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Stateside Staff

Nom & Malc / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Type the words “holiday depression” into Google search and you will get nearly a million hits.

It's tough enough when you're feeling down, feeling completely out of step with everybody else. But it's even tougher now, during the holidays, with those messages of cheer, those "tidings of comfort and joy."

Dr. Farha Abbasi, a Michigan State University psychiatrist, joined Stateside today to talk about navigating the holiday season if you, or someone you care about, are struggling with depression.

The Ambassador Bridge could have a new neighbor (the Gordie Howe International Bridge) by early 2022.
Michael Carian / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There was a story in the Windsor Star recently about delays to the new bridge project between Detroit and Windsor. Anne Jarvis from the Windsor Star joined Stateside after reporting the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority has more-or-less gone from building the Gordie Howe International Bridge to explaining why it isn’t being built yet.

On the Michigan side, Andy Doctoroff is the special project adviser to Governor Rick Snyder and he’s the point person on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. He joined Stateside to give the Michigan side of the story. 

The big question on everyone's mind on both sides of the border is when will this bridge be completed? 

Gov. Rick Snyder formed a workgroup that made 69 recommendations on how the state of Michigan should manage and improve its mental health care system. The question is, how many of those recommendations will be turned into actual policies?
gophouse.com

Early this year, Governor Rick Snyder sent shock waves through Michigan's mental health care community when his proposed 2017 budget included changes in who would control the purse strings.

The Governor proposed taking much of the $2.4 billion mental health care system and switching that from public mental health organizations to private HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations).

A workgroup made up of state officials, mental health advocates, insurance industry representatives, state mental health providers, and others were formed to look at the issue.

Last week the group released a draft report that, in essence, saw the state reversing its course on shifting mental health funding, at least for now.

Our in-house linguist joins us to discuss various dictionaries' "words of the year"... many of which have political connections. We also learn how the new round of criminal indictments in connection with the Flint water crisis could test Michigan's emergency manager law.

Courtesy of Bill O. Smith

A children's book can be filled with wisdom and a message that resonates with readers of all ages.

That is certainly the case with Traverse City-based writer Bill O. Smith's new children's book Four a.m. December 25.

It is the story of a very special gift for a little girl.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant has been producing the Chevy Volt since 2011.
user calypsocom / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

It was recently announced that General Motors will cut the second shift from its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant next March. Nearly 1,200 workers will be affected.

This comes on the heels of GM's announcement that five of its U.S. assembly plants -- including Detroit-Hamtramck and Lansing Grand River -- will close down for anywhere from one to three weeks in January.

That will temporarily idle over 10,000 workers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette today unveiled a new batch of criminal charges in the Flint water disaster.

Charged today are former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, along with Howard Croft, former director of Public Works in Flint, and Daugherty Johnson, former utilities director of Flint.

This brings the total number of people charged by Schuette to 13.

Wayne State University Law professor and former federal prosecutor Peter Henning joined Stateside today to break down the charges.

Today the whistleblowers that drew worldwide attention to Flint just about a year ago explain how their lives have changed. And, we learn why Michigan law makes it nearly impossible for electors to defect.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Ann Millspaugh / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Say you’ve lived in your neighborhood for ten years and suddenly it’s become the place to live.

Rents are rising, and you’re looking at having to move. What then?

Stay Midtown might have the answer. The program aims to help working people in Detroit’s up-and-coming Midtown area stay there.

Lee Anne Walters and Marc Edwards
Rick Pluta

 

In April 2014, the fateful decision was made to change Flint's drinking water source to the Flint River.

That led to what is known world-wide as the Flint water disaster.

But it took activist citizens like Lee Anne Walters working with Virginia Tech engineer Marc Edwards to rip apart layers of denial and stonewalling from state and Environmental Protection Agency officials. In 2001, Edwards proved that people in Washington D.C. were drinking lead-poisoned water after the city changed water treatment chemicals. So, when Walters and other worried Flint residents called, he answered. They joined us today, a year after the city officially declared a state of emergency.

Keegan-Michael Key (fourth head from the left) and his comedy group, The 313
Courtesy of The 313

Never underestimate the power of the class clown.

The Southfield-born Keegan-Michael Key took his "class clown" talent (or "class theater nerd" as he put it) from Gesu Grade School and Royal Oak Shrine High School in Detroit to roles in television and film.

Key made his name when he was one-half of Comedy Central's show Key & Peele. The national success of that show led him to a gig working side-by-side next to President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

See below:

The Michigan Capitol in Lansing.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Electors gathered today at their state capitols to formalize Donald Trump's election to the presidency. As expected, Michigan's 16 electors cast their votes for Donald Trump.

In the days leading up to today's vote, however, electors endured intense pressure from people around the country to vote against the President-Elect.

“They’ve been getting letters, lots of them, in the mail and emails,” said Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood. “One elector I talked to – Wyckham Seelig from the Ann Arbor area – he got over 62,000 emails over the last five weeks from people across the country trying to get him to change his vote and buck Donald Trump.”

Today we end our series Michigan's Juvenile Lifers: Who gets a second chance? with a look at Philadelphia's approach, which differs from Michigan's. We also hear why one attorney says it's "basic decency" to give juvenile lifers a shot at parole.

Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was almost 4 a.m. on July 23, 1967 when police raided the Detroit blind pig owned by William Scott II. As they led the occupants of the illegal after-hours drinking club out to waiting paddy-wagons, a crowd gathered. Frustrated by years of racism and police abuse, the crowd soon grew angry with the police.

