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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 the full show here  

Map of Detroit Metro Transit plan
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Audio: A conversation with Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist. 

One hot topic at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week is the future of regional transportation in Southeast Michigan — particularly a proposed millage to fund the expansion of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.

Daniel Howes is a Detroit News business columnist. He speaks with Stateside about regional divide and larger issues at the core of the RTA debate. 

How can schools tap into a student's passion? How can businesses develop and retain talent?

And how can graduates make sure they have the skills that Michigan businesses, non-profits, and government needs? 

School districts across the state are working hard to answer these questions.

Innovation Central High School in Grand Rapids is one of those. 

people playing pickleball
Callie McLoughlin-Mckee

It's been called the fastest growing sport in America, and it could be coming to a park or gym near you.

The name of the game is pickleball. It was invented in the Pacific Northwest, popularized in the Sun Belt, and has been growing in Michigan for years.

So what is it? The hybrid sport borrows from tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It's played with a wiffle ball, and is known for its inclusive and friendly community.

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

young people register to vote on campus
Nadine OG / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

AUDIO: Stateside's conversation with Tom Steyer, a Democratic donor from California and the founder of NextGen America

California billionaire and Democratic donor Tom Steyer is in Detroit today with NextGen America, his campaign to register young people to vote in November.

Steyer joined Stateside to talk to us about the campaign.

Listen above to hear why this three-day boot camp is based in Detroit, what the goal of the weekend is, and what NextGen America's hope is for November.

A photo from 1881 of Moses Fleetwood Walker with the Oberlin team
Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame

At Stateside, we love talking about Michigan history.

 

We've looked at the invention of snowboarding (first known as snurfing); why a small town held a funeral for a bunch of pizzas, and the University of Michigan student who broke baseball's color barrier 64 years before Jackie Robinson.

Brittany ⎈ Colette / Unsplash

For many people Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. But its official purpose is to remember and honor those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

Michigan is one of many states that lays claim to being the birthplace of the national holiday. However, like so many things in our nation’s past, Memorial Day stirred up controversy when it was created after the Civil War. 

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay.com / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There are few moments more stressful than witnessing your child in the grips of a mental health crisis.

In Kent County, parents who are in the middle of that situation can turn to the Children's Crisis Response Team operated by network180, the community mental health authority in Kent County.

Andrew Boekestein manages the team made up of mental health clinicians. He spoke with Stateside about the need for more services for kids experiencing a mental health crisis. 

racers at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from last year, 2017
Nic Redhead / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The finishing touches are being put on the Detroit Grand Prix course. This weekend, June 1-3, racecars will be screaming around the track on Belle Isle.

But not everyone is excited about the Grand Prix's presence on the island. This weekend's race has stirred up a long-standing dispute between backers of the race and critics who don't want the racecars and crowds in the public park.

map of Line 5
Enbridge

A report on Enbridge Energy's Line 5 pipeline titled “Canadian Profits, Michigan Risk” was released by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities Wednesday morning.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state health department is out with a new report on the deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The Michigan Department Health and Human Services makes an old claim linking most of the legionella cases to Flint’s McLaren hospital.

Kalamazoo
Public domain

 

A recent report from the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions finds the state has one of the largest populations of homeless students in the country. 

The school district with the highest number of reported homeless students in the state is Kalamazoo Public Schools, the state's 13th largest district.

The district is composed of 26 schools with approximately 13,000 students. The UM report found 904 of those students reported experiencing homelessness. 

The Mackinac Policy Conference is held at the Grand Hotel
Deb Nystrom / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference kicks off today.

Big names in Michigan politics, business, philanthropy, tech, education, and more will be on Mackinac Island for the annual event put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

darth vader sketch and darth vader costume
2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


When audiences first heard the trumpet fanfare of John Williams's theme for Star Wars, it was a jolt of pure movie magic.

Forty-one years later, the magic is still there, and Star Wars continues to hold a Darth Vader-like grip on our imagination.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is tapping into that magic with its newest exhibit, Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

Poetry can be a powerful tool for expressing yourself.

That's certainly the case for James Scarborough and Ciera Dozier from Arts Academy in the Woods, a performing arts magnet school in Fraser, Michigan.

Earlier this month, Scarborough and Dozier were part of the team that took first place at Louder Than a Bomb, a statewide slam poetry festival. 

