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Stateside
5:43 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

New bill could be bad news for medical marijuana patients

Voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008.
USFWS

A report by Jake Neher.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow suspicion-based drug testing as a condition of welfare in Michigan. People on cash assistance could lose their benefits if they test positive for an illegal substance.

As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reported, it’s not clear how the bill would affect medical marijuana patients. 

To listen to the full story, click the audio above.

Politics & Culture
5:29 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

With more supporting gay marriage, how are Michigan lawmakers approaching LGBT rights?

An LGBT pride flag.
user Marlith Flickr

An interview with Senator Rebekah Warren.

In 2004, 58% of Michigan voters voted yes to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

But that was nearly a decade ago. Since that vote, there's been an annual survey testing Michiganders' attitudes towards the issue. And the latest survey by the Glengarriff Group shows a major turnaround in the way we view same-sex marriage.

Today, Michigan voters back gay marriage by a 57% to 37% margin — almost an exact reversal of the vote on the constitutional ban.

With that backdrop, four Democratic senators have proposed a package of legislation that would advance recognition of same-sex marriage in our state.

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Politics & Culture
5:22 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

A group of Democratic Senators in Lansing have proposed a package of bills dealing with marriage equality. We spoke with state Senator Rebekah Warren about why she thinks now is the time to bring up these measures.

And, the library you may have grown up with is changing. We took a look at the new technologies changing the way we access information and what that means for the future of libraries in Michigan.

Also, Michigan gas prices are now the second-highest in the country. Patrick DeHaan, a Senior Petroleum Analyst, spoke with us about how this happened.

First on the show, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow suspicion-based drug testing as a condition of welfare in Michigan. People on cash assistance could lose their benefits if they test positive for an illegal substance.

As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reported, it’s not clear how the bill would affect medical marijuana patients.

Politics & Culture
4:58 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Stateside for Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Lawmakers in Lansing are quickly wrapping up the state budget for the next fiscal year. What will the $50 billion spending plan mean for you?

And, we took a look at the efforts to help prison inmates rebuild their lives through post-secondary education.

Also, we got an update on just how close the Asian Carp is to the Great Lakes.

First on the show, the Council of Great Lakes Governors met this past weekend on Mackinac Island.

The group talked of economic cooperation, and harmonizing plans for protecting the largest body of freshwater on the Earth’s surface. The discussions were mostly nice, but there were some disagreements, especially when it came to dealing with invasive species.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta joined us today to explain.

Stateside
4:56 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Prisons adopt postsecondary education programs

An interview with program director Fred Patrick and former inmate Rick.

One of the biggest challenges we face as a state and as a nation is how do we keep paroled prisoners from becoming repeat offenders and winding up back behind bars?

Solid evidence points to postsecondary education as one of the major keys to helping former inmates build productive lives after parole.

After many years without any funding for prisoners to be able to access higher education, the Michigan Department of Corrections has gotten a one million dollar grant to launch postsecondary educational programs and vocational training to a small number of inmates who are near parole.

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Stateside
4:53 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Next year, the state budget can be defined by what it doesn't include

Governor Snyder didn't get all the funding he requested in the budget for next year

An interview with Chad Livengood, a Lansing reporter for the Detroit News, and Chris Gautz, a Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business.

Michigan almost has a final budget for the next fiscal year, at almost $50 billion dollars.

Lawmakers and Governor Snyder's tentative deadline for completion was June 1, which they didn't quite make, but the budget should be finished this week.

Chad Livengood, a Lansing reporter for the Detroit News, and Chris Gautz, a Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about what we can look for in the budget.

"There's not a lot of big, huge things in it. The governor didn't get everything he wanted -- he didn't get the $1.2 billion more for roads and didn't get authorization to add more to a Medicare expansion," Livengood said.

Gautz and Livengood identified specific funding changes in the budget, including a huge boost in early childhood education funding.

To hear the full audio, click the link above. 

Stateside
4:51 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Governors meet to discuss threat of Asian carp

Asian carp DNA has been found in some curious places in the Great Lakes
Kate.Gardner Flickr

An interview with Duane Chapman, a research fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Council of Great Lakes Governors met this past weekend on Mackinac Island.

