Stateside

Stateside
7:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Michigan Lawmakers are back in session

The legislature will vote on changes to health care benefits for public employees tomorrow.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

After a two week recess state lawmakers are back in Lansing. Here is a quick look into what ­­­ exactly the Legislature will be focusing on now that they are back in session.

This session will mark the return of the controversial no fault auto insurance policy.

Republican lawmakers, including Governor Rick Snyder, want to place a cap on benefits for individuals who receive serious injuries in auto accidents.

Michigan is the only state that provides unlimited health benefits to those who have suffered serious injuries. 

Republicans and insurance companies argue that is why insurance rates are so high in Michigan. Republicans have mentioned that the possible cap could be around $50,000.

Changing this policy has stalled regularly in the Legislature in the past.

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Stateside
7:22 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

The latest buzz about Michigan bees

Less bees means less pollination and less honey
Photo by Julie Grant

A recent survey released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the state of Michigan has slipped from seventh to ninth place in national honey production. 

But what is even more worrisome are the declines in honeybee populations. Bees are vital for agriculture throughout the country. When there are fewer bees to pollinate crops, there are fewer crops. 

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Stateside
4:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

New study found that adults text more than teenagers while driving

Texting while driving is more common among adults than teenagers
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

When you think about someone texting and driving, who comes to mind? A teenager? If you said yes, you're wrong.

A survey conducted by AT&T as a part of the "It Can Wait" campaign found that 98% of adults that they surveyed admitted that they texted while driving.  In contrast, 48% of teenagers said they texted while driving.

The AT&T study also found that 60% of adults surveyed said that they didn't text while they were behind the wheel three years ago. 

What's going on with drivers in America? Is it smartphones? Or are we becoming more reckless drivers?

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Stateside
4:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Why the Wolverines are at the Championship, and what fans are wearing

Michigan plays top-seeded Louisville for the NCAA championship title tonight
Michigan Basketball Facebook

Wolverines across the country will be watching the NCAA championship game tonight, but what's happening with the team when their off-screen?

There's no doubt that this team has some extraordinary players. What are they doing that works so well?

Is it the combination of a veteran coach and a young team?

Michigan Radio's Sports Commentator John U. Bacon gave us insight into what has made this team bring the University of Michigan to the championship for the first time since 1989. 

Well, whatever it is, they've got fans buying new gear. Wolverines are sporting apparel with new slogans like, "We on," and "Rise to the occasion." 

They aren't the only ones happy about the championship. Sports apparel shops in Ann Arbor are experiencing a very healthy surge in sales. 

Todd Goetz is the manager of the Ulrich's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, which also sells Wolverine merchandise.

To listen to the audio, click the link above. 

Stateside
4:33 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Wages in Michigan still aren't equal between men and women

Men and women don't receive equal wages in Michigan
American Panel

If you are a working woman in Michigan, you will average 73 cents for every dollar made by a man, according to a study recently released by the American Association of University Women. 

Michigan women rank seventh among the states and Washington D.C. in the wage gap between men and women, but what does that mean? What is it about Michigan that might lead to this gap?

And, as Michigan becomes a Right to Work state, what effect will that have on the wage gap?

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty was joined by the President of the American Association of University Women in Michigan, Janet Watkins.

Watkins explained the study, and addressed the effect of the gender wage gap among varying industries and ethnicities throughout the state of Michigan. 

You can get more information about Equal Pay Day at www.aauwmi.org.

To hear the full story, click the link above. 

Stateside
4:32 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

'Never Again' shares the story of an Ann Arbor Holocaust survivor

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration created by Congress to honor the millions of Jews who died in the Nazi Holocaust, as well as millions of others. 

It is linked with the Holocaust Remembrance Day that Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion started 60 year ago. 

Though the ranks of survivors are dwindling, those who are still here continue to share their experiences with the goal of preserving history and preventing future genocides. 

This year's theme for the National Days of Remembrance is "Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs," and encompasses the stories of many survivors, including Ann Arbor resident Miriam Garvil.

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Stateside
2:12 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Stateside for Monday, April 8th, 2013

On today's show, it turns out that adults are texting and driving just as much as teens.  A new study says older drivers are just as much at fault as younger ones when it comes to using the phone behind the wheel.

