Stateside

Stateside
6:25 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

How did Michigan's auto dealership franchise system start?

Credit GM

 

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law that mandates all sales of Michigan vehicles to go through franchised dealers. It's seen as a direct shot at Tesla Motors, which wants to sell its electric cars directly to consumers. 

The governor's move is welcomed by mainline automakers and dealerships. Snyder says Michigan law already prohibited automakers from selling directly to consumers.

Michigan Radio's auto reporter, Tracy Samilton, explains that dealerships could argue that the current franchising system benefits the consumers because it creates tougher competition.

 

Read more
Stateside
6:13 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Newspapers weigh perception, effectiveness of political endorsements

Credit User: Valerie Everett / Flickr

 

Newspaper endorsements are one of America's time-honored election traditions.

But as the winds of change blow through newsrooms across the nation, that tradition is changing.  

Anna Clark wrote about this for the Columbia Journalism Review. She says some major newspapers have stopped making endorsements since the trend started around 2009.

According to Clark, some newspapers are concerned about the risk endorsements may pose to their credibility. Others cited doubts about whether endorsements actually affect election results. 

Read more
Stateside
10:07 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Mead makers find enthusiastic market in Michigan

B. Nektar Meadery's Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser
Credit Scott Henderson / Flickr

UPDATE: This story was updated at 2:35 pm on 10/21/2014.  

Ever wonder where the term "honeymoon" came from? Back in the 5th century, newlyweds would drink mead for the first cycle of the moon after their marriage because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Michigan has its own growing mead scene. Brad Dahlhofer, owner of B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale, is one of the pioneer mead makers in the state.

Read more
Stateside
9:52 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Michigan Senate campaigns find deep pockets for ad spending

Michigan senatorial candidate Gary Peters
Credit Detroit Regional Chamber / Flickr

Michigan has seen a torrent of political ads in the Senate race between Gary Peters and Terri Lynn Land – more than 45,000, according to Center for Public Integrity.

Michigan has the third-highest spending of any state in a Senate race. Who's paying for these ads? Todd Spangler is the Washington reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

Read more
Stateside
9:41 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Downtown Bay City coffee shop houses trove of Beatles memorabilia

A small glimpse into the world of the Beatles And Beans Coffee Emporium
Credit User: Espresso Express Coffee House presents 'Beatles And Beans Coffee Emporium' / facebook

Most of us are pretty familiar with the sounds of a coffee shop, from the clink of cups and spoons, to the hiss of the steam wand on the espresso machine, and to voices in conversation.

At one coffee shop in downtown Bay City, you'll hear music of the Beatles. Apart from that, Brad Wilderman and his wife Peggy have turned their coffee shop, Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium, into a shrine to the Fab Four. 

"As soon as you walk in, it literally opens a time portal to 1964, when the greatest music explosion of all took place. You'll never believe from the outside in what you're about to encounter," says Brad Wilderman. 

Read more
Stateside
6:13 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Large clay-filled plume found in East Grand Traverse Bay raises environmental concerns

East Grand Traverse Bay
Credit User: Bryan Casteel / Flickr

One of Michigan's greatest natural treasures and most popular tourist destinations is Grand Traverse Bay.

So the appearance of a large plume of what looked like chocolate milk in East Grand Traverse Bay last month set off alarm bells.

It didn't take long to realize the murky plume in the East Bay came from clay-filled silt, which was seeping into the East Bay from a major construction site in Acme Township.

Now the state Department of Environmental Quality says the runoff from the Grand Traverse Town Center site violates various state and federal permits.

And those who love Grand Traverse Bay are deeply concerned.

Read more
Stateside
6:07 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

GM reports record global sales amid grim market prospects

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

ISIS, Ebola, tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, economic slowdowns in China, Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere – the profusion of gloomy headlines added up to a grim day on Wall Street yesterday, as the Dow plunged more than 450 points. 

It was the heaviest day of trading in more than three years. 

The stomach-churning day on Wall Street came exactly as General Motors announced some shiny, happy news: GM sold more cars and trucks worldwide in the third quarter than anytime since 1980.

Daniel Howes says the GM's record sales are largely powered by the relatively positive markets in North America and China. But in a lot of other parts of the world, the sales stink for GM as well as its competitors. 

Read more
Stateside
12:39 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Future of U of M's Brandon on the table at regents meeting today

Michigan Athletic Director, David Brandon.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan Board of Regents is meeting today at 3 p.m. in Flint.

It's a safe bet that one of the big issues on their agenda is the future of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says it's "90% clear where this is going to be headed."

Brandon and U-M Coach Brady Hoke came under fire when sophomore quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to play after he was injured in last month's game against Minnesota.

Morris was later diagnosed with a concussion. 

Bacon says the regents will have influence over a decision on Brandon, but it's U of M President Mark Schlissel who will have the final say. 

Schlissel turned up at football practice a week ago; Bacon says that rarely happens. It shows the issue is on the president's radar, and Schlissel is known for his emphasis on student experience – including the experience of student athletes.

Read more
Stateside
5:56 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Comprehensive mental health program for children isn't available throughout Michigan

Credit Sue Day / Flickr

Parenting a mentally ill child can be one of life's greatest challenges.

When you keep asking questions, keep searching for mental health care that can help your child, you may not get the right answers.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Alvarez is the Public Insight journalist for the State of Opportunity project.

Read more
Stateside
5:44 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

What Northern amnesia can't block out: Slaves helped build Detroit

Credit Ian Freimuth / Flickr

If you grew up in Michigan, your history books showed you images of slavery: black men and women picking cotton in the South.

Michigan, we learned, was a very important part of the Underground Railroad, helping African-Americans across the border to freedom in Canada.

