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Families & Community

Stateside 7.13.2017

Jul 13, 2017

Today on Stateside, we get to know a low-income family that scrapes by on government assistance and odd jobs. And, we hear how this weekend's festival on Belle Isle aims to create community connections through wind, wind crafts, and string.

Courtesy of Detroit Kite Festival

Bringing people together through the age-old practice of kite flying: That is the goal of the Detroit Kite Festival, happening this Sunday on Belle Isle.

Russell Sage Foundation, 2016


The Trump administration’s proposed budget would potentially cut housing subsidies, child care assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other programs that serve the poor by staggering amounts.

In response to that, Stateside is beginning a new series looking at the so-called working poor — who they are, what challenges they face and what policy changes might help the most people.

Courtesy of Wil Rankinen

There is no better reminder of what a diverse state we live in than contemplating the differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

Wil Rankinen​ is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Grand Valley State. He's also a born and raised "Yooper." Rankinen is spending his summer exploring the way Yoopers talk by criss-crossing the UP to record long-time residents.

COURTESTY OF SHELDON HILL

Is there hope for a new life after being addicted to drugs or selling drugs?

Detroiter Sheldon Hill is proof there is.

After years of selling and using drugs, and multiple arrests, Hill went into an addiction recovery program. He was in his 40s. And it worked.

Today, Hill's sole mission in life is to keep others from making the mistakes and choices he made as a young man.

Courtesty of LINCS

The Next Idea

Parents of children on the autism spectrum face significant challenges in getting the right education, support and other life tools for their kids. But the difficulties don’t go away when these kids grow up. Can they live alone, support themselves, be a part of society? And what happens when their adult caregivers age out of watching over them?

Keeria Myles sits on the front porch of her small white bungalow
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

 

Keeria Myles moved into a little white bungalow on Rosemont Ave. in Detroit last January. She had a furnace and water heater installed, and was starting to remodel the kitchen.

But then, she got a letter saying the house was in tax foreclosure and would be auctioned in September. Shortly after that, her water got shut off.

Stateside 7.5.2017

Jul 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, we explore what it means to be black and Muslim in Michigan. We also hear new music from groups in West Michigan, and we learn about the ghost town often called "Michigan's Pompeii."

postcard of singamore michigan
Courtesy of the Archives of Michigan

When you hear the words "ghost town," you might imagine a dusty, vacant place in the Old West, where cowboys once tread.

Well, think again because Michigan has its share of ghost towns, too. 

Mark Harvey from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to talk about one of them: Singapore, Michigan. 

David Sanchez and his son Benicio, who has Autism Spectrum Disoder.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell spoke to some Michigan parents of children with special needs today about what a future without the Affordable Care Act would be like.

More specifically, Dingell talked about the possibility of those families losing Medicaid if the Senate Republican healthcare bill is passed.

Stateside 6.30.2017

Jun 30, 2017

Today on Stateside, we rebroadcast some of our best Friday stories, and we hear about the blight and illegal dumping happening in some Detroit neighborhoods.

Kaye Lafond

Controversy and protest erupted in the small Northern Michigan village of Kalkaska last week, centering on anti-Muslim Facebook posts written and shared by village President Jeff Sieting.

Last Friday, about 100 protestors gathered to demand Sieting's resignation.

Stateside 6.29.2017

Jun 29, 2017

Today, the state sues the city of Flint to force it to accept its own mayor's plan to stay with water from Detroit. Then, the village president of Kalkaska is not backing down from his controversial anti-Muslim Facebook posts. We talk with him and a critic from the group Redneck Revolt.

DUSTIN DWYER / Michigan Radio

A Grand Rapids non-profit group is hoping to boost the inventory of affordable housing in West and Mid-Michigan.

The Inner City Christian Federation is working to secure 177 houses in the Grand Rapids and Lansing areas.

CEO Ryan VerWys said the price of homes in Grand Rapids is going up “way faster” than people’s income.

a banner that says redneck revolt and we stand with you in arabic
Courtesy of Timothy Grey

A group called Redneck Revolt was in Kalkaska last Friday protesting the posts on Village President Jeff Sieting’s Facebook page.

Redneck Revolt is an organization whose goal is “to provide community defense for areas around this country at this time that are experiencing any kind of racial-based, misogynist-based, LGBTQ-based aggression and hate actions,” said Timothy Grey with Redneck Revolt.

Wikimedia Commons

Stories like that of Nicole Beverly, whose abusive husband is set to be released from prison in August despite alleged threats to kill her and her children, are nothing new for Barbara Niess-May, executive director of SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor.

“Her story is common, in that there are many survivors who find themselves needing to relocate because of the assailant,” Niess-May said. “What’s uncommon is the fact that she has gone public with her story.”

