WUOMFM

News

A photograph of the Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials in Jackson County are asking Gov. Rick Snyder to remove their sheriff from office over insulting remarks about women and minorities.

A letter was sent Friday by the county's Board of Commissioners. Chairman Steve Shotwell Jr. says Sheriff Steven Rand's conduct is a "threat to the core values of the community."

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler speaks at Hillsdale College on on January 25, 2009.
Chuck Grimmett / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Former Governor John Engler will donate his salary while serving as Michigan State University's interim president. Engler took over the role after Lou Anna Simon resigned amid criticism over MSU's handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Engler's appointment has drawn both praise and criticism. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about how he's doing so far. 


The progression of a cleanup of a room of someone with hoarding disorder.
Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County

For a while, the show Hoarders was popular on cable.

A show about people who just can’t stop hoarding things in their homes. Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms are piled high with paper, dishes, clothes, food. Doors can’t open. Sometimes there are too many animals in the house. People with hoarding disorder put themselves – and sometimes others – in danger.

The TV show resolves the issue with a lot of drama and tears, and the problem, at least what the viewer sees, is all taken care of in one or two episodes.

But life doesn’t work that way, and for a long time, there just wasn’t a lot of help available for people with hoarding disorder.

Screengrab - Mismatch / YouTube

Things don't always fit together neatly. Life would be really boring if they did.

That's the driving idea behind a new podcast called Mismatch – "stories of the incompatible, the unsuitable, and the out-of-step."

The podcast will air during Stateside’s normal time slot (3-4 p.m. and 10-11 p.m.) on Monday, Feb. 26 and on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Caricature created by Vic Reyes MBME Media

Perhaps it’s already spread to your corner of Michigan: those aggravating, irritating, nauseating and much repeated political advertisements. Yup, yet another election year.

And with five people on the U.S. Supreme Court declaring a stack of cold, hard cash is not money but free speech, we Michiganeers are about to get an ear and eye-full for the duration of 2018.

Saginaw Future Inc. / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Consumers Energy wants to stop buying renewable energy from outside sources.

Under the federal Public Utilities Regulator Policy Act (PURPA), state regulators can encourage more renewable energy by requiring utilities to purchase electricity generated by solar, wind, biomass, or other renewable sources at the same rate it would cost the utility to make it.

That helps Michigan to be less dependent on fossil fuels, and supports development of renewable energy sources.

Courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Laura Checkoway just finished a film that is now being nominated for an Oscar. She’s the director, producer, and editor of a film called Edith+Eddie. It’s up for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She is from Ann Arbor.

Checkoway joined Stateside to discuss how she learned about Edith and Eddie, who at 96 and 95 are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, how her film comments on America’s system of elder care, and what it feels like to receive an Oscar nomination.

Mark Hogan / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Earlier this week, Stateside spoke to Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Chair Andy LaBarre about their counties’ consideration of a transit plan that would include links between Ann Arbor and downtown Detroit.

Macomb and Oakland county leaders appeared to distance themselves from supporting a ballot proposal for a four county regional transit system.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s Black History Month and the Cheers! team of Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham have a cocktail recipe used by America’s first celebrity bartender, Cato Alexander.

“I wanted to make sure that we gave a shout out to some of the amazing black bartenders who have worked in the past and in the present,” Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said.

Figure skating
Queen Yuna / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Twenty years ago, Richard Callaghan helped Tara Lipinski become an Olympic gold medalist — but I was not impressed.

Sure, he can coach Tara, but who couldn't? She can skate. But what about coaching a 33-year old clod who has never been on figure skates before? If Callaghan really wanted to test his coaching skills, I would be his guinea pig.

artist rendering of proposed bridge
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

One of the ways that the state of Michigan takes action is by passing legislation. The state House and Senate pass bills, send them on to the governor and if he signs them, they become law. However, the governor has an end-around option that doesn't involve the Legislature and doesn't get much attention.

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

There was a fierce debate today leading up to a state House vote to adopt English as Michigan’s official language. The bill cleared the House on a mostly party-line vote.

Republicans say it would reflect what’s already the practice in state government.

State Rep. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, said the bill is a waste of time.

“We have roads to fix, schools to improve, mental health services to fix," she said. "Any reasonable observer would conclude this bill is only meant to be inflammatory and divisive."

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

High schoolers, lawmakers, and concerned citizens held a rally at the state Capitol today. They want changes to the state’s gun laws.

The rally comes the week after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where students and staff members were killed.

Tulane Public Relations / Creative Commons

Gov. Rick Snyder says he wants to spend his last year in office focused on creating a workforce to fill more than 800,000 current and future openings.

He calls it a “Marshall Plan” for developing talent, borrowing the name of the massive effort to rebuild Europe after World War II.  It aims to invest in training for jobs in skilled trades, information technology, and health care.

Snyder said he’s made filling positions in sought-after high-tech fields a priority already.

“But we need a capstone accelerator. That’s what the Marshall Plan is – to accelerate this.”

A street pole in the middle of flood water
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lansing is one of several cities throughout the state dealing with flooding.

Mayor Andy Schor declared a state of emergency Wednesday. Several streets are still blocked off, making it tougher to navigate sections of the city.

John Estill lives right along the Grand River. Flood water covers his entire backyard and has made its way to his basement.

“We’ve got sandbags around the outside of the house, but it’s still seeping in, and we’re trying to keep ahead of it with pumps,” Estill said.

Estill says the drywall in his basement took the most damage.

Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Lawyers for wrongfully convicted ex-prisoners are crying foul over the dismissal of their client's claims on the grounds of a missed deadline that they dispute.

The exonerated former inmates are seeking damages under the recent Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act. The 2016 law is intended to compensate people for the years they were wrongly imprisoned.

Gabi Silver represents one of the ex-prisoners, Konrad Montgomery, who spent more than three years in prison for a crime he did not commit. 

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Retirement accounts, specifically 401(k) plans, were never intended to be a substitute for a pension. But, the reality is, most people, if they have a retirement account at all, it’s a 401(k). Last year, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece in which the creators of the 401(k) worry about what they started. The 401(k) was designed to supplement income from Social Security and a pension.

The State of the Takata Airbags

Michigan and 23 other states have settled their lawsuit against airbag maker Takata. 

But the states aren't going to try to collect the money. 

Takata is going bankrupt, so it has limited money for fines, paying automakers for recalls, and compensating victims. 

The states won't go after the $650 million settlement to protect the funds that are available for victims. Twenty-two people have been killed and hundreds of people have been injured with the defective Takata airbags in their vehicles deployed with too much force, spraying them with metal fragments.

gretchen whitmer twitter post on college affordability
Twitter

 

Michigan Radio is partnering with Bridge Magazine's Truth Squad project this year, as we have for each election year during the past eight years, to fact check political claims.

This time, we're looking at gubernatorial candidates.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler will donate his salary while serving as Michigan State University's interim president amid fallout over now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted female athletes.

The university's Board of Trustees said Wednesday that Engler's annual salary will be $510,399. His contract was finalized this week, but he agreed his salary would go back to the school in East Lansing.

His predecessor, Lou Anna Simon, resigned in January amid criticism of the university's handling of issues related to Nassar.

Panelists from left to right: Joe Linstroth, Jeff DeGraff, Eric Thomas, Lauren Bigelow, and Nate Lutz.
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

For more than three years, The Next Idea has been talking to people who took their creative ideas and turned them into something tangible — a business, an invention, social change. 

Those out of the box ideas are essential to keep moving Michigan’s economy forward. But creative ideas often get stuck in their own regional bubbles.

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

Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, is awe-inspiring on many levels. But it’s also challenged. Though it seems pristine, a couple centuries of exploitation have taken their toll.

A new book Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing Worldpublished by Yale University Press, traces the history of the lake and some of the indignities it's suffered at the hands of humans.

Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

 

In late November of 2014, Michigan Radio’s Stateside began a series called The Next Idea. With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a team that included the University of Michigan’s “Dean of Innovation” Jeff DeGraff and Executive Producer Joe Linstroth, the project’s mission was to focus on innovation, creativity and ideas meant to move Michigan forward.

 

In essays and interviews, we met Michigan inventors and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, scientists, farmers, business people, experts, and just regular citizens who decided to think outside the box to make their state and their communities better.

Courtesy of Snow Makers Incorporated

If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics in South Korea, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen the product of a Michigan company.

The snow on the ski slopes is manufactured snow — fake snow — made by Snow Makers Incorporated based in Midland.

Governor William Milliken
Bentley Historical Library

Today would have been George Washington’s 286th birthday, and when I was a child we celebrated his birthday in school, as we did Abraham Lincoln’s ten days before.

Teachers used both as opportunities to teach us about the good semi-myths that helped bind us together; Washington chopping down the cherry tree and Honest Abe splitting rails.

Today, of course, both birthdays are lumped together as a generic Presidents’ Day, which basically means a day when the banks are closed and there isn’t any mail.

Hospital exam room
pixabay

An employee at three southeast Michigan health care facilities may have unwittingly exposed more than 600 people to tuberculosis.

Those health care facilities are Saint Joseph-Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals, and the South Lyon Senior Care and Rehab Center.

It’s believed the infected worker may have exposed patients and staff at all three places between May of last year and January of this year.

Tuberculosis is a potentially serious bacterial disease that usually attacks the lungs.

A park sign in water
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Several cities in West Michigan are experiencing flooding after heavy rainfall and warm temperatures swept across the state this week.

Newaygo is one such city. Some residents were evacuated from their homes nearly 40 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Riverfront Park in Newaygo has water from the Muskegon River covering park benches and picnic tables.

Georgia Andres is the Chief of Police in Newaygo. She says the city is at "level C" flooding, which means that homes and businesses in the low lying areas have been evacuated.

Wilson X / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder will consider changing the rules that allow courts to permanently remove children from their parents.

The bills are on their way to the governor’s desk. One would prevent the state from automatically asking that a parent’s rights be terminated just because they had their rights terminated to other children.

 “It absolutely is a due process issue," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, a bill sponsor. "And it’s a protection of the poor.”

Michigan AG Bill Schuette
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Bill Schuette says the special prosecutor looking into MSU’s handling of abuse allegations is independent of his office.

That's not what the contract says, though.

The agreement with special prosecutor William Forsyth says he reports directly to and must clear major decisions with Schuette.

Schuette says that’s just standard contract language for special attorneys retained by his office. Schuette says the highly respected former Kent County prosecutor has no specific orders from his office.

Get ready for more potholes this upcoming spring season.
User _chrisUK / flickr.com

Lawmakers in Lansing want to put $175 million toward fixing the state’s roads. The state House passed the spending bill today.

Governor Rick Snyder initially proposed a similar spending bump for the next budget cycle. But lawmakers say the potholes and crumbling roads need to be addressed as soon as possible. They want the money available in time for construction season.

Pages