Stateside Staff

Today on Stateside:

  • Sen. Stabenow discusses the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Farm Bill and what can be expected with the New International Trade Crossing between Michigan and Canada.
  •  Counties and townships in Michigan don't have the authority to regulate oil and gas drilling. We talk with Keith Matheny from the Detroit Free Press about how those governments are trying the use the tools they do have.
  • Lynn Fairchild talks to us about the federal program Experience Works that helps people 55 and older find jobs.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

It has become crystal clear: Michigan's budget will have some mighty big holes this year and into the future. That's because billions of dollars of state tax credits awarded largely to Detroit's three automakers are coming due. The credits were aimed at keeping plants and jobs in Michigan during the Great Recession.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes before we get caught up in finger-pointing, grandstanding and wailing, a history lesson is in order.

nfl football on field
Flickr user Parker Anderson / Flickr

Superbowl 49 has passed and much of the resulting conversation has revolved around not the game itself but instead its breakout star: Left Shark.

Michigan Radio sport commentator John U. Bacon says he's relieved that at least this new topic has allowed the discussion of “deflategate” to dissipate.

"Deflategate was the most overblown issue of all time," says Bacon, "It amounts to almost nothing. It is truly hot air."

Flickr user Mike Fischer / Flickr

As the years roll on and you move through middle age into senior citizen status, it can feel as though the world is racing past you, leaving you in its dust. Especially when it comes to finding a job.

Yet more and more people aged 55 and up are in the job hunt. The government tells us in 1992, workers 55 and older made up just under 12% of the work force. By 2022, it could be more than 25%.

field of hay with red barn
Flickr user Julie Falk / Flickr

This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama's trip to Michigan State University where he signed the massive, almost $1 trillion U.S. Farm Bill into law.

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Michigan's zoning law bars counties and townships from regulating the drilling and operation of oil and gas wells, meaning oil can be drilled as close as 450 feet from your property line without prior notification.

Detroit Free Press reporter Keith Matheny talked to homeowners living next to an oil well in their neighborhood who were given no forewarning of its construction.

Screen capture from YouTube

For Throwback Thursday, we're revisiting a story we did last year on the invention of the snurfboard. 

MLive is marking Muskegon Community College's exhibition, 50th Anniversary of the Surfer's Invention, with a visual timeline of snurfing's contribution to snowboarding.

Listen to our "Made In Michigan" interview with the snurfer's inventor, Sherm Poppen. 

mconnors / MorgueFile

Walk the aisles of any wine shop or grocery store, and check out the wines crowding the shelves.

Chances are, most of the offerings come from the U.S., France, Italy, and Australia. 

But Hour Detroit Magazine's chief wine and restaurant critic, Chris Cook, says don't ignore the wines being produced in Spain.

www.michigan.gov/snyder

Thanks to a new package of laws that took effect last week, Michigan has a tougher new approach to human trafficking and the sex trade.

Bridgette Carr, a University of Michigan law professor, served on the state task force whose human trafficking report helped guide the Legislature as it crafted the new law, which has garnered lots of praise.

Detroit as seen from a "drone" armed with a camera.
user Tretch5000 / YouTube

The Michigan State Police could soon blaze new ground in law enforcement.

They're on track to become the first police force in the country to be allowed to use an aerial drone just about anywhere in the state.

DANA NYSON / BANDCAMP

After a life of loving music, Grand Rapids graphic designer Dana Nyson has released his very first EP. It’s called “So Far.”

Nyson decided to pursue his passion at 50 years old, when he signed up for music lessons with teacher James Hughes, one of the owners at Triumph Music Academy in Grand Rapids.

But he had one big problem to overcome: Playing in front of his teacher, James.

Today on Stateside:

  • Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, joins the show to discuss the implications of Governor Snyder deciding not to appeal a decision allowing 300 same sex couples to be legally recognized in Michigan.
  • Chad Livengood of the Detroit News Lansing Bureau joins us to discuss how the Michigan State Police could soon become the first police force in the country to use aerial drones throughout the state.

Michigan's April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse were at the center of the Supreme Court case.
Rowse/DeBoer

On January 16, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments this spring in four cases that could lead to legally recognizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

One of those four cases was brought by Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer of Hazel Park. The couple hopes to marry so they can co-adopt their four children. Dana Nessel is the attorney that will help them through the case.

But the nation’s big civil rights and gay rights groups are not stepping up to support this potentially historic case. Here’s why:

Amelia Kanan / Flickr

Comedy Central is the home of some pretty creative comedy series, including Workaholics and Broad City. Now the network has ordered up a pilot for a new show called Detroiters, to be set in the Motor City.

Former Detroiters Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson are behind the show. Richardson is a new cast member of Veep on HBO, while Robinson has been a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live.

Gustavo Medde / Flickr

Michigan's adoption law has changed over the years, but many adoptees still have to use a third-party called a "confidential intermediary" when trying to find their birth parent or learn more about their background.

