Families & Community | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Families & Community

G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University

The state is kicking in $3 million to investigate evidence found from thousands of backlogged rape kits in Detroit.

Some 11,000 abandoned rape kits were found in an old Detroit police evidence locker in 2009.

By now they've all been tested for DNA.

As results come in, a lot of kits are pointing to serial rapists, because the same DNA shows up in multiple kits.

But this is when the real work begins.

"Escape Room" games have become quite popular as a video game genre. Escape Michigan is the latest venue that allows you to play the game in real life.
user haru__q / flickr

West Michigan’s first “live escape room,” is opening next month in the town of Walker, near Grand Rapids.

Based on the popular video game genre, players are locked in a room where they have to solve puzzles and link clues to eventually escape.

The former Carstens Elementary School building, on Detroit's east side, is one of many, many schools that have been shuttered in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

On Wednesday a state senate panel will review a bill that would cut off welfare benefits to families whose children skip school repeatedly.

About 29,000 families get cash assistance in Michigan now. Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has been cutting off families with kids who don’t show up for school.

Promoting health and wellness for black men

May 5, 2015
Stethoscope
Adrian Clark / Flickr

The issue of police violence against black men has been a central news story in recent weeks and months. Reverend James Dickson says many more black men are dying due to preventable and treatable illnesses. Reverend Dickson is the founder of Fitness Fellowship International, a fitness, health, and wellness initiative for black men. Dickson spoke to Jennifer White about why he started Fitness Fellowship International and how he hopes to help black men live healthier lives.

Here's their conversation:

 

Kids in Detroit learn music from U of M students

Apr 23, 2015
Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

After school on Fridays, the halls of Woodbridge Community Center are filled with music. There's the sound of guitars from one room, a cello and violin duet of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from another, and the plunking of piano keys. 

All that music is thanks to University of Michigan student Sam Saunders, and his club Seventh Mile Music. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new city park is taking shape in downtown Flint.

Millions of dollars have been spent over the years cleaning up the decades of industrial waste at the former Chevy in the Hole auto plant site in the heart of Flint. 

Now that work is largely done and community leaders are starting the next phase.

Courtesy Quicken Loans

As part of its five-year investment in Detroit, JPMorgan Chase conducted a study of the current state of the city's job force.

It released the report today, which details where there will be job openings, and what training will be needed to get those jobs. 

Chauncy Lennon is the head of workforce initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. 

"By providing people more opportunity, opportunities to get GEDs, opportunities to get other kinds of certificates and credentials, we'll be helping those folks really be in position to be candidates for these jobs."

Flickr user Yoshiyuki Takahashi / Flickr

This is International Dark Sky Week, a good time to remember that Michigan is home to an International Dark Sky Park, one of only 16 in the nation. And we've got three Dark Sky Preserves.

Headlands International Dark Sky Park is located along the shore of Lake Michigan near Mackinaw City. The park is easy to find, located just a few miles off of I-75.

You and State of Opportunity volunteering in the community

Apr 13, 2015

A short note of thanks to everyone who came out for our first Day of Opportunity. Visit the State of Opportunity website to see photos from the day.

DETROIT - A judge says the state of Michigan still has "serious problems" in collecting statistics that are crucial to improving foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.

Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds made the remark Monday as court-appointed monitors delivered their latest report.  The child welfare system has been under court oversight since 2008.

Sofia Gonzalez / flickr

A group of parents and supporters is hoping to shed light on the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.

They're called Caravana 43 and they are visiting 43 cities in the U.S., including Lansing and Ann Arbor.  

The Mexican students vanished last September from Iguala in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

Outline of proposed rezoning for Red Wing stadium.
Olympia Development

The Detroit City Council is scheduled take up a rezoning plan for the area around the new Red Wings Arena tomorrow. The proposal calls for demolishing the historic Hotel Park Avenue to make way for an underground loading dock.

But preservation groups aren't happy with the plan. Emilie Evans with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network says she supports new development, but she doesn't think "it needs to come at the cost of our historic properties and our historic architecture."

man repairs front of wwii bomber
Flickr user England / Flickr

There's a lot of talk about supporting our military veterans as they come home and transition back to civilian life. The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is standing by to help vets in a variety of ways, from employment to benefits and resources to transition assistance.

www.wcccd.edu

Being a father is both rewarding and challenging.  

But, being a black father can have its own challenges. That's what Curtis Ivery believes. 

Ivery, chancellor of the Wayne County Community College District, discusses the father’s role in a book he co-authored with his son Marcus Ivery, called Black Fatherhood: Reclaiming Our Legacy.

The book discusses the disintegration of the African-American family and the alarm it generates.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Trinity Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor announced it will not put a temporary homeless camp on its' property this summer.

