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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

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. 

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. 

Politics & Culture
5:30 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Stateside for Monday, May 19, 2014

Today marks the 1,000th day that Amir Hekmati has been in an Iranian prison. U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, joined us to discuss what is being done to free the Michigan Marine. 

And it's morel hunting season in Michigan. A top morel hunter and chef joined us on the program today.

Next, the BBC's Justin Webb went for a test drive in one of Google's driverless cars. 

Then, the Republican's minimum-wage bill cleared the state Senate last week, and could demolish Raise Michigan's petition drive that would set minimum wage even higher. 

Read more
Stateside
5:28 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Should Michigan Democrats look for a new ally?

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Should the Democratic Party in Michigan be looking for a new ally– one that is traditionally seen as having closer ties with the GOP?

MLive columnist Rick Haglund thinks the answer is yes. He thinks that Democrats in Michigan would be wise to join forces with big business. 

And, Mark Brewer, former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, agrees. 

They both joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:26 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Google predicts driverless cars will rule the road in a few years

One of Google's self-driving cars.
Credit user: mariordo / Wikimedia Commons

Not that long ago, things like robot vacuum cleaners or self-guided lawn mowers seemed like science fiction. Now, nobody bats an eye at a robot scooting around the living room. 

So how long will it be before we're getting around in cars that don't need drivers?

Just a few years, according to Google. 

The company has developed a prototype which is apparently now ready for its biggest test: the demands of the city. 

Justin Webb, who's with Stateside partner BBC, went for a test drive at Google headquarters, and joined us to describe the experience. 

Hit the jump to see what it looks like to be in a driverless car by watching Google's video. 

Read more
Stateside
5:22 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

State bill could kill Raise Michigan's petition drive

Credit Light Brigade / Flickr

A bill to raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour by 2017 is now on its way to the state House. The bill would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers from $2.65 to $3.50 an hour. 

The bill cleared the Senate late last week by a vote of 24-14. It's an attempt by the Republicans to kill a petition drive that would raise the minimum wage even higher, to $10.10 an hour, even for tipped workers. 

That petition drive is being led by the group Raise Michigan. Danielle Atkinson joined us. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:21 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

It's mushroom hunting season in Michigan

The hunt is on for delicious morel mushrooms.
Credit user ladydragonflycc / Flickr

It's the time of the year that many of you have been waiting for: mushroom hunting season. 

Mushroom lovers know that May not only brings flowers in Michigan, it also brings delicious morel mushrooms. And that means the hunt is on all over the state. 

Phil Tedeschi is the president of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club and will be leading most of the upcoming hunts. He joined us on Stateside.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:14 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Detroit has a rich country & western music history

Casey Clark was a disk jockey at WJR radio Detroit during the mid-1950s.
Credit 1966 edition of Music City News / Facebook

When you think of music that's made in Detroit, you certainly think of Motown. There's R&B, gospel, jazz, rock, rap – and there is country.

The Motor City has a rich history of country & western and bluegrass musicians, along with clubs, showrooms, and radio stations that got that music out to an eager public.

Craig Maki tells their story in his new book, "Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies,” and he joined us today.

This segment was edited by Crissy Zamarron with Mercedes Mejia. 

*Listen to our interview above.

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