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Stateside Staff

Hillary Miller

The Next Idea

FEMMES, Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science, is a group of University of Michigan graduate students and faculty who are working to get girls in the 4th through 6th grades excited about science and to get them thinking about going into STEM fields. They do this through hands-on activities and presentations that show science in action.

We reported on FEMMES back in 2014 and decided to check back in three years later. Hillary Miller, a PhD candidate in cell and molecular biology at the University of Michigan and a part of FEMMES, joined The Next Idea to provide an update.

Cleavers / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside today for a sports roundup. 

Krissy Venosdale / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One of the best ways to help close the education gap for low-income kids is Head Start.

Up to 36,000 children around Michigan, and their families, rely on Head Start for free early childhood education, meals, and support services for parents, all of which are funded by the federal government.

But Chalkbeat Detroit reports  11 Head Start centers in Southwest Detroit are closing by the end of the year. That means some 420 children will have to be transferred to other centers, and 122 employees will be laid off. The affected centers are run by Southwest Solutions, a social service organization.

What happened? And are other Head Start centers in Michigan on shaky ground too?

Today on Stateside, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, talks about the tax reform plan being worked out in Washington. Then, are prisoners in Michigan cut out of civil rights protection? The federal court says no. The Attorney General disagrees. Plus, listen to the story of how the U.S. Army air-dropped pianos onto World War II battlefields. 

A cell at Alcatraz Prison.
Dave Nakayama / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Next week, the Michigan Court of Appeals will be hearing a case to determine whether prisoners are protected under Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The Michigan Constitution states, “No person shall be denied the equal protection of the law,” but the Legislature decided that doesn’t apply to prisoners.

The case is a class action suit representing male juveniles who allege they were raped and otherwise sexually assaulted by older prisoners and that guards knew of the assaults. It also alleges that some guards groped the teenage prisoners.

The case was filed in 2013, and the Attorney General’s office has filed dozens of appeals seeking stays, which has dragged the case out.

pills
DenisenFamily / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

President Donald Trump recently declared America's opioid crisis a “national emergency."

Prescription opioids are prescribed for pain, but the medications can be highly addictive. People who become addicted may switch to heroin when they can no longer get pills at the pharmacy or on the black market.

The epidemic is rapidly killing people, something like 90 people a day in the U.S.

While the nation is coming to grips with the opioid crisis, researchers at the University of Michigan have started a group to reduce opioid addiction in this state.

Wikicommons

What is the best way to keep a soldier’s morale up? This was a serious question for government officials during World War II.

America’s soldiers were experiencing the most traumatic events of their lives, away from their families and surrounded by the horrors of war.

Officials concluded that perhaps the best way to keep soldiers happy was the power of music.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Congress is working on tax reform. Earlier this week, we heard about the effort from Republican member of Congress Fred Upton. Today, Stateside talked with Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee.

Antonio Espree
Mercedes Mejia

Some 11,500 new students just began classes this fall at Arizona State University.

For one of those students, it's something he once never dreamed would happen.

That's because Antonio Espree is one of Michigan's 363 juvenile lifers. Thirty years ago, when he was 16, Espree was arrested for killing a man. When he was 17, he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

But thanks to a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that declared mandatory life-without-parole sentences for teens under 18 unconstitutional, Antonio Espree was released this past spring, and he is now a student at Arizona State.

Today on Stateside, Rep. Upton says the Republican tax plan will make us "more competitive with the rest of the world." We also hear about a program that helps veterans find camaraderie through beekeeping. And, after being released this spring, a former juvenile lifer talks college, forgiveness, and second chances.

Beehive
Barry Chignell / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Have you ever thought of a bee as a healer? 

Adam Ingrao was serving in the Army until his career was ended by an injury. After his discharge, he somehow landed on beekeeping. He found that tending hives was powerful and healing.

Today, Ingrao is working on his doctorate in entomology, and he's helping other vets to discover the healing power of bees and beekeeping by founding a program called Heroes to Hives.

clown troupe
Courtesy of Gwendolyn Hopkins

The Next Idea

Bullying in Michigan and around the country is a serious problem – one that parents, educators and others are striving to solve. One Michigan college is offering a unique approach to this serious problem.

Mott Community College’s Honors College is home to a group of students who transform themselves into clowns and reach out to school children with an anti-bullying message. 

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House Republicans are positioning their sweeping tax bill for a planned floor vote next week. 

All photos courtesy of the LTBB Odawa Repatriation, Archives, and Records

You have probably heard the phrase “school of choice” used when describing public education options in Michigan, but what about a “school of no choice?” That was the case for many native Michiganders for over a century.

Today on Stateside, Gordie Howe's son recalls growing up with Mr. Hockey. Also today, we contextualize some election results and learn how a Harbor Springs boarding school worked to erase Odawa culture until the 1980s. 

