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Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire
Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A big section of Michigan’s economy is being targeted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 98.2% of businesses in Michigan are small businesses. The SBA defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees.

According to Bowens, the report "does not adequately reflect the realities of today."
morgueFile user kconnors / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Anyone driving between Detroit and Grosse Pointe will be struck by the stark change that happens when you cross the border at Alter Road.

A report from a New Jersey non-profit group has declared that the economic divide between Detroit schools and Grosse Pointe schools is the worst in the nation. 

The report from the group EdBuild says nearly half the households in Detroit's school district live in poverty. In Grosse Pointe, that number is 6.5%. 

It also found that 82% of Detroit's public school students are African-American. In Grosse Pointe schools, it's 16%.

When you go to vote this fall, you'll have a chance to weigh in on education.

Amidst mounting calls for the state to do a better job educating its students, state Board of Education candidates are up for election, as well as trustees and governors of Michigan's major universities. 

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about the myriad issues at stake in the upcoming education races. 

Local government meeting room in Lansing.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report on the fiscal health of local governments in Michigan raised the question of whether those governments feel the steam running out of the recovery from the Great Recession.

The Michigan Public Policy Survey was performed by the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

CLOSUP administrator Tom Ivacko joined us today to talk about their most recent findings. 

A federal report says improperly treated Flint River water was a “plausible” cause of skin rashes suffered by city residents.

People in Flint have been blaming painful itchy rashes on the city’s tap water. Many pinpoint the development of their skin irritation to the city’s switch to the Flint River as its tap water source. Now a panel of experts for the most part agrees.

John Ford Coley
Friday, September 9 at 8:00 PM
Green Wood Coffee House
1001 Green Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

John Ford Coley, a Dallas native, is best known as half of the Grammy nominated duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.  Active throughout the 1970s, they released 11 albums and nine singles in their career and are best known for their 1976 single, "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight", a No. 2 pop hit and No. 1 Adult Contemporary hit.

I heard over the weekend from a retired night city editor from an Ohio newspaper who sent me an article from the New York Post about media bias and the presidential election.

He, and the authors of the article, believe the mainstream media is outrageously in favor of Hillary Clinton. Not that the old editor was especially a Donald Trump supporter.

“There’s never been an election with two less-qualified candidates,” he said, but added, “but that still doesn’t give journalists the right to choose sides so blatantly.”

Tougher pipeline safety rules could be a tough sell

Aug 23, 2016
Two men walk the scene of a natural gas transmission line explosion in western Pennsylvania, April 29, 2016. The blast was so powerful it ripped a 12-foot crater into the landscape and burned a section of the field with a quarter-mile radius.
Reid Frazier / The Allegheny Front

There's a building boom for pipelines all across the country right now, and that’s created anxiety about new pipelines close to where people live and work. While the federal government is trying to ratchet up safety rules, there are limits on what these new rules can do.

Work is moving along more quickly than expected on Detroit's Riverside Park.

The city gave three acres of the park in Southwest-Detroit to the owners of the Ambassador Bridge in a controversial deal last year. Detroit got five acres of land owned by the bridge company as part of the swap. That land will be used to expand the park.

Part of the deal called for the demolition of a former warehouse by late 2018. But that's underway now. 

Durene Brown's basement has now flooded several times. She has yet to hear back about a claim filed in May.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is about to process an “unprecedented” number of claims, although it’s uncertain what claimants can expect to get out of the process.

It’s the result of a July 8 rainstorm that caused sewage to back up into basements across a swath of Detroit’s east side. A similar, smaller event happened in the same area just last week.

DWSD has urged affected residents to file claims, and many have.

There is a saying in politics that three-quarters of what you do in a campaign doesn’t matter -- you just don’t know which three quarters until after the campaign is over.

That’s because there are so many variables that can make a difference once the voting starts, so candidates, campaigns, and political parties do all they can to gain every marginal advantage.

Kentwood, MI

Methane, a combustible gas, has been discovered underground, outside the boundaries of a Kent County landfill.

The now-closed landfill is near Kentwood's City Hall. 

Dar Baas, Kent County Director of Public Works, says methane usually vents up, into the air, but in this situation, some of it is moving horizonally, under the surface.

He says there will be increased monitoring in the area.

"We did some testing at the city office," says Baas, "and everything's coming back there non-detect, which is really good news. But we want to make sure we're thorough."

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is boosting his presence in Michigan. Michigan's campaign for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expanding from one to seven senior staffers. 

Dave Doyle is the Executive Vice President for Marketing Resource Group. He says this is a big commitment to Michigan and shows that the campaign sees Michigan as a battleground state.

 

“The important thing is the expansion of the staff,” he says. “They’ve basically gone from a one man operation to seven people. So that’s again pretty significant.”

The 2016 M-STEP results come out Tuesday morning
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This is an unusually slow year for new charter schools, according to the state charter association, which says the seven charters opening this fall are “among the fewest in history.”

“Only six schools opened last year,” the Michigan Association of Public Schools Academies said in its release today. “That was the fewest since 2008, when seven schools opened under the charter cap. (The cap on university-authorized schools was lifted by the Legislature and Governor Snyder in 2011.)”

University of Michigan public policy assistant professor Catherine Hausman says we need to be concerned about what happens to the environment when methane leaks from natural gas.
Steven Depolo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The natural gas industry tells us that using natural gas is environmentally friendly. The industry says natural gas has fewer impurities than coal, and tells us its combustion yields mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor, so there’s less pollution.

But the main ingredient of natural gas is methane. And methane is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.

