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WDET's new transmitter goes live

By Neal Rubin  The static and buzz had become so severe at Joan Isabella's house in Farmington Hills that she had stopped listening to WDET-FM (101.9) on the radio. Since she is the station's program director, the annoyance must clearly have been considerable — and the relief was evident Tuesday as the public radio mainstay's new, $150,000 transmitter, funded by the Kresge Foundation, replaced one machine that's old enough to drink and a backup that's nearly old enough to run for president. As WDET served celebratory donuts and cider in the shadow of its 550-foot-tall Midtown tower, Isabella and other staffers said the lengthy replacement process helped tell a tale of both the condition of the station's city and the devotion of its listeners. Under previous and prescient leadership, said General Manager Mary Zatina, the station made significant digital investments in the past few years, crafting platforms such as podcasts and music on demand and hiring staffers to oversee them. While a new transmitter might seem like a giant step toward the past, she said, "We think about 80% of our listening happens on traditional radio. While people might have been well-intentioned to think about a digital future, we're not there yet."  
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Law student strives to ‘bridge the gap’

By Sheila Pursglove  Growing up, Shanice Leach was always interested in shows and movies about mysteries, true crime, and criminal justice.  “At first, I thought I wanted to do forensic science or forensic psychology but then I was introduced to the legal side through my law and public safety class in high school,” says Leach, who earned her undergrad degree in criminal justice and corrections from Wayne State University and is now a student at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  “I love the idea of being able to help people when they are going through a tough time in their life—bridging the gap between the community and the legal system is extremely important to me.” After graduation, Leach spent 9 months as a domestic violence advocate for the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project (AmUS) in Detroit, where she enjoyed the community interaction. Helping more than 800 victims of domestic violence receive assistance in their time of need, Leach said her work consisted of emergency planning and helping victims file personal protection orders. “My favorite thing to do is emergency planning—specifically because most people think the only way you could help a victim in a domestic violence situation is to make them leave or force them to understand why they should leave this situation at this very moment, when in reality, they can only leave when they are ready,” she says. “Planning for emergencies includes making two to three realistic escape situations so that when it’s time for the victim to leave, he or she has an effective escape route that is logical and nothing important is forgotten.”  Leach then spent 15 months as a domestic relations specialist for the Wayne County Circuit Court, where she enjoyed meeting and interacting with attorneys, judges, and referees.  “They were extremely friendly and always available to answer any questions I needed,” she says. “Friend of the Court is like a big family.” Now a rising 3L at Detroit Mercy Law, Leach particularly enjoys the culture.  “Professors are extremely involved inside and outside the classroom—they’re knowledgeable and tell the best stories,” she says. “The competitive atmosphere is still there, of course, but everyone is still friendly and gets along well.” 
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Crain's Saturday Extra: Health care needs help, how to spend $6B and some Lewis College of Business backstory

Health care disparities in Black, Brown and impoverished populations are well documented, but the outcomes have never been as obvious as during the pandemic. For instance, in 2020, Black people were 2.1 times more likely than white people to die from COVID-19 in the U.S. In Michigan last year, roughly 30 out of every 1,000 Black people living in Michigan could expect to die from COVID-19, according to data published by Brookings Institution last March. To improve access to health care, the system must go mobile, said Dr. Philip Levy, professor of emergency medicine at Wayne State University and chief innovation officer for Wayne Health. Levy's practice is attempting to reinvent the model by putting primary preventive care on wheels and meeting patients where they live in an attempt to overcome systemic problems by treating chronic conditions like high blood pressure. The pandemic has also led to the most critical staffing crisis the industry has ever faced. Nationally, roughly 30 percent of nurses have either quit or been terminated during the pandemic. 
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Wayne State Latin-American Center celebrates 50 years, one of the oldest of its kind in the country

