Stateside Staff

Sarah Price's debut album "SarahTonin" comes out this week
Toko Shiiki

Sarah Price is the choir teacher at Saline High School, and this week she is releasing her debut CD, SarahTonin.

Michigan voters may see marijuana on the ballot in 2016
user Coleen Whitfield / flickr

Two Michigan groups hoping to legalize marijuana in Michigan can begin collecting signatures to put the question on the 2016 ballot after a state elections board signed off on the groups' petition language.

Congressman Dan Kildee speaks at the announcement of the USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr

It seems there isn't much Congress can agree on these days.

But there was an exception to that Monday night concerning the plight of Amir Hekmati, 31, of Flint.

Roger Sutherland

With it being National Pollinator Week, we continue our series, "The Business of Bees."

It started centuries ago, scooping honey out of a tree.

Today, there's big money in pollination.

Roger Sutherland is a retired biology professor, and has been keeping bees for over 50 years. 

AcrylicArtist / morgueFile

Michigan’s state apiarist – call him the “bee czar” – says a surge of interest by backyard beekeepers is helping the struggling honeybee population.

Michael Hansen says a decade ago, you might have seen 100 or 200 people at the Michigan Beekeepers' Association annual meeting. This year? There were about 1,000.

Today on Stateside:

- We're seeing the first West Nile virus activity in Michigan. Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services tells us what we can do to protect ourselves from the virus.

- Ann Arbor City Councilman Stephen Kunselman thinks he has a way to help homeless people in his city.
The tiny house concept is gaining support around the country as a way for communities to provide affordable housing. 

As long as the rain keeps coming, we're going to see more mosquitos
flickr user trebol-a / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Combine heavy rain, humid and warm weather, mosquitos, three dead crows ... and what you get is the first West Nile virus activity in Michigan in 2015.

Dr. Eden Wells is the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and she says it's not uncommon to see birds infected in June each year. 

Today on Stateside:

Michigan Legislature
Matthileo / Flickr

"I had to make a decision and I believe this is an appropriate decision that makes sure that most kids end up in loving families."

That was Gov. Rick Snyder's explanation about why he signed a package of bills today allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to work with same-sex prospective parents based on a religious objection.

It is widely seen as a pre-action to whatever the U.S. Supreme Court might rule in a same-sex marriage case expected later this month.

Lance Kawas

    

Michigan filmmakers have their work cut out for them. Millions of dollars in annual state tax incentives are a certain target for cuts. And now, there's a move afoot in the Legislature to shut down the Michigan Film Office altogether.

Critics worry that the film and television industries are going to pass right by Michigan in favor of states with more generous incentives.

But filmmakers like Lance Kawas are still finding ways to make movies even while being based in Michigan.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons

Auto sales are humming along. In fact, May brought the best light-vehicle sales ever recorded for that month: over 1.6 million units.

So, what's with the "immediate retirements" of top bargainers for General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles?

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes worries that "the wheels are starting to wobble" for Detroit's auto industry.

Amit Evron / Wikipedia.org

It’s a little-known chapter in the history of the Ford Motor Company.

And all that’s left today are ruins and a ghost town deep in the Amazon rainforest.

Matt Anderson tells us the story of Henry Ford’s great “social and business experiment” nearly a century ago, in Brazil. He’s the curator of transportation for The Henry Ford Research Center.

A hundred years ago, the British and Dutch controlled the world’s rubber production. The rubber tree was native to the Amazon, and the English took seedlings from Brazil to Southeast Asia for mass production.

Diane DeCillis' premiere book of poems has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015
Diane DeCillis

As part of our series "Poetically Speaking," we're highlighting Michigan poets.

West Bloomfield’s Diane DeCillis’ first book of poetry, Strings Attached, has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015.

DeCillis draws on her past and her family in many of her poems, including the poem for which the book was named.

Many drivers may not know that the left lane is reserved exclusively for passing.
user Doug Kerr / flickr

The National Motorists Association has declared June to be “Lane Courtesy Month.”

We’ve all seen them: cars cruising happily down the highway in the left lane, drivers unaware or uncaring that they are actually breaking the law.

Lt. Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police joined us to talk about these so-called “left-lane hogs.”

Potholes are a familiar obstacle on Michigan roads.
Flickr user Michael Gil / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Drivers can all agree: Potholes are a fact of life here in Michigan. But does it have to be that way?

Jack Lessenberry’s recent opinion piece for Dome Magazine, Why Budapest Has Better Roads, examines Central Europe’s approach to infrastructure.

The difference, he says, would be shocking to Michiganders. “I drove hundreds and hundreds of miles on roads in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, former East Germany, without seeing anything we in Michigan would call a pothole,” he says.

Susan Brewster

Eighty-nine years after being banned, John Herrmann’s first book What Happens is finally being published.

