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Stateside: Partial collapse of uranium-contaminated site; new UAW president; Michigan folk songs

Group of men sitting on a hill
U.S. Library of Congress
In 1938, Alan Lomax came to Michigan to record folk songs from the state's lumberjacks and sailors. A group of West Michigan musicians has now given those old songs new life.

Today on Stateside, an old industrial site contaminated with uranium since the World War II has partially collapsed into the Detroit River. Plus, a group of West Michigan musicians have brought old Michigan folk songs once sung by sailors and lumberjacks back to life.

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

Waterfront industrial site contaminated with uranium partially collapses into the Detroit River

Stateside’s conversation with Dave Battagello

  • An industrial site on the banks of the Detroit River that is contaminated by uranium has partially collapsed into the river. The site is owned by the company Detroit Bulk Storage Inc., and is next door to the historic Fort Wayne. We spoke with Windsor Star reporter Dave Battagello about what causedthe collapse, and how the state is responding.

Howes: New UAW president “a place holder” as union reforms and federal investigation continues

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • The fallout from the years-long federal corruption probe continues for the United Auto Workers union. On Wednesday, former UAW Vice President Jack Ashton admitted to rigging a $4 million contract and pocketing $250,000 in kickbacks. The prosecutor in the case is signalling the reforms announced by UAW president Rory Gamble might not be enough to prevent federal oversight. We discussed what’s on the horizon for the union with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

New book looks at impact of Detroit bankruptcy through personal stories of city residents

Stateside’s conversation with Jodie Adams Kirshner

  • It’s been more than six years since the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, but the impact on the city and its people persists. Jodie Adams Kirshner’s new book Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises explores the causes and effects of Detroit's bankruptcy by showing its impact on seven people. Kirshner is a research professor at New York University, where she specializes in bankruptcy law.  We talked to her about what new insight she hopes her book can add to the conversation about Detroit’s bankruptcy.
  • Jodie Adams Kirshner will be launching her book with an event tonightat Wayne State University's Law School at 7:00pm in conjunction with Pages Bookshop and the Detroit Equity Action Lab.

Inspired by folklorist Alan Lomax, West Michigan musicians reimagine songs of state’s past

Stateside’s conversation with Aaron Kates and Noah McLaren

  • In 1938, famed folklorist Alan Lomax traveled around Michigan recording and documenting folk music. Hearing about Lomax’s work inspired a group of West Michigan musicians to bring some of those old Michigan folk songs back to life in a new album titled Michigan-I-O. Aaron Kates and Noah McLaren are two of those musicians. They talked about what it took to put this album together, how they reinterpreted the songs for a modern audience, and what they learned about Michigan history along the way.
  • This segment originally aired on August 13, 2019. 

After losing son to suicide, parents work to close gaps in mental health services for young adults

Stateside’s conversation with Julie Halpert and Victor Hong

  • When it comes to supporting and treating people struggling with mental illness, the safety net in Michigan has a lot of holes. It can be very hard to get an immediate appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist. Julie Halpert is working to fill some of the gaps in mental health care for young adults with Garrett's Space, a nonprofit focused on mental health and suicide prevention. Halpert's 23-year-old son Garrett Halpert died by suicide in 2017. Halpert and UM emergency room psychiatrist Dr. Victor Hong talked about the need for additional mental health resources for young people, and what a better system might look like.
  • This segment originally aired on October 14, 2019. 

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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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