Politics & Government
6:11 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Candidates making final push before election next week

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer greets auto workers in Lansing on Thursday to kick off a statewide campaign tour ahead of next Tuesday’s election.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

Candidates have just a few more days to convince people to show up to the polls next week and vote for them. That means campaigns are beginning their final push.

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer is embarking on a statewide campaign tour. He kicked it off by greeting auto workers in Lansing as they got off their shift.  

Schauer says he is confident in his chances, especially after recent reports show strong numbers in his favor with absentee voters who have already cast their ballots.

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Weekly Political Roundup
5:30 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

What politicos are watching as we count down to Election Day

Polling place
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

We're just a few days away from the Nov. 4 midterm election. Republicans and Democrats are using these last days to push their messages out to voters.

I spoke with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, about what they'll be watching in these final days.

Here's our conversation:

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Arts & Culture
5:10 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Yankee Air Museum gets new home, name, and mission

This concept drawing shows how founders hope the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run will look.Credit Save the Bomber Plant.orgEdit | Remove

The former Yankee Air Museum is getting a new name, to go with its new home in part of the historic bomber plant at Willow Run.

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Investigative
3:43 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

More and better jobs?

Photo tweeted by Snyder campaign.

Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Snyder has been vague about what he would do in the next four years in office, saying only, "We're on the road to recovery." He also says he'll pursue "more and better jobs." Political observers expect Snyder will continue on the path he's established, working to stimulate businesses while keeping a tight rein on state spending.

In an ad, Snyder says, "Our unemployment rate is the lowest in six years with nearly 300,000 new private-sector jobs." 

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Offbeat
3:03 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Guy behind the street harassment video also made Grand Rapids viral videos

You probably know Rob Bliss, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

He’s the guy behind the Grand Rapids lip-dub video, the Pure Michigan sing-along ad, and now, the street harassment video that’s racked up 16 million views on YouTube.

In case you still haven’t seen it, the two minute video follows a young women in jeans and a t-shirt walking through New York. Bliss says they spent 10 hours filming with a hidden GoPro as the actress, Shoshana B. Roberts, endured more than 100 instances of street harassment, including stalking.

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Election 2014
2:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

In one word, how are you feeling about next week's election?

2012 election results as depticted by a cartogram - a map adjusted for population size.
Mark Newman Dept. of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan

Next week, we'll chart another course for our democracy by heading to the voting booth.

By this time next week, we'll know which party will rule the day in Congress and in our state Legislature. We'll also know who Michigan's next governor will be.

So how are you feeling about this big day?

I'm sure we could all take a lot of time to articulate exactly how we're feeling about next Tuesday, but can we find one word that captures it?

That's the challenge we're putting to you here:

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Environment & Science
12:47 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

After decades of effort, 2 major pollution sites in Michigan finally cleaned up

A picture of the White Lake Montague dump site contaminated decades ago by a tannery and chemical company before the cleanup.
EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today two toxic hot spots in Michigan have been cleaned up.

Work is now complete at White Lake in Muskegon County and Deer Lake in the Upper Peninsula.

The sites are on a list of about 40 toxic hot spots surrounding the Great Lakes; 14 sites are in Michigan.

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Offbeat
12:24 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

GM's "Chevy Guy" creates a memorable World Series moment

The moment GM's Rikk Wilde became the "Chevy Guy."
screen grab from YouTube video

The "number one" fear got the best of GM regional manager Rikk Wilde last night as he presented the Most Valuable Player award to San Franciso's ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

Watch Wilde tell Bumgarner about the Chevy Colorado's "class-leading technology and stuff" here:

GM got publicity for presenting the award, and is getting more publicity this morning as bloggers write about last night's awkward moment.

Some are writing about Wilde's "bumbling" performance, while others say he "stole the show."

Good presentation or not, GM says he was there because he loves baseball.

From Jim Lynch of the Detroit News:

On Thursday, a spokesman for General Motors Co. said Wilde is not a regular public speaker but a rabid baseball fan.

"He is a life-long Kansas City Royals fan, so he was suffering the woes of having watched his team just lose Game 7," said Mike Albano, Chevrolet's director of communications. "His day job is selling cars and trucks and that's what he'll be back doing again today.

"And nothing he said was wrong. We've got a lot of stuff in the Chevy Colorado."

A new ad for GM?

Either way, the Internet has a new star

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The Environment Report
12:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Researchers find natural way to fight honeybee-killing bacteria

Professor Sandra Burnett, left, and her student Bryan Merrill, have developed a treatment for the devastating American Foulbrood disease. The bacteria that cause the disease kill off bee larvae, and the disease can lead to hive collapse.
Brian Wilcox BYU

There are all kinds of diseases and other problems that are hurting honeybees. One of them is a bacterial infection called American Foulbrood and it’s been a problem for bees around the country for decades. The disease kills bee larvae and can lead to the entire hive collapsing.

Researchers at Brigham Young University have come up with a natural way to fight back. They’re using a kind of virus — a phage — that infects and replicates within a bacterium.

"This is using nature in order to fight nature, basically," says Sandra Burnett, an associate professor of microbiology and molecular biology at Brigham Young.

"We see phages naturally in the environment, so what our goal has been is to find phages that will infect this bacteria, and capture [these phages] and have them ready to actually do an attack and kill the bacteria for us."

