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Families & Community

Jodi Westrick

The story of post-bankruptcy Detroit has largely been dominated by what's happening in downtown, Midtown and Corktown.

Businessman Dan Gilbert continues to reinvent and reshape downtown by buying buildings that have often sat empty for years. This week, Gilbert added the old Grinnell and Sanders buildings to his portfolio, which now stands at more than 80 buildings he owns or controls. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Ten major charitable foundations plan to spend nearly $125 million to help the city of Flint.

Today’s announcement touches on practically every aspect of life in the Vehicle City, from education to the economy; from providing health care to making sure the city’s water is safe to drink.

computer screen
Ryan Grimes

The Lapeer City Police Department now has a designated area in its parking lot for internet sale exchanges. 

The area is well-lit and under video surveillance, giving people a safe, neutral place to conduct an exchange. 

Lapeer Police Chief Todd Alexander sat down with Stateside's Cynthia Canty to talk about the practice and offer some advice to those looking to conduct internet purchase exchanges. 

From top left clockwise: Evan Murphy, Donaver Cricket, Riley O'Brien, Devyn Farries
Michigan Radio

The issues facing transgender people have received a lot of attention lately. This is due, in large part, to the "bathroom bills" that have been proposed in state and local governments.

Michigan is one of those states with a transgender bathroom bill in the works that would require transgender individuals to only use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their birth sex, unless they have written consent from a parent or guardian.

There's a historic question being put before voters in today's election in the one-square mile Village of Richland: whether or not to dissolve the village. 

If the answer is yes, it will be the very first time in Michigan history that a village has disincorporated. 

President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Eric Lupher, joins us to talk about the proposal and what could happen if it passes. 

Flint river
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An internet giant is stepping in to help Flint with its water crisis.

Google is giving the University of Michigan and U of M-Flint $150,000, through its charitable arm, to develop technological solutions to help Flint deal with medium- and long-term issues tied to the water crisis.

Susana Bernabé-Ramirez and her daughter Sayra Hernandez
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Update 5:20 p.m.

Attorney Brad Thomson said the stay of removal was granted so the family can remain together until a decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals is made on the motion to reopen their case.

Young boy on porch
Sal / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Parents who take a "spare the rod, spoil the child" approach to discipline are doing their children more harm than good, according to a new study.

The study from the University of Michigan and University of Texas says spanking can have long-term detrimental effects on children, including mental health problems, cognitive difficulties and aggressive behavior.

Study co-author Andy Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor with the U of M School of Social Work, says the outcomes are similar to child abuse, to a slightly lesser degree.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A group of Flint water activists is starting a new charity to help people not reached by government and other groups.

Organizer Lee Anne Walters says Community Development Organization’s first priority will be to help people who find they can’t pay medical bills tied to Flint’s lead tainted drinking water.

“It’s something that needs to be done. It’s a great need in the community. And so this is where we feel we fit best right now,” says Walters. 

Walters says their initial goal is to raise $1 million, though she admits the need is much greater.

The Detroit Police Department has had a frequently troubled past, particularly in regard to the way it treated African-Americans. 

Bridge Magazine​'s Bill McGraw is one of the reporters working with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. His story in Bridge is an extensive look at Detroit's police department and its chief

Flickr user pinoyed / Creative Commons

 

It’s a trying moment in the life of a pet owner: the worry that something is wrong with our furry friend.

But it can be hard for pet owners to tell what’s happening with their pet and when it’s time to head to the veterinarian's office.

Dr. Michael Petty understands those questions. In fact, he gets them all the time at his Arbor Pointe Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Pain Center in Canton.

Once built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge could double the number of trucks rolling through the Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Once it's built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge from Windsor to Detroit will be one of Michigan's most important tools for international trade.

 

It's projected that truck traffic will double from the current 10,000 to some 20,000 trucks each day rumbling through the southwest Detroit neighborhood of Delray.

 

So what's good for Michigan trade – not to mention America's and Canada's trade – is going to be felt deeply by the folks living there.

Governor Snyder sits with Flint resident Cheryl Canty in her home on Monday
Facebook

Gov. Rick Snyder visited a Flint home on Monday and drank filtered water from the family's tap.

He then announced that he'll be drinking filtered tap water from Flint for the next 30 days to show the public that it's safe. 

 

Cheryl Canty, the Flint resident who opened up her home to Snyder, tells us she was surprised to find out that the governor would be paying her a visit. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major push to strengthen neighborhoods in north Flint is getting underway.

On Wednesday, the Ruth Mott Foundation awarded $1.3 million in grants to 10 neighborhood projects. The programs are selected with input from north side residents.

Handy Lindsey is the foundation president.  He says over the next five years, the foundation plans to give $25 to 30 million for similar projects.

“It sounds like an awful lot of money,” says Lindsey. "But in the scheme of things, this community needs far, far more investment than that.”

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Mercedes Mejia and I have been in Cuba for four days, long enough to have ridden a bus, taken a shared taxi, used the local currency, interviewed many Cubans, eaten some quite good meals, and formed a few impressions.  Here are a few of mine.

