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Families & Community

Anita Peppers/Morguefile

One dirty truth about child rearing is the high price of diapers, which can cost families from $70 to $80 per month per child. Congress is considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Michigan to help low-income families afford this necessity.

There are currently no federal programs that meet the need, according to Alison Weir, chief of policy and research for the National Diaper Bank Network.

Maan, Bayan, and their three children arrived in Dearborn in April. The family does not want their names or faces revealed because they fear any media attention could endanger their relatives still in Syria.
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

To understand the tragic toll of the civil war in Syria, you need look no further than the city of Homs.

The western Syrian city was held by rebels and under attack by government forces.

Four years ago, on February 22, 2012, American-born reporter Marie Colvin spoke to CNN from Homs, trying to describe her anger at the shelling of civilians in the city:

“There are 28,000 civilians, men, women and children, hiding, being shelled, defenseless.”

“So it’s a complete and utter lie that they’re only going after terrorists. There are rockets, shells, tank shells, anti-aircraft being fired in parallel lines into the city. The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.”

Shortly after that report, Marie Colvin and a young French photographer were killed when ten rockets blasted into their makeshift media center.

Urban farming is one way public space is being used in Detroit.
Flickr user Liz Patek / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

 

Private development has changed the face of Detroit. New restaurants, shops and houses have popped up in Midtown, Corktown and downtown Detroit. But what about public spaces?

 

Our latest contributor to The Next Idea is Anya Sirota, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. She’s also the principal of Akoaki, a practice in Detroit involving architecture, art and cultural infrastructure.

 

Sirota believes there aren’t enough public spaces in Detroit that offer openness and the opportunity to build a sense of belonging. She thinks public space is crucial to the health of a city.

Professor Ron Hall: More and more as we get closer to the next century ... we're going to come to a time when you won't be able to look at individuals and differentiate their so-called race based on their hair texture, eye color, skin color."
TS Elliott / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Race is very difficult for people to talk about.

Many white people want to believe we’re in a post-racial society. After all, we have an African-American president.

Many black people note the inequalities that exist, the segregation that exists.

How can Americans begin to have a real discussion about race when we’ve been comfortable in our own beliefs about that subject for so long?

Courtesy of Save the Flags

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Michigan was one of the states to quickly answer the call for volunteers. 

In fact, when the 1st Michigan Infantry marched into Washington that May, Abraham Lincoln reportedly exclaimed, "Thank God for Michigan!"

This coming Saturday, July 9, we're all invited to the State Capitol to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the return of the Civil War Volunteers and their battle flags, as well as the 25th anniversary of Save The Flags, the effort to preserve and display battle flags carried by Michigan troops in the Civil War.

Detroit's new Red Wings arena under construction.
Rick Briggs / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

A petition drive to get a proposed Detroit city ordinance on the ballot has hit opposition. The ordinance would require that new, large developments that use public money or land return some benefits to the local community. Benefits could include things such as employment preference for neighborhood residents, or health and safety measures.

Flickr user Jesús Corrius/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Adults with autism often face a life of unemployment despite the fact that many are brilliant and have exceptional skills.

The Autism Alliance of Michigan is encouraging employers to hire potential workers with autism, taking advantage of their skills while making considerations to accommodate the challenges people with autism face.

Steven Glowacki has an IQ of 150, scored a 1520 on the SAT and placed in the 95th percentile for a Certified Public Accountant test. The bottom line? He’s pretty darn smart.

Man in rainbow hat
Guillaume Paumier / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan's civil rights law offers protections based on race, religion, color, and national origin.

It doesn't currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people from being fired, denied housing or other forms of discrimination.

However, a growing list of Michigan cities have adopted measures to protect LGBT people.

The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason uses bumper stickers to spread their message.
First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason / Facebook

The First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose.

For Jeremy Hall, that religion centers around cannabis. 

Hall is a marijuana caregiver and an ordained minister. He's also the founder of a new church in South Lansing.

It's The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pastor says donations of bottled water to his Flint church have dried up in the past month.

Donations poured in from across the nation in the weeks and months after it was learned that Flint's drinking water was contaminated with lead. At times, the response nearly overwhelmed the effort to distribute water to Flint residents.  

Bishop Roger Lee Jones’ north side church parking lot used to be filled with pallets of water, but now the flood of donations has slowed to a trickle. 

Volunteer food packing at Zaman International in Inkster, MI, on May 20, 2016. Zaman, a charity specializing in assisting women and children in the local area, delivers the packages in advance of the beginning of Ramadan, the holy Islamic month where Musl
Shiraz Ahmed

This is the holiest season of the year for Muslims: Ramadan.

It's a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It's also a time of giving.

The Donaheys with their dog, Buddie, in front of their summer home.
Grand Marais Historical Society

If you're heading to the Upper Peninsula for a vacation this summer, you might choose to stay in a hotel. Maybe you'll camp out in a tent or camper. 

Or maybe, if you're like 20th century cartoonist William Donahey, you'll stay in a pickle barrel.

Maan, Bayan, and their three children arrived in Dearborn in April. The family does not want their names or faces revealed because they fear any media attention could endanger their relatives still in Syria.
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Among the hundreds of Syrians who fled their homeland for Michigan is a young family of five.

They came here just this past April, trading the violence and death in Homs for a sparsely furnished, rented corner duplex in a modest neighborhood in Dearborn.

We'll be bringing you the story of this young family on Stateside over the coming months as they settle into their new life in Michigan.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw and the crew of tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort cut through the ice as they escort motor vessel Algoway through the southeast bend in the lower St. Clair River near Harsens Island, Feb. 2, 2014.
Wikimedia Commons

The state has denied Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun a permit to build a bridge between Algonac  and Harsens Island.

