Stateside from Michigan Public Radio

On Stateside, how can schools keep COVID-19 cases under control on campus, while also holding in-person classes? Albion College is hoping that their pandemic pod model might be the answer. Also, why the spectacular skies caused by Western wildfires are a reminder of the collective stakes of climate change. And finally, we hear from members of an artist collective that questions white people's fascination with—and sometimes fetishization of—Indigenous culture.

On Stateside, the state Senate passed a bill this week that allows local and county clerks to begin preparing absentee ballots a day ahead of the election. We check in with two clerks on whether the state's election system is ready for a potential wave of absentee ballots as November approaches. Also, a Detroit Free Press reporter updates on the Big Ten’s decision to resume football this fall. Plus, a look at the legacy of the first Black faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Today on Stateside, new data finds that colleges and universities are now Michigan's biggest COVID-19 hot spots. We talk to an epidemiologist about the challenges of containing campus outbreaks. Meanwhile, to make in-person learning safer, one Detroit school is moving all of its classrooms outside. Plus, one of the Detroit activists leading protests against police brutality talks about how the game changed this summer.

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan have voted to continue their strike for another week. The university has called the strike a "profound disruption" to students' education, and has asked the Washtenaw County Circuit Court to order striking GEO members to return to work.

U of M filed a restraining order and preliminary injunction against GEO with the Wastenaw County Circuit Court. GEO leadership assured members that no individual is at risk because U of M filed an injunction, and promised to update its members as it has more information.

Today on Stateside, we check in with two reporters and a county clerk about what the primary turnout —both in-person and absentee — tells us about the upcoming general election. Plus, a medical historian walks us through the history of vaccine development and what complicates the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Today on Stateside, what a primary election looks like in the midst of a pandemic. Also, a deep dive into how leftover human feces and other waste from water treatment plants ends up on our farm fields. Plus, what back to school might look like for the University of Michigan. 

Today on Stateside, we discuss the many legal questions surrounding the president’s authority to send federal agents into a city like Portland, or Detroit. Plus, we talk to the superintendent of schools in Whitefish Township about the unique challenges rural districts face in reopening.

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Republicans in Congress are signaling that the Census Bureau cannot take the extra time it has said it needs to count every person living in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic — even if that risks leaving some residents out of the 2020 census.

Hundreds of Detroit students started in-person summer school programs in Detroit Public Schools Community District buildings on Monday, in the face of some public opposition.

A small group of protesters blocked the exit to a school bus depot on the city’s west side, preventing the buses from picking up more than 200 enrolled students, said DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.


Michigan colleges and universities are scrambling to figure out what a new federal government rule means for their international students.

That comes after the government’s announcement this week that the government will no longer issue student visas to foreign students whose universities go to online-only classes.


Today on Stateside, recent developments with Enbridge’s Line 5 have lead Attorney General Dana Nessel to ask for a temporarily halt of operations. Tribes who live and work around the Great Lakes have had an eye on this for years.  Also, Michigan’s legislators have announced funding plans for reopening K-12 schools. What will that look like? Plus, what to expect when you’re expecting to travel this summer.

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says schools should prepare for in-person instruction this fall. We’ll talk about what those plans could look like, even as the governor cautioned that things may change. We’ll also hear teenagers from Michigan Radio's newest podcast, Kids These Days, about how they are thinking and talking about race with their families. Plus, a Michigan musician and producer talks about a new song simmered in the same elements that have brought so many Americans to protest in the streets in recent weeks.

Today on Stateside, a conversation with a community activist in Grand Rapids looking to defund the police and what that would entail. Plus, four nurses have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of DMC and Sinai-Grace over what they say was negligence and mismanagement that led to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

Today on Stateside, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a landmark decision that ruled LGBTQ people are protected from workplace discrimination under existing civil rights laws. An attorney with the ACLU of Michigan discusses the impact of the court’s decision. Also, an Ypsilanti bookstore owner talks about the recent flood of orders he and other black-owned businesses have gotten amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, and tells us the books he recommends for the current moment. 

The flood that was caused by heavy rains and the failure of two dams near Midland caused property damage far downstream. But the long term damage might be in the contamination of wildlife.

Today on Stateside, one sheriff shares what his department has learned about its own biases and discusses if proposed reforms for police departments are enough. Plus, what's on teachers' minds as they look at plans to reopen schools this fall. 

Today on Stateside, thoughts from a sociologist and a law professor about the marches in Detroit and Ann Arbor that drew attention to police officers’ use of force against African Americans. We’ll also find out how one charter school operator is preparing for the fall. 

Today on Stateside, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula were allowed to open for sit down dining. We spoke with two restaurateurs; one who opened and one who stuck to take-out orders. Plus, how one high school senior is preparing for his future amid uncertainty.

Today on Stateside, what will the impending re-opening of Michigan’s economy mean for public health. Plus, how the pandemic could allow districts to reshape learning in the fall.

Stateside for Tuesday, January 22, 2020

Today on Stateside, how a renter, landlord, and lender are being affected by the pandemic. And an update on the story about a man accused by multiple Michigan families of sexually abusing children.

Today on Stateside, plant managers are making plans to restart some of the biggest manufacturing operations in the state. We talk to Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes about what has to happen first. Plus, a protest on reopening the economy gives way to a discussion about guns at the state Capitol—and the politics around who is allowed to carry them.

Today on Stateside, we talk to Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin about the future of emergency funds for businesses impacted by COVID-19 . Plus, what a federal appeals court decision in the so-called “right to read” lawsuit means for students in Detroit.

Today on Stateside, a new test for COVID-19 gives results quickly, but those results aren't always accurate. Plus, it's Earth Day and we spoke with a congressman about how the COVID crisis could serve as an opportunity to rethink how we treat the earth.

Today on Stateside, how one Detroit emergency room physician is searching for answers and solutions to handling the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, what would it mean to safely reopen the state.

Today on Stateside, we check in on Michigan’s farm scene and see how food producers are doing amid the pandemic. Plus, how the state unemployment office is handling a huge surge in the number of people applying for benefits.

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