Michigan PR

Conversations that matter to Michigan. Each weekday, host April Baer will bring you stories from people across the state—from policymakers in Lansing, to entrepreneurs in Detroit, to artists in Grand Rapids. To access full episodes and individual story segments, please visit

Conversations that matter to Michigan. Each weekday, host April Baer will bring you stories from people across the state—from policymakers in Lansing, to entrepreneurs in Detroit, to artists in Grand Rapids. To access full episodes and individual story segments, please visit


Ann Arbor, MI


World News


Michigan PR


Conversations that matter to Michigan. Each weekday, host April Baer will bring you stories from people across the state—from policymakers in Lansing, to entrepreneurs in Detroit, to artists in Grand Rapids. To access full episodes and individual story segments, please visit




New Life for Detroit's Tejano Music

Detroit’s Martin Solis, a Tejano music pioneer, never recorded any of his songs. Or at least that’s what most people thought. Now Third Man Records (Jack White’s label) is releasing some of those recordings. On Today’s episode we’ll talk about the legacy of Martin Solis and his band Los Primos. GUESTS: Frank Solis, son of Martin Solis Eddie Gillis, Third Man Pressing Music by Los Primos courtesy of Third Man Records. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions. If you like what you hear on the...


Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis Case

Today, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and several people in his administration face criminal charges for their parts in the Flint Water Crisis. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the legal case against the former state officials and what it might mean to Flint residents who have been waiting for justice for nearly seven years. GUESTS: Noah Hall is a professor of law at Wayne State and a former state prosecutor who was involved in the initial investigation of state officials for the...


Teachers In Line for Vaccines

Now that teachers are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she wants schools to start offering in-person learning for students by March. But that depends on those vaccines actually getting to educators. On today’s episode, we’ll talk to a reporter about how quickly that might actually happen. You’ll also hear from teachers themselves about what this year of pandemic learning has been like for them. GUESTS: Sarah Cwiek, Michigan Radio reporter based in Detroit...


Threats to the Great Lakes

On today's episodes, you'll hear about the latest developments with Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. Plus, environmentalists worry ballast water rule changes put the Great Lakes at risk of more invasive species. GUESTS: Lester Graham, Michigan Radio reporter Marc Smith, Policy Director National Wildlife Federation Stateside theme music is by 14KT. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions. If you like what you hear on the pod, consider supporting Michigan...


Open Carry Banned at Michigan Capitol

Michigan is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t restrict guns in their statehouses. But in the wake of violent riots in D.C. last week, that’s changing. Today, the Michigan Capitol Commission voted to ban the open carry of firearms in the statehouse. The proposal did not address concealed pistols. But it’s still a huge move for a state that has been very resistant to banning any weapons inside of the people’s building. We talk to a reporter who has been covering the story and a...


Sec. Betsy DeVos Resigns

When Donald Trump told that crowd to go march on the Capitol saying they needed to show strength, he set off an unprecedented chain of events. It’s led us to a moment in which just about everyone has had to make a decision: what’s the appropriate response to all this? On today’s episode, we’ll talk about US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's resignation and also put this moment into a historical context with presidential historian, Gleaves Whitney. GUESTS: David Jesse, reporter covering...


Chaos at the Capitol

President Donald Trump has spent months stoking outrage among his supporters with false claims about election fraud. Yesterday, 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. On today’s episode, we’ll talk to a Democratic congressman who was in those chambers and a longtime Michigan Republican about what yesterday's events mean for the future of the Republican party, and...


“Historic Changes” for Michigan’s Justice System

In a year marked by contentious partisan divisions, maybe the one thing Michigan Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on is criminal justice reform. Governor Whitmer earlier this week signed into a bipartisan package of major criminal justice reforms that addressed issues like mandatory minimum and penalties for driving on a suspended license. Meanwhile, Washtenaw County became the first in the state to move toward eliminating cash bail for most criminal cases. On today’s episode, we’ll...


Michigan’s Vaccine Rollout

The state of Michigan has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines, and frontline health workers and residents of long-term care facilities are first up to receive the vaccination. That’s based on federal and state guidance, which has designated a number of phases for vaccine distribution to particular populations of individuals. Though it’s still early in the rollout process, Michigan is reporting a relatively low rate of administered COVID-19 vaccinations so far, compared with other states. As...


The GOP Rift Over Trump

Whether you took a holiday break from the news or stayed glued to Twitter all through December, it’s hard not to be compelled by what’s playing out among the nation’s Republican elected officials in this first week of 2021. Dozens of congressional Republicans—including many in Michigan—have decided to contest the 2020 presidential election results. That’s despite the fact that both local and state officials have already certified Michigan’s results. We asked Politico reporter Tim Alberta to...


