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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Candidates for Michigan governor in next month’s primary are sharply divided, along party lines, when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana.

In November, Michigan voters will not only decide who will be the state’s next governor, but also whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

If the candidates running to be governor are any indication, marijuana legalization may come down to largely party-line vote.

The four Republican candidates for governor oppose legal pot. While the three Democrats and two Libertarian candidates support it.

VIDEO: Meet the 2018 candidates for governor

16 minutes ago
Six of the gubernatorial candidates
Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Six of the seven Democratic and Republican candidates for governor sat for one-hour interviews with reporters from the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, a multimedia public service journalism partnership. (Republican Bill Schuette chose not to participate, despite numerous invitations and scheduling options.)

The reporters asked a variety of wide-ranging questions about the candidates’ policies and plans, including some submitted by audience members. Candidates did not receive the questions or specific topics in advance.

picture of the sign outside U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Wikimedia / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


As the nation's attention has focused on ICE and its role in the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, another immigration agency has quietly been making drastic changes to its mission and policies. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency traditionally charged with managing benefits and services for immigrants to the U.S. 

In February, USCIS published a new mission statement, considerably shifting the direction of their organization. 

Airbnb
pixabay

It will be a little more expensive from now on to rent a room, apartment or house through Airbnb in Kent County.   

The county assesses a 5% hotel tax to pay for its convention center, but Airbnb users didn't have to pay it until now. 

Airbnb allows people to rent a room in their home to travelers, or rent their whole apartment or house. 

County officials say the deal levels the playing field for hotels, and will bring in up to $100,000 more a year in tax revenue. The county uses the hotel tax to pay off a bond that funded the construction of its convention center.

Abdul for Michigan

Michigan is now just three weeks away from the primaries. In preparation, Stateside has invited the gubernatorial candidates back for one last chance to speak to you.

The first candidate in this last round of interviews is Abdul El-Sayed.

El-Sayed is 33 years old, and the former director of the Detroit Health Department.

president trump
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


President Trump began his day on Twitter Wednesday defending his meeting and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

One tweet said: "So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki..."

This comes less than a day after the president read a statement walking back statements he made in Helsinki, saying he intended to say that he does accept the intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in our elections.

Cafe Gulistan

An immigration judge has issued a reprieve – possibly a very long reprieve – for Ibrahim Parlak, who has been fighting deportation to Turkey for 15 years.

Parlak, a Kurd, fled Turkey 28 years ago and was granted asylum in the U.S.  He married, had a daughter, and established a popular restaurant in Harbert, Michigan, near Lake Michigan.

But in 2004, the government arrested him and began deportation proceedings, based on the fact that he did not disclose his affiliation with a Kurdish separatist group on his application for citizenship.

Lake Michigan at sunrise.
Elvis Kennedy / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There's nothing better during a Michigan summer than spending time at the Great Lakes.

Stateside asked you what questions you had about the state's freshwater seas, and we'll be bringing you answers all summer long. 

We'll start today with a question from listener Ted Bonarski in Grand Rapids. 

"Are there areas of the Lower Peninsula where the aquifer is filled with Lake Superior water, so that someone pumping up from a well was getting water that was chemically traceable to Lake Superior?" 

Image of the Britannia, c. 1915. A ferry on the Detroit River.
From the General Photo Collection, Archives of Michigan

With ground breaking this week on the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor and Detroit, it seems like the perfect time to mark the 80th anniversary of the last passenger ferry to cross the Detroit River. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan study finds African-American boys are three times as likely as whites to be suspended or expelled from school before the fourth grade.

The study suggests a lack of alternatives to suspending or expulsion may be a reason.

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Michigan is the only state failing to meet enough special education requirements to need intervention, according to a recent evaluation by federal education officials.

The Department of Education breaks its annual evaluation on special education down into three categories: meets, needs assistance, needs intervention, and lastly “needs substantial intervention.” The state of Michigan spent the past four school years in the “needs assistance” category.

Michigan State Police

Southwest Michigan resident Melissa McMillan is suing a former Covert Township policeman she says sexually assaulted her in a hotel room while she was intoxicated, as well as the city and the county sheriff’s department.

This map shows areas of concern in the Oscoda area.  PFAs has been slowly spreading for the former U.S. Air Force base for decades.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Several Michigan members of Congress are sending a letter to the Trump administration requesting stronger safeguards for dangerous chemicals in drinking water.

A recent Harvard study found six million Americans are drinking water contaminated with a group of chemicals,  per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, better known as PFAS.

The chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of liver damage and pregnancy problems, among other health issues.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

President Trump pushed back Tuesday against critics of his Helsinki summit with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. He said that the U.S.-Russia relationship “has gotten substantially better” and that he “accepts” U.S. intelligence agencies conclusions on Russian meddling.

Sydney Baird

We've been capturing quirky summer festivals around Michigan.

One festival that fits the bill is the 28th National Baby Food Festival in Fremont, Michigan, where Gerber has been making baby food in since 1928.

