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Families & Community

Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

The state Department of Corrections says Michigan taxpayers spend millions of dollars on healthcare for terminally ill and medically fragile inmates. The department wants the Legislature to adopt bills that would allow the Michigan Parole Board to grant medical releases for prisoners who would otherwise not be eligible.

Chris Gautz is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. He says these are felons who are so frail they no longer pose a threat to the public.

Detroit shut water to 1 in 10 homes this year. Yes, that’s progress.

Dec 5, 2017
A customer walks into a Detroit Water Department customer service center
Joel Kurth / Bridge Magazine

So far this year, Detroit has shut water to more homes than exist in all of Muskegon. One in 10 residential customers lost service, at least temporarily, in Detroit.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says this is why he loves President Trump.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, meantime, is leading a chorus of criticism aimed at the president, who pushed right back on Twitter, telling the Prime Minister to take care of her own house.

All of this over the president's re-tweeting of anti-Muslim videos from a group called Britain First, which May calls "a hate group."

Roymundo VII / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Homelessness has a different look in a city than it does in rural areas, and somehow it feels easier to overlook.

Dennis Van Kampen, executive director and CEO of the Grand Rapids nonprofit Mel Trotter Ministries, joined Stateside to talk about a pilot program aimed at helping homeless families in rural Cedar Springs, and take on the problem of rural homelessness more broadly.

Practical Cures / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One of the very top mental health concerns in this country is anxiety. It’s sometimes hard to be clear about what anxiety is and how to recognize it, especially in children, but identifying a mental health issue like anxiety early on can make a huge difference for a child’s future success.

the Solanus Center

70,000 people are expected to pack Ford Field Saturday.

Not for a football game, but for a Mass to celebrate the life of a Catholic priest who is one step away from sainthood.

Fr. Solanus Casey died 60 years ago, but he continues to be an inspiration to many.  During his lifetime, he developed a reputation of a simple man who inspired faith and healed the sick.    

State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren.
bieda.senatedems.com

A teen was recently attacked in Muskegon County. Officials say it’s because he’s gay. Now prosecutors and lawmakers are calling on the legislature to expand the state’s hate crimes law.

A 17-year old boy was stripped of his clothes and assaulted. The evidence was clear to Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson – The teen was attacked because he was gay. But when he looked at the statute, he couldn’t charge the case as hate crime, which comes with increased penalties.

Hilson says it’s time for the Legislature to protect all citizens.

By rallying hunters, one man has donated more than half a million meals to shelters. He joined Stateside today. Also on the show, we learn why one group is putting books in laundromats and why Detroit's housing demolition program is "partially to blame" for rising lead levels in the city's kids.

Libraries Without Borders-US

The Next Idea

Pretend it’s Saturday. 

You and the kids are running errands, including a several-hour stop at the laundromat. They are bored, you are bored.... What if you could use that washer time for something like education? What if your laundromat had the services of a library? 

Well, over the summer, this started happening in Detroit. 

Courtesy of City Rescue Mission of Lansing

Think about this: providing enough meat to make more than half a million meals for people in need. That's over 100,000 pounds of meat, and much of it is venison.

That's the remarkable result of of Tom Cullimore's work through his effort called HOPE: Help Other People Eat. 

Detroit demo blitz linked to rising lead levels in children

Nov 14, 2017
measuring lead paint levels
Joel Kurth / Bridge Magazine

Lead levels among Detroit children are rising after decades of decline, and health officials say the city’s aggressive housing demolition program is partially to blame.

The city has razed nearly 13,000 homes since Mike Duggan was elected mayor in 2013. 

JANE KRAMER

Mid-Michigan, and particularly the Lansing area, has long been a landing spot for refugees.

To share their stories, a group of artists in Lansing has put together a storytelling exhibit and a book called Refuge Lansing: Stories of Resettlement in Mid-Michigan.

MorningSide: A Detroit Neighborhood

Nov 10, 2017
MorningSide
Mercedes Meija / Michigan Radio

Downtown Detroit is in the midst of a resurgence. However, business districts in the neighborhoods are not seeing the same successes. The decline in population and the decline in wealth in many neighborhoods is keeping much of the city in a prolonged economic downturn.

Today on Stateside, Rep. Upton says the Republican tax plan will make us "more competitive with the rest of the world." We also hear about a program that helps veterans find camaraderie through beekeeping. And, after being released this spring, a former juvenile lifer talks college, forgiveness, and second chances.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The ACLU is trying to force the release of Iraqi detainees being held by federal immigration authorities. The civil liberties group filed a motion today with a federal judge in Detroit.

This is happening as the first round of detainees are getting their government files, which will allow them to start the process of having their cases re-opened.

Miriam Aukerman is an ACLU attorney. She says hundreds of detainees have been locked up for four or five months without a hearing.

Handguns
user Joshuashearn / wikimedia commons

In the wake of another mass shooting, the state Legislature took up bills to expand Michigan’s concealed carry laws.

