Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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

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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 will focus on topics and events that matter to people all across the state.

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Stateside
5:12 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Fatal plane crash survivors appear in 'Sole Survivor'

Documentary features survivors of fatal plane crashes
Andrey Belenko Flickr

An interview with director Ky Dickens.

If you lived in Michigan in the summer of 1987, you might remember one news story that was set apart from the others. 

It was the evening of August 16 when Northwest flight 255 took off from Detroit Metro Airport, headed to Phoenix. Moments after the plane took off, the MD-80 tilted slightly -- enough for the left wing to clip a light pole, shear the top off of a rental car building, and crash where Middlebelt meets I-94. 

154 people aboard the plane and two on the ground were killed. But there was one survivor: four-year-old Cecilia Cichan. 

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Politics & Culture
4:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Budget officials in Lansing met today to take a look at the state's finances.

On today's show, we have an update on the state's proverbial bank account and what it means for you.

And, then, if you were living in Michigan in the summer of 1987 - you probably haven't forgotten the story.

The crash of Northwest Flight 255, after taking off from Detroit Metro Airport, killing two people on the ground and everyone on-board that flight but a four-year old girl.

Now, a new film takes a look at that little girl 25 years later. We spoke with the director of that film.

First on today's show, we talked with a family member of Amir Hekmati. It’s been nearly two years since the young Iranian-American man from Flint was arrested by authorities in Teheran.

Amir Hekmati had traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother. He was seized and thrown into prison accused of being a spy for the CIA.

He was sentenced to death, although an appellate court later overturned that sentence because there wasn't enough evidence.

But that hasn't resulted in freedom for Amir Hekmati, and his family continues to work tirelessly to press his cause with the State Department and elsewhere.

Amir's sister, Sarah Hekmati, joined us from Washington D.C. today.

Stateside
4:04 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Farmer's markets may soon offer a new attraction: wine tasting

Vineyard in Leelanau County
user farlane flickr

An interview with Dan McCole, an assistant professor of tourism at Michigan State University.

If you like to frequent farmer's markets, you may soon have something new to explore amidst the stands of fresh produce, baked goods, jams and jellies, flowers and plants.

A bill moving through Lansing would allow wine tasting at farmer's markets.

What's this mean for Michigan wineries? Who gets to offer their wines for tastings at farmer's markets? And what's it mean for consumers?

Dan McCole, an assistant professor of tourism at Michigan State University, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:38 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Estimating the state of Michigan's proverbial bank account

Talking money at the State Capitol in Lansing.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

An interview with Chris Gautz.

Chris Gautz, the Capitol Correspondent for Crains Detroit Business, spent hours this morning at the Capitol where the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference took place.

That's where lawmakers, budget officials, and economists come together to make their best educated guess about the future of the state’s economy, and check-in, basically, on the state’s finances.

Political observers, and "political nerds" (like our Executive Producer Zoe Clark), love these meetings.

For others, however, it’s hard to get super excited about hours of numbers, finances, and "economist-speak."

Chris Gautz joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
2:03 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

After 20 months of no contact, Flint native imprisoned in Iran communicates with family

Amir Hekmati has been in Iranian prison for two years.
Courtesy: Free Amir Freeamir.org

626 days and counting. That’s how long a young Iranian-American man from Flint has been in police custody in Tehran.

Two years ago, Amir Hekmati traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother. Iranian officials accused Hekmati of spying for the CIA, seizing the ex-Marine and throwing him into prison.

In January 2012, Hekmati was sentenced to death for his alleged conspiring with the U.S. government.

Later, the Iranian Supreme Court overturned his sentence, but Hekmati is still waiting in prison for a retrial — with no apparent end in sight.

But Hekmati’s family, based in Michigan, hasn’t stopped fighting for Amir’s release.

Since his arrest in 2011, Amir’s family has posted pictures in Times Square, hosted art exhibitions in Detroit, and urged state officials in Washington to move on the case.

“We’re not getting a lot of movement from Iran,” Amir’s sister Sarah Hekmati told us on Stateside. “But we’re trying to raise awareness of the situation.”

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Stateside
4:58 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

What's next for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing?

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Kate Davidson Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced this afternoon that he will not run for re-election. 

But before he made the announcement, he spent nearly 20 minutes outlining his previous successes. 

