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Stateside Staff

Stateside 3.10.2017

Mar 10, 2017

Attorney General Bill Schuette joins our show today. He explains his support for Great Lakes funding, but pins the Asian carp threat on the Obama administration. And, cheers to Friday! We bring you maple syrup aged in a bourbon barrel for a twist on the whiskey sour.

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American workers are facing an enormous retirement savings deficit. In Michigan, nearly 1.7 million workers have jobs where the employer does not offer a retirement savings plan.

In response to this shortfall, two Democrats in Lansing introduced legislation that would set up an alternative statewide retirement savings plan for employees of businesses who do not have a plan of their own.

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President Donald Trump’s budget proposes cutting the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Bill Schuette was on Dave Akerly's radio show on WILS in Lansing to discuss, among other things, his recent visit with President Trump. When asked about the President’s proposed cuts to Great Lakes protections, Schuette said this:

“Where this really stems from is again, Obamacare and the mayor of Chicago and the Illinois shipping interests really don’t care about the quality of the Great Lakes and the fresh water. And what we don’t want is the Asian carp coming from the Mississippi River up into the Great Lakes.”

"The business incentives are just one small part of what our economic development effort is overall," said Steve Arwood, the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
MEDC

For years, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative, free-market think tank, has been critical of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), calling it secretive and referring to it as the state's corporate welfare arm.

Last week we talked to James Hohman with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy about the MEDC. 

One of the Mackinac Center's criticisms is that the MEDC uses its billions of dollars to pick winners and losers in the business world. Steve Arwood, CEO of the MEDC, joined Stateside to respond to that criticism and discuss his organization's efforts to boost the state's economy.

Photo by Andy Terzes, courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Remember the 2008 Olympics in China? The stadium, nicknamed the “bird's nest," was one of the most iconic visuals from the games. It was designed by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

Weiwei's work, titled "Natural State," is on exhibit at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

STEVE CARMODY / Michigan Radio

A House committee has approved a package of bills to expand the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to cover the governor and the legislature, with a few exemptions.

That has happened before, but Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof buried it. It looks like he might do that again this year.

Courtesy of Tim Mroz

The Next Idea

West Michigan is one of the most economically healthy regions in our state. It’s been cited as the fifth fastest-growing city in the country.

By digging into what’s made West Michigan such a good place for businesses to take root and grow, other communities might find something to learn.

Stateside 3.9.2017

Mar 9, 2017

Today, we answer this MI Curious question: "What happened to Dr. Rafaai Hamo, the Syrian refugee featured in Humans of New York?" And, we hear an outsider's ode to the "tiny, tiny train" in Detroit.

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The big story from General Motors is its decision to bail on the European market by selling off its Opel and Vauxhall units to the French PSA Group.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes thinks there will be more to come in this worldwide automotive "dating game."

Nick Tobier, the author of "Looping Detroit: A People Mover Travelogue"
Courtesy of Nick Tobier

Think of it as an artistic “fan letter” to Detroit’s People Mover.

Artist Nick Tobier’s new book is Looping Detroit: A People Mover Travelogue. It’s a collection of essays, photographs and poems inspired by the People Mover and the views it offers of Detroit’s geography and culture.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When Dr. Rafaai Hamo was featured on the popular photography website Humans of New York in December of 2015, both he and the story he shared grabbed the attention and curiosity of people across the world. Hamo's wife, daughter and other family members were killed when their home in Syria was hit by a missile. He fled Syria with his surviving children, a son and three daughters, and arrived in Detroit at the end of 2015.

DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Last Friday evening, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of a new work titled, “Detroit '67 for Choir and Orchestra.”

The piece marks the 50th anniversary of those five days in July 1967 when 43 people died and nearly 1,200 were injured – the civil unrest that changed Detroit in ways that we are still facing today. 

Stateside 3.8.2017

Mar 8, 2017

Today, we learn why ready, able, diverse women are so often passed over for leadership roles. And, we hear why Lansing lobbyists just broke another spending record. We also look back in history, to when two runaway slaves crossed from Detroit to Canada, paving the way to freedom for thousands.

Courtesty of SEEKING MICHIGAN OF THE MICHIGAN HISTORY CENTER

All Thornton and his wife Lucie Blackburn wanted was freedom when they came to Detroit in 1831. The African-American couple came to what was then still Michigan territory to escape the inhumane, but legal institution of slavery in Kentucky.

Little did the couple know, but their escape to Detroit was just a prelude to a bigger story; a story that would impact tens of thousands in the future.

Ali Lapetina, Courtesy of Mana Heshmati

What better way to bring people together than through food? That's the idea behind the gastrodiplomacy movement.

