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  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be watching over the State of Michigan's shoulder to make sure our drinking water is safe. Flint's Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee joined us today to talk about the EPA's audit.
  • Nearly five decades after fighting as an infantryman in Vietnam, Tim Keenan of Traverse City realized it was time to go back to Vietnam.
American flag.
Corey Seeman/Flickr /

"Service Above Self, Honoring Our Veterans" happens tonight at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

A select number of veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and World War II will be on stage to tell their stories.

The storytelling night kicks off a push to raise $8 million to build a Fisher House.

Neal Steeno

When soldiers are sent into war, they often leave a chunk of their hearts and souls on the battlefield.

They may make it home, but part of them remains tied to that far-off battleground.

Tim Keenan of Traverse City lived with that hole in his heart and soul for more than 40 years. He was a 20-year-old infantryman in the fall of 1967 when he was dropped into the frontline fighting in Vietnam at Dak To.

Today on Stateside:

  • Over the past few days, thousands of federal inmates were released from prison due to a change in the way the federal government sentences drug criminals. Brandon Sample gives us a closer look at the largest one-time release of federal prisoners.

  • The Rovi Media Collection is the largest media collection in the country: CDs, DVDs, and video games. All entertainment, and now all in the care of Michigan State University.


 The Edmund Fitzgerald in 1971.
user Greenmars / wikimedia commons

What would it be like to have a long, useful live, but only be remembered by the way you die?

Such is the case with the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in a Lake Superior storm 40 years ago today.

But there’s a new documentary that focuses on the life of the Edmund Fitzgerald and what the ship did in her time on the Great Lakes.

The film is called A Good Ship and Crew Well Seasoned, and it’s produced by the Great Lakes Historical Society.

Susan Ellis, USDA APHIS PPQ /

It's called a swede midge.

A tiny insect that has the power to cause some big problems for farmers. And now this pest has turned up on several organic farms in Sanilac County.

Zsofia Szendrei is a Michigan State University associate professor who specializes in arthropod farm pests.

She joined us today to talk about the scope of the midge population and what's at stake for Michigan's vegetables. 

flickr user Thomas Hawk /

Over the past few days, thousands of federal inmates were released from prison due to a change in the way the federal government sentences drug criminals.

It adds up to the largest one-time release of federal prisoners.

Brandon Sample is the executive director of Prisology, a national nonprofit movement dedicated to reform of the criminal justice system.

Today on Stateside: 

Funeral homes in the area make sure the veterans get a burial at the Great Lakes National Cemetery
flickr user abarndweller /

It's impossible to know just how many homeless veterans are on America's streets.

The federal government estimates that there are nearly 50,000 vets who are homeless on any given night.

The National Coalition on Homeless Veterans tells us they've served in every conflict from World War II right up to Iraq and Afghanistan, although nearly half of homeless veterans served in Vietnam.

The reasons they are homeless are many: lack of affordable housing, inability to make a livable income, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

Gov. Rick Snyder

Now that state lawmakers have cobbled together a roads package, the spotlight can turn to fresh priorities.

For example, fixing Detroit’s collapsing school system.

The governor estimates it will take more than $700 million to rehabilitate Detroit’s public schools and warns that if the state doesn’t tackle the mammoth school debt, things will only get worse.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Elijah J. McCoy Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit in 2012
flickr user Senator Stabenow /

The Next Idea

Innovation means new ideas, and new ideas mean investments, all of which need to be protected.

That’s where the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office comes in.

Three years ago, they opened their first office outside of Washington D.C., and chose to put it in Detroit.

What does that mean for Michigan inventors, entrepreneurs, startups and researchers?

flickr user Jim Sorbie /

The Next Idea

As The Next Idea continues to explore innovation in Michigan, it’s clear that amidst the new technology and new breakthroughs, some concepts stand the test of time.

One such concept was summed up by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods."

That was the key to the success of Michigan inventor, businessman and innovator Webster Marble.

Today on Stateside:

Daniel Howes /

All week long, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes is accompanying more than 20 Michigan CEOs as they examine the thriving economy of Israel, looking for lessons that can be applied to Michigan.

