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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 the full show here  

Yoga mats set out and ready for the class to begin
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

After what is often years of waiting and paperwork, some refugees from desperate situations around the world are fortunate enough to be accepted into the U.S. But then what? If you’ve been in a war-torn area or are a victim of torture, you’re glad to be safe.

But you’re in a strange country. You might not speak English. You might be confused by government bureaucracy or an unfamiliar medical system. Then there’s a chance you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental health issues. 

marijuana
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Today is 4/20, a day that holds a special significance for marijuana activists and consumers alike.

Stateside decided to mark the date by talking to Michigan Radio’s capitol bureau chief Rick Pluta about the latest developments in the process to license medical marijuana dispensaries.

Michigan capitol building
Pkay Chelle / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It appears legalizing marijuana for recreational use will be on the ballot in November. If the polls are correct, more than 60 percent of voters are okay with recreational use of pot.

Meanwhile, standards for an election recount may be changing after Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested a recount in the state after the 2016 election. Legislation would require a candidate to prove they have a reasonable chance at winning before getting a recount.

Sharon / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Have you seen any stink bugs in your house? Over the last few years, the brown marmorated stink bug has invaded the southern half of the Lower Peninsula. The invasive species is more than just a nuisance. It’s a threat to crops, too.

Amy Irish-Brown, a senior educator at Michigan State University Extension, and Jim Engelsma, president of J. Engelsma Orchards, Inc., joined Stateside to discuss the characteristics of stinkbugs that make them so difficult to monitor, control, and predict.

cocktail and bottles of liquor
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings wanted to mix a drink to honor one of Michigan’s distillers.

“Our friends out at Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids just won a big award. They were named ‘Best of Class’ for their 'Old Aquavit’ at the American Distillers Institute.”  (See award winners here.)

From the Collections of The Henry Ford / Benson Ford Research Center

As President Trump and Chinese leaders swap threats of trade tariffs, we've heard a lot of talk about what a 25 percent Chinese tariff might mean to soybean farmers in the U.S. and specifically in Michigan, one of the top soybean-producing states.

Mike Bell / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This truly is the winter of our discontent – even if spring officially arrived a month ago.

As challenging as the snow, ice, and flood advisories are across the Lower Peninsula, snow has really hammered the Upper Peninsula. In just one example, more than two feet of snow fell in Menominee over the weekend. Some drifts were ten feet high. And that snow is threatening deer in the U.P.

Andrey Filippov 安德烈 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The news from Beijing this week is that China's President Xi Jinping is "open" to reducing the 25 percent tariffs on foreign-made cars, trucks, and SUVs. The leader is also open to full foreign ownership of auto companies in China.

It sounds like a big deal, but is it?

Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals

Protecting the Great Lakes and Michigan's natural resources is a crucial task that's best accomplished by Michiganders working together.

That means all Michiganders, including the First Peoples. How can non-Indigenous people be good allies to Indigenous people?

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

It's time to put people over party. 

That's the idea driving young legislators across the country to group together in a bipartisan way, forming caucuses as a part of the Millennial Action Project's State Future Caucus Network for lawmakers under age 40 who want to govern in a different way. 

The city of Kalamazoo
Mxobe

The city of Kalamazoo has made headlines with its unique Kalamazoo Promise: anonymous donors pledging to pay up to 100 percent of college tuition for the kids who graduate from the city's public schools.

Here comes another effort: Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo. The vision? Turn Kalamazoo into a community where no adult or child is left behind because of poverty or inequality of opportunity.

A boxcar used to transport victims during the Holocaust.
Courtesty of the Holocaust Memorial Center

A recent New York Times story published on Holocaust Remembrance Day bore a striking headline: "Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds."

That survey found many people don't have an even a basic understanding of how six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

That lack of knowledge is especially pronounced in millennials, or people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, joined Stateside Wednesday to talk about these recent findings.

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Late summer is when we wind up seeing those unwelcome blooms of cyanobacteria and algae in western Lake Erie.

But right now, spring, is when the blooms are set up by a sort of equation: fertilizer plus spring rain equals phosphorus loading, which leads to those late-summer algal blooms.

Courtesy of Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium

For Michigan baseball fanatics, a visit to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull - the site of the original Tiger Stadium - is almost a religious pilgrimage. But there is another baseball field roughly five miles away in Hamtramck that has its own historical significance, and yet is rarely recognized.

Mark Harvey, state archivist with the Michigan History Center, and Gary Gillette, an author, founder and president of the non-profit Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, joined Stateside to discuss the stadium’s historical importance, its afterlife as a community sports center, and why rehabilitation efforts are so important.

The washing machine at A.L Holmes Academy of Blended Learning
Courtesy of Tammy Mitchell

 


 

It's no secret that kids who aren't sitting in class aren't learning, and Detroit has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the country, according to a 2016 Associated Press report

 

We hear policy recommendations and deep-dive discussions about how to boost school attendance, but, as first reported in Chalkbeat Detroit, one Detroit school has a different solution: a washing machine. 

Kaylee Lorincz at MSU Board of Trustees Meeting Friday
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

"Fake news.” That's how a top Michigan State University official described a Nassar survivor's claims that Interim President John Engler offered her a $250 thousand payout in return for dropping her suit against the school.

