Stateside Staff

  • The State Senate moved at lightning speed last week to get rid of straight-ticket voting. Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry says this bill is all about partisan advantage.

  • John U. Bacon discusses College Football Playoff rankings, Harbaugh's visit to Bo Schembechler's grave and the upcoming showdown between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes in this week's sports roundup.

Picture from the Michigan-Ohio State game in 2013.
MGoBlog / Flickr -


Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us for this week's sports roundup.

Big Ten in College Football Playoff rankings

Big Ten teams are dominating the College Football Playoff rankings with four teams holding positions in the top ten.

Both Michigan State and U of M rose in the rankings this week, State from ninth to fifth and UM from 12th to 10th, while Ohio State fell from third to eighth place.

Bacon says the most surprising move was Iowa's rise to third.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

As we draw near to the annual Thanksgiving feast, those whose menus include turkey may find themselves tempted to pay more for a bird advertised with some special buzz words.

But Detroit News Finance Editor Brian J. O’Connor tells us not to be fooled by the marketing.

According to O’Connor, there are a number of labels that ultimately don’t mean anything.

“Things like young, hormone-free and cage-free, for example, are completely meaningless,” he says.

  • How well is Michigan making the transition from a roll-up-your-sleeves manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based service economy? Lou Glazer from Michigan Future Inc. has the verdict.
  • With Thanksgiving right around the corner, East Lansing food writer Maureen Abood brings us some Thanksgiving side dishes from her Lebanese kitchen.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is beset by many challenges and problems, which means the city’s newly elected mayor has not had the luxury of gradually learning the ropes.

Karen Weaver ousted incumbent Mayor Dayne Walling on November 3, making her the first woman to hold the office of mayor of Flint.

Maureen Abood with a copy of her cookbook, "Rose Water & Orange Blossoms"
Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

The Thanksgiving feast is at hand.

­If you’re a guest this year, you might be wondering what you can bring to the table.

East Lansing food writer Maureen Abood has some suggestions for one of her favorite holiday meals.

  • Things are pretty quiet at the state Capitol this week, as lawmakers continue their autumn break. But  after Thanksgiving, look for the focus to be fixed on Detroit schools, and with it, a thorny political challenge for Governor Snyder.
flickr user Elizabeth Hahn /

Research seems to suggest that millennials are suffering from a self-image problem, especially when compared with baby boomers and Gen Xers.

And considering that millennials – the age group between 18 and 34 – now make up the largest demographic in the United States work force, it’s worth trying to understand why they think of themselves the way they do.

Post office in Kingsford, MI
Lucy Blair

Even in these days of email, Skype and FaceTime, we all know the purpose of a Post Office: to sort and deliver “snail mail.”

But Lucy Blair wanted to dig deeper. She and her wife Lina wanted to know what story the post office building tells about the community, and the people who depend on it.

  • Since Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidates and many of the nation's governors began pushing to keep Syrian refugees out of their states, out of the country. Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids joins us to talk about a different message he sent in a statement at a City Commission meeting this week.
  • John U. Bacon talks Michigan football in this week's sports roundup.
flickr user Gunner's Pixs /

The Venice Biennale is considered the world’s top tier architecture show, and the city of Detroit will be in the spotlight when it opens next May.

That’s because the focus of the U.S. exhibition will be Detroit. The exhibit’s co-curators are Monica Ponce de Leon and Cynthia Davidson.

"For us to turn our backs on people now, I think is just to abdicate what it means to be an American."

That's what  Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell tells Stateside host Cynthia Canty.

The Mayor of Michigan's second-largest city recently addressed the Grand Rapids City Commission after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Flickr/jnn1776 /

For generations, the idea of the American Dream has fueled dreams, aspirations and accomplishments.Work hard and build a better life. Get ahead. And watch your children climb even farther up the ladder of success.

A recent NBC News online poll found that 57% of Americans believe the American Dream is dead.

Charles Ballard, Michigan State University economist, talks about what it means for the way we plan, spend, and work.

  • A federal lawsuit accuses Michigan State University of mishandling sexual assault complaints.
  • Detroit Free Press Capitol Hill reporter Todd Spangler talks about Gov.
Image courtesy the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

He became known to the world as “Dr. Death.” His first so-called “medicide” happened in the Detroit area in 1990.

From that point, Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian became the best-known face of the right-to-die movement. He assisted in the suicides of over 100 terminally ill people between 1990 and 1998.

He died in 2011 at age 83.

Now, Kevorkian’s papers are open to the public at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library.

user Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr /

Automakers spend a lot of time and money touting the safety features of their vehicles, all of which have dramatically improved safety for drivers and passengers.

But despite greater and more advanced safety measures, the National Safety Council tells us America is on track to have its highest traffic death toll since 2007, when over 41,000 people died on our country’s roads.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

When Gov. Rick Synder's office released a statement asking the Department of Homeland Security to review the vetting process for Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the United States after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the reaction was swift.

