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Current State has enjoyed tracking the success of Joshua Davis on NBC’s “The Voice”, from his early auditions all the way to the finals last week. Scott Pohl spoke with the long-time leader of the Lansing band Steppin’ In It early in the season, and they had another conversation yesterday.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it’s found a deer in Meridian Township that’s tested positive for chronic wasting disease.  It’s the first reported case of the disease in the state since 2008, and the very first time it has occurred in a wild deer population. Chronic wasting disease is not harmful to humans, but is always fatal to deer.

If you were in Michigan in the 1960’s, your memories probably include the Palm Sunday tornadoes, Governor and Presidential candidate George Romney and the Vietnam War. A Lansing-born journalist with roots in that memorable decade has written a memoir that includes those three and more.

Current Sports #481 | May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015

After FIFA's scandals have started to be revealed, Al and Isaac ponder the ripple effects that this could have on soccer and explore the past crimes of FIFA. Then, the topic of conversation shifts to the NBA and its cover boy, Lebron James. Where does Lebron stack up against the all-time greats after qualifying for his fifth straight Finals outing. To close, Al brings Brian Calloway, Lansing State Journal sports journalist, onto the show to focus on local Lansing news.   


http://www.letsbanfracking.org/

For the third time in recent years, opponents of hydraulic fracturing are organizing to end the practice in Michigan. The Committee to Ban Fracking, based in Charlevoix, has begun a ballot campaign hoping to put a ban before voters in next years general election.

Jack Dempsey, Michigan Historical Commission

Ulysses S. Grant lived in Detroit for a while before the Civil War. This summer, the old structure he called home may be moved to a different part of Detroit.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Earlier this month, President Obama issued an executive order banning the federal government from issuing certain types of military equipment to local police departments. The action is in response to an outcry over a militarized show of force during protests last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Flickr - janeyessee

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make mid-Michigan a better place. It’s estimated that there are more than two-million caregivers in Michigan. Some are health care professionals, but many others provide care for their family members at home. Even with the proper training, caregiving is stressful work, both physically and emotionally.

Current Sports #480 | May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015

After a long Memorial Day weekend, Current Sports returns to the radio. Al and Isaac kick off the show trying to identify and solve the problems associated with the Tigers' three game skid. Then, Al and Isaac look back on the playoffs this year and have their opinions diverge over the punishment of Matthew Dellavedova and Al Horford. Then, hear Current State's Kevin Lavery talk about the movement for cricket in Okemos before the show closes with a belated 'Weekend Winners.'


The economy in Michigan is on the upswing, and education budgets that were cut during the great recession are starting to increase again. But despite some funding boosts, educational achievement in Michigan has remained fairly stagnant in the past 10 years. And that’s meant that some of the states that used to trail Michigan, like Tennessee and Florida, are now ahead of us in national rankings. Advocates says Michigan students are unlikely to catch up without substantial changes to the state’s educational policy.

http://www.fijiabroad.com/

Say the words “climate change,” and the first thing that might come to mind is melting polar ice caps. That’s an accurate image, but of course, climate change affects the entire planet. Scientists say the rising tides from all that melting ice have to go somewhere, and some Michigan State University students are watching one remote part of the world that’s starting to see some effects.

Courtesy MSU Living History Project

For the past year, students in MSU's School of Journalism have documented the life experiences of seniors in our state as part of the multimedia initiative "The Living History Project: Stories Told by Michigan's Oldest Old." Oldest old refers to individuals who are 85 years old or older. It's also the fastest growing age group in the United States.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The parking lot in front of the MSU Museum has disappeared. In its place, there are steam shovels, enormous piles of dirt and a deep, deep hole. Workers are in the midst of an ongoing project to maintain the university’s extensive steam tunnel system.

Satellite image of Great Lakes
Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. This month, some of the biggest environmental stories had to do with energy and how we transport it across the Great Lakes region.

Off the Record | May 22, 2015 | #4448

May 26, 2015

The panel discusses the budget deal and how it will mean more money for roads. The guest is Roger Martin, one of the leaders of proposal one. Bill Ballenger, Zachary Gorchow, and Rick Pluta join senior capitol correspondent Tim Skubick. 

 

MSU Today | May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015

Pure Michigan tourism industry

Two MSU researchers talk about the tourism industry’s importance to Michigan’s economy.  Bill Beekman and Mark Hollis talk with Wharton Center executive director Mike Brand, too.  And we meet Greening of the Great Lakes host Kirk Heinze.

