Families & Community | Michigan Radio
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Families & Community

Flora Rranxburgaj, left, and her husband Ded Rranxburgaj, right,
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It's been nearly two years since Albanian immigrant Ded Rranxburgaj and his wife, Flora, took refuge at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit.

Flora has multiple sclerosis and Ded is her sole caregiver. He had been allowed to stay in the United States on humanitarian grounds until a deportation order from ICE came down in 2017, prompting the couple to seek sanctuary at the church.

Andrew Pons / Unsplash

On this Veterans Day, we're 10 months into Governor Gretchen Whitmer's term. Air Force veteran Stephanie Zarb helped advise Whitmer's campaign for governor as co-chair of the Veterans for Whitmer group. Zarb told Stateside that despite Whitmer's promises to make sure veterans get the benefits to which they are entitled, the administration has actually made it harder for veterans to access those benefits. 

U.S. Air Force via Harry Stewart Jr.

This segment originally aired on June 24, 2019.   

There are just 11 surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a legendary all-black military unit that flew combat missions during World War II.

Ninety-four-year-old retired Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart, Jr., who lives in Bloomfield Hills, is one of them. His life is the subject of a new book from aviation writer Philip Handleman titled Soaring To Glory: A Tuskegee Airman's Firsthand Account of World War II.

Coldwater is home to Lakeland prison.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Halfway between Detroit and Chicago, is a small town that lives under the shadow of a prison.

But Coldwater is more than a prison town. Founded in 1837, residents pride themselves on their historic downtown, vibrant small businesses, and strong community.

a sepia toned photo of Tyrone Chatman in uniform
Courtesy of Tyrone Chatman

With Veterans Day right around the corner, organizations nationwide are putting extra focus on our country’s service members and veterans.

On Wednesday night, the Fisher House Michigan will welcome veterans on stage to share their stories from World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, and other deployments. It's the organization's annual Stories of Service event. 

Halloween is around the corner and guess what that means? Someone will metaphorically step in it with an insensitive or straight up racist costume.

governor gretchen whitmer standing at a podium
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

It will soon be easier to qualify for food and cash assistance in Michigan. Starting November 1, a family can have thousands of dollars more in assets – and still be eligible.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says it’s a necessary change.

Angelo Binno and Jason Turkish pose
Isabella Isaacs-Thomas / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk with the Genesee County Sheriff about his department's latest sting operation to combat sex crimes involving children. Plus, how a Michigan man’s legal win will make the LSAT more accessible to those with visual impairments.

Andrea Karpinski, Abraham Aiyash, and Reihan Akhter and Kamal Rahman
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Hamtramck is a 2-square-mile city. Small in size, but large in population and ethnic diversity. With around 22,000 residents, the city has much to offer and visit in a day.

A photo of Garrett Halpert in Washington D.C.
Photo courtesy of Julie Halpert

When it comes to supporting and treating young people who struggle with mental illness, the safety net in Michigan has a lot of holes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 34, but finding appropriate medical care is often a difficult process. It can take months to get an appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist, even when a young person is in crisis. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Every homeowner at least occasionally needs some tools. But they can be expensive and inaccessible for some people, especially in low-income communities.

red lockers in a close up shot
Pixabay

 


In the wake of multiple mass school shootings in recent years, the question of how to reduce violence and make schools safer has become a pressing one. Answering that question will be the goal of a brand new national research and training center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Miriam Elamine / Southwest Solutions

More than 65,000 people in Michigan experienced homelessness last year, up about 3% from 2017, according to an annual report from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The report’s data is based off counts entered into a statewide agency from homeless service providers across the state. It counts the “literally homeless”—people living in shelters, on the streets, in cars, or in places like abandoned homes. It does not count people who live with friends or family members to avoid homelessness.

Bob Orozco barks out instructions like a drill sergeant. The 40 or so older adults in this class follow his lead, stretching and bending and marching in place.

It goes like this for nearly an hour, with 89-year-old Orozco doing every move he asks of his class. He does that in each of the 11 classes he teaches every week at this YMCA in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

"I probably will work until something stops me," Orozco says.

Daniel Hinmon is working to keep Anishinaabe traditions alive.
Mike Krebs

When you think about the tip of the mitten, what comes to mind? Fudge? Beautiful beaches? Vacation cottages?

Daniel Hinmon, a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB), wants you to know that his homelands are so much more than that.

“We are still here, you know?” he says.

