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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 p.m. & 10 p.m.

Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside covers a wide range of Michigan news and policy issues — as well as culture and lifestyle stories. In keeping with Michigan Radio’s broad coverage across southern Michigan, Stateside focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state. Stateside is hosted by Cynthia Canty (Mon-Thu) and Lester Graham (Fri). 

To find audio for the full show you can subscribe to our podcast or go here.

The civil unrest began in the early hours of July 23, 1967 following a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar on the corner of 12th and Clairmount.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In 1967, a series of civil disturbances in cities across America rocked the country. The unrest, called a rebellion by some and a riot by others, made its way to the city of Detroit in July of that year. 

Judy Wilson

The Next Idea

Budget cuts for school districts are increasingly a way of life. Often, the first things to go when money gets tight are music and art programs. 

But there is both anecdotal and scientific evidence that arts improve kids’ overall learning in a number of ways.

Director of the Art Experience in Pontiac Judy Wilson joined Stateside to tell us about the nonprofit that has taken on the mission of bringing back art for young people whose schools may or may not be able to afford it. Their latest project is the Community Art Lab, a storefront where anyone in the community can have access to art making experiences.

William Foster


Only a few manufacturing facilities in the world measure over a million square feet. These marvels of modern industrialism are massive operations, and often heavily impact local economies. So when the residents of Vernon Township, a quiet agricultural community in Shiawassee County, heard rumors that an unknown company wanted to build a 24 million square foot manufacturing facility right next door, they naturally had some questions.

But local officials offered few answers. Citing non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from revealing most details, neither the township nor the city of Durand, the town nestled in the middle of the Vernon Township, have unveiled the identity of the company, or what type of facility it would be.

Joan Larsen faces a tangled path to a plum spot on a federal appeals court. The only thing standing in her way is Michigan’s two U.S. Senators.

Ethel Rucker and her children
Courtesy of Ethel Rucker

Social assistance programs that serve the poor are targeted for budget cuts in President Trump’s proposed budget.

While Congress approaches its fall deadline to set a federal budget for the next fiscal year, Stateside set out to talk with people whose voice isn’t often a part of the conversation: people who are struggling to live paycheck to paycheck, the so-called “working poor”.  

Worker at the Flint Engine plant.
Steve Fecht / General Motors

It's common knowledge that most politically conservative-leaning people are no fans of organized labor. The popular thinking is that labor unions damaged the economy and led American corporations to move overseas. In short, unions hurt capitalism. Good riddance.

However, there are some conservatives who don't subscribe to that thinking. 

Richard Wershe Jr. ("White Boy Rick") received a life sentence because he was caught as a 16-year-old with eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit in the 1980s.
Michigan Department of Corrections

After almost 30 years in prison, Rick Wershe, better known as White Boy Rick, has been paroled. Wershe claims he is is the nation's longest-serving non-violent juvenile drug offender. He was serving a life sentence because he was caught as a 16-year-old with eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit in the 1980s.

Kevin Dietz, a reporter with WDIV Local 4 who talked to Wershe after the decision was announced, joined Stateside to talk about the case and what's next for Wershe.

A police officer with his back to the camera.
Sasha Kimel / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Police departments across the nation are using new methods to try to predict where crime is likely to happen and who is more likely to be a victim of crime or become a criminal element. Predictive policing is already being used. There are many approaches.

It is not without its critics, for a variety of reasons.

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder got what he wanted from the state legislature this week. Wednesday, state lawmakers passed a package of bills designed to give big tax incentives to large employers that create new jobs in Michigan.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Kate Lewis is adding to a big plastic bag of clay balls before she begins work at her pottery wheel.

Courtesy of Detroit Kite Festival

Bringing people together through the age-old practice of kite flying: That is the goal of the Detroit Kite Festival, happening this Sunday on Belle Isle.

Becky Johns / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

There’s good news to talk about in the re-invention of Detroit and the push to wean Michigan’s economy away from big manufacturing.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes thinks Michigan is “open for business, again.”

F. D. Richards / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Fast food is not good for us. That's not exactly a secret.

Nutritionists point to all that fat and salt in fast food as one of the main causes of the growing obesity rate in this county, and elsewhere around the world.

There's a commonly held belief that poor people eat more fast food than any other group.

University of Michigan-Dearborn Economics Professor Patricia Smith decided to test that belief in a study on fast food consumption. She found that the poor don’t actually eat more fast food than anyone else. It is those who are busiest, often the middle class, that do.

Mary Hornbeck and her husband struggle to support themselves and their four children in Albion.
Alli Billings / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump's budget plan contains cuts to programs like housing subsidies, child care assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and other programs that serve the poor.

With so many of the programs under threat, Stateside set out to talk to people who are struggling with living paycheck to paycheck. The series takes a look at the so-called "working poor" – who they are, what challenges they face, and what policy changes might help the most people.