Wayne State may be best known for their great Medical and Business schools but tucked away on the 3rd floor of the administration building is a program that’s changing minds and lives and has been doing so for decades. “Very few people know in Detroit, what the Latino community is very aware of is that this center is a legacy of the Civil Rights movement and was established in 1971-72 first as a one-year training program for Latino students,” said Jose Cuello, Associate Professor Emeritus of History and Latino Studies at Wayne State University. uello says, the students at the time demanded more than just a training program at the University. “That turned into what was called the Chicano-Boricua Studies, that means Chicano is the Mexican-American part and the Boricua is the Puerto Rican those were the two strongest populations at the time,” said Cuello. From there Cuello says the center for Latin American studies was born. A program that teaches a diverse group of students not only about their history but identity. “My own personal ideal is that, you cannot just be a Latino, when people ask me who I am I don’t say well I’m a Latino, I’m Mexican, my first identity is human,” Cuello said.  https://cwdetroit.cbslocal.com/2021/10/14/wayne-state-latin-american-center-celebrates-50-years-one-of-the-oldest-of-its-kind-in-the-country/ 
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Labor shortage: Why it’s happening and what can be done

You’ve heard time and time again that the coronavirus pandemic triggered the shortage of workers we are seeing today -- but it may not be for the reason that you think. Matt Piszczek, a business professor at Wayne State University, says that the assumption that unemployment checks kept people home during the pandemic is incorrect. Instead, a lot of people began to rethink their careers, priorities and life goals after the health crisis hit. “The pandemic gave them an opportunity to reflect on what’s important,” Piszczek said. “So, things like flexibility became more important than an extra dollar an hour.” 
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Diet changes and a 10-hour daily eating window can bring health benefits

Avoiding fast foods, soda pop and processed foods can help prevent a condition called metabolic syndrome, or MetS for short. Diet changes often are far more powerful for preventing disease than the treatments we get when problems such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes are fully developed. The old saying is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A syndrome means we diagnose a condition by a constellation of findings without a single definitive test. These are factors for MetS: Abdominal obesity Low HDL cholesterol High triglycerides Elevated fasting blood levels of glucose Elevated blood pressures This syndrome is present in an estimated 30 percent of the U.S. population. and probably more than that among Detroiters. Those with MetS have a fivefold increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and twice the risk for heart disease over five to ten years. While there are obese individuals who don't show MetS, the diagnosis has become more common with a rise in the percentage of people worldwide who are overweight or obese.
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Decade of transformation

Wayne State University’s reputation as a national model for student success is growing. The university’s six-year graduation rate has once again improved, and it continues to close the student success equity gap among students of color.  WSU’s new six-year graduation rate is 55.8%, a 3.9 percentage point increase over last year, and an astounding 115% improvement in the last decade from 26%. Gains have been particularly significant among Black students. The current Black graduation rate is 34.6% — a 9.8 percentage point jump from just last year, and an astonishing 355% improvement in the last decade from 7.6%.   To put these gains in context, in 2018 the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) awarded Wayne State with its 2018 Project Degree Completion Award for improving its graduation rate by 21 percentage points over seven years, or an average of about three percentage points a year, which was the best in the country. Wayne State’s Black graduation rate is up almost 10 percentage points since just last year. Improvements have also been made among Wayne State’s Latinx, first-generation and low-income students. “This progress is the result of determination, innovation, and passionate commitment campus-wide, from our faculty, staff, campus leaders, and the students themselves,” said Monica Brockmeyer, senior associate provost for Student Success. “While we are proud of our strides, we know we cannot rest – especially in light of new challenges arising from the global pandemic and other societal adversities. Despite national reports that educational gaps in access, achievements and outcomes that existed before the pandemic are widening for underrepresented students, Wayne State also continues to make progress on its goal to close its student success equity gap. Nationally, in 2019 Black undergraduates were 24 percentage points less likely to graduate within six years than white students. To address the issue, the APLU initiated a major initiative, Powered by Publics, to scale student success and achieve parity in graduation rates by race/ethnicity. Because of Wayne State’s reputation for innovation, it was selected to lead the Urban Cluster of 11 institutions. 
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Steve Bannon Faces Criminal Charges Over Jan. 6 Panel Snub, Setting Up a Showdown Over Executive Privilege

