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Stateside Staff

Mark Schlissel
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

One of the big topics during this week's Mackinac Policy Conference is higher education: how to help schools turn out the workforce that Michigan's businesses need, while also tackling funding challenges.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel is attending the Mackinac Policy Conference. The University Research Corridor  – consisting of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State – recently released its latest report on contributions those schools make to Michigan in the areas of life, medical and health sciences.

Stateside 5.31.2017

May 31, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear why Michigan advocates say protecting LGBT rights has to be a state issue. And, turns out what you learned in school about the Underground Railroad wasn't the whole story.

Time lapse photo of cars on road
Robby Ryke / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

“A slap in the face of good governance” that puts our health and environment at great risk.

That’s what Dave Cooke thinks about President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to EPA funding. Cooke is senior vehicles analyst in the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The White House wants to basically zero out the budget for the EPA’s Vehicle Lab in Ann Arbor. But what is the Vehicle Lab, and why should we all care how it’s funded?

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Democrats in Lansing are taking another run at expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Democratic State Rep. Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo and Senator Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor have introduced bills to expand civil rights protection to people who are LGBT.

Dzanc Books, 2017

"Poetry is good food."

That's the lesson award-winning writer Peter Markus has been teaching to kids in Detroit for years.

He taught creative writing in the Detroit Public Schools and he is the senior writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which places writers in public schools to hold creative writing workshops.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s been a high-speed first few days on the job for Detroit’s new school superintendent.

Nikolai Vitti began his new job last Tuesday and jumped right in with school visits, and meeting and talking with teachers, parents and staffers.

Poet and educator Denise Miller
Courtesy of Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE)

Hiding people in barns, or stowing people in secret rooms while keeping the watchful eyes of law enforcement and bounty hunters away from their clandestine activities. That's our image of Michiganders who helped thousands of escaping slaves through the Underground Railroad.

But there are many more dimensions to the Underground Railroad in Michigan.

Historian Michelle S. Johnson has made it her mission to help us more fully understand Michigan's role in the Underground Railroad.

Stateside 5.30.2017

May 30, 2017

Today we learn who stands to gain if Michigan moves to a part-time legislature. And, new songs from a Michigan bluegrass musician show "there's hope in the midst of every calamity."

ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In Michigan, taxes have been cut for businesses as legislators have reduced money going to municipalities.

The Detroit Repertory Theatre is wrapping up its 60th year with a production of "Countdown to the Happy Day" by Thomas W Stephens
EncoreMichigan.com

As part of our ongoing series Theater Talk,  David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined Stateside for a look at what's on stage from professional theater companies around Michigan right now.

Mark Lavengood
John Hanson

There's an irresistible energy and life to bluegrass music.

The non-stop rhythms of the banjo, mandolin, fiddle and bass, plus the vocal harmonies that make this music so rich, can make just about anyone want to jump up and dance.

The Mackinac Policy Conference kicks off today.
David Ball / creative commons

For Michigan’s elected officials, business leaders and many in the media, the place to be this week is Mackinac Island.

Today marks the opening day of the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber. That means four days of sessions, speeches, discussions, receptions and networking.

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is speaking at an event this afternoon at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Many observers believe today he'll announce a ballot drive to make Michigan a part-time legislature state.

Stateside 5.26.2017

May 26, 2017

On the program today, a former legislative leader is critical of a bill to give a road salt contractor a sweetheart deal. Plus, we hear about an interceptor missile base that’s supposed to shoot down nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. east coast—whether it actually works or not. Michigan is one of the finalists. 

The University of North Carolina Press, 2001

When looking at 20th century history in Detroit, there’s been a lot written about cars and labor, specifically men who were hired.

There’s been a lot less written about women, and even less about African-American women in Detroit.

Citizens at a public event in 2015 expressed some concern about making Battle Creek a military target. But more were interested in the potential jobs the missile complex may deliver.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is one of three states waiting on the Trump administration to review a missile defense system base. Fort Custer located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek is one site being considered for the interceptor missile base. The other two are Camp Ravenna in Ohio and Fort Drum in New York.

Michigan’s entire Congressional delegation supports the Fort Custer site.

These interceptor missiles are called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD). They’re designed to intercept incoming nuclear missiles.

Here’s the problem: the GMD system is flawed.