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Stateside
6:18 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The challenges Detroit's emergency manager faces

Flikr

Time now for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

On Dan's mind today is Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who has been on the job for less than two weeks.

So far Orr has kept salaries intact for the Mayor and City Council and has allowed them to keep meeting.

As Howes talks with business leaders and others, he has been hearing the reviews they have been giving to Orr in these first days.

Recently, he had the opportunity to sit down with someone who knows what kind of challenges Kevyn Orr faces.

Joseph Harris, the former emergency manager in Benton Harbor and Detroit's auditor general for 10 years, has a lot of knowledge when it comes to building bridges and reaching out to business and foundation leaders.

His advice for Orr, "get moving like your hair is on fire."

Today, we get to hear, what advice Harris has given to Orr when it comes to addressing Detroit's financial problems.

To hear more from Daniel Howes, his column is in today's edition of the Detroit News.

To listen to the full audio, click the link above.

Stateside
5:06 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

It's been a challenging few years for non-profits in Michigan, whether they depended on private donations or corporate, the Great Recession hurt organizations all over the state.

On today's show: we'll see how non-profits are feeling as the economy gradually recovers. We'll also take a look at General Motors as the North America CFO says the company has plans to redesign, refresh or replace almost 90 percent of its vehicles. We talk with two leading auto analysts to find out what this really means for consumers.

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Environment & Science
5:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Checking in on Michigan's bird populations

The American Robin, Michigan's State Bird
Wikipedia.org

Even as Mother Nature plays her own little cat & mouse game with us regarding whether or not spring has actually arrived, there is one unimpeachable source telling us that, despite the chilly temps and snow showers, spring is here.

No doubt you've heard the welcome sounds of birds chirping. That harbinger of warmer weather to come got us wondering: what's the State of the Michigan bird?

For those who may not know, the Michigan State Bird is the American Robin, which has been the official state bird declared by the Michigan Audubon Society since 1931.

Late last month, some of the state's top conservationists, biologists and professors came together for a statewide Michigan bird conference.

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Stateside
4:59 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Going "full tilt" at the Michigan Pinball Expo

Wikipedia

The Who's "Pinball Wizard" was an anthem for the baby boom generation who grew up going to arcades where dozens of pinball machines would be lined up.

But, in these days of Xbox and PlayStation 2 there are still young Pinball Wizards.

The Michigan Pinball Expo is coming to Oakland University this week. The expo is a family friendly event which hosts over 125 pinball machines over 15,000 square feet of space. Here's the catch: all of the machines are free to play, so no quarters are required.

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Stateside
3:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

A closer look at two new state laws

Neeta Lind Flickr

Two laws took effect this week in Michigan, one concerning abortion and the other concerning marijuana. The state Legislature passed the controversial bills in a frenzy of activity last December.

Let's start with the new bill concerning abortion. 

Chad Livingood is the Lansing reporter for the Detroit News and Chris Gautz is  the Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business. 

They outlined the new law for us, which regulates abortion clinics that provide surgical abortions. 

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Stateside
5:38 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Should foreign language be a high school requirement?

Emily Spinelli of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and Representative Phil Potvin (R- Cadillac) debate the value of foreign language in high school classrooms.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

Michigan high schools currently require students to take foreign language in grades nine through twelve. Well, that might change soon.

Republican State Representative Phil Potvin of Cadillac is pushing a bill that would make studying a foreign language and algebra II merely an option for students.

Last year House Bill 4102 was heard in the 96th Legislature, but wasn't voted on. Potvin expects the bill to be voted on this year.

"The real reason to do this is that our kids have such a tight curriculum now. [This bill] would allow them some choices."

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Stateside
4:55 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Universities in Michigan and Qatar collaborate

The University of Michigan is collaborating with Qatar Unversity in research endeavor
Wikimedia Commons

U.S. media shape many Americans' perceptions of the Middle East.

The general lack of knowledge about the culture, society and economy of a part of the world that is so closely connected to the United States was the impetus for a joint effort between the University of Michigan and Qatar University.

