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Offbeat

Offbeat

Tuzen Follow / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There are efforts underway to modernize Michigan’s 911 system. We plan to discuss the details next week on Stateside, but first, we want to hear from you! What questions do you have about 911 in Michigan?

We also want to hear your stories – have you called 911 recently? Did everything go smoothly, or were there hiccups? Tell us about your experience.

Warren G. Hooper
Michigan History Center

 

It's Wednesday, so it's time to talk Michigan History. This week, we observe the anniversary of the 1945 assassination of State Senator Warren G. Hooper.

 

Mark Harvey, state archivist, along with Scott Burnstein, Detroit mafia historian and author, and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's Capitol bureau chief, joined Stateside to help tell the story.

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders are buying Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets this week in hopes of winning their share of roughly a billion dollars in prize money.

The multi-state lottery jackpots get all the attention.   But it’s the smaller games that make most of the money.

Spokesman Jeff Holyfield says Powerball and Mega Million sales represent only about six to seven percent of the Michigan Lottery’s revenues.

phone with social media apps
Jason Howie / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

How do we sort out fact from fiction on social media? Do we really want to? It seems that people are quickly and happily sharing things online that are pure fiction without question and without a critical thought.

 

Stateside host Cynthia Canty found herself asking these questions recently when something came up on her Facebook feed. Some friends shared a story describing an airplane flight crew "taking a knee," walking off the plane, and stranding the New Orleans Saints: the flight crew's "protest" of players kneeling during the National Anthem.

 

Somebody would share the story, and then his friends would pile on, saying, “Yeah, that'll show them what America is about.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

“Fake news” is real news today.     

President Donald Trump’s favorite way of describing news reports he doesn’t like tops this year’s list of banned words and phrases.

Lake Superior State University has been producing its annual tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for more than 40 years.   

List editor John Shibley says “fake news” received more nominations from the general public than any other word or phrase on the list.

“It’s telling you how to think. And I think a lot of people are rebelling against that notion,” says Shibley.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Sometimes, 2017 felt a bit overwhelming. Luckily, we found some stories that will brighten everyone’s year.

Here are some of the most popular uplifting stories from 2017:

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio's sports commentator explains why Detroit was your city in 2017 if you like mediocrity in sports. And, a father says former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar assaulted his teenage daughter while under criminal investigation. 

Santa House
Courtesy of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School

“He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart.”

So said the founder of the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Midland, Michigan.

Yes, you read that right. There is such a thing as Santa school, and the one in Michigan is the longest-running in the country. With students coming from as far as Australia and Denmark, it’s known as the “Harvard of Santa Schools.”

Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened with the bang of a thermal detonator this weekend, becoming the second-highest grossing opening weekend for a film ever in North America.

But your local theater isn't the only place where aspiring Jedi knights can be found learning to wield a lightsaber.

Chad Eisner co-founded a group called Terra Prime Light Armory in 2012. The group promotes traditional martial arts and weapon arts by sparring with lightsabers.

Silverdome failure creates lots of digital lolz

Dec 8, 2017
Credit Caricature created by Vic Reyes MBME Media

As you’re probably aware, it’s been quite a hectic news week here in Michigan.

But of all the stories bouncing around the media echo chamber, without a doubt, my favorite Michigan-centric of the week has been the failed implosion of the much maligned and neglected Pontiac Silverdome.

What's left of the the Pontiac Silverdome just before Sunday's implosion attempt.
Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

If at first you don't succeed ... set another round of explosives.

The much-anticipated implosion of the Pontiac Silverdome landed with a thud yesterday morning as the run-down stadium refused to collapse after a series of explosions.

Today was a different story - WDIV has the video:

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To get your own Michigan Radio Facts Matter Socks, make your gift now.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year, to reconnect with family and friends, and to express gratitude for the all that is good in our lives.

But more importantly, Thanksgiving is a time to eat.
With those priorities in mind, Michigan Radio has compiled a number of favorite recipes from our own family feasts. Below you’ll find everything from the classics, like cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, to more specific family traditions, like Portuguese Sweet Bread or onion pie.

We hope you give some of our Turkey Day treats a try, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

A Minute with Mike: What's in a name?

Nov 9, 2017

The debate over what we, as residents of Michigan, are officially called may soon be over. 

Headed to Governor Snyder's desk is a package of recently passed bills that modernize the 1913 statue that created the Michigan Historical Commission.

In these bills, the term "Michiganians" has been struck out in favor of "Michigander."

That got Stateside producer Mike Blank thinking maybe it's time for a whole new word to describe us. 

clown troupe
Courtesy of Gwendolyn Hopkins

The Next Idea

Bullying in Michigan and around the country is a serious problem – one that parents, educators and others are striving to solve. One Michigan college is offering a unique approach to this serious problem.

Mott Community College’s Honors College is home to a group of students who transform themselves into clowns and reach out to school children with an anti-bullying message. 

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Think about those moments when it seemed pretty much the whole nation was gathered around the TV set: the moon landing. A Super Bowl. A hit TV show — these days, maybe Game of Thrones.

