Stateside

Stateside
4:30 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Business with social mission helps keep homeless warm

Teia Sams is a seamstress at Empowerment Plan.
Mercedes Mejia

Starting a business can be hard. How about starting a business with a mission to help end homelessness? Well, that’s even harder.

Stateside’s Mercedes Mejia tells us about the Empowerment Plan. It’s a business with a social mission.  The company makes coats that double as sleeping bags, and gives them away to homeless people.

After nearly two years, its mission is the same. But its business model is evolving.

Read more
Stateside
4:25 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Daniel Howes on the General Motors recall crisis

General Motors headquarters.
user paul (dex) Flickr

An interview with Daniel Howes, business columnist at the Detroit News.

It was announced yesterday that Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle with the U.S. Justice Department over a delayed recall of millions of vehicles.

The Justice Department is also investigating General Motors for delaying a recall of more than 1.5 million cars. The cars have defective ignition switches that can turn the car off at high speeds.

There's also news that GM executives are being summoned to D.C. to face Congressional inquiries.

Daniel Howes, business columnist at the Detroit News, joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Singer-songwriter shares his story of failure: releasing his 1st album

http://failure-lab.com/

The audio for Dwele's Failure:Lab story

Failure:Lab is an event that's been happening in Michigan and is spreading outside the state.

It's a program designed to get us thinking about the meaning of failure, to realize that failure happens to everyone and perhaps to inspire us to take intelligent risks.

You can see our past Failure:Lab posts here. And on April 1, you can hear Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis and other Failure:Lab speakers talk about their experiences at MSU's Wharton Center. More on that here

Today we heard from Andwele Gardner.

Andwele Gardner, better known by his stage name Dwele, is a singer-songwriter and record producer from Detroit. He's released six albums including his last Greater Than One. He was featured on multiple Kanye West tracks and brought his vintage soul to the stage once again – to share a story behind the songs.

This is the story that Dwele shared at Failure:Lab Detroit on November 21, 2013 at the Detroit Opera House.

Stateside
2:08 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Defective ignition switches are creating a crisis for General Motors

GM and the NHTSA are urging owners of the recalled GM vehicles to "use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring."
NHTSA

An interview with NPR's Sonari Glinton and Jack Nerad, vice president of Kelly Blue Book.

Last month, General Motors recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths and at least 31 crashes.

That has grown into that biggest crisis GM has faced in years, and an early and severe test for its new chief, Mary Barra.

Yesterday she released a video making a public apology:

“Something went wrong with our process in this instance and terrible things happened. As a member of the GM family and as a mom with a family of my own, this really hits home for me. And we have apologized. But that is just one step in the journey to resolve this.”

Also yesterday, the automaker announced another recall: more than 1.7 million vehicles in three new campaigns.

Read more
Stateside
10:48 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Kevyn Orr reflects on his past year as Detroit's Emergency Manager

Kevyn Orr was appointed Emergency Manager one year ago tomorrow.
Michigan Radio

An interview with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes.

It's Thursday. Time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes.

It’s hard to believe it will be one year ago tomorrow that Kevyn Orr was appointed Detroit's Emergency Manager. Orr sat down to talk to the Detroit News. What does he say about these past 12 months?

Daniel Howes joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
12:29 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act takes effect tomorrow; what can we expect?

Marianne Udow-Phillips
user mudowp Twitter

It was late last year that state lawmakers passed The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act.

Starting this Friday, insurance companies will not be allowed to sell policies that include abortion coverage as a standard feature.

Customers would have to buy separate add-ons, riders, to cover abortion and they would have to do it before ever knowing whether they will want to obtain an abortion.

And how that might or might not happen is pretty confusing.

Marianne Udow-Phillips is with the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, and she joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:40 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A decision on the legal challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage is expected by the end of next week.

Yes, there has been much debate in federal court about whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, but what about homosexuality in religious institutions?

Today, on Stateside just how open should churches be when it comes to embracing gays and lesbians.

Then, prisoners in Michigan share their profound life experiences through poems, essays and short stories. That story later this hour.

