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Carl Van Vechten/Wikimedia Commons

May is Older Americans Month and we’ve been featuring the voices of some of Michigan’s senior citizens. Today, we get some wisdom on aging in the form of poetry.

 Here is Lansing poet Ruelaine Stokes reading an unnamed poem by the Chinese writer Lin Yutang.  Current State's Public Poetry Announcements are produced in collaboration with the Center for Poetry at Michigan State University.  

Twitter/Jameel Syed

A Muslim faith leader from southeast Michigan has recently returned home from a long trip.  It was not the time-honored pilgrimage to Mecca, which all Muslims are encouraged to do at least once during their lifetimes. Instead, Jameel Syed toured America, visiting mosques in all 50 states.  

Syed is a muaddhin, which is a special position in the Islamic faith who calls the faithful to prayer several times each day and is affiliated with the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills. Current State's Kevin Lavery talked to Syed about the motivation behind the trip. 

Current Sports #476 | May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015

After Monday's opening round of games for the Diamond Classic, Al and Isaac elaborate on their thoughts about the first two games and the chances of Lansing Catholic against defending champions Grand Ledge. This topic expands to the larger issue of baseball's decline amongst the youth and African Americans. Then, hear the latest news about Deflategate as Robert Kraft's press conference occurs simultaneously with the show. Finally, Al and Isaac try to address the Pistons' needs with the awaiting draft lottery for 'Top Five Tuesday.'


Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

It’s a busy time under the dome in Lansing these days. Just two weeks after the historic defeat of a road funding proposal that would have altered the Michigan Constitution, House Democrats and Republicans are offering competing alternatives. The GOP plan would shift revenue to a transportation fund by various means, including siphoning funds from tribal casino revenues and eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit. Meanwhile, Democrats propose raising the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon over the next three years.

http://www.throughthebanksoftheredcedar.com/

In the 1960s, MSU football coach Duffy Daughterty made the first major recruiting efforts to bring African-American players from the deep south into the sport…players who could not be admitted to segregated schools. That pool of talent wound up bringing championships to East Lansing. Maya Washington is the daughter of one of those players, Gene Washington. She’s making a documentary film about her dad called “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar.”

Flickr - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

The alewife was once the scourge of the Great Lakes. The small, silver herring made its way into the basin through the St. Lawrence River in the late 19th century and proceeded to wreak havoc on the ecosystem. If you were around the region in the 1960s, you might remember the stench of thousands of dead alewives washing up on Great Lakes beaches. Now, scientists are concerned with a decline in the population of this invasive species and how the shrinking numbers of alewives could impact their main predator, the popular Chinook salmon.

Courtesy Startup Grind Lansing

Few if any Lansing success stories compare with that of Two Men and a Truck. The moving company began in 1985 as an after school endeavor with an advertising budget in a ceramic dish.  Today, founder Mary Ellen Sheets leads a company whose revenue clears $300-million annually. Two Men and a Truck has locations in 39 states and four countries. It has completed roughly five million moves. It also donates about two and a half million dollars in moving services annually.

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 U.S. In our third installment of the four part series, we hear from 85-year-old Flint resident Domingo Berlanga.

Current Sports #475 | May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

The weekend left sports fans with plenty to chatter about for the week to come. After a dominating win in the Preakness Stakes, hear Al and Isaac give their thoughts on whether American Pharaoh has a chance to win the untouchable Triple Crown. Miguel Cabrera's 400th home run also sent ripples around Michigan, so Current Sports houses the talk about where Cabrera ranks among current and all-time batters. Then, the NBA conference finals are previewed before Al brings Walt Drenth, director of Michigan State track and field and cross country, onto the show to talk about the women's track team's victory over the weekend. The show closes with Weekend Winners.


Today in MI History: Bath School Bombing 5-18-1927

May 18, 2015
Flickr/larrysphatpage

Decades before the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, CT, the deadliest act of school violence in U.S. history took place in mid-Michigan. 

