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Stateside Staff

Stack of documents
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File a FOIA request, get sued.

A journalist, taxpayer, or government watchdog group can use the Freedom of Information Act to request records from a public body — maybe a government agency or state university, for instance.

The response? The public body sues the requester.

It’s happening in Michigan and spreading through the country. But what does this mean for a free press and transparency of public information?

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Today (10/4)  is Count Day. For school districts in Michigan, it’s crucially important to have as many enrolled kids sitting in their seats as possible. That’s because this is one of the two days during the school year when attendance determines how much state aid schools will get.

There’s much work to do in boosting attendance, not just on Count Day.  A recent report from Johns Hopkins University finds Michigan's chronic student absence rate of 18-percent is well above the national average of 13-percent.

Steam Engine With Passenger Cars Ascending Horseshoe Curve Altoona (PA)
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You might have heard the phrase, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” But did you know that in the 1880s, leaders in Michigan decided that fish needed a train?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
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Congress is investigating ways Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 election, especially through social media.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify at a hearing on Nov. 1. The House Intelligence Committee will do the same sometime this month.

Now, an exclusive report from CNN puts Michigan at the center of this investigation – with Russian trolls and Facebook ads.

Ryan Grimes / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term yesterday, and one of its first actions has direct repercussions in Michigan.

The court decided it would not take up the state of Michigan’s appeal of a unanimous decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thirteen months ago, the Sixth Circuit found the state was treating people as “moral lepers” with its sex offender registry.

What should you do if you think your Equifax account was breached? That answer comes today on Stateside. And, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, we hear how Michigan's Puerto Rican community is mobilizing for those in need.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

 


 

CEO and President of Community Bankers of Michigan Mike Tierney called the breach of four million Michiganders' private information in the Equifax hacks a “very unfortunate situation.”

“There’s a huge cost to everyone and eventually it leads to higher prices for everyone,” Tierney said.

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John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of Local Spins, which covers west Michigan’s music scene, said his listening suggestions for the month were made with a somewhat higher purpose than normal after yesterday’s events: the largest mass shooting in American history at a Las Vegas country music festival called the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

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If you've ever lost a loved one, you know that the grief is almost unbearable. 

 

But imagine a scam that makes money off your loved one's estate on top of that. 

 

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President Trump is spending today in Puerto Rico, getting a first-hand look at the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria, and meeting with storm victims and first responders.

Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans living here in Michigan continue to worry about family and friends back on the island.

After you flush, where does it go? Today on Stateside, we learn the answer is no longer a solution in many communities. And, we learn what anxiety disorders look like in kids, and how to treat them. 

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One of the very top mental health concerns in this country is anxiety. It’s sometimes hard to be clear about what anxiety is and how to recognize it, especially in children, but identifying a mental health issue like anxiety early on can make a huge difference for a child’s future success.

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The Next Idea

In an age where anonymous opinions posted online often drown out civil discourse, the idea of people sitting down to share a meal and conversation seems downright radical. 

But this coming Wednesday, groups of regular folks all over Southeast Michigan will be doing just that, and each gathering will address the same question: What can we do to make our communities places where young people can grow and thrive?

Courtesy of RobinDiAngelo.com

Last week we brought you a conversation centered around this question: What can white people do about racism in America?

Robin DiAngelo, an author, consultant and former professor of education, joined Stateside today to continue that conversation. She's author of the book, What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy.

Two deer cross a road in front of an oncoming car
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It's October, and deer are in the mood for love. That means Michigan drivers are at greater risk of hitting a deer. October through December is mating season for deer, so they're extra active and on the move.

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When you flush, do you know where the wastewater goes? How about where that sewer line ultimately ends?

It is out of sight, and often out of mind. Yet across Michigan, our decaying and outdated sewers are the source of growing problems.

Chuk Nowak / Courtesy of Detroit Public Theatre

After lots of praise from critics in New York, a play set in Detroit, written by someone from Detroit is coming to Detroit. The play is “Skeleton Crew,” and it’s beginning a four-week run at the Detroit Public Theatre this weekend.