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is tasked with providing as full an account as possible of the attempted insurrection. But there is a problem: Not everyone is cooperating. As of Oct. 14, 2021, Steve Bannon, a one-time aide to former President Donald Trump, has stated that he will not comply with a committee subpoena compelling him to give testimony. Bannon’s lawyers have said their client is not acting out of defiance; rather, he is following the direction of Trump, who, citing executive privilege, has told Bannon not to produce testimony or documents. Either way, Bannon now faces the prospect of criminal contempt charges. 
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Kellogg’s, John Deere strikes signal ‘volatile time’ for economy, supply chains

Workers at Kellogg’s cereal plants in cities that include Battle Creek, and thousands of John Deere workers have walked away from their jobs to strike. "There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of pent-up frustration in the workforce," said Marick Masters. Masters, a professor of business at Wayne State University, believes contract disputes over items which include low wages, are driving this worker stoppage. "We could see a growing militancy on the part of some workers because they are tired of the cumulative effects of declining wages, they see inflation on the rise, and they see the devastating effects of the pandemic, in terms of lost businesses and jobs," he said. 
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Dangerous social media trends: What can be done to prevent or stop these alarming challenges? 

Dangerous social media trends: What can be done to prevent or stop these alarming challenges?  By Farad Javez  Social media challenges can be fun, like the mannequin challenge, or they can even help promote a good cause, like the ALS ice bucket challenge. But then other trends emerge on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok that can be dangerous and, at times, have resulted in serious injuries as well as death. Wayne State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Hannah Schacter says such challenges may be inevitable as it gives youngsters instant gratification even if they are aware of the consequences. “That kind of social reward of receiving the likes or validations can trigger activation in the same brain region where we might feel the same reward when we eat sugar," said Dr. Schacter. 
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More Wayne State University students are graduating in push to eliminate disparities

More Wayne State University students are graduating in push to eliminate disparities  By David Jesse  There are words to fairly describe Wayne State University's graduation rate eight years ago when M. Roy Wilson was interviewing for the school's presidency: awful, disgraceful, lousy and pathetic. "It was dismal," he said recently in an interview with the Free Press. "I had never seen graduation rates for any (college) that low." They had been dreadful for some time. Only about a a quarter of students graduated from Wayne State within six years in 2011, two years before Wilson's hiring. The rates actually were lower than that overall rate for subgroups of students. Just under 8% of Black students were graduating in six years; just under 17% of Hispanic/Latino students; just over 18% of first-generation students and right around 16% of low-income students, according to university statistics. "What I recall is that when I came here, there were a lot of excuses around our graduation rate," Wilson said. "I just didn't really want to hear excuses. Let's talk about how we are going to change it." In 2021, those numbers have all risen sharply, the results of a campaign to increase the graduation rates started under Wilson's predecessor, Allan Gilmour, and ramped up under Wilson. The overall six-year graduation rate is up to just under 56%; the Black student graduation rate is about 35%; the Hispanic/Latino rate is just over 38%; the first-generation rate is almost 45% and the low-income rate is just over 47%. 
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Long COVID now has a formal definition from the WHO: What to know 

Long COVID now has a formal definition from the WHO: What to know  On Oct. 6, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the first official definition of what constitutes long COVID. The medical community has been aware that while most people recover from COVID-19 within a matter of weeks, some will experience lingering symptoms for four or more weeks after developing COVID-19.  Until now, there has not been a formal definition for this condition. Referring to it as “post COVID-19 condition,” the document says that long COVID “occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19, with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.” The definition further states that common symptoms may include fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and several others that can impact daily functioning. Joseph A. Roche, BPT, Dip. Rehab. PT, PhD, associate professor in the Physical Therapy Program at Wayne State University and member of the American Physiological Society who has performed research into the effects of long COVID, said the case had been made that long COVID may resemble a condition known as “myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS),” which can affect some individuals after other viral illnesses.  “What makes post COVID-19 condition more concerning than ME/CFS,” said Roche, “is that there is not just physical and mental fatigue, but also persistent and recurrent problems that affect the lungs, heart, blood vessels, and other organs and tissues.”  
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Studies show Covid-19 worsens pregnancy complication risk

