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Stateside Staff

Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District: "Right now, we are putting systems in place so that we're able to meet the needs of all of our children."
Flint Community School District

Who were the ones most vulnerable to lead poisoning in the city of Flint?

The children.

With that, Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District (FCSD), joined Stateside's live show in Flint to talk about the state of the school district.

What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It's been three years since Flint's ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its' drinking water source.

Then-Mayor Dayne Walling pushed the button that ended 50 years of getting Detroit water.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of big names to Genesee County. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, officials from Lansing and the EPA, all visited the city.

But they flew in and out. They were not living day in and day out with water that wasn't safe to drink. 

Stateside’s Cynthia Canty spoke with two different Flint residents whose families lived through the crisis, with two different outcomes: one family stayed, and one family made the tough choice to leave Flint.

Courtesy of Rebecca Fedewa / Flint River Watershed Coalition

When it comes to the Flint water crisis, there has been plenty of blame to go around.

In addition to the human errors and incompetence from the likes of the Snyder administration, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA, and a series of unelected emergency managers, many have pointed fingers at another culprit: the Flint River itself.

Courtesy of the Sunny Patch Learning Center

It’s been three years since Flint’s ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its drinking water source.

It wasn’t just people living in Flint that were hurt by the city’s water crisis.

Businesses in the Vehicle City also suffered.

Stateside 4.24.2017

Apr 24, 2017

Today, we hear from two brothers who could each receive $1.25 million for their wrongful convictions. And we learn about how to preserve those dusty photos and VHS tapes in your basement and why it matters that you do. 

Tommy and Raymond Highers served 26 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit.
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

"It was an out-of-body experience."

That's how Raymond Highers described the moment when the judge sentenced him and his brother Tommy Highers to life without parole for a murder they didn't commit.

Courtesy of Shannon Zachary

 


Your grandparents' wedding picture. The letters your dad wrote home while he served in World War II. Your great-grandfather's citizenship papers.

These are precious links to our history. History is not so much about the "big names." It's more about what happens to everyday men, women and children.

But how many of us know how to preserve these treasures, whether digital or on ancient paper?

Courtesy of Brett Kopf

The Next Idea

Why is it that you can summon an Uber with one click on your smart phone, but if your child is struggling in school, you might not find out for weeks?

A police officer with motorcycle.
mikefritcherphotograph / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The mistrust and misconceptions between police and the minority communities they serve can run both ways.

That's why the Michigan State University Police Department is hosting a communication session bringing together community leaders and citizens with police officers from all over mid-Michigan. 

Stateside 4.21.2017

Apr 21, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear why a porn site funded a University of Michigan student's research on monogamous rodents. And, Flint's Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha explains why she's going to this weekend's March for Science.

Sunrise over trees and water
mikebabcock / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


The Great Lakes Economic Forum is being held this week in Detroit and Windsor. This is the third forum held by the Council of the Great Lakes Region, which includes business, government, and labor union organizations.

Mark Fisher, CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region, joined Stateside to discuss the importance of cross-border trade and the economic impact of the Great Lakes. 

A prairie vole forms monogamous relationships with its mating partner.
Courtesy of Natalie Nevarez

Like any researcher, Natalie Nevarez was looking for funding. She ended up finding it in the most unlikely of places: a pornography website.

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)

Courtesy of Kyle Bice

The "Beervangelist" is on the road.

Fred Bueltmann is New Holland Brewing Company’s vice president of Brand and Lifestyle. He's touring the nation to understand the popularity of craft-made beer, craft spirits, artisanal cheese, honey, jewelry, guitars and dozens of other products. It’s like the national version of our Artisans of Michigan series on Stateside.

Courtesy of Theo Katzman

 


Theo Katzman is coming back to Ann Arbor for a one night open air concert featuring a few of the area’s beloved musicians. While Katzman is still the drummer and guitarist with the funk/fusion band Vulfpeck, he’s been promoting his latest solo album, "Heartbreak Hits."

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican legislators are divided when it comes to the budget.

The Detroit News reports the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services cut energy assistance and food aid in what’s known as “Heat and Eat.”