Eastern Michigan University

The events of September 11, 2001 were remembered Wednesday morning at a ceremony at Eastern Michigan University. Like the many others taking place across Michigan and the nation, EMU's ceremony honored those who died and the first responders.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

Today on Stateside, it's been three weeks since a Michigan man died after being deported to Iraq. How are things for hundreds of other Chaldeans facing deportation? Plus, how one school district is remodeling its high school to make it harder for a mass shooter to carry out an attack.

white casket with flowers on top being carried by pallbearers
Pixabay

 


 

Funeral directors help people during what are often the lowest moments in their lives. However, for some pretty obvious reasons, it is not a common career path. 

 

Stateside's Work in Progress series features conversations between someone just starting out in a career and someone who is reaching the end of their professional life.

 

Today, we introduce you to two funeral directors on either end of that spectrum.

To many non-residents, Flint is just the place that had bad water. To residents, it's so much more.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In recent years, Flint has often been in the limelight for negative reasons. For many, the city has become a symbol of the consequences of institutional racism and government failures.

But Flint native India Young wishes people would associate the city with something positive.

“There’s a lot more to us than ‘Flint has dirty water,’ you know?”

Emma Hernandez poses, smiling, next to statue of a man in a hat
Courtesy of Esmeralda Samano / gofundme

 

Nine-year-old Emma Hernandez should be getting ready for fourth grade. Instead, her family is planning her funeral.

On Monday, the little girl was attacked and killed by three dogs as she rode her bike near her Detroit home.

The dogs' owner has been arrested and is expected to be charged today by the Wayne County Prosecutor. The three pit bulls are expected to be euthanized.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Parents and students in Benton Harbor are getting ready for the upcoming school year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration had proposed closing Benton Harbor high school next year. But the state backed down from that proposal last week.

Traverse City pier looks to attract cruise ships

Aug 16, 2019
Discovery Center Pier
Discovery Center Great Lakes

The Discovery Pier in Traverse City is hoping to attract cruise ships around the Great Lakes. The United States Coast Guard certified the pier as a cruise port back in December, and the newly formed Traverse City Cruise Consortium is hoping to capitalize on the trend of smaller cruise ships in the Great Lakes.

picture of a purple folder that says U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Michigan is one of 13 states challenging a new Trump Administration rule that sets restrictions on which legal immigrants are eligible to stay in the United States as permanent residents.

On October 15 of this year, immigrants will be refused a green card if they’ve used or appear likely to use government benefit programs such as subsidized housing, food stamps, or Medicaid.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Food, music and heritage are the focus at the annual Grand Rapids Hispanic Festival this weekend.

But this year, there will also be added security.

Organizers with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan say about 25,000 people showed up for the festival last year, and they’re hoping for more this year.

For LGBT elders, inclusive housing and long-term care can be hard to find

Aug 9, 2019
a gay pride and trans pride flag close up
Unsplash

Some 4.7 million LGBT older adults — known as the “Stonewell Generation” — will be seeking elder care services by 2030. But are our long-term senior living communities equipped to accommodate the needs of gay and transgender residents?

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Police departments in Michigan are urging people to call them when they see online claims of mass shooting events.

That’s after an online hoax spread across social media in Michigan on Tuesday.

The online hoax claimed that active shooters were going door to door in and around five Michigan cities. None of it happened in any of the cities. The hoax is based on the plot of a movie.

Vanessa Burt is an officer with the Detroit Police Department. She says spreading false information about shootings is malicious, reckless and irresponsible.

Children on a swing set in Detroit's ella fitzgerald park
City of Detroit

 

 

Today on Stateside, the city of Detroit is making efforts to revitalize local neighborhoods by creating new public gathering spaces. Plus, a contemporary strings band is using new techniques to electrify all genres of music.

 

Dollar General parking lot
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

In 2010, there were 247 Dollar General stores in Michigan. Now there are more than 500. 

 

And many of the new stores are located in rural areas and small towns in Northern Michigan. 

an apartment building in the midst of construction
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

 

 

A new type of apartment has been dominating American city landscapes over the past decade. People call these apartments a lot of things: “ticky-tacky,” “stumpies,” “five-over-ones,” and “dingbats.”

 

What ties them together is that they’re colorful, cheap, and nearly identical.

 

young kids playing with toys on floor
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The number of homeless kids under the age of four in Michigan could be much higher than reported by homeless service agencies.

That's according to a report from researchers at the Michigan League for Public Policy and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan.

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