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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. 

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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. 

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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.

Stateside
7:32 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

New study shows drivers don't trust connected vehicles

A few years ago, most of us would not know what the phrase "connected vehicles" meant. Today, the technology is being used in more vehicles, in hopes of cutting down on accidents and traffic jams. 

A new study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute finds that even as the public welcomes the prospect of safer driving, they are still worried about being hacked and preserving their privacy. 

We were joined by the researchers who conducted this study. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
7:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Tecumseh Brewing Company is MILE's first crowdfunding success

Tecumseh's downtown historic district.
Credit user: Notorious4Life / Wikipedia

There's no shortage of talk about issues that divide our state lawmakers, so let's focus on something that virtually every lawmaker agreed was good for Michigan: our intrastate investment crowdfunding law. 

It zipped through the state House and Senate with just one "no" vote and was signed into law late last year by Gov. Rick Snyder. All of that happened in just four months. 

It's called the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE). It's a way of providing capital to existing and start-up businesses. We talked about this new intrastate crowd funding law a couple of months ago here on Stateside. 

Today, we look the first success story from MILE – the first business to reach its crowd funding campaign goal. 

The Tecumseh Brewing Company used MILE to crowdfund its way to $175,000. 

Kyle Dewitt is the co-founder of the Tecumseh Brewing Company  and Chris Miller is the coordinator of the Downtown Development Authority and Economic Development in Adrian. They joined us on Stateside today.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Government
7:24 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Hearings continue for Detroit recovery plan

Credit user: {megan} / Flickr

The newly-formed state House committee on Detroit's recovery and Michigan's future continued its hearings today.

At stake is exactly what the state's role should be in helping Detroit out of bankruptcy, and whether the state will kick in $195 million to the "grand bargain" to shore up pensions and protect the city's art collection. 

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes, joined us. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
7:20 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Rouge Rescue seeks volunteers for annual river cleanup

An aerial photo of the River Rouge.
Credit Library of Congress

If you ever want proof that individual actions can make a big difference in our environment, look no further than the Rouge Rescue – the yearly cleanup organized by the Friends of the Rouge River

Since 1986, the volunteers of Friends of the Rouge River have been working to protect and improve the river. Right now they're in the midst of the annual Rouge Rescue, and looking for willing helping hands. 

Cyndi Ross, the program manager of Friends of the Rouge River, joined us. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Culture
9:45 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A power company wants to bury low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste less than a mile away from Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario.

Now a scientist who once worked for the nuclear waste facility is speaking out. He says some of the materials that would be stored underground are hundreds of times more radioactive than what was told to governmental officials. What do these new findings mean for the Kincardine project and the Great Lakes?

Then vintage trailer fans from around the country are heading to Camp Dearborn this weekend for the Tin Can Tourists' Annual Gathering. We talk travel trailers with them later in the show.

But first, we check in on Congressman John Conyers. He turns 85 this Friday, and the ballot snafu is likely not the birthday gift that Congressman Conyers would have wished for.

He’ll be filing an appeal with the state after yesterday's announcement by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett that he did not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions to be on the August primary ballot.

Garrett says only 592 of the necessary 1,000 signatures are valid. Many signatures were disqualified because the people collecting the signatures were not registered voters. According to law, that voids the signatures they collected.

If his appeal to the state fails, Conyers is talking about mounting a write-in campaign for the primary.

All of this has those who have watched John Conyers since he was first elected to Congress in 1964 thinking about his "epic journey" through the decades, and what an ending to a career this could be.

Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about this.

Stateside
9:43 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

"Tin Can Tourists" hold 17th annual gathering in Michigan

A 1954 Spartan Royal Manor.
Credit Tin Can Tourists / Pinterest

They call themselves the Tin Can Tourists. They're folks who celebrate the travel trailer – the vintage travel trailers – the kind that grandma and grandpa might have used.

This weekend the Tin Can Tourists are holding their 17th annual gathering at Camp Dearborn in Milford.

Forrest Bone is the head of the Tin Can Tourists. And he told us today that his group actually dates back to 1919.

*Listen to our interview with above.

Stateside
9:43 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

U of M's Ross School of Business holding "Positive Business Conference" this week

UM's Ross School of Business.
Credit UM

Words of encouragement, like “think positive,” can be flung around with little thought when we face challenging situations.

It's something we hear so often that it's easy to tune out.

But there is real power in those words: The power to make our workplaces better and more effective.