Courtesy of the Howe Family

Imagine being a little kid, driving home late at night with your dad.

You drop off to sleep, more or less, but you're awake enough to feel your dad scoop you up, carry you into the house, and gently tuck you into bed.

Now imagine that dad is NHL legend Gordie Howe, and he's tucking you in just a short time after he thrilled thousands of Detroit Red Wings fans cheering for Mr. Hockey at Olympia Stadium.

David James Swanson

Michigan singer-songwriter Joshua Davis released a new studio album, The Way Back Home, on Oct. 13.

The album comes some two and a half years after NBC’s The Voice introduced the rest of America to Davis, who had already built a strong fan base throughout his home state.

Davis joined Stateside to talk about his music and his inspirations.

PICTURES OF MONEY / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in a long legal battle between the state and a large group of public school employee unions.

Kevin Lau / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Something Michiganders talk about all the time? Roads. But do you know who’s in charge of our roads, or who owns them? Listener Phil Arbour was thinking along those lines.

He sent this question to our MI Curious team:

“How is road ownership broken down in Michigan?"

Arbour said he wanted to know how the roads are divvied up by federal, state, county, township, and village.

Stateside brought in Aarne Frobom with the Michigan Department of Transportation to explain.

Today on Stateside, we learn who is responsible for what roads in Michigan. We also hear how auto insurance costs can vary wildly depending on which side of the street you live. And, we talk to the filmmaker of a new documentary that chronicles the highs and lows of Detroit rapper Danny Brown.

Courtesy of Andrew Cohn

A Detroit-based hip-hop artist is the subject of a new documentary film released on Apple Music. 

Danny Brown: Live at the Majestic follows Brown’s life and visits with him on tour. 

Stateside host Lester Graham spoke with the film's director Andrew Cohn, who is also from Michigan.

This week, John Sinkevics introduces us to three new albums coming out in November. Sinkevics is the editor and publisher of Local Spins, which covers west Michigan’s music scene. 

Bigfoot Buffalo, The Sun is the Moon

Singer-guitarist Kyle Brown is the frontman and chief songwriter for this Grand Rapids-based roots rock band that’s been inspired by the likes of The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and The Band.

Courtesy of Kathy Hay

One of the most profound and moving ways to observe Veteran's Day is to hear veterans share their stories.

That’s happening Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium as part of Stories of Service: An Evening With Veterans. During the event, six veterans will share stories of service ranging from World War II to Afghanistan. It’s a celebration of vets, their families, and their friends.

Kathy Hay will share her story on Wednesday. She served stateside in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era and then became one of the first uniformed female officers in the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Come next January, Lansing's going to have itself a new mayor for the first time in a dozen years. Today on Stateside, outgoing mayor Virg Bernero reflects on his legacy. Also today, from mailers and commercials to donations, we hear why tracking all of the money in local elections is not easy. And, can soul food be vegan? We learn why Detroit restaurateurs say yes as they serve up meatless favorites.

Lindsey Scullen/Michigan Radio

Come next January, Lansing's going to have itself a new mayor for the first time in a dozen years.

That's because Mayor Virg Bernero chose not to run for re-election.

During his tenure, Bernero never shied away from a fight — if he felt it was warranted — and his plain-spoken style earned him the handle of America's Angriest Mayor.

NSA

We're about to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest maritime disasters: the Halifax Explosion, when two ships collided in Halifax Harbour.

The resulting explosion was the biggest man-made blast prior to the atomic bomb. Some 2,000 people were killed, and many thousands more were injured.

Yet, this cataclysmic event is largely forgotten — at least on the U.S. side of our border with Canada.

Courtesy of Jeanane Charara / Michigan Science Center

The Next Idea

If you're a certain age, you probably remember watching educational films in science class on a noisy projector.

Courtesy of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network

Tomorrow is Election Day. It’s an off-year election focused on local issues and races.

But there’s still plenty of money being poured into these local races – dark money, out-of-state money, and SuperPAC money.

Craig Mauger from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network joined Stateside today to explain how money influences our local politics, and how hard it can be to track that money.

Today on Stateside, we discuss Amazon's next potential disruption: auto dealerships. We also hear how Detroit's lopsided mayor's race still reveals divisions. And, we discuss the bill that'd scrap state ballast water rules – the ones that help keep out invasive species.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

More than 185 species of foreign fish, algae, plants, insects, and viruses have been brought into the Great Lakes. Many of them are invasive species that are damaging the lakes, such as zebra mussels, quagga mussels, round gobies, and Phragmites.

About a third of those invasive species were brought here in the ballast water of ocean-going ships. As they picked up their ballast water in foreign ports, they sucked up aquatic life along with it.

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