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Families & Community

Children walking down a path together
public domain

Negotiations will continue through the summer on legislation to change the rules on how child custody is determined in divorces.

State Rep. Jim Runestad’s (R-White Lake) bill would make equal custody the default position in divorces. He says, right now, judges have too much discretion and the proof of that is wide disparities between counties in how custody is granted.

“It’s a horrible, horrible system for kids and it’s got to change,” he says.

Runestad says the current system invites conflict between parents vying to win custody.

Courtesy of former U.S. Army Spc. 5 James McCloughan

He spent 40 years teaching geography, sociology and psychology at South Haven High School.

He coached football, wrestling and baseball, and he made it into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

But another honor awaits James McCloughan next month.

Stateside 6.20.2017

Jun 20, 2017

It's World Refugee Day and today we revisit a Syrian refugee family we met just about a year ago, when they first arrived in Michigan. We hear how they've found some stability in their new home. Also today, we learn what the upcoming vote to replace the Affordable Care Act could mean for the small business community.

JOE LINSTROTH / Michigan Radio

Michigan is a top destination in the U.S. for Syrian refugees. Just this year alone, more than 600 have settled here, according to the State Department.

Among the hundreds who have fled their homeland for Michigan is a young family of five that we introduced you to almost a year ago.

They came here in April of 2016, trading the violence and death in the Syrian city of Homs for a sparsely furnished, rented corner duplex in a modest neighborhood in Dearborn.

Toxic Town: Michigan's most polluted zip code

Jun 19, 2017
Bill Kobuta

Usually, with a new playground, library or community center comes a dedication ceremony with speeches by local leaders. It might even make front page news.

But an air monitoring station? Yes, an air monitoring station installed in a part of Southwest Detroit is cause for celebration.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jerry Paffendorf​, CEO of Loveland Technologies based in Detroit and the San Francisco Bay Area, thinks Wayne County’s heavy reliance on late tax payments to balance its once-out-of-whack budget is creating a push to foreclose on homes, rather than do all it can to keep people in their homes.

“To put it very succinctly," he said, "Wayne County makes more money when people don’t pay their taxes on time than when they do."

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Detroit's Chaldean, Iraqi communities scramble to act following ICE detentions

Jun 19, 2017
Julia Kassem

On Monday, June 12, dozens gathered outside the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield to protest a recent wave of ICE raids that targeted, captured and detained dozens of Iraqi Americans at multiple locations across Metro Detroit, including local churches, homes and even a hospital.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

When it comes to building love and connection between mother and baby, it’s hard to beat the ancient magic of a lullaby.

Those moments holding your baby, singing a lullaby, can live in a mother’s heart long after that baby is grown.

So imagine the extra power of a lullaby you write just for your baby. The Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project at the Flint School of Performing Arts helps young mothers do just that.

Stateside 6.16.2017

Jun 16, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Chaldean community advocate working fast to prevent deportations to Iraq, and we learn why the Affordable Care Act health insurance rates will go up again.

illustration of beach
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge awards were announced recently. One of the projects it’s funding is an urban beach along Detroit’s riverfront.

It will be another segment of the growing Detroit riverfront walkway put together by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

A Michigan State Police file photo.
Michigan State Police

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards has released its report with recommendations to improve trust in law enforcement in Michigan.

The report states recruits, and police officers, should have more one-on-one interactions with people of different backgrounds - and they should receive more training on mental health issues, de-escalating conflicts, and being aware of unconscious bias.

Stateside 6.13.2017

Jun 13, 2017

Ever wonder how Michigan sets minimum liquor prices? We hear the answer today on Stateside. We also learn how to talk to your teen about suicide and identify the warning signs. 

marqee board of west side story
Rose Trinh / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School is letting out, and it's time to plan your Michigan summer getaways. No matter where in the state your vacation takes you, there’s probably a theater production not too far away.

As part of our ongoing series Theater Talk, David Kiley of Encore Michigan detailed upcoming shows at Thunder Bay Theater, Barn Theater, Mason Street Warehouse Theater, as well as this year’s Broadway shows at the Fisher Theater in Detroit.

I am switching roles a bit at Michigan Radio. The change requires me to sell my lovely house in Grand Rapids to work out of Ann Arbor.

Stateside 6.12.2017

Jun 12, 2017

Today, we hear a Chaldean community leader explain why deporting Iraqi Christians could be a "death sentence." And a PR expert tells us why MSU needs a concrete action plan to address sexual assault scandals and improve the school's image.

