WUOMFM

Rebecca Kruth

Weekend Host / Reporter

Rebecca Kruth is the host of Weekend Edition and a reporter at Michigan Radio. She first came to the station in 2014 and worked on Morning Edition. After earning degrees in English and American Studies from Michigan State University, Rebecca began her radio career as a newsroom intern at WKAR in East Lansing. She completed additional news internships at WBEZ Chicago and KAJX Aspen.  When she’s not on the airwaves, Rebecca enjoys hiking, Korean food and wandering the country with her husband James. She's also Bruce Springsteen's number one fan.

If you're a loyal watcher of the Today Show on NBC, you're probably familiar with weatherman Al Roker's catchphrase: "Here's what's happening in your neck of the woods."

That saying doesn't make much sense when you think about it, but it's probably one that you use or hear other people use.

Like a lot of sayings in our language, this one is pretty old and used to have a different meaning. When we talk about "neck of the woods" now, the neck is metaphorical and the woods are no longer required.


asbestos warning sign
ktorbeck / Wikimedia Commons

A new audit this week says Michigan needs more inspectors and more money when it comes to asbestos remediation. According to the report, there are only four inspectors in the entire state to respond to complaints, issue violations and inspect landfills. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why the program is falling behind. 

If someone asks you a question, and you find yourself struggling to answer, did you flounder? Or did you founder?

The answer is "flounder." But these two verbs sound so much alike and have such similar meanings, don't feel bad if you were wrong.

In fact, a listener recently asked us if we could clear up the confusion between "founder" and "flounder."

money
khrawlings / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on a set of bills he hopes will help lure some big employers to Michigan. The new law lets employers that meet certain criteria keep some or all of their employees' state income tax.

Jose Valle-Rodriguez and his two-year-old son.
C/O Karina Valle

An Ypsilanti man won't have to sit in jail while he waits to fight deportation.

At a hearing Thursday, a judge set a $5,000 bond for Jose Valle-Rodriguez, after determining he isn't a flight risk or a threat to national security. He’s expected to be released today, after his family posts bond.

His lawyer, Brad Thomson, says Valle-Rodriguez has filed an asylum petition and will also file a marriage petition once his wife Karina becomes a naturalized citizen.

hands holding a pile of pills
Daniel Foster / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Health organizations in Michigan just got some more ammunition in the fight against opioid abuse.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded nearly $6.5 million dollars in grants to health programs around the state in an effort to address the opioid crisis.  

Becky Cienki, the MHEF's senior program officer, says the grants were made through the fund's behavioral health initiative. The 16 projects that received grants are focused on either substance abuse disorders or mental health.

downtown detroit
flickr user Tim Wang / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The city of Detroit has been losing population for decades, but that could soon change.

Southeast Michigan is expected to gain approximately 380,000 households by 2040, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

Few things are more telling of Upper Peninsula lineage than the distinct style of speaking known as "Yooper talk."

In her new book Yooper Talk: Dialect as Identity in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Grand Valley State University Professor Kathryn Remlinger explores the history and features of of this unique dialect.

Remlinger is careful to point out that there isn't just one U.P. dialect, that there are actually many ways of speaking. But there is a way of speaking that sounds undeniably Yooper.

Or at least, we want to believe there is.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office announced this week it will no longer detain people at the request of immigration, without a judge's order. It says immigration violations are "civil, not criminal, in nature, and are between the individual and the U-S Government." The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has a similar policy in place. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether other counties will follow suit.

Sometimes when we're annoyed or exasperated, it feels pretty good to shout out, "Oh, for Pete's sake!" But if we're going to do things for Pete's sake, shouldn't we at least know who he is?

Before we get to Pete though, let's start with the basics. A few weeks ago Tyler, a colleague at Michigan Radio, asked where the word "sake" comes from.

"I was so glad Tyler asked, because while I knew a little bit about 'for Pete's sake,' I hadn't thought a lot about just the word 'sake.'" English Professor Anne Curzan said.


blacklegged tick
Scott Bauer / USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

2017 is only halfway over, but there have already been more cases of Lyme disease reported in Michigan this year than in all of last year.

So far, 279 cases have been reported, compared to 233 in 2016. All of these cases still need to be confirmed.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria species Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks and can cause serious long-term illness.

teacher with student
BES Photos / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder signed a handful of bills this week, including one that will change the retirement system for new teachers starting in 2018. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about the implications when it comes to attracting new teachers to Michigan.

It doesn't seem like coming up with a response to "thank you" should be that complicated. When you think about it though, there are a lot of options, and our response depends on what's happening in the conversation.

A listener named Peggy recently wrote to us about a response to "thank you" that she's heard quite a bit while listening to the radio.

"Over the past months, I've been noticing that when a radio guest is thanked, rather than the customary 'you are welcome,' they instead respond with 'thank you,'" she writes.

As the hosts of a radio show, we're guilty as charged.


Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the Michigan schools superintendent can't withhold state aid from school districts with American Indian mascots or logos. Earlier this year Superintendent Brian Whiston proposed cutting up to 10% of a district's annual payment. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's opinion on the matter.

