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Stateside
4:52 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Detroit's jobs czar Tom Lewand claims to have the 'best job in America'

Peter Martorano Flickr

It’s time for our Thursday check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

His focus today was on someone who says he's got "the best job in America." Tom Lewand is the man in the Mike Duggan administration whose mission is to find jobs for Detroiters.

Daniel Howes joined us today to tell us more about this job.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

What can we expect from the Smarter Balanced Assessment?

Michigan students may have more rigorous performance expectations on MEAP and other standardized tests.
Alberto G. Creative Commons

How do you best measure the progress of students in Michigan's classrooms and, by extension, the effectiveness of their teachers?

It's one of the thorniest challenges being debated in Michigan education.

For years, the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) have been the assessment tools. Now, with the move to the Common Core Standards, it's out with the MEAP and MME and in with the what?

Districts around Michigan are gearing up for an online adaptive assessment test in the spring of 2015.

The Michigan Department of Education says the state has only one option for testing students on the Common Core State Standards for the next three years.

And that option is the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the SBA.

But state lawmakers haven't made that official.

We wondered how districts  are preparing for the SBA or whatever test they're told to administer next year.

William Heath is superintendent of the Morrice Area Schools and the principal at Morrice Junior and Senior High School located in Shiawassee County. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:05 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Are Detroit's female and minority entrepreneurs ignored?

Detroit's skyline.
Peter Martorano Flickr

There has been much talk – some of it here on this show – about opportunities for entrepreneurs in Detroit.

After more than a century of being dominated by big business – General Motors, Chrysler, Packard – the new look of business in Detroit is small, nimble, and full of innovation.

Some have raised the question whether there has been an inordinate amount of attention paid to white entrepreneurs – and male entrepreneurs.

Lisa Cook, an associate professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, says that many are ignoring women and ethnic minorities’ roles in Detroit’s entrepreneurial scene.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
3:52 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Health professionals trained in environmental issues also learn to share knowledge with community

A physician administers a vaccination.
CDC CDC


It takes a lot of heavy lifting to become a physician, a nurse, a dietician or other health-care professional. Long years of coursework and clinical training leave little room to learn other important skills – the kind of skills that can make a health professional an important player in the public policy sphere and prepared to tackle some of our most urgent environmental health challenges.

That's why the Ecology Center is offering a new fellowship program that can train health professionals about effective civic engagement and environmental health risks.

Listen to the full piece above.

Stateside
3:26 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Are Detroit's pet coke piles coming back?

Pet coke piles on the Detroit River.
James Fassinger Stillscenes


A meeting of the Detroit Board of Zoning Appeals yesterday resulted in some verbal firework, some confusion, and much scrutiny.

That's because the hearing involved a request from the company that was home to massive piles of petroleum coke last summer. The petroleum coke — or pet coke, as it’s called — is a byproduct of refining heavy crude oil brought in by pipeline from Alberta.

The people who had to live near four-story piles of pet coke, and breathe in clouds of pet coke dust last year before the stuff was moved out, are now watching to see if Detroit Bulk Storage is trying to get pet coke back on the Detroit Riverfront.

Dave Battagello has been tracking this story for The Windsor Star.

Listen to the full interview above.

Made In Michigan
3:10 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Ball Park Franks: A Michigan-made tradition

Did you know Ball Park Franks came from Michigan?
user andrewmalone Flickr

Joel Stone, curator at the Detroit Historical Museum, tells us the history of Ball Park Franks.

Some might argue there's nothing more American than baseball. 

Well, did you know those Ball Park Franks that go with it are Michigan-made?

Back in 1958, the owners of Tiger Stadium were not happy with the hot dogs served at the games. So they asked Detroit-based company, Hygrade Food Corp., to come up with a better version. 

Gus Hauf, a Hygrade employee, had already developed his secret recipe for the hot dog that decade. His co-worker, Mary Ann Kirk, came up with the "Ball Park" name, cementing the relationship between baseball and hot dogs. For her out-of-the-park idea, Mary Ann earned $25 and a leather chair

"Michigan had kind of the best frankfurters in the country," said Joel Stone, the curator of the Detroit Historical Museum. "And the Ball Park was a perfect example of that."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

January snowfall broke records in some parts of the state

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

If you ask just about anyone in Michigan about the weather this winter, chances are he or she will swear there has never been this much snow.

Well, yes and no. Some cities shattered their snowfall records in January, but in some parts of the state, January snowfall was pretty much business as usual.

Let's see who has legit bragging rights when it comes to snowfall.

MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa, who also runs the site farmerweather.com, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

How has NAFTA affected the auto industry in Michigan?

White House

We've been exploring the effects of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, recently. NAFTA is 20 years old this year and has had dramatic effects on the state and U.S. economy.

What has NAFTA meant to the auto industry, in particular, the movement of companies and jobs to Mexico – companies and jobs that used to be based in Michigan?

We turned to Stateside's partners at the BBC for more information. BBC correspondent Luis Fajardo joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

University programs send students to Detroit communities

Detroit Skyline
JSFauxtaugraphy/Flickr

Getting college students out of their classrooms, out of the "academic bubble" and into communities, giving eager students an opportunity to take what they're learning and put it into practice, and, at the same time, hopefully help their communities certainly seem like a win-win for all sides.

And that's why students from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan are permeating the city of Detroit in many ways, through many programs.

We wanted to see what's been learned by all sides in these partnerships.

Jerry Herron, founding dean of the Honors College at Wayne State and UM professor Larry Gant joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:29 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Ann Arbor-based non-profit is dedicated to building links between homeless, 'homeful'

State law bans "begging in a public place."
Annie Green Springs Flickr

It's called "Mission A2" – short for Michigan Itinerant Shelter System Interdependent  Out of Necessity. This Ann Arbor-based nonprofit is dedicated to building links between homeless and what it calls "homeful" Washtenaw County residents. One of its key activities has been running a series of rotating tent cities for the homeless.

