Stateside | Michigan Radio
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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 & 10 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 about what matters in Michigan. Stateside is hosted by Cynthia Canty (Mon-Thu) and Lester Graham (Fri).

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Beach
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

 

Today on Stateside, an update on the partnership agreements school districts signed with the state to avoid school closures in 2017. Plus, we talk to our Friday political commentators about the recent indictment of state Representative Larry Inman (R-Traverse City), and the effect of “dark money” on the public's trust in government.

 

a map of michigan with stars where there are school districts that have partnership agreements with the state
Michigan Department of Education

In early 2017, more than three dozen schools across Michigan faced an uncertain future. After ranking in the bottom 5% of state test scores for three consecutive years, they risked being shut down by the state’s School Reform Office.

Blue Lake Pass by Maya Lin undulating sculptures of tan particleboard
G.R. Christmas / Courtesy of Pace Gallery

The artist and architect Maya Lin is best known for her work designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Lin designed that monument in 1981 when she was still a college senior. Since then, she’s gone on to design numerous buildings, sculptures, and landscape installations around the world.

Lester Graham

It’s sad when the bottle is nearly empty. That’s what Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found when she visited a friend’s house for a party and the bottle of Ann Arbor Distilling Company's new Absinthe Violette was almost gone.

“What have you done to go through that much absinthe?” she asked. The reply was they had been making Necromancers. 

A stack of old letters.
Andrys / Pixabay

Today on Stateside, Right to Life of Michigan has a plan to work around Governor Whitmer's promised veto of controversial abortion bills recently passed by the state House and Senate. Plus, we talk to Joshua Johnson of NPR’s 1A, who’s been broadcasting from Michigan Radio this week.

picture of 1A from NPR host Joshua Johnson
STEPHEN VOSS / NPR

 


Joshua Johnson, host of 1A from NPR, has been broadcasting this week from Michigan Radio, and heading out into communities around Southeast Michigan to hear what's on the minds of voters.

Johnson joins Stateside to tell us more about the show's project 1A Across America, what he's heard from Michigan voters, and the intimate role that social media plays in today's politics.

picture of Addie L. Lathrop sitting on the front porch
Michigan History Center

 


Today on Stateside, debate was heated as Republican state lawmakers passed bills banning an abortion procedure known as "dilation and evacuation." Plus, Michigan's next state superintendent talks about what he sees as the most pressing issues facing Michigan schools. 

a group of marijuana leaves
Roberto Valdivia / Unsplash

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, what happens to the around 50,0000 people who've previously been convicted of marijuana-related crimes? Some in Michigan say those records should be cleared — a process called expungement — to remove the barriers that come with having a criminal record.

picture of Michigan superintendent Michael Rice
Kalamazoo Public Schools

 


Michigan has a new state superintendent: Michael Rice

Rice began his teaching career as a high school French teacher in the Washington D.C. public school system. For the past 12 years, he's been the leader of the Kalamazoo Public Schools district. And last week, he was chosen by the State Board of Education to assume the state's top education job. 

Red Jeep driving down a snowy road.
Chrysler Group / Flickr

 


Today on Stateside, as Detroit tries to land a big new Fiat Chrysler assembly plant by offering tax incentives, some in the city are skeptical after past development deals failed to deliver. Plus, now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, we hear what California is doing to clear past marijuana-related convictions. 

A police car seen through the side mirror on a car.
Craig Finlay / Creative Commons

There are roughly 50,000 people in Michigan who have been convicted of cannabis-related crimes. Now that voters have legalized recreational marijuana, advocates are working to get those convictions cleared.

That same process began in California after voters legalized recreational cannabis there in 2016. We talk to Capital Public Radio reporter Scott Rodd about what Michigan might learn from California's experience. 

Robert Jones and Matt Wotruba
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The Reverend Robert Jones and Matt Watroba first met while hosting back-to-back music shows at a public radio station in Detroit.  

That chance encounter bloomed into a friendship rooted in a mutual love for acoustic roots music that's still going strong more than 30 years later.

New recruits for MDOC at swearing in ceremony raising their hand
Michigan Department of Corrections / Flickr


scrabble tiles that spell out mental health
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Department of Corrections has hired a mental health specialist to run an employee mental wellness program in response to concerns about stress and suicides among corrections officers. Plus, how a design firm streamlined Michigan's long and confusing government assistance application using “human-centric design.”

An image of the former MDHHS public assistance application beside the new, shorter version.
Michael Brennan

Filling out applications for government assistance programs, like Medicaid or food stamps, can be a lengthy and confusing process. 

