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Stateside Staff

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

When it comes to building love and connection between mother and baby, it’s hard to beat the ancient magic of a lullaby.

Those moments holding your baby, singing a lullaby, can live in a mother’s heart long after that baby is grown.

So imagine the extra power of a lullaby you write just for your baby. The Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project at the Flint School of Performing Arts helps young mothers do just that.

bill schuette announcing charges
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The involuntary manslaughter charges announced last week against the head of Michigan's health department and four other former state and Flint city officials have made big headlines. Why? Because such charges are exceptionally rare.

Adam Candeub, a professor of law at Michigan State University, joined Stateside today to put the charges into context.

Elizabeth McCabe / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

President Trump has throttled back on travel and trade with Cuba. 

"Therefore, effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," President Trump said last Friday to a cheering crowd in Miami.

Among the business groups watching that announcement with intense interest was the Michigan Bean Commission, which produces the beans that are a staple of the Cuban diet.

Stateside 6.16.2017

Jun 16, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Chaldean community advocate working fast to prevent deportations to Iraq, and we learn why the Affordable Care Act health insurance rates will go up again.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons

Last weekend, federal immigration agents took more than 100 Iraqi nationals into custody, with plans to deport most of them. Among the detainees set to be deported are a large number of Chaldeans – a Christian sect. Others are Shiite Muslims. Deporting them to Iraq means they could face persecution in that country.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Michigan has filed a class-action lawsuit to stop the deportations, arguing that the detainees should be given the opportunity to prove they could face torture or death if returned to Iraq.

pile of one  dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state legislature is sending Governor Snyder a package of bills that will change retirement benefits for teachers.

Vicki Barnett, the former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, says the switch to a defined contribution retirement model for new public school employees increases costs for local school districts.

“I have no problem with the concept of what they’re trying to do. It’s the underlying reason they’re doing it which will again lead to failure of the system,” Barnett said.

The uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act is likely influencing some of the health care rate increases.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Health insurance costs are going up next year. By a lot. How much depends on the Trump administration and Congress.

Blue Cross plans to raise insurance rates for plans it offers through the Affordable Care Act by an average of about 27% for individuals and close to 14% for Blue Care Network plans. The Detroit News reports another insurer, Priority Health, is proposing a nearly 18% hike for individuals buying through the Affordable Care Act. But, the rate hikes could be even higher.

Diane McElfish Helle in front of kids
Terry Johnston

In Detroit last week, the League of American Orchestras awarded a Grand Rapids Symphony musician with the Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service. Only four of those awards were presented in the United States.

The recipient is Diane McElfish Helle, a violinist with the Grand Rapids Symphony. She joined Stateside to talk about the program she leads called the Music for Health Initiative.

illustration of beach
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge awards were announced recently. One of the projects it’s funding is an urban beach along Detroit’s riverfront.

It will be another segment of the growing Detroit riverfront walkway put together by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Stateside 6.15.2017

Jun 15, 2017

Today, we hear how state officials charged in the Flint water probe possibly crossed a line by questioning scientists, also an investigative piece from Bridge Magazine and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative reveals that cash-strapped Wayne County leans on foreclosure fees to balance its budget.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Joel Kurth is the Detroit Editor for Bridge Magazine. Along with Mike Wilkinson and Laura Herberg, he’s been digging into how Wayne County is fattening its coffers through home foreclosures.

“Misery is monetized by counties all across Michigan, and no government relies on money from tax foreclosures as much as Wayne County.”

That blunt statement leads off a Bridge Magazine and Detroit Journalism Cooperative investigation titled “Sorry we foreclosed your home. But thanks for fixing our budget.”

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Those involuntary manslaughter charges against state health director Nick Lyon and four others in the Flint water disaster push things right into Governor Snyder's inner circle.

As he spoke to Stateside about the charges, Attorney General Bill Schuette said he wants to continue to hold those responsible for the Flint water crisis accountable.

Schuette is delivering a message that one would expect to hear from a state attorney general, but Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says there's also a healthy dose of politics in the mix.

That's due in large part to the fact that he is widely expected to announce his candidacy for governor soon.

A table filled with cups of Flint water
Flint Water Study / Facebook

Michigan's Attorney General made big headlines when he announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, as well as four others.

Charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer were leveled at the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells.

rosefirerising / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Michigan's farmers and growers are always looking for new and bigger markets for their products. The Michigan Farm Bureau thinks they should look at China, where there is growing interest in what Michigan's farms have to offer.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Greenversal is a program packed with environmental news — local, national and international. It's all put together by a student from Ann Arbor's Huron High School.

