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Stateside: 90 years of Tulip Time; GOP ties jail funding to ICE cooperation; Yemeni coffee tradition

red and orange tulips in front of windmill in holland michigan
City of Holland
The first Tulip Time festival was held in Holland in 1929.

Today on Stateside, Republicans in the Michigan Senate want counties to lose some jail funding if they limit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. We get reaction from Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Plus, it is the 90th annual Tulip Time festival in Holland. We hear about how tulips came to be a symbol of the city's Dutch heritage.

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

As GOP legislature threatens jail funding, Wayne Co. sheriff says he’s cooperating with ICE as much as the law allows

Stateside's conversation with Benny Napoleon

  • Republican state senators have written a provision into the budget for the state’s corrections department that punishes counties with so-called “sanctuary city” policies. The counties could lose a jail reimbursement if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials.
  • Two years ago, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon directed his staff to not honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests unless specific conditions were met. He tells Stateside he’s cooperating with immigration officials as much as he can without violating the constitutional rights of those people arrested by county law enforcement.

Go hands-free while driving or risk $125 ticket, points on your license under state Senate bill

Stateside's conversation with Ruth Johnson

  • State Senator Ruth Johnson, the former Secretary of State, is co-sponsoring a bill to stop people from using cell phones, tablets, and other devices while driving unless they’re in hands-free mode. Drivers caught holding their phones would face a $125 ticket for the first offense and would get points on their license if they are caught driving distracted a second time. Johnson says that it’s critical legislation as the number of distracted driving deaths continues to rise.

Michigan sets lofty goal of zero preventable infant and maternal deaths

Stateside's conversation with Ninah Sasy

  • Nearly seven of every 1,000 babies born in Michigan won’t make it past their first birthday. African-American and Native American babies die at rates nearly double the state average, and more than triple the rate of white babies. Late last year, the state unveiled a new plan to tackle infant mortality.
  • Ninah Sasy is the woman leading the implementation of the state’s the Mother Infant Health and Equity Improvement Plan as the state’s senior maternal health strategist. She joins Stateside to talk about how the state is trying to move the needle on racial disparities in infant and maternal health.

Holland’s Dutch heritage gets spotlight during 90th annual Tulip Time festival

Stateside's conversation with Bob Swierenga

  • Visitors to the city of Holland this weekend will get to see hundreds of thousands of tulips in bloom. The city is celebrating its 90th annual Tulip Time festival. We talk to Hope College professor, and specialist in Dutch immigration history, Bob Swierenga about how tulips came to be a symbol of the city's Dutch heritage.

Dearborn cafe adds modern twist to centuries-old Yemeni coffee tradition

A visit to Dearborn's Qahwah House

  • Yemen's coffee growing traditions date back centuries. Now, they're seeing a revival in the States, thanks in part to a coffee shop in Dearborn. It's called Qahwah House, and it draws people from all over the world. While patrons sip on drinks spiced with cardamom and ginger, owner Ibrahim Alhasbani hopes to show that there's a lot more to Yemen than just war and poverty.
  • Stateside producer Mercedes Mejia and digital intern Katie Raymond visited Qahwah House to get a taste of how he does just that.


Artisans of Michigan: Finnish knives from Ragged Raven Forge

Listen to Paavola talk about everything from using reclaimed steel to the celestial forges of the universe that result in the blades he makes today.

  • Gabriel Paavola grew up in a Finnish family in the Upper Peninsula. Now, he’s honoring his heritage by handcrafting Finnish knives called puukos and leukus. Lester Graham paid a visit to the bladesmith to learn more about how he crafts his traditional blades.

Political roundup: Why the “party of local control” wants more universal rules from Lansing

Stateside's conversation with Ken Sikkema and TJ Bucholz

  • The Republican-led Michigan Legislature is taking up more bills that limit the decisions local communities can make on their own. That includes banning local governments from using zoning laws to stop short-term home rentals like AirBnB, and cutting jail funding for counties with so-called “sanctuary” policies.
  • Our Friday political commentators break down why the "party of local control," wants more universal rules from Lansing. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan Senate. TJ Bucholz is president of Vanguard Public Affairs, a progressive political strategy firm in Lansing.

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