Families & Community | Michigan Radio
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Families & Community

Today on Stateside, despite an upward economic trend in Michigan, nearly half of households in the state are struggling to afford basic necessities. Plus, it’s (finally) spring! We hear about the cultural significance of this transition for different cultural groups across the state.

a sample of poison wallpaper - it's light green with blue stripes and floral decoration
Courtesy of Michigan History Center

Today on Stateside, despite an upward economic trend in Michigan, nearly half of households in the state are struggling to afford basic necessities. Plus, it’s (finally) spring! We hear about the cultural significance of this transition for different cultural groups across the state.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is traveling the state to sell her plan to raise the gas tax by 45 cents per gallon. The fuel tax increase would go to fix roads, and to stop using the state General Fund for that purpose.   

The governor says the current plan has not kept pace with wear and tear on roads. She says that’s cost drivers more in repairs and deprived the state of economic opportunities.

Whitmer says calling for a tax increase is a last resort.

Kenn Goodman / Pravda Records Archives

Andre Williams, an R&B musician who got his commercial start in Detroit, died Sunday in Chicago. He was 82.

Williams moved from Alabama to Detroit in the 1950s,  and recorded radio hits like "Bacon Fat" with Fortune Records.

Dayron Villaverde / pixabay

Governor Whitmer says she agrees with a federal judge that a computer system that’s supposed to help kids in foster care needs to be fixed or scrapped.

A report to a federal judge says the problems include drastically undercounting the number of kids who were abused while they were supposed to be under state protection.

frankieleon / flickr

Michigan’s cash bail system needs an overhaul. That’s the message of bipartisan legislation introduced in the state House and Senate.

Representative Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) wants to get rid of the requirement that parents who owe back child support pay bail to get out jail before they see a judge.

 

“Being in jail they cannot pay the child support,” Brann said. “So it’s just a vicious circle for them so I just want to give them a chance to get out fast, get back to work so they can still pay their child support, try to get caught up on this.”

CBP agent checking in young children
Customs and Border Protection / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Close up of line outside of New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck
Razi Jafri

Today, New Orleans is celebrating Fat Tuesday, also known as "Mardi Gras" in French. It's the last day before Ash Wednesday and the forty days of Lent, when many observers give up certain indulgences in anticipation of Easter Sunday. 

Michigan clergy react to United Methodist Church vote to keep ban on same-sex marriage
Flickr CC

Delegates from the United Methodist Church voted Tuesday to continue a ban on same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian clergy.

The proposal - called the Traditional Plan - was approved by church members at the United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis.

Anita Gonzales and Colleen Medicine
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a new plan to boost Detroit says restoring the city's African-American middle class is key to a successful revitalization effort. Plus, we hear about the Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange, a program that draws on indigenous storytelling traditions to talk about current social issues.

People looking at their phones.
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan's new cyberbullying law goes into effect next month, but will it actually make kids safer from online harassment? Plus, a recent study from the University of Michigan finds that tens of thousands of Michigan kids and teens aren't getting the mental health treatment they need. 

a picture of Zena and Mena Nasiri against a brick wall
Razi Jafri / Michigan Radio

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

William Thomas opens the front door of his house on the south side of Benton Harbor and leads the way to the kitchen.

He has a white goatee, and he has on a dark grey collared shirt and gold rimmed glasses.

He sits down at a round table with a stack of papers stuck to a clipboard. He pulls one out, a white sheet that was sent to him in the mail last fall.

Public Domain

Eight children and teens die by firearms every day in the United States. 

That's according to a recently-published study examining the leading causes of child and teen death in the country. 

Henry Ford
Wikimedia Commons

Update, February 1, 2019, 10:26 a.m.:

Deadline Detroit reported Thursday that Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly, who refused to send out the issue of The Dearborn Historian because of Bill McGraw's story, has now fired McGraw as editor of the magazine. 

They also report that the Dearborn Historical Commission passed a resolution Thursday night in support of McGraw and his article. However, the resolution is not "binding on the mayor." 

Original post:

He's known for ushering in the five-dollar workday, the auto assembly line, and the Model T.

100 years ago this month, Henry Ford also bought his hometown newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and used it as a platform to promote his anti-Semitic views.

Journalist Bill McGraw published a story on this topic in Deadline Detroit and joined Stateside today. He says Ford’s anti-Semitic views drew on hundreds of years of harmful stereotypes.

A platter of various foods
Gigi Diaz

Cannabis, it turns out, is not just for smoking.

Since its legalization for both medical and recreational purposes, marijuana has been making its way into kitchens across Michigan, including the kitchen of Gigi Diaz. 

Diaz has been cooking professionally for years and recently, she’s started making cannabis-infused meals. She even won Best Chef at the 2017 High Times Michigan Cannabis Cup. Her business, Cannabis Concepts, does regular pop-ups all around Detroit.