The group talked of economic cooperation, and harmonizing plans for protecting the largest body of freshwater on the Earth’s surface. The discussions were mostly nice, but there were some disagreements, especially when it came to dealing with invasive species like Asian carp.

Rick Pluta filed a story on their meeting, and we also got an update on where things stand with Asian carp. 

We spoke with Duane Chapman, a research fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Chapman said that there have been three Bighead carp that have been caught in the Great Lakes, but not since 2000. 

Listen to the whole story to find out where the most recent DNA has been found in the Lakes, and how it got there.

To hear the story, click the audio above.

Stateside
5:20 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Mad Men could be GM's dream come true

The Chevy Vega is featured on this season of Mad Men
user: Cauldon Graphix Flickr

An interview with professor Michael Bernacchi.

Mad Men's Don Draper is known on the AMC show as being the best guy to create an ad campaign.

He's known for lines like, "What you call love was invented by guys like me...to sell nylons."

Don's company, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, has done creative campaigns for companies like Lucky Strike, Maidenform, Heinz and Hilton Hotels.

In the most recent season, much of the company's time was spent securing an auto client -- Jaguar.

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Stateside
5:18 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

How Detroit auto companies are viewed at the Mackinac Policy Conference

Chrysler-Group flickr

An interview with Daniel Howes.

It's Thursday, time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes.

He's up at the Mackinac Policy Conference today and it seems he got some interesting insights into how the financial and investing world views the Detroit auto companies.

He joined us to tell us all about it.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:07 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

5 natural gems even native Michiganders don't know about

Grand Island in the UP has great kayaking
user: mosoltysik Flickr

An interview with Jim DuFresne, the Editorial Director of michigantrailmaps.com.

Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was voted 'The Most Beautiful Place in America in 2011,' we know that. 

Some Michigan natives try to avoid the popular tourist sites during peak visiting months. The crowds can be overwhelming for some tourists, too.

Lifelong Michigander or not, if you're trying to soak up Michigan's beauty without all the people, check out michigantrailmaps.com.

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Stateside
5:03 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

What's being said about education at the Mackinac Policy Conference

A charter advocacy group gives Michigan's charter law a passing grade
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

An interview with Rick Pluta about the Mackinac Policy Conference.

It’s day-two on Mackinac Island at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference.

Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, has been in attendance, and he said there has been a lot of focus placed on education reform.

“All of this is happening under the backdrop of an education budget that was just sent to Governor Snyder that basically stalled enactment of the Common Core Standards," Pluta said. "The national standards are supposed to make sure that every state and every school are measuring student performance in the same fashion."

The other piece of legislation that is stalled right now is the expansion of the Educational Achievement Authority, which is only operating in Detroit right now. Some lawmakers want to expand it statewide.

Pluta says there's a lot of pressure on the Legislature right now.

He joined us from the Mackinac Policy Conference to tell us more about education and other topics being discussed at the conference.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:55 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Mark Schauer talks about his run for Michigan governor

Mark Schauer announced he will not run for Congress. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg will face a new opponent after running against Schauer for several years.
U.S. Congress

An interview with Mark Schauer.

It appears the 2014 race for Michigan governor has taken a big step toward being firmed up.

Former Michigan Congressman Mark Schauer has filed papers to run as a Democrat.

Other Democrats had tested the water, explored their chances and stepped off in favor of Schauer.

His political career began with the Battle Creek City Commission, then on to the State Legislature, and then to Congress, where he served one term representing the Battle Creek area before being unseated in a 2011 rematch with Tim Walberg.

Mark Schauer is at the Mackinac Policy Conference and he joined us from Mackinac Island.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
3:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, May 30th, 2013

If you live in Michigan there’s a good chance you’ll head up north this summer, or maybe west to bask in the sun on Lake Michigan, but if you’re still not sure where to escape this summer, we have some fun tips on hidden vacation gems you are sure to enjoy.

