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Politics & Culture
3:24 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gov. Rick Snyder wants it. Big business wants it. And Canada is willing to foot the bill for it.

So why is the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor being sidetracked by politics in Lansing and foot-dragging in Washington?

Also, today on Stateside, a new study finds that female parolees and probationers who live in poor, high-crime neighborhoods, lack the support systems that those in more affluent areas have. That’s not a huge surprise, but how does this impact their chances of winding up back in prison?

And the state House is taking up a proposed increase to the minimum wage.

We know that last week the state Senate gave speedy approval to a minimum-wage measure.

Now the House is giving a fast-track to its own version, and both are designed to kill off a citizen petition drive to put the question of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on the November ballot.

Why is the House acting on this issue so quickly?

And what do Michigan voters think about raising the minimum wage?

Kathleen Gray, a political reporter for the Detroit Free Press, joined us from the State Capitol.

*Listen to the story above.

Politics & Culture
4:31 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, May 22, 2014

  First on Stateside, we take a look at the "Grand Bargain" in Detroit. The state has taken a big step closer to putting money down to help Detroit. 

JPMorgan Chase is investing $100 million in Detroit's future, but what does that mean for the city, and what are JPMorgan's motives?

Only 28% of you said that Michigan is the best possible state to live in, according to a Gallup Poll. So Michigan kicked off the Why I Stay project, to find out exactly why you are still in Michigan. Michigan Radio's Mark Brush joined us.

Then, a meteor shower is headed our way Friday night, so it's time to dust off those binoculars and look to the sky. 

Michigan's expansion on Medicaid – Healthy Michigan – is on track for enrollee sign-up. 

Last, we learn about a fish that has a notoriously bad reputation: the Asian carp.

*Listen to the full episode above. 

Stateside
4:29 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Why do you stay in Michigan?

Credit Image made by Mark Brush

Bad roads, the Rust Belt, the largest city in bankruptcy: These are some of the negative visions that people have of Michigan. 

A recent Gallup Poll showed that only 28% of Michiganders said Michigan was the best or one of the best possible states to live in. 

But you're still here.

Why?

That's the question Michigan Radio is asking as part of our Why I Stay project. 

Mark Brush of Michigan Radio is running it, and he joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:29 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Could there be an up side to Asian carp?

Asian carp have a notoriously bad reputation.
Credit Kate.Gardner / Flickr

When you hear the words "Asian carp," chances are that nothing good will come to mind.

We know they're big, ugly, lightning-fast, voracious eaters, and a highly invasive species. 

And there are great fears as to what could happen if they decide to make the Great Lakes home. 

Duane Chapman is a research fish biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. He leads their Asian carp research. Chapman is among scientists who say there has been an up side to all the studies they've been doing since the Asian carp came onto our radar screens. 

He joined today us on Stateside.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:28 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Healthy Michigan plan is on track for enrollee sign-up

Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The federal health care exchange for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act closed on March 31. 

The very next day, the attention turned to Healthy Michigan, the state's expanded Medicaid system for some 477,000 low-income Michiganders.

It looks like the state's Healthy Michigan plan is on track for enrollee sign-up.

Don Hazaert is the director of Michigan Consumers for health care, which helps people sign up for the coverage.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:14 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Michigan is closer to putting money down for Detroit's "grand bargain"

Credit Peter Martorano / Flickr

Michigan has taken a big step closer to putting money down on the table of Detroit's "grand bargain."

The newly formed House Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future approved an $11 billion package that would see the state send $194.8 million dollars to Detroit. And it would create a panel to oversee city finances for at least 13 years. The aid package now goes to the full House. 

We were joined by the chair of that House committee. State Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:13 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

JPMorgan Chase brings $100 million boost to Detroit

Credit Shawn Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

This week brought a $100 million boost to Detroit from JPMorgan & Chase.

Having a titan of Wall Street come to the Motor City with that big bag of money has meaning on many levels. 

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
6:22 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

80-year-old agave plant about to show its only bloom in Ann Arbor

Mike Palmer, horticulture manager at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, stands in front of the American agave plant.
Credit Matthaei Botanical Gardens

It was 1934. The nation was deep in the Great Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. William Comstock was Michigan's 33rd governor.

And a University of Michigan graduate student in botany found an agave plant while on a botanical expedition to Mexico. He brought it back to Ann Arbor.

Now, 80 years later, that agave plant is getting set to bloom – for its first and only time.

Michael Palmer is the horticultural manager at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Nichols Arboretum and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Detroit dance style the subject of a new documentary

"The Jit" in action.
Credit Detroit OG's / YouTube

It's called The Detroit Jit. It’s a dance style that started as a street dance in Detroit in the 1970s by three brothers who were known as The Jitterbugs.

And now the Jit and The Jitterbugs are the subject of a documentary that will be screened Friday at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Haleem Rasul is the founder of the dance group HardCore Detroit, and the producer of the film "The Jitterbugs: Pioneers of The Jit.”

Here's the trailer:

We welcomed Haleem Rasul to the program today, and one of the founders of The Jitterbugs, Tracy McGhee.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

MSU research finds a candidate's weight can affect election chances

Credit user Tobyotter / Flickr

Does a political candidate's weight affect his or her chances of getting elected? Or even getting on the ballot in the first place?

New research by a Michigan State University professor and his wife, a Hope College professor, indicate the answer is “yes.”

Mark Roehling is a human resources professor at MSU and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:16 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

DrinkDrivers keeps the party going after the beer runs out

Who's up for the next beer run?
Credit Matt Lehrer / Flickr

What happens when a house party is going full tilt and the beer runs out?

Chances are someone goes on a beer run. And chances are that "someone" has had a few drinks.