Stateside 6.9.2017

Jun 9, 2017

Today, we hear from an imam who says anti-Islam protests in Michigan are led by people who don't understand Islam. And, in our latest edition of Artisans of Michigan, we visit an angler hooked on tying flies. 

ISLAMIC CENTER OF AMERICA

Anti-Islam protestors are gathering in Lansing tomorrow for the March Against Sharia.

It’s one of a couple dozen such protests across the nation. There has not been a lot of media coverage about it, and the only coverage we've seen on the Michigan march has been in the MetroTimes.

These anti-Islam protestors point to the atrocities of ISIS and to the Dearborn cleric Ahmad Musa Jibril, whose YouTube videos might have inspired one of the men involved in last week's London terror attack, as proof that Islam is a violent religion. 

But Imam Sohail Chaudhry of the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing said protestors aren’t seeing the full picture.

child in doorway
Caro / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

An advocacy group for kids says a court-ordered report shows Michigan has a long way to go before it can guarantee the safety and welfare of children in foster care.

 

The monitors report says problems include the state not doing background checks on many relatives who take in foster kids, and not investigating credible allegations of abuse or neglect.

 

S P Photography / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Day care for children is a fact of life for many Michigan families. But with more and more people looking after aging parents, there's also a need for adult day care.

flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state House passed controversial gun legislation today to get rid of the permit necessary to carry a concealed weapon.

Advocates say you already don’t need a permit to open carry.

 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

  A state House committee has adopted bills that would require local officials to help enforce federal immigration laws.

 

Opponents filled the hearing room and spilled into an overflow room. Some cheered or applauded testimony opposing the bills. No one testified in favor of or showed up to support

Stateside 6.7.2017

Jun 7, 2017

Today, Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon gives his take on the Michigan State University scandals. He says MSU football's success may have weakened the team's "filter on character." Next, we peek back in history to when Michigan traded turkeys to Canada to replenish the Upper Peninsula's moose population. And, parents explain why they're "afraid to die" because of fear that the mental health care system won't take care of their children.

Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

The state is hammering out its budget. And lawmakers are having a sharp disagreement with the governor’s office over one of Michigan’s biggest price tags – the corrections budget. Both sides agree rehabilitation and lowering recidivism is the way to go. But they can’t agree on how much money to spend this year.

At stake are programs – like the Vocational Village in Ionia – that have helped lower the state’s incarceration rate.

Stateside 6.6.2017

Jun 6, 2017

Today, we learn why the EPA's flip-flop leaves children at risk from chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide sold by Dow Chemical. And, a father who lost his son to suicide says mental health education is crucial for schools.

child's drawing on chalkboard
iRon leSs / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

State lawmakers say they will look into reports the Michigan agency that handles child abuse and neglect cases fudged its numbers to make it appear it was complying with a court order.

 

Stateside 6.5.2017

Jun 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn child welfare records may have been faked in at least seven counties. And, a food scientist explains why consumers "don't have anything to fear" when it comes to pesticide residue.

A few of the items you can check out at the Capital Area District Library's "Library of Things"
Screenshot from CADL.org

The Next Idea

We think of borrowing from a library and what comes to mind? Books. DVDs. CDs.

Now, through the Capital Area District Libraries in Lansing, you can check out a badminton set, a GoPro camera,  a thermal leak detector or even a sewing machine. Those are just some of the items that they have available in the CADL's Library of Things.

silhouette of family
Tumisu / Pixabay

When parents get divorced or split up, the biggest question is usually: Who gets the kids?

Most child custody cases are settled outside the courtroom. But when parents can’t agree, it’s up to a family court judge to decide.

A bill introduced Wednesday in the State House would issue new guidelines about how judges make those decisions.

Poet and educator Denise Miller
Courtesy of Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE)

Hiding people in barns, or stowing people in secret rooms while keeping the watchful eyes of law enforcement and bounty hunters away from their clandestine activities. That's our image of Michiganders who helped thousands of escaping slaves through the Underground Railroad.

But there are many more dimensions to the Underground Railroad in Michigan.

Historian Michelle S. Johnson has made it her mission to help us more fully understand Michigan's role in the Underground Railroad.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: One envelope holds her fate. Is she getting deported?

May 30, 2017
Maria Juarez hugs mother-in-law.
Bridge Magazine

Maria Garcia Juarez wandered around the international arrivals area at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday, frantically looking for a government official who held a sheet of paper with her fate written on it.

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