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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.

Amanda Bevan in front of a crowd of people
Courtesy of Renee Voit-Porath

 


Bats have a PR problem. They’re so associated with blood sucking and horror films, a lot of people want nothing to do with them.

That makes it hard to get people to care when they're in trouble, said Amanda Bevan, head of the Urban Bat Project and education specialist at the Organization for Bat Conservation.

That's a problem because right now, bats are in some pretty serious trouble. In the past decade, a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome has killed 80 percent of the bats in the northeastern United States.  

Nic Morgan holding drink
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s hard to find. The address is 80 Ottawa Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.

But unless someone has told you about it, you probably would never realize that once you take those concrete steps down from the sidewalk, enter a door into an entryway, turn your back to the pizza place, and enter yet another door, you’ve arrived.

This is SideBar. It’s a tiny 18 seat bar where people who love craft cocktails gather.

will keith kellogg with horse
University of Michigan Medical School Center for the History of Medicine

A chirpy, cheery jingle from the 1960s was part of a massive advertising effort that helped Kellogg’s Corn Flakes become amazingly popular.  

Kellogg’s best to you” meant breakfast to countless families across America. Open that box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, or Rice Krispies, pour on the milk — and you've got breakfast.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Ford could stand to refresh its model lineup, and should invest more in connected vehicles.
Ford Motor Company

The advancement towards autonomous vehicles got a boost from Congress this week. Bipartisan action in the House of Representatives led to approval of a bill that could help the auto industry with its transformation to turning out self-driving vehicles.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says the bill the House approved Thursday allows automakers to test up to 100,000 self-driving cars on American roads. The bill also bars states from passing laws to stop automakers from testing autonomous vehicles.

Ciccone Vineyard & Winery
lincolnblues / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Driving along the Michigan shoreline often means passing vineyard after vineyard.

That made listener Blake Trombley wonder, so he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"Why are so many of Michigan's vineyards located on the coast?"

parliament hill in ottawa
robin_ottawa / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

From his earliest days as a candidate, President Trump complained about NAFTA, calling it the worst deal ever.

But soon after taking office, he backed away from his pledge to tear up the trade agreement. Instead, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are re-negotiating NAFTA.

Earlier this week, Canada made a demand that could certainly resonate here in Michigan — a call to roll back the right-to-work laws which allow workers to opt out of paying dues to the unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

Courtesy of Meagan Ward

The Next Idea

Even in 2017, women still face difficulties in the world of business.

Studies confirm women are still perceived as less competent than men are. They’re also less likely to be considered good risks for startup capital, and, of course, there’s still that pesky wage gap between the sexes.

A Detroit businesswoman is fighting back against those characterizations.

ambassador bridge
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The family that owns the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, got a boost to its plans for a new bridge that will replace the current 87-year-old one.

The Moroun family said the Canadian government has granted approval for this new cable-stayed, six-lane bridge.

University of Michigan MSIS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

College and university campuses are kicking into high gear for the fall semester.

Students are moving in, figuring out their way around campus, and, it they haven’t already, declaring a major.

Parents tend to be pleased with a major that leads the student along a well-marked career path – a major like business, engineering, or nursing.

Author Oummu Kabba and her father Brima Kabba
Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

It’s never too early to begin following your passion.

That’s true for ten-year-old Oummu Kabba of Kentwood, one of Michigan’s youngest published authors. Schuler Books of Grand Rapids has published four of her books already.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Religion and politics are always a combustible mix.

During the long debate over gay marriage, many people of faith and their leaders argued that it violated their deeply held religious beliefs.

Now, more are speaking out against our nation's immigration laws and their enforcement by the Trump administration. And they're using religious convictions as the reason why. 

Today, some faith leaders gathered in Washtenaw County to make a passionate declaration of support for protecting immigrants from deportation.

Chesapeake Bay Program / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Casting a fishing line into the water is just about as Michigan as you can get. And for some families, it's a legacy passed down through generations.

It might be easy to take fishing in Michigan for granted. But nearly sixty years ago, a group of fishing fanatics got together near the Au Sable River to ensure that trout-fishing in Michigan would remain strong for years to come.

That group was--and is still--called Trout Unlimited.

state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan's schoolkids made their way back to classrooms Tuesday for the start of a new school year.

Today, it’s our state lawmakers’ turn. They’re back in Lansing for the first day of the fall session.

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

Last Friday, President Trump was asked about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). It’s the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. They're widely known as "DREAMers."

"We love the DREAMers," President Trump said. "We love everybody."

Shaun Murphy / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

College campuses are filling up with students again, which means all the associated stress is returning to campuses too.

One of two fully autonomous Navya Arma vehicles that will shuttle students beginning this fall. They will be constructed in NAVYA's new Saline plant.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

 


Domino's and Ford have started testing driverless-car pizza delivery in Ann Arbor. MCity will test a driverless shuttle around the University of Michigan’s North Campus starting this fall.