In Michigan, it used to involve filling out a 42-page form that, among other highly-specific questions, asked applicants to give the exact dates their children were conceived.

But thanks to the work of Michael Brennan and his team at the Detroit design firm Civilla, the application has gotten a user-friendly overhaul.

The Trump Administration's budget would eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Today on Stateside, the Michigan House and Senate both passed bills this week that would allow drivers to opt out of the unlimited medical benefits mandated by current law. But critics say that giving up those benefits would do more harm than good. Plus, we talk to the author of a murder mystery novel that takes place on a fictional Michigan university campus.

farm field
Julie Falk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Today on Stateside, the fate of auto insurance reform in Michigan hangs in the balance as the state's Democratic governor and GOP-controlled Legislature take different stances on the issue. Plus, Iraqi-American comedian Abdallah Jasim talks about navigating cultural differences through comedy. 

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

cover of Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice
Michigan State University Press

Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is the title of a new anthology showcasing regional poets laureate. Our reviewer John Freeman walks us through this new collection of poetry.

Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is an anthology that acknowledges old questions about whether poetry can affect social change.

Abdallah Jasim on stage
Razi Jafri

 


His slogan is: "Chemical engineer by day, funny guy by night".

Abdallah Jasim found his footing in the comedy scene after posting a video about how Arabs catch mice went viral. Since his viral debut, Jasmin has found a following for his comical Instagram videos, and performed stand up sets across America and Canada. 

Elissa Slotkin, Betsy Devos
ELISSA SLOTKIN FOR CONGRESS / U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) met Tuesday with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to discuss DeVos's proposed changes to Title IX. Those changes would shift how universities and colleges are required to handle reports of sexual assault.

rehearsal of University of Minnesota Duluth's production of Time's Up
Brett Groehler

Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) after her meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about proposed changes to Title IX rules on campus sexual assault. Plus, how the advent of camper trailers helped drive the establishment of Michigan’s state park system.

picture of people sitting next to a trailer
Michigan History Center

 

In the early 1900s, not long after the invention of the automobile, people began hitching trailers to their bumpers for road trips around the country. 

picture of a comic book page
Ryan Clayton and Nick Baldridge

 

Today on Stateside, we hear about what's included in the auto insurance reform bill that got a fast-tracked approval from the state Senate on Tuesday. Plus, environmental justice leader Mustafa Santiago Ali talks about why he left the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after more than two decades, and why the voices of marginalized communities must be included in environmental policy.

Photo of the shoreline on Lake Michigan.
Isabella Isaacs-Thomas / Michigan Radio

The environmental justice movement aims to address the disproportionate impact that environmental degradation has on people of color, the economically disadvantaged, and indigenous groups. 

Mustafa Santiago Ali spent more than two decades at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency working to fight air, water, and industrial pollution in those marginalized communities.

A pothole in downtown Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


Last year, two people were shot and killed in Michigan while deer hunting. One of the victims, Justin Beutel, was hunting on family property near Torch Lake. 

It was Nov. 15, opening day of firearm deer hunting season, when another hunter shot Beutel from about 50 yards away. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated the case. 

red and orange tulips in front of windmill in holland michigan
City of Holland

Today on Stateside, Republicans in the Michigan Senate want counties to lose some jail funding if they limit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. We get reaction from Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Plus, it is the 90th annual Tulip Time festival in Holland. We hear about how tulips came to be a symbol of the city's Dutch heritage.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The first thing you hear is the sound of the blacksmith pumping the bellows to make the fire in the forge hotter.

We’re at the Delano Homestead at the Kalamazoo Nature Center because there’s a small shed where a volunteer shows visitors how a homestead blacksmith might work. But he’s better known for what he forges. His name is Gabriel Paavola.

Newborn baby
rawpixel.com

Nearly seven out of every 1,000 babies born in Michigan will not live to their first birthday. That rate is more than double when it comes to African American and Native American infants.

As part of its new effort to move the needle on infant mortality, the state is tailoring solutions to different communities. It recently released a draft of its 2019-2022 Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan (MIHIEP).

a blue index card with information and photos of the wrestler Toni Rose
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Today on Stateside, amidst a rise in hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims in the world, leaders of both faith communities in Southeast Michigan are coming together to find common ground in fighting against that hate. Plus, why the state of Michigan once had a registry of pro-wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.  

Muslim and Jewish leaders in SE Michigan stand together to combat rise in hate

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