Mercedes Mejia produces interviews for Stateside. She's also and arts an culture reporter.Mercedes relocated to Michigan from New Mexico, where she earned her BA in Journalism and Latin American Studies. She began in public radio as a reporter at KUNM in Albuquerque. She brings extensive video production skills from her work at Univision and Edit House Production.
Every Monday, we're checking in with people who are trying to do what they think is needed to improve life for people in Michigan. This morning we speak with Sean Tracy. He’s a truck driver and World War II buff, and he’s working to show gratitude to the nation’s veterans—especially World War II vets. He builds models of the planes or ships the veterans served on while they were on active duty and gives them as gifts to the vets he finds.
Michigan natives Seth Bernard and May Erlewine have a new album inspired by their journey across Ethiopia.
Last year they were invited to join the project “Run Across Ethiopia," of the Michigan-based non-profit On the Ground. A group of eight eventually ran 240 miles across southern Ethiopia and raised over $200,000 to build schools in the coffee growing region of that country.
The album New Flower is based on that experience.
Michigan Radio's Jennifer White interviewed Seth & May. You can see them perform in Michigan Radio's Studio East.
Produced by Mercedes Mejia and Cade Sperlich. Our audio engineer is Bob Skon.
Theresa Flores is a social worker, and director of education and training for Gracehaven House, in Ohio. It's a long term faith based care and rehabilitation home for young girls who have been victimized by human trafficking.
Flores grew up in an upper-middle class catholic home. Many years ago she found herself in the same situation as some of the young women she now helps.
Flores says she moved around a lot. Her father had a good job, and her parents were very strict. They landed in Birmingham, Michigan.
Each Monday, as part of our "Seeking Change" series, we’re checking in with someone who’s trying to improve life for people in Michigan. I spoke this morning with Andy Sopher about a particularly difficult subject: sex trafficking of kids. Sopher is with Wedgewood Christian Services in Grand Rapids and is behind a new project aimed at curbing trafficking of youngsters.
Under the Federal Affordable Care Act, states are required to create a health care exchange. An online place where people can comparison shop for health insurance. It looks much like a Travelocity or Orbitz website, but for health insurance.
Many Republicans in the Michigan legislature want to hold off on creating this exchange until the Supreme Court rules whether the act is constitutional.
CORRECTION - An earlier version of this story stated that Right To Work legislation had already been introduced in the Michigan House. It has not. Representative Shirkey plans to introduce the legislation soon.
Right-to-work laws would prohibit workers from being required to join a union or pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Republican Rep. Mike Shirkey plans to introduce right-to-work legislation in the House.
Gov. Rick Snyder gave his second state of the address this week.
To take a closer look at how Gov. Snyder and the legislature might move forward this election year is Ken Sikkema former senate majority leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.
The North American International Auto Show opens to the public tomorrow.
The show has been a time for automakers to roll out new models and concept cars, letting consumers know what to expect in the future. The Detroit Three are heading into the year’s auto show with positive sales figures.
Joining us to take a historical look at the auto show and the Detroit Three is Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry.
You can read Michigan Radio reports and see photos and video here.
This week the The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opened to the press and industry professionals at Cobo Center in Detroit.
Kicking off the event was the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards.
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra took 2012 North American Car of the Year.
And, the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque was named the 2012 North American Truck of the Year award.
Tracy Samilton reports:
The mood at the North American International Auto Show is upbeat. Sure, Europe’s debt crisis and the battered Euro have auto executives concerned, but so far that crisis isn’t stopping the U.S. economy’s improvement, albeit at a very measured (slow) pace.
You can read all Michigan Radio reports and see more photos and videos here.
On Saturday morning the show opens to the public.
Tickets are $12 each. Seniors and children are $6 each.
On Monday, Chrysler unveiled its 2013 Dodge Dart at the Detroit Auto Show.
Sarah Cwiek reports:
Reid Bigland, President of the Dodge brand says the Dart represents a true blend of Fiat and Chrysler’s traditional strengths. “Quite simply, it is groundbreaking. It has a world-class architecture, the DNA of an Alpha-Romeo, with the unmistakable presence of a Dodge,” said Bigland. He says the Dart will make its debut in showrooms this spring with a price tag of just under $16,000.
Auto companies use words such as "affordability", "reliability", "high performance", "style" and "fuel economy" to sell you a car.
Ford Motor Company thinks they’ve got it all. Of course, they do have some competition.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports:
Ford Motor Company is unveiling its new Fusion, hoping to topple the traditional midsize sedan leaders, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Fusion will also come in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, with the plug-in getting the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon.
Here's the splashy unveiling of the 2013 Ford Fusion at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This year, ushered in a new Governor, Republican Rick Snyder, and Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.
Joining us to take a look back at the year in state politics are Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants.
Freshman Republican Congressman Justin Amash opposes a bill that would give the federal government the power to detain American citizens indefinitely, if suspected of terrorist activities.
"The federal government could come to someone’s house, pull the person out of the house and the family could ask, 'why are you taking my husband away?' and the federal government can simply say, 'we don’t have to tell you, he’s suspected of terrorism,'" he said in an interview with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White.
The duo Red Tail Ring goes back to traditional old-time music--because that’s what they love.
Michiganders Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo’s interpretation of Appalachian and folk songs come from their “strong connection to the outdoors and the natural world.”
Laurel is from the Upper Peninsula and Michael from the Kalamazoo area. The music they play is what you might call “backwoods music.”
“We’re modern people reaching back to older songs and traditions; we’re interpreters and explorers of older culture. Learning from the past is an essential aspect in art, and for us it’s been formative. It’s important to show how older words and melodies can be honored, not compromised, in reinterpretation, and that the world has been doing this since the beginning of time.”
This year they released two albums - the first - Middlewest Chant, is a collection of original songs.
The second album - Mountain Shout - is a compilation of traditional songs.
Red Tail Ring performed in Studio East, here at Michigan Radio, and we were all enthralled by the vibration of the fiddle and banjo--and the eerie harmonies that Laurel and Michael create together.