Families & Community | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Families & Community

Amber Marks, Nathan Marks, Paul Engel, Janice Engel stand in front of the minden city herald building
Courtesy of Nathan Marks

After decades at the helm of the Minden City Herald in Sanilac County, Paul Engel is passing control of the small town newspaper to his grandson Nathan Marks and his wife Amber. The publication has been in operation since 1889 and serves the communities of Minden City, Ubly, Harbor Beach, and Deckerville in Michigan’s Thumb.

Engel inherited the Minden City Herald from his own father, Bill Engel, who bought the paper in 1946. Before passing it on to Marks, Engel says he warned his grandson that taking on the paper would mean a huge lifestyle change.

a USPS mail truck
washjeff.edu

Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Gary Peters joins us to talk about his plans to investigate delivery delays in the United States Postal Service. Also, a check in with a University of Michigan researcher on the impact of the pandemic on Michigan's many homeless students.

instagram/thegreenmilegrille

In March of 2019, Daqwan Fistrunk opened up The Green Mile Grille in Detroit. Prior to starting the restaurant, Fistrunk spent seven years in prison, mostly at Lakeland Correctional in Coldwater, Michigan. That's where he met Jimmy Lee Hill, the executive chef at Lakeland who eventually became his mentor.

Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive order that placed a statewide moratorium on evictions lapsed on July 16th.  

A week later, federal unemployment payments of $600 a week ran out, after members of Congress failed to renew the benefits.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint religious leaders plan on taking to streets on Saturday to pray, after a recent spike in violent crime.

Kids These Days: Vaping resources and information

Jul 29, 2020

If you or a friend are trying to quit vaping, here are some resources to help. Learn more about the negative impacts of vaping and discover resources about how to help.

Library of Congress

Competing petition drives are fueling the debate over whether a statue of General George Armstrong Custer in Monroe should be removed. Statues of Confederate soldiers and leaders as well as statues of people who enslaved or murdered indigenous people, such as Christopher Columbus, are being removed in cities around the country as part of a movement to deal with racism.

Tom Rumble / Unsplash

On May 25, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer set off protests across the country, as well as conversations about how racial discrimination and disenfranchisement are upheld by different sectors of American society. This summer, Stateside is conducting a series of conversations on what systemic racism looks like. This week we hear from a journalist, a landlord, and the director of a community center about how systemic racism affects housing, from property rental to the way neighborhoods are structured.

2020 Census
Adobe Stock

Every 10 years, the United States attempts a massive feat: trying to count every person who lives here. Not only is the census a huge undertaking, it has serious implications for communities across the country. It determines how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, and helps determine the districts for state and local races as well. It also plays a role in the allocation of federal funding. 

James Colby Hook III, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Today on Stateside, a new ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court will have major implications on how counties collect money on tax foreclosed homes. As back to school season comes into view, how are teachers feeling about returning to work in uncertain times. Plus, how Sundown Towns across Michigan defined systemic racism in housing and neighborhoods.

public domain

Workers at five nursing homes in metro Detroit say they'll walk off the job today to protest working conditions.

Trece Andrews is a certified nursing assistant at Regency at St. Clair Shores. 

a red pickup truck with a sign that says NO EVICTIONS
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Community organizations in Detroit are worried about Detroit residents facing evictions as a result of COVID-19. Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not extend the statewide moratorium on evictions, which ended Thursday morning.

On Thursday, the 36th District Court extended the moratorium on evictions in the city of Detroit through August 15th. 

slemboskilaw.com/

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Wednesday that Detroit residents facing eviction due to COVID-19 can apply for legal aid and rental assistance.

The mayor said there would be $11.5 million dedicated to the program. He says the city is working with community organizations to get people help.

"We will get you to resources. United Community Housing Coalition has got lawyers for you if the landlord is evicting you in a way that is legally inappropriate, we've got good lawyers for you."

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
User wolfpeterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Housing advocates are asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to extend the moratorium on evictions. The moratorium was originally put in place in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has been extended four times via executive order. It is now set to expire at 12:01 a.m. on July 16

 

Courtesy Fay Givens

American Indian Services, an organization that has served the Native American community in Southeast Michigan for nearly 50 years, is closing its doors this week. Since 2014, the organization has seen its budget reduced by 67 percent. 

Fay Givens is the executive director of American Indian Services. She says that COVID-19 related budget cuts were the last straw. “We’re so underfunded anyways that we could not bear one more cut.”

angie reyes of the DHDC speaks at the detroit hispanic development corporation
Screenshot from the City of Detroit

Detroit’s Immigration Task Force is partnering with community organizations to distribute $750,000 in COVID-19 assistance to undocumented immigrants in Detroit. Undocumented immigrants were largely not eligible for the $1,200 stimulus checks many received as a result of the CARES Act. The $750,000 comes in the form of a grant from the Open Society Foundation.

