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Michigan Radio: Offbeat

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Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.

Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.
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Michigan PR


Assorted stories from Michigan Radio.




When Michigan fish traveled by train, not water

You might have heard the phrase, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” But did you know that in the 1880s, leaders in Michigan decided that fish needed a train?

Duration: 00:05:59

Can you get into the Huron Mountain Club? No. Here are 13 things we learned about it.

Well... it's not an absolute "no." It's more of a "probably not," given what we've learned about the Huron Mountain Club in reporting this story. We'll get to the downright practical ways you might get into the club below. In the meantime, we'll just say it doesn't hurt your chances if you’re Channing Tatum , or related to Henry Ford (and even Ford had trouble getting in).

Duration: 00:03:59

Positively nutty: The peculiar history of Michigan’s squirrels

Leaping from branch to branch, bearing nuts and acorns, teasing backyard dogs by staying just out of reach, let’s face it — squirrels are so common in Michigan that it’s easy for us to take their presence for granted. But, just as Holden Caufield worried about where the ducks go in winter, we got to wondering: where do squirrels go? Do they cluster up in hibernation holes? Or perhaps join Michigan snowbirds and head south to warmer locales?

Duration: 00:06:54

Retired FBI agent recalls crucial Ann Arbor connection that helped nab the Unabomber

The Unabomber was one of America's most notorious outlaws of the 20th Century. And he may have never been caught if it weren't for a little help from here in Michigan. Premiering this past August on the Discovery Channel, the new show "Manhunt: Unabomber" recreates the efforts by law enforcement to apprehend one of the country's most wanted men at the time. From 1978 to 1995, someone mailed or hand-delivered a series of bombs. Three people were killed and 23 others were hurt. 18 years of...

Duration: 00:14:14

The story of Company K: Native Americans from Michigan who saw tough action in the Civil War

Thousands of Michiganders fought for the Union during the American Civil War, but one group of soldiers in particular stood out: Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters. To tell the story of this special group, the Michigan History Center 's Steve Ostrander and Eric Hemenway , director of archives and records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians , joined host Cynthia Canty on Wednesday for Stateside 's weekly history lesson.

Duration: 00:11:15

Once a UP copper mine, this ghost town is now the Midwest’s snow capital

It’s recognized as the Snow Capital of the Midwest. That’s quite a distinction for a town that no longer exists. Rachel Clark from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to explain how the mining town of Delaware, Michigan became a ghost town.

Duration: 00:04:35

Some moving voices from Detroit as Chaldean Christians face deportation

Today, more than 100 Iraqi Christians facing deportation from the United States could discover their fate. The Iraqis were detained for visa violations – including past criminal convictions – which had been ignored for years, after they were caught up in a crackdown ordered by the current administration. Their families say they feel betrayed by a president they'd largely supported in last year's election, and who they'd seen as a defender of Christians.

Duration: 00:06:04

How did Pere Cheney become a ghost town?

If you like bird watching, Pere Cheney is a great place to see the Kirtland Warbler. Other than that, there isn't much there. It's what you might call a ghost town. If you're wondering how that happened, you're not alone. Michigan Radio listener Olivia Cushway of Ypsilanti posed that very question to our MI Curious team.

Duration: 00:06:58

Fiat Chrysler head of design’s success started with failure in school

We all fail sometimes. No exceptions. It's often hard to admit, but failure is an essential part of the human experience. That's what Failure:Lab is all about.

Duration: 00:09:15

Michigan’s flying “birdman” one of the world’s first aerial daredevils

Eighty years ago, a few years before Bruce Wayne made his comic book debut, our nation experienced its first wave of “bat-mania.” In the 1930s, the country’s imagination was captured by winged daredevils like Michigander Clem Sohn.

Duration: 00:07:59

Port Huron man claims he’s still the world’s greatest whistler

He calls himself the World's Greatest Whistler. It’s hard to argue with that. Check out his song "Peanut Butter Blues" below.

Duration: 00:11:50

Is Michigan the buckle of the euchre belt?

Get a group of Michiganders together, add a deck of cards, and chances are pretty good you'll wind up with a game of euchre. It was once dubbed "the queen of all card-games" and was wildly popular in the late 1800s. But its popularity waned through the 20th century. That is, except in Michigan and a handful of Midwestern states, nicknamed the “Euchre Belt.”

Duration: 00:08:56

What state is journalism in today?

“In flux.” “Dynamic.” “Amazing.” “Blurry.” That’s how Monday night’s Issues & Ale panelists described journalism in today’s ecosystem.

Duration: 01:19:05

Before "I Have a Dream," there was the "Great Walk to Freedom" in Detroit

Two months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers down Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Duration: 00:03:44

A Minute with Mike: Bonuses of setting back the clock

Ah, the autumn time change. We love the extra hour of sleep but hate that the sun sets so early, leaving many of us with little or no time to experience what little sun there is to be enjoyed. But instead of looking at the situation as a glass half full, I say there are many reasons why the long nights are a blessing for all Michiganders.

Duration: 00:01:28

Is Michigan’s largest haunted house really haunted?

To many in southeast Michigan, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without taking a trip to a haunted house. One estimate figures this corner of Michigan boasts 70 to 100 haunts within a 50-mile radius. The granddaddy of them all – the biggest in Michigan and one of the biggest in the world – is Erebus. It’s a four-story building in downtown Pontiac and it’s been scary people silly for 17 years.

Duration: 00:04:09

The strange story behind the Boeing 747 once parked at Willow Run Airport

Until last year, there was a Boeing 747 parked at Willow Run Airport, in Ypsilanti. It looked comically out of place—most the other planes are two-seaters used by the flight school, or small jets available for charter.

Duration: 00:00:15

Does this urn make my ash look big? Traverse City business lets people customize memorials

Times are changing for the funeral industry. And a Traverse City company is right at the forefront of those changes. In 1960, about 3.5% of Americans were cremated. But in 2015, for the first time, more Americans were cremated than buried. And by 2030, that percentage is expected to hit seventy percent. That’s a big shift.

Duration: 00:08:16

Debunked photo from U.P. fails to discourage quest to find Sasquatch

A recent photo from Michigan flew around the internet: a trail cam photo showing the rear end of a big, dark-furred "something or another." See it below: U.P. Michigan Bigfoot Photo: Mystery Solved - #bigfoot #sasquatch #Michigan pic.twitter.com/K6v7P5Kdk1 Cryptosightings (@CryptoSightings) September 12, 2016 Some believed the big critter was a Bigfoot, until a second photo from the same trail cam showed it was in fact a bear. But that is not deterring the quest to find and photograph a...

Duration: 00:06:03

Judge tries bizarre tactic to circumvent Michigan's ageist election law

I’ve been covering politics for a long time, and inevitably, in every election year, amid the high drama and low insults, something happens that is just plain silly. This year, as you may have noticed, has not been a typical presidential election in any way, shape or form. But what you might call the "Trumpville Follies" is not the only contender for what you might call the "Eugene Ionesco Prize for Best Real Example of the Theater of the Absurd."

Duration: 00:02:52

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