They also talk about a ruling that temporarily halts state funding to private schools, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen's federal court nomination delay, and whether the an iconic Detroit hat shop is a casualty of rising downtown rents.

If a child looks a lot like one of their parents, people will sometimes say they're the "spitting image" of the parent. But others will say the child is the "spit and image" of their parent.

So which is right? That's exactly what a listener from Kansas named Ken wanted to know.

"Growing up, I had always heard, or misheard, and repeated the phrase, 'spitting image' -- as in, he's the spitting image of his father," Ken writes. 

Recently, Ken was reading a review for a camera when he saw the phrase "spit and image." Now he wants to know which interpretation is correct.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sued the City of Flint this week. The state says the city council's refusal to approve a long term deal to buy water from a Detroit-area system endangers a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the lawsuit filed by the state agency that's been blamed for much of Flint's water crisis.

Courtesy Photo / justicebobyoung.com

Former Michigan Supreme Court justice Robert Young Jr. has officially launched his campaign for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

In a video announcement streamed live over Facebook on Wednesday, the 66-year-old Republican said he'll seek the 2018 nomination for the seat held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.

"I have the experience and the guts to know how to unseat Debbie Stabenow. I am the disrupter that [Washington] DC needs," Young said.

If someone takes the lion's share, it's safe to say there's not going to be much left for everyone else.

But why does it have to be the "lion's" share? Why not the tiger's or the bear's?

You can blame Aesop for this one.


Some of you may not remember much from the calculus courses you took in high school or college.

But there are other uses for the word "calculus," and they don't involve integrals or derivatives. 

A listener named Jerry recently wrote to us with a question about one such use:

"When and how did the mathematical term 'calculus' come to refer to political thinking?"


Last week on That's What They Say, we had so much fun talking about "factoids" we thought we'd answer another fact-related question this week.

A couple weeks ago, English professor Anne Curzan gave a talk at Glacier Hills Senior Living Community in Ann Arbor. Following the talk, a woman asked a question  Curzan had never considered.

She wanted to know, "Why is everyone now talking about the fact of the matter? Why can't they just talk about facts?"

Good question. 


dugganfordetroit.com

At the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference this week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan flatly explained to a mostly white audience the systematic racism that shaped the city of Detroit and the surrounding region. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessnberry talk about the impact of Duggan's speech and his vision for Detroit's future.

A small sample of the thick, bacteria-ridden algae spreading across Lake Erie
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It's been three years since toxic blooms on Lake Erie contaminated the tap water in Toledo and forced the city to shut down its water supply for several days. Now, a new study says a virus may have played a role in the crisis.

Unless you've managed to avoid all forms of media this year, you're probably well aware of the ongoing debate over what constitutes a fact.

Frankly, we have no desire to open up that powder keg. However, we thought this would be a good time to talk about "factoids."

If someone were to ask you for an example of a factoid, what would you say? Many of us would probably start rattling off parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy or pull up a Buzzfeed list or some other collection of random, interesting facts.

Here's an interesting factoid. The word "factoid" used to mean something else.


Detroit skyline
Debbie Malyn / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There's been a great effort to revitalize Detroit in recent years, but new figures from the US Census Bureau show the city is still losing population. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what it's going to take for Detroit to see some growth.

Syringe
VCU CNS / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state wants more people in Michigan to have access to a drug that can save the life of someone who's overdosed on heroin or prescription painkillers.

A new state standing order pre-authorizes pharmacists to distribute naloxone, also known as Narcan, to anyone without a prescription. 

"It could be someone at risk for having an overdose or a friend, a loved one, a partner of someone who is concerned about a person at risk for an overdose," said Dr. Eden Wells, the state's chief medical officer.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested three workers at an Ann Arbor restaurant Wednesday morning.

The owner of Sava's Restaurant says the ICE agents had breakfast before they went into the kitchen to arrest an employee who wasn't on duty at the time.

Instead, Sava Lelcaj Farah says they began questioning other employees before taking three into custody.

There's nothing like a brand new car.

They're clean and shiny. The seats are free from stains and potato chip crumbs. The carpet isn't caked with dirt or piled high with fast food bags. And of course, there's that great smell.

Unfortunately, the newness wears off. This reality of car ownership will never feel more harsh than the first time you walk outside and find a ding in  one of your formerly pristine doors.

The thing you have to remember is that "ding" used to be a much more violent action than it is today.


student protestor
Corey Oakley / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state Senate Judiciary Committee this week heard testimony on campus free speech legislation. This comes on the heels of some high profile cases in which appearances by controversial speakers were derailed by campus protests. This Week in Review, Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss whether campus free speech legislation is necessary.

They also look at legislation that would limit when a state administrative rule can be stricter than a federal rule, new projections that show there's less money than anticipated heading to the state's general fund, and another delay in the completion of an unfinished jail in downtown Detroit.

A listener recently wrote to us with a seasonably appropriate question. Tom from Grand Rapids asks:

"I feel really passionate about supporting farmers and eating locally grown produce. 

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A man who's lived in Ann Arbor for nearly 20 years may soon be deported.

Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo was detained by Immigration and Customs enforcement last month during a routine check-in.

He was sent to Louisiana for deportation to Mexico, but a judge granted him a temporary delay on May 1.

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