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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Politics & Government
5:46 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

MI GOP looks to energize conservatives ahead of election with Rand Paul visit

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks in front of GOP supporters and volunteers on Wednesday in Livonia.

The Michigan Republican Party is trying to energize its conservative base ahead of next week’s election. On Wednesday, Republicans brought in U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to speak with GOP supporters and volunteers in and around Detroit.

During a rally in Livonia, Paul reiterated his belief that conservative principles would turn the city around.

“You want to help Detroit? You want Detroit to grow and be a great and proud city again like it once was? Leave more money in Detroit. It’s as simple as that. Don’t send it to Washington,” he said.

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Health
5:41 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Hospitals prep for possibility of Ebola as state monitors 10 who’ve traveled from West Africa

The state Department of Community Health says it’s monitoring 10 people in Michigan to see if they develop Ebola symptoms after they returned to the U.S. from west Africa. But health officials say none of them is  displaying any symptoms to suggest they might have contracted the Ebola virus on their travels.

Jennifer Smith of the Michigan Department of Community Health says instances of similar symptoms in Michigan patients have all turned out to be something else.

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Health
5:38 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Nearly a third of Michigan hospitals get A's in patient safety, but some problems persist

Bed sores, drug mix-ups, operating room mistakes: “All things that never should happen in a hospital, but we know unfortunately that they do," says Erica Mobley, of the Leap Frog Group
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds patient safety varies widely across Michigan.

A Washington D.C.-based group looked at how hospitals across the U.S. handled problems like mistakes in the operating room, drug mix-ups and bed sores.

23 of 79 Michigan hospitals surveyed in the report earned an “A” grade in patient safety.  A half-dozen Michigan hospitals received D’s.  No Michigan hospital received an “F” for patient safety.

Environment & Science
5:38 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

MSU and Detroit analyze tiny bacteria to investigate murders

Eric Benbow looks at the tiny bacteria on our bodies to see how long a body has been dead, and maybe even where it's been.
Credit Michigan State University / http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-partners-with-detroit-to-investigate-death-scenes/

It sounds like "CSI" meets "Bones." 

The Wayne County Medical Examiner is sending swab samples from dead bodies to Michigan State University researchers.

They're going to run a new kind of analysis in hopes of determining when someone died, whether they touched a weapon, and possibly even where they've been. 

What they’re looking at are the teeny-tiny things that live on our bodies: microbes.

You can’t see them with the naked eye, but we all have bacteria, fungi, and even tiny worms that live on our bodies and form their own ecosystems.

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Families & Community
3:16 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

3 things a funeral director has learned about life and death

You could say Mary Vick Spaulding has spent her entire life in the death industry.

Her father, Harold, was a funeral director in Mount Clemens and he began teaching her the trade when she was in first grade. Back then they would spend time together in the embalming room as he began showing her the ropes. Spaulding says death has been something that’s been normal to her for her entire life.

Spaulding became a licensed funeral director 38 years ago, and for 25 years she worked alongside her father. He died in 2001 and these days she manages the family business, the Harold W. Vick Funeral Home.

I asked her to share what she knows about life and death that the rest of us might not know. Here’s what she said:

Anatomy is beautiful.

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Politics & Government
2:28 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Grand Rapids voters to decide on term limits for mayor, city commission

Grand Rapids City Hall
Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Voters in Michigan’s second-largest city will decide whether to establish term limits for the mayor and city commission next Tuesday.

The proposed change to the city’s charter would limit commissioners and mayors to eight years in office. Commissioners would be able to serve for eight years if elected mayor.

Opponents of term limits say there’s no need for them because voters can kick people out of office by not re-electing them.

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Politics & Government
2:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Shake-ups in the Legislature, contentious races and who'll have the final say on wolf hunting

A wolf rests in the snow. Next week, voters will weigh-in on whether Michigan wolf hunting laws should stay in place. The outcome could be blocked by a law the legislature approved last summer.
Credit USFWS Midwest

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss what could happen to the state Legislature after the election, possible surprises in congressional races and the wolf hunting proposal votes which may not matter.


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Opinion
1:50 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio puts up a fight against his own party

Kerry Bentivolio wants you to know that much of what you’ve heard about him is wrong.

For the last two years, the media has called him the “accidental congressman.” He prefers, unexpected congressman.

He got to Washington after winning the Republican nomination in his suburban Detroit district when the incumbent, Thaddeus McCotter, was tossed off the primary ballot for fraudulent petition signatures. The GOP establishment recruited a former state senator to run a write-in campaign against him in the primary. She lost badly, and Bentivolio went on to win in November.

But this year, he in turn was defeated in the Republican primary by attorney and mortgage foreclosure king David Trott. But Bentivolio is running a full-press write-in campaign to try and keep his job.

Bentivolio has a reputation for not talking to the media, so I was surprised when he called me out of the blue yesterday afternoon. He was genial, warm and witty.

Basically, he feels that Trott and the GOP establishment stabbed him in the back, have worked for two years to ruin his reputation, and he isn’t going to take it anymore.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Detroit acquires 77 Detroit Public Schools properties as part of blight fight

Detroit will acquire 77 vacant Detroit Public Schools properties, securing them, demolishing some, and maintaining the rest
Credit screen grab from HDNet clip

The city of Detroit plans to acquire 77 vacant properties from Detroit Public Schools.

In return, the city will forgive the district's $11,600,000 in debt.  From the city's press release:

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Sports
6:55 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Hockey great Gordie Howe resting after stroke

Gordie Howe
Credit G.P. Putnam & Sons

DETROIT (AP) - Hockey great Gordie Howe has lost some function on the right side of his body after having a stroke Sunday in Texas.

  Howe's daughter Cathy says the 86-year-old Detroit Red Wings legend has lost much use of his right arm and right leg. Howe suffered the stroke in Lubbock, Texas, where his daughter lives.

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Education
6:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Whitmore Lake kids have a lot riding on this election

The high school and athletic fields at Whitmore Lake.
Credit Whitmore Lake Public Schools / https://sites.google.com/a/wlps.net/wlps/

Next week, voters will decide whether Ann Arbor schools should annex the small, struggling district next door: Whitmore Lake.  

And some Whitmore Lake students say this may be the best way to save the small-town schools they love.

The 11th-graders in Jill Henry's advanced-placement government class are bright kids.

Even before they started doing their election projects about this possible annexation, they obviously knew their district was struggling.

After all, the whole district is down to just about 1,000 kids.

It’s $60 million in debt.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

The 2014 Wayne County tax auction is over, but key details slow to emerge

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The final round of the annual Wayne County property tax foreclosure auction closed on Tuesday.

This year, about 24,000 properties—the vast majority located in Detroit--were up for auction over two rounds.

The auction has become a real estate mega-event in recent years, as the number of tax-foreclosed properties has soared, and bidding moved online.

More than 7000 of the properties up for auction this year were believed to be occupied.

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Stateside
7:06 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Do minority employees in Michigan restaurants face a glass ceiling?

Credit User: Consumerist Dot Com / Flickr

The restaurant industry is becoming more and more important to Michigan.

In fact, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in Metro Detroit. 

But many entry-level workers have trouble becoming managers and find it difficult to move up to a better position. And some say that this difficulty stems from racial and gender discrimination.  

Stateside’s Renee Gross reported on the story. 

Saru Jayaraman is the director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. She said there’s racial and gender discrimination and segregation related to lack of mobility and glass ceilings faced by these workers.

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