The pastor, Rev. Lori Carey, says they can't get insurance for it this year.

Beginning this Thursday, Michigan Radio will begin a new series called Bringing Up Detroit, focusing on the challenges of raising healthy, successful children while navigating the city’s often unpredictable school systems, economy, transportation networks, and neighborhoods.

Flickr user Adam Fagen / Flickr

Since it was launched in 2013, the anonymous application Yik Yak has spread across college campuses. Messages are sorted by geographic location and only posts within a mile and a half radius appear.

So it's perfect for saying what you want, about whom you want without anyone knowing it's you, and that is posing problems and challenges for schools around the country.

A gun lying on a table with bullets around it.
Daniel Weber / Flickr

Earlier this month, we spoke with gun instructor Rick Ector about the increase in the number of women in Michigan with concealed pistol licenses, or CPLs.

Kristen Moore of the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America wanted to continue the conversation by exploring the role that firearms play in violence against women.

Sarah Horrigan / Flickr

The state House has adopted legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to continue to turn away LGBT couples – even if the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.

The bills would continue the current practice that could be threatened by a Supreme Court ruling. Republicans say the agencies shouldn’t be forced to choose between their religious values and performing their mission.

nofrills / Flickr

The state House is poised to vote tomorrow  that would allow faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan to turn away couples based on a religious objection to their lifestyle

  House Republicans rejected a number of amendments in preliminary debate on the legislation. They would have required agencies to put the best interests of children over religious concerns, and to state in advance who they would refuse to serve.  

Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project is kicking off National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) with a special "Day of Opportunity" on Saturday, April 11. On this day, we're encouraging our listeners to spend some of their time with us volunteering in their community.

FLICKR USER ACTION BABY CARRIERS / FLICKR

Just about anywhere you see young parents, there’s a good chance you will see Action Baby Carriers. In place of pushing a baby in a stroller, these carriers let you “wear” your baby or toddler, and these carriers are made in Detroit.

“We made a carrier that you buckle to your body, so that you can be hands free and still have your baby nice and close to you,” said Andrea Govender, who owns Action Baby Carriers with her husband.

While in an Action Baby Carrier, the baby faces inwards, toward the person wearing him or her.

ma.co. / Flickr

Legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBT couples or anyone else based on moral or religious grounds is headed to the floor of the state House.

A state House committee approved the bills as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on same-sex marriage. 

Beyond my ken / Wikimedia Commons

One of the greatest skyscrapers in Detroit is on the auction block.

The Fisher Building and its next-door neighbor, The Albert Kahn Building, have fallen into foreclosure as they struggle with fewer and fewer tenants.

Dan Austin is with the Detroit Free Press, and he runs HistoricDetroit.org.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

What's the future of Detroit's neighborhoods?

That was a question discussed by a panel at the 2015 Detroit Policy Conference

The panel included former city councilman Ken Cockrel, TechTown Detroit's Bonnie Fahoome, Victoria Kovari from the city's Department of Neighborhoods, and Tahirih Ziegler from the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp

Chez Chloe

Detroit-made mini lava cakes will soon be featured on Air France flights starting March 1.

Parisian-born Chloe Sabatier is the owner of Chez Chloe in Detroit where she specializes in traditional French lava cakes. She was stunned to learn her cakes would be on-board flights Air France flights from Detroit to Paris.

Flickr user Sean / Flickr

Almost 40% of Detroit households don't have Internet. That’s second in the nation only to Laredo, Texas.

Detroiter Brandon Moore is only a recent Internet adopter. The majority of his neighbors don't have Internet.

He says before he became connected, "it was kind of a feeling of being left behind, or left out. Not being able to experience everything that everyone else was talking about."

Deer.
user Noel Zia Lee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A recent community meeting in Ann Arbor illustrates a challenge urban areas throughout Michigan are facing: deer. Specifically, deer that are a road hazard or destroy parks and gardens.

Ann Arborites heard details of lethal or non-lethal ways to control the deer population.

A biologist from the city of Rochester Hills described his city's non-lethal program, relying on better road signage and much more community education.

Jason Lorenz / City of Flint

Flint Police K9 Officer Edo received a bullet resistant vest in a special ceremony today, after a crowdfunding campaign started by a neighborhood association successfully raised $3,500 online to buy the vest.

Officer Edo is a German shepherd, born and trained in Poland before being donated to Flint last year as the city’s sole K9 officer.

Michigan League for Public Policy

An annual report that looks at the well-being of children in Michigan shows more kids are growing up in poverty.

One in four kids lives in a household at or below the poverty line. But African-American children are twice as likely to live in poverty.

“The disparities are very troubling,” said Jane Zehnder-Merrell. She heads the project for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Pages