 

money beside art equipment
Victoria М / Adobe Stock

  

Today on Stateside, developments in the cases surrounding the death of 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks at a youth facility in Kalamazoo. Also, how systemic racism impacts the mental health of Black Americans. Plus, Michigan is challenging how the U.S Department of Education is allocating coronavirus relief money.

Shelly and Cory von Achen
Shelly and Cory von Achen

Big celebrations like graduation parties, family reunions, and of course weddings, are looking very different this year. Some engaged couples have chosen to postpone their weddings, others have had to reimagine their ceremonies and receptions to fit COVID-19 safety regulations.

a police car focused on the illuminated light bar
pixabay

The Lansing Police Department says it will no longer stop drivers for traffic violations that don’t pose a threat to public safety. 

The new policy means Lansing police won’t pull drivers over for so-called secondary violations.  Those include things like cracked windshields, loud exhaust and broken tail lights.  Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green says it’s an effort to protect the constitutional rights of citizens and eliminate bias-based policing. 

Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s going to be hard to enforce hard six-feet social distancing rules as kids return to school this fall. That’s according to the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In a statement released Friday morning, the group says in-person learning and school attendance is critical for many students, especially more vulnerable students who can get left behind in the transition to remote learning. Because of that, it’s tough to get as many kids as possible back in school when strict six-feet social distancing rules are in place.

 

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The northwest Detroit neighborhood near Sinai-Grace hospital was among the country’s most devastated by COVID-19. The hospital saw so many deaths at one point, it ran out of body bags.

Wikimedia Commons/Cklane90

The popular Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids plans to lay off half its staff at the end of the month.

Blandford has been growing since the 1950s, when Mary Jane Dockeray, a nature lecturer at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, convinced the land owner to donate 17 acres to start the nature center. Blandford now includes 264 acres of trails, fields, farmland and a school, operated by Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Blandford estimates 60,000 people visit the property each year, and those visits didn’t stop when the pandemic started.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Everyone learned about Independence Day in school: on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the United States to be a free nation.

But not everyone was free. Nearly a century later, Black people remained enslaved throughout the country.

And many Americans still haven't learned about the day that celebrates their freedom: Juneteenth.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, a conversation with a community activist in Grand Rapids looking to defund the police and what that would entail. Plus, four nurses have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of DMC and Sinai-Grace over what they say was negligence and mismanagement that led to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Grand Rapids once again Friday, but this time it was to honor one of the city’s own.

Breonna Taylor was killed by police officers in Louisville, Kentucky in March, just a few months shy of her 27th birthday. Taylor was in her own room, in the middle of the night, when officers shot her while carrying out a “no knock” warrant looking for someone else.

Earlier this week, Louisville banned “no knock” warrants through legislation now known as “Breonna’s Law.”

a rainbow chalk covered sidewalk
Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

Like most things during this pandemic, Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Many of the normal gatherings and celebrations have been cancelled. Meanwhile, protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue to spread across the nation. Amid the unrest and uncertainty, some activists see this Pride Month as particularly poignant. Stateside spoke with Erin Knott, executive director at Equality Michigan, and Selma Tucker with Public Sector Consultants in Lansing about the connections between the fight for LGBTQ rights and the fight for racial justice. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Tuesday's rally to inform protesters about what happened in a meeting with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan got off to a rocky start.

Joanna Underwood, an activist who helped organize the first Detroit protest against police brutality, screamed at, ranted, and angrily lectured the protesters, along with two other activists she accused of "hijacking," the movement she was leading.

Underwood said Tristan Taylor and Nakia Wallace, who'd met with Duggan, were not legitimate leaders of the movement, because they were relatively new to the protest scene, while she'd been working for justice in the city for 15 years.  

woman holding a sign that says "black lives matter"
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The political will for police reform has made a big leap forward this year. But once we get to the point of acting on proposed changes, it will be important to have data that tells us what's happening. 

Brian Jennings stands at the front of a crowd of protesters who marched through Grand Rapids Wednesday.
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids officials told residents the city is commited to implementing changes to make policing more accountable, and safer for residents, in an online update forum on Friday.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Update: Brian Jennings was arrested by Grand Rapids police Thursday afternoon. The Kent County Prosecutor's office initially told Michigan Radio Jennings was charged with destruction of property separately from the destruction that happened in the downtown core on Saturday night. Since then, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says additional charges have been filed for rioting, breaking and entering and destruction of property at 82 Ionia on Saturday. The Kent County Prosecutors office is located in the building. 

Hundreds of angry people with no leader, and no plan.

A city, and a police department, on edge.

That was Grand Rapids again last night, less than a week after protests downtown turned to destruction and looting.

But last night, things turned out differently.

Pages