National Writers Series: An evening with Hampton Sides

21 hours ago

On this program from the National Writers Series, Hampton Sides explains why he's drawn to war. Sides is the author of "Ghost Soldiers, which tells the story of how U.S. soldiers rescued POWs from a Japanese prison camp in World War II. His latest book is called "In the Kingdom of Ice." It recounts the polar voyage of the USS Jeannette and the crew's battle for survival.

A gesture to astonish the world

22 hours ago

This week the constellation of the herdsman is setting, the hunter is rising, and the Moon will cascade down a stairway of morning planets like Cinderella come to the ball.

IPR asked listeners like you for program input, and as a result we've added new shows and rescheduled old favorites. IPR News Radio now includes more airings of TED Radio HourStudio 360 and Splendid Table on the weekends, and IPR Classical has added Show Tunes with Kate Botello, Global VillageRiverwalk Jazz and The New Jazz Archive

After covering the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan for NPR, author Sarah Chayes decided to stay in the country and start a non-profit. The many types of corruption Chayes witnessed there firsthand, led her to write the book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security. She argues that while everyone around the world agrees corruption is bad, it’s a subject that usually get’s pushed to the back burner.

“We’re under-appreciating the degree to which a lot of the turmoil we’re seeing the world today is actually sparked by indignation at acute public corruption,” says Chayes. 


Michigan officials are taking a victory lap in their efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing from state farms and other sources into Lake Erie. 

Phosphorus helps those slimy, bright green blooms of toxic cyanobacteria grow.

Frank Kelley is a man of the people and a true public servant.

He became both the youngest and oldest Attorney General in Michigan's history, serving for 37 years. He worked with seven presidents and five Michigan governors, acted to touch the lives of everyone in our state, and bowed out gracefully without a whiff of scandal or disrepute in all that time in office.

His story is told in the new book The People’s Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation’s Longest-Serving Attorney General.

Wine grape harvest may be at all-time low this year

Sep 30, 2015
Peter Payette

It’s harvest time for wine grapes. But after one of the worst growing seasons in northern Michigan, there aren’t many grapes to make into wine.

Duke Elsner, the small fruit educator for Michigan State University extension, says, "It’s really the worst season we’ve ever seen since the mid-70’s when they started growing wine grapes in northern Michigan."

He says the extreme cold winter wiped out about 50 percent of the grape buds. Then roughly 50 percent of remaining buds were damaged in a late spring frost in May.

Michigan's U.S. senators have unveiled legislation they say will protect the Great Lakes from oil spills.

The bill would require a review of all pipelines in the Great Lakes region, plus it would ban transporting crude oil on tanker ships. That's something that doesn't happen at all right now, but Sen. Gary Peters says it could be a threat in the future.

"This has been a possibility that's being discussed," Peters says. "It has not been done up to this point because people frankly believe that it's just unacceptable."

A small but growing number of Michiganders are turning to their bicycles as a means to get from Point A to Point B.

We've seen communities put in bike lanes to accommodate bicyclists, but that doesn't necessarily solve the tensions between cars and bikes sharing the road.

Peter Payette

One of the phrases sometimes used to describe what is great about life Up North is “small town character.” What that means is a little vague, but the real estate market generally proves it is valuable: homes in many villages and cities up here are worth more every year.

Acme Township is a rural community that has no village. In fact, it is not much of a destination at all, unless you are going to the Grand Traverse Resort. Acme is mostly farmland with a few businesses along US-31 and M-72 and, of course, that glass tower reaching 17 stories into the sky.

Jeff Henley says it’s too bad people think of Acme as a gateway to Traverse City.

“Why can’t we make Acme a place to stop?” he wonders. “Instead of having to go through a gateway to get to something. Maybe you’re already there. Just look around.”


Classical Music & Culture

Surviving a dystopian present in "Scrapper," Matt Bell's new novel

Our conversation with Matt BellDetroit has collapsed into ruin, and a man named Kelly is earning a living as a scrapper.He picks through the thousands of abandoned buildings, stealing scrap metal and then selling it to salvage yards in Scrapper, the newest novel from Michigan author Matt Bell.The New York Times describes Scrapper as, “equal parts dystopian novel, psychological thriller and literary fiction.”Bell says he likes that description, but thinks of the novel also as a detective story.
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