Local

News from the local region for a station

James Tolbert
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan State Police investigation into a nine-year-old murder case suggests Detroit police lied about evidence, and failed to follow up on big breaks in the case that might have freed a wrongfully imprisoned young man.

That man, Davontae Sanford, was finally released from prison last week, after serving eight years – largely because of what the Michigan State Police investigation found.

Gary Jensen
State of Michigan

For the first time, Michigan’s State School Reform/Redesign office has appointed a CEO to take over some low-performing schools in one district.

That’s despite an ongoing lawsuit by district officials to stop the state intervention.

Gary Jensen will take control of four “chronically underperforming” East Detroit Public Schools. The district has seven schools altogether.

Jensen was named Michigan’s Principal of the Year in 2014. He’s credited with leading an academic turnaround at Lakeview High School in Montcalm County.

New online map tracks demolition in Detroit

6 hours ago
Abandoned house in Detroit
sj carey / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit residents have a new way to check when blighted and vacant homes in their neighborhood will be demolished.

People can enter an address on the Demolition Tracker map on the city's website to see if and when a blighted building is scheduled for demolition.

Structures set to be demolished are represented by orange dots that turn blue after the structure is torn down.

Flint River and water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says Flint’s water system still faces major problems. EPA chief Gina McCarthy sent a warning to Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

The letter says the city’s water treatment plant is understaffed – and the water distribution network is too large and sprawling.

Today, a former University of Michigan football player explains how a plant-based diet radically improved his health. And we hear about racial and economic disparity in Detroit from the author of Arc of Justice.

There's a new book out about gerrymandering, but it's so much more than that. 

And it's getting a lot of attention.

Author David Daley joined us today to talk about his book, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy.

GUEST

David Daley is editor-in-chief of Salon. He tweets @davedaley.

Three months after adopting a plant-based lifestyle, Ramirez had lost 45 lbs and was off all five of his daily medications.
Marc Ramirez

In the late 1980s, Marc Ramirez played football for the University of Michigan.

While he was playing he was able to eat pretty much whatever he wanted and stay healthy. 

Then he graduated, and without all that physical activity, he started gaining weight and developing health problems.

Flickr user Saginaw Future Inc./Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The legislature is off for its two-month summer break, but there will be a lot of work to do when lawmakers get back to work at the end of the season.  

Kenn Sikkema and Susan Demas joined us today for our weekly political roundup and two of the biggest issues that could be on the agenda when work resumes in Lansing has to do with renewable energy mandates and solar power regulations.

Lester Graham/Michigan Radio

Yesterday we heard the latest Detroit Journalism Cooperative installment about jobs and poverty in Detroit

One of the experts we heard from was Kevin Boyle, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of Arc of Justice, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Watkins Lake.
Legacy Land Conservancy

The state of Michigan and Washtenaw County have each purchased land for a new state park.

Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve spans 1,122 acres of Jackson and Washtenaw counties.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Whiskey Sour

2 oz. bourbon or rye

3/4 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp egg white (or more as preferred)

Combine all ingredients in shaker without ice. Shake for several seconds, then add ice and shake again. Strain into any glass you like.

"Who wants the hand that rocks the cradle mixing whisky sours?"

That little gem was one of the arguments to make it illegal for women to tend bar. That's after they'd been slinging drinks throughout World War II. Many of the male bartenders were in the military.

Like most people, I haven’t paid a lot of attention to Brian Calley, Michigan’s lieutenant governor. Generally speaking, there’s a quiet understanding that lieutenant governors are standby equipment whose job is to stay out of the limelight.

They break ties on important legislation before the Senate, represent the governor at all sorts of second-tier functions, and preside over the state when the governor is off on trade missions. Calley, who is 39 but looks younger, is even more invisible than most.

Auchter's Art

15 hours ago
John Auchter / auchtoon.com

ARTIST'S POV:

There is a scene in the movie Raising Arizona where a couple of delinquent brothers go to rob a bank. They feel pretty confident about their plan because they fancy themselves sophisticated criminals. As they bust in the front door of the dusty, country bank, one of the brothers shouts out, "All right, ya hayseeds, it's a stick-up. Everybody freeze. Everybody down on the ground."

Gordie Howe's Hockey Card at age 43.
Trish Thornton / Flickr

Gordie Howe lived so long that most Americans don’t know that he set just about every record there is, he helped the sport expand, he got hundreds of thousands of Americans playing the game, and millions more watching.

Howe was one of nine kids born in a farmhouse in Floral, Sasketchewan – a town so tiny, their post office closed in 1923. During the Great Depression, a neighbor brought over a gunnysack full of used things, including a beat-up pair of skates.

Counterfeit sports championship rings
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Pro athletes: If you're going to put a ring on it, make sure you've got the real thing.

Customs and Border Protection officials say they seized $680,000 worth of counterfeit sports championship rings at Detroit Metropolitan Airport last April.

The rings were found in a shipment that originated on a flight from China.

They had the names and logos of several pro sports teams, including the Oakland Raiders, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

A demolition in Flint.
Genesee County Land Bank

A new Special Inspector General’s report says a federal program that funds blight removal lacks key safeguards against waste and corruption.

