Stateside Staff

 

Each month, Stateside checks in with John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins, a site that covers West Michigan’s music scene. Sinkevics discusses new artists, their backstories and what makes their music great.

 


One of the promises President Donald Trump built his campaign on, and a promise he continues to repeat, is bringing jobs back to the United States.

But many employers say it’s workers they need. All across Michigan, businesses are constantly struggling to fill openings.

That pressure is particularly acute on Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. Many popular hotels and restaurants there rely heavily on foreign workers who enter the country on H-2B visas.

Stateside 9.5.2017

Sep 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, we take a trip to Bach Elementary School in Ann Arbor to hear how students are feeling on the first day of school. Also on the show, a Michigan DREAMer says DACA changed his life "drastically," but today he faces uncertainty. And, a psychiatrist offers tips for returning college students on how to keep stress in check.

Stateside 9.1.2017

Sep 1, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear LaMarr Monson describe what it feels like to be free 21 years after a wrongful murder conviction. We also learn about an app in development to help teachers fight their own implicit bias in the classroom. And, after disappearing from Michigan, peregrine falcons are making a comeback and nesting on skyscrapers across the state.

Stateside 8.31.2017

Aug 31, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn Michigan has the highest ratio of robots to workers in the country, and what that could mean for the humans in our state. We also learn if the small town of Benzonia is ready for gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, and how rule changes and safer equipment could save football from itself.


   

Michigan fruit growers are nearing a crucial time of the year: harvest season. But those farmers are struggling to find enough labor to fill their needs.

People are no longer turning up at the farm looking for work, said Rob Steffens, owner of Steffens Orchard in Sparta, just north of Grand Rapids. Steffens needs more than 40 workers each year for his 280-acre orchard. He’s on track to have enough this year, but he says some workers have told him they aren’t returning.

Battle Creek mom Lori Truex didn't have the money to pay her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

But she didn't let that stop her. Truex decided to stand on the side of a street asking for donations. Seventy nine days later, she was able to end her panhandling campaign, which she called "One Mom, One Year."

The 2017 scores for the M-STEP — the standardized test that most students in Michigan take — have been released.

It’s a mixed bag of results, with some promising signs of growth and other areas that clearly need work. M-STEP (the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) replaced the old MEAP test in 2015. The test is administered online, and it's designed to measure students' knowledge in math, science, social studies, and English language arts.

More than 300 thousand people in Michigan depend on public mental health care, and the state is wrestling with the question of who should oversee and administer those services.

Michigan is debating whether mental health funding will be taken away from community mental health groups and transferred instead to private insurers in Michigan’s Medicaid Health plans.

Parents and students are getting ready for school to start next week. That can mean last-minute shopping trips for supplies and clothes, and perhaps a doctor’s appointment to get those vaccines up to date before the school year starts.

Back in the 1930s, pertussis, better known as whooping cough, caused 6,000 deaths a year in the United States. Ninety-five percent of the people who died were children ages five and under.

It was three women in Michigan who helped change those grim statistics.

Stateside 8.30.2017

Aug 30, 2017

Today on the show, we hear the story of how three women in Michigan found the vaccine for whooping cough. We also learn how Michigan students' 2017 test scores stack up against those in other states. And, we speak with a Battle Creek mom who chose to panhandle to raise money for her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

Stateside 8.29.2017

Aug 29, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a filmmaker who wants the U.S. Census Bureau to stop classifying Arab Americans as "white." And, we learn how political consultants are getting into the "fake news" business.

Stateside 8.28.2017

Aug 28, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how Michiganders are helping with hurricane relief in Texas. We also learn about our state's history at the forefront of extremist movements. And, Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon returns to the show to bring us his first predictions for college football season.

Stateside 8.25.2017

Aug 25, 2017

Today on Stateside, an expert explains what doesn't add up about Major League Soccer's business model. And, we hear from the editor of a new neighborhood guidebook that gathers stories from voices around Detroit.

There seems to be growing public doubt about political polls ever since Donald Trump unexpectedly won the presidency, when many polls had him trailing Hillary Clinton.

Harry Enten, a senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight, recently looked at a poll released by Delphi Analytica that showed, in a hypothetical U.S. Senate race, sitting Senator Debbie Stabenow trailing Michigan native Kid Rock, although Rock hasn’t officially announced his candidacy.

Take one 385-pound piano, and strap it onto a tricycle. Add a piano player and then hit the road from Flint to Mackinaw City.

Plop that piano on a barge, tie it to your ankles, and then swim all the way to Mackinac Island. 

That's the gist of the memorable fundraiser Sprint for Flint that's taking place this weekend.

Change is in the wind at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined Stateside today to explain what's behind Great Wall Motors' interest in buying Fiat Chrysler.

The Next Idea

The Incubator Kitchen at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is helping people with an idea for a food product or business turn their dreams into reality without risking their life savings.

The Incubator Kitchen is a full-sized commercial kitchen where hopeful food entrepreneurs can get help with business planning and the licensing required to legally produce their products and sell to the public.

The state’s numbers say the food and agriculture industry brings more than $101 billion into the state’s economy every year.

But Molly Stepanski of Presque Isle Farm said there’s a “huge transition” happening right now in the agriculture industry.

As older farmers begin to age out of the profession, Molly said tens of thousands of acres are “getting ready to transition hands.”

Stateside 8.24.2017

Aug 25, 2017

Fake polls are a thing, so how can you tell the difference? That answer comes today on Stateside. Also today, farmers explain why the local food movement makes it a "great time" for young people to go into agriculture. And, we learn why cyclists and swimmers will be towing a piano from Flint to Mackinac Island this weekend.

In Stateside’s series of conversations with young farmers in Michigan, some of the farmers we've talked to are working on their families' farms, carrying on a tradition that has spanned generations.

Azeezah Ford is a young farmer taking a different path. Ford grew up in Detroit, and early next year she'll begin full-time farm work in Benzie County in northern Michigan.

The city of Kalamazoo just picked up a $500 million windfall.

This week, Kalamazoo city commissioners approved a public-private partnership called the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence. It’s a partnership between the city and two local philanthropist-businessmen: William Parfet and William Johnston.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell said he saw the public-private partnership as the best way forward for his city, which had been staring down financial problems.

An engrossing book, delicious food, and sparkling conversation. Put all that together in Detroit and you've got the Shady Ladies Literary Society.

Group founder and Detroit-based writer Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle, and Ashley Shelby, whose novel South Pole Station will be featured at the society's upcoming meeting, joined Stateside on Wednesday.

It’s been a pretty rotten year for the farmers who grow timothy hay, a Michigan crop that's not very familiar to most.

Timothy hay is an important feed for horses, cattle and small animals, like pet bunnies and guinea pigs, among others.

Some of the best timothy hay comes from the eastern Upper Peninsula, but farmers there are enduring a season that will go into the record books for all the wrong reasons.

Thousands of Michiganders fought for the Union during the American Civil War, but one group of soldiers in particular stood out: Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters.

To tell the story of this special group, the Michigan History Center's Steve Ostrander and Eric Hemenway, director of archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, joined host Cynthia Canty on Wednesday for Stateside's weekly history lesson.

Pages