All Things Considered

Monday-Friday, 4pm-6:30pm on IPR News

In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.

 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan rises nearly every day. As the pandemic worsens, putting food on the table is getting harder for some people in rural communities.

Now school districts are rushing to feed students that relied on school lunches, and food pantries in northern Michigan are trying to feed the rest.

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Critics are often asked "What's your favorite movie?" — and most of us have learned to deflect the question.

If you see a few hundred films a year, "favorite" is a moving target. Stiil, when pressed, I do have a ready answer: Buster Keaton's silent, Civil-War comedy The General.

The coronavirus crisis has upended the lives of millions, with no clear end in sight.

Last week alone, new claims for unemployment benefits climbed to 281,000, the most since 2017. Economists say it's only the beginning.

As bars, restaurants and shops across the nation shut down to help slow the spread of the virus, swaths of workers are being sent home. For many, that means uncertainty as to when they'll see a paycheck again.

Michigan communities are organizing to help with needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a dozen informal, grassroots networks are operating around the state.

Sometimes known as mutual aid groups, they work alongside government agencies and charities and often coordinate with them. They can help with grocery deliveries, financial assistance, childcare and more.

If you need this kind of help, or if you have time or a skill to offer, browse the map to find a local group to connect with. If you start your own mutual aid effort in your community — let us know. Send an e-mail to kaye.lafond@interlochen.org or digital@michiganradio.org. We'll be keeping track and updating the map.

At a Safeway in Washington, D.C., this week, 19-year-old Tala Jordan was having trouble checking items off her shopping list.

Fresh meat: Nope. Milk: Nope. Eggs?

"I got liquid eggs instead," she said. "Had to compromise somehow."

Jordan was shopping for a family of four — her sister, mom and grandmother. And like families across America, they saw others making a rush to buy goods and figured they should stock up as well.

With a societal shift away from buying albums, touring has been one of the main ways for musicians to support themselves. But now, as the coronavirus precautions shut down public spaces, clubs and concert halls are empty, the tour buses are parked and artists are trying to figure out how they'll get by in an era of social distancing.

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There's been a sharp spike in the number of companies laying workers off. A lot of states say they're suddenly flooded with unemployment claims. And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some are not prepared for the onslaught.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Senior services in northern Michigan are expanding offerings to older residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to census data, there are about 3,000 seniors living in Kalkaska County, many of whom  live at home alone. 

Home meal deliveries, daily check-ins, arranging to pick up a few pantry items, are all happening with frequency at local senior centers.

Conner Desilets / Interlochen Public Radio

In a brief filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors say they have new evidence for a possible retrial of State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg). At his original trial last year, Inman was found not guilty of lying to the F.B.I., but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on two other corruption charges.

Like so many other parents around the country, I was transitioning to full-time remote work last week while preparing to support my family through a crisis.

That's when my 10-year-old son, Kenzo, came home with a large, Ziploc bag full of school supplies.

It included an iPad with various apps to enable him to attend class virtually, where his teacher will take attendance at 8 a.m. Tiny icons representing his teacher and classmates will appear in the corner of the screen. She can address the class, hear students respond and track their assignments.

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Through presidential elections, stock market crashes and, yes, even global pandemics, one thing has remained constant in the public radio world.

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Courtesy

Nurses at Munson Medical Center say the hospital has not provided adequate paid time off for them if exposed or infected by COVID-19.  

This comes on the heels of the first two cases reported at Munson Medical Center, one in Traverse City and one in Gaylord.

The cases were reported late Monday night.

Hofbrau Food & Spirits in Interlochen put out a sign letting patrons know they can still order takeout in light of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order that closes sit-down service at bars and restaurants across the state.
Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

As Michigan’s dine-in restaurants grapple with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to stop sit-in service, some are switching to takeout and delivery. 

High schools are closed and their musicals are canceled around the country because of coronavirus concerns.

Theater kids now have no audience to showcase the numbers they've worked on, some for months and even years.

They won't have a live audience for the time being, but Broadway star Laura Benanti, who won a Tony award in 2008 for her performance in Gypsy, wanted to give student performers the next best thing — an online audience.

She put the call out on Friday.

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Wikimedia Commons

Northern Michigan school districts are trying to help families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, following an order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday to close Michigan's public schools. 

On top of closures, the following districts have sent messages to students and parents regarding food availability and alternatives to in-person instruction.

Traverse City Area Public Schools:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Over the weekend, Grand Traverse County officials released guidelines for residents to stop the community spread of coronavirus. 

Administrators say there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grand Traverse County, as of noon Sunday.

 

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