Yesterday, we talked with Michigan Radio listener John Stempien about his experience as an adult adoptee in Michigan, and his frustration at not being able to access his birth records or his birth parents' medical history.

Tina Caudill is a birth mother who reunited with her child and now works as a confidential intermediary. She's also the Michigan representative for the American Adoption Congress.

Today on Stateside:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Raw tests scores can't give you a full picture of student academic achievement. There are many other factors that figure into how students learn. That's why Bridge Magazine has created a ranking that takes into account not only grade-level test results, but also students' household incomes.

For the magazine's Academic State Champs this year, 73 of Michigan's 507 school districts have earned top marks.

Jimmy Hoffa on WESW-TV's Morning Exchange program sometime between 1971 and 1975.
WEWS-TV / YouTube

A new documentary digs into one of the most compelling and best-known unsolved crimes in American history. 

"Killing Jimmy Hoffa" is being released ahead of the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the famed labor leader after a meeting at a Bloomfield Township restaurant.

President Barack Obama
White House

This week, President Obama released his budget recommendations for fiscal year 2016 and Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler says not much in it is for Michigan.

Today on Stateside:

  • Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground joins us to talk about last night’s 16.7 inches of snowfall – Metro Detroit’s third-biggest snowstorm in recorded history.
  • Dana DeBenham, director of the Howell Conference and Nature Center, talks about the prediction made today by Michigan’s understudy groundhog.

  • Al Steinman, Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University, describes the Great Lake’s high water levels, their causes and their consequences.
  • Blair Garrou, partner and co-founder of startup venture capital firm Mercury Fund, is an investor from outside Michigan who's interested in Michigan startups. Hear our conversation with him here, in The Next Idea story.
  • “Godfather of techno” Juan Atkins joins us to talk about techno music and its beginnings in Detroit.
  • Jeff Potter, Lansing resident and creator of OutYourBackdoor.com, chats about how now is the time to embrace winter.
  • It’s Just Politics co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta discuss the possibility that Michigan legally recognize 300 same-sex marriages by the end of the week.
  • John Stempien joins us to talk about his experience as a pre-1980 adoptee in Michigan.
FLICKR USER MATT MACGILLIVRAY / FLICKR

Punxatawney Phil isn't the only groundhog prognosticator!

Michigan's got an official groundhog. Her name is Woody, and she lives at the Howell Conference and Nature Center. But for this year's Groundhog Day, they had to send in a "pinch hitter:" a groundhog named Murray!

Michigan could see 300 same-sex marriages legally recognized by the end of the week if Governor Snyder decides not to appeal a federal judge's opinion on the matter. 

Listen above to hear “It's Just Politics” co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta give the lowdown, and check out their story here.

www.discogs.com

Detroit is the birthplace of techno music. Its creator is Juan Atkins, known as the “godfather of techno,” and after more than three decades in the scene, he’s still performing and making new music. Stateside’s Emily Fox spoke with Atkins about the legacy of Detroit techno. Atkins' latest album, under the name “Model 500” is out today. It’s called “Digital Solutions.”

FLICKR USER TOM GILL / FLICKR

The Great Lakes sunk to some of their lowest water levels ever two years ago. People were concerned about the low levels then, but today people are concerned for the opposite reason – water levels are high.

FLICKR USER SHUTTERSPARKS/FLICKR

Metro Detroit is digging out from under the third biggest snowstorm in recorded history. Officially, 16.7 inches of snow have fallen.

Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground joined us today. He said 1974 marked the last single-day snowfall of this magnitude.

John Stempien

When most of us go to the doctor, we probably don't think twice when we're asked about our family medical history: mom had this disease, dad's got that disease.

We also probably don't think twice about seeing faces that echo our own.

But if you were adopted in Michigan before 1980, these experiences don't come as easily.

Michigan Radio listener John Stempien wrote to us to describe his experiences as a pre-1980 adoptee in Michigan wondering how many others are in the same dilemma.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the very final hours of lame duck last December, state lawmakers slapped together a complicated road funding package that is proposal one, which citizens will be voting on in May.

Today on Stateside:

row of houses
Flickr user Michigan State Historical Preservation Office / Flickr

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently announced that more than half of Detroit home owners will see their property tax assessments drop by 10% .

"Here you have a mayor of Detroit who has, effectively, cut taxes two times in the last two years. When has that ever happened before?" asks Daniel Howes, whose article published in the Detroit News today evaluates the mayor's decision.

JIM KURTTI / FINNISH AMERICAN REPORTER

From wife carrying contests to polar bear dives, people in Hancock will be celebrating this weekend. Why? Because it's halfway through winter and time for Heikinpäivä, a celebration of the Finnish culture in Michigan.

According to Dave Maki, the assistant editor of the Finnish American Reporter, Finland only began celebrating Heikinpäivä after the Finnish-Americans started the tradition here in Michigan.

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