Could it be that the time in front of the TV might be the secret weapon that helps future space travelers handle those ultra-long voyages?

Traverse City State Hospital
Addie VanDreumel / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Everyone has their favorite local ghost stories: ghouls haunting Detroit’s Fort Wayne, a portal to hell at the old State Hospital in Traverse City, the witch’s curse on the Pere Cheney cemetery, or spirits wandering around The Whitney.

No one knows Michigan’s spooky side better than Daniel Mackin.

He’s the founder and lead investigator of the Michigan Area Paranormal Investigative Team.

You can still get your Kid Rock for Senate merch (and, perhaps, pretend to be in on the joke.)
https://www.kidrockforsenate.com/

I mean, c'mon. You gotta make a buck somehow.

Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, just did it by fooling some people into believing he was running for U.S. Senate.

On the Howard Stern show today, Ritchie was asked if he was really running for Senate.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint city councilman says it’s time for the tents to come down from a six-month protest against Flint’s water crisis.

Out-of-state activists founded Camp Promise in April in Flint’s Kearsley Park to draw attention to Flint’s water crisis.  The collection of tents and fire pits takes up a large section of the park.  

Six months after its founding, most of the activists have left, but the tents remain.

Councilman Wantwaz Davis says it’s time for the campsite in the middle of a city park to be cleared out.

Part of a polished Petoskey stone.
Michelle Pemberton / Wikimedia Commons

Most Michiganders have spent hours walking up and down shorelines, hoping to spot a Petoskey stone or two for their collection.

Hunting for Petoskey stones can be tough - they're often small, hidden among thousands of other little rocks and their distinctive pattern is only visible when wet.

Steam Engine With Passenger Cars Ascending Horseshoe Curve Altoona (PA)
Ron Cogswell / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

You might have heard the phrase, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” But did you know that in the 1880s, leaders in Michigan decided that fish needed a train?

Map showing the land owned by the Huron Mountain Club as of 2006.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Well... it's not an absolute "no."

It's more of a "probably not," given what we've learned about the Huron Mountain Club in reporting this story.

We'll get to the downright practical ways you might get into the club below. In the meantime, we'll just say it doesn't hurt your chances if you’re Channing Tatum, or related to Henry Ford (and even Ford had trouble getting in).

a squirrel
Steve Burt / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Leaping from branch to branch, bearing nuts and acorns, teasing backyard dogs by staying just out of reach, let’s face it — squirrels are so common in Michigan that it’s easy for us to take their presence for granted.

But, just as Holden Caufield worried about where the ducks go in winter, we got to wondering: where do squirrels go? Do they cluster up in hibernation holes? Or perhaps join Michigan snowbirds and head south to warmer locales?

KYLE ROKOS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

MI Curious is Michigan Radio’s project that asks for your questions about our state and its people.

All high-quality journalism starts with a question, so ask us yours. We want your voice to be a part of our show.

Office of Public Affairs / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Unabomber was one of America's most notorious outlaws of the 20th Century. And he may have never been caught if it weren't for a little help from here in Michigan.

Premiering this past August on the Discovery Channel, the new show "Manhunt: Unabomber" recreates the efforts by law enforcement to apprehend one of the country's most wanted men at the time.

From 1978 to 1995, someone mailed or hand-delivered a series of bombs. Three people were killed and 23 others were hurt.

18 years of fear ended on April 3, 1996. That’s when FBI agents swarmed a remote cabin in Montana and arrested Theodore Kaczynski.

Jean-Sébastien Guénette / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The University of Michigan -- concerned about problems caused by burrowing groundhogs -- is using dry ice to suffocate the rodents in their dens beneath the school's North Campus.

The Ann Arbor News reports Thursday that officials say the burrowing could undermine the foundations of structures, porches and pavement.

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Thousands of Michiganders fought for the Union during the American Civil War, but one group of soldiers in particular stood out: Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters.

To tell the story of this special group, the Michigan History Center's Steve Ostrander and Eric Hemenway, director of archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, joined host Cynthia Canty on Wednesday for Stateside's weekly history lesson.

Michigan Radio’s listening audience has grown substantially across the state. According to this spring’s Nielsen Audio Report*, the station’s weekly listening audience grew by 3% in Detroit, 12% in Grand Rapids, 21% in Flint, 24% in Ann Arbor, and 26% in Kalamazoo.  Michigan Radio continues to be the top NPR station in each of these markets.

Courtesy of the Archives of Michigan

It’s recognized as the Snow Capital of the Midwest. That’s quite a distinction for a town that no longer exists.

Rachel Clark from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to explain how the mining town of Delaware, Michigan became a ghost town.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today, more than 100 Iraqi Christians facing deportation from the United States could discover their fate.

The Iraqis were detained for visa violations – including past criminal convictions – which had been ignored for years, after they were caught up in a crackdown ordered by the current administration.

Their families say they feel betrayed by a president they'd largely supported in last year's election, and who they'd seen as a defender of Christians.

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