News

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Union members have been a key voting demographic in Michigan for decades.

Historically, they’ve been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats. But in 2016, the Trump campaign hopes to change that. 

Hillary Clinton can pretty much write off Joe Kinder’s vote. He’s a retired Ford UAW worker.   

“As far as Clinton goes, she can’t be trusted," says Kinder. "I wouldn’t vote for her."

Kinder, like other members of organized labor, believes the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by former President Bill Clinton, was a bad deal for American workers.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tammie Lewis sat in her seat crying as Bernie Sanders finished his speech to the Democratic National Convention last night. Sanders spoke about what the campaign had achieved. Lewis could only think of what she has lost.

“I’m just upset,” Lewis said as tears streamed down her cheeks, “Nothing’s going to change.  He was my only hope."

Other Bernie Sanders delegates from Michigan sat stone-faced as their candidate extolled the virtues of Hillary Clinton.  

Melissa Arab stood holding a pro-Hillary sign she had altered to read STOP HER.

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit man is going to prison for 25 to 50 years, after his 9-year-old son was accidentally shot by a sibling.

It's one of several cases where prosecutors are going after adults for leaving guns where kids can find them.

On November 9, the 9-year-old boy and his then-10 year old sister were playing in their dad's bedroom and acting out a video game.

A Minute with Mike: Yoopers vs Trolls

Jul 25, 2016
Vic Reyes

 

I was recently on the world wide webs and came across a fairly funny vanity license plate. It had a star spangle bannered Upper Peninsula and a caption that read “American by birth. Yooper by the grace of God.”

 

Funny enough for a 1977 Ford Granada but I won’t be screwing that onto my bumper any time soon.

 

But that plate got me thinking: Yooper is the universal unofficial term for our fellow Michiganeers in the Upper Peninsula but what about us in the Lower Peninsula?

Garden Fresh

You may not know Dave Zilko's name, but you've probably seen his products in your grocery store.  Zilko is the former vice chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet. He and business partners Jack and Annette Aronson took a scrappy little Oakland County company that was deep in debt and turned it into the number one brand of fresh salsa in North America, with revenues topping $100 million.  Last June, Garden Fresh was sold to Campbell Soup Company for $231 million.

Jeffery Allen Ford writes: "Psychological experts have determined that Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Michelangelo were all extremely high-functioning individuals with autism."
Courtesy of Jeffery Allen Ford

The Next Idea

We in Michigan usually take great pride in our state's natural beauty and precious resources. So, I find it incredibly disheartening that one of our state's most beautiful and precious resources – its autistic community – is largely misunderstood, marginalized and woefully under-valued.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012/Flickr

 

Don Williams of Holland posed this question to our M I Curious team:

Why are public resources for mental health issues very uneven between Michigan counties?

There are thousands of journalists in Philadelphia today, covering the opening of the Democratic National Convention. I don’t want to give anything away, but the Democrats are going to end up nominating Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Remember, you heard it here first. But there are fewer print reporters than there used to be, and they will return to newsrooms that have a small fraction of the staffs they once did. Increasingly, so-called dailies don’t deliver every day, or cover nearly as many stories.

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s staying out of the presidential race this year, but he’s not staying out of politics.

This past week, Snyder’s political operation picked more than a dozen Republicans to support in state races.

Savor the sounds of a song bath
Kyle Norris/Michigan Radio

Here’s how the Threshold Choir works. Typically, Hospice or a family member call ups the choir when someone is sick or dying. A small group of singers arrive at the person’s bedside and sing very simple songs with lyrics like “You are not alone, I am here beside you.”

Choir members say it’s not a performance but rather a way to be present with someone who’s dying.

Their friends tease them that singing to people on their deathbed must be depressing. But the singers say it’s energizing and life-affirming. They say it’s the opposite of depressing.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Democratic National Convention starts today.

There are some Michiganders in Philadelphia this week hoping to change the all-but-certain outcome.

A rag tag caravan of cars, vans and campers rolled into the Parvin State Park campground in southern New Jersey just after 10 o’clock Saturday night.

Almost immediately a group of Bernie Sanders supporters picked up guitars and started singing.

The campground in south Jersey is about as far from Philadelphia as these Sanders supporters are from voting for Hillary Clinton in November.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needed to resign her job. 

Revelations that the DNC under Wasserman-Schultz’ leadership tried to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign led to her announcement Sunday to step down.

Dingell says Wasserman-Schultz is a friend, but the Florida congresswoman had to go.

Some things are inevitable when you’re a radio host.

It’s almost time to go on the air, and you're ready. Your headlines are juicy and your weather forecast is spot on.

You’ve even got a great line to get people to listen to that segment on the mating rituals of the brown marmorated stink bug. 

Your finger is poised over the microphone button, and then you think, “Maybe I should check the traffic map one last time, just in case.”

Why not? You've got 30 whole seconds to spare.

That's when you see it.

Matt Picio / Flickr

An ambitious plan to expand and upgrade regional transit in Metro Detroit might stall out because two key regional players aren’t on board.

Those two key players are Oakland and Macomb counties.

The Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority wants to put a millage on the November ballot, that would raise about $3 billion (estimates vary) over 20 years to fund its proposed transit master plan.

The RTA board was supposed to approve the ballot measure this week, but ended up postponing the vote at the last minute.