He concluded his speech with the mention of exploring "other options, including the office of Wayne County Exec."

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Nancy Kaffer, an editorial writer for the Detroit Free Press.

To hear Kaffer's thoughts, click the link above.

Stateside
4:57 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Disturbing statistics about infant mortality reflect Michigan's health disparities

Infant mortality for children of black mothers is high
user: sbat65 Flickr

Too many babies are dying in Michigan. 

That’s not speculation – that’s based on some disturbing statistics. And even now, in 2013, those statistics say that a baby’s chance of living past his or her first birthday can largely depend on the color of the baby’s skin. 

In Michigan, the infant mortality rate has been persistently higher than the national average.

More specifically, a baby born to a black mother is almost three times more likely to die before its first birthday than a baby born to a white mother. 

Michigan Radio's Dustin Dwyer reported in August about Michigan's infant mortality disparity for State of Opportunity:

Using a three-year moving average for Michigan’s mortality rate for African-American babies, we would be behind every advanced nation, tucked between countries like Malaysia and Syria. 

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Stateside
4:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Can American politics learn something from religion?

Jim Wallis on religion as a solution to the nation's political divide
Howard Books

An interview with Jim Wallis.

One of the most frustrating aspects of living in American in 2013 is the way we seem to have lost a sense of being on the same team. 

Instead of thinking of ourselves as Americans or Michiganders, it's all too often Democrats or Republicans, Christian, or Muslim. 

This deep sense of division leads to gridlock in Congress and in Lansing. 

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Stateside
4:54 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

The latest on the leak at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is on Lake Michigan south of South Haven.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

An update on the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.

In West Michigan, crews are continuing to try and figure out what caused the release of slightly radioactive water from the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwest Michigan.

The plant was shut down a little over a week ago because of the leak, and crews say they have discovered a new crack in a water tank that's been leaking on and off for at least two years.

Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith joined us today to talk about

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:52 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced he will not run for re-election. What does this means for the city moving forward while currently under emergency management?

And we took a look at what's behind Michigan's high infant mortality rate.

And author, theologian, preacher, and social activist Jim Wallis joined us to talk about his book and The Common Good for America.

But first in the show, we got an update on the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, where crews are trying to figure out what caused the release of slightly radioactive water.

The plant was shut down a little over a week ago because of the leak, and crews say they have discovered a new crack in a water tank that has been leaking on and off for at least two years. Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith discussed the issue with us.

Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr discusses financial report

Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
State of Michigan

After 45 days in office, a report from Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was released this morning, taking an in-depth look at the city’s financial situation.

What’s clear from the 41-page report — Detroit is broke and its finances are in worse shape than previously thought. The city has almost $9.5 billion bonds and other debt, almost $6 billion in unfunded retiree health care, and will end its budget year with a shortfall of more than $160 million.

What do these numbers really mean for the city? And why is there such a disparity between what we’ve heard from city leaders and the report?

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr joined us in the studio today, to answer these questions and more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Stateside for Monday, May 13th, 2013

State officials announced over the weekend that they'll lend money to Pontiac schools to avert a pay-less payday.

But, there's no resolution in Buena Vista Township where that school system abruptly shut down after running out of money. On today's show: a temperature check on school funding across Michigan - just how many districts are close to the financial edge?

And Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr joined us today. He released a report on the city's disastrous finances. The State's Emergency Manager law requires this report to be issued  45 days after Orr's appointment.

We also talk about what Marquette, Michigan is doing right. "Placemaking" is leading to efforts to create more livable, vibrant and creative communities. We wanted to find out where "placemaking" is working and how cities across Michigan could benefit. Arnold Weinfeld, the director of Strategic Initiatives at the Michigan Municipal League, joined us to talk about this effort.

Stateside
5:25 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

How Marquette is using 'placemaking' to develop a thriving community

Marquette is a model town for 'placemaking'
user: mrkumm/Flickr

We've talked about a House Bill that aims to stop Michigan's 'brain drain,' but communities throughout the state need to do more to attract and keep young people in Michigan. 

Arnold Weinfeld, the director of Strategic Initiatives at the Michigan Municipal League , said that 2/3 of college graduates look for a location they want to live in first, and then search for jobs within that city. A generation or two ago, the process was reversed.

