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Toy car with Christmas tree tied to roof
Nancy Hoang / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

AAA projects that nearly 3.5 million people from Michigan are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The auto club released its annual forecast this week, saying Michigan will see a 3.4 percent increase from last year's holiday period.

Authorities say it could take months before DNA from the remains of three children found in Montana can be compared to DNA in the 2010 disappearance of three Michigan brothers.

Michigan state police Detective Lt. Jeremy Brewer says a backlog of cases is awaiting DNA testing. Brewer says once available, the results will be compared to DNA collected in the case of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The former superintendent of the Benton Harbor Area Schools has been convicted of embezzlement charges stemming from payouts he received for unused vacation days.

A Berrien County jury convicted Leonard Seawood on Friday on all five counts of embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses.

He was accused of embezzling more than $40,000 from the district by taking payouts for unused vacation days.

Nassar in court.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The dean of Michigan State University's school of osteopathy, who supervised former sports Dr. Larry Nassar, is stepping down. Lawsuits filed against the university by alleged victims and their families say William Strampel and other MSU officials ignored warnings that Nassar was a predator. MSU says Strampel is resigning as dean for "medical reasons" and will remain on the faculty.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether we'll see more stories like this from MSU in the coming weeks and months.


Daniel Howes / Detroit News

After nearly 20 years of waiting, nostalgia-mad Detroit got what it’s long been waiting for. Mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert, architect of downtown’s revival, cut the ribbon on the site of the ol’ J.L. Hudson’s store.

It’ll be a, quote, “city within a city.” It’ll be a “vertical” statement. It’ll be the tallest building in Detroit, overtaking that one built by the last pair of heavyweights who aimed to change the city's direction by sheer force of will.

Max Fisher and Al Taubman meant well with the Renaissance Center. But their timing stunk. Gilbert? Not so much.

wallet with Michigan license
Sabrina Io'Ana C. / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

 

Last night a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction barring the Michigan Secretary of State’s office from suspending the driver’s licenses of people unable to pay their traffic tickets and associated charges.

fence
Jobs for Felons Hub / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

Research at the University of Michigan indicates a key driver of the high incarceration rates is someone on parole being returned to prison — not for an additional crime, but for a technical violation of parole.

Jeffrey Morenoff, a research professor and director of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, joined Stateside to talk about his new research.

Paul Sableman / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last year the Jewish News, a Detroit Journalism Cooperative partner, published a piece about Jews being part of Detroit’s white flight.

But rather than fighting or hassling black residents moving into Jewish neighborhoods, Jews just left. Still, some of the Jewish-owned businesses stayed behind, serving the new residents.

Pastor Aramis Hinds of Breakers Covenant Church International and Rabbi Ariana Silverman of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue joined Stateside today to discuss how the relationship between Jews and African Americans evolved during that period of history. They also discussed how it continues to evolve today.

Courtesy of Emma Weinstein

On Sunday, there will be a staged reading of a new play called Come My Beloved. It's described as being about race, intimacy, and Detroit.

The play chronicles a Friday night in the lives of three black and Jewish couples at different points in time.

The playwright and director is Emma Weinstein, and she joined Stateside today.

flint mayor karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency wrote a letter to the City of Flint and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last week urging them to spend $100 million in federal funds for water infrastructure repair.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver responded Friday that the city plans to have any requested information available to the EPA in January.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Today the Michigan State University Board of Trustees gave President Lou Anna Simon a raise. She donated that $150,000 to a scholarship fund.

Top leaders at Michigan State University, including Simon, also offered apologies to women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, the former MSU sports doctor. They also created a $10 million fund to pay for counseling and other services.

Jessica Smith is one of the 125 women and girls who say Nassar sexually assaulted them. She was at the MSU Board of Trustees meeting earlier today, and joined us on Stateside afterward.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

You don’t have to have a password, or pull a secret lever, or push a button for entry, but the Sidebar in Grand Rapids definitely has that speakeasy feel. The address is available: 80 Ottawa Avenue NW, but finding it is a little tricky. Hint: go down the steps toward the pizza place.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon
File photo / MSU

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has apologized to survivors of sex assaults by sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Simon made the apology during a Michigan State Board of Trustees meeting Friday. The university faces complaints and lawsuits that claim they ignored warnings that Nassar was abusing girls and women who were his patients. Nassar has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault.

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has wrongly accused tens of thousands of people of cheating on their unemployment claims.
Bytemarks / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin once said that the death of one man is a tragedy; the death of a million is a statistic. Well, tragedy can also result from treating people as statistics, and that’s what happened to at least 37,000 Michiganders in recent years.

Grand Rapids city officials putting shovels into the ground
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids broke ground on the $38 million dollar biodigester sludge treatment system that could help Grand Rapids reach sustainability goals.

