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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.

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.

man at whiteboard


It was born in the throes of Detroit’s bankruptcy: the idea to take the aging, debt-ridden Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and transform it into a regional entity.

The Great Lakes Water Authority seems to be stoking a true spirit of cooperation in Southeast Michigan and performing the way its designers hoped it would.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us today to talk about why it’s so important that the regional water authority succeeds and how it’s helping Detroit’s debt problems.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty (left) interviews Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) with Stateside Executive Producer Joe Linstroth in Ann Arbor on October 6, 2016.
Mitchell Rivard

Republicans and Democrats have made it clear that the state of Michigan is in play for the 2016 presidential election.

Another high-profile campaign visit to the state comes in the form of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. He is making stops in four cities (Dearborn, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Rapids) stumping for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Simon Blackley/flickr /

The Next Idea

A child's first day of school can be both an exciting and stressful time for a parent, especially for those who are starting out in a new country. The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) has created a program to help immigrants adapt to their new community and prepare their children for school.

Mary Whalen

After three years of writing, arranging and recording, Red Tail Ring’s Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo are out with their new album.

It’s called Fall Away Blues. It blends new folk songs on subjects ranging from gun violence and fracking to our deepest relationships and changing sense of place. It also features some old traditional ballads and tunes.

Wayne State University Press

Many women can relate to the witching hour. In the middle of the night, you wake up and have trouble falling back to sleep because your mind is racing. Concerns about the upcoming day, anxiety about the mounting to-do list while, oftentimes, your partner sleeps soundly next to you. The Witching Hour is the title of the first story in a collection of “flash fiction” – not short stories – by Detroit-based writer Desiree Cooper, titled Know The Mother.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio


Today is Count Day here in Michigan. That's when every student sitting at his or her desk translates into state dollars for that district.

Across the state, schools are using a variety of tactics to ensure maximum attendance, including robocalls to parents, picture days and prizes for kids who turn up to school.

Flickr user anderfhart/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It's been 20 years since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed during the Clinton administration, and the TV and radio industry claims to still feels its effects.

The legislation sparked public controversy because of the changes it brought to broadcasting, having introduced media cross-ownership and being the first update in government policies for communications in over 60 years. Today, smaller, independent programmers continue to compete with growing media giants in securing a hold on the market.

Flickr user sin9e/Flickr /

As more and more people turn to bicycles for transportation, fun and fitness, one might think it would be great to be able to bike between Detroit and Windsor. 

Once upon a time, that was possible. But no more.

Cyclists on social media write of being able to ride, even walk across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor and back.

But after Matty Maroun bought the Ambassador Bridge, the bike and pedestrian walkway was replaced by wider lanes to better handle 18-wheelers. 

Max Nussenbaum is the CEO of Castle, a company looking to make property management simpler and more efficient
Courtesy of Generation Startup

What's the barrier between you and the life you truly want to lead?

That's one of the questions Cheryl Miller Houser explores as co-director of the documentary film Generation Startup.

It follows some young entrepreneurs as they build startups in Detroit. They try, stumble, learn, and try again.

A brown marmorated stink bug is shown in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Michigan State University Department of Entomology

If you've seen a small shield-shaped brown insect slowing crawling on the walls inside your home, you might be housing one of Michigan's newest invaders: the brown marmorated stink bug.

This particular stink bug doesn't harm humans. They don't bite or spread disease, but they do eat plants and tree fruit. Since they first hitchiked to the United States about 20 years ago, but weren't seen in Michigan until 2010, they have become a pest to farmers and gardeners alike.  

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of the partial meltdown at the Fermi 1 nuclear power plant next to Lake Erie. The plant, located a few miles northeast of Monroe, inspired the 1975 book We Almost Lost Detroit by reporter John Grant Fuller. 

The owner of the Fermi 1, DTE, published its own account of the meltdown called We Did Not Almost Lose Detroit. DTE says what happened at Fermi 1 has been exaggerated.

Michael Keegan, a member of the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, joined Stateside to look back at the near-disaster half a century ago, where nuclear technology is at in 2016, and where it's going. 

Shayan Sanyal /

Last month on Sept. 10, there was an incident at the Kinross Correctional Facility. It started with a peaceful demonstration by prisoners and ended with a fire, smashed windows, and other vandalism. 250 inmates were moved to higher security prisons.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Times are changing for the funeral industry. And a Traverse City company is right at the forefront of those changes.

In 1960, about 3.5% of Americans were cremated. But in 2015, for the first time, more Americans were cremated than buried. And by 2030, that percentage is expected to hit seventy percent. That’s a big shift.

First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter stand during dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in 2013.
Public Domain


A recent Boston Globe piece from Mark Peters takes a look at the title “first lady,” calling it an “archaic term.”

We don’t use the term “lady” very often these days, he argues, save for when referring to the wife of the president.

How did we arrive at the title “First Lady” in the first place, and why do we still use it?

Flickr user Summer in the City/Flickr /


One of the organizations to rise from the ashes of the 1967 uprising in Detroit was Focus: HOPE.

It’s many things to many people, but primarily it’s a career training center for about 900 people each year, and a distributor of food to approximately 40,000 senior citizens in 42 Detroit-area communities each month through a United States Department of Agriculture program.

This summer Focus: HOPE got a new CEO. His name is Jason Lee.

SafeHouse Center director Barbara Niess-May told us community is key in preventing domestic violence and protecting victims.

A couple of weeks ago in Dearborn Heights, four children were killed and their mother was bound, slashed with a box cutter and shot in the foot.

The man charged with the crime is her husband. The same man murdered his previous wife in 1991.

To talk about the best ways to hold domestic violence assailants accountable and keeping victims or potential victims safe, we turned to Barbara Niess-May, director of SafeHouse Center in Washtenaw County.

"The traditional classroom style was not the best way to teach this type of information ... Once the guys were able to see hands on what it meant to run a business using the food truck as a classroom, it completely changed what they thought," Harris said.
Steven Depolo /

The Next Idea

The Skillman Foundation has awarded $50,000 each to six different programs in connection with the My Brother’s Keeper Detroit Innovation Challenge.

One of the six is Giving Them the Business. The goal is to teach young men of color to be owners and operators of restaurants, not just hired help, according to a release from the foundation.

Jerrell Harris coordinates Giving Them the Business. He joined us today.

Campaign signs
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

People complain about political ads, robo-calls interrupting dinner, and mailboxes full of campaign literature.

But there’s another sign of election season: political yard signs. Candidates love them. Political consultants say they’re a waste of time and money.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

If there’s an unwanted thicket in your backyard, you know getting rid of it isn’t easy.

Bushes, shrubs and invasive species can be in hard-to-reach places. And beating down the weeds once, with bobcats or brushcutters, doesn’t mean they won’t sprout up again later.

That’s why father-son duo Mike and Doug Mourer of Twin Willow Ranch have been working their way around southeast Michigan with goats in tow.

They call their service “all-natural brush clearing.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

“I was listening to Michigan Radio and I heard about this beer tax being debated,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said as she poured rye into a stainless steel mixing cup for a cocktail. “That tax has a little bit to do with the cocktail I chose today,” Coxen said.

It’s called the sawbuck, which is an antiquated term for a ten dollar bill. If the bill passes, ten dollars would not quite cover the increased tax on a keg of beer.