That’s why University of Michigan public policy assistant professor Catherine Hausman said we need to be concerned about what happens to the environment when methane leaks.

She also believes the utilities have little incentive to plug natural gas leaks. She recently wrote about the issue in an article at TheConversation.com and she joined Stateside to talk more about it. 

Barring a successful appeal, Michigan voters will be able to use a straight-ticket voting option on November's ballot.
MICHAEL DORAUSCH / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Election day is drawing near. It’s less than 90 days away.

And still the battle continues over straight-ticket voting - that's where you can check off just one box at the top of the ballot to vote for every candidate in the party of your choice.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court. He’s asking the appeals court to overrule lower court rulings that blocked the new GOP-led law that eliminates straight-ticket voting in Michigan.

A 2014 Impala driving off the line at Oshawa Assembly.
General Motors

The Next Idea

Around the world, Michigan is known as a state that makes things. And the way we make things is about to undergo a massive shift – so massive, in fact, that experts are calling it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

Flickr user justgrimes/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you find yourself dissatisfied with choices offered by the two mainstream political parties, you’ve got a new choice.

The Working Class Party got itself onto the Michigan ballot after more than 50,000 people signed petitions. That’s more than the 31,566 signatures required by election law.

Mary Anne Hering of the Working Class Party joined Stateside to talk about the party’s platform, and introduce the candidates we’ll see on the ballot this November.

Perhaps the ultimate political nightmare scenario has been the specter of a stolen election, especially a presidential election. This is not something candidates have tended to talk about, mainly for good and responsible reasons.

Democracy, to a large extent, depends on trust. If citizens were to believe that their votes won’t be honestly counted, that could be an enormous destabilizing influence. That’s not something members of any party in a stable democracy normally want.


It’s the kind of thing that can divide a nation.

Or, at the very least, it’s the kind of thing that can bring a perfect date between two grammar nerds to a screeching halt.

Picture it. You’re midway through what has been a nearly perfect first date. Conversation has been interesting, awkward lulls have been minimal and basic hygiene expectations have been met.

Then, somewhere between entrees and dessert, the word "alleged" comes up in conversation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Work begins this week on replacing damaged lead service lines in Flint.

There’s also a little science going on as well.

Three contractors hired by the city to replace up to 250 service lines are contacting Flint homeowners to get their permission to do the work.  

Wayne State University researchers will also be contacting the same Flint homeowners to ask if they can test the water before and after the contractors do their work.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of Congress remain on their usual summer break.     

Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee hopes money for Flint’s water crisis will be near the top of the agenda when Congress returns to work after Labor Day.

The Flint Democrat admits there are some other pressing needs that also need to be addressed, in particular the Zika outbreak and Opioid epidemic.

“Our effort will be to not get through another budget cycle, as we go into the fall budget deliberations, without addressing Flint,” says Kildee.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are celebrating local hero, boxer Claressa Shields, who won her second gold medal on the final day of the Rio Olympics.

A standing room-only crowd watched Shields’ fight at Flint’s Berston field house, where Shields learned to box.  A picture of Shields wearing her gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics hangs above the front door of the field house.  

All through the middleweight fight, the crowd cheered and Shield’s sister Briana shouted at her to “knock out” her opponent, Nouchka Fontjin of the Netherlands.

pixabay

The drought this summer may not have been good for your lawn.

But it was good for reducing the blooms of green slime known as cyanobacteria in Lake Erie.

"The low bloom we're seeing right now is just because Mother Nature threw us a dry year," says Chris Winslow, Interim Director of the Ohio Sea Grant. "Definitely the problem's not solved."

The problem is phosphorus, a component of fertilizer used on farmland throughout the water basins of Lake Erie. In a normal year, rains flush the phosphorus from farmland into the lake, and cyanobacteria loves phosphorus.

Packing up school supplies.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand backpacks are on their way to Flint school children.

This past week, volunteers unloaded a moving van filled with backpacks.

Rhetta Hunyady, with the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce, says they want to get these much-needed school supplies into the hands of children whose parents might not otherwise be able to afford to buy them what they need for school.

“And to let Flint kids know that people here in our community and outside of our community really care about who they are and helping them to be successful,” says Hunyady.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The prosecution of current and former state employees for their role in Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis likely will face an early test over whether one of the most serious charges can even be levied against the middle- and lower-level government officials.

  All eight workers charged so far, five from the Department of Environmental Quality and three with the Department of Health and Human Services, face a misconduct in office charge. The felony carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Severe weather is slamming parts of western Michigan as storms move east across the state.

National Weather Service meteorologist T.J. Turnage says Saturday that officials have seen "indications of tornados on radar, and very good indications they have occurred and debris lifted up with them."

Turnage says parts of Allegan and Kent counties, and the outskirts of Grand Rapids are seeing some of the worst weather.

M. Kukhlman / newsservice.org

Homework isn't the only thing some Michigan kids dread as they head back to school, as a new nationwide analysis ranks Michigan worst for bullying. According to the online-survey site WalletHub, the state is also third for the percentage of high-school kids bullied on school property.

Purple car at the Dream Cruise.
Kelly Kline / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Could the Woodward Dream Cruise become more than a week-long gaze into the rearview mirror? Let’s hope so.

There was an era — say, pre-2008 — when the cruise’s glorification of Detroit’s muscle cars represented the best and worst of this town’s defining industry. A decade ago, I wrote that it projected a “chronic inability to relegate the past to the past and to move on.”

MDOT / via Twitter

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says 22,000 owners of surface parking lots and other parcels covered in impervious materials like concrete need to start pitching in for the city's $125 million annual cost for wastewater treatment.

Gary Brown is Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

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