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Stateside Staff

Stateside 9.8.2016

Sep 8, 2016

Today, we hear how saving your stem cells could help you in old age. And, we learn about an Algonac teacher's plan to move into a Habitat for Humanity home.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel was appointed to lead the effort to get lead water pipes out of Flint. 

That was back in February. 

Here we are, seven months later, and McDaniel has yet to be paid one thin dime for his work.

Courtesy of Huberty Massey / www.hubertmasseymurals.com

One of the world's most famous examples of frescoes is the Diego Rivera work at the Detroit Institute of Arts. They’re called the Detroit Industry murals.

In that same tradition, artist Hubert Massey is preparing to paint a large mural, 30 feet by 30 feet, in the fresco style for Detroit's Cobo Center.

Michigan’s Treasury Department deserves blame for its role in the Flint water crisis, according to a new report.
Flickr user Ian Freimuth / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Audio Pending...

With the white-hot glare of worldwide publicity fixed on Flint, one might think the city would avoid doing anything to draw more attention. 

Like, for example, failing to pay the man heading the push to replace those lead pipes. 

Retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel was appointed to lead the effort to rid the city of its lead pipes back in February. Seven months later, he hasn't seen a penny. 

Mark Katakowski explained that as we age, the number, function and "therapeutic potential" of our bodies' stem cells diminshes.
flickr user Tareq Salahuddin / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Could the ancient search for the Fountain of Youth lead to Ann Arbor?

That's where a company called Forever Labs is working to solve the universal problem of getting old. 

Its solution: store your stem cells when you're a young adult so you can use them as you age.

Flickr user EL Gringo/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You decide to become a teacher because you want to help, to see your students grow and learn. 

But take a deep dive into teacher pay and you'll discover that teachers are taking a beating on that front.

A new study from the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute shows that in 2015, the weekly wages of public school teachers in this country were 17% lower than comparable college-educated professionals.

And who's hurt the most? Male teachers and veteran teachers. 

Photo of Koegel Meats.
user Erica Firment / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Why mess with success?

That seems to be the philosophy of a venerable Flint company as it marks its 100th anniversary this year.

Koegel Meats still makes its products the same way it always has, with the same ingredients as it did on the first day. Koegel’s has also stuck with Flint, its original home base, through good times and bad.

Stateside 9.7.2016

Sep 7, 2016

Today, we hear what's to come for the eight state employees charged with crimes in the Flint water crisis. And, we learn that labels didn't stop one family from achieving full inclusion for their son with a developmental disability.

"Black people don't necessarily need choice, they need power," Perry told us. "The reason why black communities' schools are not doing well is because black communities are not doing well."
Flickr user Bart Everson/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Proponents of publicly funded, privately run charter schools hail them as the way to keep public schools and public school teachers "on their toes" by creating competition. 

Here in Michigan we have roughly 145,000 students in more than 300 charter schools, according to Education Trust Midwest.

And a report that group released earlier this year showed that charter school enrollment in the 2014-2015 school year consisted of disproportionately minority and low-income students. 

Ron Fournier at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Research Symposium in 2006.
flickr user Josh Hallett / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's taken more than 30 years, but Ron Fournier has finally found his way home to Detroit. 

After a career that took him to Hot Springs, where he covered a young Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton; to Washington, where he built a national political reporting career at the Associated Press, the National Journal and The Atlantic; Fournier is back in the Motor City. 

This is day one of his new job as associate publisher of Crain's Detroit Business

Courtesy of Olivia Johnson

College expenses are rising. There’s no doubt about that.

Trying to pay for tuition, books, a place to live and more can stretch a budget to its breaking point.

Olivia Johnson, a criminal justice student at Ferris State University, knows that struggle, and she’s seen it on campus.

That’s why she started the Student Emergency Food Pantry for Ferris students this year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There was a probable cause hearing today for the eight defendants charged by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in the Flint water disaster. What does that mean, and how does today's hearing fit into the legal process?

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning joined Stateside to provide some answers.

For starters, what is a probable cause conference?

Janice Fialka, left, with her husband Rich, son Micah and daughter Emma in Syracuse.
Courtesy of Janice Fialka

How do you express your feelings when a team of experts sits you down to tell you your child is developmentally disabled?

When Janice Fialkaof Huntington Woods came home reeling from such a case conference about her five-year-old son Micah, she sat down and tried to put her feelings into words.

The result was a poem she calls Advice to Professionals who must "conference cases."

"I want my son back," she writes. "I want him back now. Then I'll get on with my life."

And that she did. Fialka and her family - husband Rich, daughter Emma and son Micah - launched themselves on a mission to prove that labels and IQ tests are not true measures of someone's ability to be valuable to the world, to contribute, to learn. 

Stateside 9.6.2016

Sep 6, 2016

Today, we take a look at opioid addiction in Michigan. And, we celebrate the Upper Peninsula with the "official unofficial ambassador" of the U.P.

Kristy Kopec told us that though she didn't know it at the time, but "it was all over with" the first time she took opiates.
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan has a fierce fight on its hands. A fight to keep people out of the clutches of opioid and heroin addiction. 

