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Offbeat

Offbeat

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

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.

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.

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. 

Ralph Gilles on Failure:Lab
Screengrab of "Failure:Lab Detroit 2016 | Ralph Gilles" video (YouTube)

We all fail sometimes. No exceptions. 

It's often hard to admit, but failure is an essential part of the human experience. 

That's what Failure:Lab is all about. 

A baby dwarf siren salamander
Jennie Miller / The Detroit Zoo

Four "dwarf sirens" hatched at the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center in recent weeks. Dwarf sirens are a species of salamander that rarely reproduce in captivity.

In a statement, Dr. Ruth Marcec said, “These animals are very difficult to breed in captivity – it typically takes changing the ion content of the water to mimic dilution from rainfall. Now that we’ve established that this is possible, we are very excited to increase the dwarf siren population at the Detroit Zoo.”

This is a big step for the dwarf siren salamander (especially considering the amphibians only have two legs so big steps are difficult).

Sterns Park beach
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Congrats are in order for the city of Ludington.

The city broke a mark set by the Guinness World Records for the most people simultaneously making sand angels at a beach.

In celebration of Mother's Day, we wanted to share a heartwarming story about a mom and her daughter--and the car and love of public radio that united them.

I am honoring my mother by donating our car to Michigan Radio.

My mother, Beverly Decker, was the one who bought this Toyota Camry brand new in 2002. She was so proud of it.  Over the years, she slowly lost the ability to walk and drive. She generously gave this car to us and I drove it for 10 years. I commuted to work in the Camry and always felt safe.

Archives of Michigan / Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Eighty years ago, a few years before Bruce Wayne made his comic book debut, our nation experienced its first wave of “bat-mania.”

In the 1930s, the country’s imagination was captured by winged daredevils like Michigander Clem Sohn.

aerial view of Michigan
NASA / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Earth Day events throughout Michigan this weekend hope to bring people outside to enjoy the fresh air, while also promoting eco-friendly lifestyles and climate education.

A large national March for Science will be held in Washington, D.C. Much like the Women's March in January, partner events are also happening in Michigan.

There are 14 marches planned in cities across the state including Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Petoskey.

Courtesy of Ralph Giese

 


He calls himself the World's Greatest Whistler.

 

It’s hard to argue with that. Check out his song "Peanut Butter Blues" below.

 

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

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.

Update: Monday,  April 10, 2017

We have received confirmation that the Michigan Radio app has been successfully updated and now running on Apple iOS V10.3.

On Monday, March 27, 2017, Apple officially released iOS 10.3 to the public. We want you to be aware that this update is causing issues with some of the apps in the App Store, including the Michigan Radio V4 app.

We are working with the developers of our app on fixing the problem that this update has caused. 

We currently don’t have a timeframe, and will update you as soon as this has been resolved. Until this issues is resolved please consider using one of the following apps to receive our broadcast:

corktown sign
Robert Duffner / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s Irish traditions go back nearly 250 years.

The first Irish immigrants largely settled on the East Coast, in large cities like Boston and New York. But they soon started heading west.

Because Detroit was founded by the French, it was an established as a Catholic city, which was attractive to many of the Irish facing persecution by Protestants back home.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Students at Michigan State University can no longer have message whiteboards mounted on their dorm doors, starting this fall. Misuse of the whiteboards has made them more trouble than they're worth.

Kat Cooper is Director of Communications for Residential Services at MSU.  She says too often, students would scrawl offensive comments on the whiteboards. 

"Racist, sexist, anything in that category. Those have happened. There's been issues with them for a long time," says Cooper. "People write things on them that really aren't not part of our value set at MSU."

David Mertl / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Get a group of Michiganders together, add a deck of cards, and chances are pretty good you'll wind up with a game of euchre.

It was once dubbed "the queen of all card-games" and was wildly popular in the late 1800s. But its popularity waned through the 20th century. That is, except in Michigan and a handful of Midwestern states, nicknamed the “Euchre Belt.”

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

“In flux.”

“Dynamic.”

“Amazing.”

“Blurry.”

That’s how Monday night’s Issues & Ale panelists described journalism in today’s ecosystem.

