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Stateside: Consequences of tuition-free college; threats to Great Lakes mussels; golf and diversity

The mussel uses hair-like cilia on its gills to pull water containing food particles into its shell cavity through its siphon.
Quagga mussesls, an invasive species, are endangering the native species of mussels in the Great Lakes.


Today on Stateside, a public policy and economics professor at Hillsdale College weighs in on the free college tuition proposals that are bound to arise in this week's Democratic debates. Plus, some species of native freshwater mussels are under threat and we look at how their decline could change the Great Lakes.

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

Political economist warns of unintended consequences of tuition-free college


Stateside’s conversation with Gary Wolfram

  • Tonight is the first of two nights of debate among the Democratic presidential candidates, and college affordability is bound to come up. With 10 public universities in Michigan announcing tuition hikes for the upcoming school year, it's of particular interest for the state. Gary Wolfram is a public policy and economics professor at Hillsdale College who says tuition-free college is not quite the deal Democrats expect. 

One year later, Trump travel ban has “major impact” on Michigan communities


Stateside’s conversation with Hassan Jaber

  • It’s been a year since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the president’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. Hassan Jaber is the president and CEO of ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. He talks about the impacts the ban continues to have on both Muslim Americans in Michigan and on those who wish to travel to the U.S.

Hartwick Pines State Park celebrates Michigan’s logging era


Stateside’s conversation with Craig Kasmer

  • The Hartwick Pines State Park in Crawford County boasts 9,700 acres and one of the last untouched white pine forests in the Lower Peninsula. Michigan was once covered with large white pines, but many were harvested during the White Pine Logging Era of the 19th century. The park's Craig Kasmer joined Stateside to share memories and highlights to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Michigan’s State Parks.  

Freshwater mussels that keep the Great Lakes healthy are under threat


Stateside’s conversation with Daelyn Woolnough

  • There are 44 species of native freshwater mussels, and 31 of those are special concerned, threatened or endangered. Their populations were decimated in the mid 1980s by the zebra mussel and again in the 1990s by the quagga mussel brought over by tankers from the Baltic. Daelyn Woolnough of Central Michigan University and Institute for Great Lakes Research discusses the dangers faced by freshwater mussels in Michigan and how their eradication would change Great Lakes' ecosystem.

Michigan is the birthplace of many amazing things, and also the pocket protector


Stateside's conversation with Mark Harvey

  • The Pocket Protector is an iconic and stereotypical accessory for “nerds” or “geeks.” Hurley Smith, born in Bellaire, MI was the first to patent the protector and has manufactured it in Michigan for decades. Mark Harvey, state archivist with the Michigan History Center discusses the development of the product and how Smith was one of the first to use PVC in the 1947 patent. 


With the PGA Tour in Detroit, it’s hard to ignore golf’s diversity problem


Stateside's conversation with Olajuwon Ajanaku

  • This weekend is the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a PGA golf tournament taking place at the Detroit Golf Club. The PGA supports non-profits like The First Tee of Greater Detroit, which works to improve access to golf among young people in lower-income communities. Olajuwon Ajanaku is a former First Tee participant and professional golfer who currently volunteers for The First Tee of Greater Detroit. He talks about the challenges of golfing while black and the opportunities the sport can provide to African-American kids.

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