But now, Mission A2 is taking things to a new level. They're partnering to buy land and build a permanent settlement called Homeward Bound, a place for Ann Arbor's homeless to begin the process of rebuilding confidence and their lives.

Read more
Stateside
4:22 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Michigan still hasn't figured out how to get marijuana into the hands of registered patients

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says opportunists have hijacked the state's medical marijuana industry.
kconnors MorgueFile

Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan. Voters overwhelmingly said "yes" to that in 2008.

But more than five years later, our state still hasn't figured out how best to get the cannabis into the hands of the more than 100,000 people who are registered as medical marijuana users.

In Mid-December, two bills were passed by the State House that made it easier for patients to buy medicinal cannabis. House Bill 5104 would permit manufacture and sale of non-smoking forms of medical marijuana – capsules, oil, brownies – which would help patients who have a hard time smoking the weed.

Read more
Offbeat
4:21 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Are stray animals taking over Detroit?

Researchers try to find the true number of stray animals in Detroit.
user: RTD Photography

The question of stray animals in the City of Detroit has been in the spotlight ever since Bloomberg News published a story painting Detroit as some place where "abandoned dogs roam in packs as humans dwindle." The article estimated the number of stray dogs at 50,000, a number that has turned out to be grossly inaccurate. 

Michigan State University political science professor Laura Reese has completed the first academic study of the problem, which hopes to shed light on the reality of the situation.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:21 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Proposals could impact students in every third-grade classroom in Michigan

3rd Grade Class
User: Old Shoe Woman Flickr

There is a two-bill package making its way through the state Legislature that could impact students in every third-grade classroom in Michigan.

It would hold back third-graders who have poor reading skills. If a child fails a third-grade reading exam, he or she does not move along to fourth grade.

Backers say it can help get a struggling student back on track. Critics say flunking that struggling student is a punishment. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan panned the legislation, saying it should be up to local schools and parents.

Amber Arellano is the executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest.

Stateside
4:20 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Belle Isle becomes Michigan's 102nd state park

Belle Isle's Scott Fountain.
demccain flickrriver

A new chapter has begun in the long history of Detroit's Belle Isle, which is transitioning to become Michigan's 102nd state park. 

The full change takes place today, as state park officials assume control of the park under the lease imposed by Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. The move should save the city between $4 and $5 million a year. 

Starting today, motorists will need an $11 state recreation passport to enter the park. 

Detroit Free Press editorial editor Stephen Henderson joins us today to talk about what we can expect for the future of Belle Isle and the city of Detroit. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:20 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Is Australia's car manufacturing industry about to reach the end of the road?

GM and Chrysler suffered through bankruptcy in large part because it relied so heavily on SUV sales.
user ep_jhu Creative Commons

Ford and General Motors both recently decided to stop producing cars in Australia. Now, that country's car manufacturing industry is about to reach the end of the road. That's after today's announcement that Toyota will close its operations there as well.

Stateside's partner the BBC has more from business correspondent Russell Padmore.

Stateside
4:20 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Stateside for Monday, February 10, 2014

Belle Isle has become Michigan's 102nd State Park. What does this new chapter for Belle Isle mean for the city and people of Detroit?

Next, stray animals in Detroit are up for debate since a article by Bloomberg News put the number of strays at 50,000. A Michigan State University professor discusses the findings of her study on the problem. 

Read more
Stateside
5:15 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Free student-run medical clinics provide health care to uninsured

Michigan Health Insurance Program is offering more options to people with pre-existing conditions.
user striatic Flickr

It could happen in a field near an abandoned building in Detroit. Or a now-defunct library in a small rural town.

The locations may differ, but the mission is the same: medical students reaching out to provide health care to uninsured people.

The student-run free medical clinic is an outreach effort that’s offered by most medical schools. Usually, it’s staffed by first and second year med students who are responsible for virtually every aspect of the clinic. An M.D. is on hand to write prescriptions and confirm diagnoses. But it really is these med students who are giving most of the care.

What are the pros and cons of these free student-run clinics?

Jennifer Xu is a medical student at the University of Michigan. She recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic entitled “Letting Medical Students Run The Clinic.” She joined us today to tell us more about it.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:11 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Michigan fiber mill provides yarn for Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters

American athletes will be wearing these during the closing ceremonies.
Facebook

The Winter 2014 Olympics began today in Sochi, Russia. America's athletes will once again be sporting designs by Ralph Lauren.

 

What you might not know is that the sweaters and caps they'll be wearing for the closing ceremonies will be made from yarn produced in Michigan.

Debbie McDermott is a shepherd, a spinner and a fiber artist. She owns Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:09 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Mobile and Web app helps feed hungry children in Grand Rapids

Web designer, Adam Salois (left), and Managing Director, Jonathan Kumar (right).
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Using the power of social media to do good – in this case, ordering a dessert or an appetizer and, in doing so, helping to feed a hungry child.

Our next guest has accomplished that with a mobile and Web app called FoodCircles currently up and running in Grand Rapids.

Jonathan Kumar is the managing director of FoodCircles and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:07 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

How can our voting system be improved?

The Secretary of State says 95.5% of eligible voters are registered
Lars Plougmann Creative Commons

During his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama made passing mention of our voting system.

"Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote. Last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened.  But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are working together to strengthen it, and the bipartisan commission I appointed last year has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote.  Let’s support these efforts.  It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy."

So, the voting system is on the president's mind. So, too, is it on the mind of Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry. He joined us today to discuss the problems he has noticed with our voting system.

Listen to the full interview above.

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