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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 p.m. & 10 p.m.

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.

Azeezah Ford will be moving to Honor, MIchigan in Benzie County to start farming  at Wild Things Farm
Courtesy of Azeezah Ford

In Stateside’s series of conversations with young farmers in Michigan, some of the farmers we've talked to are working on their families' farms, carrying on a tradition that has spanned generations.

Azeezah Ford is a young farmer taking a different path. Ford grew up in Detroit, and early next year she'll begin full-time farm work in Benzie County in northern Michigan.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell
Kalamazoo Public Library

The city of Kalamazoo just picked up a $500 million windfall.

This week, Kalamazoo city commissioners approved a public-private partnership called the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence. It’s a partnership between the city and two local philanthropist-businessmen: William Parfet and William Johnston.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell said he saw the public-private partnership as the best way forward for his city, which had been staring down financial problems.

COURTESY OF THE SHADY LADIES LITERARY SOCIETY / Facebook

An engrossing book, delicious food, and sparkling conversation. Put all that together in Detroit and you've got the Shady Ladies Literary Society.

Group founder and Detroit-based writer Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle, and Ashley Shelby, whose novel South Pole Station will be featured at the society's upcoming meeting, joined Stateside on Wednesday.

Courtesy of Bruce Berkompas

It’s been a pretty rotten year for the farmers who grow timothy hay, a Michigan crop that's not very familiar to most.

Timothy hay is an important feed for horses, cattle and small animals, like pet bunnies and guinea pigs, among others.

Some of the best timothy hay comes from the eastern Upper Peninsula, but farmers there are enduring a season that will go into the record books for all the wrong reasons.

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Thousands of Michiganders fought for the Union during the American Civil War, but one group of soldiers in particular stood out: Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters.

To tell the story of this special group, the Michigan History Center's Steve Ostrander and Eric Hemenway, director of archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, joined host Cynthia Canty on Wednesday for Stateside's weekly history lesson.

Kramchang / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

What’s lighting up stages in Michigan this month?

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to give his take on productions from professional theater companies around the state.

Courtesy of Mark Mathe

It’s an ancient way of life under 21st century economic pressures.

According to the state’s numbers, the food and agriculture industry pumps $101 billion into Michigan’s economy each year. It employs some 923,000 people. That’s nearly a quarter of Michigan’s workforce.

So, what does the next generation of farmers think about the future of agriculture in our state?

Da Capo Press, 2017

He was a welcome presence on ESPN and ABC for decades. During his 30 years at ESPN, John Saunders lived every sports fan’s dream job.

But even as this one-time Western Michigan University hockey player rose to become one of the country’s most popular sportscasters, he secretly battled depression – and endured personal traumas that are hard to believe.

Michigan Dept. of Corrections

It started with a taping of a 90s daytime talk show. In March of 1995, The Jenny Jones Show did an episode about “secret same-sex crushes.” Scott Amedure, a Michigan resident, nervously gushed to the studio audience about his feelings for an acquaintance, Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz was then brought out in front of the cameras, where Jones, the host, revealed that Amedure was his secret admirer.

“Did you have any idea that he liked you this much?” Jones asked.

Bob Mical / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0


America has now seen back-to-back weekends with white supremacist marches. First in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one counter-protester was killed, then last Saturday in Boston, where a small "Free Speech Rally" was dwarfed by more than 10,000 counter-protesters.

After Charlottesville, President Donald Trump declared there was blame “on many sides," then later doubled down, declaring there were “fine people” on both sides.

How to train your mind to get in "the zone"

Aug 21, 2017
With exercises and effort, anyone can train their brain to be more creative, says Dr. David Fessell.
Flickr/vaXzine

The Next Idea

Is there a “state of mind” that aids innovation and creativity?

Think for a moment about the last time you were totally immersed in a hobby, music, or sport. Things just seemed to flow, time became imperceptible, and everything seemed almost effortless. Might you have experienced this when writing? Running or gardening? Creating poetry, music, or dancing? Or even tinkering?

Are such times rare or non-existent in your life? These experiences of “flow” are rocket fuel for innovation and creativity—and you can have more of them.

David Daley's book "Ratf**ked"
Liveright, 2017


If they know what it is, most people despise gerrymandering, the practice of drawing legislative or congressional districts largely based on partisan advantage. It’s hated, unless it's your party that's benefiting.

Last year, Stateside talked with David Daley, a former editor-in-chief of Salon and the author of Ratf**ked:Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, a book that deals with this very issue. Stateside​ host Lester Graham caught up with him to discuss the second edition's new epilogue on the 2016 election.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Trump Republicans are rallying tonight in the West Michigan town of Hesperia, with more rallies planned around the state in coming months.

Meshawn Maddock, a rally organizer from the Michigan Trump Republicans and former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Oakland County, joined Stateside today to explain why she's rallying.

flickr user Eljoja / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008, and a few cities like Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids have decriminalized recreational use (though, you can still get civil infraction – a fine).

And a marijuana facilities licensing law signed by Governor Rick Snyder is set to go into effect this December. Rick Thompson serves on the boards of MI Legalize and Michigan NORML. He says the roll-out of the medical marijuana Facilities Licensing Act will basically “reinvent” the medical marijuana pipeline in Michigan.

jimflix! / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The federal government has been auctioning off Great Lakes lighthouses, including a recent group of lighthouses located offshore.