And, Rick Pluta gave us an update on the Mackinac Policy Conference.

And, Daniel Howes shared his insights on how the financial and investing world views the Detroit auto companies.

Read more
Politics & Culture
4:51 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A state-appointed review team found the small city of Hamtramck is once again in a state of financial emergency. Will the city succumb to state control again?

And nearby in Detroit, one prominent observer has growing doubts about the effectiveness of the city's emergency manager.

And, a new film documentary explores the different ways Michigan families have transformed deep loss into opportunities to grow.

Also, Tom Ivacko joined us to discuss how local leaders would like citizen to get involved with government.

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Stateside
4:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The latest on the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

The Mackinac Policy Conference wraps up today.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

An interview with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta.

Michigan's business and political power-makers have gathered today on Mackinac Island.

Today is the opening day of the Detroit Regional Chamber's big annual policy conference.

There will be plenty of speeches and panel discussions about the economy, education, health care and a wide range of other policy issues?

And just as importantly, the Conference is a chance for politicians to network, to schmooze, and to drum up support and donations.

Michigan Radio's "It's Just Politics" team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta are on Mackinac to track all of this. They joined us today to talk about it.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:48 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

New documentary shows how Michigan families cope with loss

Filmmaker Judith Burdick
transforminglossdocumentary.com

An interview with Judith Burdick and Elizabeth Guz.

Suffering loss and going through grief is a part of the human experience. There's not one of us who will skate through life without having to cope with losing someone close to us.

But sometimes that loss is sudden and horrifying. How can someone possibly climb back out of that pit of grief?

That's the question addressed in a new documentary called "Transforming Loss." In it, we meet six Michigan families who have managed to triumph, transform, and grow, despite indescribable heartbreak. And they have lessons for each of us.

The filmmaker and licensed psychotherapist Judith Burdick joined us in the studio.

Also in the studio was Elizabeth Guz, one of the people who shared her story of loss and transformation, a story that began when her teenage son committed suicide. Today she volunteers for the Heinz Prechter Bipolar Research Project at the University of Michigan Depression Center.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:45 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What Snyder doesn't know, according to the Mayor of Hamtramck

Mayor Karen Majewski of the City of Hamtramck
LinkedIn

An interview with Mayor Karen Majewski.

The number of school districts and cities in Michigan that are in a state of financial emergency are rising.


Now, as many of them are handing over control to a state-appointed manager, it's important to ask: how effective is state oversight?


The City of Hamtramck is in a state of financial emergency six years after it emerged from state oversight.


An independent review team reported that Hamtramck isn't able to make its monthly pension payments and that the city's general fund deficit is expected to reach $3.3 million by the end of June. A structural operating deficit has existed in the city's  general fund throughout the city's last three fiscal years. 


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Stateside
4:43 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Where do Kevyn Orr's loyalties lie?

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

An interview with Karen Dumas.

Over these past couple of months, have Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's loyalties been more with the city he's running? Or with the state who hired him?

Detroiter Karen Dumas was the chief of communications for the City of Detroit.

These days, she heads up her own PR/Communications firm, Images & Ideas, and she has been watching what's been happening at City Hall.

Her recent column in Bridge Magazine shows that when it comes to Emergency Manager Orr, Karen Dumas has growing doubts.

She joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:16 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Citizen involvement in local government is good, but not too much

Tom Ivacko
Twitter

An interview with Tom Ivacko from the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

How deeply should citizens be involved in governing our counties, cities, townships or villages?

Put another way, how deeply do our local leaders want us to be involved?

That's the question the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan put to more than 1,300 local government officials from all over Michigan.

You can read more about this survey here.

Tom Ivacko from the Center joined us today with the verdict.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:41 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

There are many ideas and strategies being talked about for how to keep young people in Michigan. On today's show:  we spoke with one young writer who says it's simply not enough.

And we heard about how refugees, having survived physical and psychological traumas in their home countries, are getting mental health services here in Michigan.

Also, Rick Pluta gave us an update on ex-Justice Diane Hathaway, who was sentenced for fraud in federal court today in Ann Arbor.

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