Offbeat

Stateside
5:52 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Michigan kid wins lunch at the White House with his pizza pocket recipe

Jacob Hirsch's "picky eater pita pizza pocket" recipe was one of the 54 winners in the Kids' State Dinner 2013 competition.
http://www.letsmove.gov/

An interview with Jacob Hirsch, a winner of the Kids' State Dinner 2013 competition.

If you have ever visited the White House, you know it's an exciting memory you always treasure.

But how many of us can say we not only visited the White House, we were invited to have lunch with the First Lady of the United States?

Jacob Hirsch of Bloomfield Hills is 8 years old. Tomorrow, Jacob will be a guest at a Kid's "State Dinner" hosted by none other than First Lady Michelle Obama. It's actually a healthy lunch, part of the First Lady's "Let's Move" initiative.

Jacob won his invitation by submitting a healthy recipe in a big national competition. And out of more than 13 hundred entries, Jacob's "Picky Eater Pita Pizza Pocket" was one of 54 winners.

Jacob Hirsch joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
5:25 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Three college students paddle across Lake Michigan

They made it.
Paddleboarding Across Lake Michigan Facebook

Three college students crossed Lake Michigan by way of a paddle board on Monday.

The three paddlers were Ginny Melby, Trent Masselink and Craig Masselink. They reached the shores of Muskegon after embarking barely 24 hours before on their 80-mile journey.

They raised money for an organization called Restore International. The group fights for boys who are child soldiers and girls who are forced into prostitution in Uganda.

You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Offbeat
10:00 am
Sat July 6, 2013

July is Craft Beer Month in Michigan

Bell's Beer Sampler
Bernt Rostad Flickr

This 4th of July weekend, there’s a good chance that you or one of your (adult) family members or friends looks forward to sipping a nice cold brew while watching fireworks or enjoying a barbeque.

If you’re in Michigan, you have the opportunity to buy from one of the many microbreweries operating across the state.

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Offbeat
10:00 am
Fri July 5, 2013

MSU's is top specialty license plate in Michigan

Michigan State University campus (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State records show Michigan State University's license plate is the No. 1 specialty plate in Michigan.

The Lansing State Journal reports Friday that a half-million of the MSU plates have been sold since it debuted in 2000.

That puts the East Lansing school squarely ahead of its rival to the southeast.

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor's license plate has drawn about 362,000 patrons. That puts it in third place behind a patriotic plate that debuted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Stateside
4:41 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Backyard chicken farms are on the rise in Michigan

Raising chickens in urban areas is becoming more and more common.
Flickr

An interview with Taylor Reid, the founder of beginningfarmers.org and PhD candidate in Community, Food and Agriculture at Michigan State University.

Cynthia Canty's good friend Susan and her husband are about to move from a townhouse in an Oakland County suburb to a small cottage on about an acre in another Oakland County town. One of her top priorities is to start keeping chickens in her new backyard.

Seems she is not alone. Backyard chicken-raising is on the rise across the state and across the country.

There are now ordinances allowing people to also keep chickens in Ann Arbor, Flint, Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and many other Michigan communities.

Taylor Reid is the founder of beginningfarmers.org and he's a PhD candidate in Community, Food and Agriculture at Michigan State University. He joined us today to talk about why urban chicken raising is on the rise and what the concerns are about this practice.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
12:33 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

New splash park in Traverse City rains sewage on kids

It's back to the drawing board for the The William G. Milliken Waterscape in Traverse City.
The city of Traverse City

They shut it down when they discovered the problem, but still... it makes for a not-so-fun splash park.

Brian McGillivary and Michael Walton from the Traverse City Record-Eagle have more on how the new splash pad in Clinch Park happened to rain "water contaminated with human waste on a half-dozen children":

Read more
Offbeat
5:17 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Video footage of Lake Superior shipwreck verifies missing freighter

The Henry B. Smith freighter
Library of Congress

Last month, Jerry Eliason, Kraig Smith and Ken Merryman discovered the Henry B. Smith, a freighter that sank in a storm in November of 1913. There were no survivors. The wreck was found 30 miles north of Marquette.