Outside the RNC in Cleveland.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Rebecca Kruth and Jack Lessenberry wrap up the Republican National Convention and look toward Philadelphia where the Democratic National Convention is set for next week. Kruth and Lessenberry also discuss a federal ruling that blocks Michigan’s ban on straight ticket voting and the loss of one of the state’s most prominent LGBT rights advocates.


Forget the cheering, bravado and juvenile attacks that came from Republicans in Cleveland this week.

Ignore the apocalyptic predictions of what could become of the United States should either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton be elected president.

Ask yourself only this: Is this the best we can do?

The 12th Street Riot began in the early hours of July 23, 1967 following a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar on the corner of 12th and Clairmount.
Public Domain

In the summer of 1967, the streets of Detroit shook with violence.

Civil unrest over lack of housing for blacks and open animosity with the mostly white police department boiled over in the early morning hours of July 23.

What began with a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours club grew into rioting and looting that devastated parts of the city and lasted for days.

Then-governor George Romney called in the National Guard, and President Lyndon Johnson sent in paratroopers to help quell the violence. 

Inside the Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's water rates are on track to double in the next five years – even though the city already pays some of the highest water rates in the country.

That was a big takeaway at a meeting today of the team charged with overseeing Flint’s recovery. 

Right now, the typical water bill in Flint is $53.84 a month. But it could be $101.95 in five years, if nothing changes.

That’s because of the growing gap between what Flint’s water system costs, and the city’s shrinking customer base.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona.
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Though he's attended in the past, former Kalamazoo County Republican chair Dave Worthams did not attend this year's Republican National Convention. 

But he did watch Donald Trump's Thursday night acceptance speech from home, and told us he didn't really like everything he saw. 

Ford Motor Company

Using plants to make plastics is an idea that’s been around for a while. Henry Ford produced an experimental car with a soybean plastic exterior in 1941.

Now, 75 years later, Ford is looking to make car parts out of another plant, a plant that’s best known for being an ingredient in Tequila.

Governor Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan / Facebook Page

Fewer than half of Michigan’s local leaders are optimistic about the state’s direction, and more of those leaders have soured on Governor Snyder’s leadership.

That’s according to the latest results from a twice-yearly University of Michigan survey.

The feelings about the state’s overall direction are just slightly more pessimistic than a year ago, but down significantly from 2014, when 55% of local leaders felt good about the state’s prospects. Now, it’s 44%.

Something happened in a courtroom in Detroit Thursday that may have more impact on the November elections in Michigan than anything at the Republican convention.

Earlier this year, Republicans in the legislature outlawed straight-ticket voting in all elections in Michigan. They gave a lot of phony excuses for why they did this, but the real reason is clear. Straight-ticket voting tends to help Democrats, especially for offices that are less high-profile, like board of education seats.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

French 75

1-1/2 oz gin (Detroit City Distillery Railroad gin)

1/2 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

2  oz champagne/sparkling wine

Garnish: lemon twist

Shake first three ingredients with ice, strain into champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish.

The debate about raising the speed limit on Michigan freeways to 75 miles per hour made Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings think of the cocktail called the French 75. 

Philadelphia, the hometown of Michigan Radio reporter Steve Carmody and the site of next week's Democratic National Convention.
Peter Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last week, Michigan Radio's news director Vincent Duffy previewed the sights and sounds of Cleveland, his hometown, in advance of this week's Republican National Convention. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican leaders are moving on from this week’s national convention with issues to address.

State Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney-McDaniel says support is coalescing around Republican nominee Donald Trump. But she says the refusal of some of Trump’s former rivals to endorse him is a problem. 

“Bush, Kasich and Cruz, those are the ones that are not coming around. I understand it was a tough primary.   But if they don’t lead, it hurts our party,” says Romney-McDaniel. “Hopefully they’ll grow up soon.”

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The first thing you notice about the street in front of Walter Hicks' home is it's peaceful.  There are lots of trees, chirping birds, and most of the lawns are mowed.  

But then you see that the houses on either side of Hicks' home are boarded up. And there are lots of boarded up homes all down the street. 

That doesn't seem to put even a little dent in his pride of ownership.

Peeling lead paint.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Some Grand Rapids homes are about to get a lot safer.

The city is among 23 state and local agencies across the country to receive Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lead paint has been banned from use in housing since 1978, but it's still on the walls and woodwork in many older Michigan homes.

"It was marketed as 'the good paint', so if you cared about your home, then you used it," said Doug Stek, who directs hazard control projects for the City of Grand Rapids.

A design concept for the video game "Tuebor."
SiN Studios, Project Tuebor

A Lansing-based video game company is putting the final touches on a video game that got a big helping hand from a Michigan State University computer science expert. 

The game is called Tuebor, which means "I will defend" in Latin.

Scott Reschke has been laboring over this game for years, so it's a big moment to see this work come to fruition.

Beachgirlphotography.com

Michigan Bookmark is a series that features Michigan authors reviewing Michigan books.

Seasonal Roads is the title of L.E. Kimball’s impressive new book of stories. The title refers to roads that are unplowed and therefore unpassable in winter. Kimball guides you down some of these roads in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – into cabins, forests, and rivers, and into the lives of three women. Author Lisa Lenzo has this review.

Michigan could see a West Nile virus outbreak this year

Jul 21, 2016
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The wetter the summer, the more mosquitos you’re likely to find outside.

In hot, dry summers, like the summer we are having now, there are fewer mosquitoes. But the mosquitos that are around pose a greater threat. That’s because West Nile virus spreads more easily in warm weather.

This summer Michigan State University has predicted an outbreak of West Nile in Michigan.

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