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First interurban cars on the Detroit, Almont and Northern Railroad. Almont, Michigan, July 1, 1914
flickr user Wystan /

Construction of the M-1 streetcar line continues along Woodward Avenue in Detroit running from downtown to Grand Boulevard in Midtown.

The new streetcars won’t be up and running until sometime in 2017.

Today on Stateside:

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler Automotive's UAW members vote this week on whether to ratify the second contract put before them. The first tentative contract agreement went down to resounding defeat, forcing the union and FCA to try again.

Much of the opposition to the first deal was fired up on social media. At the same time, the union was widely viewed as having stumbled badly on its social media presence defending the deal.

They're not letting that happen this time.

Brent Snavely of the Detroit Free Press joined Stateside to talk about the negotiations. 

“John W. Hoag, Daguerrean Artist, Lansing, Mich., Dec. 14th, 1849.” This daguerreotype self-portrait with sign-board indicates the sitter’s profession. Likely the earliest known portrait of a Michigan photographer.
William L. Clements Library

There are many ways to revisit the stories of our past. Textbooks, journals and diaries, audio recordings and photographs – they all tell tales that might otherwise slip into the white noise of history.

David Tinder has been collection early Michigan photographs for all types for roughly 40 years now.

His collection of some 100,000 vintage images will be preserved at the University of Michigan Clements Library.

Tinder tells us he was always a collector of many things, but started gathering photos in 1964 when he bought a book on stereoviews.

Are the arts a luxury or an economic necessity?

Oct 19, 2015
Melanie Goulish

The Next Idea

Most of us have a sense that the arts contribute to a community’s economic well-being. Measuring that feeling in real economic terms, however, is quite difficult.

We know that arts and culture enhance where we live, but when it comes to determining where to invest money for our state’s future, it’s not clear how the arts really add up.

Today on Stateside: 

The Orbit logo
Rob St. Mary

Last December, journalist and Macomb County native Rob St. Mary had just gotten enough funding to publish an anthology saluting the work of three independent music arts magazines from the last days of a pre-Internet Michigan.

Re-Entry: The Orbit Magazine Anthology has arrived, packing in two decades’ worth of Detroit’s alternative publishing history.

Michigan drivers have become all too familiar with the dreaded pothole.
flickr user Michael Gil /

Gov. Rick Snyder’s mantra of “relentless, positive action” hit a great big pothole this week.

Negotiations over that elusive road funding plan hit what the governor calls “an impasse” when Democrats would not agree to an across-the-board income tax cut.

The Detroit News’ Daniel Howes makes the point in his column today that our state representatives can sit in session all night long to get rid of a couple of philandering tea partiers, but can't come up with an answer for voters all over Michigan screaming for a roads fix.

MW Cranson / Facebook

Organizers of Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant will attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for gathering the most Rosie the Riveters on Oct. 24.

“Michigan is where the original Rosie the Riveter came from and we have to keep that Guinness record here in Michigan,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, co-chair of the organizing committee.

Last year, 776 Rosies gathered at Willow Run and that set a Guinness record, but the record was lost to Rockin' Rosies of Richmond with 1,084 Rosies in California in August 2015.

Flickr/Tri Mode /

The Next Idea

Michigan makes things, millions of things. And not only do we manufacture them, we invent and design them. For a century, Michigan has led the form and function of furniture, appliances, medical devices, automobiles, aerospace, and agricultural products.

Today on Stateside:

Courtney of Dispute Resolution Center

There are bipartisan bills in the Michigan Legislature aimed at changing the way juveniles are sentenced in court. According to the bill sponsors there are about 600 17-year-olds in Michigan corrections system – almost 350 of those are "juvenile lifers."

What if young people could learn effective, peaceful ways of resolving conflicts – ways to settle a dispute without resorting to violence?

The Ambassador Bridge's owner wants to turn an old neighborhood at the foot of the bridge into a secondary truck inspection plaza.
flickr user Alan Levine /

There has been plenty of legal wrangling over Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun’s desire to block the new Gordie Howe Bridge and build a second bridge right next to the Ambassador.

Across the Detroit River, the city of Windsor has taken its complaint with Moroun all the way up to Canada’s Supreme Court.

MDEQ Director Dan Wyant talks with the media last Thursday (Oct. 8) when the state announced its support for a move back to Detroit water.
State of Michigan / LiveStream

State and local officials have done an about-face when it comes to Flint's water crisis.

For months, residents and even experts who raised concerns about the water's safety were dismissed.

That's until mounting evidence – especially about high lead levels in kids – made the critics impossible to ignore.

Today on Stateside:

Courtesy Siena Heights University

A Roman Catholic nun living in Adrian has been teaching literature to male prisoners at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility for nearly 30 years.