The island in northern Lake St. Clair is currently only accessible by car ferry or boat.  

Most residents don't want a bridge, says Rhonda Wyscaver.  She's lived on the island for 27 years.

"We want to keep the island as peaceful as we can," says Wyscaver, a bartender at Sans Souci Bar.   "It's growing by leaps and bounds as it is.  But, the way we see it, if you want a city life, live in the city."

Flickr user Paradox 56 / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

There’s a shortage of candidates for school boards across Michigan. About 1,600 hundred seats will be open in 540 districts in the November elections. In the 2014 elections, approximately 70 seats were left open. Why don’t people want to serve on their local school boards?

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Jonathan Pommerville and Lisa Thompson live in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood. While they view their street as home, others view it as an off-the-radar place to dump trash and drive off. Some also view it as a place to engage the services of prostitutes.

In response to the actions of these “humpers and dumpers,” Pommerville and Thompson pull out their video camera.

The Michigan Department of Transportation's plans for construction on I-75 have hit a funding snag.
Flickr user dmitri_66 / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to widen Interstate 75 through Oakland County — but there’s a snag in the funding. A provision in a 1951 law requires cities or villages with a minimum of 25,000 residents, such as Troy, to pay a part for any highway construction within the state. But some residents whose communities fall under the provision don’t want to pay.

Mark Ilgen says ImPAT is a "psychotherapeutic ... non-pharmacological approach" to helping people adapt to and cope with their pain.
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some cities have been looking at a program that takes a different approach to people with addictions who sometimes have run-ins with the law.

In Michigan, Escanaba is trying the new approach. It's called the ANGEL Program.

Escanaba City Manager Jim O'Toole​ joined us to talk about it.

flickr user Charlie Nguyen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When society marginalizes who you are, there’s an impulse to gather with people who are more accepting.

That’s why LGBTQ people gathered at the night club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. It was also Latin night. Members of two marginalized groups went there to have fun, be safe.

That night, 49 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in a hateful attack.

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

By now, you've probably heard about Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub called Pulse. 

It's the largest mass shooting in United States history.

 

Something is missing from Grand Traverse County’s 2016 budget: its Animal Control Department. The county shut down the entire department, and the responsibility for animal control was shifted to the Sheriff’s Department, which lacks the same resources and training the Animal Control Department had. Moreover, the Sheriff’s Department will only handle serious animal issues, such as animal neglect, abuse, and barking dog complaints.

 

What does this mean for Grand Traverse County residents and animals?

 

Ella Marx cries at a candelight vigil in Ann Arbor for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings. She says her LGBT sister lives in Florida. “It’s really close to home for me,” she says.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Members of Metro Detroit’s LGBT community and allies are mourning the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

A group held a vigil for them at Ferndale City Hall tonight.

Julia Music is the chair of Ferndale Pride.

She called the attack an act of “hate, terrorism, and ignorance.”

But Music urged the group to keep welcoming Muslims, who she says have just started to join Detroit’s LGBT community “in visible numbers.”

Courtesy of Barry Neal

It’s that time of year again. Long lines are starting to form outside of all those favorite ice cream shops.

But one line might be longer than the others this weekend – half a mile long, that is.

Thousands of people are expected in Ludington Saturday. The town will try to set a Guinness World Record for longest ice cream dessert, using ice cream from Ludington’s House of Flavors.

Stateside 6.10.2016

Jun 10, 2016

 

On Stateside today, we hear about a couple of world record attempts happening this weekend. We also talk with the family of a young organ donor and the man who received his heart.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:  

In the lower right hand corner of Evan Kimball’s driver’s license was the word “DONOR” next to a red heart.

That meant he elected to be an organ donor when he was registering for his license at 16 years old.

Last October, at 18 years old, Evan was killed in a car crash.

Lydia and Ward Kimball are Evan’s parents. As the doctors recovered their son’s organs, the two worked on what’s called directed donation – they selected the patients to whom Evan would give a second chance.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University professors and neighborhood volunteers have come up with a design for a major overhaul of the old Saginaw County fairgrounds. 

The 54-acre site on Saginaw’s south side have sat decaying for more than a decade.

Warren Rauhe is with the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction. He says it may not look like it, but the fairgrounds site is a “gem.”

FLICKR USER FLORIAN BUGIEL https://flic.kr/p/mvyj4a

Human trafficking is a growing problem in our state. Reported cases of human trafficking in Michigan were up 16% in 2015 from the year before.

And that's only counting the reported cases. Many more go unreported.

A Lansing-based non-profit organization will begin doing background checks on its volunteers.

Listening Ear is a non-profit organization that supports sexual assault survivors among other groups.

Carly Geraci is the organization's media liaison and she says this change in philosophy hasn't been easy.

Geraci says, "For 47 years, we did not require background checks, and that was because we were tying to go for a judgement free, non-discriminatory environment."

Flickr user C.J. Richey / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

Within 48 hours of the tragic shootings this February, the Kalamazoo area community responded. Individuals and business within the community began to give money to help. But how could they make sure their money was being used most effectively?

 

Georgie Sharp / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This weekend, AARP officials plan to sit down with older Flint residents to see how the city’s drinking water crisis affects them.

Flint’s water system has dealt with serious problems, including high lead levels.

Paula Cunningham is the state director of AARP. She says about a third of Flint residents are over 60 years old.

“These are very vulnerable folks who need some attention and need our assistance as well,” says Cunningham.

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