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Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

"Time is up," protestors tell MSU's leaders at "Resignation Rally"

“Spartans deserve better.” That was the message at a rally at Michigan State University Friday night. About 100 students, community members and sexual assault survivors came out to call for the resignations of the entire Board of Trustees and Interim President John Engler.

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Students in the hallway looking at ducks
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

It might not be Pamploma, but the annual "Running of the Ducks" at Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School in Grand Rapids is its own time-honored tradition. 

This Friday, students and teachers gathered in the hallways to watch as a mother duck marched her ducklings to water for the first time.

The mother duck nests in the school's courtyard every year. When spring comes, she leads her babies through the school and into the woods a few hundred yards away.  

marijuana
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today is 4/20, a day that holds a special significance for marijuana activists and consumers alike.

Stateside decided to mark the date by talking to Michigan Radio’s capitol bureau chief Rick Pluta about the latest developments in the process to license medical marijuana dispensaries.

Michigan capitol building
Pkay Chelle / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It appears legalizing marijuana for recreational use will be on the ballot in November. If the polls are correct, more than 60 percent of voters are okay with recreational use of pot.

Meanwhile, standards for an election recount may be changing after Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested a recount in the state after the 2016 election. Legislation would require a candidate to prove they have a reasonable chance at winning before getting a recount.

Sharon / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Have you seen any stink bugs in your house? Over the last few years, the brown marmorated stink bug has invaded the southern half of the Lower Peninsula. The invasive species is more than just a nuisance. It’s a threat to crops, too.

Amy Irish-Brown, a senior educator at Michigan State University Extension, and Jim Engelsma, president of J. Engelsma Orchards, Inc., joined Stateside to discuss the characteristics of stinkbugs that make them so difficult to monitor, control, and predict.

Ann Arbor Community High students Suephia Saam and Catherine Nicoli protest gun violence in schools in front of City Hall.
Catherine Shaffer / Michigan Radio

Michigan high school students participated in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine school shooting Friday.

Students organized events at schools throughout the state. At Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, about two hundred students walked out of class and attended a student-led rally in the football stadium. Student speakers demanded tougher gun legislation, and blasted lawmakers for failing to pass popular, "common sense" measures like universal background checks. 

John Engler at the final MSU Board of Trustees meeting of the 2017/18 school year.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

Whether you liked his policies or not, there’s no doubt John Engler was an enormously effective governor a quarter-century ago. He knew the Legislature and how it worked.

He also knew virtually all of its members personally – their strengths, their weaknesses, what they wanted and needed. That was partly because he’d spent 20 years in the state house and senate before being elected governor in a tremendous upset in 1990.

That reputation for getting things done is why Michigan State trustees chose Engler as their interim president at the end of January. 

From the Collections of The Henry Ford / Benson Ford Research Center

As President Trump and Chinese leaders swap threats of trade tariffs, we've heard a lot of talk about what a 25 percent Chinese tariff might mean to soybean farmers in the U.S. and specifically in Michigan, one of the top soybean-producing states.

Workers install solar panels on a roof
Alex Snyder / Wayne National Forest/Wikimedia Commons

Starting some time next year, electric utilities will be able to submit lower reimbursements to the Michigan Public Service Commission to compensate their solar customers.

Right now, when a customer with a solar roof creates more electricity than needed, it becomes available to the grid.

Utilities pay the customer the same rate that they themselves charge.

Mike Bell / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This truly is the winter of our discontent – even if spring officially arrived a month ago.

As challenging as the snow, ice, and flood advisories are across the Lower Peninsula, snow has really hammered the Upper Peninsula. In just one example, more than two feet of snow fell in Menominee over the weekend. Some drifts were ten feet high. And that snow is threatening deer in the U.P.

Andrey Filippov 安德烈 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The news from Beijing this week is that China's President Xi Jinping is "open" to reducing the 25 percent tariffs on foreign-made cars, trucks, and SUVs. The leader is also open to full foreign ownership of auto companies in China.

It sounds like a big deal, but is it?

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Issues & Ale: "That’s What They Say" Grammar Night

Wed, April 25, 6:30-8:00 PM
JB’s Smokehouse BBQ Canton