Stateside Staff


Environment & Science
6:03 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

'The Wolverine State' without any wolverines

A wolverine.
Jeff Ford

We've got the nickname "The Wolverine State," and of course, the University of Michigan and the Wolverines are forever linked.

But the wolverine never called Michigan home.

The wolverine population in the United States is anything but big. An estimated 250-300 wolverines live in the lower 48 states.

One of the experts who devotes herself to protecting the wolverine is, in fact, a "Wolverine."

Bridget Fahey is a 1997 graduate of U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment.

These days, Fahey is the Endangered Species Chief with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the mountain prairie region.

She joined us today to talk about wolverines.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
6:02 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The film on international adoption, 'Stuck,' shows in Livonia tonight

A family from Denver says their adopted son was 'unstuck almost 2 years ago from Ethiopia.'

There's a special  screening tonight at the AMC Livonia 20 of the documentary "Stuck." It was an Audience Choice Winner at the Heartland Film Festival.

The film focuses on the process of international adoption and the  children and prospective parents who get "Stuck" in that process.

"Stuck" tells the story of four children and the families who want to adopt them following the children and families as they try to negotiate the bureaucratic ins and outs of the international adoption system.

Film producer Craig Juntunen joined us today along with Kendra Pinkelman. Pinkelman and her husband are trying to adopt a boy from Russia.

That adoption process came to a grinding halt when Russia banned U.S. adoptions last December.

And the Director of the Eastern Michigan Office of Adoption Associates, one of Michigan's leading agencies for international and domestic adoptions, Paula Springer also joined us. She has worked in the adoption field for some 30 years.

Listen to the full discussion above.

3:06 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

U-M students link Michigan to Brazil through music

Kids at the Nazare orphange in Pocone, Brazil.
Pantanal Center for Education and Research

Ethan Shirley and Alex Carney both hail from the University of Michigan and are co founders of the Pantanal Music Exchange.

Shirley founded the Pantanal Center for Education and Research is a non profit organization that focuses on science, technology and sustainable community development.

Last summer, Shirley and Carney were setting up some science and technology workshops at the Nazaré orphanage in rural Brazil when the director of the orphanage mentioned in passing that there was a room full of unused instruments.

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Politics & Culture
4:59 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Lots of attention gets paid to helping students navigate what comes after their formal education, but on today's show we talked to one columnist who wonders if we're doing a disservice to our kids by steering them into today's jobs - jobs that might not be available in the future.

And, engineering students at the University of Michigan get real-world experience by designing apps and video games that help autistic children.

Also, we talk with an Ann Arbor musician who was inspired by poetry and art. And we talk about how to improve voter turnout in elections.

First up, we talk with U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI 14) about easing trade restrictions with foreign nations.

On the surface, it sounds like easing trade restrictions could present new opportunities and more business for American companies such as the Detroit Three automakers, but Peters is speaking out about his deep concerns about ongoing negotiations on a new multi-lateral trade agreement.

It's called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Congressman Peters believes letting Japan into the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" is courting real danger for U.S. auto companies.

Politics & Government
4:59 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Is the TPP a threat to U.S. auto makers?

The Detroit Three auto companies could be threatened if Japan joins the TPP
wikimedia commons

On the surface, it sounds like easing trade restrictions with foreign nations could present new opportunities and more business for American companies like the Detroit Three automakers.

But, is there a deeper danger to American jobs in these overseas trade agreements?

Michigan Democratic Congressman Gary Peters voiced his concerns about a new multi-lateral trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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4:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Are we making a mistake by educating students for today's jobs?

Nursing is a hot profession today, but will it be in the future?
Kate Davidson Changing Gears

Here's a question to consider: are we doing the students of Michigan a disservice by steering them to the jobs that businesses are demanding in today's world?

It's certainly a big push for Governor Rick Snyder.

But MLive columnist Rick Haglund has some misgivings about this growing push to match courses with what businesses want in Michigan grads.

He joined us today from Birmingham, and we asked him why he thinks this approach could backfire in the long run.

Listen to the full interview above.

4:55 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

These aren't your normal video games

University of Michigan students design video games for people with disabilities
user Honey Bunny Flickr

Do your kids spend too much time with video games? Well, they might keep it up in college.

In Dr. David Chesney's engineering courses,  students at the University of Michigan create video games and apps for the greater good.

Dr. Chesney is a professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering.

