WUOMFM

Josh Hakala

Former Stateside Online News Intern

Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to Michigan Radio after nearly two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media. Most recently, he worked for Advance Digital where he managed newspaper websites from across the country, including MLive.com. While his resume is filled with sports broadcasting experience (Big Ten Network, 97.1FM The Ticket, 610AM WIP etc.), radio reporting (90.1FM WRTI) and odd jobs (Editor for the FIFA video game series for EA Sports), he brings a passion for news and storytelling to the Stateside staff.

Josh is also a proud graduate of Lansing Community College where he got his radio start as the sports director and on-air music host at WLNZ. He also got his BA from Temple University where he majored in Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Mass Media. While he loved his five years in Philadelphia, he returned to his home state of Michigan in 2008 where he is happy to find people don't sing the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song whenever you tell them where you live (West Philadelphia).

When he is not at Michigan Radio, he runs TheCup.us, a media outlet that covers the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, one of the oldest soccer tournaments in the world where amateur teams and the top professional teams all compete in a March Madness-style competition. He also does freelance play by play announcing for just about any sport (yes, even water polo) and has a massive music collection as he clings to his CDs and vinyl records. He currently lives in Ann Arbor with his wife (the midwife) and three kids, two of which figured out a way to be born on the same day.

The Ann Arbor-based Indian fusion band Sumkali performs at the Michigan Radio studios.
Michigan Radio

The Ann Arbor-based fusion band Sumkali brands themselves as “Indian music made in America.” Everyone in the band calls Michigan home, but according to the band’s founder John Churchville, half of them have family ties to India.

All the different band members bring their own skill sets, instruments, and influences that make the group the very definition of a fusion band. In the end, they create a sound intended to reach many different people.

Cynthia Canty with Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton from BuzzFeed's "Another Round" podcast.
Stateside Staff

One of the internet's biggest podcasts is coming to Ann Arbor to do a live show.

At the invitation of the School of Social Work People of Color Collective at the University of Michigan, Buzzfeed's hit podcast Another Round will hold its first live show at the Michigan Union on Thursday, April 14.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s something brewing around Lansing’s City Hall.

On March 4, Lansing’s city attorney Janene McIntyre resigned voluntarily, but the Lansing State Journal reports that McIntyre was still paid $160,000 in salary and accrued benefits. McIntyre and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero have repeatedly declined to discuss the details about why she left and why she was given such a substantial payment by the city.

Jim Harbaugh watches closely during Michigan's Spring Game.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last week, the NCAA finally ruled on Jim Harbaugh's satellite football camps for the University of Michigan.

They said that teams are no longer allowed to hold camps outside of their own facilities.

A view of Zug Island from Windsor, Ontario in 2009
user Jamie / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A few years ago, residents in the southern and western parts of Windsor complained of a mysterious noise. It was described as a “hum” sound that brought with it vibrations that were often strong enough to rattle windows.

Here is an example of the "Windsor Hum" that was recorded by Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton in May of 2012 (It was digitally enhanced so you are able to hear it on your speakers).

Flowers for the victims of the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., on display of the steps of the Capitol in 2011.
Medill DC / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When a mass shooting takes place in the United States, it is the duty of the media to report the news. However, a recent article in Mother Jones cites research that suggests the sensationalizing of these killings might make the problem worse.

Six weeks ago in Kalamazoo, Uber driver Jason Dalton went on a shooting rampage between picking up passengers. Dalton has confessed to killing six people and wounding two others.

The Man in the City Project
Eric Wheeler

If you’re traveling in Metro Detroit on I-96 you might see something a little out of the ordinary near the Milford Road exit: an orange man.

The orange silhouette of a broad-shouldered man wearing a 1950s-style fedora can be seen on buildings throughout Metro Detroit and in more than 60 locations across the state of Michigan, thanks to the Man In The City Project spearheaded by artist John Sauvé.

The Empire Mine
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

The Marquette area recently received some painful news when Lourenco Goncalves, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources announced that the Empire Mine would be closing by the end of the year. More than 400 workers from the region are affected by the announcement that iron ore production, that has been a big part of the area’s economy for a long time, will end.

Sunset over Traverse City
Jerry / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

How many times have you said this while you’ve been on vacation?

“I wish we could just live here all the time.”

As it turns out, among the thousands who have visited Traverse City over the last couple decades, many of them have said that. And followed through and made that wish come true. It’s becoming more than the National Cherry Festival and a fun place to spend a long weekend in the summer.

Ali Elisabeth / Michigan Radio

With all the attention paid to water issues in Michigan thanks to the Flint water crisis, the Detroit News highlighted another problem in the city of Detroit: water shutoffs.

Joel Kurth’s article begins with the following:

Thomas Xu / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Politicians and business leaders over the last decade have referenced the “brain drain” as a major problem for the state of Michigan. College students graduate from a state college or university and move elsewhere to pursue a job or begin their career.

Amy Hunter is the Transgender Advocacy Project Coordinator for the ACLU of Michigan.
Cynthia Hunter

“I knew at a very young age that I was actually a woman.”

Those are the words of Amy Hunter. She is the Transgender Advocacy Project coordinator for the ACLU of Michigan ,and her story is one of the many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community that she represents.

Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba)
SenatorTomCasperson.com

The State Board of Education this month released a set of guidelines and recommendations it says will help provide a safer, more welcoming environment for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ).

