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Stateside: State releases PFAS report; famous Marquette pipe maker; lax amusement park regulations

Person driving a go-kart.
Takashi Azuma / Flickr
After a go-karting accident left her sister permanently brain damaged, Corri Sandwick became a crusader for amusement park safety, working alongside a state representative to improve the enforcement of safety standards.

Today on Stateside, a scientist on the state's PFAS Scientific Advisory Committee breaks down the group's official report on how Michigan should deal with PFAS contamination. Plus, after her sister suffered permanent brain damage on a go-kart ride in 2015, Corri Sandwick has been pushing the state to make amusement parks safer. 

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

Independent panel of scientists releases its report on PFAS contamination in Michigan

Stateside’s conversation with David Savitz

  • Today, the Michigan PFAS Science Advisory Council released a report that spells out what steps the state can take to address PFAS contamination. David Savitz is a professor of epidemiology at Brown University School of Public Health, and he chairs the committee. He breaks down the report, which suggests that Michigan adopt a lower PFAS contamination cleanup standard than the federally-recommended 70 parts per trillion, and shares his concerns over a bill moving through Michigan’s Legislature that some say could weaken the state’s ability to address toxic pollution.

Book review: Felver’s “The Dog of Detroit” offers grim but realistic appraisal of the Rustbelt

John Freeman’s review of Brad Felver’s The Dogs of Detroit

  • Book critic John Freeman reviews Brad Felver's debut short story collection, The Dogs of Detroit, which Freeman says offers a grim but realistic appraisal of the Rustbelt. Brad Felver is a fiction writer and essayist, and he teaches writing at Bowling Green State University.         

Put that in your pipe and smoke it: UP pipe maker among world’s best

Click above to hear Dan Wanschura of Interlochen Public Radio’s story

  • In a small house just off of U.S. Highway 41 outside of Marquette, Lee Erck crafts some of the highest-quality tobacco pipes in the world. Interlochen Public Radio's Dan Wanschura brings us this pipemaker's story. Erck was also featured in the documentary film Father the Flame, which premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival in October. 

Outgoing state cultural affairs director reflects on role of the arts in Michigan communities

Stateside's conversation with John Bracey

  • John Bracey is set to retire on December 28, after serving 12 years as executive director of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. He joined Stateside to reflect on his legacy and talk about why he thinks it’s important for the state to provide funding for the arts.

Tragic go-kart accident leads to push for stricter amusement park regulations

Stateside’s conversation with Corri Sandwick and Thomas Albert

  • In August 2015, Rachel Gibbs endured a horrific injury at AJ’s Family Fun Center near Grand Rapids when her scarf got caught in one of her go-kart’s axles and snapped her windpipe, leaving her severely brain damaged. We talk to Gibbs sister Corri Sandwick, who has become a crusader for amusement park safety. We also hear from State Representative Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), who has been working alongside Sandwick to draft legislation that would improve amusement park safety in the state. 
  • LARA confirmed that as the administrator of the Carnival-Amusement Safety Act, the department permits and inspects individual amusement park rides. You can find their full statement on amusement park safety regulations here.
  • Stateside also reached out to AJ’s Family Fun Center for this story. They did not respond to our request for comment.

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