A graph shows that Black people have accounted for roughly 20% of the population of Grand Rapids for the last 5 years, while they've accounted for about 40% of the traffic stops.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

 


A year ago, the City of Grand Rapids released a study showing that black drivers are twice as likely to get pulled over as white drivers.

 

Since 2015, the most recent year considered by the study, the entire Grand Rapids Police Department underwent racial bias training. So we wondered, has anything improved for black drivers in Grand Rapids?

University Of Chicago Press, 2017

 

When was the last time you heard about a politician who realized she or he needed to change to help the country – that former ways had to be put aside to foster bipartisan cooperation for the good of the country? 

 

A U.S. senator from Michigan, Arthur Vandenberg, was such a person. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Distillers in Beer City, USA are turning beer into whiskey.

Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids has been working with (so far) four local breweries to produce some distinctive whiskeys. Look for more in the series in 2018.

The Cheers! team of Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings and Lester Graham of Stateside had to check that out.

A chain-link fence and barbed wire
Max Pixel

 


Last year, a state prisoner complained of chest pain and difficulty breathing. According to a Detroit Free Press report, 37-year-old John Stein at the Cotton Correctional Facility at Jackson went to the prison healthcare unit. A short time later, he was sent back to his cell. There, he collapsed and died.  

 

A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan Department of Corrections and a private company hired to handle inmate health care, Corizon Health. 

Natural gas plant
World Resources Institute

Utility companies are shutting down some of their older, less efficient coal-burning power plants. 

To generate the electricity to replace those old plants, utilities have to decide whether to build more coal-fired plant or go with natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy, or some combination.

DTE Energy recently decided to replace some of its older coal-burning plants with a natural gas burning plants, incorporating little additional renewable energy.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 


More than 30 bills in response to sexual predator Larry Nassar are moving from a House committee to the full House and back over to the Senate today.

Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually assaulting his patients.

Republican Representative Klint Kesto is chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. He's been leading the negotiations in the House over these bills. Kesto speaks with Stateside about some of the changes House committees have made to the Senate bills.

Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette / Facebook.com

 

It's just starting to feel like summer, but Michigan's candidates for governor are focused on November.

We've sat down with the Democrats running for their party's nomination. And now, we turn to those vying for a spot as the GOP's contendor.

Brooklyn, past and present
Village of Brooklyn

Cities, towns, and villages across Michigan are struggling to provide basic services, like road maintenance. Local budgets face reduced revenue sharing from the state and are also limited in how much money they can generate through taxes, a result of the Headlee Amendment of 1978.

multicolored shipping containers in a ship yard with imported goods
Jan Buchholtz / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

President Trump is considering tariffs on imported cars, trucks, and parts.

That word came after a Wednesday morning tweet from the president, promising "big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers."

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s longtime senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry announced Tuesday he's stepping down.

His resignation comes after a May 17 story in Deadline Detroit titled “Jack Lessenberry’s Long History of Questionable Behavior with Women.”

Paula Reeves
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Last week, a 17-year old student opened fire at Santa Fe High School. He left 10 dead and 10 more injured.

With every mass shooting in the United States comes a cry to address the issue of mental health. Lawmakers say we need to identify these troubled kids — and get them mental health resources before something terrible happens.

An image of a silver bitcoin
Zach Copley / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or the more than 1500 other cryptocurrencies, are making some people rich. 

They're also opening up something new: your computer could be using its processor power, its memory, and your electricity to help make money for someone else. The process is called cryptojacking.

 

Ford Service Department employees assault a UAW organizer in what came known as the Battle of the Overpass
James E. (Scotty) Kilpatrick of the Detroit News / Battle of the Overpass photo courtesy of the Archives of Michigan

Do corporations have too much power and too little oversight? That question has dominated American society since the Civil War and it does not seem to be going away any time soon.

Over the decades, the political pendulum has swung back and forth between workers’ rights and corporate power.

Dripping faucet
Aunt Jojo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

The EPA held a national PFAS Summit in Washington on Tuesday to dive into issues surrounding the per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances which have contaminated groundwater in sites across the country, including 31 known sites here in Michigan. 

Group of five people in graduation cap and gown
User Kyle James / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Foster care advocates gathered in Lansing Tuesday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Fostering Success Michigan.

The statewide initiative's mission is to help teens and young adults who've been in foster care graduate from college and build successful careers. 

Getting a college acceptance letter is exciting for most students, but especially for those who've spent time in the foster care system. That's because only 20 percent of graduating teens who've been in foster care make it to college. 

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