Stateside Staff

There’s no other way to look at it: Volkswagen cheated and lied to its customers.

The German automaker admitted to cheating on the US emissions tests for half a million of its diesel vehicles.

CEO Martin Winterkorn has stepped down and more heads are expected to roll by week’s end, but Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says this isn’t even the end of the beginning.

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

If you want to have sex with someone, it can't be presumed your potential partner shares your desire just because you're dating.

It can't be presumed based on someone's drunken actions.

It can't be presumed because that someone didn't say no.


Today on Stateside:

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Our state used to boast a pretty strong education system, but just about any measurement given these days suggests that’s no longer true.

Case in point: the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card, finds Michigan is in the bottom third of all states in fourth grade reading, fourth grade math and eighth grade math.

Robert James Russell / Twitter

Ann Arbor author Robert James Russell is celebrating the release of his newest book, Mesilla, this week.

Mesilla is a Western that follows Everett Root, a wounded Civil War deserter haunted by his past, into 1863 New Mexico Territory.

Schwallier's Country Basket /

Honeycrisp harvest is underway in Michigan.

The many fans of Honeycrisp apples will be happy to learn that all signs point to a fine crop this year.

But that good news presents new challenges for Michigan growers.

John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon joins us again for this week’s sports roundup.

Tigers lose to Royals

According to Bacon, the Tigers' story hasn’t changed.

“There’s nothing to see here, people,” he says, explaining that the team showed their hand at the end of the trade deadline some weeks ago.

This week marks the 45th anniversary of Dr. Alice Hamilton’s death.

Hamilton was a leading expert in the field of occupational health and a pioneer in toxicology. She lived to the age of 101.

Claressa Shields is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing

One of the breakout stars of the 2012 summer Olympics in London was a teenage girl from Flint.

Claressa Shields made it to London to become the first American woman to win Olympic gold in boxing.

Shields, nicknamed “T-Rex,” is still going strong. She won the World Championship in 2014, and she recently won gold at the Pan American games in Toronto.

flickr user Kenny Louie /

The first day of autumn is less than a week away, but if you’re planning to take a trip up north to marvel at the fall colors, MLive and meteorologist Mark Torregrossa tells us you might want to wait.

He says rain and warm weather are keeping the trees lush and green.

Fiat Chryler CEO Sergio Marchionne, left, and UAW President Dennis Williams.

A tentative contract agreement has been reached by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and United Auto Workers, one that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne describes as “transformational.”

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says this proposed deal sets a high bar.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee is fighting for the American prisoners' release from Iran, but thinks tying it to the nuclear deal sets a dangerous precedent.
Steve Carmody

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Republicans opposed to the Iran nuclear deal are taking that old adage to heart.

Twice now Senate Republicans have tried to pass a resolution rejecting the deal, and twice they’ve failed, blocked by Senate Democrats who support President Obama’s key foreign policy initiative.

Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they’ll try again today.

Donald Trump speaks at the 2015 CPAC in Maryland
flickr user Gage Skidmore /


The second Republican presidential debate happens tonight at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently dropped out of the race, which still leaves 16 candidates being squeezed into a two-tier debate.

Who’s up for a cricket burger? Maybe a cricket muffin?

That might be a tough sell for the average Michigan consumer, but Anthony Hatinger and Theodore Kozerski are giving it a try.

They’re co-founders of Detroit Ento, Detroit’s first sustainable protein research and development firm. And they’re preaching the gospel of crickets for food, feed and pharmaceuticals.

Today on Stateside:

Bubonic plague has found its way to Michigan.

The so-called “Black Death” killed anywhere from 75 million up to 200 million people in Europe and the Middle East throughout the 14th century.

We’re talking between 30% and 60% of Europe’s total population. People who seemed healthy when they went to bed at night could be dead by morning.

That’s why news of Michigan’s first documented case of bubonic plague caught many by surprise.

SamPac / creative commons

By official economic measures, this country has emerged from the Great Recession.

But recovery is not being felt in many neighborhoods in large and mid-sized cities.

