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Families & Community

Stateside 4.5.2017

Apr 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, a woman with mental illness weighs in on the future of behavioral health services in Michigan. And, we learn how researchers aim to make rocket engines more stable (which will better our chances of getting to Mars).

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaking where he plans to build Ella Fitzgerald Park on the city's northwest side
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says neighborhoods won't be left out of the city's comeback.

Duggan announced his two year plan to invest $4 million into the Fitzgerald neighborhood on the city's northwest side, near Livernois and McNichols.

The project aims to rehab 115 vacant homes and 192 vacant lots, create a two-acre park, and build a bike path between Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Maurice Cox, the planning director for the project, says the goal is to create something seldom seen in the city.

Courtesy of Clark Retirement Community / Facebook

In a unique effort to bridge the generation gap, three Western Michigan University occupational therapy students are more than six months into a 19-month stint living side-by-side with senior citizens at the Clark Retirement Community on Keller Lake.

It’s one of the first research projects of its type in the country.

Stateside 4.4.2017

Apr 4, 2017

A recent dip in auto sales could lead to production cuts, but today we learn why you shouldn't panic just yet. We also hear from the Port Huron man who claims he's still the world's greatest whistler, and the first American to win Japan's biggest poetry prize.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

About half of Michigan’s homeless do not have one vital tool they need to get off the streets: A valid form of ID.

The head of a Flint homeless advocacy group says about half the people who walk through its doors have no form of identification. That makes it difficult for them to receive housing and services.

But this isn’t just a problem in Flint. 

Jason Weller is with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.  He says their surveys show this is a statewide problem.

crowd at protest
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A man from southwest Detroit has two weeks before he is deported back to Mexico after living in the city for almost 20 years. 

Mario Hernandez came to the U.S. as an adult without a visa in 1998. He has no criminal record, and his friends and supporters say he has made a positive impact in the community.

But it's unlikely Hernandez will be able to stay in the U.S. after his stay of removal request was denied by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.

Courtesy Photo / Zak Rosen

Among the big life questions we all face, this is one of the biggest: whether or not to have a baby. 

Detroit-based writer and radio producer Zak Rosen is good at telling stories. Now he and wife Shira Rosen are telling their own personal story in a new podcast called Pregnant Pause.

Pick a street corner in downtown Hamtramck, Mich., and you'll be struck by the incredible mix of cultures crammed into this tiny, 2-square-mile city.

A Catholic church across the street from a mosque. Polish pastry shops, sausage factories, and grocery stores promising "the best Polish food, shipping to Eastern Europe," side by side with Bengali clothing shops that sell richly embroidered dresses and headscarves. And you'd be remiss if you didn't stop in the many Yemeni restaurants serving fragrant lamb and discs of flatbread the size of hubcaps.

Courtesy frankieleon / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder says current efforts to curb opioid abuse and addiction in Michigan aren’t working as nearly 2,000 people a year in the state die from overdoses.

“Far too many lives have been either lost, damaged, injured in some fashion because of these drugs,” he said. “We need to do more in our state.”

Snyder says a big part of the problem is over-prescribing painkillers. He says prescriptions have spiraled in recent years.

Stateside 3.22.2017

Mar 22, 2017

Today on Stateside, Detroit's safe haven for asylum seekers gets a reprieve from the federal government. Also today, an expert explains why pumping billions into infrastructure, without steady growth, is just a "Ponzi scheme."

people praying on yoga mat
Courtesy of Freedom House

It was a close call for Freedom House, the one-of-a-kind Detroit shelter that provides housing, legal aid and a host of other services to help asylum seekers.

Its doors were in danger of closing after its annual grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was slashed by more than half.

Stateside 3.21.2017

Mar 21, 2017

Today on Stateside, a new survey finds that Michigan residents have "alarmingly" low trust in state government. And, from band kid to All-Pro lineman, former Lion Lomas Brown discusses his memoir.

Grandmother's letter from the Holocaust

Mar 20, 2017
Courtesy of the Adler family

Seventy five years ago, as of last December, the United States declared war on Germany during World War II. That declaration had a dramatic impact on a Jewish family living in Austria and their family members who escaped the Holocaust and settled in Traverse City.

FLICKR USER STEVEN DEPOLO / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

The thrill of riding a two-wheeled bicycle, clutching the game-winning ball, or making a show-stopping save in soccer are examples of rites of passage that every child should have the opportunity to experience. Unfortunately, many children with disabilities never develop the physical skills or confidence to participate in extracurricular programming like this. Adapted physical education – physical education modified to teach fundamental motor skills – is hard to find in Southeast Michigan. And this kind of adapted learning can be a gateway to sports, games, and other physical activity that promotes emotional and physical well-being.

crowd at protest
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Mario Hernandez came to Detroit as an adult from Mexico without a visa in 1998.

Hernandez has since started a small business, raised three daughters, and given back to his community. But he may not be able to stay here if the U.S. The Board of Immigration Appeals is considering his appeal of a deportation order.

Estrella Hernandez, Mario's oldest daughter, says it wouldn't make any sense to deport her father.

