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Stateside: Booze shortage in MI; UAW workers on union’s future; contaminated drinking water

Assorted liquor bottles on a shelf.
Bars and stores across Michigan are facing a liquor shortage after the state's largest alcohol distributor's move to a new location disrupted deliveries.

Today on Stateside, UAW rank and file members watch and worry as an ongoing federal corruption probe casts doubt over top leadership. Plus, we hear about the challenges of ensuring clean drinking water in America. 

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

How Michigan's liquor-distribution system may have helped cause statewide booze shortage 

Stateside’s conversation with Tory Rocca and Rick Pluta

  • Just in time for Thanksgiving and the big December holidays: Michigan's got a liquor shortage. The problem is with the largest of the three Michigan companies authorized to distribute liquor in our state.
  • Tory Rocca is a former state senator and chair of the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, and Rick Pluta is Michigan Radio's Lansing Bureau Chief. Rocca broke down what changes he made to liquor sales and regulation when he was in office, and the two discussed whether the current liquor distribution system in Michigan could be vulnerable to similar disruptions in the future.

Howes: Why some, but not all, corporate tax breaks are a good deal for Michigan 

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • A needed economic boost from the state? Or corporate cronyism at its worst?  That's the debate over a business tax-incentive program called Good Jobs for Michigan. Business columnist Daniel Howes is with The Detroit News. He broke down how Good Jobs for Michigan works, the core assumptions it’s built on, and what’s at stake if the program is allowed to lapse.

Amid ongoing corruption investigation, UAW members offer thoughts on the future of their union

Stateside’s conversation with Nicole Henning and Willie Holmes

  • It's a challenging time, to say the least, for the United Auto Workers Union. The union’s president is on paid leave under the cloud of a widening federal corruption probe. How are union members feeling about their organization’s leadership in light of the scandal? We talked to two of them to find out.
  • Nicole Henning works at General Motor's Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant and is a member of UAW Local 602. Willie Holmes is president of UAW Local 167 in West Michigan, and works at a General Motors parts plant in Wyoming. They shared their reactions to the ongoing probe, their thoughts on new acting president Rory Gamble, and what they think union leaders need to do to regain the trust of their rank and file.

Contaminated drinking water is America's most significant public crisis, says author and activist

Stateside’s conversation with Seth Siegel

  • The Flint water crisis was a grim reminder that clean drinking water isn’t something we can take for granted. The latest water samples put St. Clair Shores on the growing list of Michigan communities with high levels of lead, and many communities across the state are concerned about PFAS contamination in their groundwater.
  • Seth Siegel is the author of the new book Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink. He talked about the main challenges we face in identifying and cleaning up sites contaminated with PFAS, how the Environmental Protection Agency is caught in a “tug of war” between public health and economic growth, and what it would take to convince lawmakers to better regulate drinking water quality. 

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