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Politics & Government

Stateside: Threat of government shutdown; climate immigrants; history of Great Lakes steamships

a postcard featuring an old steamer ship from Chicago
Public Domain
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There are a handful of cruise ship companies making stops on the Great Lakes these days, but they were once a key mode of transportation around the region.

Today on Stateside, the latest on the road funding dispute between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican leadership in the Michigan Legislature. Plus, while some retirees might be getting ready to head to Florida for the winter, one Florida couple recently uprooted their life to move to Michigan to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

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

Political roundup: With no plans on paper, road funding and budget dispute could lead to government shutdown

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Stateside's conversation with Ken Sikkema and TJ Bucholz

  • Republican State House Speaker Lee Chatfield says he’s optimistic about a road funding deal coming through before the October 1 budget deadline. The Michigan House Minority Leader, Democrat Christine Greig, says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent fuel tax increase is basically dead. So where does that leave the governor? We discuss with our Friday political commentators.
  • Ken Sikkema, is a Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan State Senate. TJ Bucholz, President of Vanguard Public Affairs, a progressive political strategy firm in Lansing.

Eastern opens new athletic facility, still looking for $6 million to pay for it

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Stateside’s conversation with Lindsey Smith

  • Eastern Michigan University has a brand spanking new training facility for its student athletes. It's the first major construction project for EMU athletes in twenty years. The catch? The athletic department hasn't raised enough money to pay for it yet. Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith explains why the university gave the greenlight to the project before the Athletic Department had raised all the funding for the new facility.

Looming threat of climate change prompts Florida couple's move to Michigan

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Stateside’s conversation with Vincent Iula and Debbie Anderson.

  • For the past three decades, Michigan has been losing population to the Sunbelt...states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida. But hurricanes and years-long droughts, are leading some to reconsider where they call home. That includes Vincent Iula and Debbie Anderson. This past April the couple moved to Michigan from Fellsmere, Florida, about 12 miles from the Atlantic coast. They talk to Lester Graham about how climate change factored into their decision to relocate to the Great Lakes state.

Drones help farmers be more efficient while managing pests, tracking plant growth

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Stateside’s conversation with Robert Goodwin

  • Technology on the farm is advancing all the time, most recently in the form of drones. With the right sensors, drones can check on crop pests, soil moisture, and even look at plant growth in a more standardized way than a spot check by a farmer.
  • We talk to geospatial analyst Robert Goodwin about how drones are used and might be used on farms in the future. Goodwin works at the Michigan State University’s Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

The history of steamship travel on the Great Lakes

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Stateside’s conversation with Bill Herd

  • There are a handful of cruise ship companies making stops on the Great Lakes these days. It seems to be a growing trend and another piece of the puzzle in making the most of tourism in Michigan. But there was once a time when steam ships were not just for vacations. They were a major mode of travel around the state. We talk to Bill Herd, lead interpretive ranger and historian with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, about the golden era of steamship travel on the Great Lakes.

As summer winds down, how has the Michigan tourism industry fared?

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Stateside’s conversation with Liz Ware

  •  Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the summer travel season in Michigan. Tourism has been up around the state in recent years. So, how are things looking this year? Stateside checks in with Liz Ware, Vice President of Marketing at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island. She’s a member of the family that owns and runs the resort.

Review: Caitlin Horrock’s latest novel brings familiar composer to life 

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Keith Taylor reviews “The Vexations”

  • Caitlin Horrocks’ latest novel The Vexations reimagines the life of French composer Erik Satie, whose music provides a moody backdrop to sad scenes in European films. Horrocks lives with her family in Grand Rapids. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and the Paris Review. Stateside’s Keith Taylor says her new novel brings “this fascinating and supremely odd composer to life.”