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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3 & 9 p.m.

Stateside covers what you need (and want) to know about Michigan. You hear stories from people across the state—from policymakers in Lansing, to entrepreneurs in Detroit, to artists in Grand Rapids. Tune in every day for in-depth conversations that matter to Michigan. Stateside is hosted by April Baer.

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close up of Gretchen Whitmer
Photo courtesy of www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer

Today, on Stateside, why Governor Whitmer is holding off on new restrictions, even as COVID-19 cases surge. Plus, how the Latinx community in Washtenaw County came together to make vaccines more accessible to their neighbors.

photo of the Ambassador Bridge
N Bandaru / Unsplash

The province of Ontario in Canada is now under a four-week shutdown due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The threat to our neighbors in Windsor is due, in part, to the daily border crossing between Windsor and Detroit. 

“We have thousands of nurses and health care workers who live on the Canadian side of the border, but work largely in Detroit at the hospital networks there, the health networks. They're providing an essential service for Michiganders,” said Doug Schmidt, a reporter for the Windsor Star.

cover of the book The Elephant of Belfast
Counterpoint Press

Today, on Stateside, Windsor health officials warn essential workers crossing the border to Detroit daily to limit their time in the city during Michigan's COVID spike. Plus, writer S. Kirk Walsh talks about her debut novel The Elephant of Belfast, inspired by true events that took place during World War II.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

In high school English classes, students are often tasked with trudging through the classics. At West Bloomfield High School, in Jennifer Tianen’s class, they’re getting a different view of one author in the literary canon.

These students have been transcribing the letters of Marjorie Bump, a Petoskey woman who was friends with Ernest Hemingway when he lived at his boyhood summer home of Windemere. She was also a character in his Nick Adams stories, particularly The End of Something, where Hemingway’s self insert character, Adams, ends up with a broken heart.

A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a small number of fully vaccinated people are still getting sick. That’s not necessarily cause for alarm. Plus, a conversation with poet Thomas Lynch about his new collection of poems and navigating the grief of his daughter’s death. And a citizen science project helps make data about Michigan’s lakes and aquatic wildlife more accessible.

a little girl roller skating on a road with sunlight streaming behind her
Vahe / Adobe Stock

In the introduction to his latest collection of writing, titled "Bone Rosary," poet Thomas Lynch writes:

“Never in my life did the sky seem to be falling from all four corners as it seems to now—pandemic, racial injustice, economic collapse, climate change—nor has the body politic, the culture at large, ever seemed so in cahoots as a co-morbidity.”

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, state Senator Ed McBroom defends a controversial package of election bills making their way through the state legislature. Plus, Black farmers who are teaching their communities about growing their own food. And, an ER doctor about the potential new surge and its impact on hospitals.

Clay Banks / Unsplash

Michigan’s surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past couple of weeks — with some hospitals nearing bed capacity — has shocked many back to reality about where we are in the pandemic. 

“Our volumes in the emergency department are going up, and the numbers are as significant as they had been with the prior surge, although the types of complaints and patients are changing,” said Dr. Patricia Nouhan, an emergency room doctor at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit.

Thang Lian

April is National Poetry Month. Thang Lian is a poet and a senior at East Kentwood High School near Grand Rapids. He recently won the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers’ Gold Key Regional Award for poetry. Beyond his writing, Lian is an active member of his community in raising awareness and funds for refugees and immigrants. 

User respres / Creative Commons

Today on Stateside, a law professor discusses what can be done to remedy the burden of property tax foreclosures in Detroit. Also, a young poet shares how writing helped him understand his refugee experience. Plus, the team from Cheers! mixes up a spring cocktail to send us into Easter weekend.

voting stickers
Unsplash

Republican state lawmakers are working to push a package of 39 election-related bills through the Michigan Legislature. The bills would change state election laws in many ways, including preventing the Secretary of State’s office from mailing out absentee voter applications and requiring photo identification to vote. The bills’ authors say changes are needed in order to ensure elections are fair. But many elections experts and clerks say state elections are already fair, and the bills would make it harder for Michiganders to cast their votes.

New leadership of Bay Mills Indian Community
Bay Mills Indian Community

For the first time in the tribe’s history, the Bay Mills Indian Community will have a tribal council made up entirely of women. 

