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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.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Constantly in search of new Michigan products for cocktails, Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found a liquor that was new to her. It’s actually been out for a couple of years. It’s Coppercraft Distillery’s Applejack. Coppercraft is in Holland and has been around since 2012.

The cocktail she decided to mix is the Jack Rose. It’s a classic cocktail which was really popular in the 1920s and 30s. “While other cocktails from that period such as the Martini or the Manhattan have come roaring back, the Jack Rose is still a little bit of an underdog,” Coxen said.

JIM D / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Stateside is teaming up with MI Curious, folks!

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

Ann Arbor or Paris?
FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Not too long ago, Upper Peninsula native Dawn Verbrigghe had a career humming along in super-cool Brooklyn.

Then, out of the blue, came two job offers. One, in Paris, which promised a rooftop apartment in the City of Light. The other offer: Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger
Screengrab taken from Karen Spranger's Facebook page

It's been a bumpy first few months in office for new Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger and her staff.

Last night, the county ethics board met to discuss ethics complaints filed by a former top aide, someone Spranger fired shortly after taking office.

The meeting ended with a $100 fine against Spranger for an ethics violations, a fine she intends to appeal.

But that is just scratching the surface of what's happened since Spranger was elected last November.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Jim D / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Radio listener Ashley Lewis of Royal Oak posed this question to our MI Curious team:

An older woman and a younger girl laugh.
Mohammad Meenhaj Uddin / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

There’s an old adage that laughter is the best medicine. 

Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abassi believes there’s some scientific truth to that. 

A photo collage of Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It's the newest twist in the tragic story of Flint and its water.

Mayor Karen Weaver wants her city to keep drawing its water from the Detroit-based Great Lakes Water Authority for the next 30 years.

Fish in Lake St. Clair have a virus (VHSV) that is causing thousands of them to wash up dead on the shore.
jpowers65 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There are two environmental stories making news today.

First, fish in Lake St. Clair have a virus (VHSV) that is causing thousands of them to wash up dead on the shore. Luckily, eating a fish with VHSV is not expected to cause any adverse health problems for humans, but with that many fish dying in the lake, this could cause a problem for the ecosystem. 

Second, Nestle has put in a bid to pump more Michigan groundwater to produce Ice Mountain bottled water for consumers, but they were denied. However, that's not the end of the story.

The Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated under President Donald Trump's budget proposal.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump's budget proposal contained big cuts to programs that are not about defense and the military.

One of the programs on the Trump chopping block is the Community Development Block Grant program.

It's slated to be completely eliminated in the proposed Trump Budget.

Gymanst Jamie Dantzscher
Courtesy of Jamie Dantzscher

Four more former patients are suing former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse, including a 14-year-old dancer.

Meanwhile, an Ingham County judge recently issued a revised gag order that bars witnesses named in one of Dr. Nassar's criminal trials from speaking publicly. 

There are now more than 80 other women and girls who claim the former MSU doctor abused them under the guise of "treatment."

Book cover: "The Intersection: What Detroit has gained, and lost, 50 years after the uprisings of 1967."
Courtesy of Lester Graham

 

This year marks 50 years since the 1967 uprising in Detroit. A new book reflects on what's happened since those hot, angry four days in July. 

A three dollar banknote from 1837, printed by the Bank of Manchester, Michigan.
Wystan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As banking and the transferring of funds continues to evolve from paper to electronic in the 21st century, let's think back to Michiganders in the 19th century. 

For them, procuring cash was way more complicated than rolling up to a nearby ATM and getting a stack of 20s. Without a National Bank issuing currency, states like Michigan chartered their own banks without federal oversight.

Saugatuck Dunes.
Rapid Growth Media

Michigan's lawmakers are reacting to an unconfirmed report that the EPA is thinking of shutting down its Region 5 office in Chicago. Under the plan, the Chicago office would merge with the Region 7 office in Kansas.

Republican Congressman Fred Upton represents Michigan’s 6th District, located in the southwest corner of the state along the shore of Lake Michigan. He spoke with Stateside about the potential proposal, which he said was “not a wise move.”

Out of the 38 under-performing schools that could be closed in Michigan, 25 of them are located in Metro Detroit.
Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

After months of interviews and discussions, the Detroit Public Schools Community District school board has chosen Dr. Nikolai Vitti to be its next superintendent.

The vote to enter contract negotiations with Vitti is the first major decision by the board, which was created last year.

Dr. Vitti is currently the superintendent of schools in Duval County, Florida, but he grew up in Dearborn Heights and graduated from Divine Child High School in Dearborn.

The other finalist for the job was River Rouge superintendent Derrick Coleman.

DPROVOST ~ PROSPER IN 2011 / FLICKR HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Poor air quality in Detroit is putting people into the hospital, and even killing some. It's making them sick and unable to go to work or school.

