Today on Current State: Lansing City Pulse associate editor Mickey Hirten on local elections; the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode re-caps the MSU victory over Indiana; the value of video games in the classroom and new technology at MSU's Abrams Planetarium.
If you’re a parent living in the 21st century, chances are you’ve had to tell your kids to turn off the video games and go outside to play. But video games aren’t just for recreation anymore. They’re also increasingly being used as learning tools in the classroom.
Are the Detroit Lions a legitimate contender? After the victory over the New Orelans Saints, it's the big question starting off the show. Later, callers indulge on discussion of the rivalry game this week in East Lansing. To close, the crew gives weekend winners and touches on the legacy of Peyton Manning.
Michigan State University opened the Abrams Planetarium 50 years ago. That's five decades of giving kids and adults from all over the state a glimpse of the solar system and the universe. As you might expect, the equipment to do that has improved a lot in those 50 years. Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with planetarium director Shannon Schmoll about the upgrades.
Mike Kohon, high school sports reporter from MLive.com, joins Al to analyze the college football season and preview the big games this weekend. Later in the show, Al and Alex recap Big Ten basketball media day and also touch on the Lions and Saints game this weekend. Finally, the crew debates about the Ryder Cup committee intended to improve team USA.
A lot of sci-fi movies and books feature robots that look like people. Think the Terminator or C-3PO.
But an MSU engineering professor went in a different direction when he started working on building a robotic fish about 10 years ago.
Current State's Mark Bashore talks with Dr. Xiaobo Tan, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. He's been working on a robotic fish that can be used for monitoring water quality.
We're well into deer bow hunting season in Michigan. While most hunters must wait until November 15 to bag their trophy bucks with firearms, a special event is happening this week for some firearms hunters.
The "Independence Hunt" allows people with physical disabilities to enjoy firearms hunting. It's sponsored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Current State's Kevin Lavery speaks with Bryan Wilkinson, a disabled hunter who spent the first day of the hunt at Sharonville State Game Area in Jackson County.
Today on Current State: checking the claims on education spending in Michigan; the Building Detroit program; a look at the duties of the MSU Board of Trustees; and book reviewer Scott D. Southard considers a biography of Harper Lee.
Education officials in Michigan are crunching the numbers this month, following the statewide student “Count Day” back on October 1. The bi-annual count determines the state’s per pupil funding allocation. Obviously, it’s in every school district’s best interest to turn out as many students as possible on that single day. But teachers and administrators across the state continue to struggle to fund mandatory programs. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of rhetoric on the campaign trail about school funding. But what story does the data show?
One of the biggest challenges faced by new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is the poor condition of thousands of houses in the city. People won’t choose to live in a city where they can’t get a decent house. The Detroit Land Bank Authority hopes a new system of auctioning off vacant houses will spur a wave of movement into the city. It’s called “Building Detroit”.
Voters in Michigan will elect members of the governing boards of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University on November 4th. At MSU, incumbent democrats George Perles and Faylene Owen are running to keep their seats for another eight years. Republicans have nominated Melanie Foster and Jeff Sakwa; Foster was on the board for ten years, but lost her bid for re-election two years ago, and Sakwa also ran unsuccessfully in 2012. There also are candidates from the Green, Libertarian, U.S. Taxpayers and Natural Law parties on the ballot.
After the enormous success of her book "To Kill a Mockingbird", the world belonged to Harper Lee. She could have done anything, the possibilities were endless. And yet, all she wanted to do was escape to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama and be left alone. For more than 40 years, the world could only speculate about this important and very silent American novelist. Was she writing? Was there maybe something more serious psychologically going on? Why did she hate the attention so much? It is because of Harper Lee’s long self-exile that makes "The Mockingbird Next Door", a new memoir by Marja Mills, so initially seductive.
Today on Current State: Former Ingham County Commissioner Mark Grebner on the importance of local elections; an MSU-educated engineer works on a project to contain contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant; Neighbors in Action: the REACH Studio Art Center; and Soup Grant Lansing’s first anniversary.
Much of the interest in next month’s mid-term election involves our national politics. There’s interest in whether the GOP will regain a majority in the U.S. Senate and in the hundreds of millions of dollars of outside spending across the country, often by anonymous groups. It may be good to remember the dictum often attributed to former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill: "All politics is local." So, do voters pay enough attention to local issues? How important are local and regional matters?
In March of 2011, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan resulted in a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Three of the plants six reactors melted down, and substantial amounts of radioactive material was released. That includes contaminated water that escaped from the three units. Containing that water has proven to be an ongoing problem confronting those who are working to clean up Fukushima.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we bring back REACH Studio Art Center, a local arts non-profit in Lansing. REACH is expanding their capacity by renovating an entire block of storefronts in the REO town neighborhood.
You may recall a community group featured not long ago on Neighbors in Action. Soup Grant Lansing works to fund micro-grants in our city and gather members of the greater Lansing area for a delicious, homemade, and healthy soup and bread meal. Soup Grant Lansing turned one year old a few weeks ago.
By ERIK STIEM - "CURRENT SPORTS" HIGH SCHOOL BEAT WRITER
HOLT - Okemos coach Jack Wallace emphatically raised his hands in the air as his quarterback, Grant Klaver, kneeled down to finish the game. Once the final whistle blew, the traveling student section rushed the field to celebrate the big win with their fellow classmates and players.
By GEOFF PRESTON - "CURRENT SPORTS" HIGH SCHOOL BEAT WRITER
As Grand Ledge football (4-3 overall) prepares for a playoff run, head coach Matt Bird is stressing to his players that keeping the tradition of Comet football in mind is going to be an essential piece of a playoff puzzle.