A vial of prescription drugs
Flickr user SHARYN MORROW / FLICKR / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

“I remember looking at some of the early federal reports involving opioid pain killers and overdose deaths and they had increased so rapidly, when I was looking at the data I was convinced someone had put a decimal point in the wrong place,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny said.

Kolodny is a senior scientist at Brandeis University and executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. He spent time working in addiction medicine in New York City during the early 2000s.

“The sharp increase was very real and what we would ultimately come to recognize is that we were at the beginning of a new, very severe epidemic,” Kolodny said.

Andrew Colom and Davide Alade
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When we talk about investment in Detroit, the likes of Dan Gilbert or Christopher Ilitch come to mind. Certainly Gilbert has led the way in buying downtown buildings, reshaping the look of downtown Detroit. 

But today, we're going to look at investment in Detroit's neighborhoods.

Andrew Colom and David Alade both gave up jobs to move to Detroit and launch an investment company called Century Partners

Their idea was to invest in Detroit's neighborhoods, and to close the wealth disparity gap by helping people invest in the rehabilitation of their neighborhoods. 

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas
flickr user Always Shooting / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Happy 906 Day!

Michigan's Yoopers want us all to know that today is the day to celebrate what they consider to be America's greatest area code. 

Bugsy Sailor is the self-titled "Official Unofficial Ambassador of the Upper Peninsula."

He joined us today to talk about the U.P. why the 906 area code deserves its very own day of celebration.

The number of fishing licenses purchased in 2016 was up from a year ago, according to Travel Michigan
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Kids across Michigan got packed off to school today, which marks the end of the summer tourism season.

As we start to say goodbye to summer, we wondered how Michigan's travel industry fared this year.

According to MLive.com, Western Michigan, Central Michigan (both shown) and Eastern Michigan spent $72.6 million in institutional funds on athletics, more than the 10 other public universities in Michigan combined
Flickr user Jacob Enos/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

MLive recently published an in-depth look at Michigan's public universities, and how they subsidize sports with tuition dollars. 

What stood out more than anything is the fact that among the schools that offer NCAA-level athletics, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan collectively spend more tuition dollars on sports than the other ten public universities combined. 

Ryan Grimes/Michigan Radio

The sex offender registry is a popular tool. A lot of folks keep tabs on people moving into their neighborhood, just in case. It makes people feel safer.   

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that laws regarding Michigan's sex offender registry cannot be applied retroactively. 

Stateside 9.2.2016

Sep 2, 2016

Today, a superintendent explains how students benefit from starting school before Labor Day. And, we Cheers! to the weekend with tequila from a tire shop.

Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

School starts next week. This year kids will be spending a few more days in the classroom.

Holland Public Schools Superintendent Brian Davis joined us today to talk about where on the calendar schools plan to squeeze in those extra days, and why more and more schools are asking the state for a waiver to start holding class before Labor Day. 

Dohn Hoyle, the director of public policy of The Arc: "There's not been anything that we've seen ... that leads us to believe that the governor's original [mental health funding] plan makes any sense."
Matthileo/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder has put forth a proposal to privatize all or part of Michigan's mental health system. The governor has suggested $2.4 billion be shifted to Medicaid HMOs rather than public mental health organizations, according to reports in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley has been heading up discussions with work group of public mental health agencies and advocacy groups. But it appears those talks have broken down.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state Legislature gets back to business next week after its 12-week summer break. 

Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas joined us today to talk about what we should expect to see from the Legislature in the remaining months of 2016.

Stateside 9.1.2016

Sep 1, 2016

 

Today, we hear how Michigan may be overlooking its gifted students in schools. And, is it possible that the tattoo on your body isn't actually yours?

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Flickr user Dave Hogg/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There’s more than football happening at tonight’s NFL pre-season game in San Diego.

It will be the first time 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernik will play since refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Kaepernik said he’s taking this action to protest racism in a country he said oppresses black people and people of color.

This protest is the newest chapter in the long-evolving history of our country’s national anthem. And it’s bringing fourth fresh criticism that the national anthem is, itself, racist.

University of Michigan music history professor Mark Clague disagrees, though he’s grateful to critics like Kaepernik for calling attention to the issue.

Flickr user USDAgov/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

There are frequent and spirited discussions about students who aren’t getting what they need to succeed in Michigan’s public schools.

Nanette Janecke of Western Michigan University is adding another group of students to that conversation: gifted students.

They’re students who could achieve a lot, but who – in most Michigan school districts – aren’t given many tools for success, Janecke said.

Courtesy of Jewell Jones

The sudden death this summer of State Representative Julie Plawecki forced Democrats to take quick action.

She had been running unopposed for the State House seat in the 11th District, which covers Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Garden City, Livonia and Westland.

21-year-old Inkster City Councilman Jewell Jones is the party’s choice to run in Plawecki’s place.

If he wins in November, he’ll become the youngest person ever elected as a state lawmaker.

Flickr user Terry Johnston/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Sharp-eyed viewers of the recently-concluded Summer Olympics might have noticed that American swimmers Matt Greves and Ryan Lochte both have tattoos of the Olympic rings on their biceps. 

They’re not the only athletes to do that, but is it legal? Can you decide to express your love for your Harley-Davidson by inking the company’s logo on your body?

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