Michigan has received more than $381 million in blight removal funds from the US Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund – by far the most of any state.

The HHF was originally intended to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Starting in 2013, Treasury allowed some of the funds to be diverted to blight removal, mostly in the form of demolitions.

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

The campaign trying to legalize marijuana in Michigan has filed a lawsuit challenging the state's six-month time limit to gather petition signatures.

The MI Legalize drive is still trying to either get the Legislature to adopt a law or place the question on the November ballot after its petitions were rejected by a state elections board last week because too many signatures were too old under the 180-day rule. 

M-I Legalize attorney Jeff Hank says what the state’s doing is not allowed.

Mendez currently works with Minute Men Staffing Services, a staffing agency located in Southwest Detroit. She says the work environment treated her well, but she felt that as a woman she didn’t have as many advantages as a man would.
DJC

“Let’s go take my daddy out of that place. I miss him why is he there?”

These were the words of a three-year-old Dana whose father had just been detained to be deported.

The mother, Mireya, says the little girl cried every night, saying she wanted her father home and was confused as to why he was in there in the first place, demanding that he is brought home to her. The mother says on one visit to the detention facility, the daughter asked her to break the glass, unbeknown to the child that she would probably never see her father free any time soon.

Gov. Snyder speaks at a Flint news conference.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s been almost six months since the Flint Water Task Force blamed the culture of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the Flint water crisis.

The Task Force said a culture of quote “technical compliance” exists inside the drinking water office.

Its report found that officials were buried in technical rules – thinking less about why the rules existed. In this case, making sure Flint’s water was safe to drink.

Detroit companies cooperate to train new IT workers

Jun 16, 2016
Flickr user PaulSh/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Six years ago, an IT solutions provider outsourced their New Jersey jobs to ... Detroit. GalaxE.Solutions initiated their “Outsource to Detroit” campaign to encourage new technology workers to come to the Motor City.

Yahad-In Unum

This week Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill adding genocide instruction to social studies curriculum in eighth grade through high school.

Most people are aware of the Holocaust, in which Germans murdered millions of people during World War II.

A lot of instruction around that event concentrates on the death camps, some of which had gas chambers where Jews and others were killed.

American Dog tick
Jerry Kirkhart / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan health officials say they've confirmed the first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever contracted in the state since 2009.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the case involved a child in Cass County in the southwestern corner of the state.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by bacteria and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people.

Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A rash may develop a few days later.

Flazingo Photos / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Laws that ban criminal background questions on job applications have backfired, according to a study from the University of Michigan and Princeton University.

So-called "Ban the Box" laws are meant to give job seekers with criminal records a better shot at finding employment.

The study suggests that while such policies may produce that outcome, they also increase racial discrimination by employers.

U of M researcher and study co-author Sonja Starr says this unintended outcome relates to a theory called "statistical discrimination."

FLICKR USER AUTOMOBILE ITALIA https://flic.kr/p/AsE6u3

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been reviewing the landscape of automobiles, high-tech, and next-generation mobility and finds Fiat Chrysler’s top guy Sergio Marchionne is lagging.

Courtesy of Robert Downes

 

Bicycle paths are expanding every year in Michigan. In the northern part of the Mitten, there are a bunch of great bike paths and there’s a book to help guide you.

 

Robert Downes’ "Biking Northern Michigan: The Best & Safest Routes in the Lower Peninsula"  describes 1,400 miles of bike paths and attractions along the way.

 

Stateside 6.16.2016

Jun 16, 2016

On the show today, a special Detroit Journalism Cooperative report on jobs and poverty in the poorest neighborhood in Detroit. Plus,  a guy who's bicycled all over the world says biking in Northern Michigan is the best anywhere. And he's got a book telling you the best places to ride.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Lester Graham

Ever since Ed Welburn designed cars as a toddler, it seemed like destiny would lead him to working at General Motors. The first time he entered the company’s campus as an employee was an emotional experience he would never forget.

A man begs for money from a patron leaving one of Midtown’s critically acclaimed restaurants, where a roasted mushroom salad is $14.
Bill McGraw / Bridge Magazine

While Detroit has seen positive changes in the police department and the inclusion of African Americans in civic life since 1967, the decline of manufacturing and flight of people over the past five decades have contributed to significantly higher levels of unemployment and impoverished residents in the city. Reynolds Farley, a retired University of Michigan sociologist, notes that in 1950, Detroit had the nation’s “most prosperous black population.”

Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

On Tuesday, we sipped Brewery Becker’s “historic” ales and lagers while discussing a similarly historic topic: public trust in state government.

The Flint water crisis, gerrymandering, term limits, campaign money and more were on the minds of audience members and panelists at our Issues & Ale event.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The next round of Flint’s lead service line replacement may take a little longer to get started.

Today’s 3 pm deadline for contractors to bid on the work has been extended.

Contractors will now have until next Tuesday to submit bids on replacing up to 500 Flint service lines.

City officials decided to give the contractors more time to refine their bids, after changes were made to original Request for Proposals or RFP.   The addendums to the original RFP came after concerns were raised by contractors during a mandatory pre-bid meeting last week.

Pages