Mana Heshmati is bringing gastrodiplomacy to Southeast Michigan with her low-profit start-up Peace Meal Kitchen.

COURTESY OF THE WILLIAMSTON THEATRE

The town of Williamston, in Ingham County, has a population just under four thousand people. Like many Michigan towns of its size, its downtown historic district boasts a variety of retail and dining establishments.

But nestled among the brick storefronts is a somewhat less-familiar sight: an 88-seat black box theater.

Courtesy of Shannon Cohen

Attention businesses and organizations in West Michigan: women of color are more than ready, willing and able to take on leadership roles.

That's the message on this International Women's Day from a study exploring why women of color are so often passed over for leadership roles in Kent and Ottawa Counties.

High winds pushed a large pine tree over onto a house in Ann Arbor.
Andy Thomas

High winds have been punching Michigan squarely in the nose today.

“I was seeing the strongest winds I’ve ever seen in my 35 years as a meteorologist in Michigan today,” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist with Weather Underground.

Gusts are knocking down power lines and trees across the state. Over 350,000 customers are without power.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

2016 may well go down as the Year of the Lobbyist in Michigan.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) dug into the numbers and discovered spending on lobbying was higher in 2016 than any other year: lobbyists spent $39.99 million last year, which broke 2015's record  of $38.7 million.  

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

It happened in a Detroit alley in 1967.

Detroiter John Hall and an accomplice beat a man who later died of his injuries.

John Hall was convicted of first-degree murder and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. He was 17 years old. His accomplice was never arrested.

But Hall's future changed with two landmark rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court – rulings that outlawed mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

On Feb. 2, at age 67, John Hall walked out of a Michigan prison.

Stateside 3.7.2017

Mar 7, 2017

Today, you'll hear the final half of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what he plans to do with his second chance at freedom. And, we learn what 2016 taught us about removing lead pipes in Flint.

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Have you ever seen an old movie where police officers are “walking the beat” in a neighborhood? It turns out foot patrols are more than just a movie trope. They can actually be a way for police and public safety officers to build closer ties with the people they serve and protect.

A recent study by the Police Foundation examines that tradition of foot patrols, and how it’s working in four communities, including Kalamazoo.

picture of book cover and Jack Cheng side by side
Courtesy of Jack Cheng

His name is Alex Petroski. He’s eleven years old. His best friend is the stray dog he adopted and named after his hero, astronomer Carl Sagan.

Together, they set out on a road trip to attend SHARF – that’s the (fictional) Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival. Along the way, Alex adds recordings to an iPod that he hopes will one day find the ears of extraterrestrials.

Alex is the central character in a newly-released young adult novel, See You in the Cosmos. Its author, Jack Cheng, immigrated to Michigan at age 5 and today lives in Detroit.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/claudio_alvarado/15597292482/

 

What’s the first thing you do when you’re waiting at the post office or a bus stop?

Likely, you whip out your smart phone. That's according to Daniel Kruger, a scientist with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

What can America learn from Flint's water disaster? That's the question at the heart of a national Water Infrastructure Conference starting today in Flint.

Retired National Guard Brigadier General Mike McDaniel is one of the speakers at the conference. He is director of Flint’s FAST Start program, which aims to remove all of the city’s lead service lines over the next few years.

Stateside 3.6.2017

Mar 6, 2017

Today on Stateside, you'll hear the first part of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what freedom feels like after 50 years without it. And, we learn about a Great Lakes pirate who sailed his way into Michigan legend with booty of timber and venison.

SARAH CWIEK / MICHIGAN RADIO

Life Remodeled is a group pouring money and effort into fixing up Detroit Schools. It’s worked on Detroit’s Cody High School, Osborn High School and Denby High School.

All three of those have either individual schools or the entire campus that are on the list of 38 schools in danger of closure due to poor performance. (The state has offered schools on that list a chance to stay open.)

Life Remodeled has spent $15 million in the last three years on projects to benefit the Detroit community.

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The Michigan Department of Education is offering a reprieve for the 38 schools in danger of being closed for poor performance.

The reprieve is laid out in a letter from Michigan Superintendent Brian Whiston to the eight school districts with schools on the possible closure list.

The 2008 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings pose for a group photo on the ice of the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.
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For the first time since 1990, the Detroit Red Wings might not go to the NHL playoffs.

John U. Bacon spoke to Stateside about the Red Wings' playoff chances and his predictions for Michigan’s college basketball teams going into March Madness.

DOOR COUNTY MARITIME MUSEUM

 

Dan Seavey wasn’t the only jolly pirate who commandeered ships on the Great Lakes, but he may have been the “jolliest.”

 

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