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Stateside for Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Today on Stateside:

As high-flying ideas go, it was intriguing one: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports. Backers said it would create 64,000 jobs and attract investment. That was 13 years ago, and no district has materialized. Detroit Free Press Columnist Tom Walsh has been digging into what happened.

Many companies reward loyal customers with incentives, discounts and freebies. But when it comes to car insurance, the opposite can actually happen. Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports on a behind-the-scenes practice known as "price optimization."

When the U.S. government banned DDT in 1972, it was seen as a great victory for the environment. Jeff Smith of Traverse Magazine and Dr. James Ludwig from the University of Michigan join us to talk about the surprising role the gulls of Bellow Island played in that decision.

Next month marks the first anniversary of the opening of the Ann Arbor Skatepark. Listen to an audio postcard created University of Michigan student Nicholas Williams that gives a glimpse into the lives of skaters there.

It's been almost five years since Enbridge oil pipeline 6B ruptured near Marshall. It took 17 hours to get that line shut down. Today, state officials announced that Enbridge Energy will pay $75 million to the state to settle the biggest inland oil spill in American history. Michigan Radio’s Rebecca Williams and Mark Brush are here to talk about it.

Online shopping for groceries and consumer packaged goods is lagging way behind other forms of online shopping. Amitabh Sinha is a professor of technology and operations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He's been studying e-commerce of groceries, and thinks grocery chains and retailers who don't get onboard with e-commerce could go the way of Circuit City or Borders.

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