These were the beginning moments of the 1967 Detroit Riot, which would last five days, eventually claiming 43 lives.

In a recent piece in Bridge Magazine, Bill McGraw tells the story of the family at the center of that momentous night. He told Stateside that, while William Scott II was the owner of the club, it was William's son, Bill Scott, who was more directly involved in the events that sparked the riot.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The lame duck session for the Michigan Legislature has come to a close. Some people have called the end-of-year session "strange," but you can't say it was boring. There were a number of bills pushed through before lawmakers headed home for the holidays.

Now that the dust has settled, Susan Demas publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, joined Stateside for their weekly political roundup to break it all down.

Today we hear from the first, and so far only, juvenile lifer in Michigan to get a second chance. And we learn how DeVos family donations have influenced education in Michigan.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This is the final day of lame duck in Lansing.

The proverbial midnight oil was burned as lawmakers worked all through the night, took a quick break, and then headed back to their chambers for more work.

Michigan Radio's Lansing Bureau Chief Rick Pluta joined Stateside today live from the Capitol.

Courtesy of Zollipops

The Next Idea

There’s now a new way to enjoy candy – without the cavities and the tooth decay.

Zollipops” are 11-year-old Michigander Alina Morse’s creation. They’re sugar-free and gluten-free suckers, made with natural flavors and colors, that are good for your teeth.

2013 North American International Auto Show
wikimedia user F. D. Richards / wikimedia user F. D. Richards

Michigan has historically had an uphill climb to attract investor dollars.

But that’s changing.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says the smart money is placing bets on Detroit and on Michigan, and that's changing the narrative of both.

Betsy DeVos had her confirmation hearing moved to January 17.
BetsyDeVos.com

When Donald Trump announced West Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as his pick for Secretary of Education, reaction was mixed. Many wondered aloud how someone who has advocated for major changes in education, but who has never taught, would be qualified for the post. 

Recent secretaries have included a former Governor, the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, a former college dean and school superintendent and others with doctorates in education. Virtually every piece written about the nomination of Betsy DeVos describes her along the lines of as a "Michigan philanthropist" or a "leading Republican donor". 

Others think at least a part of the answer as to why she was nominated for this post lies in the deep pockets of the DeVos family.

It's been a year since Flint's emergency declaration, and today we learn what's behind the ongoing tug-of-war between the state and a federal judge. And, our series continues: we discuss who should resentence juvenile lifers – a judge or a jury.

“I don’t think these are radical ideas, to act justly, to think deeply, to think critically," Kuilema said. "In fact in a post-truth moment, I think that’s what we need more of.”
Ryan Grimes / Michigan Radio

 


To some, the idea of a “watchlist” raises uncomfortable thoughts and worries about infringement on people’s constitutional rights.

There’s a basis in our history for those concerns: the “Red Scare” from Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. The post-9/11 Terrorist Watchlist, with its various secondary lists, such as the no-fly list.

As lawsuits challenge the constitutionality of these watchlists, courts are ruling that these lists are treading on due process rights spelled out in the Constitution.

And now there’s a new website called Professor Watchlist. Its self-described mission is to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

Professor Watchlist is a project of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth group founded by Charlie Kirk in 2012.

Joseph Kuilema is a Calvin College professor who teaches social work. His name was added to the Professor Watchlist a few weeks ago because of an op-ed he wrote addressing institutional racism and white privilege.

Flickr user/United Nations Photo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Word came down recently that Shell — the second-largest oil company in the world — has announced that it will link top executive bonuses to progress being made on managing greenhouse gas emissions.

In other words, if they don’t hit targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they’ll get hit in the wallet.

It’s yet another example of business — in this case, a mammoth oil company — recognizing that its long-term survival depends on its ability to reduce the environmental impact of what it’s producing.

National Guardsmen delivered bottled water in Flint earlier this year.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Here we are at the one-year anniversary of the declaration of emergency in Flint, and we’re in the midst of an all-out tug-of-war between the state of Michigan and federal judge David Lawson.

Twice now, Judge Lawson has ordered the state to deliver bottled water to certain Flint residents.

But the state continues to fight that order.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The vote recount in Michigan has ended. But it did reveal some problems.

The Secretary of State is planning to audit several Detroit polling places because of irregularities. The number of ballots in the recount containers did not match the number of voters who signed in. In other counties, there were some additional discrepancies as well.

Our series Michigan's Juvenile Lifers: Who gets a second chance? continues: Today, we hear perspectives from a corrections official and a prosecuting attorney, both of whom have worked with juvenile lifer cases.

Courtesy Clari Cabral / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

All this week, we’re looking at juvenile lifers in Michigan -- those inmates sentenced to mandatory life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were minors.

Michigan ranks second in the number of prisoners who fit this classification. There are more than 360 juvenile lifers in Michigan, and a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases has meant that Michigan has to take a second look at the sentences these inmates were given.

Today we kick off our series Michigan's Juvenile Lifers: Who Gets a Second Chance? And, we learn what's moving through the legislature and what's not in these final days of Michigan's lame duck session.

Michigan's lame duck session ends on Thursday.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week marks the final few days of the 2015-2016 session of the state Legislature. Soon it will be “curtains down” on lame duck.

As Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service puts it, it’s time to see which bills are dead, which are “extremely sleepy” and which are alive in these final days of lame duck.

In today's political roundup, we hear updates from the "strange" lame-duck session. And later in the show, we learn what science says about a Michigan lab's plan to bring frozen dead bodies back to life.

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