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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.

"For Republicans who have not distanced themselves from Trump, it may be too late," Demas told us.
flickr user Gage Skidmore /


It's the political roundup with Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas.

A new Detroit News and WDIV poll shows Republican candidate Donald Trump slipping and Democrat Hillary Clinton gaining in Michigan. Her lead has widened by nearly 12 percentage points.

This week Governor Snyder called the presidential election a “huge mess” and said Trump’s comments about women were “revolting and disgusting.”

While Republicans like Snyder - who never endorsed Trump - are speaking out, other Republicans have been defending Trump’s statements as merely “locker room talk.”

It’s hardly the first Trump-centric story we’ve seen throughout this election cycle, but according to Demas, this one is “kryptonite.”

Flickr user TIm Ereneta/ Flickr /

The Next Idea

I spend a lot of time looking for the future. I never really find it. Humans are too unpredictable. Innovations are like teenagers. They’re never really sure what they want be when they grow up, if they grow up at all. You can only hope they find their rightful place in the world somewhere along the way.

A Nation Engaged: Death of a Nation

Oct 13, 2016

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:

What does it actually mean to be American?

We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week.

This is a poem entitled Death of a Nation by Marrim Al-akashi, a graduate of Fordson High School. 

Carleton Gholz, founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Sound Conservancy.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio


There’s no arguing that Detroit has a rich and diverse musical heritage.

There’s also no arguing that Detroit has had its challenges in preserving its history and heritage.

That’s why the Detroit Sound Conservancy came to be.

Its mission is to support Detroit’s musical heritage through advocacy, conservation, and education.

This Saturday the DSC is holding its 3rd Annual Music Conference, free and open to the public.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so it’s a good time to take a look at how well Michigan schools are doing in their efforts to curb bullying.
M. Kukhlman /


His name was Matt Epling. His eighth-grade classmates voted him as having the best smile, the best personality and the most likely to become an actor.

On his last day of eighth grade, Matt was attacked by upperclassmen who took it upon themselves to give him a “welcome to high school” hazing.

40 days later, Matt Epling committed suicide. That was in 2002.

Since then his parents Kevin and Tammy Epling have worked tirelessly to end bullying, and to make school safe for kids.

Devin Pedde


A new season, a new host for A Prairie Home Companion.

After 42 years, Garrison Keillor has retired. He chose his first successor, who will bring us his very first show this Saturday night, live from The Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He’s a mandolin virtuoso, he’s won many Grammys, and he leads the Punch Brothers.

The "Flint Sprint" will tackle 20 different projects in the city over the next 60 days.
Wikimedia user Flintmichigan /

The Detroit bankruptcy brought government, foundations and business together, working to get through that historic crisis. Today marks the public launch of an effort to do the same for Flint.

Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes joined Stateside to talk about his latest column about the "Flint Sprint." This project brings a number of businesses -- both big and small -- to tackle 20 different projects over the next 60 days. 

Menachem Kaiser / Michigan Radio

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews spend the day praying and fasting, seeking forgiveness from God and fellow man.

In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, some observant Jews perform kapparot, a ritual involving live chickens.

Each person swings a chicken over their head and says a prayer. Afterward, the chickens are taken elsewhere to be processed and donated as food for those who need it.

Some 100,000 women diagnosed this year with breast cancer will undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
Rhoda Baer, National Cancer Institute / Public Domain


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Each and every year, more than 230,000 American women will hear the words, “You have breast cancer.”

Of those, some 100,000 will undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

When your world’s been turned upside down by a breast cancer diagnosis, it can be hard to grasp what options are there for you.

Pat Anstett’s new book provides answers, presented through the stories of women who have been handed that breast cancer diagnosis and then followed many different paths in treatment and reconstruction.

The plaintiffs say older, poor and impoverished people in Flint aren't getting enough water
Flickr user Daniel Orth /

When the Flint water disaster exploded, the state began sending emergency supplies to the city: millions and millions of dollars worth of bottled water, filters and cartridges.

Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan's front-page story this week suggests the state overpaid for those supplies, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Egan found that instead of using a formal bidding process, the State went directly to Georgia-based Home Depot to buy the supplies. And it failed to seriously seek bids from  Michigan companies.

"Anything that you would want, from shopping, to health care, to buying a car, you name it, we have it all right here. But yet, we have an incredible small town feel, and that's a very special thing," Brenda Quick told us.
flickr user zenmasterdod /


What happens to a picturesque city when its charms draw more and more people who want to live or work there, and when the push for new housing threatens the very thing that made that city so special?

Traverse City is wrestling with these questions right now, including the lack of affordable housing.

Transmission electron microscopy image of Legionella pneumophilia, responsible for over 90% of Legionnares' disease cases.
CDC Public Health Library /


The federal government offered help with Flint’s Legionella outbreak, and the state of Michigan turned the offer down.

That’s what MLive reporter Ron Fonger has learned from Environmental Protection Agency documents released through the Freedom of Information Act.

Some locals fear that Traverse City is losing its small town feel.
flickr user zenmasterdod /


For many visitors, Traverse City is the heart of Up North.

The natural beauty is complemented by the town’s vibrant culture of fine foods, craft beer and endless festivals.

But for locals, all that popularity comes at a cost.

A Nation Engaged: The Land of the Free

Oct 12, 2016
Justin Rogers / InsideOut Literary Arts Project

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:

What does it actually mean to be American?

We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week.

