Stateside Staff

Snyder endorsed the report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget indicating a notable decrease in unemployment in Michigan over the past month.
gophouse.com

There is continuing speculation about whether Gov. Rick Snyder will run for president. Recent trips around the country to sell Michigan’s story have only fanned the rumor flames that Snyder is, indeed, considering a run.

The facts as they stand now are as follows: the governor is making trips across the country, talking up Michigan. He’s been in places like California and Washington D.C, neither of which are typical early indicators of a run, as Ohio or New Hampshire might be.

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Things are going to be brighter in Warren. Literally.

The Macomb County city plans to swap out all of its streetlights to LED. DTE Energy Co. says this will be the largest collaborative municipal LED conversion yet.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said that in total, the city has around 11,000 streetlights. Of those 11,000 , 6,329 are mercury vapor lights.

Today on Stateside:

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the challenge to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states. Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics co-host Rick Pluta reports.

U of M's music department makes a flute-like musical instrument using the stalk of a dead giant agave plant. Professor Michael Gould explains. 

Luca Nonato / Flickr

His name is Richard Wershe Junior.

Doesn’t ring a bell?

Try the name the media slapped on him when he got a life sentence at the age of 17, after police busted him with 17 pounds of cocaine: White Boy Rick. It stuck. That was in 1988.

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It’s almost Shakespearean: A powerful leader, pushed out because he pushed for the ouster of another powerful leader.

Alas, this is not the Bard’s story. This is about Volkswagen.

“Oh man, this is potentially the end of a very long era at Volkswagen, which is now I think the largest automaker in the world, and certainly the largest in Europe,” Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes said.

Listen above to the story of Ferdinand Piëch, Volkswagen AG’s legendary boss.

Hilary Dotson / flickr

All through April, in honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve been exploring Michigan’s poets with our series "Poetically Speaking."

But now, we turn to those of you who hear poetry and shrug. Those of you who never think to open a book of poetry. Those of you who say, “I just don’t get it.”

Kimberly Springer

Newspapers in Michigan are declining. But, one newspaper editor in Ann Arbor isn’t worried.

Lucy Tobier is the editor of The Murray Ave. Times, a monthly newspaper. When Tobier started producing the paper, she was eight years old. Now, she’s 10.

Robert Turney

One of our favorite Stateside visitors is poet and writer Keith Taylor. He stops by each season to share his "reading picks" from Michigan writers.

But, it's time to turn the tables on Keith Taylor.

His new chapbook of poetry and prose is called Fidelities.

Today on Stateside:

Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network explores what we can expect to hear tomorrow from the Supreme Court justices on Michigan’s historic same-sex marriage case.

Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics co-host Zoe Clark speaks with Stateside's Cynthia Canty about why lawmakers are staying mum on the May 5 road-funding vote. 

  Today on Stateside:

  • Our latest essay for The Next Idea explores the concept of "responsible innovation" through haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry of three lines with five, seven and five syllables.
  • Vintners in Michigan could have another disaster on their hands this year. Interlochen's Peter Payette reports.
  • Our Poetically Speaking series continues with Margaret Noodin’s Weweni, a collection of poems in Anishnaabemowin and English.
Troye Fox / UWM Photography

Margaret Noodin has made it her life’s work to fight for the future of the ancient Native American language Anishnaabemowin.

This is the language of “the People of the Three Fires”—the Odawa, Potawatomi and Ojibwe. These people came to the Great Lakes thousands of years ago.

Benjamin Foote

The debut album by Grand Rapids indie rock and soul band Vox Vidorra explores race, inequality, love and religion.

Molly Bouwsma-Schultz is Vox Vidorra’s lead singer and lyricist. 

Today on Stateside:

  • Governor Rick Snyder explains Proposal One, the plan that would increase road funding by increasing the state’s sales tax.
  • In working towards the New International Trade Crossing Bridge, the relationship between the United States and Canada is being put to the test, as Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry discusses.

  • John Truscott, who sits on the commission that governs the state Capitol Building, talks about reopening the building to the public on Saturdays.

Thetoad / Flickr

Nearly 20 years ago, in the midst of a deep budget crunch, the state decided to close the Capitol to visitors on the weekends.

But now, as of June 6, you’ll be able to again visit the state Capitol on Saturdays.

