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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  

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.”

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. 

Passengers prepare to board the high-speed rail in Minneapolis
Micheal Hicks / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The counties in Southeast Michigan cannot agree on a regional transportation plan. Regional unity, as is well known, is an uphill struggle in the state.

A new report, recently completed for Michigan Future, Inc., discusses another Great Lakes state that has had major success in creating a unified regional transportation for its citizens, among other things.

The new report by journalist Rick Haglund is called Regional Collaboration Matters: How Metro Minneapolis has forged one of the wealthiest and most livable metropolitan areas in the United States.

Site for Sustainable Business Park
Kent County Department of Public Works

As population increases so does waste, filling up landfills at a faster rate. One solution to this problem is to rethink the old ways of managing solid waste.

The Kent County Department of Public Works is doing just that.

The County has decided to take land designated for a future landfill and use it instead for a "sustainable business park." The park will house companies and technology that reuse, repurpose, or convert solid waste, generating economic development while saving landfill space.

Carl Cox - Douglas Wojciechowski / Movement Music Festival

Movement Music Festival, formerly known as DEMF, returns to Detroit this Memorial Day weekend. The event, now in its 19th year, draws electronic music fans from around the world, and has since evolved to include other genres such as jazz, funk and hip hop.

morels, mushrooms
Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

It’s that time of year again, when hunters hit the woodlands in search of that elusive Michigan delicacy: the morel mushroom.

Phil Tedeschi, vice-president of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club, gave me some foraging tips this month as we walked the woods of a secret location somewhere in Washtenaw County. 

Wikipedia

We are getting closer to the age of the autonomous vehicles, whether we like it or not.

Driving to work could soon be opening a laptop rather than sitting behind the wheel. And while this is expected, driverless cars will likely bring much more unexpected change.

Mark Wilson, professor and program director of Urban & Regional Planning at the School of Planning, Design, and Construction at Michigan State University, talked with Stateside today about what some of these changes may be. 

Michigan State University sign
MSU

John U. Bacon joined Stateside to discuss his thoughts on the $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and 332 survivors of abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Bacon very closely covered Penn State University as it worked its way past the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

He came to the studio to compare the two universities, and the different ways they dealt with their unfortunate predicaments.

Lily Holshoe in her Mermaid Nadie costume touching a fish
Courtesy of Lily Holshoe

 

If South Haven figures in your Memorial Day plans, get ready: You're going to see mermaids, mermen, and even merkids. 

It's the first-ever Mermaid MegaFest – four days of celebrating merfolk while focusing on preserving our natural freshwater resources. 

Kristina Stonehill

When you think of a mermaid story, maybe an ocean comes to mind.

But couldn’t a mermaid live in the Great Lakes? Lake Michigan maybe?

Writers Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen posed that question to each other ten years ago. Their new book is called The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti at a Detroit school
Erin Einhorn / Chalkbeat

 

Nikolai Vitti is marking the one-year anniversary of becoming the superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Erin Einhorn, editor for Chalkbeat Detroit, joined Stateside to break down Vitti's first year for us. 

Former Governor John Engler
WikiCommons

We know now that Michigan State University has reached a possible settlement with more than 300 victims of sexual assault.

The lawsuit stems from the actions of former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar sexually assaulted young women for years under the guise of treatment.

The proposed settlement would give $425 million to the current victims – and set aside $75 million for victims who come forward in the future.

http://www.senatormikeshirkey.com/

After scathing criticism of a proposed Medicaid work requirement many saw as racist, the lawmaker behind the plan is backing off.

Under the plan, people who live in Michigan counties with more than 8.5 percent unemployment would've been exempt from the work rule.  Those are rural, mostly white counties. 

group bikeride in Detroit
Russ / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The bike share program, MoGo Detroit, turns one year old this month.​ 

Lisa Nuszkowski, founder and executive director of MoGo, joined Stateside to discuss the company’s first year of business, its mission of equity, expansion goals, and methods for evaluating success.

401(K) CALCULATOR / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1XMSZCG

It’s an election year and in addition to candidates, there will be a number of proposals on the ballot. A crucial ingredient for any successful ballot campaign is cash, lots of cash.

Several of the ballot campaigns have raised nearly $1 million already.

Alex Porbe / Incite Design

There are people in Michigan who are quietly making pieces of art with a purpose beyond art. 

One of them works in Detroit at a nondescript shop on Mack Avenue. Alex Porbe is with Incite Design, a  fabrication and custom design firm.

Porbe works with architects and project managers, working up designs to complement existing architecture or making a design statement.

Plaque for city of Detroit and Wayne County on the side of the Spirit of Detroit
Mumu Matryoshka / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

The city of Detroit is suing Dan Gilbert's real estate company, Bedrock Management, for refusing to turn over personal information of its apartment building tenants.  

The city wants to find out if people who live at several Gilbert properties have paid their city income taxes. 

Chase and Drew Kegley headshot
Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

 


 

The world of video games is meeting the world of school athletics.

 

This weekend brings the final round of a three-month online gaming competition among 32 Michigan high schools.

Michigan Trump supporters
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Stanley Greenberg wants to know what makes the white, working class voters of Macomb County tick.

In 1985, the long-time Democratic pollster and strategist did a now-classic study of "Reagan Democrats" -- the white voters, mostly auto workers, who went for John Kennedy by 63% in 1960 and then Ronald Reagan by 66% in 1984.

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