Legislation would let people who get a special license carry a concealed weapon in places where they’re currently banned: places like schools and day cares.

Courtesy of Kathy Hay

One of the most profound and moving ways to observe Veteran's Day is to hear veterans share their stories.

That’s happening Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium as part of Stories of Service: An Evening With Veterans. During the event, six veterans will share stories of service ranging from World War II to Afghanistan. It’s a celebration of vets, their families, and their friends.

Kathy Hay will share her story on Wednesday. She served stateside in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era and then became one of the first uniformed female officers in the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Today on Stateside, Google's education evangelist says he's living proof that education disrupts poverty. We also learn watching TV is good for you – in space, that is. Also today, we hear about a prisoner awaiting resentencing while knowing he could get life without parole again.

BURGOS/JIMENEZ FAMILY

(Editor’s note: we recommend you listen to this story.) 

Jose Burgos was 16 years old when he shot and killed Omar Kaji. It happened during a bogus drug deal in 1991 in southwest Detroit. 

“The whole plan was, we’re going to make it look like – from the outside looking in – there’s 10 pounds of marijuana in this bag,” says Jose.

Today on Stateside we learn how a tiny Michigan town became the Magic Capital of the World. And, as Vietnam vets age, a Traverse City author asks Americans to hear their stories of war and coming home. We also talk about the highest wave ever recorded in Lake Superior, and why Michigan's auto insurance rates are so high.

Department of Defense

Kids in Michigan might get a new way to keep their criminal records clean. A bill in the state Legislature would let juveniles who meet certain requirements have their criminal record expunged – if they complete a rigorous school program.

“We want to give these guys and girls a fresh start in life when their initial rollout has been a little bit rocky,” said bill sponsor Representative John Bizon, R-Battle Creek.

baby
user tiarescott / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Every once in a while, you hear a news report about a newborn infant left in a dumpster or trashcan. Those stories can trigger feelings of sadness, loss, and bewilderment.

Before 2001, desperate parents in Michigan didn't have many options if they couldn't care for their newborn. Abandoning a child is a ten-year felony.

But in 2001, Michigan's Safe Delivery of Newborns law was passed. It allows parents to surrender their newborns inside a safe place, no questions asked. It's anonymous, safe, and legal.

Over 200 babies have been delivered to safety through the program.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

A new report by the the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan’s children of color fare worse in education and other areas than their counterparts across the U.S.

Obay Dabaja, Allison Vernon and, Keisha Dukes
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Enrollment in teacher preparation programs is down in Michigan. Fewer people are choosing to become teachers. There have also been reports in the last few years that some of the state’s newest teachers aren’t sticking around.

Three new teachers sat down with Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss the challenges, and rewards, of teaching in Michigan.

Kings College

Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children’s health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90.

Her family says in a statement that she died Wednesday of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia.

DeVos was the wife of Rich DeVos, who co-founded direct-sales company Amway and owns the Orlando Magic. He says she was “a wonderful wife and the heart of our family.”

Is Detroit coming back? It depends on the neighborhood.

Oct 17, 2017
Bridge Magazine

Detroit is at an inflection point. Maurice Cox can see it. So can the Rev. Aaron McCarthy, Jr. And their visions reveal much about a city brimming with possibility and problems.

The director of Detroit’s Planning Department, Cox has one of the best views at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. His eighth-floor window overlooks a downtown so revitalized that it’s practically unrecognizable from a few years ago.

“A lot of people who have been following Detroit’s recovery for a very long time have convinced me there’s something different about this one,” Cox said.

“People are seeing forward momentum. The streetlights come on at night. The lots are better maintained. Blight is coming down in everyone’s neighborhood. Little shops are popping up. Our downtown is on the upswing.”

Owe taxes? That’s OK. Wayne County will still sell you foreclosed homes.

Oct 12, 2017
Sarah Alvarez / Bridge Magazine

Wayne County doesn’t always enforce a law that forbids tax delinquents from buying properties at its tax foreclosure auctions, contributing to a cycle of speculation that perpetuates blight, a Bridge Magazine investigation has found.

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Michigan Supreme Court has awarded more than $3 million in grants to circuit courts across the state.

The money will help pay for the Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, an intense probation supervision program in the state. The program is for high-risk, felony offenders who have a history of violating the rules of their probation. It offers specialized and structured help so they can finish their probation successfully – and stay out of trouble.

Roymundo VII / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The number of homeless people in Michigan declined 9% last year.

That shows Michigan's approach is working, says Kelly Rose.  She's Chief Housing Solutions Officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 

Rose says agencies now focus resources on those most in need, rather than first come, first serve.  And the approach is to get someone into housing first, then help them deal with problems like substance abuse or mental health.

G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University

Michigan may start tracking its sexual assault evidence kits. An amendment to the state’s budget would pay for the required software and training.

The kits contain swabs and other evidence gathered from a victim of sexual assault. Software would track the kit as it moves from hospital to police department to laboratory. It also sends out alerts if a kit has been in one location too long. 

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