The play “is a peek into the world of the auto industry,” said Dominique Morisseau, the playwright who is originally from Detroit. “This is about a small fictional stamping plant,” one of the last in the city. The play focuses on a group of workers who are threatened by plant closure.

Stateside 9.29.2017

Sep 29, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how design in Detroit's neighborhoods can involve the people, and why the world would keep warming even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases. And, State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, explains why he's running for governor in 2018.

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Representative Jason Sheppard, from southeast Michigan, and Senator Joe Hune, from Livingston County, both Republicans, introduced identical bills that propose barring local governments from restricting short-term rentals of private dwellings, such as Airbnb accommodations.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the state legislature and the mayor of Detroit agree on a position: the need to eliminate Michigan’s system of driver responsibility fees, and amnesty for drivers who still owe them.

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Some people are enthused about what’s happening in the central business districts in Detroit. New pedestrian areas in downtown, old buildings being rehabbed, new art installations, new restaurants, boutiques, and other retail opening up and down Woodward and Cass.

And some people are hopeful that eventually, someday, some of that development will spill over into the neighborhoods. But some leading design people say now is the time to look at these neighborhoods.

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A recent article in The Conversation asks this question: “If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases right now, would we stop climate change?”

The article’s author Richard Rood, a climate change scientist with the University of Michigan, brought Stateside the answer today.

WWW.SENATORPATRICKCOLBECK.COM/PHOTOWIRE

Michigan will elect a new governor next year, and many candidates are already in the race. State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, for instance, is running for the Republican nomination.

Colbeck's background is in aerospace engineering, so he said at first, getting into politics was a foreign concept for his family.

“So for me, this is about passion for public service, and for me and my wife personally, this is a call of faith,” he said.

Stateside 9.28.2017

Sep 28, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn Toledo water is safe to drink despite bacteria blooms, "but we're not out of the woods yet." And, campus sexual assault researchers say the focus on due process comes at victims' expense.

eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you’ve been on social media the past 24 hours, you might have noticed photos trending of what looks like the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day.

But nobody will be dying that river for another six months, and this river isn’t in Illinois.

NCAA Championship
Dayna / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The FBI calls it a "scheme involving bribery, corruption and fraud.”

That's how agents describe the alleged scheme uncovered by their investigation into NCAA men's college basketball.

Two women side by side
Mercedes Mejia

Last Friday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos replaced the Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault with an interim rule that, she says, gives greater consideration to the due process rights of the accused.

She called on schools to confront sexual assault and behaviors "head-on" while keeping the process "fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes."

Stateside 9.27.2017

Sep 27, 2017

Today, the federal Education Department rolls back an Obama-era guideline on campus sexual assault, opening fresh debate over how schools handle the problem.

Plus, the fallout over the director of the Michigan State Police sharing a Facebook post calling NFL players who kneel during the national anthem "degenerates."

A Michigan State Police file photo.
Michigan State Police

The director of the Michigan State Police has apologized for sharing a Facebook post that called NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem "degenerates."

The Michigan Black Legislative Caucus is demanding that Governor Snyder fire Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. The black lawmakers say they're "appalled" by the post.

But Governor Snyder says he will not ask Col. Etue to resign, citing her decades of public service.

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Michigan universities say they will not immediately implement new federal guidance on campus sexual assault.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently announced that her department would rescinded the Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Most Americans say they want to protect the "DREAMers," the term often used to refer to undocumented immigrants brought here as children.

That poll was taken after President Trump announced he is phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a federal program that afforded some protections to those immigrants, and he gave Congress six months to come up with a replacement.

Three Republican senators this week announced details of their reform idea, the Succeed Act. It spells out steps for receiving "conditional status" in the U.S., including maintaining gainful employment, or pursuing higher education classes or military service. Ultimately, holders of this status could apply for a green card.

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