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Stateside: Road funding disparities; Dearborn’s Ramadan nightlife; lack of women in public art

A pothole in downtown Flint.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Chad Livengood of "Crain's Detroit Business" says that Keweenaw County, Michigan's least-populated county, gets over six times more money per registered vehicle to fund county and local roads compared to Livingston County.

Today on Stateside, why the disparity in road funding between rural and urban roads will persist, even under Governor Whitmer’s proposed increase in tax revenue for the state's most heavily-trafficked roads. Plus, how Dearborn comes alive at night during the holy month of Ramadan, which began at sundown on Sunday, April 5. 

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

Whitmer’s proposed boost in funding won’t fix disparity between rural and urban roads

Stateside’s conversation with Chad Livengood

  • Michigan’s roads are sprouting potholes like spring tulips, and the situation isn’t going to improve any time soon. A recent report found that no “appreciable improvement” of our roads can be expected over the next 12 years.
  • Chad Livengood is a reporter with Crain’s Detroit Business. He breaks down his analysis comparing Michigan's current road funding formal and Governor Whitmer’s proposed changes. Livengood says that rural counties with low populations end up getting the better end of the deal when it comes to road funding, even with much of the new tax revenue proposed by Whitmer going to more heavily-trafficked roads. 

Bacteria and viruses from human waste getting into Michigan water

Click above to hear The Environment Report's Lester Graham's reporting

  • Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy indicates that 1.4 mllion homes in Michigan are not hooked up to a sewer system. Many use septic tank systems, but there's a big problem. The agency estimates that about 24% of septic tanks are failing to the point that human waste is polluting rivers and lakes.The Environment Report's Lester Graham reports that the government isn't doing enough to solve the problem. 

Statues of and by women are largely absent from public space. Here’s why that matters.

Stateside’s conversation with Tina Olsen

  • Last week, we told you about a Grand Rapids placemaking project called "Rad Women." It's where 27 women artists are painting portraits of prominent American women on mechanical boxes across the city. But most of the country's monuments and statues still commemorate famous men. 
  • Tina Olsen is the director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. She talks about the gender gap in public art and sculpture, and modern options for memorializing women in public spaces.

Labor and delivery services are increasingly rare at Michigan’s rural hospitals

Stateside’s conversation with Amy Zaagman

  • Manistee Hospital will close its maternity ward on May 31st. Expectant moms will be able to get care during and after their pregnancies, but they’ll have to drive to hospitals that are nearly an hour away to actually give birth. This story is getting more and more common, especially in rural Michigan.
  • Amy Zaagman is the executive director of the Michigan Council for Maternity and Child Health. She talks about what's driving these closures, and what the drop in maternal care units means for families in rural Michigan.

"Grossly negligent:" why shooter is charged in Torch Lake hunter death

Click above to hear this story from Interlochen Public Radio's Morgan Springer

  • Last year, two people were shot and killed in Michigan while deer hunting. One of those cases was investigated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which essentially classified the shooting as an accident. But when the shooter was charged with involuntary manslaughter and trespassing, it became apparent that there was more to the story. Interlochen Public Radio’s Morgan Springer brings us this report.

Dearborn has “no other equal in America” when it comes to Ramadan nightlife

Stateside's conversation with Zahir Janmohamed

  • The holy month of Ramadan officially began yesterday evening. For the next four weeks, Muslims will observe Ramadan by engaging in prayer, studying the Quran, performing acts of charity, and abstaining from food and drink every day from dawn until sunset. But once the sun goes down, the fast is broken and the celebration begins.
  • Zahir Janmohamed wrote a piece for Hour Detroit magazine that highlights how Dearborn comes alive after hours during Ramadan.
  • Stateside's ongoing series "Beyond the Coney" highlights the growers, entrepreneurs, and culinary experts behind Michigan's diverse food economy. 

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