So far about $200 million face cuts from Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget. Senator Jim Marleau, who chairs the subcommittee, says he’s received marching orders from Senate Republican leaders in an attempt to cut the state income tax or pay down state debt.

nl.monteiro / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Tomorrow, Earth Day, the March for Science will be held in Washington, D.C. Other marches are planned for hundreds of cities around the world.

The organizers’ mission statement reads: “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”

Stateside 4.20.2017

Apr 20, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear the answer to listener Ashley Lewis' question: What's the origin of the Sleeping Bear Dunes story? And, we learn why one tech executive chose Ann Arbor over Paris.

Ann Arbor or Paris?
FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Not too long ago, Upper Peninsula native Dawn Verbrigghe had a career humming along in super-cool Brooklyn.

Then, out of the blue, came two job offers. One, in Paris, which promised a rooftop apartment in the City of Light. The other offer: Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Screen grab taken from Karen Spranger's Facebook page

It's been a bumpy first few months in office for new Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger and her staff.

Last night, the county ethics board met to discuss ethics complaints filed by a former top aide, someone Spranger fired shortly after taking office.

The meeting ended with a $100 fine against Spranger for an ethics violations, a fine she intends to appeal.

But that is just scratching the surface of what's happened since Spranger was elected last November.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Jim D / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Radio listener Ashley Lewis of Royal Oak posed this question to our MI Curious team:

An older woman and a younger girl laugh.
Mohammad Meenhaj Uddin / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

There’s an old adage that laughter is the best medicine. 

Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abassi believes there’s some scientific truth to that. 

A photo collage of Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It's the newest twist in the tragic story of Flint and its water.

Mayor Karen Weaver wants her city to keep drawing its water from the Detroit-based Great Lakes Water Authority for the next 30 years.

Fish in Lake St. Clair have a virus (VHSV) that is causing thousands of them to wash up dead on the shore.
jpowers65 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There are two environmental stories making news today.

First, fish in Lake St. Clair have a virus (VHSV) that is causing thousands of them to wash up dead on the shore. Luckily, eating a fish with VHSV is not expected to cause any adverse health problems for humans, but with that many fish dying in the lake, this could cause a problem for the ecosystem. 

Second, Nestle has put in a bid to pump more Michigan groundwater to produce Ice Mountain bottled water for consumers, but they were denied. However, that's not the end of the story.

Stateside 4.19.2017

Apr 19, 2017

Today on Stateside, GOP Rep. Upton explains why he opposes the rumored closure of EPA's Region 5 office. And, we learn how "wildcat banks" ran wild in the earliest years of Michigan's statehood.

The Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated under President Donald Trump's budget proposal.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump's budget proposal contained big cuts to programs that are not about defense and the military.

One of the programs on the Trump chopping block is the Community Development Block Grant program.

It's slated to be completely eliminated in the proposed Trump Budget.

Gymanst Jamie Dantzscher
Courtesy of Jamie Dantzscher

Four more former patients are suing former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse, including a 14-year-old dancer.

Meanwhile, an Ingham County judge recently issued a revised gag order that bars witnesses named in one of Dr. Nassar's criminal trials from speaking publicly. 

There are now more than 80 other women and girls who claim the former MSU doctor abused them under the guise of "treatment."

Book cover: "The Intersection: What Detroit has gained, and lost, 50 years after the uprisings of 1967."
Courtesy of Lester Graham

 

This year marks 50 years since the 1967 uprising in Detroit. A new book reflects on what's happened since those hot, angry four days in July. 

A three dollar banknote from 1837, printed by the Bank of Manchester, Michigan.
Wystan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As banking and the transferring of funds continues to evolve from paper to electronic in the 21st century, let's think back to Michiganders in the 19th century. 

For them, procuring cash was way more complicated than rolling up to a nearby ATM and getting a stack of 20s. Without a National Bank issuing currency, states like Michigan chartered their own banks without federal oversight.

Saugatuck Dunes.
Rapid Growth Media

Michigan's lawmakers are reacting to an unconfirmed report that the EPA is thinking of shutting down its Region 5 office in Chicago. Under the plan, the Chicago office would merge with the Region 7 office in Kansas.

Republican Congressman Fred Upton represents Michigan’s 6th District, located in the southwest corner of the state along the shore of Lake Michigan. He spoke with Stateside about the potential proposal, which he said was “not a wise move.”

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