According to a story by the Duluth News Tribune, the photos and video that the group brought back in May didn't include any shots of the ship's name, so they couldn't confirm that it was the Smith:

In addition to footage of the ship's name -- the group also caught a glimpse of the name on the Smith's bow -- the return trip revealed more details of how the ship is sitting on the lake bottom.

It's like a "V," Eliason said -- broken in the middle with the largely intact bow and stern sections rising up from the lake bed amid a spilled cargo of iron ore. 

Getting that video footage was challenging because of a still-standing mast and guide wires on the bow section, which did snag the camera for a while last week before the group was able to work it free. 

Stateside
5:21 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Michigan couple sets out to improve the world with pie

Steve Snodgrass Flickr

An interview with Sarah Fertig of Pie It Forward.

Making the world better, one piece of pie at a time.

That is the mission behind a project called Pie It Forward. Sarah Fertig says she is "on a mission to change the world with the power of pie.”

Sarah and her boyfriend Chris Kovac left their homes in Brighton, packed up their 1999 Silverado named Gracie, and, along with their Border Collie co-pilot Shalosh, the pair have been crisscrossing the nation, baking pies and handing out free slices.

Sarah Fertig joined us today to talk about their mission and just how one betters the world with pie.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
4:44 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

This artist hid $10,000 around Detroit

A screenshot of David Choe as he graffiti's Barbara Walters during her interview with him in 2012.
ABC News

LA graffiti artist David Choe passed through Detroit on Sunday and hid money in different parts of the city.

On Sunday he posted on his Facebook page that he "made it into Canada tonight but hid 10,000$ in mostly 1's and a few hundos all over Detroit today."

Why did he do it? Answer: "just becuz - why not?"

Around 7 p.m. he started dropping clues on  Twitter.

Read more
Offbeat
1:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

New website aims to shame people illegally dumping in Detroit

From the "Meet the Dumpers" website. This week's featured company.
Credit meetthedumpers.com

Illegal dumping is a massive problem in Detroit. Just drive around for several minutes and you’re likely to see household and industrial trash illegally dumped on street corners and along service roads.

A group in the northwest Detroit neighborhood of Brightmoor hopes to curtail illegal dumping by publicly shaming companies and individuals caught dumping.

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Offbeat
4:02 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The moon will be 'super' close to Earth on June 23

A supermoon over Maine in 2011
Dana Moos Flickr

On June 23, you can see a moon that's looks bigger than it usually does. It's called a supermoon, and they occur between four and six times every year. 

Basically, it happens when the moon comes closer to Earth than it normally does.

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Stateside
5:01 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Diver discovers a 97-year-old message in a bottle

A message in a bottle.
Flickr

An interview with Dave Leander, a diver and owner of Great Lakes Divecenter.

In 2013, if you want to let the world know you're someplace having a good time, you might whip out your smartphone and tweet it or post a check-in or status update on Facebook.

97 years ago, you might write a message, roll it up, tuck it in a bottle and toss it into the St. Clair River.

That's what a couple of young Detroiters did when they were having fun one summer's day at Tashmoo. That was a very popular amusement part on Harsen's Island on the northern end of Lake St. Clair.

And why do we know about this message in a bottle? Because Dave Leander found the bottle as he was diving in the St. Clair River.

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1:05 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Want to know where to get the best burger in Michigan? These men did the research.

Lead in text: 
John Gonzalez, David Kutzko, and Fritz Klug spent 6 days sampling 33 hamburgers to find the best of the best in Michigan. They revealed the winner this morning: Laura's Little Burger Joint in Decatur. A noteworthy finalist was Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor. Blimpy Burger, which took 10th place, will be closing at the end of August. Many locals hope that they will find a new location for sometime soon.
Does anyone remember the character Wimpy from the old Popeye cartoons? Well, he is best remembered for a healthy appetite for hamburgers, and his classic phrase: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Well, today is Tuesday! And it's pay day, in a way: It's the day we announce the results of our Michigan's Best Burger search.
Offbeat
3:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Cute Michigan baby animals, we dare you to look away

Credit University of Michigan / Facebook

There were four baby peregrine falcons nesting on the roof of University Hospital at the end of April. The University Record reports this is the third year in a row that two falcons nested on the hospital roof.