Stateside 6.27.2017

Jun 27, 2017

Today, we hear from a domestic abuse survivor who's fighting to keep her ex-husband behind bars as his parole date approaches. Also, as the Education Achievement Authority dies this week, we discuss what the state's experiment in running a school district has taught us.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A non-profit in Grand Rapids says it’s reached an agreement to buy 177 homes to preserve affordable housing in the region.
The Inner City Christian Federation, or ICCF, plans to buy the homes from a Chicago-based investment company, known as RDG. Michigan Radio first reported in April that RDG had quietly become the single largest investor in single family homes in Grand Rapids, with more than 140 properties in the city alone.

ICCF says its purchase agreement is for 177 homes in Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Eaton Rapids, near Lansing. 

veterans on bikes
Courtesy of Project Peace Peddlers

They served and protected the United States while in the military. Now, as veterans, they’re volunteering to serve and protect Detroit — and they're doing it on bicycles.

Project Peace Peddlers brings together all ages of veterans, from those who served in Vietnam to those who've just returned from Afghanistan. 

IRA GELB / CREATIVE COMMONS

In recent years, we've heard a lot more reports about law enforcement cracking down on human trafficking. In Michigan, a researcher is discovering that finding victims of human trafficking is different from finding help for those victims.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The small town of Zeeland could be the latest in Michigan to restructure its police department.

The city has a new fact-finding committee to look at options for the department. The current police chief is set to retire in about a month.

Mayor Kevin Klynstra says the city may be able to save money by making changes to the department.

A very large leather-vested man with a bald head and full beard gets in the face of a much smaller man, also bald, wearing glasses and a red handkerchief around his neck.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A northern Michigan town is divided over a local official's Islamophobic Facebook posts.

Jeff Sieting is the village president of Kalkaska.

He's come under fire for a series of Facebook posts that call for violence against Muslims and other minority groups.

About 100 protestors calling for Sieting’s removal gathered in downtown Kalkaska last night.

Children walking down a path together
public domain

Negotiations will continue through the summer on legislation to change the rules on how child custody is determined in divorces.

State Rep. Jim Runestad’s (R-White Lake) bill would make equal custody the default position in divorces. He says, right now, judges have too much discretion and the proof of that is wide disparities between counties in how custody is granted.

“It’s a horrible, horrible system for kids and it’s got to change,” he says.

Runestad says the current system invites conflict between parents vying to win custody.

Courtesy of former U.S. Army Spc. 5 James McCloughan

He spent 40 years teaching geography, sociology and psychology at South Haven High School.

He coached football, wrestling and baseball, and he made it into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

But another honor awaits James McCloughan next month.

Stateside 6.20.2017

Jun 20, 2017

It's World Refugee Day and today we revisit a Syrian refugee family we met just about a year ago, when they first arrived in Michigan. We hear how they've found some stability in their new home. Also today, we learn what the upcoming vote to replace the Affordable Care Act could mean for the small business community.

JOE LINSTROTH / Michigan Radio

Michigan is a top destination in the U.S. for Syrian refugees. Just this year alone, more than 600 have settled here, according to the State Department.

Among the hundreds who have fled their homeland for Michigan is a young family of five that we introduced you to almost a year ago.

They came here in April of 2016, trading the violence and death in the Syrian city of Homs for a sparsely furnished, rented corner duplex in a modest neighborhood in Dearborn.

Toxic Town: Michigan's most polluted zip code

Jun 19, 2017
Bill Kobuta

Usually, with a new playground, library or community center comes a dedication ceremony with speeches by local leaders. It might even make front page news.

But an air monitoring station? Yes, an air monitoring station installed in a part of Southwest Detroit is cause for celebration.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jerry Paffendorf​, CEO of Loveland Technologies based in Detroit and the San Francisco Bay Area, thinks Wayne County’s heavy reliance on late tax payments to balance its once-out-of-whack budget is creating a push to foreclose on homes, rather than do all it can to keep people in their homes.

“To put it very succinctly," he said, "Wayne County makes more money when people don’t pay their taxes on time than when they do."

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Detroit's Chaldean, Iraqi communities scramble to act following ICE detentions

Jun 19, 2017
Julia Kassem

On Monday, June 12, dozens gathered outside the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield to protest a recent wave of ICE raids that targeted, captured and detained dozens of Iraqi Americans at multiple locations across Metro Detroit, including local churches, homes and even a hospital.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

When it comes to building love and connection between mother and baby, it’s hard to beat the ancient magic of a lullaby.

Those moments holding your baby, singing a lullaby, can live in a mother’s heart long after that baby is grown.

So imagine the extra power of a lullaby you write just for your baby. The Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project at the Flint School of Performing Arts helps young mothers do just that.

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