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Michigan Radio: Offbeat

Michigan PR

Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.

Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.


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Michigan PR


Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.




Sharing 40 years of memories with Detroit radio legend Jim Harper

If you drew up a list of Michigan’s top radio talents, one name at the top of that list would be Jim Harper. For decades, metro Detroiters got their day started with Jim each morning on stations like WNIC-100.3, WDTX-99.5, and WMGC-105.1.


Learn to Drive! What the law says about using the center lane (and what actually happens)

For the latest installment of our Learn to Drive series, we’re talking about that center turn lane—the one you probably have used to pull out onto a busy road before entering the flow of traffic. That common traffic maneuver, it turns out, is illegal. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw broke down what the law says about how you should be using that center turn lane, and what actually happens on busy roads.


Think Michigan wine isn’t for you? Winemakers want you to think again.

It's that time of year when people are stocking up on wine for festive dinners and holiday parties. Despite a sizable winemaking industry in the state, Michigan wine often is stereotyped as being overly sweet, and not on par with products from other areas of the country. But winemakers and sommeliers around the state want to break that stereotype, and maybe even convince you to pick up a Michigan-made wine for your holiday table.


Who’s a good boy? Not the Michigan Dogman.

He was seven feet tall with glistening eyes of blue or yellow and a terrifying, humanoid howl. He looked like a man, but also had the qualities of a canine-like creature. He was the Michigan Dogman.


A pan and a plan: how Buddy’s “Detroit style” pizza evolved from local delicacy to national delight

Halloween night is one of the busiest pizza delivery nights of the year. If you're having people over after trick-or-treating, there's a good chance you'll have a rectangular deep dish delivered to your home. That style of pizza—with the cheese pushed to the edges, forming a caramelized crust—that's Detroit style pizza. The Michigan invention is now becoming more popular in culinary scenes across the country.


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How to safely herd swimmers across the Straits of Mackinac

More than 300 people braved the Straits of Mackinac Sunday for the 13th annual Mighty Mac Swim. Michigan Radio’s Kaye LaFond rode along on a security boat and got a first-hand look at what goes into herding swimmers across four miles of the straits.


During the first year of legal weed, Hash Bash is partying like it’s 1972

The 1970s were an era marked by bohemian wardrobes, protest marches, and groovy disco music. Leaning into this flair, Ann Arbor held its first annual pro-cannabis rally known as Hash Bash in 1972. This Saturday will be the 48th anniversary of that first event. And it will be the first Hash Bash since Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana at the polls in November.


The Toledo Christmas Weed is "what we all need this Christmas season"

Shades of A Charlie Brown Christmas are playing out on a busy intersection in West Toledo. The Toledo Christmas Weed, a lonely sapling growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, is now adorned with tinsel and surrounded by gifts. It even has a dedicated crew of Santa and his elves, one of whom was passing out free lottery tickets on Wednesday.


Put that in your pipe and smoke it: UP pipe maker among world’s best

Just off U.S. Highway 41 outside of Marquette, there’s an old man who lives alone in a small, one-bedroom house. Most days he's upstairs sitting at his desk or downstairs in his workshop. There he makes some of the best tobacco pipes in the world. Not just blowing smoke “My name is Lee Erck. I am a tobacco-smoking pipe maker. I live here in Negaunee Township,” he says on a cloudy Friday afternoon. Lee is 78 years old. He’s sitting in his living room, smoking a pipe. A lamp fills the small...


Pop history: New book covers 100 years of Faygo soda company in Detroit

"Remember when you were a kid? Well, part of you still is. And that’s why we make Faygo," goes an old jingle for one of Detroit's most iconic companies. Faygo was born on Detroit’s Eastside more than 100 years ago, and it remains a well-known pop brand in the United States today. Joe Grimm is a journalism professor at Michigan State University and author of The Faygo Book .


A Minute with Mike: the Lions gift that keeps on giving

As a long-suffering Lions fan, I've learned to appreciate the things they've taught. Things like the brief moment of hope before the season begins, or the benign satisfaction of a meaningless last second win after already being eliminated from the playoffs.


How a language snafu shut down Michigan's first newspaper after just one issue

For much of American history, newspapers were the main source of information for citizens of all backgrounds. And although profits may have been a top priority, newspapers helped form and inform communities, and provided a check on government.


In 1910, Michigan governor faced pressure to censor “match of the century” for fear of race riots

Nowadays , watching sports highlights is as easy as looking at your phone. But a century ago, not so much. In fact, more than 100 years ago, groups were urging the Governor of Michigan to suppress the showing of a film that recorded one of the biggest sporting events of the age.


Shifting technology, odd hours, sacrifice: what it takes to be a millwright

Taking that first step down a career path can be daunting. It's like stepping into a world completely unknown. On the flip side, if you’ve been walking that road a long time, chances are you’ve learned a thing or two.


The “holy grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks disappeared 339 years ago this week

Today, we’re taking you way back to the summer of 1679. It was on this Friday, 339 years ago, that the French ship Le Griffon appeared on the Detroit River. It was the first large scale, European style sailing ship to reach the shores of what would eventually become Michigan.


Dear Black Women offers a space for "reflection and affirmation"

Being a black woman in America is equivalent to feeling like a “double, triple, quadruple minority,” says Florence Noel . She argues that this is not only reflected in national statistics, but also in their everyday experiences.


Campfire Stories: a Potawatomi tale of a boy, a snake, and a choice

Each year, Native American kids can enjoy a cultural summer camp experience at the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi's Rodgers Lake campus. Many of the camp activities are built around cultural teachings, and a big part of that is telling stories passed down through generations. Colin Wesaw is a tribal elder and leader in the Pokagon Band community. He often tells stories at Camp Kë Gbéshmen in Dowagiac. The 63-year-old started telling stories when he was just 18. He joined Stateside to talk about...


The unsolved 1930 murder of a Detroit radio crusader

Like something out of a gangster movie, radio personality Jerry Buckley was gunned down in the La Salle Hotel in Detroit 88 years ago this week. Buckley’s killer was never found, and the mystery of his death involves mobsters, a city mired in violence, and a corrupt mayor who was recalled, in part, because Buckley protested his election on the radio.


Racial discrimination, segregation provided “tinder” for 1967 Grand Rapids uprising

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the 1967 uprising in Detroit. What some call a rebellion, some a riot, left 43 people dead and thousands of buildings in the city destroyed. Michigan Radio did a deep dive into the history and legacy of that event last year. This year, we’re focusing on a smaller uprising that started just two days later, on July 25th, 1967, in Grand Rapids. Matthew Daley , Associate Professor of History at Grand Valley State University, joined S tateside to talk about...