Stateside

Here you'll find individual interviews and segments from Michigan Radio's daily talkshow Stateside. To find the entire program, go here.

Morgan Willis

The Next Idea

When Amber Williams and Morgan Willis talk about #ICantBreathe or #BlackLivesMatter, they aren't just talking about Twitter hashtags. For these black activists and many others in Michigan, digital technologies create important spaces of solace, solidarity, struggle, and connection. At a recent conference at University of Michigan called #UMBLACKOUT, Williams, Willis, and an array of local and national black activists discussed the myriad ways that black organizers use technology for both politics and pleasure, online and offline. 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

President Barack Obama's trip to Cuba last month was a major milestone in the thawing of relations between Washington and Havana.

It was the first visit to Cuba by a sitting president in over 85 years.

This ongoing thaw has many people wondering what's ahead for the island and its people.

Gov. Rick Snyder talks about Wednesday's criminal charges against two MDEQ employees and one Flint official.
SnyderLive / screen grab

Two state water quality experts and a Flint utility official have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors related to the city's drinking water crisis. 

The charges include misconduct and neglect of duty, and lying to cover up the lead contamination. 

When asked specifically whether Governor Snyder was being looked at as part of the state's ongoing investigation, state Attorney General Bill Schuette simply responded that "no one is above the law."

  • Criminal charges related to Flint’s drinking water crisis have been filed against two state water quality experts and a Flint water utility supervisor. Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports.
  • Talia Buford is an environmental reporter from Flint, but when her own mother complained about brown water, she passed over the story.

After criss-crossing the country for more than three decades, and spending 15 years as part of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Paula Poundstone has gone from Greyhound bus terminal cafeterias in the 1980s to the Comedy Hall of Fame. Now, she’s back in Michigan.

Once built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge could double the number of trucks rolling through the Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Once it's built, the Gordie Howe International Bridge from Windsor to Detroit will be one of Michigan's most important tools for international trade.

 

It's projected that truck traffic will double from the current 10,000 to some 20,000 trucks each day rumbling through the southwest Detroit neighborhood of Delray.

 

So what's good for Michigan trade – not to mention America's and Canada's trade – is going to be felt deeply by the folks living there.

flickr user Jamin Gray / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The rumor mill is certainly thriving in the 21st century.

But roll the clock back a few hundred years, and we see that not much has changed. Even without the help of Facebook or Twitter, rumors spread quickly in early America.

 

These rumors may have been groundless, but they managed to take root and affected many important issues of the day.

Governor Snyder sits with Flint resident Cheryl Canty in her home on Monday
Facebook

Gov. Rick Snyder visited a Flint home on Monday and drank filtered water from the family's tap.

He then announced that he'll be drinking filtered tap water from Flint for the next 30 days to show the public that it's safe. 

 

Cheryl Canty, the Flint resident who opened up her home to Snyder, tells us she was surprised to find out that the governor would be paying her a visit. 

cursive handwriting
theilr / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You may have seen the internet meme floating around social media. It says, “Someday us old folks will use cursive writing as a secret code.”

  • Cruise ships have plied the Great Lakes since the 1800s. Starting this summer, the Pearl Mist will stop in Muskegon as she travels between Chicago and Toronto.
  • It’s playoff time for a pair of Michigan sports teams, as the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons have kicked off their respective post-seasons. We check-in with Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U.
Sgt. Anthony Gazvoda in Afghanistan
Sgt. Anthony Gazvoda

Anyone who goes to fight for the U.S. military in Afghanistan is putting themselves in harm’s way. However, few had a more dangerous job than Grayling, Mich. native Army Sgt. Anthony Gazvoda.

Gazvoda’s job was to clear the roads for his fellow soldiers. This meant he was on the lookout for Improvised Explosive Devices and potential ambushes. By the time Gazvoda left the service with an honorable discharge and a commendation for valor, he had been involved in 34 firefights and dealt with 32 IED incidents.

  • In 1964, when legislators in Michigan created a state minimum wage, the idea was to create a system where no worker would be paid less than minimum wage. That was true for farm workers, too. Until now
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found where you live can make a difference in how long you live.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In 1964, when legislators in Michigan created a state minimum wage, the idea was to create a system where no worker would be paid less than minimum wage.

But in a departure from previous practice, the state agency that enforces the law ruled in a pay dispute case that agricultural workers are not protected under the minimum wage law.

  • Gov. Rick Snyder’s appearance at this week’s Pancakes & Politics breakfast was marked by his insistence that his staff and “career civil servants” misled him about the Flint water crisis.
Wikimedia user Brian Ammon / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

When looking at the modern world of innovation or business, you really can’t ignore China.