Today, we bring you a poem entitled The Land of the Free by LéAndra Gregory, a student and Citywide Poet at Detroit Schools of the Arts. 

A Kurdish boy from the Syrian town of Kobani holds onto a fence that surrounds a refugee camp in Turkey.
User Jordi Bernabeu Farrús / Flickr /

Robin Wright began her journalism career as a student at the University of Michigan, where she was the first female sports editor in the history of the Michigan Daily.

She has gone on to become a widely known and honored foreign affairs analyst, journalist and author. Her books include Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World, Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam and The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran.

This coming Thursday, Wright returns to Ann Arbor to give the Margaret Waterman Alumnae Lecture. She joined us today.

A Nation Engaged: Kitchen, After Rumi's Guest House

Oct 11, 2016
Kyndall Flowers
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a collective national conversation called “A Nation Engaged.”  The project has looked at central themes in this year’s election, including this week’s question:

What does it mean to be American?

flickr user Ken Lund /

The Next Idea

Driverless cars are on the horizon. That much is clear.

We’ve heard from businesses, engineers and politicians about how autonomous vehicles could change day-to-day life for all of us.

How might driverless cars affect the lives of people with disabilities?

Courtesy of Frank Boring

When you ask anyone about women’s professional baseball, the majority of people will make some reference to director Penny Marshall’s 1992 film A League of Their Own. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna and tells the story of the real-life Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The league was created to provide sports fans with entertainment while the men – including many star major league baseball players -- were away fighting in World War II. 

sign that says "Flint Vehicle City"
Michigan Municipal League/flickr /

Amid the torrent of headlines about Flint's water calamity, it's far too easy to lose track of the long history of that city.

There are powerful and poignant lessons to be learned in the way rich, vibrant neighborhoods were taken apart and plowed under in the name of "development.”

Communities like the old St. John Street neighborhood.

Charles Winfrey grew up in the St. John Street community. Today he is the executive director of The New McCree Theatre. He joined us on Stateside

Listen to the full interview below.

A Nation Engaged: Apology to My Father

Oct 10, 2016
Sakila Islam
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:

What does it actually mean to be American?

We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week. 

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Public Domain


Broadway musicals have covered a dizzying array of subjects. It may be hard to believe, but that list includes the life and trials of a young physician.

On this evening, 69 years ago, the medical musical "Allegro" opened on Broadway.

Although it’s long been forgotten, University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel believes the lessons taught by "Allegro" are worth remembering today.

High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. was the site of one of Michigan's most lopsided wins in program history, 78-0 over Rutgers.
slgckgc / Flickr -

It was a big weekend for football around the Great Lakes State. The University of Michigan stole most of the headlines with an historic 78-0 road win over Rutgers. It was a dominant win in just about every phase of the game as the Wolverines "took the paddle" (as John U. Bacon likes to say) to the Scarlet Knights.

After a one-sided loss, there are always fans and sportswriters who like to criticize the head coach for running up the score. However, John U. Bacon said in his weekly segment on Stateside, it wasn't Jim Harbaugh being a bad sport.

Ken Sikkema says if Donald Trump loses the presidential election there will be some who will say he lost the election himself, but others will say he lost the election because Republicans didn't support him.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr -


The aftermath of last night’s presidential debate has left the Republican Party in all-out crisis mode.

An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll following the release of the tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women shows Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump is now in the double digits.

House Speaker Paul Ryan today held a conference call with House Republicans. He said he can’t and won’t defend Trump, and that House Republicans should do what’s best for them in the remaining weeks of the election.

But, he will not rescind his endorsement of Trump.

What does this all mean for Republicans on the down-ballot in Michigan?

Amy Haimerl

When looking for a new house, prospective homeowners usually prepare to make a few cosmetic changes. When Amy Haimerl and her husband moved into their new Detroit home, it was completely void of plumbing, heating, and electricity.

The Next Idea

Every year, the United States spends $218 billion growing, transporting, and processing food that no one ever eats. That's billion. The financial, resource, and environmental costs of all the wasted food in the United States is staggering. 

Satellite image of algal bloom in Lake Erie taken in 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Two years after Toledo’s water supply was shut down by so-called blue-green algae, people are still worried about the safety of the city’s drinking water.

Toxins called microcystins are sometimes produced by certain freshwater cyanobacteria blooms. Those blooms are more likely under certain conditions, and every summer Toledo is on the watch for an increase.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This is part of an ongoing series on Stateside called Artisans of Michigan.

We are at Voodoo Choppers in Aurburn Hills to talk with Eric Gorges. If that name is familiar to you, you know he’s also host of the weekly national TV show on PBS, A Craftsman’s Legacy. But, we’re here chiefly to talk about his craft: building motorcycles.

grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio


Local governments around the state have been trying to figure out how to keep things going on a tighter budget. They’re not bringing in as much money as they have during better economic times of the past.

That's partly because the state has been cutting back on how much sales tax revenue it shares with cities and towns. And a lot of local leaders want to change that.

Courtesy of Ran Ortner Studio

As the Grand Rapids Artprize competition continues to grow and evolve, Stateside’s Lester Graham sat down with the very first winner of the competition, painter Ran Ortner.

Jason James/flickr /

In his article for The Conversation, University of Michigan Professor Andrew Hoffman discusses why academics and scientists are losing relevance in the eyes of the public and how they can - and must - reverse this trend. Hoffman is the Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at U of M.