Because of this shift, Weinfeld said, Michigan communities need to start 'placemaking.'

"Placemaking are the actual actions that a local government, non profit, or neighborhood groups take to create the kind of place that people want to be in."

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Stateside
3:34 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

What's happening with school funding in Michigan

After Buena Vista closed, what's next for Michigan education?
courtesy: Mott High School

An interview with Tom Watkins and Rick Pluta.

With reports of Buena Vista Schools closing a month early due to a lack of funding, we talked about education in Michigan on today's show.

How did Buena Vista find itself in this position? And, could this happen to other schools soon?

As we picked apart what's going on in school districts across Michigan, we were joined by Tom Watkins, Michigan's former State Superintendent and Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.

To listen to the full discussion, click the link above.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Roger Penske's influence on Detroit business

Roger Penske.
Ted Van Pelt Flickr

It's Thursday which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Dan Howes.

Today Dan is hearing the roar of Indy cars and the "ca-chink" of money that will be flowing into Detroit with next month's Belle Isle Grand Prix.

We've talked in recent weeks about Dan Gilbert and what he's doing to re-shape downtown Detroit, and, in turn, pump up Southeast Michigan.

Today, we focus on someone else who's putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak, in boosting the Detroit area: Roger Penske.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:42 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Making one film with 40 directors in 23 countries

Judy van der Velden Flickr

When you think of filmmaking, chances are pretty good that you think of a producer, a director and a cast chosen by that director.

But there are a couple of filmmakers in Detroit who are blowing up that traditional model of making films, and in its place have come up with something completely different.

How about 40 directors for one film? And they're spread across 23 countries on five continents?

Marty Shea is one of the Detroit-based filmmakers doing this "collaborative" movie under the name of "CollabFeature."

He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:38 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

What do you know about H2O?

National Drinking Water Week
user william_warby Flickr

Drink up! It’s national Drinking Water Week.

This week, the nation celebrates good old H2O, which just this year knocked out pop — or soda, if you prefer — as the number one beverage in the United States.

But as health-conscious Americans rejoice in the rise of water-drinking across the country, we wanted to know — where did your last drink of water come from? And do you really know the quality of that water?

Mark Kurlyandchik dives into the subject of water in the May issue of "Hour Magazine," with his piece “Ebb and Flow: Demystifying Drinking Water.”

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Arts & Culture
4:37 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Celebrating the "Mighty Ukulele"

A ukulele
user Monsieur Gordon Flickr

We’re always glad to hear from Stateside listeners, to get your ideas and suggestions for stories we should share with everyone!

So, when we got an email from Lansing musician Ben Hassenger, asking us to take a closer look at the upcoming music festival he’s hosting this Friday and Saturday, we bit!

Especially when we discovered it’s a celebration of the ukulele - called "MIGHTY UKE DAY!"

What’s not to love?!

Ben Hassenger joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, May 9th, 2013

When you grab a bottle of water at the grocery store, do you ever wonder where that water came from.

And do you really know the quality of that water? We found out if it's really better than what comes out of your tap.

And, we look at the upcoming Detroit Grand Prix , bringing auto lovers to Belle Isle, along with some badly needed cash.

And Governor Rick Snyder has signed Senate Bill 288, and that could lead to a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

His signature clears the way for the state's Natural Resources Commission to vote on a recommendation to hold a limited wolf hunt this fall in three parts of the UP.
    
The Governor told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith that he believes the NRC will base its decision on what he called "sound scientific principles."

Stateside
4:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

The controversy around a wolf hunt in Michigan

endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com

Governor Rick Snyder has signed Senate Bill 288. That could clear the way for a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

His signature clears the way for the state's Natural Resources Commission to vote on a recommendation to hold a limited wolf hunt this fall in three parts of the UP.

The Governor told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith that he believes the NRC will base its decision on what he called "sound scientific principles."

"If you think about it, I think sound scientific principals are how we should decide these things, to make sure we are doing the proper environmental functions that protect whatever species we're talking about, so it's sustainable for the long term," said Snyder.

More than quarter of a million Michiganders  signed a petition asking to put a wolf hunt proposal on the November 2014 ballot. And the coalition called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says Senate Bill 288 is a deliberate attempt by lawmakers to circumvent their petition effort.

The Governor's response?

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