Together, the schools have created the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, charged with the mission of conducting state of the art social science research in the Arab Gulf.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Mark Tessler, a University of Michigan Professor of Political Science and a principal researcher at the Institute.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Michigan won, let's talk about what's next

www.mgoblue.com

Yesterday, Ann Arbor was buzzing with maize and blue fans as Michigan made its way to the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five era.

Now, we all want to know what will happen next.

Will Trey Burke win the College Player of the Year award? What will Michigan need to do as they face Syracuse?

Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Cynthia Canty to relive yesterday's greatest moments and talk about what we should expect from the Wolverines.

To listen to the full audio, click the link above.

Politics & Culture
4:37 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Michigan officially becomes a right-to-work state today. It's the 24th state in the nation to do so, and the 2nd in the Midwest.

On today's show, we'll find out just what Michiganders think of the new controversial law.

And we'll find out why a group of Republicans in Michigan are calling on Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign.

We also talk about how budget cuts are affecting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and we'll talk about the history of Belle Isle.

And we'll hear about "Nerd Night" in Ann Arbor.

But first, we talk with state budget director John Nixon about coming federal budget cuts and how he expects these cuts to affect Michigan's bottom line.

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Stateside
4:35 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Federal budget cuts squeeze services at Sleeping Bear Dunes

This view will only be available to visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day due to the sequester
Danielle Lynch Flickr

'The sequester' has generated a nervous buzz throughout the nation as we wait to see if the federal budget cuts will be a big deal. 

For some agencies in Michigan, the cuts are already here.

Let's take a look at one of the state's most popular scenic tourist destinations - the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Last year, the Dunes had a record year with 1.53 million visitors.

Tom Ulrich is the Deputy Superintendent of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Though he wasn't told to furlough any of his year round employees, Ulrich was required to cut a lot of the seasonal employees that are crucial to park maintenance over the summer.

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Stateside
4:35 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Controversy has followed Belle Isle since the beginning

Belle Isle
Mike Russell wikimedia commons

The issue of whether or not the State would take over Belle Isle was tossed back and forth between Detroit City Council and Lansing like a hot potato.

It finally ground to a halt when City Council tabled a decision on a state deal. Governor Snyder declared the deal dead once that happened.

The State took its offer off the table, saying there was not enough time to get Belle Isle ready for the summer season.

But this political squabbling over Belle Isle has a long history in Detroit and Michigan.

It’s not new.

It goes back to the very first days when Detroiters wanted a park.

That was in 1871, and fireworks were flaring then.

Amy Elliott Bragg is the author of “Hidden History of Detroit” and she blogs about Detroit history at nighttraintodetroit.com.

Amy broke down the history of the Belle Isle purchase - the controversy that was stirred up  over a 100 years ago - and what can we  learn in 2013 about what it took to make Belle Isle a city park.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

'Nerd Nite' debuts in Detroit tonight

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor Facebook

"Be there and be square!"

That's the battle cry for Detroit's first-ever 'Nerd Nite.'

It's happening tonight at Great Lakes Coffee on Woodward in the Medical Center area of Detroit.

Ann Arbor started its monthly Nerd Nites earlier this year. The event helps bring fun and entertainment with an added value of learning, but people may be wondering, what exactly  is a 'Nerd Nite'.

Organizers Liz LaMoste and Amber Conville join us today to tell us what happens during a Nerd Nite where the slogan is "Nerd Nite is like The Discovery Channel with beer."

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Stateside
4:31 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Michiganders divided on right-to-work law

MSU Economist Charley Ballard
http://econ.msu.edu

Today, Michigan becomes the nation's 24th right-to-work state. It's the second in the Midwest, after Indiana.

The law was passed with much controversy and thousands of demonstrators packing in and around the state Capitol last December.

A new poll out today shows that Michiganders are deeply divided over the new law.

Michigan State University’s  “State of the State Survey” asked more than a thousand people whether they thought right-to-work would be good for Michigan’s economy.

42 percent said it would be good and 41 percent said it would be bad, while 16 percent said right-to-work would have no effect on Michigan’s economy.

Charley Ballard,  economist at MSU, directs the survey and he filled us in on what the percentages look like and what people really think about right-to-work.

Listen to the full interview above.

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