Stateside Staff

Davontae Sanford was wrongfully convicted of four murders at age 14. He was released from prison last month after spending nearly nine years behind bars.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The case goes back to a grisly quadruple homicide in Detroit in 2007.

Police interrogated 14-year-old Davontae Sanford, who says he was coerced into giving a false confession.

Former Detroit police commander James Tolbert was one of the cops who questioned Sanford. He testified in court that Sanford was able to draw a crime scene sketch for police of where the murders took place.

But later, Tolbert admitted to police that he actually drew most of the sketch.

Still, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced late Tuesday there's insufficient evidence to charge Tolbert with perjury. Her office says even if Tolbert changed his statements about evidence, it’s really hard to actually prove perjury, because you have to prove that somebody intentionally lied under oath.

Prisoners of war held in Michigan’s camps were mostly German, but there were also soldiers of other nationalities, like these Italians captured by the Germans in Greece in 1943.
Wikimedia user Bild Bundesarchiv / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There aren't many books that serve up history, suspense, crime and a love story, all beautifully tied together.

Wolf's Mouth manages to offer all that and more.

A new report from Global Detroit emphasizes the importance of keeping international student graduates for Michigan’s economy.
Flickr user University of Michigan's Ford School/Flickr

Michigan’s economy should stop wasting the brainpower it already has by retaining more international students, a new report says.

Steve Tobocman is the director of Global Detroit, a non-profit that studies what makes Michigan attractive to international populations. He told Stateside that their research fights a widespread belief.

Stateside 7.12.2016

Jul 12, 2016

Today, we learn about how educational opportunity can improve the lives of inmates. And, we look at the history of bathrooms in America.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

According to Terry Kogan, public "multi-user" restrooms didn't really exist in America until the 1870s.
flickr user Ted Eytan / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Deciding who should be allowed to use what bathroom has consumed a lot of attention across the country, and certainly here in Michigan.

With all the controversy about public restrooms and transgender people using the ones that match their gender identity, let's roll back the years to figure out just how sex-segregated bathrooms came to be in the first place.

Terry Kogan is a professor at the University of Utah's College of Law. He has spent the past decade considering the rights of transgender people, and the public restroom question in particular. 

More than 300 people came to Ypsilanti High School to participate in a meeting on police-community relations.
Daniel Rayzel / Michigan Radio

Ypsilanti residents are calling for action to improve police-community relations following related nationwide events over the past week.

prison cells
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

There are 2.2 million people now incarcerated in American prisons. 

Each year, hundreds of thousands of those inmates are released.

One of the most important ways of keeping them from re-offending and winding up back in prison is education. 

Stateside 7.11.2016

Jul 11, 2016

Today, on our Next Idea series, we discuss public spaces and how, if used creatively, they could make more Detroiters feel like they belong in their own city. And, we talk about what to do if you're pulled over with a concealed weapon in Michigan.

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below:

Photo courtesy of John Sims

 

Multi-media artist John Sims is on a mission to re-work and re-frame Confederate symbols, like the Confederate flag and the song "Dixie."

Sims has recolored Confederate flags and used them in public performances and installations.

Now he is re-imagining "Dixie" in an array of musical styles.

 

Children
Credit Flickr user Herald Post/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

Who are Michigan's homeless students? And how does being homeless affect their education?

These are crucial questions for the state, as education plays an important role in homeless students' ability to escape the chains of poverty and homelessness.

Joshua Cowen is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. He recently published a study examining these important questions. His study reveals exactly who Michigan's homeless students are and where they come from. It also reveals how homelessness affects a students performance in schools.

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette

 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette faces complex legal hurdles in civil lawsuits against a water company and an engineering company, along with their parent companies.

 

The lawsuit claims that Veolia North America of Delaware and Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam of Texas failed to take proper steps in the Flint water crisis and created a public nuisance. The suit aims to collect money for damages.

 

But legal experts say there are a number of issues that could stand in the way of a potential win for the attorney general in trial or in a settlement.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The lawyer for a suburban Minnesota police officer who killed a black driver during a traffic stop last week says the officer was reacting to Philando Castile's gun, not his race. The attorney  did not elaborate on how Castile presented the weapon or what led up to the fatal traffic stop and shooting. The video Castile's fiance took of the aftermath of his shooting has Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders asking themselves: What are the do's and don'ts if you are stopped by police?

Tensions have heightened between police departments and communities across the country.
Flickr user Matthew Sutherland / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

It’s been a tough week for the nation. It saw numerous tragedies, such as the police shootings that killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the shootings in Dallas that killed five police officers.

These events have heightened unrest between police and their communities, and protests were seen across the country in places like Baton Rouge, Chicago and New York City.

Sgt. Terry Dixon, the public information officer for the Grand Rapids Police Department, joined us to talk about his department's response to last week's tragedies and its effort to bring diversity into law enforcement.

Stateside 7.8.2016

Jul 8, 2016

Today, we discuss racism, unconscious bias, and how many white people want to believe we live in a post-racial society when inequalities still exist. We also discuss the right to record police, and how that right could be "critical" to bringing reform.

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below:

Left: SUZANNA SHKRELI FOR CONGRESS/FACEBOOK Right: mikebishop.house.gov / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This week the Democratic party chose a candidate for the 8th Congressional District. 

29-year-old Suzanna Shkreli is seeking to replace actor Melissa Gilbert, who has unofficially withdrawn for health reasons.

Shkreli has never held political office. She's an assistant prosecutor in Macomb County.

