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Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside covers a wide range of Michigan news and policy issues — as well as culture and lifestyle stories. In keeping with Michigan Radio’s broad coverage across southern Michigan, Stateside focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state. Stateside is hosted by Cynthia Canty (Mon-Thu) and Lester Graham (Fri). 

To find audio for the full show you can subscribe to our podcast or go here.

Nawrocki Center is working to help older, recently-single people adjust to life on their own.
Public Domain


Baby boomers are retiring. While many look forward to spending more time with their spouse in their golden years, others face retirement alone.

We were joined today by Sandy Olger, who’s starting that journey, and Lisa Beatty, an attorney with Nawrocki Center.

That firm focuses on seniors. It recently held a seminar on helping women who become single later in life. Whether they are widowed or divorced, they have to adjust to life on their own, socially, financially and otherwise.

Ken Sikkema says if Donald Trump loses the presidential election there will be some who will say he lost the election himself, but others will say he lost the election because Republicans didn't support him.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr -

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is putting members of his own party in Michigan in a tough spot. With slumping poll numbers, there are some concerns that he could have a negative impact on down-ballot races in the Great Lakes State.

With Trump at the top of the ticket, what is the state of the Michigan Republican Party? There's party infighting, concerns about possibly losing the state House in November, and some candidates simply refusing to endorse or even answer questions about their party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. 

In new new book, Heather Ann Thompson looks at the Attica prison uprising of 1971. and what it can tell us about today's prisons.
flickr user Jayu /


The book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy has been getting lots of attention by the national media and is a National Book Award finalist.

The author is University of Michigan Professor of History Heather Ann Thompson.

She joined us today to talk about the 1971 prison uprising in New York and what we can learn from it today.

A tiny octopus printed using the Lulzbot Mini 3D Printer.
flickr user Maurizio Pesce /


We’ve all heard amazing things about 3D printing. The University of Michigan School of Medicine manufactured a replacement part for a patient, manufacturers discover new uses almost every day, and artists are finding innovative ways to use the fairly new technology.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum will soon hold an exhibition showcasing the work of Iris van Herpen, one of the earliest examples of 3D printing technology used in fashion design. Van Herpen has designed cutting edge designs for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Bjork.

How do we respond to betrayal? Where do we turn when our horses bite us, our fiancés sneak into haylofts with other women, our husbands date their college students, our daughters run off with our boyfriends, our brothers place us in harm’s way? These are the kinds of predicaments Bonnie Jo Campbell confronts in her latest story collection, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.

According to Nick Schroeck, the incinerator has been cited 21 times for odor violations since 2015.
tEdGuY49 / Flickr -

With thousands of tons of trash burned every day, Detroit has the largest urban incinerator in the country.

Now its long and controversial history has a new chapter. The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center has filed a letter serving notice that it intends to sue Detroit Renewable Power, the operator of the incinerator.

Nick Schroeck, the executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, joined Stateside to talk about the lawsuit and why they are filing it.

"While we can choose to turn off our technology, there is no turning back from the new expectation that we are available anytime, anywhere," DeGraff writes.
Public Domain /

The Next Idea

If you listen to the World Economic Forum, we are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The WEF calls this “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” Just as mass production launched an era of large-scale centralized organizations at the turn of the 20th century, the Internet and smartphones in the 21st century are ushering in new forms of collaboration — and conflict.

Technologies are replacing the fundamental missions of organizations. They are moving from scale — creating something once and distributing it everywhere — to scope, creating an infinite variety of offerings. Everything from your made-to-order sneakers to the medications you take for your unique ailments are being mass customized. That is, companies are using integrated technologies and supply chains, along with complex information from diverse sources, a.k.a. Big Data, to create a product or service just for you, just in time.

General Motors' Chevy Bolt is expected to be in showrooms by the end of the year.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

With a new development in the march to lead the mobility movement, we check in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

Howes joined Stateside to talk about his latest column "Tough auto game challenges Silicon Valley stars" where he says Silicon Valley has gotten a reality check in terms of what it takes to get a vehicle to market on schedule.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the days leading up to last night's third and final presidential debate, a question was put to key members of Donald Trump's team: Would he support the results of the election?

Running mate Mike Pence, daughter Ivanka Trump and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway all said yes, Trump would uphold the results.

That echoed what Trump himself said in the first debate when moderator Lester Holt asked him the same question.

