” essays that reflect “survival, transformation and grit” of Midwest lit

Fordon’s review of “Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction"

  • Wayne State University Press has released a new compilation of 23 essays by award-winning Michigan authors called Elemental: A Collection of Michigan Creative Nonfiction. As poet and fiction writer Kelly Fordon tells us in her review, we’re lucky to have this many extraordinary writers living in our state.

Bacon: Entire state should be proud to have two great and clean men’s college basketball programs

Stateside’s conversation with John U. Bacon

  • On Sunday, the Michigan State University Spartans beat the University of Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, putting MSU at the top of the Big Ten. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Stateside to share his take on the Spartans' win ahead of the two teams' next meeting on March 9 in East Lansing.

What does “business friendly” mean for women and minority business owners?

Stateside’s conversation with Terry Barclay and Jamiel Robinson

  • We’ve been talking to business owners and leaders across the state to figure out what the term “business friendly” really means in Michigan. Terry Barclay is the president of Inforum, a nonprofit focused on the advancement of women in business, and Jamiel Robinson is the creator and founder of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses. They weigh in on what “business friendly” means to them and break down some of the obstacles faced by women and minority-owned businesses. 

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