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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Mon December 8, 2014

State, child welfare advocates spar over DHS oversight

Sara Bartosz is lead counsel for Children’s Rights.
Credit http://www.childrensrights.org/

After six years of federal oversight, Michigan is seeking to reclaim control of its child welfare system. The state came under supervision of federal monitors in 2008. That was after a 2006 class action lawsuit that alleged the Michigan Department of Human Services had failed to protect the safety and well-being of almost 19,000 children in state custody.

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Economy
11:12 am
Mon December 8, 2014

MI retailers push for sales tax fairness

Many online retailers, like Amazon, don't collect the state sales tax from customers in Michigan.
Credit Flickr - Carl Malamud

Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
11:06 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Arts Chorale holiday concert features Dvořák, Rutter

The Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing’s holiday concert is tonight. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. at River Terrace Church on River Terrace Drive in East Lansing.

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Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Snyder: House Transit Plan Not Sufficient

Gov. Rick Snyder holds a piece of concrete that fell from a bridge as he makes the case for a gas tax hike to fix roads.
Credit mprn Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder says a plan adopted by the state House to shift sales taxes collected on fuel sales to roads won’t work.

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Sports
2:30 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Current Sports #373 | December 5, 2014

MSU men's soccer is in the Elite Eight and MSU Impact Sports reporter, Brooks Laimbeer, joins Al at the later half of the show to preview the upcoming game tomrrow and discuss MSU's chances of making the Final Four. Also, Al looks back on some of the best moments this week with 'Reflection Friday,' and Alex joins to recap MSU women's basketball and the Detroit Tigers' acquisition of pitcher, Shane Greene.


Sports
2:29 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Current Sports #372 | December 4, 2014

MSU basketball went through a rough loss against Notre Dame in overtime,and Al invites Detroit Free Presss beat writer, Joe Rexrode, on the show to break down what happened. Rexrode also gives his outlook on the rest of the season.  To close, it's 'Throwback Thursday,' and it is a special day for Barry Sanders. The team breaks down how spectacular Sanders was as an NFL running back.


Sports
2:29 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Current Sports #371 | December 3, 2014

Brady Hoke has been officially let go as head coach of University of Michigan football. And the show kicks off with Al and Alex going back and forth about who is the ideal candidate to replace him. Later, former NBA player Charles Barkley made some comments about the unrest in Ferguson, as Al and Alex reflect on the validity of his comments.


Radio Made in Michigan
11:16 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Current State #434 | December 5, 2014

Today on Current State: Ingham County experiments with police body cameras; snowboarding's Michigan history; the reliability of energy resources in rural Michigan; and Live Music Friday with Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny.

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Politics & Government
11:15 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Ingham County experiments with police body cameras

Recent police custody deaths have led to a call for more widespread usage of law enforcement body cameras.
Credit Flickr - West Midlands Police

The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.

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History
11:14 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Snowboarding's Michigan roots

We may be headed into the deep, dark winter, but Michiganders are well-known for thriving in the snow. Our state has made an industry of winter activities. The sport of snowboarding itself was born in Muskegon. Native son Sherman Poppen got it all started during Christmas of 1965.

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Environment
11:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Limited energy infrastructure curtails rural development

Credit Flickr - Seth Sawyers

Shortly before Thanksgiving, some rural businesses in Michigan’s Thumb region faced a difficult request. At the peak of the fall harvest, Consumers Energy asked several customers to voluntarily curtail their natural gas usage for 10 hours a day. The shutoff didn’t last long, but agri-business leaders say it highlighted an ongoing concern for the future of Michigan’s energy infrastructure.

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Arts & Culture
11:10 am
Fri December 5, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Phil Denny | WKAR

Phil Denny's annual holiday concert is Saturday night. He performed live from WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny. On Saturday night, the Phil Denny and Friends Christmas Collective will present his third annual holiday concert in the Pattengill Auditorium on Marshall Street in Lansing, starting at 7:30.

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Politics & Government
5:25 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Religious Protection Bill Teed Up For House Vote

Credit change.org

A bill that’s supposed to protect people exercising sincerely held religious beliefs has been approved by the state House. It now goes to the state Senate.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

The bill was brought up right after House Speaker Jase Bolger declared the effort to add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law dead. State Representative Jeff Irwin and other Democrats oppose the bill. He says this would make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:14 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Current State #433 | December 4, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan Supreme Court Justice-elect Richard Bernstein; placing Lansing's homeless in permanent housing; a Michigan teacher working to preserve indigenous language; a preview of this weekend's "Home for the Holidays" concert; and a book reviewer of "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Bernstein hopes to bring "blind justice" to state's highest court

Richard Bernstein will become a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in January.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.

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Economy
12:02 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Pilot program seeks permanent housing for Lansing's homeless

Rebecca Porter (left) was homeless for most of the past year. She is working with case worker Amanda Fleckenstein (right) and others at Volunteers of America Michigan to move into permanent housing. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Michigan’s long winter months can give anyone the blues, but it’s an especially dangerous time for the homeless. Hundreds of people in mid-Michigan live on the streets, and their circumstances are diverse. In Lansing, officials are so far pleased with the results of a pilot program to move 11 people out of a makeshift camp and into permanent housing.