“I’m going to be able to do it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

Members of the Roustabout Theatre Troupe joined us in-studio to perform "Worm Food."


One of the most famous radio broadcasts of all time happened on October 30, 1938.

Orson Welles, just 23 years old, and his Mercury Theater Company convinced many Americans that Martians had invaded with their radio adaption of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.

It’s a reminder of the power of a radio performance, and it’s something that Joseph Zettelmaier wants to bring to audiences in Michigan.

Zettelmaier’s Roustabout Theatre Troupe is going around Southeast Michigan bringing creepy, spooky, old-time radio plays to audiences so people can see the actors and see how the sound effects are made.

Sandison told us that parents should focus on what their child with autism can do rather than what they can't.
Courtesy of Ron Sandison


October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One of the most likely to be on the receiving end of bullying is the child who is on the autism spectrum.

Ron Sandison knows what that’s like.

“Imagine if I said, well, I can’t really pull the trigger of the gun, but here let me find someone who will. I would be criminally charged," Burke said.
Courtesy of Brad Burke

Physicians in Ontario are facing a dilemma: What can you do when asked to perform an action that is legal, but violates your moral code or religious beliefs?

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the federal law that prohibited medically-assisted suicide.

In response to that decision, Parliament passed legislation that cleared the way for doctor-assisted suicide.

In Ontario, the service is now covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and any drugs required to help a patient die will be available at no cost.

When asked how Midtown Detroit has changed in recent years, Foulkes was to the point: "Less artsy, more money."
Megan M. Canty

The "FOR SALE" sign is out on a building on Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit. And that sign represents the end of an era.

The building houses the Big Book Store, which is one of the very last independent bookstores left in Metro Detroit.

After 80 years, the store's owner, John King, has decided to close it down. There's just not enough business to justify keeping doors open.

And that means big changes are looming for the store's manager: Bill Foulkes has worked at the Big Book Store since the 1970s.

Courtesy of Chelsea Liddy

Kicking open the door to "the boy's club,” and bringing opportunities to women who want to make their mark on the comic book and gaming world: that's the mission of ComiqueCon.

It’s a comic book convention specifically for women who create comics. And it's happening Oct. 22 in Dearborn at the Arab American National Museum.

Senators Jim Ananich and Jim Stamas speak to the press after the committee released its recommendations.
screengrab / YouTube MLive

Lawmakers have ideas for how to ensure there is not a repeat of the Flint water crisis.

A report released Wednesday by State Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, makes 36 recommendations.

Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program Facebook page

Dr. Perry Baird was a Texas-born and Harvard-trained physician. In the '20s and '30s, his medical career was on the rise. And he became more and more interested in what caused “manic depression,” as it was known at the time.

Today, we know it as bipolar disorder.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

At first glance, there wasn’t anything particularly unusual about their group: a handful of seniors at a local café, gathered over their weekly coffee. The topics of conversation could be wide-ranging, often touching on politics or thorny social issues. And there was a bond that strengthened with each weekly get-together.

But when Bill Haney first joined this “gaggle of geezers,” he quickly realized there were lessons to be learned in the stories they told. Haney has written, edited or published more than 400 books about Michigan and its people. So he was the right person to see a book in the lives of the group, which meets every Monday at Brioni Cafe & Deli in Clarkson.

After becoming Lansing's first African-American teacher, Dr. Olivia Letts later became the school district's first African-American principal.
Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

This week, the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame welcomes its latest group of honorees.

One of the five contemporary honorees who will be inducted on Wednesday night is Dr. Olivia Letts. She was the first African-American teacher hired by the Lansing School District. She started that job in 1951 and from there, Letts spent her life as an advocate for education, community service and civil rights.

Courtesy of Lena Epstein

She's Jewish. A woman. A millennial. And she supports Donald Trump for president. That's how Lena Epstein introduced herself in her recent opinion piece for the Washington Examiner.

Epstein is the third-generation owner and general manager of Vesco Oil Corporation in Southfield. She was one of Trump’s earliest supporters and is now co-chair for the Trump campaign in Michigan.

A Flint resident holds a jug of tainted Flint water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It was late September 2015 when the lid blew off of the Flint water disaster.

At the time, much of the attention and credit went to Virginia Tech water scientist Marc Edwards and to Flint pediatrician Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha.

Edwards had been issuing a steady flood of warnings based on his tests of water from Flint homes while Dr. Hanna-Attisha's study of blood lead levels in Flint's children finally convinced state officials that a public health catastrophe had occurred.

