Stateside: UAW scandal and strike; District Detroit’s unfulfilled promises; distracted drivers

Sep 19, 2019

Today on Stateside, as a federal corruption probe into the United Auto Workers union focuses on UAW president Gary Jones, some in the union are reportedly questioning his future there. Plus, a doctor warns caution in the new era of legal cannabis.

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

Cloud of federal investigation lingers over UAW officials as strike negotiations continue


  • Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have yet to reach an agreement. Meanwhile, 46,000 GM factory workers are on their fourth day of striking. But as Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes reports, there seems to be mutiny brewing against UAW President Gary Jones. He breaks down what happened at last Friday’s meeting of the UAW’s International Executive Board, and explains what it means for the union's ongoing talks with General Motors. 

Community still has concerns about Little Caesars Arena and unfulfilled promises of District Detroit

  • Little Caesars Arena — which was built with the help of around $324 million worth of taxpayer dollars — opened its doors two years ago this month. In return, the Ilitch family promised jobs to Detroiters and plenty of development around the arena. The final public meeting of the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC), which aims to hold the Ilitches and Olympia Development to the promises they made to the city, will take place tonight.
  • Francis Grunow is the chair of the NAC. He shares what concerns neighbors to the arena still have, and what he hopes will come out of tonight’s meeting.
  • We reached out to Olympia Development of Michigan, but they did not provide a comment.   

Learn to Drive! And other helpful tips on Michigan’s rules of the road.

  • Traffic deaths in Michigan are up 2% this year, so now seems like a good time to brush up on some of Michigan’s forgotten — or ignored —rules of the road. In the latest installment of our ongoing “Learn to Drive” series, we spoke to Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw about what state law says about distracted driving — particularly when it comes to cell phones — and how the rules might change depending on local ordinances. 

In this era of legal cannabis, a doctor's warning

  • Now that Michigan has legalized recreational marijuana, physicians are warning users about the lack of research that’s been done into how exactly cannabis affects the brain and the body. Christopher Blazes is an addiction psychiatrist and emergency room physician at the University of Michigan. He explains why he advises potential users to wait until more studies are conducted before taking advantage of cannabis’s new legal status.

Tuskegee Airman discusses service and discrimination in new book

  • Ninety-four-year-old Lt. Colonel Harry T. Stewart, Jr. of Bloomfield Hills is one of just 11 living members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black military unit that flew combat missions during World War II. His life is the subject of a book co-written by aviation writer Philip Handleman called Soaring to Glory: A Tuskegee Airman’s Firsthand Account of World War II. Stewart joined Stateside to talk about his experience training to become a pilot in Alabama during Jim Crow, his time serving with The Red Tails in Italy, and where life took him after returning home from war.

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