WUOMFM

News

City of Flint

A program to mow and maintain vacant lots is having a side effect in Flint: lower crime rates in those neighborhoods, including assaults, burglaries and robberies.

A Michigan State University researcher compared crime data to neighborhoods with active “clean and green” abandoned lots. He says his survey of crime stats from 2005 to 2014 shows crime rates decline as “clean and green” lots take hold.

The sinkhole in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The state Legislature is back in Lansing after a two week break. Before they left for vacation, lawmakers in the House and Senate were at odds over how to fund a fix for the sinkhole mess in Macomb County. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether legislators will be able to play nice long enough to get this sorted out.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study shows Michigan’s air quality continues to improve, but the American Lung Association warns those gains could be lost. 

The association’s "State of the Air" report finds ozone and particulate pollution is declining nationally, and in Detroit and Grand Rapids in particular.

Switchblade ban repeal headed to House

15 hours ago
A switchblade.
Torus Mastaz / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Michigan's ban on switchblades could soon be repealed.

The state Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of repealing the ban.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, was inspired by 1950s Hollywood movies depicting their use in gang violence. Jones says those depictions were unrealistic and the law is outdated. He says that a switchblade is no more dangerous than other types of small knives, and is not being used in any significant numbers in violent crime.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Eight years into Michigan's economic recovery, the fiscal outlook is still unnerving for municipalities seen as ill-equipped to withstand the next recession.

  Despite continued job growth and record auto sales, the state's per-capita personal income lags the national average after a long-lasting downturn. Taxable values of property are below peak levels in 85% of municipalities. And their state aid is down 20% from 15 years ago.

Sunrise over trees and water
mikebabcock / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


The Great Lakes Economic Forum is being held this week in Detroit and Windsor. This is the third forum held by the Council of the Great Lakes Region, which includes business, government, and labor union organizations.

Mark Fisher, CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region, joined Stateside to discuss the importance of cross-border trade and the economic impact of the Great Lakes. 

The prose poems in Kathleen McGookey’s latest collection, Heart in a Jar, oscillate between the elegiac and surreal. “How can we use the poetic imagination to cope with loss?” McGookey asks her reader.  

A prairie vole forms monogamous relationships with its mating partner.
Courtesy of Natalie Nevarez

Like any researcher, Natalie Nevarez was looking for funding. She ended up finding it in the most unlikely of places: a pornography website.

Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

By now you’ve heard about Michigan’s “Comeback.”

You can find it in booming auto sales and fat corporate profits. You can feel it in a 5.1% unemployment rate. That’s roughly a third of its high point in the throes of the Great Recession.

You can see the revival all over downtown Detroit. That’s where billions in fresh capital are remaking an urban core into the kind of hip and happening place that a lot of folks thought they’d never see in the city America gave up for dead.

But that’s only part of the story.

Detroit federal courthouse, where the female genital mutilation hearings are taking place
User: cseeman / Flickr

Two more defendants appeared in court as a part of a federal prosecution alleging female genital cutting.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar are being charged with conspiracy to perform female genital mutilation on young girls and aiding and abetting in this activity.

Female genital mutilation is illegal in the U.S. for minors unless there is a medical need.

Dr. Attar owns the clinic in metro Detroit where Doctor Jumana Nagarwala is accused of performing these procedures on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota.

Lake Michigan
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Representatives from the eight Great Lakes states have reaffirmed approval of Waukesha, Wisconsin's request to switch its own contaminated water supply to Lake Michigan.

The 2008 Great Lakes Compact allows such a diversion if a city is at least partly within the watershed of one of the lakes. 

Last summer, Great Lakes governors voted unanimously to allow Waukesha to draw Lake Michigan water, but the decision was appealed by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

Courtesy of Kyle Bice

The "Beervangelist" is on the road.

Fred Bueltmann is New Holland Brewing Company’s vice president of Brand and Lifestyle. He's touring the nation to understand the popularity of craft-made beer, craft spirits, artisanal cheese, honey, jewelry, guitars and dozens of other products. It’s like the national version of our Artisans of Michigan series on Stateside.

Courtesy of Theo Katzman

 


Theo Katzman is coming back to Ann Arbor for a one night open air concert featuring a few of the area’s beloved musicians. While Katzman is still the drummer and guitarist with the funk/fusion band Vulfpeck, he’s been promoting his latest solo album, "Heartbreak Hits."

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican legislators are divided when it comes to the budget.

The Detroit News reports the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services cut energy assistance and food aid in what’s known as “Heat and Eat.”

So far about $200 million face cuts from Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget. Senator Jim Marleau, who chairs the subcommittee, says he’s received marching orders from Senate Republican leaders in an attempt to cut the state income tax or pay down state debt.

nl.monteiro / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Tomorrow, Earth Day, the March for Science will be held in Washington, D.C. Other marches are planned for hundreds of cities around the world.

