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Stateside: Legislature tackles auto insurance rates; polar vortex energy study; Detroit pistachios

Car stuck between walls
Gareth Harrison
Michigan's legislature revisits the state's high auto insurance rates. Will they find a solution this time?

Today on Stateside, the legislature revisits Michigan’s high auto insurance rates, but will a decrease in rates only come with less guaranteed medical care? Plus, a study looks at how an all-renewable energy grid would have fared in January’s polar vortex.

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

Roundup: Can legislature find a way to lower car insurance rates this time around?

Stateside’s conversation with Vicki Barnett and Ken Sikkema

  • Our Friday commentators analyze the legislature's options to cheapen Michigan’s auto insurance rates, which are the highest in the nation. Can the state find the right balance between maintaining sufficient medical coverage and lowering rates?
  • Vicki Barnett is former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic state legislator.  Ken Sikkema is senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader.

Memoir chronicles life as a black cadet at West Point during 1940s

Stateside’s conversation with Clifford Worthy

  • Clifford Worthy attended West Point just after President Harry Truman integrated the armed forces. He went on to become a colonel and work at the Pentagon. We talk to Worthy about his memoir, The Black Knight, which explores his path through the Army as a young black man, and later, his life as a civilian and father.

Artisans of Michigan: Let a stone be a stone

Lester Graham visits stonemason Tom Fuleky at his home

  • In this week’s edition of Artisans of Michigan, Lester Graham visits the house of Tom Fuleky, a stonemason who breaks rock the old way, with a trowel. Unlike the newer generation of stonemasons, Fuleky is not intrusive, he lets the stones guide him with their natural shape and power. His work can be seen around Ann Arbor, where he’s worked on renovating several stone churches.

Study examines how an all-renewable energy grid would have fared during polar vortex

Stateside’s conversation with Wade Schauer

  • January’s polar vortex offered a unique opportunity to study the demand for electricity when people needed it most. A study conducted by energy analysts looked at how an all-renewables power grid would have fared during peak demand.
  • Wade Schauer, research director for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, joined Stateside to talk about his study’s findings. The conclusion: For renewable energy to meet peak demand, the grid needs much more storage capacity.  

Book review: Bootstrapping, hope at the center of Dorene O’Brien’s latest stories

Laura Thomas reviews Dorene O'Brien’s latest book, What It Might Feel Like to Hope

  • In her review, Laura Hulthen Thomas writes, "Dorene O’Brien brings exquisite art and unsentimental heart to the characters in her new short story collection, What It Might Feel Like to Hope, published by Baobab Press."
  • Laura Hulthen Thomas heads the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan's Residential College. She is the author of the short story collection "States of Motion," published by Wayne State University Press.

Going nuts: Germack Pistachio Co celebrates 95 years in Detroit this week

Stateside’s conversation with Frank Germack III

  • Frank Germack III is a third generation owner of the Germack Pistachio Company, which helped popularize pistachios in the United States. Germack spoke with Stateside about the family-owned company’s journey, starting with its humble beginnings as a Detroit grocery store for early 20th century Mediterranean immigrants.
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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