Stateside

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NWF / screenshot from YouTube video

With national attention being paid to the Keystone XL pipeline, Michigan Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have introduced amendments to the controversial legislation.

Today on Stateside:

  • Gary Peters explains his amendments to the Keystone pipeline bill.
  • The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously decided to approve use of police body cameras. Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith tells us when we can expect the plan to be put into action.
  • Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard talks to us about how the economic struggles of the millennial generation could affect the future.
  • Author John Kotzian describes his biography of a Michigan preacher lovingly known as the "sky pilot of the Great Lakes," who played a role in the founding of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The DNR is considering selling more than 10,000 acres of state-managed forest, but many of the department’s division heads are against it.
  • John U. Bacon discusses the overblown “deflategate” scandal and the upcoming Super Bowl.
  • Paul Eisenstein, publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com, tells us what to expect from automakers' upcoming Super Bowl advertisements.
YouTube / YouTube

Many of the most memorable commercials during past Super Bowls have come from automakers, but fewer will be participating in the expensive marketing during the event this year.

Flickr user Keith Allison / Flickr

After it was discovered that 11 of the 12 game balls used by the New England Patriots during their victory against the Indianapolis Colts were deflated, the media created a new-found obsession over the PSI of a football, in a scandal  dubbed "deflategate."

police officer directing traffic
Flickr user lincolnblues / Flickr

The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously decided this morning to approve requiring city police to wear body cameras.

Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith says the decision is part of a $1.5 million public safety plan that was unveiled earlier this month. The plan also includes hiring more police officers, a study of racial profiling in the area, and creating more inclusive hiring practices for the city, according to Smith.

The millennial generation has had the challenge of dealing with record-high student debt rates.
Simon Cunningham / flickr.com

They tend to not want credit cards or cars. They are postponing marriage, frequently choosing to live at home with mom and dad.  They are grappling with a distressed economy and have high poverty rates to prove it.

They are the millennials, the 18-34 year olds of American society today.

What do all the trends of the millennial generation mean for the future economy as the baby-boom generation moves into retirement and beyond?

Today on Stateside:

  • Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health and professor at the University of Michigan, talks about the measles outbreak, which has made it to Michigan.
Vaccine informational sheets.
user DARWIN.WINS / Flickr

The measles outbreak has made it to Michigan.

After the mounting headlines about an outbreak that seems to have begun in California’s Disneyland, the first Michigan case was diagnosed late last week.

The diagnosed individual is an adult in Oakland country and according to Dr. Matthew Davis, the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health and a Professor at the University of Michigan, this case may well be connected to the Disneyland outbreak.

Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

Michigan’s economy is changing, and our state’s investment culture must change along with it. As we work to diversify by stimulating entrepreneurship, innovation and talent attraction, among many other things, more Michigan residents with money to invest must learn to see that betting on new local businesses is worthwhile, even if the potential for them to fail is high. 

Last week, we told you about Rebecca Scherm, an emerging Ann Arbor author who has broken into the literary scene with her novel Unbecoming

As Kate Wells explains:

Stan Larkin, the first Michigan patient to receive an artificial heart.
University of Michigan

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with heart failure. These failures can advance to the point where medications, stents, pacemakers, and lifestyle changes are no longer effective options. If that happens, patients may wind up on a list for a new heart transplant.

Flickr user Joel Dinda / Flickr

Ghost towns don't only belong to the Old West. You can find them scattered all over Michigan, including Glen Haven, located in the Leelanau Peninsula right inside the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Marie Scott is a park ranger in the area. She says the town began before the civil war as a stop for steamers to pick up wood for fuel. As the traffic picked up, it grew from only a dock to a fully functioning town.

Photo courtesy of www.gophouse.com

In his State of the State address this week, Governor Snyder highlighted how Michigan has made a comeback since the Great Recession. But Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says the state still has a long recovery ahead.

Howes highlights in his recent article how Michigan has gone through a transformation that makes it impossible to truly return to where we once were. He emphasizes that Michigan shouldn’t be thinking in terms of the past, but instead focusing on truly moving forward.

portrait of Phoebe Gloeckner
Stamps School of Art and Design / Stamps School of Art and Design website

This year's Sundance Film Festival has extra-special meaning for a University of Michigan professor.

Phoebe Gloeckner is a professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Her 2002 graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl has been made into a feature film starring Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig that will premiere this weekend at Sundance.

A rally last year in Canton, Mississippi for Nissan workers.
user peoplesworld / Flickr

  Amidst the buzz over the shiny new cars, trucks and SUVs on display at the North American International Auto Show are voices of protest. They represent workers at Nissan's assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi who feel betrayed by the automaker's promise of good jobs.

