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Stateside: Late night lame duck; twist in Iraqi deportation case; 50 years of homemade holiday songs

band playing
Courtesy of Mike Blank
Rev. Richard Blank plays the vibraharp, one of the many instruments featured in his original Christmas carol compositions. Accompanied by Don Heminger on the guitar, Clifford Murphy on bass, and Bob White on drums.

Today on Stateside, we review the bills headed to Governor Snyder's desk after the lame duck state legislature's all-nighter. Plus, this year marks the 50th consecutive year of a very special Christmas tradition for Stateside producer Mike Blank's family.  

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

Political roundup: A late night lame duck finale sends a pile of bills to Snyder’s desk

Stateside's conversation with Gilda Jacobs and Ken Sikkema

  • Last night was an all-night session for the lame duck state legislature. And come morning, there were a lot more bills on the governor’s desk. Our Friday political commentators joined us to weigh in on what got accomplished.
  • Gilda Jacobs is President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy and a former Democratic member of the Senate. And Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan Senate.

The Toledo Christmas Weed is "what we all need this Christmas season"

Joey Horan visited Toledo's newest holiday attraction

  • Call it the Charlie Brown Christmas...Weed. Wrapped in tinsel and surrounded by gifts, the sidewalk weed in Toledo has become a national story. We sent Stateside's Joey Horan to the corner of Secor and Alexis to see what the buzz is all about.

Appeals court decision adds uncertainty to fate of Iraqi nationals facing deportation

Stateside's conversation with Miriam Aukerman

  • Around 100 Iraqi nationals were released this week after spending more than a year in ICE custody. But now, they face more uncertainty after an appeals court struck down the ruling that ordered their release. We spoke with Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for ACLU Michigan, about what the decision means for these Iraqi nationals and their families.

An exit interview with Speaker of the House Tom Leonard

Stateside's conversation with Rep. Tom Leonard

  • More than 60 percent of the members of the Michigan House are term-limited out of office. One of those members is current Speaker of the House Tom Leonard. We talked to Leonard about the legislature’s late night lame duck session and what he plans to do next.

What Trump’s proposed rollback of the Clean Water Act would mean for Michigan wetlands

Stateside's conversation with David Uhlmann

  • The Trump administration has proposed changing the Clean Water Act. Farmers and developers like the changes. But environmentalists, hunters, fishers, and people concerned about drinking water contamination are raising concerns.
  • Stateside talked to David Uhlmann, who wrote a recent New York Times editorial opposing the changes. Uhlmann was chief of the environmental crimes section at the Justice Department during both Republican and Democratic administrations.

A Michigan pastor and Stateside dad has composed an original song every Christmas for 50 years

A conversation with Mike Blank and his dad, the Rev. Richard Blank

  • Christmas 2018 is going to be a special one for Stateside producer Mike Blank’s family. It marks the 50th consecutive year of his dad composing an original Christmas carol. Rev. Richard Blank, a retired Episcopal priest, would send a copy of each new carol to loved ones in the family’s annual Christmas letter. Mike sat down to talk to his dad about his favorite compositions, and where he gets his inspiration year after year.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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