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Families & Community

Stateside 5.25.2017

May 25, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how one refugee built a new life in Grand Rapids after fleeing terrorism in Somalia. Also on the show today, we learn how Prop A keeps Michigan towns and cities strapped for cash, even as home values return to normal.

American flag fluttering against a blue sky
Corey Seeman/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ali Warsame's journey to become a permanent, legal resident of Michigan was long and difficult.

He fled the war in his homeland of Somalia, which is one of the six majority-Muslim countries included in President Trump's revised travel ban. Before eventually reaching Grand Rapids, he passed through Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine and Europe.

He was a teenager when he left Somalia. He told Stateside that one of the reasons he had to leave was that he felt pressure from terrorist groups, which were recruiting young people to join them.

An elderly woman
Chris Goldberg / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some Democrats at the state Capitol say it’s time to take a new look at services for the elderly in Michigan, especially nursing home care. They say the need will become more critical as more Michigan residents get older and require assisted living.

State Representative John Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, says a study on the issue is a good first step.

Stateside 5.23.2017

May 23, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how one West Michigan school district is responding to student deaths by suicide. And, we learn why the future is uncertain for most business districts outside of downtown Detroit

Bev Sykes / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Throughout the presidential campaign, and certainly through the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Americans have been wrestling with anger, disappointment and frustration with friends and family who supported "the other" candidate.

Friendships have soured. Family get-togethers are often strained and sometimes openly hostile when political disagreements erupt.

It’s a growing divide that needs to be bridged. But how?

A man and woman on a porch at a house in Detroit
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A group of housing activists hopes to organize land contract buyers in Detroit and other cities.

Stateside 5.18.2017

May 19, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear one couple's story of overcoming infertility. We also learn why Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon has directed his staff not to honor ICE detainer requests unless very specific conditions are met. 

KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

President Trump appears to be keeping his campaign promise to go after unauthorized immigrants. 

 Federal immigration agents are arresting more than 400 immigrants a day. That’s a sizeable jump from levels a year ago.

Fair Winds Press, 2017

One of the greatest challenges a couple can face is infertility.

That struggle of trying to conceive can be so overwhelming that you feel you’re the only one who’s going through it.

That’s why a Michigan couple has come out with a book that shares ten different couples’ experiences with infertility, including their own.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: How to cash in on a crappy home. Step one: Find a sucker to sign a land contract.

May 18, 2017
Bridge photo by Joel Kurth

Denise Pope put a down payment on hope as much as a house.

Sure, the home wasn’t much: An 800-square-foot wood bungalow, barely big enough to contain her four children and husband. There were holes in the walls, probably from thieves getting to copper pipes. Like most empty Detroit homes, it lacked a furnace and water heater.

But it was in a good neighborhood, Rosedale Park, near a big playground. And the house came with a promise: Put $3,500 down, pay $500 per month plus $82 in taxes, and it would be hers in a little over two years.  

Stateside 5.17.2017

May 18, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how the downward spiral of public school funding in Battle Creek could end with a $51 million grant. And, a Michigan woman discusses grief, loss and finding common ground after an abortion at 21 weeks.

Photograph of a sunset over Torch Lake, Michigan
brentdaily / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Rachel Redmond had wanted to be a mother for a long time, ever since she was a little girl.

When she and her husband decided to have a child, Redmond became pregnant quickly.

“Everything was going according to plan, all of my early ultrasounds were perfect,” she said. 

Durfee Elementary-Middle School in Northwest Detroit
Jenna Belevender

 

Durfee Elementary-Middle School on Detroit’s northwest side is a spectacular neo-gothic building flush with architectural detail. As you walk through the main entrance, you’re greeted by highly decorative arches, rich paneling, and Pewabic-tiled floors.

 

Built in the early 1900s, generations of Detroiters have attended Durfee.  

 

Handguns.
user Ben Re / Flickr

Gun rights are up for debate in the state Legislature, again.

A set of bills to get rid of the requirement to carry a permit in order to carry a concealed pistol was up in front of a House committee Tuesday.

Advocates say the legislation is long overdue and the legislation wouldn’t take away the regulations on who can carry a firearm.

But opponents say it erodes gun safety.

kids walking in a school hallway
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Fewer teens  are dying from accidents and disease, but teen deaths from suicide continue to rise.