“For me, I really see that as the progress of our tribal nation moving forward in healing from prior colonization, that we have suffered from. A lot of our traditional structures that have matriarchal forms of government, matriarchal leadership, that were involved and kept a balance within our community,” said newly-elected chairwoman Whitney Gravelle

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we dive into a Republican effort to tighten up election laws in Michigan. Plus, the Michigan classrooms where teachers come, teachers go, and students miss out. And we check in with a grocer about what it’s been like for him and the store during the pandemic.

a hospital hallway with people at the end of it
Robin Erb / Bridge

Michigan's COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising, and they're rising fast.

a table set up with people around it at the Ford Field vaccination site in Detroit
Vince Duffy / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, mass vaccination sites are opening in Michigan’s largest cities as the state races against another spike in COVID-19 cases. Also, we check in with two public health officials about the challenges of reaching herd immunity. Plus, the history of sea shanties sung by Black sailors on the Great Lakes.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michigan has more than its fair share of lighthouses. In fact, the Great Lakes state, with its expansive shorelines, boasts the most in the country. When you think of a lighthouse keeper, you may think of a stoic, bearded man a la The Lighthouse with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. While many men led this life, Michigan has a long, beautiful history of female lighthouse keepers.

University of Michigan Board of Regents

Today, on Stateside, winds change for the Michigan GOP leader who called the state’s top three elected officials witches. Plus, stories about the women who kept Michigan’s lighthouses.

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Tim Folkert / Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Today, on Stateside, we talk to an epidemiologist from the University of Michigan about what worries her about the state’s rising COVID-19 numbers. Plus, we hear from Jordan Hamilton—a Kalamazoo-based cellist—about live performance and making music during a year of pandemic.

Courtesy of Jordan Hamilton

Kalamazoo-based cellist and songwriter Jordan Hamilton had just released an award-winning album. He was planning to make music videos for his latest songs. He’d scheduled shows for the next several months, with performances booked at home in the Midwest and abroad, in Canada and France. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan.

Public Domain

Fisheries biologist David Jude has been studying a small prey fish called the deepwater sculpin for decades. And for years, there's been one question he couldn't stop thinking about. 

“I’ve always had this passion about trying to figure out where deepwater sculpin spawn because no one has ever documented it,” Jude said. 

a person holds a vaccine vial
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, nearly four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state of Michigan. A pharmacist discusses how pharmacies can help get vaccines into communities. Also, a look at the history of something we’re all familiar with — mask fatigue. Plus, a deep dive on an elusive Great Lakes denizen: the deepwater sculpin.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases are surging again in Michigan, with more outbreaks happening at K-12 schools. A reporter talks us through the latest data. Also, how one of Detroit’s first Black educator helped desegregate Detroit schools and bring the concept of kindergarten to Michigan. Plus, the founder of Detroit Vs. Everybody discusses his latest collaboration.

Michigan History Center

While teaching has long been considered a “feminine” job, with 76% of teachers being female in 2019, it hasn’t always been open to women of color. Not until the mid-1800s when Detroiter Fannie Richards changed education in Michigan forever.

Richards was born around 1840 in Fredericksburg, VA, and moved to Detroit after her father died in 1850. Around that time, Black Detroiters were primarily settled in the area that is now Lafayette Park and were staunchly middle class, Michigan History Center’s Rachel Clark described.

Downtown Ann Arbor
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A lot has changed in how we relate to the public spaces around us this year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some main streets have closed to cars and opened to pedestrians, to give passersby more room. Restaurants — those that survived — got creative with outdoor seating. And people stuck at home suddenly found themselves seeking local outdoor spaces — where they're available — for recreation and physically distanced socializing. All these shifts in how we use our spaces got us thinking: What does a “return to normal” look like for cities?

Gabriella Clare Marino / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we talk about how the pandemic has reshaped public spaces in Michigan. Two urban planners weigh in on whether some of those changes should stay for good. Plus, a conversation with acclaimed Detroit documentary filmmaker dream hampton. Her 2019 docuseries Surviving R. Kelly sparked a national reckoning on Kelly's long history of abusive behavior.

FOIA
Vincent Duffy / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, while vaccine eligibility is expanding in Michigan, new variants of COVID-19 continue to spread through the state. Plus we dive into the latest dustup between Governor Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders over non-disclosure agreements and payouts to former state employees.

Ebony Road Players

Today on Stateside, education systems had to reimagine learning in K-12 schools during the pandemic. Did those systems rise to the occasion? Plus, we meet a chef in Detroit who retooled by organizing restaurateurs to fill gaps in food security.

Unsplash

Don’t get us wrong — COVID-19 has generally made being a teacher or a student or a parent in the K-12 system way harder. But when schools first shut their doors last spring, some educators were also hopeful that the sudden pivot might be a chance to reimagine what school could look like post-pandemic. So, has that happened?

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan state Representative Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Upper Peninsula. Also, a look at the difficulties recreational marijuana shop owners have had opening up in Traverse City. Plus, after a long year, a West Michigan tulip festival blooms again.

Unsplash

For Michiganders who transitioned to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of returning to in-person work is… complicated. Working from home does involve a lot of new distractions, from kids, to pets, to the lawnmower next door. But it can also allow for greater flexibility, new kinds of family and friend time, and a stronger sense of autonomy on the job.

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