Stateside

Here you'll find the full program for Michigan Radio's Stateside. To find the individual segments and posts, go here.

A snapping turtle
Jessica Kosiara

A recent study published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessments finds turtles are getting doses of heavy metals such as lead and copper.

Matt Cooper is one of the co-authors of this study. He’s a research scientist at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Beowulf Sheehan

 

What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

That’s the premise of David Means' first novel, “Hystopia.” Means is a fiction writer born and raised in Kalamazoo.

 

Set in and around Michigan, the novel re-imagines the state during the Vietnam War era. Traumatized veterans run amok throughout the state. The novel explores the nature of memory, trauma and history.

 

Means joined us to talk about his new book and his relationship to his home state.

According to Tim Retzloff, the history of gay clubs and bars goes all the way back to the early 18th century.
flickr user Charlie Nguyen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When society marginalizes who you are, there’s an impulse to gather with people who are more accepting.

That’s why LGBTQ people gathered at the night club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. It was also Latin night. Members of two marginalized groups went there to have fun, be safe.

That night, 49 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in a hateful attack.

Flickr user phxwebguy/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit Public Schools could soon be debt-free as a result of last week’s bailout package approved by Michigan senators. But how did the district get into $617 million in debt in the first place? A new study suggests that Michigan state laws are to blame for crippling districts like DPS.

flickr user krytofr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

By now, you've probably heard about Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub called Pulse. 

It's the largest mass shooting in United States history.

Laith Al-Saadi performing Ed Sheeran's "Make It Rain" on "The Voice"
screengrab

One night early in March, the rest of America discovered what audiences here in Michigan have known for years:  Laith Al-Saadi​ is a musical powerhouse.

That blind audition on NBC's The Voice had stars Blake Shelton and Adam Levine raving about Al-Saadi's voice.

And, as a member of Team Adam, Al-Saadi went on to finish fourth.

The International Symbol of Access
wikimedia user Ltljltlj / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0 / Public Domain

The Next Idea

Each month, the State of Michigan releases unemployment numbers, which are seen as a major indicator of the state’s economic health. One subset of these numbers is often overlooked — the employment levels for people with disabilities.

Michigan and other states struggle with the challenge of employing people in this group. The discrepancy is significant. As of March 2016, the national unemployment rate for people without disabilities was 4.9%. For people with disabilities, it was more than double that figure. Perhaps even more indicative of the challenge is the gap in the labor force participation rate of nearly 69% for people without disabilities, and almost 20% for people with disabilities.

C. Patrick Labadie Collection

 

As the country fell into the Great Depression, the SS Senator sunk to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Late last year, researchers used a remote-controlled submersible to confirm what had been identified as the SS Senator, which rests 15 miles off the Wisconsin shore. The ship sank in 1929 just a few days after the stock market collapse. Its cargo of 268 Nash automobiles from 1929 and 1930 is the largest known collection of its kind in the world.

 

Something is missing from Grand Traverse County’s 2016 budget: its Animal Control Department. The county shut down the entire department, and the responsibility for animal control was shifted to the Sheriff’s Department, which lacks the same resources and training the Animal Control Department had. Moreover, the Sheriff’s Department will only handle serious animal issues, such as animal neglect, abuse, and barking dog complaints.

 

What does this mean for Grand Traverse County residents and animals?

 

Republicans and Democrats in Lansing have very different views of the budget that was unveiled.
Thetoad / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The big news coming out of Lansing this week was the passing of a nearly $55 billion state budget, which included a $617 million in funding for the Detroit Public Schools. 

Some Republicans are praising the budget and the DPS bailout, and others like the House Education Chair State Rep. Amanda Price called it a "great day for the kids in Detroit."

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan turns 150 years old.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan’s oldest opera house, the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, is 150 years old.

Jere Righter, Artistic Director for the Croswell, joined Stateside to talk about the history and the future of the venue that has seen countless performers, speakers, plays and events over the last century and a half.

Righter says the venue was once used for animal shows, poultry sales, lectures and plays put on by the community. It was also a place for big, national shows and speakers to perform.

Benny Parsons won 21 career races, including the 1973 NASCAR championship and the 1975 Daytona 500
Ted Van Pelt / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

If you live anywhere near Brooklyn, Michigan, you're probably seeing a lot more RV traffic.

It's race weekend at the Michigan International Speedway and NASCAR's top drivers will be in town racing for the Firekeepers Casino 400.

In honor of the big race, we take the time to tell the story of one of the sport's all-time great drivers and personalities: Benny Parsons.

In an unlikely underdog story, Parsons went from a Detroit taxi driver to a NASCAR champion before lung cancer claimed his life in 2007.

Wikimedia Commons

The City of Detroit is trying to help people who have criminal records clear up those past mistakes in order to get a job.

Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit and he joins Stateside to talk about Project Clean Slate. The program seeks to help Detroit residents expunge their records so they can get back into the workforce.

Listen to the full interview above. 

GUEST
Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit

Keith Wunderlich

Detroit is celebrating Vernors 150th anniversary this week. That celebration winds up tomorrow, when the city will try to set a world record for most pop drinkers at a time.

Keith Wunderlich, curator of Vernors collectibles, joined us on Stateside today to talk about the iconic company, which started with Ginger Ale.

Courtesy of Barry Neal

It’s that time of year again. Long lines are starting to form outside of all those favorite ice cream shops.

But one line might be longer than the others this weekend – half a mile long, that is.

Thousands of people are expected in Ludington Saturday. The town will try to set a Guinness World Record for longest ice cream dessert, using ice cream from Ludington’s House of Flavors.

