U.S. Army

President Obama’s record on national defense is a campaign issue in 2016. Some Republicans say the U.S. Army and Navy will be too small at the end of the Obama administration. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz recently attacked the president for having “dramatically degraded our military.”

A candidate for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress is also using this argument. Last month, former state legislator Jason Allen kicked off his congressional campaign at his family’s clothing store in Traverse City.
 

“I’m very concerned about the direction America is heading,” Allen said.

When asked by IPR News Radio why he had decided to run, Allen said the first issue on his list was the drop in troop levels, and he made a bold statement about just how large those reductions are.

“First of all from a national defense perspective, we’ll have the smallest military since before the first World War,” Allen said.

Gustavo Dudamel will be leading the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles in a performance during this year's Super Bowl halftime show.
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

This Sunday, more than 100 million people will watch Super Bowl 50.

By now, you might have heard that Coldplay will perform with Beyoncé - and possibly Bruno Mars - during the halftime show. What you might not have heard is that, for part of the show, classical conductor Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles.


Bonnie Jo Campbell grew up in western Michigan, and her stories draw on her experiences with the dark side of rural life. Her latest collection of short stories is called “Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.” She talks this hour with poet, essayist, and undertaker Thomas Lynch. Campbell starts off the program talking about her book “American Salvage.”

Missy Elliott (left) joined Katy Perry during the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images Sport

More than 120 million people are expected to tune in to Super Bowl 50 this Sunday in San Francisco. 

But it’s not just the football game that glues so many people to their television sets on Super Bowl Sunday - it’s also the commercials and the celebrity-laden halftime show. 

When did the Super Bowl halftime show become such a huge cultural event? 

Aaron Selbig

For 70 years, locals and tourists in Harbor Springs have enjoyed the town’s deer park, where a small herd of deer live inside a two-acre, fenced-in enclosure.

But a few years ago, activists began an effort to shut the park down. They say the city’s methods of controlling the herd are inhumane and unethical.


The FBI has now joined the investigation into the contamination of Flint’s drinking water. That’s in addition to the U.S. Prosecutor and State Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The announcement comes in advance of tomorrow’s House committee hearing on the public health disaster.

In the meantime, leaders at local, state and federal levels are trying to piece together money and strategies to get the lead out of the water and to help the children who have been exposed to lead.

(This story was updated at 9:55am on February 2, 2016) 

Michigan's open primary is on March 8th. 

Michigan Radio's senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry stops by Stateside to explore the nuances of  Michigan's 2016 primary with host Cynthia Canty.

A shot from John Bresland's video essay entitled, 'Watch My Feet.'
John Bresland

A picture is worth a thousand words.

We’ve all heard that adage, right? Now, many writers are starting to realize the value of images and have begun incorporating them into their work. It's spawned a new form of creative writing, called the video essay. 


Traverse City Area Public Schools

Some parents on Old Mission Peninsula want to know if they can pay higher taxes to keep their elementary school open. Traverse City Area Public Schools has proposed closing three elementary buildings to save money, including the school on Old Mission Peninsula.

The idea of raising taxes to keep a school open sounds simple but is something school districts are not allowed to do in Michigan. An amendment to the state constitution known as Proposal A made vast reforms to public education funding and prohibits a local school district from asking voters for more money to operate schools.

Parents on Old Mission Peninsula are talking about a way to work around that law.

Peter Payette discusses it with David Cassleman.


Groundhog's Day on the Moon: this week on the Night Sky

Feb 1, 2016

This week, it’s Ground Hog’s Day, which is the way in American culture that we celebrate the fact that we’re halfway through the season. But have you ever wondered why a sunny day casting more shadow at this time means more winter, and not less?

Last year a social media friend of mine had a brilliant idea: What if the shadow that we should be considering right now is on the Moon, and not in Pennsylvania?

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