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Families & Community

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

What's the future of Detroit's neighborhoods?

That was a question discussed by a panel at the 2015 Detroit Policy Conference

The panel included former city councilman Ken Cockrel, TechTown Detroit's Bonnie Fahoome, Victoria Kovari from the city's Department of Neighborhoods, and Tahirih Ziegler from the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp

Chez Chloe

Detroit-made mini lava cakes will soon be featured on Air France flights starting March 1.

Parisian-born Chloe Sabatier is the owner of Chez Chloe in Detroit where she specializes in traditional French lava cakes. She was stunned to learn her cakes would be on-board flights Air France flights from Detroit to Paris.

Flickr user Sean / Flickr

Almost 40% of Detroit households don't have Internet. That’s second in the nation only to Laredo, Texas.

Detroiter Brandon Moore is only a recent Internet adopter. The majority of his neighbors don't have Internet.

He says before he became connected, "it was kind of a feeling of being left behind, or left out. Not being able to experience everything that everyone else was talking about."

Deer.
user Noel Zia Lee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A recent community meeting in Ann Arbor illustrates a challenge urban areas throughout Michigan are facing: deer. Specifically, deer that are a road hazard or destroy parks and gardens.

Ann Arborites heard details of lethal or non-lethal ways to control the deer population.

A biologist from the city of Rochester Hills described his city's non-lethal program, relying on better road signage and much more community education.

Jason Lorenz / City of Flint

Flint Police K9 Officer Edo received a bullet resistant vest in a special ceremony today, after a crowdfunding campaign started by a neighborhood association successfully raised $3,500 online to buy the vest.

Officer Edo is a German shepherd, born and trained in Poland before being donated to Flint last year as the city’s sole K9 officer.

Michigan League for Public Policy

An annual report that looks at the well-being of children in Michigan shows more kids are growing up in poverty.

One in four kids lives in a household at or below the poverty line. But African-American children are twice as likely to live in poverty.

“The disparities are very troubling,” said Jane Zehnder-Merrell. She heads the project for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

A brick church
User VanZandt / Flickr- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Before you roll your eyes and grumble about what society is coming to, just hear these churches out for a second. 

"It was painful to hear that so many people weren't getting ashes until the evening," says Reverend June Marshall-Smith of Novi United Methodist.

She says growing up, she always got ashes in the morning, "to remind me all day how my faith is guiding me during the Lenten season."  

"[But now] churches had gone to only evening services and no longer morning services. So I was providing a morning service, but people who were not members of my congregation were not coming to that.

Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

Stay calm, and keep getting your paperwork in order.

That's the advice from immigration advocates in Michigan today, to families who were planning to apply for deportation protections starting tomorrow. Now that a federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked those new immigration programs, they'll have to wait to see how this plays out in court. 

Photo: Michelle Ann Photography

Michelle Balconi believes you can make economics something to “chat about” – and you can do it in a book aimed at children.

She’s a writer and a mother from Grosse Pointe Park who has teamed up with renowned Reagan administration economist Arthur B. Laffer and Clinton Township artist Mary Kinsora to create the book Let’s Chat About Economics, a nuts-and-bolts guide to economics.

The Woodward Spine

Neighbors of the Detroit Zoo are complaining about the noise -- and it's not the lions, the tigers, or the bears that they have a problem with.

It's the noise produced by the summer crowds the zoo brings in, various night-time events like concerts, and loudspeakers playing prehistoric dinosaur noises.

Rebecca Kruth

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed. Today: what's it really like to be a small-town mortician?

When Stateside's Rebecca Kruth lost her father, her family turned to Larry Skinner, the Eaton Rapids funeral director who's been helping the community say its goodbyes for years. 

As part of our Living with Death series, Kruth talked to Skinner about what it's like planning funerals in a town where everyone knows everyone.

user anonymonous / Flickr

  The most recent count of Washtenaw County's homeless population through the Point in Time Count showed a 24 percent decrease in the number of people on the streets and in shelters since 2013. 

Below is a graph of the change in the homeless population of Washtenaw over the last three Point in Time Counts. 

David Ohmer / Flickr

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed. Today: do you have any control of your social media presence once you're gone? 

It's safe to say that many of us live much of our lives online.

Where Grandma may have had precious old letters tucked into a trunk, we have emails stored on servers or in the Cloud. Where Mom had her photo albums or boxes stuffed with priceless photos, we've got ours on Flickr.

What happens to all of that when we die?

To find out, we talked to Michigan Radio's social media producer Kimberly Springer. She explains the price of not planning ahead to the day we are gone and the etiquette of handling deaths on social media.

Kathlene Rodgers

 

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed.

Today we talk about what changes the mortuary science field has experienced.

We know it’s inevitable, but death is not something that all people come to embrace. For those working in the profession of mortuary sciences, it is a fact of daily life.

Gustavo Medde / Flickr

Michigan's adoption law has changed over the years, but many adoptees still have to use a third-party called a "confidential intermediary" when trying to find their birth parent or learn more about their background.

Yesterday, we talked with Michigan Radio listener John Stempien about his experience as an adult adoptee in Michigan, and his frustration at not being able to access his birth records or his birth parents' medical history.