But first, 95 years ago, the Detroit Institute of Arts was in deep financial trouble. It kept the doors open by turning over the building and its art to the thriving City of Detroit in exchange for annual funding. And now it stands, poised to flip that arrangement upside down, hoping to cut Detroit's ownership of the DIA in order to protect its treasures from hungry creditors.

There's quite a long and complicated history between the DIA and the City.

Detroit Free Press writer Mark Stryker recently explored this giving us the past, present and the future of the DIA's predicament.

Politics & Culture
4:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Detroit automakers are moving into their fifth year of recovery after the disastrous bottoming-out of 2009 when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Half a decade later, however, sales are brisk and auto loans are available. But is the future that bright? On today's show: Are there warning signs of another auto downturn? And, if so, what needs to happen to stop it?

Then, what will our rivers and roads look like once spring hits and the snow melts? We spoke with meteorologist Jim Maczko to find out.

Lake Erie is full of algae blooms and dead zones, and a new report is asking us to take action. What can be done to improve the health of this lake?

Also, how about adding smell to food advertising? 

First on the show, are Michigan veterans getting what they deserve in terms of benefits and support?

The Veterans' Administration says when it comes to per-capita spending on veterans, Michigan checks in at an average of just over $3,400 per vet. The national average is over $4,800. That places Michigan last in the nation.

What is the state doing about this and to make sure that veterans get all the benefits to which they're entitled?

The director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes, joined us today.

Stateside
4:30 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Scratch-and-sniff ads help sell perfume, but could they sell food, too?

Aradhna Krishna
Wikipedia

We know that scent unlocks a wide range of emotions and memories. A whiff of Chanel No. 5 can take you right back to when you were a little kid, watching your mom get dressed up to go out.

Or smelling Paco Rabanne might remind you of your first boyfriend.

Advertisers of perfume and other personal-care products have been tapping into this for a long time; think of the scratch-and-sniff-spots on perfume ads in magazines.

A University of Michigan marketing professor decided to see if the same holds true for food.

Aradhna Krishna is an expert in sensory marketing, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:58 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

What does the future look like for Detroit automakers?

General Motors headquarters.
user paul (dex) Flickr

The Detroit automakers are moving into their fifth year of recovery from the disastrous bottoming-out of 2009, when GM and Chrysler had to file for bankruptcy and Ford had to mortgage itself to the hilt to avoid the same fate.

Sales are brisk, auto loans are available and the future is bright, or is it?

Are there warning signs of another auto downturn? And if so, can the state of Michigan protect itself from getting hit as hard as it did in the last collapse?

Bridge Magazine writer Rick Haglund wrote about this in a recent piece for Bridge, and he joined us today along with Kristen Dziczek from the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:58 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

What can be done about algae blooms and dead zones in Lake Erie?

Algae in Lake Erie.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

If you lived in Michigan in the 1960s and '70s, you will remember: Lake Erie was on the "critical list." It was once declared dead.

But it got back on the road to health and recovery until the mid-1990s.

That's when the lake started showing signs of distress, with large algae blooms and dead zones showing up again.

Now comes a report from an international agency that keeps a close eye on the health of the Great Lakes, and it is a clarion call to action. Among the agencies contributing to the report is the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.

Don Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:57 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Will this Michigan spring bring water, water everywhere?

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

We've all kept rather busy this winter tracking the seemingly never-ending snowfall. And, with nobody's friend – the polar vortex – hanging around all winter, nothing has melted. So there's a sizeable snow pack just waiting for the spring melt.

What are forecasters predicting in terms of river and road flooding this spring?

Jim Maczko is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service based in Grand Rapids. He joined us today to give us an idea of what to look out for as temperatures warm up.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
1:26 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan ranks last in the nation for per-capita spending on veterans

John M. Cropper Flickr

Listen to what the director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency has to say about Michigan being last.

Are Michigan veterans getting what they deserve in terms of benefits and support?

The Veterans Administration says when it comes to per-capita spending on veterans, Michigan checks in at an average of just over $3,400 per vet. The national average is over $4,800. That places Michigan last in the nation.