BY Jen Christensen  Pregnant women who develop Covid-19 symptoms risk emergency complications and other problems with their pregnancies, according to two new studies. The disease also puts their children at risk. Dr. Gil Mor, a reproductive immunologist who did not work on the study but reviewed the work, said it's also possible that the problems could be related to chronic inflammation caused by Covid-19. "Inflammation is extremely dangerous for both the mother and the development of the fetus. A chronic inflammation is now a fight for the survival of the mother and the fetus, and in every fight, they pay they pay a price," said Mor, who leads a research lab at Wayne State University that studies the immune system during pregnancy and the impact of pathogens. "We need to do everything in our hands in order to prevent the chronic inflammation." 
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What happens to America's mental health under a second Trump administration? Very bad things

By Chauncey Devega  Donald Trump's presidency and the destructive forces it unleashed are a mental health emergency — as well as a public health emergency in general. Trump may no longer be president, but his fascist political movement and the political party he controls continues to cause harm. Trumpism is both a political cult and a manifestation of collective narcissism. Tens of millions of his followers now live in an alternate reality sustained by the Big Lie, an upside-down world in which Donald Trump is still the "real" president of the United States. Many of Trump's followers believe that he should be returned to power by any means available, including terrorism and other political violence. The Trump regime and Republican policies more generally have literally caused trauma — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual — for millions of Americans, including of course the deaths of at least 700,000 people from the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Seth D. Norrholm is a translational neuroscientist and one of the world's leading experts on PTSD and fear. He is currently scientific director at the Neuroscience Center for Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma (NeuroCAST) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine. The revelations that are merging from various sources who had access to the Trump White House are not at all surprising. As I and others have commented on for years now, no matter how you label or classify the former president's behavior (malignantly narcissistic, sociopathic, psychopathic, abusive), there is an underlying thread of immaturity. This immaturity plays itself out as an inability to regulate emotion, a behavioral profile typically seen in children and adolescents. It is therefore not surprising to hear about the former president's uncontrollable rage and the allegation that he had a handler specifically tasked with soothing him like a toddler. I expect similar stories to continue to come out. 
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Metro Detroit parents prep for COVID-19 vaccine approval in kids 5-11; here's when it could happen

Metro Detroit parents prep for COVID-19 vaccine approval in kids 5-11; here's when it could happen  Pfizer and BioNTech requested emergency use authorization of its vaccine for kids 5-11. Currently, the shot is approved for kids 12 and up. In Michigan, more than 36% of kids ages 12-15 are fully vaccinated, with 40% receiving at least one dose. Cyerra Byse, a mom in metro Detroit, said she and her kids always mask up, and now, they could be one step closer to another layer of protection with the COVID-19 vaccine. "I can't control where everybody else goes I can just protect my household," Byse said. Dr. Paul Kilgore, the director of research in the department of pharmacy at Wayne State University said so far, the results "look very good." In terms of timing, an FDA panel will meet to review the data on Oct. 26. For context, in adults, it was about three weeks in between the application for emergency use authorization until shots when into arms. The dosage will also be different. It's only about a third of what adults receive. "It's going to be a lower antigen content. In other words, the adult version of the vaccine is 30 micrograms, the pediatric dosage for the 5 to 12 years-olds is going to be about 10 micrograms," Kilgore said. 
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Michigan Solicitor General becomes first Arab American Muslim woman to argue before US Supreme Court

Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa A. Hammoud made history on Tuesday by becoming the first Arab American Muslim woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case she was arguing originated in Kalamazoo in 2007 and has now made it all the way to the high court. “Every single one of the justices actually asked a question. Justice Kavanaugh was on the phone, but every single one of the justices obviously was interested,” Hammoud said. She said arguing in front of the Supreme Court was the highlight of her career. “It really is surreal. The attorney general and I both went to Wayne State Law School. We went to an urban law school and we bring all of that that here to the Supreme Court and to the Capitol and to Washington D.C. with us. And this is what’s so wonderful about our experience,” Hammoud said. “I know that my family is here, came to surprise me -- my husband, my children, my father, my colleagues are here.” 
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Facebook’s scandals and outage test users’ frenemy relationship

