Dave Martin / AP Photo

Between the Lines: Women Doing Life

For twelve years, retired University of Michigan–Dearborn professor of sociology Lora Bex Lempert co-sponsored a National Lifers of America chapter at a women’s prison. She coordinated college-level courses for the women there, taking a special interest in women doing life sentences. That led to a 20-year research project as she interviewed and befriended 72 women and heard their stories. Lempert put that research into a new book, Women Doing Life: Gender, Punishment, and the Struggle for Identity (NYU Press, 2016).

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Katherine Mumma

Farmers Alley Celebrates 10th Season With Mel Brooks Satire "The Producers"

The disreputable bust-and-boom Broadway adventures of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in the record-breaking, 12 Tony award-winning musical The Producers are coming to the Farmers Alley Theatre July 20-Aug 5. Stars Stephen Wallem and WMU alum Tony Humrichouser , the real-life couple playing Max and Leo, and director/choreographer Bill Burns join Cara Lieurance to preview the production, which will be the biggest production yet in Farmers Alley Theatre's ten-year history. Wallem and Humrichouser talk about the experience they bring to their roles and praise director/choreographer Bill Burns, who worked directly with the team that launched the original stage adaptation of The Producers, including Mel Brooks, Susan Stroman, and Thomas Meehan.

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The state begins testing wells in Otsego for chemical contamination after residents raise concerns. Portage Schools and the district's teachers have a new three year contract. A Kalamazoo city parking lot is sold for a site that will include offices and apartments. Oaklawn Hospital's CEO will resign early next month. 

(MPRN-Lansing) Ballot proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage and require earned sick time are under fire. Both are being formally challenged. 

Gordon Evans / WMUK

Don Wickstra has been a dentist for 40 years in Hamilton. At the age of 65, Wickstra says he is thinking about the next chapter of his life. After serving on a number of local boards, Wickstra thinks he can make a difference.

Courtesy of the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center.

Actor Terry Lynch says his one man production tells the story of some of the people who died when the S.S. Eastland capsized 103 years ago, but he also wanted to tell the stories of survivors.

Battle Creek City Hall - file photo

Battle Creek removes a stained glass window at city hall over concerns that it is offensive. Michigan lawmakers react to President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Former WMU Joeviair Kennedy is sentenced to prison for armed robbery. The Michigan Supreme Court will arguments this wek over a ballot proposal to change the redistricting process. Battle Creek's Vice Mayor resigns from the city commission. Tests show PFAS chemicals getting into the Kalamazoo River. Holland cracks down on illegal vacation rentals.

Department of Environmental Quality

Environmental officials say they’ve found toxic chemicals known as PFAS in some residential drinking water wells in the Richland area. 

Andy Robins / WMUK

The four candidates running for the Democratic nomination in Southwest Michigan’s 6th Congressional district discussed health care, education, guns, military spending, and whether those that don’t win will support the nominee in November.

WMU University Relations

PFAS are found in wells near Richland. A Republican candidate drops out of the Primary for the 63rd state House district. The Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Reaches another accreditation milestone.  A former Benton Harbor police officer faces charges of hitting a man with his police car. A state board issues the first licenses to medical marijuana related businesses. 

Courtesy Jay Wesley

This month, “Why’s That?” brings you a fish story. Not a tall tale, but a question from listener and WMUK volunteer Maria Maki. She’s heard that Kalamazoo was once a globally renowned destination for fishing, especially for trout.

Democratic leaders, environmentalists, and some residents say there must be greater transparency following news reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sat on a report on toxic chemicals in drinking water for six years.