Here you'll find the full program for Michigan Radio's Stateside. To find the individual segments and posts, go here.

“When we defer [capital expenditure] or investment in a school district, we’re knowingly ensuring that our students won’t keep up with their peers across the state or the country or the world,” Saunders said.
wikimedia user motown31 /

Governor Rick Snyder has approved an education budget which includes $2.5 million for private and religious schools.  That seems to be incongruent with the Michigan Constitution, which states:

Flickr user Brian Turner/Flickr

A group says free speech is threatened on college campuses.

FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, rates colleges and universities based on how they restrict free speech.

Its mission is “to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities.”

That includes protecting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process and more.

Shelby Emmett, Legal and Legislative Policy Advocate for FIRE, said she views the group as an “empowerment organization for students.”

Flickr user Jesús Corrius/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Adults with autism often face a life of unemployment despite the fact that many are brilliant and have exceptional skills.

The Autism Alliance of Michigan is encouraging employers to hire potential workers with autism, taking advantage of their skills while making considerations to accommodate the challenges people with autism face.

Steven Glowacki has an IQ of 150, scored a 1520 on the SAT and placed in the 95th percentile for a Certified Public Accountant test. The bottom line? He’s pretty darn smart.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This is the first in a series on Stateside we're calling Artisans of Michigan.

Our first stop in this trip around Michigan is in downtown Northville at the Cobbler’s Corner.

“Shoe repairing is a lot more than what you think,” Tony Piccoli assures us as soon as we meet.

He says Cobbler’s Corner is the oldest shoe repair shop in Michigan. It originally began as the Northville Shoe Service owned by the Revitzer family, starting in 1928.

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

With the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan to set the scene, Governor Snyder on Wednesday signed the new $38.8 billion state budget. 

There were some unexpected revenue shortfalls to deal with. State revenues came up more than $300 million short, largely due to corporate tax credits. There was also a $100 million spike in Medicaid payments.

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

How well does Michigan do in helping people who are suffering from mental health problems?

When it comes to the mental health care safety net, the answer is troubling. It seems that Michiganders who have private insurance are the ones whose safety net is weakest. 

Courtesy of the Kent County Department of Public Works

The Next Idea

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – one that’s worth about $56 million. That’s the estimated value of the wasted material sent to landfills every year, reports the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (WMSBF).

Volkswagen has agreed to establish a $10 billion fund that would allow almost half a million VW or Audi owners to terminate their leases or have the company buy back their cars. $4.7 billion more will be put toward the development of green technology.
flickr user Mike Knell /

German automaker Volkswagen has been handed an expensive lesson: don't mess with the EPA, and don't mess up our air. 

The U.S. Government has given Volkswagen a historic $14.7 billion spanking. 

Flickr user/Flickr /

If it looks like your parched lawn is crying out for a drink, you've got company.

Parts of the state are in the grips of a dry spell, and it's turning lawns crispy and brown. 

The Kent County Prosecutor has warned Zach Sweers to stop his video vigiliantism for fear of the dangers involved
Wikimedia user Colin /

How far should a citizen go in trying to bust online predators?

Zach Sweers is a 23-year-old West Michigan man who goes online posing as an underage girl. He meets men online, records everything as he sets up encounters, and then posts it all on YouTube.

So far, Sweers' efforts have led to the arrests of seven men.

A new documentary tracks how CREEM Magazine became one of the world's biggest music magazines.
Flickr user A.Currell / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0


CREEM Magazine began in 1969, sold from the trunk of Barry Kramer’s car. Kramer was the creator and publisher of the magazine, and from that small beginning, it blossomed into one of the top music publications in the world. It was bold in its irreverence, and it launched the careers of some of music’s biggest names — both artists and writers.

Now, it’s the subject of a documentary, Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine.


Here's a sneak peek: 


Flickr user eelke dekker/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Science isn’t cheap, and research needs funding. But are researches crossing ethical lines by accepting money from corporations and the government?

Kevin Boehnke is the recipient of a fellowship from Dow Chemical Co. and a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He studies water quality on a global scale, and receiving this funding will allow him to pursue his research further.

Pablo Mahave

Grand Valley State University’s award-winning New Music Ensemble will be on tour this summer commemorating the National Park Service centennial. The group will be premiering new compositions inspired by the four parks they’ll be performing at: Bad Lands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks.

The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason uses bumper stickers to spread their message.
First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason / Facebook

The First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose.

For Jeremy Hall, that religion centers around cannabis. 

Hall is a marijuana caregiver and an ordained minister. He's also the founder of a new church in South Lansing.

It's The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announces charges in his team's investigation into the Flint water crisis on April 20, 2016.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says lawyers hired by Governor Rick Snyder won't turn over documents demanded by his Flint investigation team. 