“It’s really come a long way since your average pot brownie,” Diaz said.

paper money and coins spread out
Mathieu Turle / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, how have communities across Michigan fared in the nearly 10 years since the official end of the Great Recession? Plus, a conversation with a chef from Detroit who’s elevating the art of cannabis edibles beyond the usual pot brownie. 

Kalimah johnson smiling for a portrait
Courtesy of Kalimah Johnson

Earlier this month, Lifetime released the six-part documentary series Surviving R. Kelly. It features more than 50 interviews with women who claim that they were sexually, physically, and emotionally abused by R&B artist R. Kelly.

Lawsuits against Kelly and rumors accusing him of sexual assault, rape, and possession of child pornography date back over two decades. The singer has denied all such accusations, and has never been convicted of any crime. 

The release of Surviving R. Kelly has spurred discussion, both within and outside of African-American communities, about how black women who have experienced sexual assault are treated. 

WMU Archives

It was four months after he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and only four weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

Scrabble pieces spelling out "ADHD"
Unsplash

The stereotypical picture of someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tends to be a young hyperactive boy, who just can’t sit still in class. But that picture doesn't tell the whole story.

There is increasing evidence that girls with the disorder are underdiagnosed. And while the symptoms might change over time, ADHD doesn’t just disappear when you reach adulthood. So what does that mean for adult women with the disorder?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Advocates for victims of domestic violence say a new federal law will help Michigan women looking for help for themselves and their pets.

The Pet and Women Safety, or PAWS Act, was signed into law in December. It allocates funds to domestic violence shelters and expands protections to include survivors’ pets.

Studies have found a quarter to a third of domestic violence victims delay leaving their abuser out of fear for their pets.

Fight for the Bando

Jan 7, 2019
barelyhispanic

 

My name is Matthew Green. I am from the eastside of Detroit. When I say I know the inner city. I mean that I know the inner city! I am 24 years old. I am old enough to have a mature mind-state about things, but young enough to connect with the youth.

Person studying math with a notebook and a calculator.
Steven S. / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As one of 11 states that does not require homeschooling parents and their children to have any contact with state or local education officials, Michigan’s approach to homeschool oversight is one of the most relaxed in the nation.

On yesterday's show, we talked about concerns that lax regulation allows some parents to conceal abuse and neglect at home. 

stack of children's books
Unsplash

In recent years, the number of American families choosing to homeschool their children has been on the rise. Federal data estimate that the number of homeschooled students more than doubled between 1999 and 2012. 

Michigan is one of 11 states that does not require parents who are homeschooling their children to have any contact with state or local education officials.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

About 80 families could move into a new emergency shelter in Grand Rapids in the coming weeks.

The shelter is inside a former nursing home. The city planning commission approved the site for use as emergency housing, but only for one year.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The final rush is on to get packages delivered in Michigan before the Christmas holiday.

Suzzi Nowak delivers mail in Kentwood, a suburb south of Grand Rapids. She says most of her days this time of year start at 7 a.m. Usually, she’s done by 5 or 6.

"A day at the post office is never the same," she says. "They’re always different. It all depends on how much mail you have."

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Hamtramck’s efforts to revive its signature public space are getting a big boost from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation.

The city will receive more than $800,000 to create a community-driven master plan for the 26-acre Veterans Memorial Park—the largest green space and public gathering spot in the tiny, densely-populated Detroit enclave.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Huntington Woods City Commissioner Allison Iverson resigned abruptly on Tuesday, shortly after outraged voters learned she told an anti-gay group that she welcomed their help in trying to shut down  "Drag Queen Storytime." 

The Huntington Woods Library program is just what it sounds like: a drag queen reading stories to kids.  It's extremely popular, drawing such large attendance since it launched last year that it had to be moved from the library to a larger venue. 

Rachel Gibbs with her youngest son Jake before her 2015 accident at AJ's Family Fun Center.
Courtesy of Corri Sandwick

It was supposed to be a day of fun at AJ's Family Fun Center near Grand Rapids in 2015. Rachel Gibbs wore a scarf on the cool August day.  Staff at AJ's made no mention of the potentially dangerous item as Gibbs and her youngest son loaded into a go-kart and zipped off. During the ride, Gibbs’ scarf got caught in one of the go-kart’s axles, snapping her windpipe. 

Rahael Gupta
Michigan Radio

On today's show, Believed co-host Kate Wells breaks down a recent report that found top officials at the U.S. Olympic Committee knew former sports doctor Larry Nassar was sexually abusing his patients, yet took no disciplinary action against him. Plus, a conversation about the changing field of classical music between a graduate student and aspiring conductor, and the retired music director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

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

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