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Education
11:58 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Michigan teacher works to preserve indigenous language

Helen Roy is a tribal member of the Wikwemikong First Nations Band, Canada’s only unceded Indian Reservation on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
Credit http://aisp.msu.edu/

Movements to revitalize Native American languages have been popping up across the U.S. in recent years. Tribes from Massachusetts to California are using federal funds to help preserve their native tongues. The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has developed Cherokee language versions of Google, Wikipedia, and even Facebook.

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Arts & Culture
11:54 am
Thu December 4, 2014

MSU College of Music concert brings holiday cheer to EL

MSU’s "Home for the Holidays" concert comes to the Wharton Center stage this Saturday at 4 p.m. Kevin Noe and Kieran McMillan are the creators of the production, based on last year’s successful program.

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Arts & Culture
11:50 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Book Review: "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas | WKAR

What makes a story engrossing? Is it a surprising plot? A new twist? Or is it about the characters? Maybe a little quirk in their personalities that we find amusing? Is it an ability to see a bit of ourselves in the pages? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself since reading "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.

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Politics & Government
4:42 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

State House Approves Suspicion-based Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

Credit youngcons.com

Legislation that would revoke welfare payments from people who fail drug tests has passed the state House.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports.

The bill would create a one-year pilot program in three counties that have not yet been selected. Lawmakers could decide to implement a statewide welfare drug testing system later on.

Some Democrats voted against the bill. Representative Diane Slavens says it would unfairly hurt poor children.

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Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

House Holds Hearing On LGBT Civil Rights Bill

Retired Ford executive and former Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour says adopting LGBT protections in law will help the state attract and retain talent.
Credit mprn Rick Pluta

A state House committee adjourned Wednesday without a vote on legislation to add LGBT protections the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Current State #432 | December 3, 2014

Today on Current State: State lawmakers consider road funding and LGBT rights during the lame duck session; cataloging plant life at the MSU Herbarium; MSU research into better stroke outcomes; and Neighbors in Action: Tori Saves Christmas.
 

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Politics & Government
11:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawmakers take up roads, LGBT rights in lame duck

Credit Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard the words “lame duck” in the last few weeks? You have a little while longer to be tired of the term. The Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session lasts for just over two more weeks.

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Environment
11:11 am
Wed December 3, 2014

MSU Herbarium catalogues Michigan plant life

Alan Prather with a Michigan monkeyflower sample from the MSU Herbarium
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s a special kind of library in the basement of the Plant Biology Labs at Michigan State University. Here, instead of taking a book off of a shelf, you can open a folder and find a dried plant that’s 150 years old and still green. The MSU Herbarium is an important resource for research biologists on campus.

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Health
11:06 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Better stroke outcomes goal of MSU research

Matthew Reeves
Credit http://www.epi.msu.edu/

The medical challenges associated with stroke have been in the news lately with hockey great Gordie Howe suffering both strong and mild strokes over the past few months. A new MSU study aims to improve the recovery of stroke victims.

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Community
11:02 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Tori Saves Christmas | WKAR

Credit facebook.com/groups/ToriSavesXmas/

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 learn about Tori Saves Christmas, a 24-hour “play date” that raises money to buy presents for kids in foster care.

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Politics & Government
5:13 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

State Senate rejects bill to reduce truck weight limits

Credit calhouncounty.org

The state Senate has rejected a bill that would reduce the amount of weight trucks are allowed to carry on Michigan’s roads.

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Sports
5:12 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

VIDEO: MSU Women's Cross Country National Champions | Current Sports | WKAR

Led by four individual runners in the top-25, the Michigan State women's cross country team claimed the program's first ever NCAA Cross Country Championship. Running in front of a huge crowd of MSU fans, the Spartans finished 62 points ahead of runner-up Iowa State with a team score of 85 points, the lowest total at the NCAA Championships since 2008 (Washington, 79).

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Sports
5:08 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

VIDEO: Tom Izzo Comments After Santa Clara Win | Current Sports | WKAR

Michigan State cruises to a 79-52 win over Santa Clara at the Breslin Center on November 24th. Gavin Schilling had career highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Marvin Clark Jr., starting in place of Branden Dawson - out with the flu - had 15 points and four blocked shots for the Spartans (3-1), who never trailed and built a 40-14 halftime lead. Denzel Valentine added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

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Sports
5:04 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

VIDEO: MSU / Santa Clara Game Highlights | Current Sports | WKAR

Michigan State cruises to a 79-52 win over Santa Clara at the Breslin Center on November 24th. Gavin Schilling had career highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Marvin Clark Jr., starting in place of Branden Dawson - out with the flu - had 15 points and four blocked shots for the Spartans (3-1), who never trailed and built a 40-14 halftime lead. Denzel Valentine added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Game highlights are featured here.

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