Flickr/CityGypsy11

The Next Idea

In the recent elections last November, Michigan had the lowest turnout, percentage-wise, since 1990. 

Recent national polls show more citizens lack trust in elected officials to serve the public good over private interests than ever before. Elections across the country are now more driven by the excessive wealth of a few, mostly white males, who also help shape the issues discussed, and when they are discussed.

FLICKR USER TARAN RAMPERSAD / FLICKR

A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Washington believes that Beethoven’s music came from his heart – literally. The team is proposing an intriguing theory: that Beethoven’s masterful compositions were influenced by his cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr. Joel Howell is a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, a medical historian and a member of the team that has developed this theory.

The team also includes Zachary Goldberger, a cardiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Robert Johnson, a musicologist specializing in Beethoven from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Today on Stateside:

  • U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee and Mike Bishop discuss their reaction to the State of the Union address last night.
  • Craig Thiel, the Senior Research Associate with the Citizens Research Council, talks about the council’s new report, which spotlights shrinking school enrollment, and offers solutions.
  • Dr. Joel Howell talks about his team’s new theory:  Beethoven’s music was influenced by his cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio Network and our own Zoe Clark of Michigan Radio report on the State of the Union address last night.
FLICKR USER STEVEN DEPOLO / FLICKR

One of the most challenging issues facing the new state Legislature is school finance.

The Citizens Research Council recently released a report spotlighting shrinking school enrollment and the associated financial difficulties for districts. The report offers suggestions about how Lansing could support these struggling districts.

Craig Thiel, senior research associate with the Citizens Research Council, joined us today. He says the last time school enrollment was close to what it is now was the late 1950s.

Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his 2015 State of the State address.
Gov. Snyder / YouTube

We checked in with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team. They were in Lansing last night covering the governor's address. Clark and Pluta cover the highlights from Governor Snyder's 2015 wishlist.

Listen to their thoughts below.


President Obama addresses Congress for his 2015 State of the Union address.
White House

For political junkies, Tuesday night was a double feature. First Gov. Snyder’s State of the State address followed by President Obama’s State of the Union address.

We got some reaction from Michigan's members of Congress.

First up, Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee  – listen below.

Next, we spoke with Republican Congressman Mike Bishop – listen below.

car lights during winter rush hour
Flickr user jpstanley / Flickr

On January 9 in eastern Kalamazoo County, 193 vehicles crashed on both sides of I-94. A truck driver was killed and 22 others were sent to the hospital.

Michigan State Police are still investigating the chain-reaction crashes. But the Michigan Department of Transportation blamed driver behavior and speed for the pileup.

Lynette Smith

Many birds leave Michigan for warmer weather. But what birds stay here and tough it out with us in the frigid weather?

Macklin Smith, a University of Michigan professor emeritus of English and a veteran bird watcher, tells us which birds we can expect to hear during the colder months.

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Governor Snyder delivers his fifth State of the State address tonight and co-hosts of It's Just Politics,  Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, are in Lansing preparing to cover the speech. They gave us a preview of what might be addressed tonight.

Rick Snyder wants the U.S., not Canada, to pay for the Ambassador Bridge's customs plaza.
Michigan.gov

President Obama prepares to deliver the State of the Union speech tonight and Governor Snyder will also be delivering his State of the State address. In their time in office both leaders have gone through their ups and downs of approval ratings, but where do they fall now?

Michigan State economics Professor Charles Ballard keeps track of how both men fare in Michigan and says for the first time in the surveys they've conducted since Governor Snyder took office his approval ratings are higher than President Obama's in Michigan.

  Today on Stateside:

A sunset in Havana.
José Eduardo Deboni / Flickr

The United States took a major step toward establishing relations with Cuba after a deep freeze that has lasted over half a century.

A congressional delegation met yesterday with Cuban officials in Havana. Among the delegation was Michigan's senior senator, Debbie Stabenow, D-MI.

Creating4Change

Michigan filmmaker Sophia Kruz is exploring the ways art empowers women all around the world. She is hard at work shooting what will be a full-length film called Creating4Change along with raising the money to make it.

Today on Stateside:

  • A new chapter for U.S. and Cuba relations
  • Green vehicles in this time of falling gas prices.
  • The American Dialect Society has chosen its word of the year for 2014: #BlackLivesMatter
  • How much do Americans support the EPA's Clean Power Plan? A new CLOSUP survey offers some answers.
  • Our next installment of The Next Idea.

On this Martin Luther King Day, let's consider the 2014 Word of the Year from the American Dialect Society.

Other groups around the world offer up their Word of the Year choices. This one comes from the nation's top grammarians, language enthusiasts and linguists, including our guest today, Sonja Laneheart.

Laneheart is a professor of linguistics at the University of Texas-San Antonio. She did her masters and PhD at the University of Michigan.

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