Earlene McMichael

Morning Edition Host

  Earlene McMichael became WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition in August 2012. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.

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Remember the late celebrated astrophysicist Carl Sagan? An interesting tie exists between science phenom Neil deGrasse Tyson and him besides both having hosted the popular "Cosmos" show begun by Sagan. It's that Tyson met Sagan as a teenager. In fact, Sagan personally invited Tyson to visit Cornell University to convince him to enroll there. Sagan met Tyson in his professor's office on a Saturday, gave him a campus tour, then gifted him one of his books with a foretelling inscription: "To Neil Tyson, future astrophysicist."


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Will humans be sent to Mars, or returned to the Moon? Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is doubtful the U.S. will do so anytime soon although funding is earmarked for it in NASA's 2020 budget. What will change that? Tyson says he's convinced it'll take outside "threats" from another country declaring its own plans to go to space to get America to act faster. 


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Sterling Riethman, 26, says she had been an ardent watcher of NBC's "Law & Order: Sexual Victims Unit," and felt certain she could recognize sexual assault if it happened to her. But it wasn't so, she tells WMUK's Earlene McMichael. Riethman says sports doctor Larry Nassar abused her in his office without her knowledge. "I had this assumption that, if you were a victim of sexual assault, it would happen in dark alleys and you would be caught off-guard and you would walk away with bruises and scars and end up in the hospital." 


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It was in 2016 that the world first learned of sexual assault allegations against former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar. Ex-gymnast and diver Sterling Riethman was one of the first women to allow herself to be publicly named. She tells WMUK's Earlene McMichael that she never suspected that what Nassar had done to her was anything other than legitimate medical treatment. 


Implicit bias has been a hot topic in the news. Some go as far as saying it's played a role in many police-involved shootings of African-Americans. Bias training expert Darnell Blackburn, himself a former police officer, says everyone has bias. He says the problem comes when it goes too far and results in bad choices.

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