Stateside: Road funding ties up state budget; from beach trash to t-shirt; school librarian shortage | Michigan Radio

Stateside: Road funding ties up state budget; from beach trash to t-shirt; school librarian shortage

Aug 26, 2019


Today on Stateside, we get a preview of the top priorities for Michigan lawmakers as they return to Lansing Tuesday for the fall legislative session. Plus, why the number of full-time librarians in Michigan schools is shrinking, and what that means for students. 

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

State lawmakers head back to Lansing to figure out a budget with money to fix roads

  • We’re about five weeks away from October 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year and the deadline for a new budget. But so far, there's no deal in sight. Cheyna Roth, legislative reporter for the Michigan Radio, and Riley Beggin, political reporter for Bridge Magazine, discuss what's holding up the state budget, and what else lawmakers will have on their plate when they head back to Lansing.

Bacon: Is college football worth it for players? Yes, with caveats.

  • There are 1,086,627 football players in this country at all levels. Only 6.5% of high school players will make a college team at any level. The percentage of college freshmen who play football that eventually make it to the NFL is just 1%. So, what does a kid really get from playing football
  • Michigan Radio sports commentator and New York Times bestselling author John U. Bacon dives into that question with his newest book Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football.

Oral history project documents life at Traverse City mental hospital 

  •  Mental health treatment has changed drastically in the past century. But it wasn’t that long ago that many people with severe mental illnesses in Michigan were permanent residents at state-run psychiatric hospitals. An oral history project in Traverse City is shedding light on what life was like in those institutions. 
  • Stewart McFerran leads the Traverse City State Hospital Oral History Project, and talks about what he's learned about life at the hospital through his interviews with former hospital employees. 

Climate Crew: UM student turns trash from Great Lakes beaches into sustainable t-shirts 


  • Nearly 22 million pounds of plastic end up in the Great Lakes each year. University of Michigan student and West Michigan native Jackson Riegler is stepping up to tackle that challenge, and he's doing it through fashion. We talk to Riegler about why he founded his company Oshki, which recycles plastic waste into sustainable apparel.

Why so few Michigan schools have librarians, and what that means for students 

  • Michigan students have been sliding down the national rankings of reading test scores to the point where they're among the worst in the nation. At the same time, school librarians are becoming nearly extinct in the state. Kathy Lester, a school library media specialist and technology coach in Plymouth-Canton Schools joins us to talk about why just 8% of Michigan schools have a full-time, certified school librarian, and why that matters for students. 

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