A new business that's opened in Ann Arbor aims to keep the party going without that "someone" having to get behind the wheel of a car.

DrinkDrivers is a new website and mobile app launched by a group of University of Central Florida grads who decided to make Ann Arbor its second launch location.

DrinkDrivers CEO Jeff Nadel joined us to explain how it works.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:12 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Michigan Legislature starts voting on "grand bargain" money for Detroit

The Michigan House of Representatives.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The first votes by state lawmakers on a $195 million cash infusion for Detroit happened today.

The newly formed House Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future approved an 11-bill package. The measures now go to the full state House.

While Gov. Rick Snyder supports the current deal, many of his fellow Republicans appear to be balking – especially after a threat of political retribution from the Koch brothers' political network.

*Listen to Sarah Cwiek's report above.

Stateside
6:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Group wants you to "escape for good" from New Orleans to Detroit

Escape for Good promotional photo.
Credit Escape for Good.

Here's the challenge: Get yourself from New Orleans to Detroit. In 36 hours. No cash. No credit cards. Just your charm and ingenuity.

Oh, and one other thing: You'll be dressed up as your favorite hero.

It's the Escape for Good charity race, and if making your way from New Orleans to Detroit wearing your Batman suit or Forrest Gump beard, trucker hat and sneakers sounds like your thing, you can sign on now for the race that begins Friday.

Rocco Gardner is the creator of Escape for Good and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:09 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

10,000 acres in Michigan's UP up for sale

Areas in question for the land deal in Michigan's UP.
Credit rexton.graymontmicrosite.com

Picture this: You live in a corner of the Upper Peninsula that is full of natural beauty. But the population in your town is shrinking and aging, even to the point where it's hard to find police officers and firefighters because everyone's just getting older.

And there's little in the way of economic opportunity.

Now here comes a huge Canadian company that wants to buy 10,000 acres of state-managed forest land to build a massive limestone mining operation. There's the prospect of massive amounts of money and the hope of jobs.

And there's the fear of losing the natural beauty of your corner of the UP.

What to do?

That's the real-life dilemma happening in the Rexton area of the Upper Peninsula.

Keith Matheny is a writer with the Detroit Free Press and he's been following this story. Keith joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Politics & Culture
6:07 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is considering the largest sale of state-managed forest land in its history to a British Columbia-based limestone mining company.

So who gets to decide if the Canadian company can buy 10,000 acres to set up a mine in the Upper Peninsula?

On today’s Stateside we looked at what the proposed limestone mining operation could mean for UP residents.

Then a rare, 80-year old American Agave plant at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens is nearly ready to bloom – for its first and only time.

First on the show, the first votes by state lawmakers on a $195 million cash infusion for Detroit happened today.

The newly formed House Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future approved an 11-bill package. The measures now go to the full state House.

Read more
Politics & Culture
4:51 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A State House committee is expected to vote today on Michigan's proposed contribution to the "grand bargain" – a plan to bolster Detroit's finances. 

Any romantic relationship between a teacher and a student is shocking to most people. Writer Kristina Riggle of Grand Rapids tackled this very thorny subject in her new novel. 

Electronic music fans from around the world are getting ready for the Movement Electronic Music Festival that hits downtown Detroit Memorial Day weekend. 

Read more
Stateside
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

In its 2nd year, right to work impacts teacher's unions

Teacher's unions have felt the impact of Right To Work.
Credit user frank juarez / Flickr

Michigan is now into its second year of right to Work. 

The law took effect in March 2013, making Michigan the 24th state where workers don't have to join a union as a condition of employment.

Many unions have yet to feel the impact of right to work, because they were already under contracts, or were able to sign new agreements or extend their existing ones before the law went into effect.

But Michigan's two teacher unions have certainly felt the impact of right to work. 

Doug Pratt is the Director of Member and Political Engagement for the Michigan Education Association, and he joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

A closer look at Movement, Detroit's electronic music festival

DJ Psycho in Grand Rapids.
Credit DJ Psycho / Facebook

An interview about Detroit's Movement Electronic Music Festival.

Electronic music fans from around the world are getting ready for the Movement Electronic Music Festival that hits downtown Detroit on Memorial Day weekend.

This year's Movement Festival brings more than 100 artists on five outdoor stages at Hart Plaza.

Dezi Magby – aka DJ Psycho of Flint – has played a big part in making Michigan a major player in the world's electronic music scene. He got hooked on electronic music as a fifth-grader, and he's been making music and DJing since 1984.

Another name to watch for at this year's festival is DJ and producer Asher Perkins, who'll be making his first appearance at the Movement Festival.

Perkins and Magby talked to us about what sets Detroit electronic music apart.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Michigan author tackles teacher-student sex scandal in new novel

Author Kristina Riggle.
Credit John H. Riggle / Kristina Riggle

An interview with Michigan writer Kristina Riggle.

It seems just about every week you can find a news report about a high school teacher being arrested and charged with having sex with a student.

You look at that teacher's mug shot and think to yourself — how does this happen?

Writer Kristina Riggle of Grand Rapids has tackled this very thorny scenario in her newest novel – her fifth. It's called "A Whole Golden World."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Should businesses donate to help Detroit through bankruptcy?

Detroit's skyline.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

An interview with Tom Walsh.

A state House committee is expected to vote today on Michigan's proposed contribution to the "grand bargain."

That's the name of the agreement that softens the blow to city pensioners, while protecting city-owned treasures at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The $816 million grand bargain draws money from local and national foundations, the state, and the DIA.

Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh believes it is time for another face at the grand bargain table: business.

In a recent column, Walsh said, "The business sector must ante up to get Detroit out of bankruptcy fast."

He joined us to explain to us why.

Listen to the full interview above. 

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