steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered all U.S. and state flags to be lowered to honor fallen firefighters.

The governor's announcement is in accordance with President Barack Obama's proclamation honoring the National Firefighters Memorial Service.

The flags are to be flown at half-staff or half-mast on Sunday until sunset.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 10:37 p.m.:

After renouncing his support of Trump, Michigan's Lt. Gov. felt Trump turned in a winning performance during the debate:

Kaiketsu / Wikimedia Commons /

Bill Ford Jr.’s used to taking shots.

He got whacked repeatedly for touting environmentalism in the global auto industry long before going green was cool. That prompted rivals, even his own employees, to wonder if the son of America’s preeminent industrial dynasty was becoming unmoored from the realities of the family business.

Satellite image of algal bloom in Lake Erie taken in 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Two years after Toledo’s water supply was shut down by so-called blue-green algae, people are still worried about the safety of the city’s drinking water.

Toxins called microcystins are sometimes produced by certain freshwater cyanobacteria blooms. Those blooms are more likely under certain conditions, and every summer Toledo is on the watch for an increase.

A brick church
User VanZandt / Flickr-

Members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit held a unique service on Friday called “Mass for Pardon.”

Leaders at the Archdiocese said it's important to ask forgiveness for sins the Catholic Church has committed as an institution. 

people at sculpture exhibit
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A collection of carved wooden dogs received the most votes in this year’s ArtPrize. James Mellick, a craftsman from Ohio, takes home $200,000 for Wounded Warrior Dogs.

According to the artists’ statement, Mellick hopes the installation at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel raises awareness of wounded veterans.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This is part of an ongoing series on Stateside called Artisans of Michigan.

We are at Voodoo Choppers in Aurburn Hills to talk with Eric Gorges. If that name is familiar to you, you know he’s also host of the weekly national TV show on PBS, A Craftsman’s Legacy. But, we’re here chiefly to talk about his craft: building motorcycles.

The lawsuit says the health department's vaccine waiver policies are unconstitutional
Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr creative commons

Michigan cut way down on the number of kids with vaccination waivers last year. But now a group of activists, called Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines, is suing the state health department over policies that contributed to that decline.  


The Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing was built in 1879, and later restored in 1992. Now, in 2016, its caretakers say there are some real problems with the guts of the building.

"It's a stewardship issue that has to be met by the current group of lawmakers, as for any group of lawmakers," said Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants who also served as a Republican legislative leader.

grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio


Local governments around the state have been trying to figure out how to keep things going on a tighter budget. They’re not bringing in as much money as they have during better economic times of the past.

That's partly because the state has been cutting back on how much sales tax revenue it shares with cities and towns. And a lot of local leaders want to change that.

Courtesy of Ran Ortner Studio

As the Grand Rapids Artprize competition continues to grow and evolve, Stateside’s Lester Graham sat down with the very first winner of the competition, painter Ran Ortner.

john king talking at library
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint public school district is getting money from the federal government to help address critical needs arising from the city’s water crisis.

U.S. Secretary of Education John King, Jr. was in Flint today to discuss the $480,000 grant.

Jason James/flickr /

In his article for The Conversation, University of Michigan Professor Andrew Hoffman discusses why academics and scientists are losing relevance in the eyes of the public and how they can - and must - reverse this trend. Hoffman is the Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at U of M.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Consultants say cost restructuring may be needed to make Flint’s water bills more affordable.

Even before Flint water was unsafe to drink without a filter, many people tried to avoid turning on their taps because of the cost.

As Flint’s population dwindled, more of the cost of paying for the system fell on fewer and fewer people.   City officials added to the cost by siphoning off cash to pay for other city needs. Thousands of city residents either fell behind on their bills or had their water service shutoff. 

Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival
Thursday – Saturday, November 17-19, 2016
DeVos Place, Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Wine Beer and Food Festival is the largest wine and beer tasting event in the Midwest. Now in its 9th year, this festival has established itself as Michigan’s premier tasting event, measured by 1,600 wines, beers, ciders and spirits.

Here’s what the Michigan Constitution says about state aid to private schools:

No public monies or property shall be appropriated or paid or any public credit utilized, by the legislature or any other political subdivision or agency of the state directly or indirectly to aid or maintain any private, denominational or other nonpublic, pre-elementary, elementary, or secondary school. No payment, credit, tax benefit, exemption or deductions, tuition voucher, subsidy, grant or loan of public monies or property shall be provided, directly or indirectly, to support the attendance of any student or the employment of any person at any such nonpublic school or at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to such nonpublic school students.

