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MI Curious

A photo from 1881 of Moses Fleetwood Walker with the Oberlin team
Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame

At Stateside, we love talking about Michigan history.

 

We've looked at the invention of snowboarding (first known as snurfing); why a small town held a funeral for a bunch of pizzas, and the University of Michigan student who broke baseball's color barrier 64 years before Jackie Robinson.

BORYA - CREATIVE COMMONS / HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

How do you know if nursing homes and assisted living communities are treating you or your loved ones properly, and what do you do if they’re not?

Potholes on a road in Ann Arbor.
Daniel Hensel / Michigan Radio

This week, Governor Snyder is expected to sign a bill sending an extra $175 million in one-time funds to our state and local roads. That money supplements $2.3 billion in ongoing funds this year. 

Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, joined Stateside again to answer one more MI Curious question about Michigan's roads. 

Semi truck
Greg Gjerdingen / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

As part of Michigan Radio’s ongoing MI Curious project, Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, has been answering your questions about our roads.

Today’s question comes from John Echelbarger from Belleville:

Why has Michigan not lowered the weight restrictions on semis compared to Ohio or Indiana? In Michigan, trucks can carry double the weight.

Julie Falk / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation recently joined Stateside to answer your questions about our roads.

It turns out, you had a lot of questions.

potholes in Vandercook Lake
Charlotte Finnegan, an MI Curious question asker

As Michiganders drove to work or school today, many were dodging potholes or rumbling along on cracking or crumbling pavement.

It’s the time of year when the condition of Michigan’s roads makes its way into conversation after conversation. Many wonder what it’s going to take to get Michigan’s roads and highways in better shape.

SCREEN GRAB / YOUTUBE

Two Japanese figure skaters who train in Metro Detroit have had their Olympic moment.

Japan's Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara finished 21st in the pair skating short program – unfortunately not good enough for them to make the finals. They also competed in the team event, where Japan finished fifth overall.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder was in Dundee today talking about expanding recycling, which got us thinking: do you know what you can and can’t recycle in Michigan?

shelves of liquor
WikiCommons

I briefly lived above a liquor store when I was an undergrad, and on my 21st birthday, it was my first stop.

Being newly-21, I was instantly overwhelmed by the choices that sat behind the counter. So when the owner asked me what I wanted, I panicked and just asked for “whatever’s cheapest” (the default answer of all college students).

Kevin Lau / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Something Michiganders talk about all the time? Roads. But do you know who’s in charge of our roads, or who owns them? Listener Phil Arbour was thinking along those lines.

He sent this question to our MI Curious team:

“How is road ownership broken down in Michigan?"

Arbour said he wanted to know how the roads are divvied up by federal, state, county, township, and village.

Stateside brought in Aarne Frobom with the Michigan Department of Transportation to explain.

Map showing the land owned by the Huron Mountain Club as of 2006.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Well... it's not an absolute "no."

It's more of a "probably not," given what we've learned about the Huron Mountain Club in reporting this story.

We'll get to the downright practical ways you might get into the club below. In the meantime, we'll just say it doesn't hurt your chances if you’re Channing Tatum, or related to Henry Ford (and even Ford had trouble getting in).

KYLE ROKOS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

MI Curious is Michigan Radio’s project that asks for your questions about our state and its people.

All high-quality journalism starts with a question, so ask us yours. We want your voice to be a part of our show.

Ciccone Vineyard & Winery
lincolnblues / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Driving along the Michigan shoreline often means passing vineyard after vineyard.

That made listener Blake Trombley wonder, so he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"Why are so many of Michigan's vineyards located on the coast?"

Kyle Rokos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Jim Curtis lives in Ahmeek, a village in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. That's right near the Douglass Houghton Falls.

Curtis said he's always wondered how the height of those falls compares to other waterfalls in Michigan. So he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"What is the tallest waterfall in Michigan, and how is that figured out?"

Courtesy of the Crawford County HIstorical Society / Michigan History Center

If you like bird watching, Pere Cheney is a great place to see the Kirtland Warbler. Other than that, there isn't much there.

It's what you might call a ghost town.

If you're wondering how that happened, you're not alone. Michigan Radio listener Olivia Cushway of Ypsilanti posed that very question to our MI Curious team. 

