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Stateside Staff

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.

Stateside 6.9.2017

Jun 9, 2017

Today, we hear from an imam who says anti-Islam protests in Michigan are led by people who don't understand Islam. And, in our latest edition of Artisans of Michigan, we visit an angler hooked on tying flies. 

ISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA

Anti-Islam protestors are gathering in Lansing tomorrow for the March Against Sharia.

It’s one of a couple dozen such protests across the nation. There has not been a lot of media coverage about it, and the only coverage we've seen on the Michigan march has been in the MetroTimes.

These anti-Islam protestors point to the atrocities of ISIS and to the Dearborn cleric Ahmad Musa Jibril, whose YouTube videos might have inspired one of the men involved in last week's London terror attack, as proof that Islam is a violent religion. 

But Imam Sohail Chaudhry of the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing said protestors aren’t seeing the full picture.

child's drawing on chalkboard
iRon leSs / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a news release about a federal court update concerning how well Michigan protects children in the state’s child welfare system. The State agency’s release claims Michigan has made significant progress in better protecting children. Yet, an advocacy group is countering the state’s claim, saying there’s a long way to go before the state can guarantee the safety and welfare of children in foster care.

Steve Carmody / MICHIGAN RADIO

With so much happening around Michigan and in Washington D.C., Stateside invited U.S. Sen. Gary Peters to stop by to explain what's important to him and to Michigan right now. The Senator has a number of legislative items he's working on for the state and for the Great Lakes, but he also took the time to talk about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony and President Trump’s tweets.

Police Officer
Matthew Sutherland / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city of Grand Rapids has been working on trying to find ways to make sure police officers are not treating citizens unequally and improving relations with the community.

The city has been working to implement a so-called 12-point plan, something that’s been in the works for a couple of years.

But, a recent traffic stop report indicated its officers are treating people of color differently than white citizens, arresting them more frequently. Then, there was the recent incident about an officer pulling his weapon on five unarmed African-American boys.

Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky joined Stateside to discuss.

Stateside 6.8.2017

Jun 8, 2017

Today we hear how intergenerational day care improves patience for kids, memory for seniors and more for both. And, an expert explains why crime labs need independence from police departments to prevent wrongful convictions.

Desmond Ricks and members of the Michigan Innocence Clinic pose outside the prison where Ricks had been held since 1992
Photo courtesy of Michigan Innocence Clinic

It was a day 25 years in coming.

A Wayne County judge threw out Desmond Ricks' murder conviction after it came to light that his 1992 conviction may have been based on faulty evidence produced by the Detroit police crime lab.

Desmond Ricks was finally exonerated.

S P Photography / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Day care for children is a fact of life for many Michigan families. But with more and more people looking after aging parents, there's also a need for adult day care.

Brian Turner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's called "pay or stay:" jailing people who can't afford to pay a fine.

It's a controversial issue nationwide. Critics say pay or stay sentencing has created a 21st-century version of debtors' prisons.

In May of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court announced rule changes designed to keep people out of jail just because they cannot pay court fines. But a Bridge Magazine investigation finds that's exactly what's happening in the weekly collections docket at the 36th District Court in Detroit.

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