Soon dozens of governors declared their opposition or support of settling Syrian refugees in their respective states. 

However, Detroit Free Press Capitol Hill reporter Todd Spangler tells Stateside host Cynthia Canty that state governors have no legal say when it comes to accepting refugees. 

Screen grab

Material that repairs itself after being shot? Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but what practical applications could this have?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have teamed up with NASA to develop a material that solidifies once it's exposed to the atmosphere and could help make space travel safer. 

  • Earlier this year Gov. Rick Snyder made an appointment to the three-person Michigan Public Service Commission, the group that approves or rejects utility rate requests. His decision to appoint a former power company lobbyist raised more than a few eyebrows.
For many Flint residents, finding fresh and healthy food has become a struggle
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

To many of us, a trip to the grocery store is simply a matter of finding the time in our schedule to jump in the car and drive a few miles.

But that grocery trip presents big challenges to many of the people who live in Flint, where supermarkets are shutting down left and right.

The city lost two Kroger stores and a Meijer within eight months.

And with about half of the city’s residents living below the poverty line, many can’t afford to get a car to drive to the suburbs for fresh, healthy food.

A meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower. The photograph shows the meteor, afterglow, and wake as distinct components.
user Navicore / Wikimedia Commons

Astronomy enthusiasts are gearing up for a viewing of the Leonid meteor shower, set to peak between midnight and dawn tomorrow.

Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City is welcoming a host of stargazers for one of the biggest meteor showers of the year. Mary Stewart Adams, program director at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, spoke with Stateside about the Leonids.

The shower is produced when a comet coming through our planetary system breaks into pieces as it approaches the sun, Adams says. The Earth orbits through the comet debris, giving the appearance of falling stars.

Consumers Energy / Flickr/user

With a contentious road funding deal finally done, state legislators have some big issues to tackle when they come back from vacation, such as modifying Michigan's energy laws.  

University of Michigan

Have you noticed that there are two pronunciations for the articles “a” (“uh and “ay”) and “the” (thuh and thee)?

Do you pronounce the word “often” with or without the “t”?

In this Stateside interview we explore pronunciation issues with Anne Curzan, University of Michigan English professor and co-host of That's What They Say along with Rina Miller here on Michigan Radio.

The Vatican Observatory
Vatican Observatory /

Michigan native Brother Guy Consolmagno is one of 12 Vatican astronomers. He oversees the Vatican’s meteorite collection and was recently appointed as the director of the Vatican Observatory by Pope Francis.

A year ago, he became the first clergyman to win the Carl Sagan Medal, one of planetary science’s most distinguished honors. It’s given to the scientist who makes science accessible and understandable to the public.

  • In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Gov. Snyder puts his effort to get permission for Syrian refugees to re-settle in Michigan on hold. 
  • Rick Pluta, Lansing bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, spoke to Gov. Snyder about his decision this morning.

A recent poll finds 90% of us want to have end of life discussions of our doctors, but only 17% have actually done so
University of Michigan Medical School

No matter what your circumstances in life, there is one great and final equalizer: Every single one of us will die.

Yet it is often difficult for patients, their families and their physicians to accept the approaching end of life and to shift focus of care from curing and treating to comfort.

A coffee leaf infected with Hemileia vastatrix, or coffee rust
wikimedia user Smartse /

For many of us, the day doesn’t really start until we polish off that steaming cup of coffee.

But a fungus called "coffee rust” is putting that luxury in jeopardy. It’s attacking coffee plants across Mexico and Central America, and in recent years has caused more than $1 billion in crop losses and cost thousands of workers their jobs.

Two University of Michigan professors have been studying coffee in Mexico for nearly 20 years. They want to understand just how this fungus spreads and how best to shut it down.

A Flint resident holds a jug of tainted Flint water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Michigan’s use of emergency managers. The Flint water fiasco, the decline of the Detroit Public School system – that all happened under the watch of state-appointed emergency managers.

While much has been said and written about Detroit getting through bankruptcy quickly, there are a lot of long-lasting effects of the city’s time under an emergency manager, including, but certainly not limited to, Belle Isle Park being turned over to state management, which some Detroit residents find frustrating.

  • Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality is asking the city of Flint for information that would show where the city's lead service lines are. Federal regulations require those homes to be sampled to determine the health of the water system, but Flint doesn't know where those houses are. Lindsey Smith gives us an update.

There were around 3,600 fires in Detroit this past year
flickr user Sam Beebe /

The news site Motor City Muckraker took it upon itself to track every fire in the city of Detroit for a year.

When you take on a project like that, you begin to see and hear about the problems faced by one of the most overworked fire departments in the nation.

Steve Neavling runs Motor City Muckraker. He tells us the Detroit Fire Department was “a bureaucracy that was literally in shambles.”