Feeling a little of Flint’s pain in Cuba

Everybody, no matter how brave their character, agrees one must not drink the tap water in Cuba. It is treated with chemicals, but I’m told it still has microbes that an American stomach would find most objectionable.

duncan c / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What's in a name? How does it affect the course, or even the length of your life?

That question drove Michigan State University economist Lisa D. Cook to dig into three million death certificates in four states from 1802 to 1970.

And that led to some intriguing findings, especially about the names of black men.

Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase Facebook Event

A comedy showcase in Hamtramck Saturday night will have a somewhat jarring theme: suicide.

The event is called “Suck It, Suicide,” and is a benefit show performed by Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase

Proceeds from the event go to Six Feet Over, a non-profit helping people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

SafeHouse Center director Barbara Niess-May told us community is key in preventing domestic violence and protecting victims.
Facebook


When someone is diagnosed with cancer or gets in a car accident, he or she is often surrounded by comfort, support and sympathy.

So why is it that a 14-year-old girl is raped and the attack videotaped, law enforcement responds by peppering her with hundreds of questions before charges are brought?

Its an injustice repeated over and over again, and it has led to a national campaign called “Start by Believing."

This week, Washtenaw County became the first in Michigan to be a Start by Believing county.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor Public Schools will close on May 3, an election day.

Many schools are polling places, and Superintendent Jeanice Swift says there are concerns about people coming into unlocked buildings to vote.

Swift says Ann Arbor is not alone in grappling with the issue.

"It is on the minds of districts across the state and around the country, " she says.

Swift says some districts have elected to use election days as professional development days, and Ann Arbor may do the same, or the city may decide to find other places for people to vote.

Provided by Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice

Some Ann Arbor area churches, synagogues, and homeowners are putting up outdoor banners and yard signs to express support for refugees and the Muslim community.

Two local interfaith groups, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the Interfaith Roundtable of Washtenaw County, have distributed the banners and signs as part of an effort to counteract growing anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

pixabay user lonaug / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

How can a Twitter username become a force for good?

Turns out it's not that hard when you have the name a huge company wants.

Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games / flickr creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint's water crisis is now affecting kids on the athletic fields.

The 2016 CANUSA Games will be held this summer in Hamilton, Ontario, instead of Flint as originally planned.

The games are a 58-year-old annual amateur sporting competition between the two communities, with the location alternating each year.

The switch away from Flint this year was instigated by Hamilton CANUSA, and jointly announced by the CANUSA Games Organizing Committees from Hamilton and Flint. 

flickr user JMacPherson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


As ISIS claims responsibility for the deadly bombings in Brussels, it raises a serious question: How do news stories linking Muslims with terrorism impact the way we think of all Muslims?

University of Michigan assistant professor of communication Muniba Saleem and her fellow researchers wanted to find out. Their study is called Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Public Policy Harming Muslims.

Uniting Three Fires Against Violence advocacy organization logo.
Uniting Three Fires Against Violence

The Next Idea

How does a community address domestic violence and sexual assault when calling the police is not often an option?

This is the question facing Native communities in Michigan, according to Lori Jump and Rachel Carr of the advocacy group Uniting Three Fires Against Violence.

One of Holland's heated sidewalks
flickr user Daniel Morrison / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Imagine, in the wake of a big snowstorm, city sidewalks and streets that never get caked with snow and ice. No salt, no slopping your way through slush or gingerly walking on ice.

That’s a luxury people in Holland, MI have been enjoying for some time now, thanks to their heated sidewalks and streets.

A town-gown controversy continues in Ann Arbor, as University of Michigan Regents heard Thursday from people opposed to a plan to move a campus bus transit center.

That's despite the project being "paused" by UM President Mark Schlissel, who said the university should have been more "thoughtful and responsive" when considering the development.

The transit center would move from the university's South Campus into a residential neighborhood in North Campus.

Pamela Ray lives in Green Baxter Court, a low-income community very close to the proposed site.

Shaka Senghor sits down with Cynthia Canty on Stateside
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

There are roughly 42,000 men and women serving time in prison in the state of Michigan. They all have stories of how they got there, ranging from poor choices and a bad upbringing to just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shaka Senghor, a leading criminal justice reform activist, is now telling his story. He is currently a mentor to youth, and a leader in helping victims and violent offenders heal through the power of the arts. But he didn’t start out that way.

Benjamin Hall

Back in the mid-1800s, a slave by the name of Frank Demas purchased his freedom from a Kentucky slave owner. Demas later settled in Michigan and 170 years later, the document that set him free has survived -- thanks to his family. His family has passed the document, called a manumission, down from generation to generation and now, the great-great-great grandson of Frank Demas has donated it to the Archives of Michigan.

The manumission, as well as some of his Demas’ wife’s belongings, are now on display at the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing.   

Lindsey Smith and her daughter Layla
Adam Schingeck

For the last year, Lindsey Smith has been at the forefront of Michigan Radio’s in-depth reporting of the Flint water crisis. Now, the issue of lead contamination in the environment has dropped right on her doorstep.

Courtesy of Diana Nucera

The Next Idea

Take a moment to think about how much you rely on the Internet.

It’s pretty safe to say many of us find it hard to imagine not being able to get online to communicate, access information, or explore.

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