That's not opinion. That's a fact with scientific data to back it up.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

You create a special space for children with special needs: the Friendship Circle.

It’s a great success, but what do you offer those children when they grow up?

IRS Form 1040.
stockphotosforfree.com

A question worth mulling over on this Tax Day: Does having to pay income taxes make you work harder? University of Michigan researchers have some new insight into the psychology of taxes, thanks to a new study.

"Motown: The Musical" will be at the Fisher Theatre through April 30.
EncoreMichigan.com

There's a lively professional theater scene happening in Michigan.

With that being the case, Stateside is launching a new regular segment on the show called Theater Talk. It will turn the spotlight on different companies, keeping you up to speed on productions.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (right) stands next to the lead drinking water line that was pulled from a home in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It was April 16 of 2013, almost exactly four years ago, when emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed the contract that switched the city of Flint to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). It was heralded as a cost-cutting move.

That decision led to one of the biggest water contamination crises in American history.

The lead poisoning forced the city to go back to getting its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which serves Detroit, until the KWA system was in place.

Delta County Airport near Escanaba is one of the nine rural airports in Michigan that are subsidized by the Essential Air Service.
redlegsfan21 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump's proposed budget would eliminate funding for something called the Essential Air Service program.

The EAS began in 1978 to make sure small, remote communities had access to air travel. The federal subsidies help keep them open. 

A close-up shot of a cannabis plant
Charlón / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Northern Michigan University has unveiled a new program: a first-of-its-kind undergraduate degree in medicinal plant chemistry where students will study the science of cannabis.

Mark Paulsen joined Stateside to discuss the new program. He’s a professor and head of the Department of Chemistry at Northern Michigan University.

Konrad Montgomery
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

When the police knocked on his door, it never crossed Konrad Montgomery's mind that they were there for him. 

The authorities were looking for a suspect in an armed robbery that took place on Detroit's east side, and a cell phone involved in the situation was traced back to Montgomery. The robbery occurred roughly 11 miles from where Montgomery claimed to be at the time of the incident. But since he was making money by selling used cell phones, he was caught up in the case. 

Montgomery was tried and convicted of armed robbery and attempted murder. He spent nearly three years in prison before he was exonerated. 

Some NHL players, like Alex Ovechkin, have said they plan to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, despite the league announcing it won't send its players to compete.
Jennifer Griggs / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was recently announced that the National Hockey League (NHL) will not be sending its players to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The last time NHL players weren't included in the Olympic hockey tournament was in 1998. After nearly two decades, that is expected to come to a close next year when the Winter Games are hosted in Seoul, South Korea.

Four soldiers sit at a table in South Vietnam, 1972
Manhhai / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The Vietnam War spanned more than a decade, from the arrival of U.S. support troops in 1961 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. It’s a conflict that remains one of the most painful chapters in United States history.

Now, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick look back on this period in a new ten-part documentary series The Vietnam War.

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This is a big week for the future of mental health care in Michigan.

All the complexities aside, which have been covered at length on Stateside over the last year, essentially it comes down to one question: Should the mental health services remain in the control of public entities like Community Mental Health centers, or should private insurance companies take the lead?

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Scott Smith Pipe Organs in Lansing repairs, restores, installs, and builds pipe organs. However, Scott Smith says his profession causes confusion for some people, such as a guy he was talking to at a party.

According to Samuel Brinton of the American Nuclear Society, there are more than 75,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in storage all over the country.
daveynin / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The nuclear power industry has a problem. It has no way to dispose of spent nuclear fuel rods, which are high-level nuclear waste.

Since 1987, the plan was a facility in Nevada known as Yucca Mountain. The Obama administration basically put that project on hold. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed a safety evaluation report and completed an Environmental Impact Statement last year.

Now the Trump administration indicates Yucca Mountain is back on the agenda. In the president’s proposed budget, $120 million is set aside for restarting the approval process.

A police officer wearing a body camera
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/32513699213

 


This week’s political roundup examines two instances of government trying to restrict access to information.

Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican Majority Leader in the state Senate, and Darci McConnell, president & CEO of McConnell Communications, which consults for state Democratic causes and clients, joined Stateside to explain the issues.

Equity PAC

In Grand Rapids there is a new PAC – a political action committee. PACs are formed all the time by politicians, industry groups, and others, to raise money for candidates and advocate for certain political issues.

A group of concerned citizens in the Grand Rapids area decided that if they were going to have any voice in government and policy, they needed a PAC too. 

New York International Auto Show

The 117th edition of the New York International Auto Show is in full swing. Among the cars getting a lot of attention is the Dodge Challenger Demon, which boasts 840 horsepower and zero to 60 acceleration in 2.3 seconds.

Paul Eisenstein is covering the show for the Detroit Bureau, where he is publisher. Stateside gave him a call to talk muscle cars, Tesla, and Trump's effect on the auto industry.

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