Since 2000, the number of people living in high-poverty ghettos, barrios, and slums has nearly doubled from 7.2 million to nearly 14 million people.

That's the highest number of Americans living in high-poverty neighborhoods ever recorded. 

State Senator Virgil Smith, D-Detroit.

It took 15 hours and plenty of drama last Friday before Todd Courser resigned and Cindy Gamrat was expelled from the state House.

Republican House leaders basically kept everyone at their seats and went through vote after vote before getting the two Tea Partiers out of the House.

Charlevoix Historical Society

Some people create with paint and brushes, others with musical notes or a camera.

Earl Young found his muse in nature and channeled his artistic vision using massive glacial boulders, limestone, and fieldstone.

The result is a collection of fascinating structures that Young built through the mid-20th century in Charlevoix. Many know them as “the mushroom houses.”

Today on Stateside:

Sticky note with "find job" written on it.
user Flazingo Photos / Flickr -

What will it take to get Michiganders into good jobs?

The Center for Michigan has spent the last year asking questions of more than 5,000 Michiganders for its "Getting to Work" public engagement campaign.

This is the sixth such public engagement campaign conducted by the non-profit and nonpartisan Center for Michigan.

The Michigan House of Representatives
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In a turn of events that surprised many, Rep. Todd Courser resigned his position on Friday, while Rep. Cindy Gamrat became the fourth state legislator in Michigan’s history to be expelled.

John Lidstrom was one of the veteran Lansing political observers watching that expulsion vote, and based on the editorial he wrote about the episode, it’s clear he did so with a sense of dismay.

Our hearts are in the right place when we use the word "innovation," but we may have ruined it for ourselves
flickr user Missy Schmidt /

The Next Idea

It’s not too hard for many of us to think of words that are just used so much that instead of summoning up a powerful image, they trigger a bored eye roll.

One such word is actually a very big part of The Next Idea: “innovation.”

When used correctly, “innovation” means so much. For companies and universities, entrepreneurs and inventors, it means everything.

But the word is now so overused it tends to get lost in the white noise of corporate buzzwords.

Courtesy of Maia Williams /

There's a comic convention happening this weekend in Detroit that will spotlight artists and writers of color, and women.

"MECCAcon: the Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts" runs September 18-19 . The two-day event is the brainchild of organizer Maia "Crown" Williams.

"I feel like diversity is very important for our city to succeed and progress.... You can draw and create many black characters in mainstream comics ... but are you paying people of color to create them, to write them."

Quentin Kruger / Wikimedia Commons

Robert "Steve" Miller is back in town.

The former Chrysler exec known as "The Turnaround Kid" is running International Automotive Components. 

It's been nearly 10 years since Miller and the Delphi directors decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - making Delphi an American company in name only. 

The reaction at the time was instantaneous and loud. 

Today on Stateside:

John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon joins us for this week’s sports roundup.

Wolverines moving forward

Bacon tells us that despite the 24-17 loss to the Utah Utes last week, the Wolverines played “far better football on both sides of the ball than I’ve seen in a long time.”

He tells us he didn’t anticipate a win for Michigan, but he did expect to see 60 minutes of honest, fundamental football, and it looks like that’s what we got.

The Winter 1988-89 issue of The Fifth Estate
reddit user Crispin777 /

1965 was a big year for many Americans.

We saw a 700% increase in the number of American troops in Vietnam.

The U.S. began bombing North Vietnam with Operation Rolling Thunder.

Former Vice President Richard Nixon rejected any talk of ending the Vietnam War, writing, “There can be no substitute for victory when the objective is the defeat of communist aggression."

The Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple /

Grab your wizard's hat and wand, Bay City is the place to be this weekend.

It's the first-ever Wizard Fest, A Harry Potter Fan Festival running this Friday through Sunday around Bay City.

Culture Lab Detroit

An annual design and urbanism symposium begins tonight in Detroit. 

The focus of Culture Lab Detroit is to look at the city's 23 square miles of vacant land and figure out how to use that land in ways that enrich the lives of long-time and new residents.