"We always try to build games for the social good, and recently we tried directing them to specific disabilities like cerebral palsy," Chesney said.

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1:47 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Do too many voters sit on the sidelines on Election Day?

Voting booths.
user eyspahn Flickr

A couple of recent columns in Bridge Magazine caught our eye and we wanted to bring the writers together to share their thoughts with you.

The subject: exercising our right to vote.

From coast-to-coast, too many Americans sit on the sidelines when it comes to Election Day.

And, looking at the City of Detroit, with its state-appointed emergency manager running things, Detroiter Karen Dumas believes that Detroiters have paid a price for what she calls a "lack of diligence."

She spelled out her thoughts in a recent Bridge column.

And Bridge staff writer Nancy Derringer reports on a group in Detroit trying to "make voting cool," especially among the young people who are starting to move into the city.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Stateside for Monday, April 29th, 2013

With approval by the U.S. State Department, the plan to build a new, second bridge from Detroit to Windsor is moving forward. On today's show we take a look at the community in Detroit where the bridge will be built.

Just what will happen to the Delray neighborhood? And, then, we'll speak with a woman who has hiked the shorelines of all five Great Lakes.

But first to the state Capitol, where we saw a flurry of voting last week as lawmakers put together the next state budget.

It's expected to total about $48 billion.

The Republican-controlled state House approved spending for schools and colleges as well as a budget to fund the rest of state government.

The state Senate, also controlled by Republicans, approved about half of its budget plan with more votes scheduled this week.

Now, these votes set the stage for negotiations between the two Chambers in May because the goal in Lansing is to get the budget complete by June 1st.

Joining us are Chad Livengood, Lansing reporter for The Detroit News, and Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent for Crain’s Detroit Business.

5:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Aacorn Farm will provide community for adults with autism

Residents of Aacorn farm will work with livestock and perform daily farm chores
Peter Payette/Interlochen Public Radio

A new initiative in Kalamazoo county is in the works to provide a residential space for adults with autism, known as Aacorn Farm.

Aacorn stands for Autism Agricultural Community Option for Residential Need, and the organization is led by a group of parents who have children with autism. A residential community like this isn't the first of its kind, but it is for adults with autism.

The residential space aims to assist some of the nearly 50,000 Michigan residents who have been diagnosed with autism in Michigan, 16,000 of which are children.

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5:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Budget showdown at the State Capitol

State Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Ifmuth Flickr

Last week, we saw a flurry of voting at the State Capitol as lawmakers put together the next state budget, which is expected to total about $48 billion.

The Republican controlled State House approved spending for schools and colleges as well as a budget to fund the rest of state government.

The State Senate, also controlled by Republicans, approved about half of its budget plan with more votes scheduled this week.

The votes set the stage for negotiations between the two chambers in May.

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5:25 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

How the bridge will affect Delray residents

Lester Graham Michigan Radio

The New International Trade Crossing has taken a big step closer to becoming reality. 

Recently, the U.S. State Department approved the project which will allow the creation of a second span across the Detroit River from Detroit to Windsor.

The residents, business owners, and civic leaders in the Delray neighborhood have been watching the progress of this project very closely.

Delray is where the bridge would be built - where traffic would flow - and where life will change.

Will the bridge bring good things to the southwest Detroit neighborhood and its residents, or will their quality of life be sacrificed for the economic benefits to Michigan?

Simone Sagovac is with the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition. Today, she told us how the new bridge will affect Delray residents and whether the two can exist.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
5:25 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

A hike along the Great Lakes

As we move into our middle years many of us yearn to do something to change things up in a big way.

Battle Creek's Loreen Niewenhuis took that question and really came up with something different: she got up from her desk, put on her hiking boots and started walking.

First Loreen walked around Lake Michigan.

Then she decided to walk over a thousand miles - hiking the shorelines of all five Great Lakes.

Her adventures are chronicled in her new book A One-Thousand-Mile Great Lakes Walk: One Woman's Trek Along the Shorelines of All Five Great Lakes published by Crickhollow Books.

Niewenhuis has taken off her hiking boots and joins us today on Stateside.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, April 25th, 2013

A state Representative says newly released documents are raising some serious flags about the state’s Education Achievement Authority. On today’s show: we talk with Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton about what she found out about the EAA through a FOIA request.

We check in withe Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes about recent Ford earnings reports. And Mayor Dave Bing has announced he'll run for reelection.