Soul Power: The War and Treaty

Michigan faves Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter’s band, The War and Treaty released a stunning new album on Rounder Records this year, called Hearts Town. It’s a ravishing mix of musical styles, soul, R&B, along with some callbacks to the Great American Songbook. The Trotters’ interpretive skills are in high gear, as they work with finesse and passion through songs reflecting time-tested love amid hardship. If you’re hunting for music that acknowledges the pain of 2020, but that also paves...


The Best Michigan Reads of 2020

Sitting down with a book has been such an incredible gift this past year, and there’s been a lot of good releases from Michigan authors in 2020. To give us some direction for our post-holiday bookstore shopping, we checked in with writer and critic Keith Taylor. He talked to us about his favorite Michigan reads from 2020 and some of his own recent work, too. GUEST: Keith Taylor, poet, writer, and retired creative writing teacher at the University of Michigan If you like what you hear on the...


Black-Owned Winery Hit Hard by Pandemic

It’s been a lean season for Michigan’s wine industry. A big part of the state’s wine culture are tasting rooms, and it has been hard to adapt them to fit within COVID restrictions. You can’t exactly spit into a bucket with a mask on. On this episode, we’ll talk to the owner, winemaker, and brewer of a Michigan winery about how he’s trying to adapt to a new reality quickly enough to save the business. GUEST: Mike Wells, owner of Black Fire Winery in Tecumseh, Michigan If you like what you...


May Erlewine's Songs for the Holidays

Like the rest of Michigan’s musical community, singer-songwriter May Erlewine is dealing with prohibitions on live shows, even gathering with other groups of musicians. She's already put out one well reviewed album this year, but May is never one to shirk from a challenge. She surprised her fans with a brand new holiday album recently, titled A Simple Phrase, that includes her takes on some classics. GUEST: Singer-songwriter May Erlewine If you like what you hear on the pod, consider...


Mass Vaccination Campaigns, Then and Now

In so many ways, 2020 has been completely unprecedented. Multiple COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and given FDA authorization in record times. And now, comes the job of getting those vaccines to Americans. And, it turns out, there is precedent for this kind of a mass inoculation campaign: the polio vaccine. On today’s episode, we’ll talk to a medical historian about the parallels and distinctions between that vaccination effort and the one we’re facing today. GUEST: Dr. Howard Markel,...


The Year in Michigan Politics

There’s this phrase that gets tossed around newsrooms when a bunch of stories drop in a single day—that it’s like drinking from a firehose. Covering political news in Michigan in 2020 has been a hydrant for a five-alarm fire Every. Single. Day. From “fix the damn roads,” to a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, to a global pandemic, to the presidential election, there's been no shortage of political stories this year. On today's episode, we're taking a look back at a year in politics...


A Year of Racial Reckoning

The COVID-19 public health crisis—which was especially devastating in Black-majority cities—ran headlong into months of protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. Has there been a day this year where we haven’t been reminded about how differently society treats Black Americans? It was against this backdrop that Stephen Henderson hosted conversations about race, week after week, with prominent American thinkers, writers, and artists on his radio call-in program Detroit Today on...


Second Round of COVID Relief

After months of negotiation, congressional leaders say they could vote on a COVID-19 relief package before the end of the year. The compromise comes at a critical time. Federal unemployment benefits are set to expire before the end of the year, leaving millions of Americans without a way to pay their bills. Bipartisan congressional workgroups are trying to get to a compromise and pass something to help struggling families and businesses. In the U.S. House, that group is the so-called...


Granholm is Likely Pick for Energy Secretary

News broke on Tuesday that former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm is President-elect Joe Biden’s expected pick for energy secretary. She has close ties to Biden from their time working on the Big Three bailout together. She’s also an outspoken advocate about the need to support vehicle makers’ transition into a green future—a goal that Biden shares. This episode, we’ll talk about Granholm’s future as the likely head of the Department of Energy, and her time as governor where she led the...


Prominent Michigan Priest Accused of Abuse

NOTE: This episode includes discussion of sexual abuse in specific terms. It may not be appropriate for all listeners. Sexual abuse victims have been through so many ordeals with the Catholic Church. The message we’ve been getting is that victims are being protected, things are different. But are they? Today, Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells tells us the story of two young priests, and another non-clergy employee, at a Michigan seminary who say they were sexually abused and harassed by a...