Stateside Staff

  • Leaders from the Detroit bankruptcy dispense advice for community leaders, and share their hopes for the city's future.
  • With only 40% of people in Detroit having home Internet, resident Brandon Moore talks to us about his experiences learning computer skills and how the city’s residents can close the digital divide.
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Twenty-three passenger railcars have been sitting unused since MDOT got them in 2010, raising question of whether they are a waste of Michigan money, or a good investment that could help Michigan in the future.

The state hopes to use them for the proposed commuter rails between Ann Arbor and Detroit, and between Ann Arbor and Howell.

Flickr user Ian Geoffrey Stimpson / Flickr

Michigan has always been rich in natural resources. And now potash, the mineral element from which potassium comes, has been found in the state as well.

Dan Calabrese, who recently wrote about what the discovery of potash means for Michigan's economy, says the element could have big benefits for Michigan, because it is a crucial element of all forms of agricultural fertilizer.

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The showdown between President Obama and House Republicans continues as the Department of Homeland Security budget is still not securely funded.

The budget has been attached to Republican's efforts to undo President Obama's executive actions on immigration reform. If Congress can't find a way to divide the two, the funding for Homeland Security will expire tomorrow night at midnight.

Flickr user Sean / Flickr

Almost 40% of Detroit households don't have Internet. That’s second in the nation only to Laredo, Texas.

Detroiter Brandon Moore is only a recent Internet adopter. The majority of his neighbors don't have Internet.

He says before he became connected, "it was kind of a feeling of being left behind, or left out. Not being able to experience everything that everyone else was talking about."

There was a big stop on the Detroit post-bankruptcy "tour" this week.

Former Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, now-retired federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes, and Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rhodes all sat together at Crain's Newsmakers of the Year lunch to share their insights and hopes for the future.

Today on Stateside:   

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The 2014 election cycle saw unprecedented fundraising by political action committees in Michigan.

Big With that came a major increase in money raised by so-called Super PACs – the independent-expenditure committees free to accept corporate and union contributions.

This major increase raises fresh alarm over the way big donors and special interests can spend money to influence your vote.

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The child poverty rate is a critical indicator of our nation’s economic and social health. Child poverty costs the U.S. some $500 billion annually in health and crime costs, as well as in lost productivity and wages.

However, a new report called Measuring Access to Opportunity from the Annie E. Casey Foundation questions the accuracy of the official poverty measure – a measure the nation has been using for the past half-century.

FLICKR USER MARGARETROSE4 / FLICKR

Mother Nature, with her cold temperatures, is turning out diamond dust in Northern Michigan.

Justin Arnott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord, described diamond dust as “the wintertime version of fog.”

Flickr user Dennis Skley / Flickr

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote tomorrow on a proposal that could impact the way you use and pay for your Internet.

The debate is around "net neutrality."

 Today on Stateside: 

  • Congressman Dan Kildee discusses the Congressional stalemate surrounding immigration and the Department of Homeland Security funding.
  • Michigan DNR Wildlife biologist Kristin Bissell discusses approaches to combating urban and suburban deer disruptions.
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Anyone who enjoys Michigan wines should raise a glass in tribute to Len Olson.

Without Olson, Michigan might well not have its 107 fully operating wineries and its 15,000 acres of grapes.

This pioneer of Michigan's wine industry died late last year.

  Today on Stateside: 

  • Congressman Dan Kildee discusses the Congressional stalemate surrounding immigration and the Department of Homeland Security funding.
  • Wildlife biologist with the Michigan DNR Kristin Bissell discusses various approaches to combating urban and suburban deer disruptions.
Deer
Noel Zia Lee/Flickr

A recent community meeting in Ann Arbor illustrates a challenge urban areas throughout Michigan are facing: deer. Specifically, deer that are a road hazard or destroy parks and gardens.

Ann Arborites heard details of lethal or non-lethal ways to control the deer population.

A biologist from the city of Rochester Hills described his city's non-lethal program, relying on better road signage and much more community education.

Flickr user Maurizio Pesce / Flickr

As we talk about the auto industry, the "Detroit Three," it's all too easy to forget that these enormous companies began as scrappy little start-ups, birthed by innovators who were not afraid to set the status quo on its ear.

Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

The clock is ticking. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out Friday if Congress can't figure out how to separate the DHS budget from the politics of immigration reform.

House Republicans are using the DHS funding bill to try to repeal President Obama's executive actions on immigration. But there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass that bill.

Not surprisingly, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., disagrees with House Speaker John Boehner's assertions that President Obama's executive action on immigration was an overreach of his powers.

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Matt Green said that Grindr, perhaps the best-known location-based gay dating app, is not only about looking for love or hookups. It can also be a platform for finding spiritual, or even religious connections.

Hailing from Ann Arbor, Green is a second-year rabbinical student at New York City’s Hebrew Union College. He’s known as “The Grindr Rabbi” and uses Grindr to reach out to gay Jews in New York City.

Green said it all started when he came back from rabbinical school in Israel last year. He downloaded Grindr and posted to his profile that he was on his way to becoming a Rabbi.

Today on Stateside: 

  • MLive’s Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting speaks with us about the Republican Winter Convention, that was held this weekend, and about Ronna Romney McDaniel, the newly elected GOP chair.
  •   Michigan Radio’s West Michigan reporter, Lindsey Smith, joins us to talk about Kalamazoo residents’ first chance to voice their thoughts on a compromise plan for a PCB laden dump site, one with a million and a half cubic yards of toxic waste.
  • Chef James Rigato, executive chef at The Root restaurant in White Lake Township and four-episode contestant on Top Chef, talks Michigan’s food scene.
  • Writer Bill Loomis discusses the stove, 19th Century Detroit’s “first mass-marketed, had-to-have durable good.”
  • Tom Deits, Project Director of Innovation 5, a new project at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, talks about his Next Idea: making Michigan’s museums more active and hands-on.
  • Bill Terrell, a Michigan State University criminologist and co-author of a new study on police attitudes, speaks about his research and whether or not officers need a college degree.
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Writer Bill Loomis calls the stove “America’s first mass-marketed, had-to-have durable good.” According to Loomis, 19th century Detroit was known as “the Stove Capitol of the World.” His story appeared in The Detroit News.

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