A contest was held to name the babies. Today, the people running the University of Michigan's Facebook page announced the winning names:

  • Maize,
  • Blue,
  • Woodson,
  • and Howard.

The images of the cute falcon babies got us wondering, 'what can be cuter than these things?'

Read more
Stateside
5:19 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Man Medals: A unique way to show appreciation

Jim O'Brien, the founder of Man Medals
LinkedIn

An interview with Jim O'Brien, the founder of the Man Medals.

As Father's Day is just around the corner, are you thinking about what to get that special man in your life?

Well, ask virtually any wife and chances are she'll tell you that when the man of the house steps outside his designated "manly chores" and does something that would be considered to be in her domain, that man wants praise and plenty of it.

There's something to this: a Pew Research Center survey finds, of the predictors for a successful marriage, sharing household chores is Number Three on the list, just behind faithfulness and a happy sexual relationship.

All of this inspired a Waterford man to put on his "entrepreneur's hat" and come up with a new business: Man Medals, a witty but pointed way for her to dish out praise to him, and for him to take a bow for helping out.

Jim O'Brien is the founder of the Man Medals, and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Offbeat
2:02 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Michigan holds the nation's fudge capital - Mackinac Island

rawmustard Flickr

This coming Sunday isn’t just Father's Day -- it is also National Fudge Day.

By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was concocted in Baltimore in the 1880s. By the turn of the century, fudge-making arrived on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan, which today has a legitimate claim as the modern day fudge capital.

Tourists pile off ferries and onto Mackinac Island by the thousands every day during the summer. For many, one of the first stops when they arrive or the last stop before they board a ferry back home, is one of the island’s 15 or so fudge shops. 

Island-wide, the favorite is plain, unadulterated chocolate fudge.

Read more
Offbeat
11:35 am
Tue June 11, 2013

How long do you wash your hands? Be honest.

The CDC recommends washing your hands with regular soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds.
Tim McFarlane Flickr

This morning, Rebecca Williams reported on the MSU research that found we are still falling down on the job when it comes to washing our hands.

I say "still" because these kinds of studies have been done in the past.

Read more
Offbeat
10:29 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Odawa tribe gay couple invited to White House

Tim LaCroix (center left) and Gene Barfield (center right) are the first to legally marry under the Odawa tribe.
Emily Fox

BOYNE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Two men who became spouses at a Michigan Indian reservation in a state that bans same-sex marriages have been invited to the White House.

MLive.com reports that Tim LaCroix and Gene Barfield will be guests of President Barack Obama on Thursday at a reception honoring LGBT Pride Month. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

The men were married in March by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, of which LaCroix is a member.  Same-sex marriage is prohibited in Michigan, but federally recognized Native American tribes are self-governing and aren't bound by state law.

Barfield and LaCroix say they were shocked to receive the invitation and canceled a scheduled trip to California.

The longtime partners live in Boyne City.

Offbeat
1:10 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Lansing Christmas Tree search begins

Credit http://www.wnem.com/

School’s out and summer means sun tans, barbeques, beach days, and…searching for Christmas Trees?

The hunt for the state holiday tree has begun. Michigan needs a 65-foot-tall evergreen that can sparkle on the lawn of the Capitol building in November.

“Everyone laughs that the process starts in June,” said Kurt Weiss with Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget, “But that’s when the process starts.”

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Offbeat
11:14 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Superheroes fly in to Ann Arbor's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Superheros wash windows at Mott's
C.S. Mott Children's Hosptial Facebook

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the window washing crew!

Earlier this year, we posted on an unusual window washing trend. At children hospitals across the nation it appears that independent window washing companies and contractors have been donning super hero costumes to spread a little cheer.

This past Monday, superheroes visited the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

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