Stateside

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Governor Snyder will present his recommended budget for 2015-2016 on Wednesday morning.

Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan wrote an article about the anticipated budget.

The state's general fund, he said, is like the state’s “checking account.” For the current 2015 fiscal year, the state has a $325 million deficit. For the 2016 fiscal year – the year for which Snyder will present his recommended budget on Wednesday – a $532 million deficit is expected.

www.melodyarabo.com

Last spring’s Michigan Teacher of the Year, Melody Arabo, joined us today to talk about her first book, A Diary of a Real Bully.

Arabo’s book stems from her third grade classroom at Keith Elementary School in Walled Lake. There, she witnessed bullying and was shocked to find out which kids unveiled themselves as the bullies.

Courtesy of GM

The Next Idea

It can often be difficult to imagine just how much the latest innovations will truly affect our lives. The smartphone’s contributions, for example, are now obvious; the Segway’s, not so much.

One industry, however, that offers some of the clearest examples of how technology and new innovations will fundamentally change our world is the auto industry.

From driverless cars and 3-D printers, to shifting demographic and transportation trends, automakers are competing to find the best, most efficient innovations that will reshape everything from the way we buy (or share) cars to how we drive (or won’t) in the coming decades.

Kathlene Rodgers

 

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed.

Today we talk about what changes the mortuary science field has experienced.

We know it’s inevitable, but death is not something that all people come to embrace. For those working in the profession of mortuary sciences, it is a fact of daily life.

Wikimedia Commons

February 7th marks the 130th birthday of the American writer Sinclair Lewis, whose 1925 Pulitzer-prize winning novel Arrowsmith was the first novel to focus on the life of a medical scientist.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says it's a wonderful historical analysis of everything that is great and problematic with American medicine.

Today on Stateside:

  • Sen. Stabenow discusses the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Farm Bill and what can be expected with the New International Trade Crossing between Michigan and Canada.
  •  Counties and townships in Michigan don't have the authority to regulate oil and gas drilling. We talk with Keith Matheny from the Detroit Free Press about how those governments are trying the use the tools they do have.
  • Lynn Fairchild talks to us about the federal program Experience Works that helps people 55 and older find jobs.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

It has become crystal clear: Michigan's budget will have some mighty big holes this year and into the future. That's because billions of dollars of state tax credits awarded largely to Detroit's three automakers are coming due. The credits were aimed at keeping plants and jobs in Michigan during the Great Recession.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes before we get caught up in finger-pointing, grandstanding and wailing, a history lesson is in order.

Flickr user Mike Fischer / Flickr

As the years roll on and you move through middle age into senior citizen status, it can feel as though the world is racing past you, leaving you in its dust. Especially when it comes to finding a job.

Yet more and more people aged 55 and up are in the job hunt. The government tells us in 1992, workers 55 and older made up just under 12% of the work force. By 2022, it could be more than 25%.

Standards and efficiency stifle innovation

Feb 5, 2015
BILL PUGLIANO GETTY IMAGES

The Next Idea

Most descriptions of innovation end up in overreaching hyperbole: groundbreaking, disruptive, radical. This shouldn’t surprise anyone because innovation is basically a type of positive deviance, a form of useful novelty. What separates a new soft drink that has a hint of cherry flavor from a vaccine that prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease is the magnitude and speed at which it deviates from the norm. 

field of hay with red barn
Flickr user Julie Falk / Flickr

This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama's trip to Michigan State University where he signed the massive, almost $1 trillion U.S. Farm Bill into law.

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Michigan's zoning law bars counties and townships from regulating the drilling and operation of oil and gas wells, meaning oil can be drilled as close as 450 feet from your property line without prior notification.

Detroit Free Press reporter Keith Matheny talked to homeowners living next to an oil well in their neighborhood who were given no forewarning of its construction.

mconnors / MorgueFile

Walk the aisles of any wine shop or grocery store, and check out the wines crowding the shelves.

Chances are, most of the offerings come from the U.S., France, Italy, and Australia. 

But Hour Detroit Magazine's chief wine and restaurant critic, Chris Cook, says don't ignore the wines being produced in Spain.

www.michigan.gov/snyder

Thanks to a new package of laws that took effect last week, Michigan has a tougher new approach to human trafficking and the sex trade.

Bridgette Carr, a University of Michigan law professor, served on the state task force whose human trafficking report helped guide the Legislature as it crafted the new law, which has garnered lots of praise.

Detroit as seen from a "drone" armed with a camera.
user Tretch5000 / YouTube

The Michigan State Police could soon blaze new ground in law enforcement.

They're on track to become the first police force in the country to be allowed to use an aerial drone just about anywhere in the state.

DANA NYSON / BANDCAMP

After a life of loving music, Grand Rapids graphic designer Dana Nyson has released his very first EP. It’s called “So Far.”

Nyson decided to pursue his passion at 50 years old, when he signed up for music lessons with teacher James Hughes, one of the owners at Triumph Music Academy in Grand Rapids.

But he had one big problem to overcome: Playing in front of his teacher, James.