Arguably Lansing’s best forgotten writer, Herrmann was part of the famous expat American writers’ crowd in Paris in the 1920s and called Ernest Hemingway a friend.

All photos are from a collection from Susan Brewster, niece of John Herrmann, and have not been published until now.

Kevyn Orr surrounded by the press
Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy on Flickr / Flickr

The state's Emergency Loan Board is not very transparent regarding how it makes decisions for state emergency management or consent agreements.

The board is made up of three members who are appointed by the Governor, and they have the ability to lend millions of taxpayer dollars to schools.

http://www.facebook.com/streetcreddetroit

Reality TV can be more than the Kardashians or the Real Housewives-of-Wherever.

It can be used to shed light, to build bridges, to increase understanding.

Today on Stateside:

Cole Porter.
public domain / wikimedia commons

One of America’s supreme songwriters, his melodies and lyrics spoke of a lifestyle that was suave and elegant.

But five years after writing Night and Day, Cole Porter suffered an accident that transformed his debonair life into a constant battle with excruciating pain.

Hidden Kalamazoo

Jun 8, 2015
Michigan Municipal League / flickr.com

There are few things more enticing than going "behind the scenes" and getting to explore something that's normally off-limits.

Add to that the chance to connect with the past, and you can see why the upcoming "Hidden Kalamazoo" tour is on its way to being another sell-out.

Today on Stateside:

- Who will jump into the race for Michigan’s next governor? Believe it or not, the 2018 speculation game is heating up.

- Does Ty Cobb deserve a new biography? We check in with writer Charles Leerhsen. His new book explores Cobb's life, and comes away with a somewhat different look at the Tiger legend.

Ty Cobb safe at third after making a triple on August 16, 1924.
National Photo Company / Library of Congress

He was arguably America’s first sports celebrity. He paved the way for the "bad boy athlete."

Tyrus Raymond Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. Besides being a brilliant outfielder and base stealer, Ty Cobb had a rough reputation: surly, mean, racist, someone who hated women and kids.

Today on Stateside:

  • Why the warming of a 40-year chill between the Ford family and the Ford Foundation matters to Michigan.
     
  • Can Michigan afford to lose big money by not giving LGBT people the same rights as everyone else?
     
  • They captured hearts around the world a year ago. Now brothers Hunter and Braden Gandee get ready for a second Cerebral Palsy Swagger, this time, even longer!
     
  • John U. Bacon brings up the weekly sports headlines: Michigan softball’s loss to the Florida Gators in the Women’s College World Series; Red Wing’s next head coach; FIFA; and Caitlyn Jenner.
     
  • Brad Schwartz, author of "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News," tells us how, as an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he uncovered a treasure trove of long-forgotten letters that gave us a more realistic look at the actual response to the famous War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938.
     
  • When Stateside's Rebecca Kruth lost her father, her family turned to Larry Skinner, the Eaton Rapids funeral director who's been helping the community say its goodbyes for years. As part of our Living with Death series, Kruth talked to Skinner about what it's like planning funerals in a town where everyone knows everyone else.
Ford Motor Company

It's never too late for fence-mending.

That's certainly the case with the Ford family and the foundation that bears its name.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been speaking with Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker.

John U. Bacon brings us the week’s sports roundup:

Michigan women’s softball team

The Michigan women’s softball team reached the Women’s College World Series only to lose the series 2-3 against the Florida Gators. Bacon believes what head coach Carol Hutchins and her team have achieved is nothing short of a miracle.

Michigan had to play half its schedule on the road before playing their first home game. “Imagine, if you will, the University of Alabama hockey team taking down the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA championship”.

Hockey

With the Detroit Red Wings' season over, Bacon claims that with trade deadlines and summer camps in August, the Red Wings need to get a new coach by June. Jeff Blashill, head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, is said to be the man to succeed Mike Babcock.

LanSINGout

The LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus has been part of mid-Michigan since 1989. From Christmas concerts to charity work, they're a community staple.

Michigan Radio's Rebecca Kruth sat down with director Peter Morse to talk about how the choir's direction has changed over the years. 

Orson Welles' 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds" certainly caused a stir, but newspapers of the time seem to have exaggerated that point.
user Curandera Vision / flickr

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the century's great creative minds: Orson Welles.

Director, actor, and writer, his "Citizen Kane" is widely regarded as the greatest film ever made.

And his 1938 Halloween Eve radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" was an early lesson in the power of viral media.

Today on Stateside:

  • How much personal debt is too much? Dr. Kristin Seefeldt talks about why debt levels among poor, near-poor and moderate-income households has ballooned over the past decade. 
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Taking on debt is a daily fact of life for most American households. The data show the highest-income households carry the largest amount of debt.

But debt levels among poor, near-poor and moderate-income households has ballooned over the past decade.

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