Participants at one of the Burma Center's English as a second language (ESL) classes
courtesy of The Burma Center

Burmese Refugees Struggle With Mental Health Issues

In the United States, the risk of suicide is higher for refugees. It’s even higher if you’re a refugee from Burma. The trauma of fleeing a country in conflict can often turn into mental illness, even years later. But the Western concept of mental health doesn’t exist in Burmese culture. Words like “depression” often don’t translate. As a result, some Burmese refugees aren’t getting the care they need.

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Gilmore Festival Family Concerts To Feature Dynamic Pianist Alpin Hong

Califonia-based Alpin Hong , a Juilliard-trained pianist with a gift for communication, gained some of his earliest musical experiences living in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Today, Hong is what one could describe as a "narrative concert pianist." Stories and behind-the-music revelations are part of his concert repertoire, along with the classics of piano literature. Beginning Saturday, April 14, Hong will visit a dozen west Michigan venues to perform a series of Gilmore Family Concerts . He and Gilmore Education Director, Adam Schumaker, joined Cara Lieurance to preview the shows and catch up with his Michigan past.

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Unemployment in Michigan was down slightly in March. Toxic PFAS chemicals found in private wells near the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids. WMU baseball drops a slugfest to Michigan State. 

Michigan Senate Chamber - file photo
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Michigan could soon require certain people to work for their Medicaid benefits. A bill passed a state Senate panel Wednesday. 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Western's Trustees also revised the school's policy for staff who work with minors, and approved a three percent increase in room and board rates. 

Graduate students who teach at Western Michigan University say they’re unhappy with the contract terms the school has offered. Members of the Teaching Assistants Union packed a Trustees meeting on Wednesday. They told the Board that students who teach at Western struggle to support themselves on their wages.

Participants at one of the Burma Center's English as a second language (ESL) classes
courtesy of The Burma Center

In the United States, the risk of suicide is higher for refugees. It’s even higher if you’re a refugee from Burma. The trauma of fleeing a country in conflict can often turn into mental illness, even years later. But the Western concept of mental health doesn’t exist in Burmese culture. Words like “depression” often don’t translate. As a result, some Burmese refugees aren’t getting the care they need. 


The Attorney General plans to file a civil lawsuit against a company responsible for two ruptured power lines beneath the Straits of Mackinac. The Michigan Secretary of State asks a judge to dismiss Abdul El-Sayed's request to be declared eligible for the ballot saying there is "no actual controversy" over his status. WMU junior Jordan Kurth if the MAC West Division softball pitcher of the week. 

State Capitol - file photo
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) State lawmakers have a pile of bills aimed at curbing sexual assault. But some in the medical profession are concerned the legislation might go too far. 

MPRN

(MPRN-Lansing) Inmates at a mid-Michigan prison are on lockdown after gang related fighting. Multiple fights broke out over the course of several days. 

Clerk/Register's Office, Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County's local ID task force says residents can apply for the card starting May 3. The identification program is intended to help people who cannot get a state ID. 

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Health officials in Kalamazoo County are calling for more regulation of some water wells. Right now, non-drinking wells that draw less than 70 gallons per minute do not need a permit. The state does set rules for wells that pull more than that volume.

Michael Markowski

On Thursday night, the Western Michigan University Symphonic Band will finish its season with the world premiere of a new piece by special guest composer Michael Markowski, and the audience-pleasing Suite from Star Wars, by John Williams. Dr. Scott Boerma, director of bands at Western Michigan University joins Cara Lieurance to preview the 50th annual Spring Conference on Wind and Percussion Music, a day-long event including workshops, demonstrations, and two afternoon band concerts presented by the Three Rivers High School Symphony Band and the Portage Central High School Symphonic Band. The conference culminates in a free public concert in Miller Auditorium at 7:30 pm by the Michael Markowski All-Star Band and the WMU Symphonic Band.

Dr. Boerma describes the new work, Amor Fati by Michael Markowski, which will get its world premiere on Thursday night. The composer, a rising young American talent, will be on hand to help prepare the piece and witness the concert.


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