Stateside: Unemployment insurance bills; school segregation in Grand Rapids; rules of the road | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Unemployment insurance bills; school segregation in Grand Rapids; rules of the road

Sep 5, 2019

Today on Stateside, what is Michigan doing to compensate the thousands of residents wrongly accused of making fraudulent unemployment insurance claims? Plus, we look into efforts at Grand Rapids Public Schools to improve opportunities for students of color, and talk to a desegregation expert about why urban districts often struggle to do so. 

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

Michigan Dems propose additional compensation for those wrongly accused of unemployment fraud

  • From 2013 to 2015, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency — the UIA — wrongly accused thousands of Michiganders of making fraudulent claims. Some people lost their homes, their jobs, and even filed for bankruptcy. More than six years later, some have still not been fully compensated.
  • Zach Gorchow is with Gongwer News Service. He explains what compensation people falsely accused of fraud have received so far, and why House Democrats say it has not been enough to make them whole. 

Baby sturgeon released to boost population

  • Sturgeon are long, grey, spiny prehistoric fish that can live up to 100 years. Overfishing and habitat destruction has decimated their population across the state. Some baby sturgeon were recently released as part of a joint effort between the state, tribes, and conservation groups to restore populations of this ancient fish. Michigan Radio’s Kaye LaFond attended a release ceremony hosted by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and brought us this story. 

Learn to Drive! How to respond to emergency vehicles on the highway

  • For a lot of us, it’s been a while since we were sitting in driver’s education class learning about the rules of the road. Lieutenant Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police joined Stateside to give us a refresher on one Michigan traffic law that you may have forgotten: what to do when an emergency vehicle comes up behind you.

Desegregation efforts by Grand Rapids Public Schools show the challenges urban districts face addressing unequal access

  • After four years of voluntary federal oversight to improve black student access to advanced academic programs, the Grand Rapids Public Schools District says it's not stopping efforts to combat inequity. 
  • John Helmholdt is the Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs for Grand Rapids Public Schools. He tells us what progress the district has made, and where it is still working to make academic opportunities more equal. 
  • Eastern Michigan University Professor of Africology and African American Studies Ronald Woods is an expert in school desegregation. He shares his analysis on the efforts GRPS has made in order to improve opportunities for its black students. 

Howes: GM CEO meeting with Trump comes at a critical time for automaker 

  • General Motors CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to meet with President Trump today. The meeting comes after the president’s recent criticism of the automaker for shifting business to China over the last few decades. Daniel Howes is a columnist for the Detroit News. He tells us who requested this meeting, what the two are expected to discuss, and whether the president has any interest in ongoing contract talks between the United Auto Workers Union and General Motors.

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