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Stateside Staff

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Trump Republicans are rallying tonight in the West Michigan town of Hesperia, with more rallies planned around the state in coming months.

Meshawn Maddock, a rally organizer from the Michigan Trump Republicans and former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Oakland County, joined Stateside today to explain why she's rallying.

Stateside 8.18.2017

Aug 18, 2017

Today on Stateside, we talk about where things stand now with changes for marijuana in Michigan's future. And, we learn what it takes to buy and preserve a Great Lakes lighthouse.

flickr user Eljoja / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008, and a few cities like Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids have decriminalized recreational use (though, you can still get civil infraction – a fine).

And a marijuana facilities licensing law signed by Governor Rick Snyder is set to go into effect this December. Rick Thompson serves on the boards of MI Legalize and Michigan NORML. He says the roll-out of the medical marijuana Facilities Licensing Act will basically “reinvent” the medical marijuana pipeline in Michigan.

jimflix! / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The federal government has been auctioning off Great Lakes lighthouses, including a recent group of lighthouses located offshore.

The North Manitou Shoal Light was in that group and was purchased the nonprofit North Manitou Light Keepers.

The Bruce Nuclear Generating Station right on Lake Huron in Ontario.
user Cszmurlo / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal by Ontario Power Generation to bury low- and medium-level nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron.

U.S. officials want to block it. The Canadian government is considering the request.

We were expecting a decision any day, but the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has asked Ontario Power Generation for more information about the nuclear waste dump. So another delay.

What is the risk posed by low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste?

Judy Gail Krasnow standing outside Jackson prison
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In the first half of the 1800s, the city of Jackson fought hard for the right to build the state's first prison. The horrific conditions that developed at the prison from its gritty early days are well documented by Judy Gail Krasnow in her book Jacktown: History and Hard Times at Michigan's First State Prison.
 

Krasnow gave Stateside's Lester Graham a tour of the prison. She explained how it got started and what it's like today. 

Stateside 8.17.2017

Aug 17, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how Michigan State University is tapping parking lots for renewable energy and big savings. And, while "totality" will elude Michigan during Monday's solar eclipse, we hear an expert's advice for how best to watch it.

jimmywayne / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

What can a city facing $200 million in long term debt do?

Raising taxes is one option.

That’s why the City of East Lansing has drawn up an income tax proposal for the November ballot. If approved by voters, residents would pay a 1% tax on their income. Non-residents who work in the city would pay 0.5%.

Image of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. The darkened spots on the sun are "sun spots," regions of cooler surface temperature.
Ron Moubry

If you (somehow) haven’t heard, there’s a solar eclipse happening next week that will be visible from coast to coast.

On Monday, Aug. 21, observers in some parts of the country will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible to people along a narrow “path of totality” stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic coast, from Oregon to South Carolina.

Courtesy of Wolfgang Bauer

The Next Idea

Think about a hot August day. Your car has been sitting out in a parking lot for hours and hours. Think of how hot it is when you get back inside and touch that steering wheel.

What if you could take all of that solar energy and use it for something besides burning your hands?

Although General Motors CEO Mary Barra wasn't among the business leaders that quit President Trump's advisory councils before they disbanded, Howes says he believes she was leaning in that direction.
Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The businessman president is losing big business.

Donald Trump's promise to turn to America's business leaders for advice and counsel has collapsed.

His refusal to lay complete blame for the weekend violence in Charlottesville led to a revolt by CEOs in his business advisory groups.

Democratic candidate for Bill Cobbs, in turquoise polo and glasses.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Michigan chooses a new governor next year, and a number of candidates have already stepped into the race. One of them is Democrat William Cobbs. Cobbs is the former global vice president for Xerox, and is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Cobbs says he’s “ready to lead this Michigan revival.” He says the way public policy is being crafted in Michigan isn’t benefiting the state’s residents. He also says Michigan’s struggles in areas like public education have fostered hopelessness among children. 

Charlie Auringer

In 1969, the blues threw a party in Ann Arbor.

James Partridge, founder of the Ann Arbor Blues Society, calls that party “the first blues festival ever.”

Enough people came that it happened again, and again, and became the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, later re-christened the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Its last hurrah came in 2006.

But this year, musicians will breathe new life into that festival, as they work to reignite the energy that pulsed through the crowds so many years ago.

SEMCH44 / YOUTUBE

Thirty years ago today, a flight outbound from Detroit Metro Airport on its way to Phoenix never reached its destination. 

Stateside 8.16.2017

Aug 16, 2017

It's been 30 years since Flight 255 crashed in Romulus. Today on Stateside, two reporters say that day is still impossible to forget. And, we hear why one researcher says the safety of birth control pills is not "sufficiently well established."

Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

We're driving around Michigan a little faster this summer. It's the result of a package of bills signed earlier this year by Governor Snyder.

Speed limits are increasing to 65 miles an hour on 900 miles of non-freeways around the state. And on 600 miles of freeways, the speed limit goes up to 75.

slab of butter frying in a pan.
George Brett / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In the mid-20th century, there was a smuggling ring running between western Upper Peninsula and people in Wisconsin. It didn’t involve whisky, or gun-running, but rather a substitute for butter.

Rachel Clarke with the Michigan History Center says there was demand in Wisconsin for margarine, which was illegal in the badger state, but was still for sale in stores in Michigan.

UCI UC Irvine / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In 1960, the first oral contraceptive was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as contraception.

That drug, Enovid, changed the course of history for women.

Yet Beverly Strassmann, a professor of anthropology and a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, has a challenge for the drug companies that make hormonal birth control: don’t rest on your laurels.

Her research indicates it might be past time for pharmaceutical companies to tweak the formulation of the pill.

Stateside 8.15.2017

Aug 15, 2017

Today, we talk about what Justin Dawson's case reveals about the way our courts handle defendants who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled. And the state is refunding nearly $21 million to tens of thousands of people it wrongly accused of unemployment fraud. One advocate calls that a drop in the bucket.

Courtesy of the Dawson family

On yesterday's Stateside, we heard about a young Flint man named Justin Dawson.

Tony Dawson is Justin's grandmother.

"He's 28 years old, but I would say mentally probably about seven or eight years old," she said. "He's always been a good boy. He did graduate from special ed classes – just way behind, way behind mentally."

chris atto / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Looking for new music from the Detroit area that's perfect for the dog days of summer?

Khalid Bhatti​, executive editor of Detroit Music Magazine, has your back. So does Paul Young, the magazine's founder and publisher.

NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Most people have heard of a bird or wildlife sanctuary, but fewer are familiar with sanctuaries for shipwrecks.

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of only 14 national marine sanctuaries in the entire country operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and it’s situated in the northwest corner of Lake Huron, just off the shores of Alpena.

Michigan Municipal League / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

After wrongly accusing tens of thousands of people in Michigan of cheating on their unemployment benefits, the state is refunding $21 million to those Michiganders.

Attorney Jennifer Lord said that number is just “a drop in the bucket” of what the state has taken from those people, while Director of the Talent Investment Agency Wanda Stokes said the agency would do better in communicating with citizens and handling unemployment claims.

Amidst all of this, Zach Gorchow of Gongwer News Service has noted a conspicuous silence from one very important voice: Governor Rick Snyder.

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has wrongly accused tens of thousands of people of cheating on their unemployment claims.
Bytemarks / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state has admitted it made a whopping mistake when it accused tens of thousands of Michiganders of cheating on their unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency reviewed 62,784 cases where people were accused of fraud and hit with penalties.

In some 44,000 of those cases, that accusation was completely false – no fraud took place.

Stateside 8.14.2017

Aug 14, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn why white supremacists carried the Red Wings logo in Charlottesville, and about the ideology they ascribe to. And, we hear a Flint man's story of being jailed for nearly a year before getting psychiatric help. 

Courtesy of the Dawson family

What happens to someone when they're found mentally incompetent to stand trial in Michigan? One Flint man's story offers some clues.

Justin Lee Dawson is severely developmentally disabled. Though Dawson is 28 years old, his family says he has the IQ of a six-year-old child.

Courtesy of Barbara Schmid

He’s been writing and singing about Michigan for a good many years, and on Tuesday night, Michigan will say thank you to Jay Stielstra.

Michigan Senator Rebekah Warren will present Stielstra with a state of Michigan legislative tribute for his contributions in conserving Michigan’s natural resources. She’ll do this during a show called “A Michigan Tribute to Jay Stielstra” at The Ark in Ann Arbor, where an all-star group of Michigan singers, musicians and actors will perform in his honor.

Emmanuel Smith / MrEintheD.com

The Next Idea

If you’re old enough, you might remember Schoolhouse Rock, a series of musical films that helped kids learn.

Emmanuel Smith is “Mr. E in the D,” and he’s updating that concept by using hip-hop to teach kids math.

Stateside 8.11.2017

Aug 11, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from the two sides at odds over development plans for the Saugatuck Dunes. And we learn how the legacy of discriminatory housing policies in Michigan continues to shape metro areas today.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America / Creative Commons

The legacy of discrimination against people of color and discrimination against certain religions is powerfully present in Michigan cities to this day.

A new data investigation from Bridge Magazine's Mike Wilkinson analyzed a series of housing maps produced by the Home Owners Loan Corporation and later used by the Federal Housing Administration. Wilkinson examined maps of nine cities across the state.

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