By Elizabeth Stoycheff  When Facebook was down for most of the day on Oct. 4, 2021, did you miss it, were you relieved or some of both? Social scientists have compiled an expansive body of research that shows how people have come to develop a love-hate relationship with the social media giant with nearly 3 billion users. Many users have felt their relationship with the platform devolve into a messy codependence, mired by ambiguity and mistrust. For others, reliance on the platform is taken for granted, if occasionally appreciated in moments of pandemic isolation. And then there are the revelations that the company has been lying about applying its rules differently to important people, knowingly harming teen girls and having a big vaccine misinformation problem. Adding insult to injury, Facebook locked its keys in its car and didn’t show up for over five hours. In short, Facebook is a hot mess. All this leads to an extremely high-maintenance relationship, leaving users to wonder whether they should just move on with healthier friends. But it wasn’t always like this. 
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Michigan’s lax criminal justice data has dire consequences

A new report from the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work details the ways that Michigan’s criminal justice system fails to keep records and data regarding inmates and conditions in detention facilities. According to the study, the number of children who are in the juvenile justice system in Michigan is unknown. And it says Michigan has no way to accurately measure recidivism in Michigan. Those are just two examples. Authors of the article write that “the culmination of this research and analysis confirmed just how much information is missing, and how much is unknown to the public and practitioners about Michigan’s justice systems.” “To tackle a problem, you have to be able to identify the problem … When different state-level actors do not share data with each other about these structural inequities, I think we have a larger problem,” said Sheryl Kubiak, dean of Wayne State University’s School of Social Work. 
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Prepping for a possibility of survival challenges

By Lisa Brody  The last few years' global calamities sound like eerie passages straight out of from the Bible – a deadly world-wide pandemic, out of control wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, extremes of heat and freezing cold, blackouts, political upheaval in several countries, even the reawakening of millions of cicadas descending upon parts of the United States in their once-in-a-17-year cycle. It's enough to make anyone want to hide away in their basement or under the covers and never come out. While most people won't head downstairs forever, increasingly many individuals are preparing for various potential catastrophes, and the possibility they may need to either heed stay at home orders, similar to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to get ready to flee their homes for an unknown period of time at a moment's notice. Once referred to as survivalists who chose to live “off the grid,” today those who choose to arrange their lives for any eventuality are called “preppers,” and are not isolated individuals or loners, but everyday folk. Stephanie Hartwell, a sociologist and Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean at Wayne State University, noted that often that understanding comes from undergoing a traumatic event. “It's based on trauma, on the chaotic world we live in,” Hartwell said. “Not everyone want to be the last one left on earth. It's logical based on the political arena, natural disasters, manmade disasters, how the world may be running out of water. How do we make ourselves important in a chaotic world? There is often the seed of trauma, where they have been impacted by something of complexity. There is an understanding of the likelihood of a disaster and the feeling of the need or impulse to prepare. This is a problematic world. We need to prepare for the inevitability. Some of it is human nature, some of it is trauma and fear, and some of it is the inability to control life – like climate change and natural disasters, today's politics. It makes us feel hopeless. It used to be a loner guy with mental health problems living in the woods. But today, many are concerned about the world,” Hartwell continued. “Prepping is a way to try to instill control and safety into their lives. People aren't feeling safe.” 
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What the Constitution says and doesn't say about the truth

Jim Townsend is the director of the Levin Center at Wayne State University law school and a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives. He says the public can’t solve important problems when it disagrees on certain truths. At the Levin Center, Townsend says he is trying to encourage people “to return to the facts,” and constrain representatives to do that. “They have to feel that pressure,” he says, referring to lawmakers. Townsend says representatives also have to work across political boundaries to do what former Sen. Carl Levin taught, which was to conduct investigations with those with whom they disagree. Many policy issues go unsolved, says Townsend, because legislators are not favoring the better angels of their nature. “We have to own up to the fact that a significant reason why we’re failing to address these situations is that lawmakers don’t hold themselves accountable and they don’t hold the executive branch accountable,” he says.  https://wdet.org/posts/2021/09/29/91488-what-the-us-constitution-says-and-doesnt-say-about-truth/