A biodigester is like a mechanical stomach. It takes in organic waste and converts it to renewable energy.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says the city wants to be using 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2025.

“It's creative ideas like this that will help us get to renewable energy goals, but also be a positive force on the environment,” Bliss said.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new veterans’ home may not go in Detroit as originally planned.

State lawmakers OK’d a bill Wednesday that says the new home can go in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. If the state still can’t find a place within 45 days, then it can look in the greater southeast Michigan area. The measure was part of a larger funding bill that included funding to address a chemical that has cropped up in groundwater around the state.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state accepts the first applications for people who want to get into the medical marijuana business starting tomorrow. The licenses will allow businesses to legally grow, process, transport, or sell marijuana to patients who have medical marijuana cards. 

David Harnz works for the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board.  He says it will take three or four months to process the applications.

Larry Nassar in court with his attorneys, Shannon Smith and Matthew Newburg.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

USA Gymnastics has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by alleged sexual assault victims of former sports Dr. Larry Nassar.

The organization is named as a co-defendant in the suit which involves 141 plaintiffs. Ninety-three have asserted claims against USAG. 

F DELVENTHAL / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There is growing concern on the campus of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) about the school's future.

Tomorrow, EMU's two faculty unions are planning a protest over the university's decision to sign a contract with a for-profit company called Academic Partnerships (AP). The goal of the arrangement, administrators say, is to better market EMU's online degree programs and recruit more students.

An artist's rendering of the as-yet-unnamed planned development on the former Hudson's site.
Bedrock

Detroit is “going vertical.”

That’s what developer Dan Gilbert said Thursday at the groundbreaking for a project set to transform the city's skyline.

The $1 billion dollar project is going up on the former site of Hudson’s Department Store. The store closed in 1983, and the building was imploded in 1998.

Prince Albert memorial
Paul Hudson / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

156 years ago this day, a husband died.

His grieving wife wore black from that day until her own death 40 years later.

That is the story of Britain's Queen Victoria and her husband, the Prince Consort Albert.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The clock is ticking down to when the U.S. Congress is scheduled to leave for its holiday break.

But a lot could happen within this next week, especially with Congress poised to deal with several major issues, including the Republicans’ tax overhaul and funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow sat down with Stateside to discuss those issues and more.

Detroit's Renaissance Center
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

 

 

Just weeks after being linked with a federal grand jury probe into auto industry corruption, a retired UAW vice president has resigned his seat on the board of General Motors.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes co-reported this story with his colleague Robert Snell. Howes joined Stateside today to share his updates.

gretchen whitmer
Michigan Senate Democrats

For more than a year, the sexual assault scandal at Michigan State University has been simmering in the background, a ticking time bomb that was certain to explode with devastating consequences for the university.

That this would have a political dimension was also certain.

Wealthy benefit most from Michigan’s energy savings plans, study finds

Dec 14, 2017
Consumers Energy's Karn peaker plant
Bridge Magazine

Michigan utilities spend tens of millions of dollars each year on rebates, energy audits, and other programs to help customers cut their energy bills.

Most of that spending isn’t helping the customers who could use the savings the most, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan.

The study from the school’s Urban Energy Justice Lab found energy efficiency programs at Michigan’s two largest utilities disproportionately benefit wealthier ratepayers.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Racial divisions are a major contributor to the decline of Detroit. White flight started after World War II and continued. There was a late spike in flight from the city after 2000. That’s when City of Detroit employees no longer had to live in the city. That’s led to lost wealth, lost tax revenue, and blighted neighborhoods.

Even when Detroit was majority white, racial lines were strictly drawn.

“You can’t underestimate the intensity of that segregation in housing and the role that it played in dividing metropolitan Detroit by race,” said Thomas Sugrue.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This week, Vice News released the results of a thorough, nine-month investigation into police shootings nationwide.

If you look at it in map form, you’ll see an empty gray box near the top-center, signifying “unknown.” That’s Detroit.

Sarah Bird

 

"When can we eat the fish?”

That’s what the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wants to know.

 

Officials in Michigan issue fish advisories. Those recommend limits on how much fish we eat because of toxic chemicals that can build up in fish.

 

Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes are at greater risk because they eat a lot of fish.

 

For years, there was a focus on trying to get tribes to follow the advisories more closely. But some people argue that’s the wrong way to tackle the problem.

 

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder has a stack of bills aimed at combating the opioid crisis headed to his desk. Lawmakers in the House and Senate passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday. A major goal is limiting the amount of opioids available to people who don’t need them.

 

The DEQ PFAS Investigation Map near Rockford, MI.
From Goole map provided by Wolverine Worldwide

Money might be on the way to help fight perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Michigan.

 

PFAS is a family of chemicals that’s been discovered in groundwater in 14 communities, and 28 sites, across the state. PFAS chemicals are used in things like flame retardants, cleaning products and food packaging.

 

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