A peek into the LEGO castle
Courtesy of Play-Place for Autistic Children's Facebook page

The Next Idea

“Inclusion. Acceptance. Support.”

That’s the mission of Play-Place for Autistic Children.

It’s a 25,000 square foot facility in Sterling Heights in Macomb County, and it's the first of its kind in this country.

Play-Place is a nonprofit that gives kids who are on the autism spectrum a safe, fun, comfortable place to hang out and play with others.

For parents and caregivers, it’s a place to find “me-too” conversations with someone who is also going through the challenges presented by autism.

 "My grandmother always told me I was smart, and so I believed it. And so by the time she left, being smart and doing good in school was something that Shawn just did," Blanchard told us.
Courtesy of Shawn Blanchard

 


If anyone seemed destined for a life that would either end in a drug deal gone bad or in prison, it would probably be Shawn Blanchard.

Everything in his life pointed him down that path, beginning with the fact that he was born with crack cocaine in his system.

Instead, Blanchard is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in math and economics. He’s also a graduate of Wayne State University’s Law School.

His memoir is titled How ‘Bout That for a 'Crack Baby.'

Stateside 3.14.2017

Mar 14, 2017

Today, we hear from two brothers, one a citizen and one an undocumented immigrant. They discuss the uncertainty they face under President Trump. And an immigration attorney explains why DACA recipients could end up as "collateral damage" without explicit protection from the president. Also today, our guests say studying for the SAT and ACT can really pay off, and there are low cost tools to help students prepare.

At PechaKucha 20x20, speakers have to tell the audience "Why Flint?" using 20 images and 400 seconds.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

You've heard of poetry slams, TED talks and the Moth. Now, we'll introduce you to PechaKucha 20x20, happening Thursday at Tenacity Brewing in Flint.

David Stanley, one of the organizers of the event, joined Stateside to explain what this presentation style is all about.  

Wikimedia Commons

Young immigrants were filled with joy and hope when President Obama signed the executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) almost five years ago.

But today, those feelings of excitement have changed to ones of fear and apprehension. 

The Shockey family sits on their couch waiting to start a card game.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

About 400,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were still without electricity Friday night – after high winds knocked out power to much of the state on Wednesday.


Stateside 3.9.2017

Mar 9, 2017

Today, we answer this MI Curious question: "What happened to Dr. Rafaai Hamo, the Syrian refugee featured in Humans of New York?" And, we hear an outsider's ode to the "tiny, tiny train" in Detroit.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

It happened in a Detroit alley in 1967.

Detroiter John Hall and an accomplice beat a man who later died of his injuries.

John Hall was convicted of first-degree murder and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. He was 17 years old. His accomplice was never arrested.

But Hall's future changed with two landmark rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court – rulings that outlawed mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

On Feb. 2, at age 67, John Hall walked out of a Michigan prison.

Stateside 3.7.2017

Mar 7, 2017

Today, you'll hear the final half of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what he plans to do with his second chance at freedom. And, we learn what 2016 taught us about removing lead pipes in Flint.

Jeremy Brooks / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Have you ever seen an old movie where police officers are “walking the beat” in a neighborhood? It turns out foot patrols are more than just a movie trope. They can actually be a way for police and public safety officers to build closer ties with the people they serve and protect.

A recent study by the Police Foundation examines that tradition of foot patrols, and how it’s working in four communities, including Kalamazoo.

Stateside 3.6.2017

Mar 6, 2017

Today on Stateside, you'll hear the first part of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what freedom feels like after 50 years without it. And, we learn about a Great Lakes pirate who sailed his way into Michigan legend with booty of timber and venison.

Marvin Wadlow (right) and Matthew Schmitt organized an effort called The Table Setters to help facilitate conversations about race.
TheTableSetters.org

Too often people have a hard time talking about race. White people don’t understand black people. Black people just shake their heads at the behavior of white people. It’s rare that they’ll actually sit down and talk about it.

It's not that white people and black people don't talk. But they rarely talk about race. 

Jewish Community Center and Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor, which received a bomb threat on February 27.
Kate Wells

 

In the last few weeks, intimidating acts have been aimed at Jewish and Muslim communities in Michigan. In Ann Arbor, a bomb threat forced the evacuation of a Hebrew Day School. In Dearborn, threats have been called into Muslim community centers and mosques.

kevinwburkett / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In May of 1936, when Detroit resident Charles Poole climbed into a car with Dayton Dean and Ervin Lee, he thought he was going to a meeting that might land him a position at an axle factory and a spot on the factory’s baseball team.

Unemployment in Michigan was high and Poole did not have a full-time job. Any opportunity for work was worth pursuing.

What Poole did not know was that Dean and Lee were members of an organization called the Black Legion. After driving to an unpopulated area outside of Dearborn, they took Poole out of the car and shot him.

Yousef Ajin stands with his family. His wife and kids are U.S. citizens. He has been working toward citizenship, but now faces the possibility of being deported.
screen shot from Donal Harrison's Vimeo video.

Update Feb. 28, 4:21 p.m.:

Our reporter Sarah Cwiek attended Yousef Ajin's hearing today. 

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