 A mural by Louis Delsarte at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site.
Flickr user yooperann/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, violence and race have hit us in a way many of us have never seen.

Violence and race, though, are not new. The Detroit Journalism Cooperative has been looking at the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Some of the core issues then are some of the issues we're still struggling with today.

You've got to understand the history to really understand what's happened this week.

Flickr user TS Elliott/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Race is very difficult for people to talk about.

Many white people want to believe we’re in a post-racial society. After all, we have an African-American president.

Many black people note the inequalities that exist, the segregation that exists.

How can Americans begin to have a real discussion about race when we’ve been comfortable in our own beliefs about that subject for so long?

John Dingell, 29, is sworn in as a member of Congress in 1955 by House Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas
John Dingell website

When he retired, John Dingell was the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history.

He was sworn in on Dec. 13, 1955 which began a long career that lasted through 11 presidencies until the Democrat retired at the end of 2014. In retirement, he's not showing any signs of slowing down as he took some time from "celebrating the hell" out of his 90th birthday to join Lester Graham on Stateside.

An Occupy Wall Street protester records police in 2011.
flickr user Paul Stein / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

We likely would not know about the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge or Philando Castile in Minnesota if not for the video recordings. 

In April, MLive published a story that dives into the question of whether police can order you to delete a recording on your phone after you've captured video of a police action.

The story refers to a case in which two of the officers who are accused of beating and falsely arresting the wrong person were undercover. A uniformed officer told people who'd recorded the scene to "delete it for the safety of the officers."

ACLU of Michigan Legal Director Michael Steinberg joined us today to talk generally about whether or not police can order you to delete a recording or seize your phone or camera. 

Left courtesy of michigan.gov/Right courtesty of Michigan Attorney General's office

This week, State Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that if Governor Snyder wants to appeal a court decision regarding teacher pay, he'll have to hire his own attorney.

The AG is sitting this one out.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the ever-widening split between Michigan's two top Republicans. 

Michigan roads
User nirbhao / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

While many of us were getting ready for the holiday weekend last Friday afternoon, Governor Snyder announced his veto of a road funding bill that would have given some relief to 45 large cities.

Senate Bill 557 was sponsored by Republican Senator Marty Knollenberg of Troy. It was unanimously approved by the House and Senate, a feat remarkable in and of itself.

It would have repealed a requirement that larger cities pay for part of the state's cost for highway construction projects within their border.

Yet, the governor hauled out his veto power to whack the road bill.

U of M and MSU will face off on Oct. 29
FLICKER USR MARK DELL https://flic.kr/p/8HGMDv

What's that sound you hear?

It might be Wolverine fans chortling and Spartan fans growling as ESPN unveils its Future Power Rankings for college football. 

Every year, the network peers into the future to try to predict which college football programs are going to thrive and succeed.

This year, ESPN ranks U of M fifth, while Michigan State takes 10th place. 

According to Waller, opiate addiction is a chronic neurological disorder.
FLICKER USER KEVINKARNSFAMILY https://flic.kr/p/PyK3i

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

In 2014, Michigan became the first state to create a set of detailed guidelines for treating people addicted to heroin and other opioid drugs. 

The guidelines were praised by many in the treatment community as being clear, understandable and taking addiction treatment in Michigan to the next level.

Dr. Corey Waller is the doctor who wrote those guidelines. 

Courtesy of Save the Flags

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Michigan was one of the states to quickly answer the call for volunteers. 

In fact, when the 1st Michigan Infantry marched into Washington that May, Abraham Lincoln reportedly exclaimed, "Thank God for Michigan!"

This coming Saturday, July 9, we're all invited to the State Capitol to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the return of the Civil War Volunteers and their battle flags, as well as the 25th anniversary of Save The Flags, the effort to preserve and display battle flags carried by Michigan troops in the Civil War.

Stateside 7.7.2016

Jul 7, 2016

Today, we hear about new technology that helps create sensory experiences for children with autism. And, a doctor explains why removing the stigma of addiction could improve opioid abuse treatment.

 

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below:

Stateside 7.6.2016

Jul 6, 2016

Today, we look at the chilly relationship between AG Bill Schuette and Gov. Snyder, and we learn about a fatal disease threatening Michigan's deer.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

The "button wall" at the University of Chicago's 2008 Humanities Day
flickr user Quinn Dombrowski / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Early last year we announced on Stateside the Michigan Humanities Council's pick for the 2015-2016 Great Michigan Read: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Mandel sat down with us in February 2015 to talk about her fantastic futuristic novel set in post-apocalyptic Michigan. 

Shelly Kasprzycki is the executive director of the Michigan Humanities Council. Of books chosen for the Great Michigan Read so far, she told us Station Eleven is "probably the all-time hit."

There is a growing trend of hackers using stolen data to blackmail companies and individuals.
hackNY.org / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

We hear so much about data breaches and hacked passwords, but what is it really all about? What does an attacker do with your passwords, credit card information and other hacked data?

Dorothy Aldridge and Sylvia Morgan in front of an exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum​ in Memphis​ showcasing Detroit activist Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan while driving black voting rights activists between Selma and Montgom
Eric L. Hood

How do you get students to really appreciate history?

One powerful way is to get those students out of the classroom and take them to historic sites, bringing that history off the page and making it real.

That's the idea behind the Freedom Tour. 

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced that if Governor Snyder wants to appeal a court decision over teacher pay, he's on his own.

Many in Michigan are viewing the announcement as a sign that the relationship between the AG and the governor, once icy, has now all but frozen over.

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