Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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

Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside with Cynthia Canty 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 with Cynthia Canty focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state.

user A7nubis /

Getting high in Michigan has certainly changed over the past few years.

Voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan in 2008. Soon, it could be legal just for fun.

A number of groups seeking to legalize cannabis in Michigan are working to put ballot proposals on the 2016 ballot.

flickr user Texas Military Forces /

Latinos have been a presence in Michigan for more than a century. But even after all those decades, the Latino population is still experiencing significant growing pains.

That's the conclusion of a major report from the Michigan State University Julian Samora Research Institute titled, "Latinos 2025: A Needs Assessment of Latino Communities in Southeast Michigan."

Courtesy of Detroit Greenways Coalition

The Next Idea 

In Detroit we have a real chance to do things with our land that no other major city in the world has ever done. From  growing food  and  producing solar power to planting trees and improving public health, Detroit’s 23 square miles  of vacant land  offers a future full of possibilities.

John U. Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us for this week’s sports roundup.

Tigers returning to form

After a 15-8 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, it looks like the Tigers might be returning to form.

But Bacon tells us it’s too little, too late.

United Auto Worker contingent at a protest in New York.
Thomas Good / wikimedia commons -

The current negotiations over the contracts are continuing pretty much out of the spotlight. There’s a delicate balance that both sides are trying to pull off.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes shared the "wants" and "needs" of both sides in these contract talks with us.

He penned a column today in the News about the talks.

Today on Stateside:

  • Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee is urging people to contact the Canadian Ministry of the Environment about a proposed nuclear waste storage facility near Lake Huron. 

  • There's less than a month to go before the clock runs out and contracts between the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers expire. Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes talks with us about the delicate balance that both sides are trying to pull off.

flickr user The National Guard /

When we talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, the conversation usually focuses on our members of the military, both active-duty and veterans.

But that misses a large group of men and women who struggle with PTSD: our first responders.

A campaign banner with a slogan derived from "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," used in the 1840 U.S. presidential election.
user Pharos /

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the White House, he did it to the tune of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

It didn’t take very long for Young to issue an icy statement declaring that Trump did not have permission to use the song, and that, “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.”

Courtesy of the Capital Region Community Foundation

The Next Idea

When we think of nonprofits, we often think of them helping people or working for causes that improve our quality of life but are difficult to monetize. And usually, it’s their work and their cause that inspire us to give.  

What’s often not mentioned, however, is just how much Michigan’s nonprofit sector also contributes to our economic well-being.

Chuck Szmurlo / wikipedia/creative commons

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint,  is urging people in Michigan to weigh in during a 90-day public comment period on Canada's plan to build a radioactive waste storage facility near Lake Huron.

Kildee says written letters are best.

"We simply request that you stop this project and locate another facility that is not 6/10 of a mile from the greatest fresh water source on the planet," says Kildee.

Ryan Grimes

This weekend, runners and walkers of all levels and ages will converge on Flint for the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races.

Carol Cerny is going to be there with her running shoes on.

She’s doing the 10-mile event to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her double lung transplant.

Today on Stateside:

EarthWorks is one of several community gardens making use of vacant land in Detroit
flickr user Jessica Reeder /

Still less than a year out of its historic bankruptcy, Detroit’s successes and failures continue to make headlines.

The city may have shed most of its debt, but it continues to lose population – down more than 60% of its 1950 population of 1.8 million.

Take that shrinking population and couple it with Mayor Mike Duggan’s ongoing push to tear down blighted buildings, and you get a lot of empty land.

Bill McGraw’s latest story for Bridge Magazine looks at Mayor Duggan’s blueprint for redesigning Detroit.

Flickr user Wonderlane /

When it comes to getting credit and being deemed a good risk for a loan, the choices made by lenders can be hard to understand. Many potential borrowers who earn a paycheck and pay their bills but don't have a credit history can be seen as untrustworthy.

Now, we're seeing some lenders look to social media and Internet use to determine whether someone can afford to borrow.

Linda Tellis is known as Lady Ace Boogie in west Michigan’s hip hop scene. She is a community activist and is trying to change what she calls the “broken” world of hip hop.

Tellis turned her life around five years ago. She used to be involved in gangs.

“I didn’t have anybody to look up to. All I had was what was in front of me and unfortunately that was the streets and that’s it," Tellis said.

That’s all behind her now. In her latest album, Feel Good Music, she takes a stab at the hip hop industry and how rappers and artists are focused on fame and material things.

Flickr user Justin C Lenk /

Beer is big in Michigan. The state is fifth in the nation for its number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs. This growth is creating a demand for workers to brew, serve and market all of that beer.

