Michigan Radio Newsroom

News and Production Staff

Michigan Radio offers internships in its newsroom and production departments. Check our employment page for current openings.

*Updates coming soon!

Newsroom

Michelle Huan

Reem Nasr

Chrissy Yates

State of Opportunity

Megha Satyanarayana

Stateside

Bre'Anna Tinsley

Operations

Pages

Health
4:11 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Bill proposes more authority for nurses with advanced degrees

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would give nurses with advanced degrees more autonomy is coming up for debate in the Michigan House.

Senate Bill 2 would give advanced practice registered nurses, also known as APRNs, the authority to write prescriptions and order tests without a doctor's approval.

The Affordable Care Act has led to more people seeking medical care. Also there is a physician shortage in rural parts of the state. This legislation aims to accommodate more of those additional people.

Read more
Education
4:47 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Detroit Public Schools release budget proposal for next year

Credit DPS website

For the first time in six years the Detroit Public Schools' proposed budget does not call for any schools to be closed. 

The district expects it will bring in about $50 million fewer than it planned for next year. But officials say despite that, they are planning new programs and won't close any schools. 

The idea is to keep the city's schools competitive with charters and suburban districts. 

But there is still the matter of a $127 million deficit the Detroit school district is battling. 

Read more
Education
1:22 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

MSU and the University of Michigan to raise tuition rates

Michigan State University.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Students at two of Michigan’s largest universities will be paying more in the fall.

The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents increased in-state undergraduate costs by 2.6% yesterday.

For out-of-state students, the increases will be higher: According to The Michigan Daily, out-of-state undergraduates will see their cost of attendance rise by 3.4%.

That brings the total cost of in-state attendance to $13,158. For out-of-state students, cost of attendance will be around $41,578.

Michigan State University followed suit today, increasing its in-state costs by 2.6% for in-state underclassmen, and 2.9% for in-state juniors and seniors.

The state’s budget increased its funding for higher education this year by 5.9%.

For the University of Michigan and its three campuses — Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn — that translates to $295 million coming from Lansing. That’s an increase of $18.5 million.

Read more
Health
4:51 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Michigan ranks low in long-term elderly care

Credit cswe.org

The state of Michigan still has a way to go when it comes to serving its aging residents.
A new national scorecard by the AARP ranks the state 31st in terms of long-term services and support for the elderly.

The report also focused on how well states support family caregivers who provide the bulk of care for older Michiganders.  This can cause stress and financial burden on those families, especially those who are juggling their own families and full-time jobs. 

Read more
Environment & Science
3:49 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

New laws allow for coal ash in cement and asphalt

Credit Peter Ito / flickr

This week Gov. Rick Snyder signed laws that allow for more uses of industrial byproducts.

  

The idea is to send less material to landfills and instead recycle them into as many practical uses as possible. 

These are materials like coal ash, paper-mill sludge and foundry sand. In the past they were dumped in landfills. 

But the state has been researching ways to recycle them – such as mixing them into cement used in roads and parking lots. The law also allows for some of these materials to be used on farmland as soil conditioners. 

Read more
Environment & Science
4:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

New technology could improve beach water-quality testing

Credit Kathleen Tyler Conklin/ Flickr

A new technology will make testing water quality at Michigan beaches faster. And that means safer swimming. 

County water departments  are required to test  public beach water for E. coli contamination. But the testing process has been pretty slow – it can take around 24 hours for results to come in. That means that a health department may not close a beach a full day after it discovers water was unsafe for swimmers. 

Read more
Education
1:47 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

GM donates robots to Oakland Community College

OCC offers seven industrial robotics courses using robots such as this at their Auburn Hills Campus.
Credit OCC

The robotics students at Oakland Community College are getting a gift today. 

General Motors is donating robots that were once used to make cars on its assembly plant floors. They are going to the school's industrial robotics program at the Auburn Hills campus. 

The equipment is valued at $20,000  and will be used for hands-on training for students learning how to program and maintain robots.  

Dr. Timothy Meyer is chancellor at Oakland Community College. He says the donation will help prepare students for manufacturing jobs that can help boost the local economy. 

