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Stateside: Funding roads with local taxes; risks of Kratom; MI astronaut on Apollo 11's legacy

a gas pump
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
One proposal lawmakers are considering to fund road repairs in Michigan would allow counties and cities to implement their own gas tax and vehicle registration fee.



Today on Stateside, Republican state legislators are considering ways to pay for road repairs, including one proposal that would allow counties and cities to levy their own local gas tax. Plus, Jerry Linenger was just 14-years-old when he watched the moon landing on a small black-and-white television screen. That moment would inspire him to pursue a career as an astronaut for NASA, where he manned three missions and traveled some 54 million miles in space. 



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


Test driving proposals to pay for roads, some lawmakers suggest allowing local tax increases

Stateside’s conversation with Lindsey VanHulle

  • State lawmakers are on their summer recess, but Republican legislators are still looking for ways to pay for road repairs without Governor Whitmer's proposed 45-cents-per-gallon gas tax hike. Lindsey VanHulle, a capitol reporter for Bridge Magazine, joins Stateside to talk about one proposal that would let counties and cities raise their own money for roads through local gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.


Why are so many states hiking fuel taxes? Procrastination, for one.

Stateside’s conversation with Carl Davis

  • Michigan isn't the only state contemplating a hike in the fuel tax. Since 2013, more than 30 states across the country have raised their gas tax. And several of Michigan's Midwestern neighbors implemented significant gas tax increases in the past few years.
  • Carl Davis is research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. He explains why so many states have been raising their gas tax, and why Michigan’s proposed hike is higher than most.


Before rockets, balloons with gondolas soared to new heights with help from Midland’s Dow Co.


Stateside’s conversation with Rachel Clark


  • This week marks the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing. But long before Apollo 11 took flight, Midland-based Dow Chemical Company was helping lay the foundation for space exploration right here in Michigan. Rachel Clark, with the Michigan History Center, shares the story of Dow’s quest to build a floating gondola to explore the Earth’s stratosphere and study cosmic rays.
  • This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center.


You can buy it at gas stations, but expert warns the drug Kratom is unregulated and under-researched


Stateside’s conversation with Edward Jouney


  • Kratom is a legal, unregulated drug that you can pick up in gas stations or order online in Michigan. Some say Kratom can relieve pain, depression and anxiety. Others believe the drug is dangerous, addictive, and in need of regulation.
  • Edward Jouney is a psychiatrist with the University of Michigan Addiction Treatment Services (UMATS). He joins Stateside to talk about the possible benefits and dangers of this drug, and what you should know before buying it. 


Inspired by Apollo 11 as a child, Michigan astronaut recalls his three trips to space


Stateside’s conversation with Jerry Linenger


  • 50 years ago this week, Americans crowded around televisions to watch astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take man's first steps onto the moon. Watching the scene on a small black-and-white television set was a 14-year-old from East Detroit named Jerry Linenger. That historic moment would inspire him to become an astronaut. He joined Stateside to talk about how the moon landing shaped his life, and his time aboard two U.S. space shuttles and a Russian space station.

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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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