But there's another player in all of this and his analysis of Dr. Hanna-Attisha's medical findings destroyed the state's contention that Flint's water problem was being overblown.

Savannah Halleaux


The United States Department of Agriculture is reaching out in a special way to women and minority farmers and growers in Michigan.

What’s behind this focus on “non-traditional” growers? And why is the USDA making its Michigan announcement in Flint?

USDA Farm Service Agency administrator Val Dolcini joined us today to talk about the USDA's push to reach out to these "non-traditional" producers, and some of the challenges facing today’s farmers and ranchers.

Courtesy of Sue Nichols


Jack Liu of Michigan State University has spent some two decades studying pandas and people in a remote corner of China. His work has yielded powerful lessons in sustainability.

Liu is a human-environment scientist and a sustainability scholar at MSU, where he directs the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.

He joined us today to talk about his panda research and what it means for people outside of the remote Wolong Nature Reserve.

According to Pete Bigelow, the Willow Run facility could be open for its first phase of testing as soon as the end of 2017.
Ford Motor Company

The Next Idea

Start talking about Willow Run and chances are pretty good that images of Rosie The Riveters building B-24 bombers in World War II come to mind.

But there are big plans being cooked up to transform the old factory grounds near Ypsilanti into a highly advanced proving ground for autonomous and connected vehicles.

Pete Bigelow spells it all out in his story for Car and Driver.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Indiana Governor Mike Pence brings the campaign spotlight to Macomb County tonight. He'll be speaking at the Lincoln Day dinner in Shelby Township. Organizers say it’s the largest crowd in recent memory for the Lincoln Day dinner, and it’s proof that Macomb County is still fertile ground for the GOP message.

A Nation Engaged: Fireworks

Oct 14, 2016
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio


America is changing.

Non-white kids now make up a majority of kindergartners. By the next presidential election, the Census Bureau predicts the majority of all children will be children of color.

And by 2044, no one racial group will be a majority in the country.

This cross-current of demographic and cultural change is upending traditional voting patterns and straining the fabric of what it means to be American.

The Apple Business cocktail mixes apple cider with gin. You won't believe how well it works.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

"October is my favorite month," Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings said. "Do you know why? Apple cider!"

Apple cider is a popular ingredient in a lot of cocktails which seem perfect for fall. Often the cider is mixed with bourbon or rum. But this cocktail, the Apple Business, is made with gin.

"I chose Ann Arbor Distilling's Water Hill gin for this drink because of of the spicy garam masala note," Coxen said.

The distiller's website indicates the botanicals used to flavor the gin include Croatian juniper, cardamom, and garam masala.

Courtesy of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

If you had 20 years to give away $1.2 billion, how would you do it?

That’s the question facing one Detroit-based philanthropy, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Funded by the estate of the late Ralph C. Wilson Jr., who was born in Detroit and went on to become the owner of the Buffalo Bills, the Foundation plans to focus its efforts on the areas Mr. Wilson called home: southeast Michigan and western New York.

And unlike many philanthropic foundations, which invest their endowments and give away the income generated by those investments, Mr. Wilson’s foundation has a mandate to spend all of the money by 2035.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio


This week two stories were released about secretive funds benefiting Michigan legislators and the Republican and Democratic parties.

The stories were a joint investigation of MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

The concern about concussions in sports like football is at an all-time high, but the authors of "Back In the Game: Why Concussion Doesn’t Have to End Your Athletic Career" say the media hype may be overblown.
John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr -

The issue of contact sports and concussions has been all over the news in recent years.

There’s enough concern that a growing number of parents are deciding against letting their kids play rough sports because of the fear that concussions will lead to permanent neurological damage. It’s a complete swing away from the attitudes of the past when coaches would tell players "just walk it off."

There’s a new book which suggests that, yes, concussions are very serious, but there’s a lot of misinformation about them, and also a lot of media hype. The book is called: Back In the Game: Why Concussion Doesn’t Have to End Your Athletic Career.

Ann Curzan explained that things like punctuation and emojis are used to make up for the lack of conversational context in texting.
Public Domain /


Texting has become a dominant means of communication in today’s interconnected world.

Some reports suggest that large swaths of Americans prefer it to talking on their phone.

If you count yourself among the 97% of Americans who send at least one text every day, it might be time to take another look at your texting etiquette. According to University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan, there’s a chance you’re doing it all wrong.