The organizers’ mission statement reads: “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”

Laura Nawrocik / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan Radio's Issues & Ale series will stop at Bell's Brewery on Tuesday, April 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. to talk about the challenges facing Michigan's drinking water. 

From water diversion and pollution to our aging infrastructure system, the Environment Report's Rebecca Williams will lead a panel of experts through a conversation about some of the biggest threats.

We want to make sure that conversation answers your biggest questions. So what do you want to know about drinking water in Michigan? 

The Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has named Michigan Radio reporter Kate Wells the ‘Young Journalist of the Year.’ The award was presented at the Detroit SPJ’s annual banquet earlier this week.

In naming Wells ‘Young Journalist of the Year,’ the judges called her a “multi-talented journalist” who shows “research, organization [and] compelling storytelling,” and deemed her work “inspiring 21st century journalism.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  

Constantly in search of new Michigan products for cocktails, Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found a liquor that was new to her. It’s actually been out for a couple of years. It’s Coppercraft Distillery’s Applejack. Coppercraft is in Holland and has been around since 2012.

The cocktail she decided to mix is the Jack Rose. It’s a classic cocktail which was really popular in the 1920s and 30s. “While other cocktails from that period such as the Martini or the Manhattan have come roaring back, the Jack Rose is still a little bit of an underdog,” Coxen said.

aerial view of Michigan
NASA / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Earth Day events throughout Michigan this weekend hope to bring people outside to enjoy the fresh air, while also promoting eco-friendly lifestyles and climate education.

A large national March for Science will be held in Washington, D.C. Much like the Women's March in January, partner events are also happening in Michigan.

There are 14 marches planned in cities across the state including Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Petoskey.

front of vw car
User Mike Knell / Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit judge has approved a fine negotiation between the U.S. government and Volkswagen Friday morning.

Federal Judge Sean Cox has ordered the German automaker to pay $2.8 billion in criminal penalties. The company pled guilty to conspiracy and  obstruction of justice six weeks ago.

VW admits that nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and turn them off while on the road.

By all appearances, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof likes wielding power. He’s been in the Michigan Legislature for a decade, and he has been a strong, if controversial, leader of the Senate for more than two years now.

But in little more than a year and a half, his political career will be over—probably forever. Term limits mean he won’t be able to run for re-election to the state Senate.

gavel
Brian Turner / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new legal challenge is putting a pause on negotiations between the Detroit Public Schools Community District board and Nikolai Vitti, who was chosen as the district's new superintendent this week.

The challenge was filed by Robert Davis, a community activist who threatened the action after the board's decision to hire Vitti was announced. He is seeking a temporary restraining order that would stop the board from negotiating with Vitti.

Marijuana plant.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new study from the University of Michigan finds that levels of first-time marijuana use among college students are at a 30-year high.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, says 51 percent of college students ages 19 to 22 became first-time marijuana users in 2015. That's up from 41 percent in 2014 and 31 percent in 2013.

John Auchter / Auchtoon.com

ARTIST'S POV: Back in high school, one of my friends had an older sister who spent a summer on Isle Royale doing research. She made the mistake of trying to have a conversation about this with a bunch of 16 year-old boys.

Tracy Samilton

Despite heavy storms Thursday night, about 150 people showed up for a town hall meeting in Flint, after  city leaders announced that Flint will continue to get its drinking water from Detroit - instead of from a new pipeline called the KWA.

Some people at the town hall told the mayor and other officials they don't trust them to do the right thing.

After being warned, several people were arrested for shouting, booing, and using foul and abusive language.

Others lined up at the microphones to ask for more information about how the decision was reached.
 

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy

Representative Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor,  says he’s talked with people from around Michigan who are worried that if Enbridge's Line 5 oil pipeline were ever to spill, the Great Lakes would be devastated.

“It’s running under the Straits of Mackinac, pumping millions of gallons of oil a day,” Rabhi said. “If that old pipeline were to rupture, we would have a major catastrophe.”

GM Building in Detroit
ANDREA_44 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

After nearly 70 years, General Motors is no longer operating in Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities unexpectedly seized a GM plant yesterday earlier this week, a trend that has been common over the past few years as the country is in political unrest.

The GM plant stopped making cars in 2015 due to poor economic conditions in the country, but had been making auto parts instead.

Ann Arbor or Paris?
FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Not too long ago, Upper Peninsula native Dawn Verbrigghe had a career humming along in super-cool Brooklyn.

Then, out of the blue, came two job offers. One, in Paris, which promised a rooftop apartment in the City of Light. The other offer: Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger
Screengrab taken from Karen Spranger's Facebook page

It's been a bumpy first few months in office for new Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger and her staff.

Last night, the county ethics board met to discuss ethics complaints filed by a former top aide, someone Spranger fired shortly after taking office.

The meeting ended with a $100 fine against Spranger for an ethics violations, a fine she intends to appeal.

But that is just scratching the surface of what's happened since Spranger was elected last November.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Jim D / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Radio listener Ashley Lewis of Royal Oak posed this question to our MI Curious team:

Pages