This week, Michigan Republicans marked the second anniversary of their outreach office in Detroit.

The concept of selling the GOP in solidly Democratic Detroit, and opening an outreach office there, came at a time when more Republicans on the national level called for the party to be more inclusive, to reach out to African-American and Hispanic voters.

Currently, there are no African-American Republicans serving in the state Legislature, in Michigan's congressional delegation, or as directors of the state departments in Michigan or in major stateside offices.

food, leftovers
Kathleen Franklin/flickr /

The Great Depression really marked the golden age of leftovers.

They were meant to be slipped into a pot pie, suspended in a jello ring, buried in a casserole or a meatloaf.

There's a lot to be learned from studying Americans' relationships with leftovers.

Today on Stateside:

Michigan roads
user nirbhao / Flickr


A late-night deal to fund road repair, construction and other transportation issues barely passed the Michigan House on Tuesday. After years of stalled debate, deals gone nowhere and a voter-rejected referendum, Governor Snyder is now reviewing a bill that partly solves the road funding question in Michigan.

Michigan Public Radio Network reporter Jake Neher explains the ins and outs of the bill in the interview above. 

Shayan Sanyal/flickr /

Aging inmates are the fastest-growing population in Michigan’s prisons.

This has presented a critical challenge: how to provide end-of-life care to those inmates.

That’s where a prison hospice program called CHOICES comes into play. It stands for Choose, Health Options, Initiate Care, and Educate Self.


The new indie film Superior is set in the summer of 1969, as two lifelong friends grab their bicycles and set out on a 1,300-mile journey around Lake Superior.

minute with mike logo
Vic Reyes

As we move through the early 21st century, technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds. That got Stateside producer Mike Blank to wonder: Just when does formerly cutting edge technology become obsolete?

Unless you’ve been blessed enough to never have had to ride in or drive a car, you know the sound of the tried and true blinker.

  Today on Stateside:

Habitat for Humanity volunteers constructing a house in 2007
wikimedia user Jmabel /

Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement is simple and straightforward: “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

And now, thanks to a special partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, graduate architecture students will be coming up with ways to make those houses really fit the needs of the people who will live in them.

Courtesy of Daniel Howes /

This week, more than 20 of Michigan's top CEOs are on what you might call a field trip.

They're visiting Israel to discover what it took to transform that nation from virtually nothing into one of the most innovative economies in the world, all in the span of just 70 years.

Gordon Young

It's no secret that the city of Flint is wrestling with huge challenges. A water crisis, high crime rates and a shrinking population.

But, despite its difficulties and dangers, international students are coming to Flint. 

The Grand Rapids Symphony is asking musicians to make more concessions in contract talks
flickr user Steven Depolo /

These are challenging times for one of Michigan’s symphony orchestras.

The Grand Rapids Federation of Musicians is still trying to come to a contract agreement with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Its  four-year contract expired at the end of August.

But the musicians continue to play as bargaining goes on. They’re trying to regain some of what they gave up to keep the symphony afloat during the Great Recession.

Sportsman Tracker / Facebook

The app Sportsman Tracker was developed in Grand Rapids by Jeff Courter, the company's CEO.

"A lot of times you just want to know what’s going on in your area," he says. "If it’s fishing, you want to know what’s biting, what’s going on, what are people catching around you.”

Today on Stateside: 

U.S. troops almost buried by parcels do their best to handle the holiday mail, ca. 1944
Public Domain

If ever there was a case of love at first sight, it happened on January 17, 1942 at a dance in Asheville, North Carolina.

On that night, 21-year-old Billee Gray met 28-year-old Private Charles Kiley, and after just a couple of weekend dates, they knew they were meant to be together.

It wasn’t long before Charles was shipped off to fight in World War II, but the two stayed in touch and forged their love through hundreds of letters.

Charles and Billee’s daughter, son, and son-in-law have brought these letters together in a book: Writing the War: Chronicles of a World War Two Correspondent.