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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.

Kyle Rokos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Jim Curtis lives in Ahmeek, a village in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. That's right near the Douglass Houghton Falls.

Curtis said he's always wondered how the height of those falls compares to other waterfalls in Michigan. So he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"What is the tallest waterfall in Michigan, and how is that figured out?"

MICHAEL COGHLAN / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Asbestos popped up a few times in the news this week.

The Detroit Free Press published an investigative piece about how the quick pace of demolitions of abandoned homes and buildings in Detroit might be endangering residents.

The city says that’s demonstrably false.

Then yesterday, Michigan’s Auditor General found the state’s asbestos remediation program needs more inspectors and more money. As Michigan Radio reported, the program is falling behind in its reports and follow-up visits.

Shereen Allen-Youngblood is a community outreach specialist at The Children’s Center in Wayne County. She helps recruit foster parents and says Wayne County needs thousands more foster parents
Lester Graham

Michigan has a shortage. There are thousands of children who need foster families, but far fewer families willing to help.

Shereen Allen-Youngblood is a community outreach specialist at The Children’s Center in Wayne County. She recruits foster parents, and says many people who consider becoming foster parents think they may not be qualified, when that isn’t the case in reality.

african american woman leaning against door frame
Javier Sánchez Salcedo / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

We live in a world of stereotypes, as disappointing as that can be sometimes.

Here’s one of them: black women never take any guff from anyone and they are always strong.

No one is always strong. Bad things happen in life, and we all experience tragedies. So when an African-American woman is struggling with loss, struggling with grief, where can she turn?

AARON SELBIG / Interlochen Public Radio

As you pull into Mancelona, the highway narrows. You drive alongside railroad tracks and past a couple of abandoned warehouses. And then, there it is: a red, white, and blue chicken — the unofficial mascot of the Iron Skillet.

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

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources doesn’t have enough people out in the field to keep an eye on everything in nature, so it relies on hunters, hikers, anglers, and activists to report things that are out of the ordinary.

But there was a problem with the department’s method of getting that information: red tape. The DNR had 15 different observation forms.

But now, there's an app for that.

A mock-up of the proposed downtown development project by Gibbs Planning Group
Bob Gibbs / Gibbs Planning Group

If you live in a city or town that dates back to before World War Two, you've got a "Main Street," you've got parks, and you can walk around town to restaurants and stores.

Cities that sprouted up after the war? Not so much.

Those are largely made up of shopping strips, office buildings, plenty of subdivisions — and you definitely need a car. There's no "downtown" that's the center of the community.

plaque with michigan flag
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

The federal government may have orchestrated the United State's history-making voyage to the moon in 1969, but the states weren't left out entirely. The crew of Apollo 11 took all 50 state flags along for the ride, and then returned each flag to its owner with an added gift: a moon rock.

Michigan’s moon rock was given to Governor William Milliken, and it sat in his garage for years afterward. Then, in the late 1980s, Milliken's family delivered it to the Michigan History Center, where it's now on exhibit. 

cover of the book
The New Press


Think back to grade school. Remember that one kid who was always disrupting the class? The one who talked out of turn, cracked jokes, and was always getting sent to the principal’s office. In other words, the class troublemaker.

Well, it's exactly those kind of kids who are the subjects of the new book Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School. Author Carla Shalaby, a research specialist at the University of Michigan School of Education, spoke with Stateside about the book.

Freighter on the Saginaw River
ifmuth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Recently, a recreational fishing boat on the St. Clair River forced two freighters into a game of chicken by refusing to move out of their path at a point on the river near the Bluewater Bridge in Port Huron.

The first freighter sounded a warning and the fishing boat didn’t move, and the freighter managed to veer out of the way. When a second freighter came along about a half-hour late, the fishing boat headed straight for it.

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

It's time again to explore what's on stages across Michigan on Stateside's monthly Theater Talk segment.

David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined the show today to break down what's up in lights around the state right now.

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

By now, it’s been widely reported that the state of Michigan’s unemployment insurance computer system wrongly alleged fraud against thousands of people who filed for unemployment benefits.

The mess is still being worked out. In  many cases, the state is resisting making the people it wronged whole.

A new report by Zach Gorchow, editor of the Gongwer News Service, indicates there were concerns about that computerized system going back to the early days of its implementation.

A silver carp laying on top of a cooler.
COURTESY OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-anticipated study on ways to prevent Asian carp from spreading from the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes through a manmade canal.

Tammy Newcomb, a senior water policy advisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, joined Stateside today to explain which kinds of Asian carp threaten the Great Lakes and why. 

a veteran medal
RAY TYLER IMAGES / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Department of Veterans Affairs is the country's largest integrated health system. Nearly nine million of America’s veterans get medical care from the VA.

Ninety-six years ago today, the precursor to what we now know as the VA began with a stroke of President Warren G. Harding’s pen.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

It's primary election day for cities in Michigan. 

There have been scattered, unconfirmed reports of polls opening late and voters being turned away. 

But so far, the problems don't seem anywhere near the scale they were in last year's presidential race. 

a group of people involved in Circles Grand Rapids
Courtesy of Circles Grand Rapids / Facebook

The Next Idea

Building community to end poverty.

That's the mission of Circles USA. It's a long-term effort that's all about empowering people of low-income to move out of poverty.