Schoolcraft College is launching a new brewing program this fall to help turn out those workers.

Rich Weinkauf is the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. And he’ll be teaching one of the courses in the new brewing and distillation technology certificate program.

Today on Stateside:

Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, returned to the state capitol today.
images from Courser/Gamrat offices

Representatives Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, and Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, were due to return to the Capitol today for the first time since their affair was exposed – along with Courser's attempt to cover it up by conjuring up a phony gay sex scandal.

Fowling Warehouse / Facebook

For Chris Hutt, a long tradition of tailgating and camping at the same lot at the Indianapolis 500 has led to creating a sport and a business.

This new activity is called “fowling.”

And the business is the Fowling Warehouse in Detroit, where players gather to toss footballs at bowling pins.

“Fowling is a combination of football, bowling and a little bit of horseshoes in there as well," said Hutt.

Faisal Akram/flickr /

It turns out that in France the role of the sommelier is more limited than here in the U.S., according to Christopher Cook, HOUR Detroit's chief wine critic.

"In France, the sommelier does not buy the wine for the restaurant. That's usually done by the owner in conjunction with the chef," said Cook. 

Flickr user Ken /

The state of Michigan has joined with 14 other states in launching a legal challenge to the EPA's Clean Power Plan. That's President Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

Attorney Roger Kershner with the Howard and Howard law firm says opponents of the plan seem to be looking to delay the implementation of the rules until they can be reviewed on their merits.

The plan calls for states to implement their own system to meet the requirements, but Kershner says, "We don't know exactly what the rules are yet," only the ultimate goal.


This summer marks the 10th anniversary of a very special summer camp program at Oakland University in Rochester.

It’s the annual film camp for young people on the autism spectrum. Campers from ages 10 to 20 write, direct, edit and star in a short film. It’s followed by a red carpet premiere for attendees and their families in October.

Courtesy of the artist

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chenille Sisters. Cheryl Dawdy, Grace Morand and Connie Huber formed the group in 1985 in Ann Arbor and they’ve been harmonizing together ever since.

  Originally, Morand and Huber were in a band together. Dawdy attended their shows and was recruited to round out the group.

"Pretty soon Cheryl would come to our gigs and we would tell the guys in the band to take a break and just do things as a trio and it dawned on us that we didn’t need the band," Morand says.

Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400.

While a million or so people lined Woodward Avenue this weekend for the annual Dream Cruise, another big group of car fans made their way to the Michigan International Speedway for some NASCAR heaven: the Pure Michigan 400.

Today on Stateside:

* Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry thinks the Courser-Gamrat scandal might just help move things along in the quest to find a way to fund road repairs.

* NASCAR fans made their way to the Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400.

* A look at some of the worst political scandals in Michigan history.

* What’s at stake if we don’t get more diverse investors in Michigan? Our contributor for The Next Idea shares her thoughts.

* Data is helping determine who gets parole in Michigan, but are the factors being used fairly?

Gamrat's husband (left) stood by her side.
screen shot - LiveStream

The details of the affair between state Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat – along with Courser's attempt to cover things up with a fake gay sex scandal – have made national and worldwide headlines.

But the two tea party, conservative Christian lawmakers at the center of this scandal are just the latest in a long history of political scandals in the state.

Nancy Kaffer recently recounted some of the state’s historic scandals for The Detroit Free Press.

flickr user Thomas Hawk /

What determines whether a prisoner should be paroled?

In Michigan, that decision is informed by a risk assessment questionnaire called COMPAS.

Sonja B. Starr is a professor of law at the University of Michigan and is the co-director of the Center for Empirical Legal Studies.

Our "comeback" could use more women investors

Aug 17, 2015
Courtesy of Inforum

The Next Idea

“I never really thought about it that way.”

As someone who regularly judges start-up pitch competitions across Michigan, I tend to hear this phrase rather often from my male colleagues.

Today on Stateside:

Even though the price of crude oil fell to a six-year low earlier this week, a BP refinery shutdown in Indiana is driving gas prices up.’s Patrick DeHaan talks to us about the shutdown and what to expect in the next few weeks.

MCity’s recent opening in Ann Arbor is a big sign that Michigan intends to be a leader in developing self-driving cars. Dino Grandoni looked at the “gold rush” of self-driving cars in a recent piece for The New York Times.

Gas prices all over Michigan are rising in response to a refinery shutdown in Indiana
Ryan Grimes

Drivers all over Michigan are being hit by sticker shock at the gas pump.

Even though crude oil fell to a six-year low earlier this week, gas prices are skyrocketing.

What happened?