Read more
Environment & Science
4:15 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Program targets invasive plants at Belle Isle – and you can help

Credit Matt Lavin/ Flickr

A program to remove invasive plants is coming to Detroit's Belle Isle this summer.

A federal grant from the EPA of almost half a million dollars will go to Friends of the Detroit River. Sam Lovall is the project manager. He says removing the invasive plants is really important for the health of the island's ecosystem.

"Although some of them are quite attractive, they tend to overpopulate the area," said Lovall.

"They are very aggressive and they can compete very well with some of our native plants."

Read more
Health
10:54 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Stricter regulations for Michigan's compounding pharmacies possible

Credit cdc.gov

The fungal meningitis outbreak isn't that far behind us. 

Two years ago, a Massachusetts compounding facility sold tainted steroid medications around the country. What happened was disastrous: 22 Michigan residents lost their lives to meningitis and more than 260 were infected. 

New legislation could prevent that from happening again. A bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, may be voted on this week. It calls for more background checks on compounding pharmacies and more facility inspections.

Read more
Health
4:49 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Pregnant women need to eat more fish, say FDA and EPA

Credit rick/ Flickr

The government wants pregnant women to eat more fish. Yesterday the FDA and EPA issued new draft advice that urges pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat at least eight to twelve ounces of fish a week.

The update comes 10 years after the last recommendation, which didn't specify a minimum.

The FDA is worried that fears over mercury levels in seafood have kept many pregnant women from getting enough of the nutritional value needed for their babies.

Read more
Health
4:20 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Researchers say childhood lead exposure costs $300 million a year in Michigan

Credit user Steven Depolo /Flickr

Childhood lead exposure costs Michigan about $300 million a year.

That's according to a report by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health.

They recommend lead remediation projects for around 100,000 houses throughout the state at a cost of $600 million. They say the program would pay for itself in three years.

Paul Haan is executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan. He says more remediation programs would be a good long-term investment for the state. 

“At the end of the day we’re going to continue to pay the cost of the problem of lead poisoning if older housing is not remediated,” said Haan.

“So the question we really need to ask ourselves is do we want to pay the increased cost of suffering the consequences, or do we want to pay the lower cost of remediation?”

About 70% of childhood lead exposure comes from lead-based paint in older homes.

Earlier this week, the state Legislature approved an additional $500,000 for lead hazard control in next year’s state budget. The change is pending approval from the governor.

Haan says this shows that “public will is building and that state leadership recognizes the need for the kind of investments called for in the report.” 

– Reem Nasr, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Law
10:23 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Bill would change who can make end-of-life decisions in Michigan

Credit Vu Bui / Flickr

Friends, partners or neighbors in Michigan who make legal medical decisions for a person when alive are not allowed the same right when the person passes away.

House Bill 5162 would change that by allowing someone who is not related to the individual to be designated as his or her funeral representative.

Anita Clos, assistant director of medical social work at the University of Michigan, says social workers witness the trauma families experience because of the way current law works.

Read more
Law
1:59 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Second chance for a clean record in "teen court"

A teen court program in Detroit works to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system.
Credit Jennifer Guerra

For a kid caught stealing a $30 bracelet from a store,  juvenile court would likely be the next stop.

But a "teen court" program in Detroit gives some teenagers a chance to avoid the juvenile justice system. It's one of about 1,000 programs across the country.

The teen court model still doles out consequences for kids who break the law, but the idea behind it is less about punishment and more about getting kids on the right path. Teenagers are involved in every aspect of the program. They are "lawyers" and "jury members," not just defendants.

Read more
That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Fashionable words falling out of style

Fuddy duddy!

If you use the word ‘fuddy duddy’, young people might just think you are one.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about the rise of fashionable words.

After using the word in class, Curzan states that her students had no idea what she was referring to. When she asked whether they knew what she was talking about, only a few students knew what a ‘fuddy duddy’ was.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

"This is f****** b*******" rally to be held in Brighton tomorrow

A young man (no relation to Andersen) sitting near Brighton Mill Pond. Was he whispering expletives under his breath too?
User: raymond beardsall Flickr

The name of the rally was coined after a phrase uttered by a Brighton 19-year-old.

