Free Speech or Hate Speech (or both?)
3:09 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

Anti-gay church group to speak to CMU Journalism class

Photo from a WBC picket in Topeka, KS on December 2, 2005
(courtesy of Westboro Baptist Church)

Members of a controversial church group that protests outside soldiers' funerals will speak at Central Michigan University next week.

Journalism professor Tim Boudreau says he invited Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church to talk to his students.

Members of the Kansas church believe U.S. soldiers' deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

Boudreau says he caught his students by surprise when he told them who was coming.

Read more
Tornado warnings issued (but is anybody paying attention?)
2:40 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

Severe storm prompts the National Weather Service to issue tornado warnings

 The National Weather Service issued numerous tornado warnings this afternoon, as severe storms rolled across Michigan.  No actual tornados were confirmed.

 A Michigan State University researcher says it’s time to reconsider how severe weather warnings are issued.

 Research Bob Drost says only about 63 percent of people take weather warnings seriously. 

A Plea to listeners
3:47 pm
Mon October 25, 2010

Alec Baldwin's mission: kill public radio

Alec Baldwin
Josh Wood Creative Commons

You may have heard Alec Baldwin's plea during recent public radio pledge drives. He has a simple message for listeners:

Baldwin's other promos include reassigning Terry Gross to "Wine Fancy," making Scott Simon a traffic reporter, and putting Ira Glass on a Spanish pop station.

Read more
Medical education
2:17 pm
Mon October 25, 2010

MSU expands program to assure admission for some pre-med students

Dean of MSU's College of Human Medicine Marsha Rappley with the presidents of Hope, Calvin and Aquinas colleges.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Michigan State University is partnering with three private colleges in west Michigan to give undergraduate students a head start in medical school.

It's not easy to get into medical school. Last year more than 6,000 students applied for 200 open seats at MSU's College of Human Medicine in downtown Grand Rapids.

Read more
PPO request dropped against anti-gay blogger
1:32 pm
Mon October 25, 2010

U-M student leader drops request for PPO against assistant state attorney general

Andrew Shirvell, assistant Michigan Attorney General
(photo is a screen capture of a CNN broadcast posted on a Facebook page)

A University of Michigan student leader has dropped his request for a personal protection order against an assistant state attorney general.

Andrew Shirvell used his blog to attack Chris Armstrong for promoting what Shirvell called a radical homosexual agenda on campus.

Shirvell also protested at events where Armstrong was present.

Philip Thomas is Andrew Shirvell's lawyer.

Read more
Countdown to Election Day
6:41 pm
Sun October 24, 2010

Tea Party Express rolling toward Michigan

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 

The Tea Party Express is scheduled to roll into Michigan this week, just days before next month’s pivotal mid-term election.

The conservative voters group has been holding rallies across the United States for the past week. 

The Tea Party Express has two stops planned in Michigan this Friday, one for a rally in Jackson and the second in Troy.   Those rallies will both take place in the hearts of two heavily contested congressional races.

November election
2:00 pm
Fri October 22, 2010

Tea Party Trolley hopes to engage voters in west Michigan

Tea Party Trolley to make stope in west Michigan

Tea Party organizers in west Michigan are preparing to engage voters less than two weeks before the general election.

Read more
Gay rights
11:43 pm
Thu October 21, 2010

Holland to consider adding gender identity, sexual orientation to anti-discrimination laws

Residents packed Holland City Hall for the Human Relation Commission meeting Thursday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

An advisory board voted unanimously to recommend city council pass the measure Thursday night.

The board has been studying the issue for months. They took it up at the request of Reverend Bill Freeman. The Holland pastor says those who spoke against expanding protections to those groups embody why it's needed. "I mean to be homosexual, or to be a lesbian or gay person in Holland - it would seem to be problematic. Because there are so many people who oppose them - oppose their existence," Freeman said.

Read more
Passenger rail
3:01 pm
Thu October 21, 2010

Trains in Michigan: public forum tonight

The federal government is investing billions to improve rail lines across the country. Will it translate into more riders?
Terry Cantrell Creative Commons

A public forum on the future of trains in Michigan will be held tonight in Monroe.

John Langdon with the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers says college students and senior citizens like trains. He says he hopes everybody else will see that increasing rail service is good for the economy, the environment and their own pocketbook.

Read more
3rd Congressional debate
12:57 am
Thu October 21, 2010

3rd congressional candidate debate heats up in Grand Rapids

Pat Miles (left) and Justin Amash (right) debate at Davenport University in Grand Rapids Wednesday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Congressional candidates in Michigan's third district debated health care, education, and government spending in West Michigan Wednesday night.

Democrat Pat Miles is a Grand Rapids attorney who touts his moderate views in the generally conservative district. He's endorsed by a number of local republicans who claim their party's candidate, Justin Amash, is too extreme.