This week, The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is holding its first-ever Ross Positive Business Conference.

Chris White leads the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today.

*Listen to our interview with above.

Stateside
9:39 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Scientist sheds new light on proposed nuclear waste site on Lake Huron

The blue pin shows the site of the proposed nuclear waste storage site near Kincardine, Ontario.
Credit Google Maps

Its official name is the Deep Geologic Repository project (DGR).

It's a proposed underground site to store nuclear waste. A site that would be located less than a mile from Lake Huron near the town of Kincardine, Ontario. It’s about 11 miles northeast of Port Huron on the Canadian side of the lake.

If Ontario Power Generation wins approval, its underground site could store 52 million gallons of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste – again, less than a mile from the source of drinking water for many millions of Americans and Canadians.

Nuclear scientist Frank Greening once worked for Ontario Power Generation.

He says some of the materials that would be stored underground are hundreds of times more radioactive than what was told to Canadian government officials who are considering the site.

*Listen to our interview with Frank Greening above.

Stateside
9:29 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Jack Lessenberry weighs in on the John Conyers ballot snafu

Congressman John Conyers.
Credit Photography Courtesy of www.conyers.house.gov

Congressman John Conyers turns 85 on Friday, but a petition-gathering snafu is likely not the birthday gift Conyers would have wished for.

He’ll be filing an appeal with the state after yesterday's announcement by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett that Conyers did not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions to be on the August primary ballot.

Garrett says only 592 of the necessary 1,000 signatures are valid. Many signatures were disqualified because the people collecting the signatures were not registered voters. According to law, that voids the signatures they collected.

If his appeal to the state fails, Conyers is talking about mounting a write-in campaign for the primary.

All of this has those who have watched John Conyers since he was first elected to Congress in 1964 thinking about his "epic journey" through the decades, and what an ending to a career this could be.

Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about this.

*Listen to the interview above.

Arts & Culture
5:19 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Detroit's Eastern Market still one of the top authentic urban experiences in the U.S.

Credit Lester Graham Michigan Radio

It's one of the most authentic urban experiences in the country: Detroit's Eastern Market.

These days, the Eastern Market is a six-block area just east of downtown Detroit, and it's been feeding people since 1891.

But there's a much longer history of public markets in Detroit. We spoke with food historian Bill Loomis, who wrote about this for Michigan History Magazine.

Stateside
5:15 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

How do Brighton schools deal with severe weather?

Credit user doodlepress / creative commons

Emergency sirens sounded across much of Southeast Michigan during thunderstorm and tornado warnings yesterday, just as many schools were letting students out for the day. This caused  some parents to wonder: What’s being done with my kid?

We talked with Greg Gray, the superintendent of Brighton Area Schools, about how the district dealt with Monday's severe weather.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Michigan is running out of money to loan to struggling schools

The Muskegon Heights school district is one system that has experienced "severe financial stress." They received more than $12 million from this loan board.

There's a state law that gives a special board up to $50 million that can be loaned to struggling school districts.

The long-term, low-interest loans are supposed to help these districts restructure and pay down their debt.

But this emergency loan board has already given out $48 million. That’s 97% of the money that was supposed to last until 2018.

How did this happen? And is there a way for struggling school districts to get back on their feet without needing an emergency manager or having to ask for another loan?

Jeff Guilfoyle with Public Sector Consultants joined us today to talk about this problem.

*Listen to the interview below.

Politics & Culture
4:32 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Things aren't going so hot when it comes to school finances in Michigan.

The state has basically run out of money to loan to struggling schools through 2018. The reason is because so many districts need help.

Today, we'll hear how we got to this point and what could be done to change the way schools use and receive state funds.

Then young people are not only driving less than teens did a generation ago, they aren't even getting licenses. We'll find out what driving less means for the auto industry and the future of how we get around.

First up, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was in Lansing today. He testified before the newly-formed House Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future. 

*Listen to the program above.

Stateside
4:24 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

New poll shows majority think Detroit is on the wrong track

A new poll reveals how Michiganders feel about helping Detroit's financial recovery.
Credit user: {megan} / Flickr

New polling out just this morning sheds some light on how folks who live outside of Detroit feel about this possible settlement, in which money would go from Lansing to Detroit.

As part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, Michigan Radio's Lester Graham and Sarah Cwiek have been poring over the results of our Epic MRA poll. They joined us to discuss how people feel about the state giving money to help Detroit's recovery. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

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