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Business
11:46 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Detroit developer buys more than 6000 properties, looks for "public-private alliance"

Herb Strather announcing his plans for the "blight bundle."
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit developer who just bought a massive chunk of city land says he wants to help community groups revitalize their own neighborhoods.

Herb Strather bought a package of more than 6000 properties from the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction for just over $3 million.

That “blight bundle” was actually meant to discourage bidders from buying up huge numbers of cheap, distressed properties.

But Strather says the land was still at risk of going to “outside” investors, and he bid to prevent that.

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Opinion
11:24 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Inattention may be the most dangerous foreign policy of all

Yesterday I talked about Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, who is running a write-in campaign to try to keep his seat after losing the Republican primary to David Trott. Bentivolio, who represents a collection of Oakland and Wayne County suburbs from Birmingham to Livonia, told me there was an unwritten rule, at least among Republicans, that you don’t challenge a congressman of your own party in a primary.

That is, as long as that congressman is doing a decent job. However, as I pointed out to Bentivolio, he did just that two years ago; he filed to run against Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.

McCotter later self-destructed and was disqualified from the ballot, but Bentivolio didn’t know that would happen when he filed.

He then told me why he did it. Bentivolio, a Vietnam veteran who is now 63, volunteered to serve in Iraq. His neck was broken, and he had to be evacuated.

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Families & Community
10:23 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Tricycles and crowdsourcing help Detroiters stay in foreclosed homes

The Tricycle Collective says many of the homes on Wayne County's tax foreclosure list are well-maintained because they are occupied. But once they become vacant, they quickly turn to blight
Credit Charles & Adrienne Esseltine / Flickr

Ten Detroit families still have their own roofs over their heads, thanks to the Tricycle Collective.

The group crowdsourced money so the families could bid on the homes they were living in at a tax foreclosure auction.

Michele Oberholtzer started the collective.

Oberholtzer says until she contacted them, the families had no idea they could buy their tax-foreclosed homes – often for as little as $500.

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Opinion
9:29 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Yes, there is room for black people in the new Detroit

Joe Louis Mural at Berts in Detroit Eastern Market Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Recently, Suzette Hackney of POLITICO wrote an article that asked the question, “Is There Room for Black People in the New Detroit?” Her account begins at the corner of Agnes and Parker at a local restaurant where she describes seeing “designer dogs” and “tattooed millennials."

From her piece: 

The whole scene was a far cry from when I lived in the adjoining apartment building in the early 2000s... but this is the new Detroit.

I live in the neighborhood she describes, and even though Craft Work could be considered a “hip” establishment, I'm a little sad the area she described was reduced to a gentrified stereotype.

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Politics & Government
7:26 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Wild card candidate, negativity define race for 11th Congressional District

This attack ad against Trott has been called "brutal."
Credit macombpolitics.blogspot

An ad run by Democrat Bobby Mckenzie in Michigan's 11th Congressional District race won a dubious distinction recently.  The Washington Post called it "one of the most brutal attack ads you'll ever see."

"Foreclosure King David Trott has made millions foreclosing on Michigan's families," says a narrator, over a slightly ominous soundtrack.  "Trott profited from human misery as tens of thousands of Michiganders were evicted from their homes."

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Stateside
7:59 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Halloween also marks the death of Houdini in Detroit

Credit The Jewish Museum / Flickr

Harry Houdini died in Room 401 at Grace Hospital in Detroit 88 years ago this week.

How did this world-famous magician and escape artist come to die in Michigan? John Cox, a Houdini historian, has the answer.

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Stateside
7:44 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Can Michigan get its entrepreneurial mojo back?

Credit Duo Security / Flickr

What will it take for Michigan to be an entrepreneurial powerhouse again?

That question will be explored Friday morning at a special town hall meeting hosted by the University of Michigan School of Engineering and Michigan Radio. It’s called "Finding Michigan’s Mojo."

Panelist Jeff DeGraff is a clinical professor of business administration at the U of M Ross School of Business. He’s also creator of the Innovatrium. 

Panelist Dug Song is founder of the Ann Arbor-based Duo Security.

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Stateside
7:18 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Pro-marijuana proposals on the ballot in 11 Michigan cities

Credit USFWS

On Nov. 4, voters in 11 Michigan cities will consider legalizing small amounts of marijuana. That’s the largest number of municipalities to ever consider the question in a single election in the state. As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, marijuana advocates think they can win all of them.

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Stateside
6:58 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Dems hope Obama's Michigan visit will encourage better voter turnout

Credit YouTube

President Obama will be in Michigan Saturday to campaign for Democratic candidates Mark Schauer and Gary Peters. 

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Stateside
6:36 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Verve Pipe gets dark again in new album

Brian Vander Ark
Credit Matt Hallowell / Flickr

 

 

Nearly two decades ago, the Verve Pipe's big hit "The Freshman" swept radio stations across the country. Now the band is out with a new album and will soon play concerts in Michigan. Stateside’s Emily Fox sat down with The Verve Pipe’s lead singer, Brian Vander Ark, to talk about how the band has rebranded itself over the years.

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Stateside
6:01 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

"Finding Home" examines Michigan's foster care system

Sue and Michael Kley adopted three siblings out of foster care. The whole Kley family is pictured here on Adoption Day.
Credit The Kley Family

 

More than 13,000 children in Michigan are in foster care in a given year. State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra will look into their lives in a special documentary, "Finding Home," which airs Thursday at 3 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

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