Read more
Michigan's 7th district
5:04 pm
Wed October 20, 2010

Running for Congress: Schauer and Walberg debate

Incumbent Democratic congressman Mark Schauer (right) listens as Republican challenger Tim Walberg makes a point during their debate at JCC's Potter Center.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Social Security sparked a spirited debate between the two major party candidates running for Michigan's 7th Congressional seat.

Incumbent Democrat Mark Schauer and Republican former congressman Tim Walberg are in a close race and social security is seen as a key issue.

Read more
Old art, new job
11:01 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Crafting a career out of woven rugs (slideshow)

Petrie learned how to weave at the nonprofit Cross Village Rug Works. She says anyone can learn how to weave if they have patience and like to work with their hands.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Cross Village in northern Michigan is like a lot of small, rural towns in the state, where money is tight and jobs are scarce. And when winter comes around and all the tourists are gone, the outlook is even bleaker. So a group of women started up a cottage industry of rug making to help locals sustain themselves through the lean months.

23-year old Jasmine Petrie wears her hair in pigtails and has tattoos on her back and arms; she looks more like a rock star than a rug weaver.

Read more
Death of a candidate
10:51 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Mayor of Kalamazoo to run for Michigan Senate

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell will make a quick run for the Michigan Senate.
Kalamazoo Public Library

Democratic Party leaders in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties have chosen their candidate to replace Robert Jones - Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell.

Robert Jones was running for the Michigan Senate in the 20th district when he died over the weekend. He was battling esophageal cancer.

In Michigan, votes for a deceased candidate do not count, so party leaders had to put forward a new candidate.

Read more
Rebuilding Detroit
10:26 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Artists seek a room of their own in Detroit (audio slideshow)

Artist kt Andresky teamed up with the 555 gallery to purchase a 40,000-square foot building for $21,000. The building will be turned into a live/work space for artists.
Jennifer Guerra Reporter

Struggling artists generally don't make a lot of money, so they tend to live in grittier parts of the city where rent is really cheap. Inevitably, they spruce things up, more people move in, rent goes up, and artists are priced out. To ensure that doesn't happen to them in Detroit, a group of artists are taking matters into their own hands.

Read more
Jack Lessenberry's Take
10:06 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Unanswered questions for Snyder and Bernero

Capitol Building in Lansing
Terry Johnson Flickr

Last night I presided over a fascinating meeting in Grand Rapids, the second in Michigan Radio’s “Issues and Ale” series designed to stimulate public discussion.

The main event was a look at this year’s campaign advertising by two members of the “Michigan Truth Squad,” John Bebow, director of the non-partisan Center for Michigan, and Susan Demas, perhaps the best columnist in Lansing.

Read more
Election 2010
12:08 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Snyder keeps positive message two weeks away from the election

Snyder spoke Tuesday at Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids
Lindsey Smith

Candidates for Michigan governor have been making stops throughout the state in the final two weeks before the election. Republican Rick Snyder was in Grand Rapids Tuesday night.

Read more
Michigan Film Incentives
11:59 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Supporters of Michigan's film incentives rally in Grand Rapids

Stasia Savage of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees local #26 speaks during the rally Tuesday.
Lindsey Smith

About 80 people shared success stories they said are a result of the tax breaks passed two years ago.

Producers, actors, caterers, assistants, hotel owners, even personal trainers from all over west Michigan gathered to trumpet their success since the film incentives passed 2 and a half years ago.

Read more
Punk Rock Executive
2:59 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Iggy Pop's Silicon Valley guitarist

Iggy Pop performs at the South by Southwest festival
Kris Krug Creative Commons

I got hepatitis and moved back to Detroit

That's from a 2006 interview with James Williamson, the former and now current guitarist for Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

Williamson was describing his tumultuous time with a band addled by drug addiction.

Williamson left the rock and roll lifestyle and went on to a successful career as an electronics executive with Sony.

Read more
Death of a candidate
1:20 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Voters around Kalamazoo will have a new name on their ballots

The Michigan Senate chamber. Democratic Party leaders will name a replacement tonight for their 20th district candidate.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Since Robert Jones  passed away this past weekend, election officials have been working to come up with a plan of action. Jones was a candidate for the Michigan Senate and the election is just fourteen days away.

Read more
Jack Lessenberry's Take
1:12 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

Should Robert Jones have been running for the state Senate?

State Representative Robert Jones
Photograph courtesy of www.060.housedems.com

State Representative Robert Jones was an enormously popular former mayor of Kalamazoo who was in an intense battle to win a seat in the state senate. Intense, but not nasty.

But two days ago, Robert Jones suddenly died in his home, throwing the race into chaos and elections officials into a tizzy.

Read more

Pages