We also talk about the changes to arts education in Lansing public schools.

Later in the show, we speak with Art Prize founder Rick DeVos about another venture of his: Start Garden.
And finally, Ann Arbor is on the verge of a championship - a bowling championship. We hear more about tonight's game from WWII vet Mel Shannon.

5:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Is the EAA the best solution for low-performing public schools?

Low-performing public schools in Michigan are being run under the EAA
User Motown31 Creative Commons

There's a movement in Michigan to expand the Education Achievement Authority, a new school system for Michigan's lowest-performing public schools.

Since last fall, 15 Detroit schools have been run under the EAA. Now, there's movement to expand the EAA to include more under-performing schools.

The State House has already passed legislation that would expand the system, despite objections from Democrats who say the legislation is premature. Democrats say that there needs to be more research that suggests the EAA is really working before moving ahead with any sort of legislative expansion.

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5:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Rick DeVos on 'Start Garden': Is it working?

Rick DeVos announced Start Garden in April 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Whenever there's a conversation about looking for ways to generate ideas, business buzz and jobs, that conversation includes Grand Rapids.

Yesterday on Stateside, we noted that Grand Rapids was number four on a Forbes Magazine list of Best Cities in America to find a job.

In April 2012, Grand Rapids was in the news when ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos launched an "idea incubator" called Start Garden. The $15 million seed accelerator fund based in Grand Rapids was created to help launch more than 100 new business ideas each year.

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5:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Ann Arbor bowling league team goes for championship tonight

user migbcn Flickr

We have seen droughts in sports in this state, that is for sure.

The last time the Lions won the NFL championship, for example, was 1957. Well, there’s been a similar drought in the world of bowling leagues, but that might be about to end.

Mel Shannon’s been bowling with the Knights of Columbus Men’s League in Ann Arbor for about as long as anyone can remember.

Last time Mel won the championship was 46 years ago - 1967.

But, Mel is on the verge of winning the championship again tonight.

Mel is a Word II veteran who is 87 years young and he stopped by the studio along with John Kennard - who is also part of the K of C men's bowling league.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Arts education in Lansing with all the cutbacks

In the classroom

Last week, the Lansing School District and its teachers ratified a new contract that totally overhauls the way art and music will be taught in its schools.

Art, music and phys ed teachers will be replaced in Lansing elementary schools. Instead, contract consultants will teach those subjects alongside the regular classroom teachers.

This story got us wondering about the future of arts education in Michigan.

How can school districts who are coping with cuts in funding and eroding tax bases and population manage to still provide arts education?

How much does arts education really matter in these days of heavy emphasis on the STEM, technology, engineering and math?

Joining me now is Kathy White. She's the President and CEO of the Michigan Assessment Consortium and she is the Project Director of the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Program.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Ford Motor Company announced record profits

Ford's Escape and Fusion are two of the company's most popular models
wikimedia commons

Ford released it's first quarter report with record pre-tax profits of $2.4 billion in North America.

"Ford has a product portfolio that's clicking on all cylinders, pun intended," said Daniel Howes.

Howes is the Detroit News business columnist and spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about Ford's future.

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4:42 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Descendant talks about Chief Pontiac's legacy

Chief Pontiac

This week marks an important event in the history of Michigan and the history of Native American tribes here in the Midwest.

250 years ago this week, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa called a council of tribes. The purpose of the council was to figure out how to drive out the English settlers and army from the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions.

Hundreds of Native Americans came to Chief Pontiac's council on the banks of the Ecorse River in what is now Council Point Park in Lincoln Park.

Many are familiar with the name Chief Pontiac because of the city in Oakland County that bears his name and the now-discontinued GM car line.

We wanted to learn more about the significance of Chief Pontiac and this Council that he led on April 27th, 1763.

Ben Hinmon, is the Cultural Instructor of the Seventh Generation Program of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Mount Pleasant. Hinmon is the Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Chief Pontiac.

Today he takes us back to what was happening during this council meeting in 1763 and he talks about the legacy of Chief Pontiac.

This weekend there will be a traditional Pow-Wow at Council Point Park in Lincoln Park.  The Lincoln Park Historical Society and Museum, American Indian Movement of Michigan, and others are holding the free events, which also include a car show of classic Pontiacs at 5 p.m. Thursday, and a concert by singer-songwriter Bill Miller at 6 p.m. Friday.

You can listen to the full audio above.

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