Jeff DeGraff: It’s now reasonable to assume that everything you do or say in any quasi-public space is being recorded, either inadvertently or intentionally.
Nicolas Nova / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Approximately 70% of all Americans have a smartphone: 24/7 internet access, touch screen apps, and a video camera. A quick glance at any news feed or social media site reveals how these small, cheap and mobile devices are putting everything in our lives on the record. Teenage altercations in the cafeteria, body shaming photos taken in the women’s locker room, and racist epithets at the grocery store. It’s now reasonable to assume that everything you do or say in any quasi-public space is being recorded, either inadvertently or intentionally.

Judge's gavel
Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Iraqi nationals facing possible deportation from the U.S. won an important victory in court this week. Tuesday, Detroit U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a ruling that put a pause on any government plans to deport an estimated 1,400 Iraqi nationals living in the United States with final orders of removal.  

Josh Hakala / Michigan Radio

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.

Russell Sage Foundation, 2016


The Trump administration’s proposed budget would potentially cut housing subsidies, child care assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other programs that serve the poor by staggering amounts.

In response to that, Stateside is beginning a new series looking at the so-called working poor — who they are, what challenges they face and what policy changes might help the most people.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Congress has until the end of September to finalize a budget for the new fiscal year. The Trump Administration has proposed drastic cuts to science and research. While some in Congress are calling for spending increases.

The scientific community is sounding clear warnings about what curbing research funding would mean for the United States. A new analysis by University of Michigan researchers finds the U.S. would lose its top spot as a contributor to science research. Meanwhile, a huge competitor is ready to leap ahead: China.

Courtesy of the Crawford County HIstorical Society / Michigan History Center

If you like bird watching, Pere Cheney is a great place to see the Kirtland Warbler. Other than that, there isn't much there.

It's what you might call a ghost town.

If you're wondering how that happened, you're not alone. Michigan Radio listener Olivia Cushway of Ypsilanti posed that very question to our MI Curious team. 

state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the only day this month that Michigan's lawmakers are in session, and the House used it to vote on a major new tax incentive for businesses.

Months of lively debate ended when the tax incentive package passed with bipartisan support. It was a vote that defied House Republican leaders and Speaker Tom Leonard, and served up a big win for Governor Rick Snyder.

Anna Zvereva / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan’s strong history in the defense sector dates back to Rosie the Riveter in World War II.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) reports the defense sector supports 105,000 jobs in our state, turning out $9 billion in goods and services.

Michigan wants to continue that tradition by landing the new F-35 fighter jet.

A piggy bank, stethescope and bundle of one dollar bills
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

Returning from the 4th of July recess, Senate Republicans are going to try again to come up with a health care bill that can win the 50 votes it needs to pass.

Word is, they hope to have a revised health bill to show senators by week's end, perhaps by Thursday.

Courtesy of Wil Rankinen

There is no better reminder of what a diverse state we live in than contemplating the differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

Wil Rankinen​ is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Grand Valley State. He's also a born and raised "Yooper." Rankinen is spending his summer exploring the way Yoopers talk by criss-crossing the UP to record long-time residents.

John Kannenberg / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Summer is a time for crowd pleasers in the theater world.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside for another round of Theater Talk, highlighting the newest summer shows.

COURTESTY OF SHELDON HILL

Is there hope for a new life after being addicted to drugs or selling drugs?

Detroiter Sheldon Hill is proof there is.

After years of selling and using drugs, and multiple arrests, Hill went into an addiction recovery program. He was in his 40s. And it worked.

Today, Hill's sole mission in life is to keep others from making the mistakes and choices he made as a young man.

Courtesty of LINCS

The Next Idea

Parents of children on the autism spectrum face significant challenges in getting the right education, support and other life tools for their kids. But the difficulties don’t go away when these kids grow up. Can they live alone, support themselves, be a part of society? And what happens when their adult caregivers age out of watching over them?

Credit: Gage Skidmore / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Democratic Party's stinging loss in the 2016 presidential election has led to much hand-wringing and talk about coming up with a better message that resonates with voters.

Jen Eyer, senior vice president at Vanguard Public Affairs, thinks the latest Democratic messaging attempts prove the party still doesn't "get it."

For example, take the new sticker campaign recently unveiled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for House Democrats. One of the slogans reads: “Democrats 2018: I Mean, Have You Seen The Other Guys?”

user jimflix! / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Most of us expect to hear that trees are moving north in search of colder temperatures because of global climate change. But trees don’t only need colder temperatures; they also need to have enough water.

A new study published in Science Advances suggests that trees are moving west in search of more moisture.

Associate Professor School for Environment and Sustainability Inés Ibáñez joined us on Stateside to share her perspective on the many other global change factors that are causing this migration.

Larry Nassar at a hearing in Michigan earlier this year
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The former doctor for the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team, who was also a respected clinician at Michigan State University before he was fired, is expected to plead guilty to three charges of child pornography at a hearing Tuesday morning.

In exchange, federal prosecutors won't go after Larry Nassar for allegedly molesting two kids in his swimming pool in 2015, or for allegedly traveling with the intent of sexually assaulting two minors between 2006 and 2013.

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