Josh Hakala / Michigan Radio

Brittany Riley is the general manager of a liquor store in Kalamazoo. Every three months, she prints out what she calls a "load of price changes" that sometimes seem "incredibly arbitrary."

So, she posed this question to our MI Curious team:

"How does the state come by its minimum liquor prices?"

To answer that question, Andy Deloney, chairman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) joined Stateside today.

This map shows land ownership and location of the exploratory copper drilling project.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Radio's ongoing MI Curious series gives listeners a chance to ask a question. Then, we do our best to get an answer.

The next question comes from Daniel Moerman from Superior Township, near Ann Arbor. He won our last voting round.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Jim D / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Radio listener Ashley Lewis of Royal Oak posed this question to our MI Curious team:

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Stateside is teaming up with MI Curious, folks!

MI Curious is Michigan Radio’s project that asks for your questions about our state and its people.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When Dr. Rafaai Hamo was featured on the popular photography website Humans of New York in December of 2015, both he and the story he shared grabbed the attention and curiosity of people across the world. Hamo's wife, daughter and other family members were killed when their home in Syria was hit by a missile. He fled Syria with his surviving children, a son and three daughters, and arrived in Detroit at the end of 2015.

USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency Follow

A listener recently asked Stateside the following question:

"What does the Environmental Protection Agency do in Michigan?"

Amtrak

Michigan’s passenger rail system doesn’t seem to generate a lot of enthusiasm.

We received this anonymous question on our M-I Curious page: “Why doesn't Michigan have a good passenger train system?”

The question simply begged for clarification, such as, “Who says?” and, “What would you consider good?”

Although the question got a lot of votes, we never heard from "Anonymous" again. 

So we went to the Amtrak station in Ann Arbor to see what we could see.

The train is late, but the train is still great

No photo ID? Just fill out this affidavit at your local polling place to cast your vote.
Michigan Secretary of State / YouTube clip

We recently asked people what they wanted to know about the upcoming election in Michigan.

Steve Merring of Hastings, Michigan submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"Do I have to present my voter registration card at the polling station?"

Merring asked the question because he had some firsthand experience with this.

People drop off recycling at Recycle Here! in Detroit.
screen grab from YouTube / Model D TV

A couple weeks ago, Jay from Detroit submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

Why doesn’t Detroit have a public recycling system?

There is a recycling program in the city, so I reached out to Jay in order to understand what, exactly, he was asking. (Jay has asked to be referred to only by his first name, for reasons that will become clear.)

Inside one of the more successful recycling programs in the state - Emmet County's Material Recovery Facility.
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Recycling programs in Michigan have run into some problems.

Some, like the University of Michigan's program, cut back on what they take. And businesses are paying some of the highest prices they've seen in recent years to have their leftover material recycled.

The folks at Ventura Manufacturing wrote to us to say they're having a hard time finding a good recycling option for their facility in Zeeland.

Every morning at 9 a.m. we bat around story ideas for the day during our news meetings. We come up with our own ideas, but we don't always know what YOU are interested in.

That's why we have this little project called MI CuriousIt works like this:

Ypsilanti's Sue Webster and Michigan Radio's Paula Friedrich recently ventured to Detroit's Masonic Temple to answer a question Webster posed to our MI Curious project:

"There must have been a huge presence at the Masonic Temple in Detroit at one time. What was it all about?"

While you can read about the answer to this question here, we've provided a few more interesting facts about the Masonic Temple that you can explore in the slideshow above.

What's the story behind Detroit's Masonic Temple?

Feb 16, 2016
Detroit's Masonic Temple is an imposing building.
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Ypsilanti's Sue Webster visited the Detroit Masonic Temple twice (once for the Theatre Bizarre masquerade, and once for a lecture). Her visits piqued her curiosity, so she posed her question to our MI Curious project.

“There must have been a huge presence at the Masonic Temple in Detroit at one time. What was it all about?”

Detroit's Masonic Temple is a gray stone building that towers over Cass Park.

Lindsey Scullen/Michigan Radio

Amy Beth Edwards posed this question to our M I Curious team:

Why doesn't road kill get picked up on a timely basis in Michigan?

Edwards says she sees dead animals so often along her commutes to Chicago that she had to know why they're all there.

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