Stateside: DIA proposes new millage; dysfunction on university boards; Whitmer’s promises to vets | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: DIA proposes new millage; dysfunction on university boards; Whitmer’s promises to vets

Nov 11, 2019

Today on Stateside, a veteran advocate says that Michigan veterans are not getting connected to the benefits they’ve earned. Plus, we talk to one of the last living members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a legendary all-black military unit that flew combat missions during World War II.

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

Detroit Institute of Arts millage renewal could appear on 2020 ballot

  • In 2012, the Detroit Institute of Arts asked voters in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties to approve a .2 mills tax for 10 years. They said that if the millage passed, the DIA did not expect to ask for a renewal. Voters said yes. Now, the DIA is seeking an early renewal of that operating millage. It's hoping to get the question on the ballot in 2020. Salvador Salort-Pons is the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He explained how the museum has fared since the 2012 millage was first passed, and why the DIA says this renewal is necessary.

Don’t call it an accident: why MDOT wants you to say “crash” instead

  • Today’s early snowstorm meant rough driving all around the state. When we talk about trouble on the road, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has a request regarding the word we use to describe that trouble. Jeff Cranson is the director of MDOT’s office of communications. He explained why the department advises that we drop the word “accident” and use “crash” instead to describe traffic collisions.

Exemption from the the Open Meetings Act encourages dysfunction on state university boards, says reporter

  • Last week, the Wayne State University Board of Governors voted four to zero in an impromptu move to fire President Roy Wilson. The vote blindsided some members of the board, who walked out before the yays and nays were taken. Now, the members of the board who voted to oust President Wilson want Attorney General Dana Nessel to step in to decide whether the vote was legitimate. It's a messy chapter at a time when another university — Michigan State — is having its own headlines of board dysfunction. That's after one member left and chastised other trustees as she exited.
  • Higher education reporter David Jesse is with the Detroit Free Press. He broke down the similarities and differences between the issues among the two schools' boards, and how politics plays into those divisions.

Some Michigan veterans frustrated with Governor Whitmer’s lack of progress on veterans issues

  • Michigan ranks near the bottom nationally when it comes to connecting its more than 600,000 veterans to federal benefits. Those benefits include access to health care, housing, education, and financial assistance. Stephanie Zarb advised Governor Whitmer's campaign on veterans issues in 2018 as co-chair of the Veterans for Whitmer group. Zarb is an Air Force veteran who served in the Middle East, including 53 combat missions over Afghanistan. She joined Stateside to talk about what Governor Whitmer's administration has — and hasn’t — done for veterans during Whitmer's first 10 months in office, why we’re at such a critical moment for veterans in Michigan, and how she would advise the governor to better support veterans.

One of the few surviving Tuskegee Airman reflects on serving in WWII, facing discrimination at home  

  • Ninety-five-year-old retired Lt. Colonel Harry T. Stewart, Jr. of Bloomfield Hills is one of the few living members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black military unit that flew combat missions during World War II. His life is the subject of a book co-written by aviation writer Philip Handleman called Soaring to Glory: A Tuskegee Airman’s Firsthand Account of World War II. Stewart joined Stateside to talk about his experience training to become a pilot in Alabama under Jim Crow, his time serving with the Red Tails in Italy, and where life took him after returning home from the war.
  • This segment originally aired on June 24, 2019.

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