"They were engaged. They were passionate. They had read the book. They wanted to talk about it," said Sr. Pat Schnapp, associate professor of English at Siena Heights University. "And my teacherly heart just took off and I was hooked from that point on. I thought, 'I always want to do this in my life.'"

* Republicans might be doing their best to break up with Dave Agema, but Dave Agema is making sure everyone knows he is now about to break up with Republicans.

* With a major recall in effect due to the emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen owners want to know where things went wrong and what comes next. Jennifer White has some thoughts set to a Boyz II Men song.

* Sister Pat Schnapp is Roman Catholic nun, and a professor of English at Siena Heights University. For nearly three decades, Sister Pat has been teaching African American Literature to male prisoners.

Even the view from my panoramic sunroof isn't helping.
Bruce Berrien / Flickr -

I found my Jetta Sportswagen TDI in 2013.

I bought the car after extensive research, and it was exactly what I needed -- roomy but sporty, solid construction, room in the back for my dogs, excellent safety ratings, and the sweet, sweet gas-mileage-and-carbon-footprint cherry on top of that automotive sundae.

I was seduced. I "spreche die Deutsch."

The last couple of years I have raved to friends and family about my Jetta -- how I can drive to Chicago and back on one tank of gas. I loved how impressed my friends were by the panoramic sunroof.

Even my parents liked this car.

Today on Stateside:

VW showed off their Gold TDI Clean Diesel at the 2010 Washington Auto Show. The company has since admitted to evading emissions standards for the last seven years.
wikimedia user Mariordo /

Today Volkswagen’s top U.S. executive is facing the wrath of Congress.

The hearing before a congressional oversight panel is in response to VW’s admission that is has been cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests for the past seven years.

Last year General Motors CEO Mary Barra was lambasted by a congressional panel over GM's ignition recall scandal, and the Detroit News’ Daniel Howes expects today will be no easier for VW U.S. chief Michael Horn.

The officers of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophet of the Enchanted Realm, 1890 including the founder, Leroy Fairchild on the right seated.
Public Domain

Does wearing exotic uniforms, wielding sabers, riding camels, or driving tiny cars sound like a good time to you? Then you might have been right at home in one of the scores of social clubs that sprang up around America hundreds of years ago.

The Freemasons, the Odd Fellows, the Loyal Order of the Moose, the Daughters of Rebekah and the Order of the Eastern Star – men and women flocked to these clubs, especially in Detroit.

Bill Loomis took a look at these groups in his piece, Hanging at the club: the golden age of fraternal societies.

Flickr/MichBio /

The Next Idea

For decades men have considered bars, clubs, locker rooms and golf courses open territory in which they can ask for introductions and guidance to advance their businesses and careers.

But something like the Old Boys’ Network has mostly eluded women. Our formal and informal networks are not as robust, perhaps because we are still hampered by the competition that existed when there was only one seat for a woman at any important table.

Today on Stateside:

George Shirley, emeritus professor at the University of Michigan School of Music, Dance and Theatre, recently received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.

Debtor's wing of the Philadelphia Co. Prison in Pennsylvania. Built in 1836, demolished in 1968
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, HABS PA,51-PHILA,672A--2

The inmate who died in Macomb County jail was there because he’d failed to pay a traffic ticket.

Across Michigan and the rest of the country, people are being jailed over failing to repay fines and fees.

It sounds sort of like the old concept of debtors’ prison.

Today on Stateside: 


It's the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Syrian men, women, and children are fleeing the war and carnage in their homeland, desperately trying to get to a country that will welcome them, and let them begin new, safe lives.

It's forced the White House to consider admitting more refugees to the United States, with Secretary of State John Kerry recently pledging the U.S. will accept 100,00 refugees a year by 2017. That's up from the current 70,000 a year.

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

The civil unrest that began in Detroit on July 23, 1967, was one of the most challenging and difficult events in Michigan history.

The 50th anniversary of the summer of ’67 is fast approaching and the Detroit Historical Society and other partners have launched a community-wide effort called Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Move Forward.

flickr user FatMandy /

Last year, an inmate was placed in the Macomb County jail for failing to pay a traffic fine.

For 16 days, the inmate went through severe drug withdrawals, reportedly losing 50 pounds and suffering seizures and hallucinations before he died. The ordeal was caught by in-cell surveillance video.

Reports indicate that inmate deaths across the country are on the rise, with a particular concern focused on county jails.

Jeremy Sternberg/flickr /

It was August 1998 when FBI agent Greg Stejskal got a phone call about a meteorite stolen from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

“Nobody really expected anybody to walk off with a 60-pound meteorite,” remembers Stejskal.

Eventually, the FBI and U of M police tracked down a guy named Steven Collins, who denied knowing how the meteorite was stolen.

In this interview with Stateside, retired agent Stejskal tells the story of the missing meteorite and how it was eventually found.