Low-income participants are the program's leaders. They pair up with an middle-to-high-income ally. The idea is to gain resources and fight poverty by building circles of influence.

Rick Snyder and Terry Gou shaking hands
Michigan Governor's Office

 


A lot is happening with Michigan’s business relationship with China these days.

Shortly after losing out to Wisconsin for a massive new Foxconn facility, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a major tax incentive package designed to attract Foxconn and other foreign corporations to the state. Now, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant is rumored to have plans for a smaller facility in Michigan after all. 

water going into cup from faucet
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Grayling water officials announced in July they had found trace amounts of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, in the municipal water supply. The levels are nowhere near the concentration of PFCs considered to be a health hazard by the Environmental Protection Agency.

David Andrews, senior scientist with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group spoke with Stateside to help us understand this mysterious family of chemicals and explore exactly what the news means for the Grayling area.

State Farm / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Last week in Crain’s Detroit BusinessChad Livengood wrote about how Detroit factory workers are charged more than lawyers for auto insurance. Livengood joined Stateside to explain a new study that looked at why rates are so high in the city. 

The study, conducted by California researcher Douglas Heller, tested six major insurance carriers using a 30-year-old female profile. It found the rates she received varied widely depending on her level of education, job title, and area of the state she lived in.

voting booths
user eyspahn / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new Bridge Magazine report for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative says a lot in just the headline. It reads, “Botched elections. Missing ballots. Is this any way to run a democracy?

When an audit of last year's election turned up discrepancies between the number of voters recorded and the number of ballots counted in Detroit, many people immediately jumped to the conclusion that fraud was involved. But this new report suggests incompetence was more likely to blame.

man with cricket bat
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A public cricket field opened in Detroit on Saturday for the first time since the 1970s.

Cricket player Saiyed Ahmed is one of the people who helped make the new pitch a reality. To keep up with cricket’s rising popularity in Detroit, he pushed for the city to build a professional, public field.

Aubrey Pollard about a year before his death.
Courtesy Thelma Pollard Gardner / via Bridge Magazine

This Friday, the movie simply titled “Detroit” debuts nationwide.

It depicts the most notorious single incident of the 1967 Detroit rebellion — the brutal police killings of three black teens at the Algiers Motel.

The still-contested events of that night at the Algiers Motel have already been written about extensively. A surviving witness called it “a night of horror and murder” worse than anything he had experienced as a soldier in Vietnam.

But after multiple trials, none of the officers involved were ever convicted of any crime.


Courtesy of the Isley farm

Blooms of algae in Lake Erie have given rise to a toxin that got so bad three years ago, Toledo had to shut down its water system.

Fertilizer that runs off from farms, into rivers, and then into Lake Erie is a big reason those algal blooms exist.

But some farmers, like Laurie Isley and Jim Isley, are working to reduce that fertilizer contamination.

A picture of Chelsea District Library
Burrill Strong Photography / Courtesy of Chelsea District Library

Bart and Mary Beth Hammer would welcome any solution to their internet woes.

“You can get a satellite dish, but it’s so slow,” said Bart Hammer, airline pilot and Lyndon Township resident. “And you only get a small amount of data [so] that you can’t stream anything.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

For more than a year-and-a-half, Tammy Coxen with Tammy's Tastings and Lester Graham have been bringing you the Cheers! segment on Stateside.

Every other week Cheers! tells you about a craft cocktail or about Michigan-made spirits and products. Sometimes we visit a craft cocktail bar or a distillery. The team was recently in Grand Rapids, also known as "Beer City."

And so of course Cheers! had to visit the series’ first brewery for a report. Take a listen!

a picture of the lab in a can
NOAA GLERL

There are concerns that Lake Erie will experience the same kind of toxic cyanobacteria blooms this summer that caused Toledo’s water supply to be shut off three years ago.

Reseachers monitor Lake Erie to detect cyanobacteria blooms as early as possible, but it takes time to go out, gather samples, and then bring them back to the lab for analysis.

This year, however, a “lab in a can” is giving researchers a hand. 

A photograph of the Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio file photo

Not much is happening with Michigan’s legislature. They’re out of session for much of August. But a state budget of more than $56 billion dollars was passed on time this year.

A recent report from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan indicates that the $10 billion general fund — the only part of the budget the Legislature can influence — will be hit hard in the next few years general fund obligations grow.

Courtesy of the Siddiqui family

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix will soon face a general court martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The former drill instructor is facing charges including hazing and maltreatment — violations of military discipline — and drunk and disorderly conduct.

He is being tried for his alleged involvement in the March 2016 death of Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui.

farm field
Julie Falk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

President Trump has thrown his support behind a plan to slash legal immigration in half by moving to a “merit-based” system. It’s called the RAISE Act and it was written by Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia.

Even though the RAISE Act is not expected to pass in Congress, what message is America sending to the world? And what would this plan mean for Michigan if it did pass? 

Roymundo VII / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Homelessness has a different look in a city than it does in rural areas, and somehow it feels easier to overlook.

Dennis Van Kampen, executive director and CEO of the Grand Rapids nonprofit Mel Trotter Ministries, joined Stateside to talk about a pilot program aimed at helping homeless families in rural Cedar Springs, and take on the problem of rural homelessness more broadly.

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