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Families & Community

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of a Detroit police officer who died after his unmarked patrol car crashed on the city's southwest side.

 The flags will be lowered Tuesday for Darren Weathers on all state buildings and within the Capitol complex. State residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations can follow suit.

SCREENGRAB - NEWS4JAX / WWW.NEWS4JAX.COM

After 17 students were killed in a Florida school last week, some high school students in Kalamazoo decided they needed to do something.

Under the banner of “Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won’t,” eight students drafted a petition and put it up on Change.org, a popular petition website.

Stateside 2.16.2018

Feb 16, 2018

Today on Stateside, a reporter explains how race is still a factor in whether you're approved or denied a conventional mortgage. And, we learn how to judge whether or not a business benefits the community.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America / Creative Commons

Fifty years ago, the practice of barring people from buying houses in certain neighborhoods or declining home loans because of race or ethnicity became unlawful.

But a new investigation finds it’s still happening.

The University of Michigan will receive a $4.3 million gift that will, in part, help to support an education partnership involving schools in West Michigan.

The gift announced this week from Grand Rapids business and community leaders Mike and Sue Jandernoa will benefit the School of Education's TeachingWorks organization, establish a needs-based scholarship at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and expand Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy fellowships.

More Washtenaw congregations join sanctuary movement

Feb 14, 2018
Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

There are now eight congregations in Washtenaw County committed to providing or supporting sanctuary for immigrants and refugees threatened with detention or deportation.

That's up from three last August, according to Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary, an interfaith coalition of Washtenaw County faith communities whose leaders gathered today to condemn U.S. immigration policy and to fight deportations.

According to WCS representatives, the  eight Washtenaw congregations are part of a growing movement of sanctuary faith communities currently estimated at 800 nationwide.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Board of Trustees at Michigan State University knows exactly where they stand with the Faculty Senate.

By a vote of 61-4 yesterday, the Faculty Senate approved a vote of no-confidence in the Board.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

What do we do about the "DREAMers," the hundreds of thousands of people who were brought to this country illegally as children by their guardians or parents?

The answer to this question still eludes Congress, despite two brief government shutdowns that happened in large part over legislators' inability to agree on a solution.

Macomb County awarded site for new Great Lakes Nature Center

Feb 13, 2018
Wikimedia

The Detroit Zoological Society announced Tuesday that waterfront locations are being considered in Macomb County along Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River for a new Great Lakes Nature Center.

The center will be focus on the water and wildlife of the Great Lakes, including fish, habitats for "native amphibians, reptiles, turtles, small mammals, shorebirds and birds of prey", and a butterfly garden. 

Founder of Art Van Furniture dies at 87

Feb 13, 2018
Art Van Elslander portrait
Art Van Furniture

The founder of Michigan-based Art Van Furniture retail chain, Archie A. Van Eslander, passed away Monday at the age of 87 from complications related to lung cancer.

A native of Detroit, Van Elslander was the son of a Belgian immigrant. He started peddling papers and working in his father’s bar as a young boy. At age 14, he discovered his love of fashion when he took a job working at a local menswear store, the company said.

EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

A skillful mining of data can give you a pretty good snapshot of how groups of people are faring -- for better or for worse.

Sarah Szurpicki wanted to find out how Michigan women are faring in education, health, and the economy.

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library

As part of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Celebration, the University of Michigan Library brought StoryCorps to campus last fall to capture personal stories of those who make up the university’s rich history.

One of the conversations featured Karen Downing, a University of Michigan librarian. She sat down with her father, Harold Johnson, to talk about what it was like for him to make history as the first black dean at the University of Michigan.

RGHA 1913 / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Great Migration was one of the most significant population shifts of the 20th century. In the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans migrated out of the South and settled throughout the United States.

Now, a University of Michigan study shows that the Great Migration helped the next generation, the children of those men and women who left the South.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

​The entire Michigan State University community is carefully watching what happens in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

That includes parents who are alums and have children who are currently attending MSU.

Ann Gallagher, an ’87 graduate and Co-President of the Calhoun County Spartans’ Alumni Club, and Jim Cain, an ’89 graduate from the Journalism School, joined Stateside to discuss their concerns about how MSU has handled the scandal. Both have children currently attending MSU.

scales of justice
North Charleston / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - A Polish-born doctor who legally came to the U.S. as a child is expected to be released from a Michigan jail following his arrest by immigration agents over misdemeanor convictions 25 years ago.

 WWMT-TV reports Lukasz Niec could be released Thursday from jail in Battle Creek. Bond was set at $10,000 during a hearing Wednesday.