According to Amanda Whitesell of LivingstonDaily.com, Colin Andersen was hanging out in Brighton with his friends when things went wrong:

Colin Andersen, 19, was hanging out with friends April 11 in a parking lot next to the pavilion and Imagination Station when he became upset that a friend, who had been ticketed for skateboarding, was told by police to leave. He said he swore under his breath, saying “This is f------ bulls---.”

He said no children were around or heard him swear.

However, police ticketed him for disorderly conduct. Andersen challenged the ticket in court and lost; he was fined $200.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Poll indicates same-sex marriage is losing support in Michigan

Is same-sex marriage losing support in Michigan?
Credit user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

A new poll done by EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV indicates that same-sex marriage has lost support in Michigan. 

In 2013, the poll indicated that 51% supported same-sex marriage, and 41% said they opposed.

If it were put to a vote now, however, the poll found that only 47% would vote yes and 46% would vote no. The other 7% were either undecided, or refused to say. (The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4%.)

You can see the results from EPIC-MRA here (see question 26).

Read more
Economy
1:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Here are a couple ways to understand and visualize blight in Detroit

According to the new report by the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force's report, 22% of the properties they looked at were blighted.
Credit Stephen Harlan / Flickr

new report from the Blight Removal Task Force says that there's a lot of buildings that need to be eliminated in Detroit.

Yesterday, Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace interviewed Erica Gerson.

She's the chair of Detroit's Land Bank Authority. The organization deals with identified blight in the city and makes buildings usable again.

Listen to their conversation here:

Read more
Contests
5:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Michigan Radio selects winners of story-writing contest

Update: May 28, 2014

The one-minute story-writing contest will be featured on Stateside. Listen to the audio by clicking the link above. 

Michigan Radio has selected the winners of the station’s Great Michigan Read “One Minute” story-writing contest. The theme for the contest was “Hidden branches of your family tree: Unexpected stories that changed the way you think of yourself or your family.” Listeners were asked to submit a maximum 120-word story on the topic, and more than 175 stories were submitted. 

The winners selected were:

The Cracked Mirror, by Christopher N. Blaker (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Michael Arnold

The Revelation, by Mary Seelhorst (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Kathleen Beardmore

Pen Pals, by Jennifer Young (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Adrienne Pisoni 

The story-writing contest was held in conjunction with the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read program. The Great Michigan Read aims to connect Michigan citizens by exploring our history, our present, and our future as discussed in a single literary title. 

Read more
Stateside
4:45 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

ASSEMBLE aims to bring the Mackinac Policy Conference to everyone

Credit XGamesDetroit / YouTube

Imagine the streets of Detroit running rampant with car races, motocross competitions, skateboarding, and other insanity. 

That's what the organizers of ASSEMBLE pictured when they created this video to convince ESPN to choose Detroit as the new home for its summer X Games. 

Despite the epic video, ESPN chose Austin for the games. But the energy and the spirit of the campaign lives on in ASSEMBLE, a group that aims to use community engagement to rebuild Detroit.

One of the recent efforts of ASSEMBLE is offering a way for new voices to become a part of important policy conversations in Michigan – the kinds of conversations that happen at the upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

For those of you who can't afford the $2,700 ticket, ASSEMBLE@Mackinac(ish) could be for you. 

Garret Koehler and Kevin Krease, the co-creators of ASSEMBLE, and they joined us to share what exactly ASSEMBLE@Mackinac(ish) hopes to accomplish. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

– Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Weekly Political Roundup
5:17 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Support for Detroit a political liability?

Credit Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week on All Things Considered, host Jennifer White talks about the status of state support for the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings and the risk of political fallout for lawmakers who support such measures.We have that conversation with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, 

Recently, Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by billionaires David and Charles Koch, announced they would run ads against a grand bargain for Detroit and against any Republican lawmaker who votes to support such a plan.

According to Ken Sikkema, while there may be some political risk involved for Republican lawmakers, it is imperative that the Legislature moves on this issue to get Detroit out of bankruptcy promptly.

Listen to the full interview above.

Pages