The country’s influence is huge, but interacting with Chinese companies, educators or officials can present a tough challenge for native English speakers: Mandarin Chinese is so fundamentally different from English, especially in tonal inflections.

Catherine Ryu is a Michigan State University researcher who is working with a team of students to develop a new game that could help English speakers learn Mandarin.

Cynthia Canty with Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton from BuzzFeed's "Another Round" podcast.
Stateside Staff

One of the internet's biggest podcasts is coming to Ann Arbor to do a live show.

At the invitation of the School of Social Work People of Color Collective at the University of Michigan, Buzzfeed's hit podcast Another Round will hold its first live show at the Michigan Union on Thursday, April 14.

  • A $200,000 question in Lansing City Hall as the city attorney abruptly resigns yet gets a full year's salary and more. Judi Browne Clarke is president of the Lansing City Council.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s something brewing around Lansing’s City Hall.

On March 4, Lansing’s city attorney Janene McIntyre resigned voluntarily, but the Lansing State Journal reports that McIntyre was still paid $160,000 in salary and accrued benefits. McIntyre and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero have repeatedly declined to discuss the details about why she left and why she was given such a substantial payment by the city.

Courtesy of Frank Boring

When you ask anyone about women’s professional baseball, the majority of people will make some reference to director Penny Marshall’s 1992 film A League of Their Own. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna and tells the story of the real-life Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The league was created to provide sports fans with entertainment while the men – including many star major league baseball players -- were away fighting in World War II. 

  • New water tests from Virginia Tech show lead levels are improving in Flint, but the water is still not safe to drink without a filter.
  • Leading off the show is John U. Bacon as he tackles a number of issues in the Michigan sports world.
duncan c / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What's in a name? How does it affect the course, or even the length of your life?

That question drove Michigan State University economist Lisa D. Cook to dig into three million death certificates in four states from 1802 to 1970.

And that led to some intriguing findings, especially about the names of black men.

Khalilshah / Flickr

The Next Idea

The list of people who have lost out in our state is too long for this space. The people of Flint, students in Detroit, even the Detroit Lions, all have been beaten by forces beyond their control.

Jim Harbaugh watches closely during Michigan's Spring Game.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last week, the NCAA finally ruled on Jim Harbaugh's satellite football camps for the University of Michigan.

They said that teams are no longer allowed to hold camps outside of their own facilities.

A view of Zug Island from Windsor, Ontario in 2009
user Jamie / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A few years ago, residents in the southern and western parts of Windsor complained of a mysterious noise. It was described as a “hum” sound that brought with it vibrations that were often strong enough to rattle windows.

Here is an example of the "Windsor Hum" that was recorded by Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton in May of 2012 (It was digitally enhanced so you are able to hear it on your speakers).

  • Michigan’s Schools of Choice program is 20 years old. The Holland Sentinel recently looked at the impacts on local school districts. We speak with Holland Public Schools Superintendent Brian Davis.
  • Nearly one in four Americans are asked to sign a non-compete agreement when taking a new job.
flickr user Government of Alberta / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


Nearly one in four American workers are asked to sign a non-compete agreement when they take a new job.

This used to be reserved for CEOs and TV anchors, but not anymore.

An article in Fortune reported the sandwich chain Jimmy John's has a non-compete clause which would prevent former employees from working at any nearby restaurant that gets at least 10 percent of its revenue from sandwiches for two years.

wikimedia user motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


Michigan's Schools of Choice program is now 20 years old.

In some parts of the state, the competition for students can be intense. Public school districts put up yard signs, families are sometimes offered gifts to sign up for a school out of district, and the number of publicly funded, privately run charter schools has increased.

Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase Facebook Event

A comedy showcase in Hamtramck Saturday night will have a somewhat jarring theme: suicide.

The event is called “Suck It, Suicide,” and is a benefit show performed by Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase

Proceeds from the event go to Six Feet Over, a non-profit helping people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Fishing on Lake Huron
U.S. Department of the Interior

The lake trout used to be the fish to catch in the Great Lakes. But by the 1950s, severe overfishing and an infestation of an eel-like, blood-sucking parasite called the sea lamprey had drastically reduced the number of lake trout and other fish.

Then, a fish called the alewife invaded the Great Lakes through man-made canals.

Without enough lake trout to keep them in check, alewife populations exploded, and have since varied wildly year to year. Dead alewives have been spotted washed up on beaches in piles stretching miles along Great Lakes coasts.

In 1964, the Department of Natural Resources hired a fish biologist named Howard Tanner. They asked him to figure out how to deal with the alewife problem, and left him with an order: “Make it spectacular.”

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