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

The Michigan Department of Corrections announced that a prison in Muskegon Heights will close in March.

Nearly 175 people work at the West Shoreline Correctional Facility. The Michigan Department of Corrections says it plans to do what it can to ensure that all employees have a job when the prison closes.

The main reason for the closure is because the state’s prison population is down, according to The Michigan Department of Corrections.

Chris Gautz, a spokesperson for MDOC said the closure shows the state’s correctional system is working.

Survivors of Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick and Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It's been a tumultuous week in East Lansing, home of the Spartans.

President Lou Anna Simon resigned on Wednesday, and Athletic Director Mark Hollis stepped down Friday, in response to mounting rage over the school's handling of Larry Nassar.

John Auchter / http://auchtoon.com/

On Monday this week, while our nation celebrated the life and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., immigration officials were actively deporting a family man from Lincoln Park, Michigan.

Jorge Garcia came to America 30 years ago when he was a 10 year-old boy, brought by undocumented family members. He built his life here: a wife and two teenage children (all US citizens), a home, a career as a landscaper, and a law-abiding, tax-paying member of the community.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

 

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced that she has invited Cindy Garcia of Lincoln Park, MI to be her guest at the 2018 State of the Union in Washington, DC. Ms. Garcia is the wife of Jorge Garcia, the 39-year-old father of two who was recently deported to Mexico this week after living in the United States for 30 years.

Congresswoman Dingell spoke directly to ICE officials at the Detroit Field Office to obtain an extension for Mr. Garcia, which allowed him to stay in the country through the holidays until January 15. 

Stateside 1.16.2018

Jan 16, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear victims give emotional testimony as sentencing begins for Larry Nassar. And, with three kids, two houses, and a business, we learn why one Salvadoran couple might have to leave it all behind.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

In 2001, the U.S. government granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 200,000 migrants from El Salvador after a pair of earthquakes struck their country. 

Paige Pfleger / WHYY

A few miles from the heart of Detroit’s downtown, sandwiched between diverging freeways is a sort of microcosm of the city: a factory, a boarded-up warehouse, and a handful of homes surrounded by the kind of sprawling yards usually associated with the suburbs.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

After 30 years of living in the United States, Detroiter Jorge Garcia was deported to his native country of Mexico on Monday.

Garcia, a 39-year-old landscaper from Lincoln Park, came to the U.S. with an undocumented family member when he was 10 years old. He will be leaving behind his wife and two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens.

Climatalk .in / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Trump administration intends to restrict the flow of refugees and immigrants into the United States, causing concern for organizations that help refugees and asylum seekers.

Detroit’s Freedom House is one such organization. The former convent houses asylum seekers, supporting and guiding them through the process of gaining asylum status.

Courtesy of Jalyn-Spencer Harris, Alex Fluegel

The Next Idea

It’s fair to say that mothers need all the help they can get. Family and friends can step in, of course, but what about things like getting lactation advice, finding support groups, programs for kids, and most of all, finding other like-minded mothers?

Some metro areas seem to have lots of resources, but two Detroit residents connected over what they felt was a real lack of community in their city.

Stateside 1.5.2018

Jan 5, 2018

Today on Stateside, Congressman Paul Mitchell says the budget and infrastructure are some of the GOP's main priorities for 2018. We also hear from Flint resident Carma Lewis. She explains the challenges she and her neighbors still face today, two years after Gov. Snyder declared a "state of emergency" in Flint.

Stateside 1.3.2018

Jan 3, 2018

Should you worry about catching hepatitis A at Southeast Michigan restaurants? That answer comes today on Stateside. Also today, we learn that without a legislative fix, the new federal tax bill could mean Michiganders pay higher state income taxes. And, a sex trafficking victim advocate says, "There's no place for rescued kids and that's horrible."

Mindy Osantowski
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

As a young girl, Mindy Osantowski was a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of her then-step father. As a survivor and advocate in West Michigan, she sees major holes in the state’s awareness and care for current sex trafficking victims, especially young boys.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Bills aimed at reducing the availability of opioids were signed into law today.

The new laws, among other things, require doctors to check an opioid registry before prescribing certain opioids. This is aimed at preventing people from so-called “doctor shopping."

Doctors had originally expressed reservations about having to use the registry so frequently. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says lawmakers waited until the system was faster and more up to date before requiring its use.

A Detroit street with trash on the side
Mike / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There are a lot of facts and figures to consider when it comes to poverty and well-being in Michigan. A new map makes that data much easier to track down.

The online map was developed by the University of Michigan's Poverty Solutions initiative. It's meant to help policymakers, community organizations, and the public better understand poverty in their communities.

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