Today on Stateside:

  • Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, joins the show to discuss the implications of Governor Snyder deciding not to appeal a decision allowing 300 same sex couples to be legally recognized in Michigan.
  • Chad Livengood of the Detroit News Lansing Bureau joins us to discuss how the Michigan State Police could soon become the first police force in the country to use aerial drones throughout the state.

Rowse/DeBoer

On January 16, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments this spring in four cases that could lead to legally recognizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

One of those four cases was brought by Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer of Hazel Park. The couple hopes to marry so they can co-adopt their four children. Dana Nessel is the attorney that will help them through the case.

But the nation’s big civil rights and gay rights groups are not stepping up to support this potentially historic case. Here’s why:

Amelia Kanan / Flickr

Comedy Central is the home of some pretty creative comedy series, including Workaholics and Broad City. Now the network has ordered up a pilot for a new show called Detroiters, to be set in the Motor City.

Former Detroiters Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson are behind the show. Richardson is a new cast member of Veep on HBO, while Robinson has been a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live.

Gustavo Medde / Flickr

Michigan's adoption law has changed over the years, but many adoptees still have to use a third-party called a "confidential intermediary" when trying to find their birth parent or learn more about their background.

Yesterday, we talked with Michigan Radio listener John Stempien about his experience as an adult adoptee in Michigan, and his frustration at not being able to access his birth records or his birth parents' medical history.

Tina Caudill is a birth mother who reunited with her child and now works as a confidential intermediary. She's also the Michigan representative for the American Adoption Congress.

Today on Stateside:

Jimmy Hoffa on WESW-TV's Morning Exchange program sometime between 1971 and 1975.
WEWS-TV / YouTube

A new documentary digs into one of the most compelling and best-known unsolved crimes in American history. 

"Killing Jimmy Hoffa" is being released ahead of the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the famed labor leader after a meeting at a Bloomfield Township restaurant.

Today on Stateside:

  • Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground joins us to talk about last night’s 16.7 inches of snowfall – Metro Detroit’s third-biggest snowstorm in recorded history.
  • Dana DeBenham, director of the Howell Conference and Nature Center, talks about the prediction made today by Michigan’s understudy groundhog.

  • Al Steinman, Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University, describes the Great Lake’s high water levels, their causes and their consequences.
  • Blair Garrou, partner and co-founder of startup venture capital firm Mercury Fund, is an investor from outside Michigan who's interested in Michigan startups. Hear our conversation with him here, in The Next Idea story.
  • “Godfather of techno” Juan Atkins joins us to talk about techno music and its beginnings in Detroit.
  • Jeff Potter, Lansing resident and creator of OutYourBackdoor.com, chats about how now is the time to embrace winter.
  • It’s Just Politics co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta discuss the possibility that Michigan legally recognize 300 same-sex marriages by the end of the week.
  • John Stempien joins us to talk about his experience as a pre-1980 adoptee in Michigan.
FLICKR USER MATT MACGILLIVRAY / FLICKR

Punxatawney Phil isn't the only groundhog prognosticator!

Michigan's got an official groundhog. Her name is Woody, and she lives at the Howell Conference and Nature Center. But for this year's Groundhog Day, they had to send in a "pinch hitter:" a groundhog named Murray!

Michigan could see 300 same-sex marriages legally recognized by the end of the week if Governor Snyder decides not to appeal a federal judge's opinion on the matter. 

Listen above to hear “It's Just Politics” co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta give the lowdown, and check out their story here.

www.discogs.com

Detroit is the birthplace of techno music. Its creator is Juan Atkins, known as the “godfather of techno,” and after more than three decades in the scene, he’s still performing and making new music. Stateside’s Emily Fox spoke with Atkins about the legacy of Detroit techno. Atkins' latest album, under the name “Model 500” is out today. It’s called “Digital Solutions.”

FLICKR USER TOM GILL / FLICKR

The Great Lakes sunk to some of their lowest water levels ever two years ago. People were concerned about the low levels then, but today people are concerned for the opposite reason – water levels are high.

FLICKR USER SHUTTERSPARKS/FLICKR

Metro Detroit is digging out from under the third biggest snowstorm in recorded history. Officially, 16.7 inches of snow have fallen.

Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground joined us today. He said 1974 marked the last single-day snowfall of this magnitude.

Time to embrace Michigan winters

Feb 2, 2015

"Water Winter Wonderland" was proudly printed on Michigan license plates in the boom-time Sixties.

That slogan told the truth, we're an honest to goodness four-season northern state. Similar regions worldwide embrace this reality, but we seem to be having issues.

Well, I’m taking a stand for winter, and for our state.

The Next Idea

Venture capital flow into Michigan has been steadily increasing since 2008, but the state saw a remarkable uptick last year. According to a report released last month by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers, venture capital investment in Michigan nearly doubled, up from $111 million in 2013 to $219 million last year.  

John Stempien

When most of us go to the doctor, we probably don't think twice when we're asked about our family medical history: mom had this disease, dad's got that disease.

We also probably don't think twice about seeing faces that echo our own.

But if you were adopted in Michigan before 1980, these experiences don't come as easily.

Michigan Radio listener John Stempien wrote to us to describe his experiences as a pre-1980 adoptee in Michigan wondering how many others are in the same dilemma.

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