But what we weren’t taught was this: Slavery helped build Detroit.

Some of the best-known names used for roads, counties, cities and schools around Southeast Michigan belong to old families who owned slaves.

Bill McGraw dug into "Detroit's Big Bad Secret" for Deadline Detroit.

Read more
Stateside
5:30 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Lessenberry: Absentee voting would benefit democracy

Credit papierdreams / Flickr

Election Day is just under a month away.

But Michigan Radio political commentator Jack Lessenberry has already voted – at his kitchen table, with an absentee ballot.

Read more
Stateside
5:03 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Ann Arbor residents say the city's art scene could use a little spark

Credit Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Grand Rapids has just wrapped up another successful ArtPrize and Detroit pulled off Dlectricity.

Those examples and more have people involved in the arts in Ann Arbor looking around the state and then asking questions about the state of creativity in Ann Arbor.

Omari Rush is curator of public programs for the Ann Arbor Art Center. He's served as an adviser for many arts organizations, including the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Read more
Stateside
4:37 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

What's a governor's role in creating Michigan jobs?

Credit Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

We are hearing it a lot this election cycle: Gov. Rick Snyder says he's created 300,000 private-sector jobs. His Democratic opponent, Mark Schauer, promises he will create more and better-paying jobs if he's elected.

But cutting through the campaign promises, what role does a governor really have in creating and keeping jobs for Michigan?

Michigan Radio's Lester Graham asks that question in his latest report for Michigan Watch, and Donald Grimes is with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy.

Read more
Stateside
7:47 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Michigan spends more on education than other states, but is it money well-spent?

Credit Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Michigan testing scores are treading water. Ron French and Chastity Pratt Dawsey of Bridge Magazine traveled across the country to study states that are getting education right. They say they discovered what it will take to pull Michigan's schools out of the mire of middling-to-poor student achievement.

Stopping in both red and blue states –  Massachusetts, Tennessee, Florida, and Minnesota – French and Pratt worked to avoided bias. 

While Massachusetts is widely known as the gold standard in education, the reporters found that Minnesota, a mid-western state comparable to Michigan, ranks No. 1 in math scores and in the top 10 in every other category.

Ten years ago, Florida and Tennessee scored lower than Michigan. In the last decade, both have ascended in the ranks and surpassed Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
7:41 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

Today on Stateside:

  • We learned from reporters who profiled four states that exceed Michigan in student achievement and performance.
  • Auto sales in China are slowing down. Who's winning and who's losing?
  • Even as much of the world goes gaga for the latest smartphone, there are people who happily stay with their old flip phone. What happens in our brains when we're always checking email and social media?
  • We found out why Michigan gas prices are falling.  
  • The world's very first floating ZIP code is right here in Michigan.
  • And Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager told us about the booming business of ziplines and adventure parks in Michigan.

* Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
7:21 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Can Detroit automakers win in the cooling Chinese market?

Credit User: Robert Heese / Flickr

Global automakers look to China to rev up their global sales, but growth in China's car sales slowed again in September. 

According to The Detroit Free Press, sales in passenger vehicles in China rose 6.4% in September from a year earlier, slowing from 8% in August and 13.9% in May. 

John McElroy is an auto analyst and host of the Autoline Daily webcast. He says the numbers are direct indicators of the economic health of the Chinese economy, which seems to be cooling down.

Read more
Stateside
7:19 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

What's behind the lower gas prices in Michigan?

Gas price under $3 in Grand Rapids, MI
Credit User: Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Michigan drivers who feared they'd seen the last of gas prices under $3 a gallon are happily discovering they were wrong.

Gasbuddy.com reports the average pump price in Michigan is $3.08 a gallon – but there are some stations where gas is less than $3 a gallon.

In West Michigan, Greenville boasts the cheapest gas in the entire country; several stations in the Montcalm County town are offering it at $2.55 a gallon.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.com, says Michigan's gas price now stands about $.10 below the national average. 

Read more
Stateside
7:10 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Enjoy Michigan's fall colors on a zip line

Credit User: Angelina Earley / Flickr

 

Michigan's fall colors are in full glory right now.

And more and more people are discovering a new way to view all of that autumn glory: by being right up there at the top of the trees on a zipline!

Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager looked into the booming business of ziplines and adventure parks in Michigan.

Creager says there are a number of Halloween-themed zip adventures that feature glowing courses at night. She also suggests these zip tours:

Read more
Stateside
7:00 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

The world's very first floating ZIP code is in Michigan

Credit User: Steven Haverty / Mailboat J.W.Westcott II/Facebook

 

The ZIP code for the J.W. Westcott, the official U.S. Postal Service mail boat serving Great Lakes vessels, is 48222.

Bill Redding is a boat captain and dispatcher with the J.W. Westcott Company.

Redding says John Ward Westcott had lots of dreams back in the late 1800s. In 1874, he put together a business – the J.W. Westcott mail boat – to find a way to deliver mail for sailors who served on the Great Lakes.

Westcott would row out to passing boats and place messages in the bucket thrown over the side of the boat – thus the slogan "mail in the pail."

Read more
Stateside
12:10 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Going back to "dumbphones" is a hip way to disconnect

Credit User: Thord Daniel Hedengren / Flickr

They're defying the smartphone tidal wave with flip phones firmly gripped in their hands.

They are the people who are do not feel the need to stay on email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 24/7. They are the people who are not interested in smartphones, thank you very much.

Going back to old-school "dumbphones" is now a hip trend and provides people with a way to disconnect.

Dave Meyer is a professor in the University of Michigan Department of Psychology, where he directs the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory. He says in the age of smartphones and constant connectivity, the question is whether we are being smart in how we use smartphones.

Read more

Pages