No doubt about it, driverless cars are coming. And with that comes a new challenge: how to make those driverless cars safe for pedestrians.

Seth Thompson/Revue​

 

Each month, Stateside checks in with John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins, a site that covers West Michigan’s music scene. Sinkevics discusses new artists, their backstories and what makes their music great.

Courtesy of Darrow's Family Restaurant

 


One of the promises President Donald Trump built his campaign on, and a promise he continues to repeat, is bringing jobs back to the United States.

But many employers say it’s workers they need. All across Michigan, businesses are constantly struggling to fill openings.

That pressure is particularly acute on Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. Many popular hotels and restaurants there rely heavily on foreign workers who enter the country on H-2B visas.

The Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It’s Michigan Labor Day tradition for tens of thousands of people to walk the five-mile span of the Mackinac Bridge linking the state’s upper and lower peninsulas.

It’s a four-lane bridge. Usually officials shut down two lanes for the walk and keep the other two open for traffic. That’s not this case this year.

Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation Kirk Steudle says the decision to completely shut-down the Mackinac Bridge during the walk this year was in direct response to safety concerns.

Orange construction barrels
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 


Gov. Rick Snyder signed a $1.2 billion road funding package in 2015 that called for increased vehicle registration fees and gas taxes, many of which went into effect this year.

In an interview with Stateside this week, Michigan Department of Transportation director Kirk Steudle said the state was “still trying to manage the deterioration,” but the overall quality of roads was yet to rise, despite the fresh tax revenue. But he noted the general fund component of the 2015 funding package has yet to kick in.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

We don’t often recognize the implicit biases we all carry.

But study after study shows we tend to interact most with people who are like us: people who look like us, talk like us. 

One of places where our implicit bias can be especially problematic is in the classroom.

picture of a peregrine falcon
Flickpicpete / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The pesticide DDT was responsible for wiping out large populations of top predator birds in Michigan and across the country. One of the most well known was the bald eagle whose eggs, thinned by the pesticide, cracked during incubation.

DDT was banned in the 1970s and raptors — with some help from wildlife biologists — started to make a comeback.

David Moran and LaMarr Monson
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 


One week ago, a Wayne County judge told LaMarr Monson to go enjoy his life. In 1996, Monson was wrongfully convicted of killing a 12-year-old Detroit girl named Christina Brown. 

In February 2017, 21 years and 12 days later, a judge overturned his murder conviction, and he walked free. Last week, Wayne County dismissed new murder charges.

picture of kelly church holding cradle board
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Soon, the entire park-like area we’re in will echo with the sound of pounding, metal against wood. It’s nearly a ringing or gong-like sound.

But first, Jeff Strand strips the bark from a black ash tree log. Then he takes out a knife and scores the end of it, a sort of pie wedge cut.

“So that the undergrowth rings have relief, so they’ll come up out of it as I’m crushing the growth rings. The ax is for crushing the fibers in between the growth rings and when you do that, they release,” Strand explains.

dictionary turned to the word tax
Alan Cleaver / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

President Trump's tax speech in Missouri Wednesday gave him a chance to throw down the gauntlet to Congress:

Congressman Paul Mitchell, a Republican from Michigan's 10th district, wrote an op-ed piece in the Detroit News this week spelling out his thoughts on why tax reform matters.

One of Mitchell's main arguments for reform is the benefit of simplicity — that the House Republican tax reform plan will make the system, and filing taxes, simpler. 

Crashmaster007 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

I confess that I love football. I played it in high school. Some of my teammates went on to the college gridiron, and one of them even had a long career in the NFL. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Big plays and big money on Sunday. Well apparently things are changing these days, and with good reason.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit is rightly seen as the center of the U.S. auto industry. But looking ahead into the years to come, the Motor City can expect to see competition from an increasingly influential player in the industry: China.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Chinese companies are approaching U.S. markets slightly differently than other foreign companies that have built on American soil.

SAM CORDEN

The Crystal Café in Benzonia has been a popular breakfast spot for 20 years. The restaurant serves standard diner fare like corned beef hash, but also gets creative with dishes like Hawaiian omelets and bread pudding French toast.

Thomas Wright is the new owner of Crystal Café, but just a year ago, he was a server here. He moved north from Ann Arbor with his fiancé, and they were enjoying the Up North life and planning their wedding.

Then, last summer, out of the blue, the owners of the café said they wanted out of the business.

Association for Advancing Automation

At this very moment, there are workers in Michigan painting vehicles, assembling things, making welds, packing products, and more.

They don’t need lunch or bathroom breaks. They don’t take sick days or go on vacation.

They’re robots.

garrison keillor
Becky McCray / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In July 2016, Garrison Keillor wrapped up 42 seasons of hosting the public radio favorite A Prairie Home Companion.

The show resumed that October with Chris Thile as its host.

Those of you who've missed Keillor's inimitable voice and style can take heart. He is taking a break from retirement and going on the road with the Prairie Home "Love & Comedy" Tour.

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