Tina Caudill is a birth mother who reunited with her child and now works as a confidential intermediary. She's also the Michigan representative for the American Adoption Congress.

John Stempien

When most of us go to the doctor, we probably don't think twice when we're asked about our family medical history: mom had this disease, dad's got that disease.

We also probably don't think twice about seeing faces that echo our own.

But if you were adopted in Michigan before 1980, these experiences don't come as easily.

Michigan Radio listener John Stempien wrote to us to describe his experiences as a pre-1980 adoptee in Michigan wondering how many others are in the same dilemma.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

People will be hitting the streets Wednesday to count the number of homeless individuals in Washtenaw County. 

The count is a part of the Point in Time census that is conducted every other year and documents the sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the area. 

This year's count is especially important, because the county only has one year to end veteran homelessness to meet it's goal as a part of the national Zero:2016 Campaign. 

A classroom of students hard at work at MHacks.
Ari Sandberg

As a self-proclaimed geek with a passion for engineering, I have known my fair share of programmers. Whenever one of them tells me with a devilish gleam in their eye that they've been dabbling with hacking, I jump to the conclusion (often correctly) that they're up to no good.

So when I heard a “Hack-a-thon” was descending on the University of Michigan campus over Martin Luther King weekend, I immediately had a vision of my old robotics teammates: disheveled, manically excited, awake only by the grace of Mountain Dew, trying to break into the secrets of the free world. 

GsGeorge / WIKIMEDIA Commons

Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority may start an ambassadors program, similar to the one now in place in Grand Rapids.

City ambassadors can perform a wide range of services – from directing tourists to landmarks, to opening doors for people at large events, to handing out umbrellas to visitors on rainy days.

Susan Pollay is Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.  She says if such a program starts in Ann Arbor, it would be "multi-faceted."

A handful of Detroit-based civic-building projects will receive grants totaling $10 million from the Ford Foundation this year.

The New York-based global charity, which has its roots with the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, has upped its philanthropic role in Detroit since the city’s bankruptcy.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is starting an effort to help people in a low-income housing complex connect with the rest of the city.

The Atherton East apartment complex is literally on the other side of the tracks.  It’s closer to strip joints than grocery stores. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Carriage Town neighbors in Flint are divided by more than fences these days.

A proposal to shrink the size of the neighborhood's historic district has pitted neighbor against neighbor.  

The neighborhood is just north of downtown Flint.   Many of the homes and buildings in the neighborhood pre-date the city’s auto industry. The neighborhood gets its name from Flint’s late 1800’s carriage manufacturing business.

The neighborhood now is a unique collection of restored and blighted homes.

A display shelf in the Moist Towelette Museum in East Lansing
John French

Let’s talk about unusual collections. There are museums for Mustard. Wax. Even toilet seats.

Prisons are overfilling with an increasingly aging population.
User kIM DARam / flickr.com

Getting tough on crime. For many, that means putting criminals behind bars, lengthy sentences, and tough parole guidelines.

from video posted by Opportunity Detroit
screen grab from YouTube

The “MHacks” hackathon will be hosted this weekend at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Jan 16-18).

According to the University of Michigan Engineering Department, the event is the largest student-run hackathon in the country. In 2014, the school says MHacks attracted over 1,200 college and high school students from 100 schools.

Nate Grigg / Flickr

The state needs to do more to protect kids in child care. That’s according to a new policy brief from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The document says the state would need to hire 140 additional child care facility inspectors to the 70 now working to make caseloads manageable.

Dr. Julie Silver.
juliesilvermd.com

In the battle against cancer, patients and physicians can pull out all the stops – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy.

If all goes as planned, the patient goes into remission and gets back to his or her life.

But what about the physical toll of all of these cancer therapies? Some treatments are inherently toxic.

Dr. Julie Silver is a physician, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and a breast cancer survivor. She's come up with a program of cancer rehabilitation and “pre-habilitation.”

Listen to our conversation with Dr. Julie Silver below.


kids looking at an e-book.
Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

Michigan families are preparing to ring in the New Year, but some kids may miss the festivities because they can't take their eyes off a screen. Mobile phones and tablets were among the hottest gifts this year, but experts are cautioning parents about the drawbacks of technology.

At Indiana University, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Ann Lagges says there are many positives to electronics, from educational uses to helping kids stay connected with friends. But, she says, moderation is key.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Ring in the New Year with a bell, not a bang.

That’s the message of a campaign to discourage Detroit’s unofficial tradition of celebratory New Year’s gunfire.

The Reverend Nicholas Hood III has spearheaded the campaign since 1997, when a Detroit woman, Sandra Latham, was killed by a stray gunshot.

There’s no real data on the subject, but Hood says there’s some evidence the campaign has worked.

Mitzvah Day is joint Jewish and Muslim day of service on Christmas

Dec 25, 2014
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of the Detroit-area Jewish and Muslim communities are joining together on Christmas for a day of good deeds in the Detroit area. It's called Mitzvah Day.

About 1,000 volunteers from both faiths will participate in 43 service projects across metro Detroit.

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