Save The Wild UP / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Michigan-based environmental organization is taking a new approach to protect a patch of land near the Yellow Dog River in northern Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve started a crowd funding campaign to raise money to purchase the 695-acre property to protect it from development.

Emily Whittaker, the special projects manager at the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve joined Stateside to talk about the Yellow Dog River Community Forest campaign and what makes the land so special.

Deb Nystrom / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ann Arbor Township and the city of Ann Arbor are both pushing for a federal cleanup of the dioxane plume that has been working its way through the city’s groundwater for several years. The concern is that the 1,4 dioxane, a known carcinogen, could eventually reach Ann Arbor’s main water source in the years to come.

Atlantic Monthly Press (2002)

The literary world suffered a significant loss over the weekend when Michigan author and writer Jim Harrison passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Arizona.

Harrison wrote more than three dozen books, including novels like True North, Dalva, and numerous collections of poetry.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There is an effort under way to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. Metro Detroit pastor David Bullock is leading the charge on one of the two petitions that are circulating around the state. Recalling a governor is no easy task and thanks to recent legislation, it is even more difficult.

Bullock will need to gather more than 790,000 valid signatures in 60 days. If they are successful with the effort, there is a great deal of confusion as to what the next steps would be.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Water Advisory Task Force released its final report after a five-month investigation into the Flint water crisis, and according to co-chair Ken Sikkema, “It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture about certain state agencies, and even local agencies.”

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court

Every 10 years, Michigan legislators re-draw our congressional and legislative districts. Once the census numbers are released, the political party in power at the time controls the process, and that's when things can get ugly.

A U.S. Supreme Court out of Texas could change the way redistricting is handled in Michigan and every other state.

Eric Lupher, the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, joined Stateside to explain how the case of Evenwel v. Abbott could have a significant impact on future elections.

Trunk Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Rennett Stowe / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What the heck is going on with the Virgin Islands Republican Party?

This is the question posed as the title of an article by Lauren Fox on TalkingPointsMemo.com.

The heart of the issue is who will represent the Virgin Islands at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this year?

The streets of Havana, Cuba in December of 2014.
Nina Hale / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Barack Obama made history today when he became the first U.S. president to visit the island nation of Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

It's seen as an important step toward normalizing relations between the two countries. Many Cuban Americans, like Felix Sharpe-Caballero, are following the developing relationship between the two countries very closely.

Sharpe-Caballero was born in Cuba and moved to Detroit when he was three years old after his father, who worked at the Guantanamo Naval Base, won political asylum and moved his family to the U.S.

The University of Michigan Health System
The University of Michigan

When a child gets sick, there are few scarier words in the English language for a parent than cancer.

Once that word comes out of a doctor’s mouth, there are lots questions to be asked, and even more decisions to be made. Few of them are easy.

One of those difficult questions is whether you want your child to be a part of a clinical trial.

Laura Sedig, a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about clinical trials for childhood cancer and the options for parents faced with making this difficult decision.

From left to right, RECaP research assistant Sophia Jingo, Tutilo Mudumba and Robert Montgomery
Dave Ellis / Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Wildlife conservation in Africa is an important and difficult environmental issue for the continent as many of the planet’s most majestic animals are under threat. A group at Michigan State University is working to find creative ways to minimize the loss of animals such as lions, giraffes and elephants.

Robert Montgomery, an assistant professor with MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Tutilo Mudumba, a graduate student from Uganda, joined Stateside to talk about their efforts with the RECaP Laboratory.

Students from the Detroit Food Academy.
Jen Rusciano / Detroit Food Academy

It started with mangos on a stick.

In the spring of 2011, kids at a high school in southwest Detroit were challenged to use their entrepreneurial spirit to come up with a creative way to get their classmates to eat some fruits and vegetables.

After more than 300 mangos were sold, the groundwork for the Detroit Food Academy (DFA) was laid.

senate.michigan.gov

It’s Sunshine Week, when Americans celebrate access to public information (and highlight instances where there isn't enough transparency). The Freedom of Information Act became law in Michigan in 1976. But it came with a big loophole:, exempting the governor and the lieutenant governor and their staff. 

Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court / court.mi.gov

Anyone who has watched a cop show or has gotten in trouble with the law has heard the portion of the Miranda rights that if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

The question in Michigan is: What kind of lawyer will you get? And what type of defense will you get? 

In some counties, you might get a lawyer from the public defender’s office. In other counties, judges appoint the attorneys. And some lawyers get the job because they were the lowest bidder for a contract with the county.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s Sunshine Week, which was created to raise awareness and appreciation for our access to public information and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, there is one segment of our population that is not allowed to use FOIA: prisoners.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University.
Derrick L. Turner / Michigan State University

The eighth annual Muslim Mental Health Conference is taking place in Dearborn this week with a wide range of topics on the schedule. Everything from Islamophobia and extremism to interfaith training for people who are working with American Muslim families will be discussed.

Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth announce the charges against Stuart Dunnings lll.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Lansing advocate for domestic violence victims says there's one piece of good news in the arrest this week of longtime Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III for hiring prostitutes: He got caught.

Dunnings stands accused of paying for sex hundreds of times with many women between 2010 and 2015.

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

It is well-documented that the state of Michigan is one of the worst states when it comes to transparency and openness in government. Now, with the Flint water crisis, the issue has been brought to the forefront.

To kick off Sunshine Week, a celebration of Americans' access to public information, Stateside welcomed Jane Briggs-Bunting, the president of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, to the show.

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