In the lower right hand corner of Evan Kimball’s driver’s license was the word “DONOR” next to a red heart.

That meant he elected to be an organ donor when he was registering for his license at 16 years old.

Last October, at 18 years old, Evan was killed in a car crash.

Lydia and Ward Kimball are Evan’s parents. As the doctors recovered their son’s organs, the two worked on what’s called directed donation – they selected the patients to whom Evan would give a second chance.

FLICKR USER FREEDOM TO MARRY https://flic.kr/p/6toGYr

This coming Sunday, June 12 is Loving Day.

It marks the 49th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia. The landmark decision struck down the criminality of interracial marriage in this country.

They'll be celebrating Loving Day this Sunday in Grand Rapids with a full day of film, music and theater from the Ebony Road Players, a Grand Rapids theater company.

FLICKR USER MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE https://flic.kr/p/p5s8vE

 

University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University are putting traditional rivalries aside to pour some brain power and expertise into Detroit.

Combined, these schools create the University Research Corridor (URC). They use their expertise to lead research and innovation within Southeast Michigan.

Simon Blackley/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

A child's first day of school can be both an exciting and stressful time for a parent, especially for those who are starting out in a new country. The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) has created a program to help immigrants adapt to their new community and prepare their children for school.

FLICKR USER RICHARD DRDUL https://flic.kr/p/gErZu

 

The biking community of Kalamazoo turned out last evening for a five mile silent ride, honoring the cyclists hit by an alleged drunk driver. Five people were killed and four were injured.

 

“The ride was part of what will be…a gradual healing process,” said Paul Selden, director of road safety for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club.

Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, speaks to reporters on the Senate floor after the Senate passed Senate Bills 710, 711, and 819 - 822, measures that would reform Detroit's public schools.
senatorgoeffhansen.com

A $617 million bailout of Detroit Public Schools was approved by Michigan late Wednesday, eliciting a range of responses from lawmakers across the state. Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, came to tears during last night’s legislative session.

“We’ve been living this for over a year,” Hansen said on Stateside. “You get to the end and it’s not exactly as you envisioned it.”

Courtesy of Michigan House Republicans

The Michigan Senate approved a $617 million bailout for Detroit Public Schools Wednesday night, and lawmakers are sharing their thoughts. State Rep. Amanda Price believes that the package’s approval will bring a “brighter future” for the kids of Detroit.

Senator David Knezek of Dearborn Heights says the legislature missed a huge opportunity to help struggling Detroit schools.
Courtesy of Sen. Knezek

State lawmakers passed a $617 million dollar package for Detroit Public Schools on Wednesday night.

Democratic Senator David Knezek of District Five, which includes part of Detroit, joined us on Stateside to discuss the package.

It’s a big step backwards for DPS, he said.

“The package that we passed last night sets up Detroit Public Schools for failure,” Knezek said. “It sets up the children for failure.”

FLICKR USER FLORIAN BUGIEL https://flic.kr/p/mvyj4a

Human trafficking is a growing problem in our state. Reported cases of human trafficking in Michigan were up 16% in 2015 from the year before.

And that's only counting the reported cases. Many more go unreported.

Flickr user Leonard Witzel/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It’s been four years since the repeal of a Michigan law that required motorcycle riders to wear helmets – an effort that was led by American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) of Michigan.

Vince Consiglio is the president of ABATE of Michigan and has averaged 25,000 miles a year on his motorcycle since 1974. He believes wearing a helmet should be a choice made by motorcyclists.

“If you are riding at 50 miles an hour and you hit [a car] head-on,” Consiglio said on Stateside. “There’s no helmet that can protect you.”

Catie Newell, Nightly

Audio Pending...

To many of us, darkness and light are just something you affect by flicking a light switch or snuffing a candle.

But for University of Michigan architecture assistant Catie Newell, light is a condition and a "material."

Courtesy of The Moth

Some fine storytelling is coming to the Wharton Center at Michigan State University.

The Moth Mainstage happens tomorrow night, June 9, at 7:30.

Jay Allison, producer of The Moth Radio Hour, joined us today to talk about the event, the Moth's history and the often overlooked importance of storytelling.

GUEST

Jay Allison is producer of The Moth Radio Hour. He tweets @jay_allison.

Anne Corlett painting in Wyoming
photo courtesty of Anne Corlett

Let's say you're an artist.

You've spent years capturing the beauty of your home state.

And now, a new adventure calls to you: hit the road with your paints, brushes and easel, and capture a landscape from all 50 states.

Do you talk yourself out of this immense undertaking? Or give in to that siren call?

Saugatuck artist Anne Corlett chose to answer that call of adventure.

After three years, 29,604 miles of driving and 164 days away from home, she's done it.

Davontae Sanford
Michigan Department of Corrections

He was just 14 years old when he confessed to and was convicted of a quadruple murder.

But today, 23-year-old Davontae Sanford walks out of Ionia State Prison a free man.

His conviction was vacated Tuesday by Wayne County Circuit Judge Brian Sullivan, who agreed with arguments that Sanford's case had all the hallmarks of a false confession.

David Moran is with the Michigan Innocence Clinic and was co-counsel on this case.

Flickr user Kate Ter Haar / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Michigan Legislature has itself a showdown — over plastic bags.

Washtenaw and Muskegon counties were planning to ban stores from providing plastic bags to customers in order to tackle problems like litter and waste.

The Michigan Senate is looking to head off efforts like that. It's passed a bill to prohibit local legislatures from banning plastic bags. The bill's backers claim it’s not fair to retailers with stores in multiple counties across the state.

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