FLICKR USER U.S. EMBASSY, JAKARTA / FLICKR

The relationship between the United States and Canada has been a figurehead of sorts for international cooperation and friendship between two neighbors.

Efforts to get the New International Trade Crossing Bridge up and running, however, continues to test that international friendship.

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s political analyst, recently wrote an opinion piece for Dome headlined, “Cross-Border Chivalry on Life Support.”

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Three weeks from now, we will know the fate of Proposal 1, the plan that would raise around $1.2 billion for road funding by increasing the state’s sales tax. It would also raise money for schools and restore the earned income tax credit for low- to moderate-income families to the 2011 level.

Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

The landmark 2012 Clean Air Act was the nation's first action focusing on greenhouse gases, with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025.

Margo Oge was the Environmental Protection Agency's director of the Office of Transportation Air Quality and she helped to shape the Clean Air Act.

NPS Climate Change Response on Flickr / Flickr

When we talk about climate change and what it's doing to our world, we often talk about melting ice at the polar cap and rising sea levels.

But there is something else happening as well: The permafrost is melting. And as it does, it is releasing even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Today on Stateside:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Photo courtesy of Governor Snyder's office

All through this current session of the state Legislature, Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Kathy Gray has been tracking the bills that cleared the House and Senate and then were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

This legislative session 700 bills and 125 resolutions have already been introduced, according to Gray. So far Snyder has signed 16 of those.

Gray says last legislative session close to 1,500 bills were introduced and 40% ended up becoming law.

Flickr user Bridget Coila / Flickr

Some restaurants have continued a puzzling tradition when it comes to serving wine. You order a bottle and when they bring it to the table they provide you with the cork as well.

Chief wine and restaurant critic for Hour Detroit  Magazine Chris Cook says there's a long history to this tradition.

Today on Stateside:

  • Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan talks to us about the State Officers Compensation Committee and how pay raises for state officials could be in store.
  • In The Next Idea, Harsha Nahata, the daughter of immigrants who grew up in Michigan’s Indian and Pakistani community, suggests granting an “urban visa classification” to people who agree to move into areas of urban decline.
  • Radio consultant Fred Jacobs helped birth the classic rock radio station format around 30 years ago, and he’s here today to talk about it.
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Corn flakes was the focus of a recent piece in The Atlantic by writer Rachel Smith. She looked at what’s in them, what’s not in them, and how they were invented in Battle Creek by John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will Keith.

Nowadays, cereal sales are dropping and Wall Street observers think Kellogg's is ripe for a takeover.

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We've heard about all the progress made towards autonomous cars.

The idea is: you get in, sit back, and let the car do the driving.

However, research suggests that not everyone will be able to enjoy this new-found freedom from the wheel.

Michigan Legislature
Matthileo / Flickr

Top state officials haven’t had a pay raise since 2002, and most of them took a 10% pay cut a few years ago, as Michigan was beginning to struggle back from the recession.

Now, however, unemployment is at its lowest level in 14 years and state revenues are growing. Is this new economic situation fostering an appetite in Lansing for a pay raise?

american flag and lgbt flag
Flickr user Praveen / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the legality of same-sex marriage later this month, and a group of young conservatives is pushing to change the Republican Party platform on gay marriage.

Today on Stateside:

  • Members of the group Young Conservatives for Freedom to Marry discuss how they want to change the party platform.
  • Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes talks to us about how Michigan can keep itself competitive in the wake of the tax credits owed to automakers.

It's National Poetry Month and in our month-long series "Poetically Speaking" we are delving into the form's presence in Michigan.

Here in the Midwest, Ann Arbor-based literary journal "Midwestern Gothic" is one of the best places for poets to publish their works.

Flickr user Argonne National Laboratory / Flickr

Lawmakers are still discussing how to manage the $9.4 billion in tax credits Michigan owes automakers.

The incentives started under Gov. John Engler and were mainly used during Gov. Jennifer Granholm's era. Their purpose was to keep automakers in Detroit, and Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says this plan was largely successful.

"The problem is the bills are becoming due and you've got folks in the Legislature who are arguing about what they're going to do about it," Howes says.

There's no way around paying them, and Howes says, "The debate now is what do they do going forward and what does that do to Michigan's competitiveness."

red wings warming up before a game
Flickr user Ellen / Flickr

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round series. This is the 24th straight season the Wings have made it to the playoffs.

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