Stateside: Changing anti-vaccine beliefs; competitive bearding in W. MI; study links pesticides, ALS

Apr 11, 2019
Originally published on April 12, 2019 10:05 am

Today on Stateside, we talk with vaccine-hesitant parents as measles cases spread. Plus, learn how your old photos can help researchers track changes to Lake Michigan's dunes.

  • The number of cases of measles in Michigan continues to climb with 41 cases confirmed to date in Oakland (39), Wayne (1), and Washtenaw Counties (1) (click here for more information). Doctors and public health officials are now grappling with how to best deal with this public health crisis.
  • Mark Navin, associate professor of philosophy at Oakland University, joins Stateside to discuss why parents refuse vaccine for their children and how to encourage people to vaccinate.



Isabella County is home to one of the largest Hemingway collections in the world



  • Michigan is home to two peninsulas and 83 counties and can span up to 10 hours driving from Monroe to Ironwood. To gain a better understanding of Michigan’s vastness, varying geographic and historical differences, we decided it would be fun to breakdown our state county by county.
  • Last week we introduced our History Center Spinning Wheel with Michigan’s 83 counties listed on it and it came up with Isabella County. State Archivist with Michigan History Center, Mark Harvey joins Stateside to detail the history of Isabella County, located almost right in the center of the lower peninsula. 


Every month is “no shave” for this competitive bearding club in Kalamazoo 


  • If competitions are your thing, you can find just about any field to compete in. In Kalamazoo, you can join the Old Dog Whisker Club to compete in beard and/or mustache national competitions. 
  • Co-Founder of the Old Dog Whisker Club, Andy Miller, joins Stateside to destigmatize beard growing and give more information on the club.


U.P. Poet Laureate writes poems inspired by place 


  • The 2018 Poet Laureate winner for the Upper Peninsula was so popular, he won a second consecutive term. He was voted in last month. 
  • Interlochen public radio, Taylor Wizner spoke with Marty Achatz about his achievement. 


Study finds link between pesticide exposure and ALS in Michigan patients 

  • It can begin with trouble walking, perhaps muscle cramps, unexplained weakness in your hand or trouble swallowing. These early signs could result in a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS.
  • A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan looks at the connections between the progression of ALS and organic toxins, like pesticides and industrial chemicals. These kinds of toxins that are long-lasting and common in Michigan. Dr. Stephen Goutman, the Director of U of M’s ALS Clinic  joins Stateside to discuss the research and findings of this study. 

Your old vacation photos could help scientists understand changes in Lake Michigan sand dunes



  • Got any photos of Lake Michigan sand dunes tucked away in the family photo album or shoebox of Mom's old snapshots? Your old photos from that dunes outing in times gone by could help environmental researchers.
  • The Michigan Environmental Council has put out a call for old photos of sand dunes. Tom Zimnicki, from the MEC, tells Stateside about the idea behind this project, how these old photos can help researchers, and specifications on what photos their looking for. 

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