Megan He's Greenversal is one of 15 projects that’s been honored by the EPA for environmental activism. She won the 2016 President's Environmental Youth Award for Greenversal, her website and YouTube channel that has her weekly environmental news reports.

Luciana Christante / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

More than five million Americans are living right now with Alzheimer's Disease. The number could be as high as 16 million by the middle of the century.

We're familiar with this devastating brain disease, but few remember the man who identified it and gave it his name.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton sit across a table from reporter Rick Pluta.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

New charges have been filed in the Flint water crisis – this time in connection with the Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people and sickened 78 more in Genesee County.

Stateside 6.14.2017

Jun 14, 2017

Today, we speak with Rep. Mike Bishop who was among the Republican members of Congress and staffers at the baseball practice where a gunman opened fire this morning. Attorney General Bill Schuette and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton also join the show to discuss the new charges of involuntary manslaughter filed in relation to the Flint water crisis.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

As much of the nation focused on testimony last Thursday from former FBI Director James Comey, there were some who headed to the White House to talk infrastructure with the President and Vice President.

Among the group of some 40 officials was Candice Miller, former congresswoman and now Macomb County Public Works Commissioner.

As the face of Michigan during the White House meeting, Miller delivered a message about “handicaps and restrictions” that cost money and time on infrastructure investment.

Stateside 6.13.2017

Jun 13, 2017

Ever wonder how Michigan sets minimum liquor prices? We hear the answer today on Stateside. We also learn how to talk to your teen about suicide and identify the warning signs. 

marqee board of west side story
Rose Trinh / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School is letting out, and it's time to plan your Michigan summer getaways. No matter where in the state your vacation takes you, there’s probably a theater production not too far away.

As part of our ongoing series Theater Talk, David Kiley of Encore Michigan detailed upcoming shows at Thunder Bay Theater, Barn Theater, Mason Street Warehouse Theater, as well as this year’s Broadway shows at the Fisher Theater in Detroit.

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio file photo

Any news story about a teen dying by suicide tears a hole in our hearts. How did it come to this? Were there warning signs? Would I know if my teen struggled with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide?

Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abbasi joined Stateside to talk about what we can do to prevent suicide, the third-leading cause of death among adolescents.

Josh Hakala / Michigan Radio

Brittany Riley is the general manager of a liquor store in Kalamazoo. Every three months, she prints out what she calls a "load of price changes" that sometimes seem "incredibly arbitrary."

So, she posed this question to our MI Curious team:

How does the state come by its minimum liquor prices?

To answer that question, Andy Deloney, chairman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) joined Stateside today.

Drawing of the Islamic Riad, a shared courtyard that will join repaired homes & businesses
Courtesy Ghana ThinkTank's website

Take a Detroit problem. In this case, neighborhoods that have suffered neglect.

Tackle that problem with a solution from a Third World Country, in this case, Morocco.

That's what an innovative effort called the Ghana Think Tank has done. The result is being launched today in Detroit's North End Woodward Community.

Stateside 6.12.2017

Jun 12, 2017

Today, we hear a Chaldean community leader explain why deporting Iraqi Christians could be a "death sentence." And a PR expert tells us why MSU needs a concrete action plan to address sexual assault scandals and improve the school's image.

  Between sports physician Larry Nasser being accused of sexually preying on athletes for decades and four football players charged with criminal sexual conduct, Michigan State University is an institution in crisis.
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University sports physician Larry Nassar is accused of sexually preying on athletes for decades. Now he's in jail facing federal and state charges. His accusers say they tried to bring their complaints to the university for years. Nassar was only let go last fall.

And now, four Spartan football players have been charged with criminal sexual conduct since January.

MSU is an institution in crisis.

NIH IMAGE GALLERY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Plans to change Michigan’s mental health system would take a step forward under a budget plan moving through the Legislature.

The legislation calls for a pilot program in Kent County that would integrate Medicaid's mental and physical health services under private insurers.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Next Idea

As Detroit's fortunes rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, developers are seeing opportunity. In the neighborhoods, banks and outsiders look to develop residential real estate. But recent Knight City Challenge Award Winner Chase Cantrell is focused on redeveloping commercial properties, the “nuts and bolts” businesses at the end of the street where people live.

Women exercising
Edson Hong / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Ladies, does this sound familiar? You want to lose weight. So, you start an exercise program.

But the weight loss isn't anything like you'd been hoping for.

You feel bad about that, and your interest in that fitness program withers. And then you feel bad about that too!

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons

It was a traumatic, emotional weekend for the Chaldean community of Metro Detroit. Chaldeans are a Christian minority from the Middle East, mostly from Iraq, and many live in Southeast Michigan.

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