Current Sports #479 | May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

  Today is the last Current Sports for three days. That's right, Memorial Day is a day off for Al and Isaac. However, this show end-to-end covers the details of the Mike Babcock departure, the Golden State-Houston series, and so much more. After the Current Sports voices open up on Mike Babcock, they analyze the Harden-Curry duel taking place, and whether the Rockets should have called a timeout on their final possession. Then, Al brings Ali Easley, founder of the Help A Willing Kid Foundation, in to discuss his foundation's work and latest recognition. The show closes with Reflection Friday and the possible revealing of Al and Isaac's shared celebrity crush... on the field.

  

Current Sports #478 | May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015

  There is no show on record yet, but it doesn't mean there was no show. Current Sports had a recruiting focus today, with Al telling the story of his journey to Detroit and his encounter with former MSU commit Jayru Campbell. This discussion morphs into a broad discussion of the rights of college athletes and recruits, and the resources that should be made available to athletes in order to help them deal with that new fame.

Jake Neher/MPRN

Democratic Michigan Sen. Gary Peters has gotten behind legislation that would address two very different national issues: criminal justice and student debt. Monday, on a visit to Detroit, the state’s junior senator called for a “top to bottom” review of the U.S. criminal justice system by creating a National Criminal Justice Commission. And last week, Peters introduced the Federal Adjustment in Reporting (FAIR) Student Credit Act. It would help private student loan borrowers rehabilitate defaulted loans.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Millions of people around the world are wild about a sport many native-born Americans have never played. Cricket is second only to soccer in global popularity. There are several adult cricket leagues in the Lansing area, and it’s not uncommon to see an evening game in progress at a local school playground, but this summer, officials in Okemos will offer the sport to young children for the first time.

Photo: Flickr - Mary Harrsch Follow

May is Older Americans Month and we’ve been featuring the voices of some of Michigan’s senior citizens. Today, we get a perspective on aging from the Greek lyric poet Anacreon, who was born around 582 B.C.

Courtesy MSU Today

Earlier this week, Valerie Brader, an attorney and former senior policy adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder, assumed her role as executive director of the new Michigan Agency for Energy. Brader will be the top energy adviser to Snyder and state department leaders. Snyder created the agency by executive order in March after setting it as a priority in January’s State of the State address.

Writers are constantly drawing inspiration from the world around them. A story idea can come from almost anywhere: a painting, a historical event, or even other books. Michele Young-Stone’s latest novel draws its inspiration from musicians, specifically John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Courtesy Chateau Grand Traverse

There’s a unique new partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and one of the state’s best-known wineries. Chateau Grand Traverse is launching three wines with labels related to Michigan’s park experience, and will be donating part of the profits to one of three projects selected by people voting online.

Current Sports #477 | May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

The Pistons, as probability predicted, picked up the eighth pick in last night's NBA Lottery. Al and Isaac disagree on who the Pistons should try to draft with that eighth pick, and then go on to cover the NBA playoffs before the appearance of the esteemed Current Sports guest of the day. Gene Washington, MSU football legend, joins the show to follow up on an interview of his daughter Maya about their new documentary "Through the Banks of the Red Cedar". After that exclusive conversation, Al and Isaac close the show talking about the Red Wings' attempts at resigning Mike Babcock and more Deflategate. 

  

Current State #541 | May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

 

Wikimedia Commons/Paul R. Kucher

Four months of negotiations between Lansing’s Board of Water and Light and the utility’s former General Manager, Peter Lark, concluded last night.

BWL commissioners agreed unanimously to settle with Mr. Lark for $650,000 after his January dismissal “for cause” by those same commissioners.  A dismissal “for cause” implies employee misconduct.  Current State gets an update from LSJ reporter Steven Reed, who has covered the BWL since the 2013 ice storm that eventually led to yesterday’s agreement.  

Scott Pohl/WKAR

State lawmakers are again looking for ways to pay for road repairs in Michigan, and that means subsidies for the film industry are again being targeted. That has amounted to $50-million a year in recent years. 

Courtesy of Ryan Parrott

In February, we brought you the story of Ryan Parrott. He’s a former Navy Seal sniper from Michigan who now runs “Sons of the Flag”, an organization that helps veterans with burn injuries. Parrott is coming back to Michigan from Dallas, where he lives now, to serve as the grand marshal of Dearborn’s Memorial Day parade on Monday. With a name like Parrott, you know he picked up a nickname in the Navy Seals--he’s called Birdman.

NIA: Hosanna House

May 20, 2015
Courtesy of Hosanna House of Michigan

Wednesday on CS means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Hosanna House--an organization that works to get youth aging out of the foster care system find affordable and supportive housing. 

 Current State talks to executive director Karen Bacon and Nichole Martin, who coordinates the Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative (MYOI) for the Department of Health and Human Services in Ingham County. 

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