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Stateside: State Senate passes auto insurance reform; pinball history comic book; new West MI music

picture of a comic book page
Ryan Clayton and Nick Baldridge
"This is such an incredibly deep and rich hobby, I mean you could appreciate it in any number of ways, it's just a seemingly endless source of discovery," says Ryan Claytor, co-creator of the "Coin-Op Carnival."


Today on Stateside, we hear about what's included in the auto insurance reform bill that got a fast-tracked approval from the state Senate on Tuesday. Plus, environmental justice leader Mustafa Santiago Ali talks about why he left the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after more than two decades, and why the voices of marginalized communities must be included in environmental policy.

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

State Senate’s proposed auto insurance reforms would eliminate unlimited medical coverage 

Stateside’s conversation with Jonathan Oosting

  • The Michigan Senate has been busy today, fast-tracking a new auto insurance reform plan. They're seeking a way to reduce premiums that are unaffordable by federal standards in 97 % of Michigan zip codes, according to a recent University of Michigan analysis.
  • Reporter Jonathan Oosting of The Detroit News has been covering all of this from Lansing, and joins Stateside to talk about some of the major changes the bill would make to the state's rules on auto insurance coverage.

Patient advocate says state Senate’s auto insurance reform bill is “disappointing, very disappointing”

Stateside’s conversation with Tom Constand

  • The Brain Injury Association of Michigan has been fighting to maintain Michigan's auto no-fault system. Tom Constand, President and CEO of the association joins Stateside to tell us why he thinks the bill that passed the state Senate Tuesday would have a negative impact on patients with serious car crash-related injuries. 

Mixtape: Twangy indie-rock from Kalamazoo, roots rock and psychedelic sounds out of Grand Rapids 

Stateside’s conversation with John Sinkevics

  • Time for new music from West Michigan as we say hello again to John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of Local Spins. This month, he brings us music from the "dreamy, reverb-laden, and twangy indie-rock" band The Go Rounds out of Kalamazoo. We also take a listen to new music from the Grand Rapids-based rock bands Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions and The Howlers.

Two diehard pinball fans turn their love of the game into a comic book 

Stateside’s conversation with Ryan Claytor and Nick Baldridge

  • The very earliest origins of pinball machines go back to 1871. By the 20th century, pinball machines as we know them were being played with gusto here in the United States. And even in the high tech world of 2019, there are still avid pinball fans.
  • Those fans include MSU art professor Ryan Claytor and Nick Baldridge, host of For Amusement Only, the Electromagnetic Games and Bingo Pinball Podcast. They join Stateside to discuss their shared love for pinball, and how it inspired their new illustrated series Coin-Op Carnival about the history of the game.  

Efforts to clean up Rouge River’s industrial legacy continue today 

Stateside’s conversation with Marie McCormick

  • Much of the Rouge River watershed is urban, and more than 1.35 million people live within its boundaries. Its location in a heavily-populated and industrial region has meant a tough history with pollution. The Friends of the Rouge was founded in 1986 to clean up and protect this natural resource that reaches across so much of Southeast Michigan.
  • Marie McCormick, the executive director of Friends of the Rouge, was part of Stateside’s live show in Dearborn last Thursday where she discussed the history of pollution in the Rouge River, and what her organization is doing to clean it up.

Former EPA staffer on why marginalized communities deserve a voice in environmental policy

Stateside’s conversation with Mustafa Santiago Ali

  • Mustafa Santiago Ali spent more than two decades at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency working to fight air, water, and industrial pollution in those marginalized communities. The nationally-recognized environmental justice leader will be speaking this week at the Great Lakes Conference in Detroit, hosted by the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition.
  • He joins Stateside to discuss what environmental justice looks like for marginalized communities, and why he left the EPA in 2017 after more than two decades working for the agency. 

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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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