The Dispatch Blotter from the Leelanau Enterprise.
Mary Winowiecki

Some local newspapers print police dispatches. These are usually pretty basic, detailing the time and reason for dispatch.

But one Northern Michigan newspaper takes its dispatch report a step further - and the results can be hilarious.

The Leelanau Enterprise covers news in Leelanau County, and is popular among locals and tourists alike.

The real gem in the Enterprise can be found in the “Courts” section, where one can find descriptions of 911 calls made by concerned citizens.

user earl53 / MorgueFile.com

Get your binoculars ready! A full moon, an eclipse, and a comet will all be passing through the night sky late Friday night and early Saturday morning. 

A "penumbral" eclipse isn't a full lunar eclipse, and is more subtle, but still visible to the human eye. It occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth's shadow. In North America, this will be most visible at moonrise, at 7:43 p.m.

Why aren't they listening to me?!
user Ayana T. Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Discussing politics can be a tenuous activity these days. Whether at school, work, home, or (and I know you won't believe this) on Facebook, many people have seen political discussions melt down into yelling or name-calling.

We asked you to tell us your stories about successful conversations you have experienced, and heard some interesting responses.

Some people found that having a calm, rational discussion to be impossible. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A year ago, a Flint man walked free from an Iranian prison cell after being held for four years on spying charges.

Amir Hekmati continues to move on with his life.

He posted a note on his Facebook page thanking everyone who’s helped him and his family get through the “difficult times” they’ve faced in the last five years.

These days, Hekmati is taking college courses near his home in Flint.  

Walter P. Ruether Library / Wayne State University

Two months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers down Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Rev. King famously called the March “the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States.”

Over 125,000 people participated in the “Detroit Walk to Freedom” on June 23, 1963. The March was partially a practice run for the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

a bison in Detroit Zoo enclosure
Courtesy of the Detroit Zoo / https://detroitzoo.org/

You made it to the end of the first week of 2017! And that means you deserve a treat. 

If you're swearing off cookies and cake (at least for a couple of weeks), how about indulging in a cute animal video?  

Luckily for you, the Detroit Zoo gave some of their animals recycled Christmas trees to play with, and the result is adorable.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lake Superior State University’s annual list of "banned words and phrases" is heavy with contributions linked to the 2016 presidential campaign.    

LSSU has been turning out its year-end tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for 42 years.

University spokesman John Shibley says it’s not surprising people from across the country turned to bruising election rhetoric for words and phrases that have been so overused they should be banned. 

FRASER, Mich. (AP) - More than a dozen homes north of Detroit have been evacuated after a sinkhole opened in the ground nearby.

A homeowner in Fraser called police about 6 a.m. Saturday and told them his house was sinking.

Public Safety Director George Rouhib tells  The Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens that the home's basement walls could be heard cracking, bricks were falling from the exterior and the sidewalk outside was rising.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan and Google have teamed up to create an app and website aimed at helping Flint residents and officials deal with the lead-contaminated water crisis.

  Mywater-Flint was developed by computer science researchers at the university's Flint and Ann Arbor campuses with Google's technical and financial support.

CREDIT VIC REYES

Ah, the autumn time change. We love the extra hour of sleep but hate that the sun sets so early, leaving many of us with little or no time to experience what little sun there is to be enjoyed.

But instead of looking at the situation as a glass half full, I say there are many reasons why the long nights are a blessing for all Michiganders.

Courtesy of Ed Terebus

To many in southeast Michigan, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without taking a trip to a haunted house. One estimate figures this corner of Michigan boasts 70 to 100 haunts within a 50-mile radius.

The granddaddy of them all – the biggest in Michigan and one of the biggest in the world – is Erebus. It’s a four-story building in downtown Pontiac and it’s been scary people silly for 17 years.

The Baltia 747 at Willow Run Airport in 2014.
user veisha / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Until last year, there was a Boeing 747 parked at Willow Run Airport, in Ypsilanti. It looked comically out of place—most the other planes are two-seaters used by the flight school, or small jets available for charter.

Here's a video of the plane at the Thunder Over Michigan Airshow at Willow Run in 2014:

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