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Year in Review 2021: The best of Stateside

Each day, our Stateside team dug into the conversations that drive Michigan and broke them down for their daily show and their daily podcast. Here's the best of both for the last year.

The forgotten sea shanties of Black Great Lakes sailors

What brightens up bleak winter days on the shores of the Great Lakes? Sea shanties and plenty of them. An unexpected flurry of sailing songs have been making the round on social media—most prominently on TikTok. Between our vibrant traditional folk scene and the state’s maritime history, Michigan has a few shanties of its own to sing. That canon includes songs sung by Black sailors on the Great Lakes—whose history has often been overlooked.

Stateside Podcast: Cooking with pawpaw

The pawpaw, an elusive and unique fruit native to the U.S.’s mid-Atlantic region, has been an important food to plenty of Native people for a very long time. But in modern times, it’s just now getting traction in the culinary scene. Today, we learn how to find, cook, and consume a pawpaw.

In the otherworldly deepwater of the Great Lakes, scientists make a big discovery about a tiny fish

Fisheries biologist David Jude has been studying a small prey fish called the deepwater sculpin for decades. And for years, there's been one question he couldn't stop thinking about. “I’ve always had this passion about trying to figure out where deepwater sculpin spawn because no one has ever documented it,” Jude said. It wasn't until just a few weeks ago that he finally got the answers he was looking for—600 feet underwater in the Grand Traverse Bay.

Stateside Podcast: Mason's 20 Years on the Pistons' mic

Twenty years after beginning his job as the Detroit Pistons’ public address announcer, beloved Detroit radio personality John Mason joined Stateside to look back on his work. From his “cartoon imagination” on the mic to the essential Mason in the Morning show on WJLB, Mason holds a special place in the hearts of listeners in Detroit. Mason was also the exuberant voice of the city's most recent claim to a national championship with the 2004 Pistons squad.

Black-owned winery struggles to hold on as pandemic dries up business

Mike Wells was just 16 years old when he made his first batch of wine. Wells grew up in Detroit, and the family had a large garden in the lot next to their house. His father grew all kinds of vegetables, but it was the grapevine along the back of the lot that intrigued Wells the most. One fall, he picked all the grapes off the vine and set out to make his first batch of wine.

Stateside Podcast: Acorns, acorns everywhere!

Have you noticed a barrage of projectiles crashing down on your roof this fall? Much to the delight of squirrels, chipmunks and other creatures, 2021 has been a big year for acorns, walnuts and other fruit of Michigan trees. Today, a horticulturist talks about our unexpected bumper crops.

Weather pattern changes cause a “fowl irruption” for Michigan’s winter birders

Michigan has had quite an irruption this winter. We’re not talking lava, but rather an irruption of birds. It’s been a great year for winter birding because of this irruption and Michigan Audubon education coordinator Lindsay Cain explained that an irruption is when northern wintering birds come down south for winter because they’re not finding enough food.

Stateside Podcast: Chaos at the Capitol

President Donald Trump spent months stoking outrage among his supporters with false claims about election fraud. On January 6, that anger exploded in a terrifying and chaotic scene at the U.S. Capitol. A mob of pro-Trump extremists breached police and stormed into the House and Senate chambers.