As of now, taxpayers are paying for both the AG's special investigation as well as Governor Snyder's attorneys, which, at least from the AG's special investigator Todd Flood's point of view, are not cooperating fully with the investigation. 


Michigan Bookmark is a series that features Michigan authors reviewing Michigan books.

Transmission electron microscopy image of Legionella pneumophilia, responsible for over 90% of Legionnares' disease cases.
CDC Public Health Library /

There were 91 people who contracted Legionnaires' disease in Genesee County in 2014 and 2015.

It was a spectacular spike in cases in a county which averaged fewer than 10 cases of legionella over the prior four years.

Records show that 12 of those 91 patients died.

There's a heated debate over whether the Hantz Farms project is an environmental boon or just a land grab.
Sean O'Grady

John Hantz heads a business financial services conglomerate

He wants to plant 15,000 trees on 140 acres of Detroit land he bought in 2012. It would be the world's largest urban farm.

The plan has strong backers and equally strong critics. 

It's a story that Sean O'Grady tells in his new documentary film Land Grab.

Volunteer food packing at Zaman International in Inkster, MI, on May 20, 2016. Zaman, a charity specializing in assisting women and children in the local area, delivers the packages in advance of the beginning of Ramadan, the holy Islamic month where Musl
Shiraz Ahmed

This is the holiest season of the year for Muslims: Ramadan.

It's a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It's also a time of giving.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down several restrictions on abortion providers in Texas, which could have implications on similar restrictions in Michigan.
user dbking / Flickr -

Yesterday's landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court applied specifically to abortion clinics in Texas, but it could have far-reaching implications for Michigan, too.

The court's decision came in a 5-3 vote, with the majority opinion written by Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.



It was not long ago that serious questions were raised about how well Michigan's education schools were preparing their students to be teachers.


Critics pointed to the teacher certification test, which had a pass rate of 82 percent statewide. Prospective teachers were passing their exams at the same level as those seeking a cosmetology license.


Is this the end of marriage, capitalism, and God?

Jun 27, 2016

The Next Idea


The next big thing isn’t a clever gadget or miracle drug, it’s a way of life -- not a breakthrough invention but a social innovation.


A workshop of Mayan women learning about solar power.
Courtesy of Appropriate Technology Collaborative


The Mayan population in Guatemala is one of the largest indigenous population in the Americas. Yet many of the Mayan families don’t even have basic electricity.

The Appropriate Technology Collaborative is trying to bring light to rural Guatemala. Their Mayan Power and Light Project hopes to empower Mayan women to develop sustainable energy solutions and help them create small businesses. The program teaches Mayan women about solar energy and how to install solar energy panels, along with assistance in business development.

Former chief medical executive Dr. Matthew Davis received an email on the Genesee County Legionnaires' outbreak nearly a year before its public announcement.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


Did the Michigan Department of Health and Human services know about a possible Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County a year before it was publicly disclosed? Emails recently released by Governor Rick Snyder’s administration raise that question.

Dr. Matthew Davis, who served as the state’s chief medical executive and on Snyder’s Flint water task force, has previously denied knowledge of the increase of Legionnaires’ cases in Genesee County prior to leaving his post in April 2015.

Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon provides a round-up of everything Michigan sports.
Flickr user Michael Righi / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0


Although it’s the offseason for most major American sports, there’s still plenty of action in the sports world. Michigan sports has seen some important moves in both professional and collegiate athletics.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Stateside to explain all the recent moves.


Gov. Rick Snyder


Governor Rick Snyder has signed an education budget for the coming fiscal year. But there are questions about a provision that will send $2.5 million to private and religious schools for state mandates such as fire drills. The provision could run against a section of the state constitution that says no public money can be used to support private or parochial schools.

Snyder acknowledged there may be legal issues with the budget. “But at this point, I thought it appropriate to move ahead and let’s address the legal questions separately,” Snyder said.

Does an oxford comma clutter up a sentence? The debate rages on.
Rasmus Olsen / Flickr -

Whether you love it or hate it, the oxford comma evokes some pretty strong feelings – both among people who study language and the rest of us. 


Flint River and water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis is now an important piece of the city's story and history.

It will affect the city and its residents for decades to come.  

Michigan Radio and countless other local and national news outlets have reported various aspects of the crisis, from how it unfolded to how the crisis will affect the city's children as they grow into adults. And that reporting will continue into the foreseeable future, since Flint water is still not safe to drink, unfiltered.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Around 90% of a child's brain is already developed by the time they are five years old.

And that means the learning that takes place before a kid even reaches kindergarten can have a lifelong impact.

Republican presidential candidate at a campaign stop in Warren, Michigan.
Jake Neher / MPRN

Two of the biggest Michigan political stories this week were the announcement of more lawsuits involving the Flint water crisis, and the "Dump Trump" movement in the presidential race. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that his office has filed a civil suit against three companies (Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam) for their role in the Flint water crisis.