The Detroit Free Press obtained emails sent by a top Engler aide following Kaylee Lorincz's appearance before the Board of Trustees, where she described the meeting she and her mother had with Engler, his aide, and a university spokesperson.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Grguy2011 / Public Domain

On May 3, we'll be producing Stateside in front of a live audience at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids, and we want your help producing the show.

What stories from Grand Rapids do you think should be shared with the rest of the state? What issues do you think need coverage? Are there unsung heroes or people from Grand Rapids you want us to talk to?

Courtesy of Fritz Allhoff

It’s quite the journey from Kalamazoo to Alaska – to tiny towns like Nulato, with a population of 259.

But a team from Western Michigan University has made that journey each year since 2014. They head to isolated small towns like Nulato to help people there with their taxes.

Fatou-Seydi Sarr
Stateside Staff / Michigan Radio

Fatou-Seydi Sarr was born in Senegal, but she now calls Detroit her home.

She brings her experiences as a black African Muslim immigrant woman to her work in social justice and human rights in metro Detroit.

Library of Congress

One of the cornerstones of President Trump's vision for America is reducing the flow of immigrants into the country. He wants to cut legal immigration by about 500,000 people a year over the next five decades – a 44% reduction. He also touts an immigration system based on merit, but just what does merit mean?

Jean Grae and Quell Chris.

Each month, we take a listen to new music from Detroit-area artists brought to us by Paul Young, founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine, and Khalid Bhatti, the magazine's executive editor. Our featured artists this month are: the duo Jean Grae and Quelle ChrisTunde Olaniran, and Mexican Knives.

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27373086

Governor Snyder released a plan yesterday to improve safety in Michigan schools following the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

His $20 million plan calls for boosting security at hundreds of schools, setting up a task force to come up with more ways to improve school security between now and the end of the year, more training for school administrators and school resource officers, and expanding the OK2SAY tip line.

The governor says he intentionally stayed away from guns.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

She's the pride of Michigan's running community, and today she's basking in the glow of being the first U.S. woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.

Desiree Linden trains with Hansons-Brooks in Rochester Hills. She plowed through wind and rain to finish in 2 hours, 39 minutes, and 54 seconds.

John Engler at the final MSU Board of Trustees meeting of the 2017/18 school year.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

What struck Dan Wetzel, a national columnist for Yahoo Sports, most about last Friday’s MSU board meeting was the way Michigan State University Interim President John Engler interrupted Nassar survivor Kaylee Lorincz as she tried to tell a story about him.

“For him to interrupt her, to say, ‘Your time’s up’ – it’s like he has no idea,” Wetzel said. “I don’t think he even knows what the phrase means these days. It tells me he’s not paying attention to anything. He seemed to say it without irony.”

Cottages, Bay View, Michigan, USA. Founded in 1875, Bay View is a religious resort community, an early version of a middle-to-upper class American resort.
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

The resort community of Bay View is nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan. 

 

It is picturesque, but divided. 

Kaylee Lorincz at MSU Board of Trustees Meeting Friday
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

Last Friday, an 18-year-old survivor of former MSU sports doctor Larrry Nassar’s sexual abuse stood before the university’s Board of Trustees and Interim President John Engler. She made national headlines.

Kaylee Lorincz accused Engler of privately offering her $250,000 to drop her civil lawsuit against the school, and after she said it wasn’t about the money, she says Engler told her, “Well, give me a number, then.” She says he offered a number to survivor Rachael Denhollander.

Before Lorincz could finish recounting the events before the Board, the interim president told her “Time’s up. Stop.”

Images Money / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Taxes are due tomorrow, so if you haven’t filed your income taxes by now, you are, quite literally, waiting until the eleventh hour.

Here’s something to chew on as we count down to tomorrow’s deadline: most of us don’t know how much we actually pay Uncle Sam.

New research from Michigan State University finds a huge percentage of us think we pay more federal taxes than we actually do.

Gregory Varnum / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Thousands of Michigan Democrats packed into the Cobo Center on Sunday for their endorsement convention, a day that had some rowdy and raucous moments.

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics, joined Stateside to discuss what the convention’s attendance suggests about Democratic engagement in November, how Dana Nessel nabbed the party endorsement for attorney general, and the shape of the governor’s race.

Three female Mariachis
Anahli Jazhmin / Courtesy of Mariachi Femenil Detroit

If you close your eyes and picture a Mariachi band, you might see something like this -- sombreros, ornate black suits, stringed instruments -- all worn and played by mustachioed men.

A group called Mariachi Femenil Detroit is working hard to broaden that image and bring gender equality to the genre.

arcticpenguin / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Michigan State University seems to have used private statements between a student and a counselor in a press release to the public. David Jesse with the Detroit Free Press outlines the details in a story published yesterday.

Here’s the timeline: On Monday, a former student filed a lawsuit in federal court. That suit claims that back in 2015 three Michigan State basketball players raped the student. It alleges that university personnel discouraged the student from reporting the incident to police. On Wednesday, MSU officials issued a statement denying the allegations, and then proceeded to reveal when the student visited the counseling center and included details about what counselors advised.

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