The Michigan chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering two programs to high schools for students, teachers and parents in an effort to address this issue.

Stateside 5.11.2017

May 11, 2017

Ahead of tomorrow's testimony, we speak with an alleged victim of Dr. Larry Nassar who says society doesn't understand the ramifications of sexual abuse. And we hear from the Ann Arbor firm that wants to be the digital "Mayo Clinic for addiction." 

DREW, COOPER & ANDING / YOUTUBE VIDEO

Today, seven women and girls are expected to testify against a doctor they say sexually abused them.

They are some of more than 100 women and girls who’ve alleged Dr. Larry Nassar abused them while they were in gymnastic programs at Michigan State University (MSU) or USA Gymnastics (USAG). Nassar was the team physician for both.

(To see how the allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar unfolded, click here.)

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Mom has sick husband, baby – and looming deportation to ‘home’ she’s never known

May 11, 2017

Maria Garcia Juarez hasn’t been to Mexico since she was a baby.

She is now 23. But with wavy, long dark hair, big brown eyes and a petite, delicate stature, the Detroit wife and mother looks more like a teenager than the criminal the U.S. government considers her to be.

Mental health administrators Nicole Lawson, Christina Nicholas, and Jillian Trumbell demonstrate at the Michigan Capitol
Rick Pluta / MPRN

There was a big rally at the state Capitol Wednesday to support improved mental health services and to oppose Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to overhaul how those services are paid for.

           

The Snyder administration and publicly funded mental health agencies have been at odds over an overhaul plan. It would allow private insurance companies to manage $2.5 billion in Medicaid funds earmarked for mental health.

Stateside 5.9.2017

May 9, 2017

Today, we tour Michigan's oldest prison with the historian who lives there. We also discuss the mental strain of a cancer diagnosis and a ranking of Michigan's most conservative lawmakers.

Wrapping up at the end of Detroit's cinco de mayo parade route in Clark Park.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s Cinco de Mayo celebration took place Sunday, two days after the actual Mexican holiday.

Families lined Vernor Avenue, southwest Detroit’s main thoroughfare, for the annual parade and festivities.

The parade was led by two students from Detroit’s Cesar Chavez Academy. Lourdes Escobedo carried the American flag, “representing the USA, and all the immigrants here in the USA,” while her classmate Stephanie Duran Lopez carried the Mexican flag.

Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Detroit

 

Pope Francis has elevated a Michigan priest another step closer to sainthood.

The pope announced that Father Solanus Casey, a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph in Detroit and one of the co-founders of the city’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, has been elevated from Venerable to Blessed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Pete / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Law enforcement and pharmacists are working together to curb methamphetamine production in the state.

It’s called the “Anti-Smurfing Campaign.”

Smurfing is the practice of buying cold and allergy medicine – like  Sudafed – that contain meth ingredients, for meth cooks.

Some of Michigan’s top law enforcement members met Thursday to announce the launch. It’s a partnership with pharmacies to display posters discouraging the practice.

Otis, an English Bulldog, is the library dog at the Ypsilanti District Library, reading a book in his dog bed.
Courtesy of Ypsilanti District Library

Children reading books to dogs.

It sounds too cute to be true. But it’s a real thing. Throughout the country, libraries are turning to canines to help children who may be struggling with their reading.

Stateside 5.3.2017

May 3, 2017

In its final State of Opportunity special, Stateside zooms in on three of the project's key focuses: infant mortality, early childhood education and what happens when young people age out of foster care.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

State of Opportunity began in 2012.

Since then, the State of Opportunity team has brought us hundreds of stories exploring the barriers to success that low-income kids and families in Michigan face.

Stateside 5.2.2017

May 2, 2017

Today on Stateside, Detroit's new top doctor explains her plan to curb lead poisoning and infant mortality in the city. And we learn why a workplace culture of "slights and indignities" makes it hard to prevent sexual harassment.

Stateside 5.1.2017

May 1, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Bohra activist against female genital mutilation who says a veil of secrecy keeps most women in the community from speaking out about the practice. And we learn what teachers' viral resignation letters reveal about the state of public education.

flickr user visionsofgrace / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

In some schools in Michigan, being a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or questioning high school student is welcomed and embraced. In other schools, LGBTQ kids have to stay in the closet or endure a backlash from homophobic students, or even teachers and administrators. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

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