That’s about as clear as could be.


A common question these days is, "How did it come to this? How did we end up with these presidential candidates?" The simplest answer is, "It's our fault." Would a curious, engaged, and active electorate have generated the current tickets? Probably not.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Legionella bacteria has been detected at a residence hall at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Legionella bacteria turned up in three water samples in the Riverfront Residence hall. No illnesses have been reported.

“Please let me reassure you that in checking with the Centers for Disease Control I have been told that these test results do not indicate immediate risk to our campus or community,” says Susan Borrego, U of M Flint Chancellor.

wikimedia commons

A potent synthetic opioid is showing up in Michigan’s illicit drug supply, and is now linked to at least 19 deaths.

Carfentanil is used as an elephant tranquilizer. It can be mixed with heroin, or pressed into pill form.

It’s said to be 100 times more potent than its cousin fentanyl, and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It’s been linked to a spike in overdose deaths around the Midwest over the past several months.

senator bernie sanders at podium
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was in Michigan Thursday to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

He crisscrossed the state with stops in Dearborn, Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Grand Rapids.

university of michigan campus
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan wants to improve diversity and inclusion on its campus.

The university announced today it will spend $85 million over the next five years in an effort to do so.

Scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students are a large part of the university's plan. 

man at whiteboard


It was born in the throes of Detroit’s bankruptcy: the idea to take the aging, debt-ridden Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and transform it into a regional entity.

The Great Lakes Water Authority seems to be stoking a true spirit of cooperation in Southeast Michigan and performing the way its designers hoped it would.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us today to talk about why it’s so important that the regional water authority succeeds and how it’s helping Detroit’s debt problems.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty (left) interviews Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) with Stateside Executive Producer Joe Linstroth in Ann Arbor on October 6, 2016.
Mitchell Rivard

Republicans and Democrats have made it clear that the state of Michigan is in play for the 2016 presidential election.

Another high-profile campaign visit to the state comes in the form of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. He is making stops in four cities (Dearborn, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Rapids) stumping for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

A new policy will hopefully help supervisors track any racial profiling
Michigan State Police

State police will now be required to document the race of people they stop.

This change comes after the ACLU of Michigan recently expressed concern about possible racial profiling in an open letter to the Michigan State Police.

State officers have quotas for traffic stops and arrests, but they haven’t been required to document the race of who they stop in their daily electronic logs.

user: Soil Science / Flickr

State officials are accepting more feedback on proposed new statewide standards for more than 300 environmental contaminants, including dioxane. 

The last public comment period ended in mid-September.  

This week the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality released revised proposed rules with a new comment deadline of October 18, and an additional public hearing scheduled for October 17 in Lansing. 

Mary Whalen

After three years of writing, arranging and recording, Red Tail Ring’s Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo are out with their new album.

It’s called Fall Away Blues. It blends new folk songs on subjects ranging from gun violence and fracking to our deepest relationships and changing sense of place. It also features some old traditional ballads and tunes.

U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons /

Some Democratic state lawmakers are calling for the Legislature to add breast cancer to the list of conditions covered by a state health care fund for first responders. The fund was created two years ago.

State Senator Curtis Hertel said policymakers were slow to recognize the risk to female firefighters, in part, because there are so many more men in the profession. But he said new studies show the dangers to female first responders.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A printer’s error is forcing Genesee County to order 300,000 new ballots for next month’s election.

The original ballots contained mistakes that prevent the ballots from being tabulated. For example, problems with the timing track on the side of the form will prevent a computer from reading the ballot. 

County Clerk John Gleason is concerned some absentee voters have already mailed back defective ballots. He says new ballots will be sent out.

“There’s no excuse,” says Gleason, “This is the most critical instrument in our democracy … our vote.”

Teachers unions and others rallied for more public school funding before classes this morning in Detroit, Kalamazoo and Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Teachers unions held early morning rallies today at schools across Michigan.

Teachers and others took part in so-called ‘walk-in’ events in Detroit, Kalamazoo and Flint. Similar rallies took place in more than 70 cities nationwide. 

Before sunrise, a steady line of buses dropped students off at Flint’s Northwestern High School. As students stepped off buses, they were greeted by people carrying signs calling for more public money for traditional public schools.

For many years, few people paid any attention to the politics of Michigan Supreme Court justices. Nor were elections for the state’s highest court usually exciting.

That’s because there used to be a presumption that judges were more or less above politics, and that once on the bench, they should remain there as long as they were honest and competent, until the magic age of 70, after which, under the Michigan Constitution, they may finish a current term, but are no longer eligible to run again.