What is the state doing about this? And what are they doing to make sure that veterans get all the benefits to which they're entitled?

The director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:46 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

CMU class teaches religion by examining 'The Walking Dead'

Central Michigan University

An interview with CMU student Carl Huber.

A college class that involves poring over ancient biblical texts might not inspire much excitement.

But a college class that teaches some of the same lessons using zombies? Ah, that's going to grab 'em!

That's the idea behind a religion class at Central Michigan University that has, indeed, grabbed a lot of attention. It's called "From Revelation to 'The Walking Dead,'" and it’s taught by religion professor Kelly Jean Murphy.

CMU student Carl Huber is a junior who is double-majoring in Comparative Religion and Sociology, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:54 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The latest on the international bridge to Canada

http://buildthedricnow.com/

President Obama recently submitted his budget proposal for fiscal year 2014-2015, and you could almost hear the sighs of exasperation on both sides of the Detroit River.

That's because missing from the nearly $4 trillion budget was the $250 million needed to get construction started on that new bridge across the Detroit River – specifically, the U.S. customs plaza for the New International Trade Crossing bridge to Windsor.

Canada is footing most of the cost of building the bridge, so that missing $250 million is the only piece of the project that the U.S. would kick in.

And it wasn't in Obama’s budget plan.

Windsor Star reporter Dave Battagello joined us to give us the latest on this story.

*Listen to our interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:54 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Stateside for Monday, March 10, 2014

Today on Stateside, Benton Harbor's financial emergency is over, according to Gov. Rick Snyder. An emergency manager was appointed four years ago; he and his successor have been successful in rehabilitating the city's finances. 

The challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is coming to an end in federal court. Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown joined us today to discuss the issue. 

Proposed changes to special education rules are causing alarm and concern for parents. Marcie Lipsitt, founder of Michigan Alliance for Special Education, joined us today to talk about the potentially devastating effects of the rule changes. 

Law
4:53 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Same-sex marriage case comes to a close

The family at the center of the same-sex marriage trial.
DeBoer Rowse Adoption Legal Fund

A challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is coming to an end in federal court. Arguments have ended and we are waiting for a ruling from U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman within the next two weeks. 

The case involves a lesbian couple from Oakland County and their adopted children. The women want legal joint custody of each other's children for purposes of inheritance, benefits and guardianship, should one of them die.

But state law does not allow gay marriage. Michigan passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 banning same-sex marriage. 

Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown wants to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Economy
4:52 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Benton Harbor's financial emergency ends

Benton Harbor's financial emergency is over, according to Governor Rick Snyder.
Google Maps

Gov. Rick Snyder says Benton Harbor's financial emergency is over.

It's been four years since the state appointed an emergency manager to run the city's finances. 

Snyder attributes Benton Harbor's success, in part, to the new emergency manager law he signed after voters repealed a former version. The law gives managers broad powers to fix the finances of the cities and school districts. 

Snyder also gives Benton Harbor's most recent emergency manager credit for building trust in the community.

Listen to the audio above.  

Arts & Culture
4:45 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Living Room: Identity and acceptance in West Michigan's LGBT community

Rachel Gleason

Everybody’s got a story.  Some are very extraordinary stories.  It might be a good for somebody to look into theirs, because a story is the shortest distance between two people.

The Living Room is our ongoing storytelling series, curated by Allison Downey.

This story is the first in our series about identity and acceptance in West Michigan’s LGBT community.

Rachel Gleason spent much of youth at her church; worshipping, studying, singing, babysitting.

The church was her life.

But that began to change when Rachel started to understand who she really was.

*Listen to Rachel’s story above.

Allison Downey curates stories for our ongoing series The Living Room. This story was produced by Zak Rosen. Support was provided by a Kalamazoo Community Foundation grant from the Fetzer Institute Fund.

Stateside
4:45 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

An update on where we are with emergency road funding

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

As we gingerly pick our way through Michigan's pothole-ridden and crumbling roads, state lawmakers are hashing out just how much money to spend on fixing the state's roads and highways.

Chris Gautz, the Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, gave us an update.

*Listen to our interview above.

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