Sydney Baird, the co-coordinator of the National Baby Food Festival, joined Stateside to talk about the upcoming festival.

concert
Yvette de Wit / Unsplash

Detroit's music scene will welcome the sixth annual Mo Pop Festival at the end of the month.

Our guide to Detroit music, as always, is Paul Young, the founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine. He joined Stateside to highlight three local acts that will take the stage at Mo Pop.

Mike Fritcher / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

If you’ve ever been to the Detroit Institute of Arts, you’ve probably seen the Diego Rivera murals that fill the museum’s courtyard.

They capture a city that was once an industrial hub with behemoth steel machines and men on assembly lines. 

Today, however, Detroit is trying to become a different kind of hub: a tech hub. 

Clarise Kramer Cadarette Grzenkowicz
Alpena Convention & Visitors Bureau / Facebook.com

 


Ninety-nine-year-old Clarise Kramer Cadarette Grzenkowicz has been bartending at the Maplewood Tavern near Alpena, Michigan for the past 78 years. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

New tariffs are putting some Michigan newspapers and printers at risk of going out of business.

There’s more than a little irony in the fact that a state which built paper mills all over, no longer makes the kind of paper that newspapers use.

The latest rendering of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Gov. Snyder and Canadian dignitaries are gathering in southwest Detroit for official groundbreaking on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge this morning.

Gov. Snyder has been instrumental in making the new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario a reality. He did an end-run around the state legislature and signed a deal with then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2012.

Six years later, they’re finally breaking ground on the U.S. side of the Detroit River.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Business-backed organizations say two initiatives waiting for approval from the Board of State Canvassers should not be on the November ballot. One would raise the state’s minimum wage. The other would require earned sick time for employees.

The challenges, in part, involve whether the petitions have enough valid signatures to be on the November ballot.

LSSU/SmithGroup JJR

Lake Superior State University breaks ground this week on a new facility to study Great Lakes ecosystems.

Ashley Moerke is a professor at LSSU and the director of the Center for Freshwater Research and Education. She says the university has been planning this research center since about 2005, but recent funding from the state has been the key to making their vision a reality.

She says the 18,000 square foot building will be located on the banks of the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie.

SMART Bus
Mysid / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is expected to make a final decision Thursday on whether it will let residents vote on the latest proposal to expand public transit in Southeast Michigan.

Barring a last minute change of heart from Oakland County leader L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County's Mark Hackel, voters will likely not get the opportunity to weigh in.  

Meanwhile, Southeast Michigan continues to rank as one of the worst metro areas for public transit in the nation, which would come as no surprise for anyone who's had to use buses to get to Novi.

Boots Riley on the set of Sorry to Bother You
Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

Sorry to Bother You is billed as a sci-fi comedy, and is playing in theaters nationwide after debuting at Sundance Film Festival.

It's about the story of a young black telemarketer from Oakland, California named Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield. An older co-worker, played by Danny Glover, offers advice that helps Cassius climb the ladder to telemarketing success by using his "white voice."

Patrik Nygren / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One of the very best ways to enjoy summer in Michigan is to park yourself under a tree or on a beach and get lost in a good book.

Poet Keith Taylor joined Stateside to talk about some of his suggestions for your summer reading list.

Recently retired as a creative writing teacher at the University of Michigan, Taylor just published another book called Ecstatic Destinations about his Ann Arbor neighborhood.

Blacklegged tick
CDC

If you’re out in wooded or brushy areas this summer and want to avoid Lyme disease, here’s the advice of the day: Wear long sleeves and pants, and check yourself frequently for ticks, which spread the disease.

But for a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, people had the option to take an even more preventative measure: They could get a Lyme disease vaccine.

Bill Beekman has been serving as the interim athletic director since February. Pending the Board of Trustee's approval, he will continue in a permanent capacity.
Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s Interim President John Engler announced his appointment of Bill Beekman as the university’s permanent athletic director on Monday morning. Beekman has already been serving in an interim capacity since February.

Engler said he had planned on conducting a national search and hiring from outside the athletic department, but after speaking with coaches and other staff members, decided to keep Beekman on.

Campfire logo for Campfire Stories series
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

There's something about the a crackling campfire and the looming mystery of a nighttime forest that creates the perfect atmosphere for telling a special kind of story.

Some campfire stories aim to send a shiver down your spine. Others seek to remember a past moment in history or teach a good life lesson.

With that tradition in mind, Stateside will be bringing you a series of stories this summer perfect for your next bonfire. 

http://en.kremlin.ru

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “playing games” with the United States.

Peters says he wanted President Trump to “call out” Putin for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election during their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland today.

J. Stephen Conn/FLICKR

Officials say court documents were damaged during last month's severe flooding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Daily Mining Gazette reports a vault flooded containing circuit, family, and probate court records on the Houghton County Courthouse's basement level. The county is insured for the loss and the records are being dealt with by a document restoration company.

The newspaper says an estimate listed more than 3.6 million documents.

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