Stateside: Remains of WWII Marine returned; free tuition at WSU; battling Great Lakes sea lamprey

Oct 24, 2019

Today on Stateside, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is forcing Michigan ports to make expensive changes, even though ports nearby, including one in Toledo, don't have to do the same. Plus, the long and gruesome history of the invasive sea lamprey’s presence in the Great Lakes.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Howes: Plans to close plants move forward, even as UAW-GM deal nears ratification

  • News of whether the United Auto Workers rank and file have ratified their tentative contract with General Motors is expected to break tomorrow. But business columnist Daniel Howes of The Detroit News says there’s still plenty of uncertainty ahead. He explained why General Motors may feel compelled to reduce costs despite the booming auto market, how the ongoing federal investigation into union leadership is contributing to uncertainty, and why union members are anxious about the Trump administration’s relationship with the auto industry.

Remains of WWII Marine killed in the South Pacific finally returned home

  • The body of a Marine killed in action during World War II is finally on its way home to Michigan. Marine Corps Reserve Private First Class Kenneth Likens lost his life on a small island in the South Pacific in 1943 just days after his unit landed to fight Japanese forces. His funeral will be held in Holly, Michigan on Friday. Kenneth Dolan is the Likens' nephew. He told us how his family first learned that his uncle's remains were discovered, what kinds of stories he’s heard about his uncle, and what this closure means to him and his family.

Why Wayne State decided to offer free tuition to Detroit high school grads

  • Wayne State University is now offering free tuition to graduates from any Detroit high school. Kim Trent is chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors. She explained how this program, called the “Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge,” will work, and how the university will pay for it. 

To re-engage drop outs, Wayne State program offers $1,500 in debt forgiveness

  • One of the big problems facing higher education is people who leave college before they get a degree and still owe the school money. Wayne State University decided to tackle that problem by giving former students a chance to come back and finish a degree, while forgiving some or all of their previous debt.
  • Dawn Medley is Wayne State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, and Shawnte Cain is a student who took advantage of the "Warrior Way Back" program. They broke down how leaving college with an outstanding balance can affect a person’s future, and how the university will determine weather the program is successful and sustainable.

Differing rules across state lines cost Monroe port tens of millions in revenue 

  • The Great Lakes ports in Michigan are being held to a different standard by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol than ports in other states. A University of Michigan study estimates that as a result, one of Michigan’s ports is losing tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Tyler Eagle is a reporter with The Monroe News. He explained what U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is requiring of Michigan ports, why rules governing ports aren’t all the same, and what Michigan lawmakers are doing to address the disparity. 

After 70 years, the fight to get sea lamprey out of the Great Lakes continues

  • The number of alien species that have invaded the Great Lakes continues to rise. Some people have the impression that biologists can just eradicate them, but most of these invaders are here to stay. The best we can hope for is a way to control them. That’s the story behind a new book titled Great Lakes Sea Lamprey: The 70 Year war on a Biological Invader from Cory Brant of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. He joined Stateside to talk about the sea lamprey’s long history in the Great Lakes, the many different ways biologists have tried to control their population, and what would happen if those control efforts stopped.

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