The North Manitou Shoal Light was in that group and was purchased the nonprofit North Manitou Light Keepers.

The Bruce Nuclear Generating Station right on Lake Huron in Ontario.
user Cszmurlo / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal by Ontario Power Generation to bury low- and medium-level nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron.

U.S. officials want to block it. The Canadian government is considering the request.

We were expecting a decision any day, but the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has asked Ontario Power Generation for more information about the nuclear waste dump. So another delay.

What is the risk posed by low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste?

Judy Gail Krasnow standing outside Jackson prison
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In the first half of the 1800s, the city of Jackson fought hard for the right to build the state's first prison. The horrific conditions that developed at the prison from its gritty early days are well documented by Judy Gail Krasnow in her book Jacktown: History and Hard Times at Michigan's First State Prison.
 

Krasnow gave Stateside's Lester Graham a tour of the prison. She explained how it got started and what it's like today. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Bourbon Fruit Smash

1-2 slices ginger (optional)
Fruit (8-10 blueberries, 2-3 strawberries, 4 peach slices, etc)
3-5 leaves mint or other fresh herb
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 oz simple syrup, or to taste

Muddle ginger well (if using), then add fruit and herbs and muddle again. Combine remaining ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake, strain into ice filled old-fashioned glass.

jimmywayne / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

What can a city facing $200 million in long term debt do?

Raising taxes is one option.

That’s why the City of East Lansing has drawn up an income tax proposal for the November ballot. If approved by voters, residents would pay a 1% tax on their income. Non-residents who work in the city would pay 0.5%.

Image of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. The darkened spots on the sun are "sun spots," regions of cooler surface temperature.
Ron Moubry

If you (somehow) haven’t heard, there’s a solar eclipse happening next week that will be visible from coast to coast.

On Monday, Aug. 21, observers in some parts of the country will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible to people along a narrow “path of totality” stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic coast, from Oregon to South Carolina.

Courtesy of Wolfgang Bauer

The Next Idea

Think about a hot August day. Your car has been sitting out in a parking lot for hours and hours. Think of how hot it is when you get back inside and touch that steering wheel.

What if you could take all of that solar energy and use it for something besides burning your hands?

Although General Motors CEO Mary Barra wasn't among the business leaders that quit President Trump's advisory councils before they disbanded, Howes says he believes she was leaning in that direction.
Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The businessman president is losing big business.

Donald Trump's promise to turn to America's business leaders for advice and counsel has collapsed.

His refusal to lay complete blame for the weekend violence in Charlottesville led to a revolt by CEOs in his business advisory groups.

Democratic candidate for Bill Cobbs, in turquoise polo and glasses.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Michigan chooses a new governor next year, and a number of candidates have already stepped into the race. One of them is Democrat William Cobbs. Cobbs is the former global vice president for Xerox, and is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Cobbs says he’s “ready to lead this Michigan revival.” He says the way public policy is being crafted in Michigan isn’t benefiting the state’s residents. He also says Michigan’s struggles in areas like public education have fostered hopelessness among children. 

Charlie Auringer

In 1969, the blues threw a party in Ann Arbor.

James Partridge, founder of the Ann Arbor Blues Society, calls that party “the first blues festival ever.”

Enough people came that it happened again, and again, and became the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, later re-christened the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Its last hurrah came in 2006.

But this year, musicians will breathe new life into that festival, as they work to reignite the energy that pulsed through the crowds so many years ago.

SEMCH44 / YOUTUBE

Thirty years ago today, a flight outbound from Detroit Metro Airport on its way to Phoenix never reached its destination. 

Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

We're driving around Michigan a little faster this summer. It's the result of a package of bills signed earlier this year by Governor Snyder.

Speed limits are increasing to 65 miles an hour on 900 miles of non-freeways around the state. And on 600 miles of freeways, the speed limit goes up to 75.

slab of butter frying in a pan.
George Brett / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In the mid-20th century, there was a smuggling ring running between western Upper Peninsula and people in Wisconsin. It didn’t involve whisky, or gun-running, but rather a substitute for butter.

Rachel Clarke with the Michigan History Center says there was demand in Wisconsin for margarine, which was illegal in the badger state, but was still for sale in stores in Michigan.

UCI UC Irvine / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In 1960, the first oral contraceptive was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as contraception.

That drug, Enovid, changed the course of history for women.

Yet Beverly Strassmann, a professor of anthropology and a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, has a challenge for the drug companies that make hormonal birth control: don’t rest on your laurels.

Her research indicates it might be past time for pharmaceutical companies to tweak the formulation of the pill.

Courtesy of the Dawson family

On yesterday's Stateside, we heard about a young Flint man named Justin Dawson.

Tony Dawson is Justin's grandmother.

"He's 28 years old, but I would say mentally probably about seven or eight years old," she said. "He's always been a good boy. He did graduate from special ed classes – just way behind, way behind mentally."

chris atto / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Looking for new music from the Detroit area that's perfect for the dog days of summer?

Khalid Bhatti​, executive editor of Detroit Music Magazine, has your back. So does Paul Young, the magazine's founder and publisher.

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