A Bald eagle perched on a branch
ellenm1 / flickr

After nearly going extinct, the bald eagle population across the United States has been recovering. In Michigan, the number of nesting pairs of bald eagles in Michigan has doubled in the past 15 years.  

Heather Good is the executive director of the Michigan Audubon Society. Good joined Stateside to talk about the bald eagle's recovery, and new challenges facing the birds of prey today.

John Sims has organized the "Burn and Bury Memorial: Detroit 2017" event where the Confederate Flag will be burned and buried.
Courtesy of John Sims

It’s Memorial Day on Monday. Some Michiganders will be visiting cemeteries, others will attend parades, and many will be lighting up the grill.

One person will be burning flags.

Not the United States flag. The flag that’s often a symbol of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars Confederate battle flag.

More than a dozen state senators have sponsored a bill that would eliminate Michigan's income tax by 2022.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature is debating concealed guns and a sweetheart deal for a salt mine.

To discuss those bills, Stateside welcomed Vicki Barnett – a former mayor of Farmington Hills and former democratic legislator – alongside Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislator.

Regarding concealed weapons, some members of the legislature support repealing a law that requires training and a permit in order to carry and conceal firearms. Supporters say Michigan law currently lets anyone openly carry firearms, so people should not have to pay more, and file extra paperwork simply to carry firearms inside jackets or other clothing.

Stateside 5.25.2017

May 25, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how one refugee built a new life in Grand Rapids after fleeing terrorism in Somalia. Also on the show today, we learn how Prop A keeps Michigan towns and cities strapped for cash, even as home values return to normal.

Detroit houses
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

It used to be property taxes skyrocketed when home values went up. Sometimes tax bills increased by double digit percentages in a single year.

Voters fixed that with the passage of Proposal A in 1994. The constitutional amendment capped how much property taxes could go up in a year at five percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Slumping stock was the undoing of Mark Fields as CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes said Fields’ successor Jim Hackett must rally his team to full battle mode, even though times are good and profits are fat.

American flag fluttering against a blue sky
Corey Seeman/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ali Warsame's journey to become a permanent, legal resident of Michigan was long and difficult.

He fled the war in his homeland of Somalia, which is one of the six majority-Muslim countries included in President Trump's revised travel ban. Before eventually reaching Grand Rapids, he passed through Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine and Europe.

He was a teenager when he left Somalia. He told Stateside that one of the reasons he had to leave was that he felt pressure from terrorist groups, which were recruiting young people to join them.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to stay out of the Democratic race for Michigan's governor makes the field a little less crowded, but there's still competition for a spot on next year's ballot. 

Last week, Stateside spoke with Democratic candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of the Detroit Health Department.

Today, Gretchen Whitmer joined the show. Whitmer served for 14 years in the Michigan House and Senate, including four years as Senate Minority Leader. She was the interim prosecutor for Ingham County during the last half of 2016. She kicked off this year by announcing her run for governor in 2018.

The Spoke Folks, a Grand Rapids non-profit, wants to put "More Butts On Bikes" and help people maintain them.
user kconnors / morgueFile

The Next Idea

Imagine cyclists, and there’s an image that might come to mind of people wearing Spandex pants and helmets out for a ride on country roads; or maybe of someone riding through the city on their way to work or the grocery store.

There is an economic and sometimes racial gap between those two cycling worlds.

Stateside 5.24.2017

May 24, 2017

Today, two Michigan Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle weigh in on President Trump's budget. Plus, find out why wind turbines have worn out their welcome in the Thumb area for a number of reasons. 

Michigan History Center

"Ancient relics from the Mediterranean found across Michigan!"

That headline turned heads at the turn of the last century.

Eric Perkins from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to talk about the story of these ancient "relics" and how they ended up being "discovered" in Michigan.

A crushed red bull can on the street
psychopyko / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Energy drinks are omnipresent on college campuses. So is alcohol. Unsurprisingly, at college parties and bars, the two are often mixed together. How do such combinations of alcohol and caffeine affect young people?

That's what Aradhna Krishna explored in new research into alcohol and energy drinks.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin of Royal Oak
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Lawmakers across the United States, both Republicans and Democrats have been reacting to President Trump’s White House budget proposal released Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D- Royal Oak,  has served in the House since 1983. He calls the cuts "extreme" and "based on false assumptions."

Both the Michigan House and Senate introduced identical bills today to address teacher pensions.
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Both the Michigan House and Senate introduced identical bills today. What message are legislative leaders trying to send by doing that?

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