On May 18, 1927, a disgruntled school board member, Andrew Kehoe, detonated 500 lbs. of explosives he'd hidden in one wing of the Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township.  The blast killed 45 people and injured 58.  Kehoe had also stored another 500 lbs. of dynamite in the school's other wing, which failed to explode.  Kehoe later killed himself and four other people in a truck bomb explosion outside the school.

MSU Today | May 17, 2015

May 18, 2015

The state of recycling in Michigan

Kirk Heinze and his guests talk about the challenges and opportunities facing a recycling initiative in Michigan that's gaining momentum across the state with this Greening of the Great Lakes broadcast from the Michigan Recycling Coalition's annual conference.

Current Sports #474 | May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

  You made it, people. The week is almost over. This Current Sports, dedicated to BB King, Al and Isaac argue about whether Michael Jordan, at his current age, could take one game in a one-on-one series against Lebron James. Then, the conversation shifts to Le'veon Bell's response to his suspension after his arrest for DUI and possession of marijuana. Maya Washington, daughter of MSU legend Gene Washington, calls in to the show to discuss her new movie, "Through The Banks of the Red Cedar", and how the MSU football teams of the 1960's advanced the rights of African Americans. Then, the show closes out with Reflection Friday, a look back on the week's best.


http://www.senatormikeshirkey.com/

People who build schools and other public infrastructure projects in Michigan might soon see a lighter paycheck. Yesterday, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. That provision mandates that wages paid in state government contracts are based on collective bargain agreements.

courtesy Phil Porter, Mackinac Island Historic Parks

School is winding down, the temperatures are rising, and that means it’s time to start planning those summer vacations. At the top of the list for a lot of people is Mackinac Island. The 3.8 square mile island in between the two peninsulas has been a beloved vacation spot for generations of Michiganders. This summer, history  buffs will have a special treat on the island as the Mackinac Island Historic Parks rebuilds the historic Fort Holmes.

http://www.loretobowbazar.in/

Sister Cyril Mooney is renowned for her decades of work to improve education for the impoverished of Calcutta, India. Sister Cyril was initiated into the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Loreto order, in her native Ireland in 1955. She has been affiliated with the Loreto School of Calcutta almost all the years since.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is Ben Fuhrman. In recent years, Ben has been a member of the local group Wisaal. Tonight, he’ll perform a solo mandolin recital at the MSU Community Music School on South Hagadorn Road in East Lansing, starting at 8 p.m.

minnesota orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra is leaving today for Cuba where they will perform two historic concerts on May 15 and 16. WKAR 90.5 Classical with Classical Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media are thrilled to bring these performances to you live from the Teatro Nacional in Havana, Cuba! These are the first performances and broadcasts of an American orchestra from Cuba since President Obama moved to normalize relations in December 2014.

Current Sports #473 | May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015

  Current Sports kicks off the show decoding the new Chris Webber-Jalen Rose square-off that has developed in light of Weber's comments about the 'Fab Five' 30 for 30 documentary that Rose helped to produce. Then, Tori Franklin, triple jump competitor for Michigan State's track and field team, joins the show to enlighten the listeners about the "Big Ten's", the track competition that will be landing in East Lansing on Friday. Next, Al and Isaac review the NBA and NHL playoffs, giving predictions for both brackets, and Isaac elaborates on his cool connection with the new Madden cover boy, Odell Beckham Jr. And, like every Thursday, Current Sports hosts 'Throwback Thursday' to teach you sports trivia  of days past.


Indigo and Minkel | Current Sports | WKAR

May 13, 2015
Matt Argillander

EAST LANSING - Waddling around the wrestling room at IM Sports West is MSU wrestling head coach Tom Minkel’s “child”. However, Indigo is no ordinary child – she is Minkel’s 17-year-old female hyacinth macaw.

“She’s smart, she’s fun, but she’s like having a permanent three-year-old child forever. They don’t grow up, they don’t mature,” Minkel said.

Let's Play Ball: Cuban Style | Current Sports | WKAR

May 13, 2015
Lia Kamana

I traveled to Cuba over spring break this past March and I didn’t know what would be waiting for me when the plane landed in Havana. The most I knew about Cuba was what I learned from my friend, and traveling companion, Erin. She studied abroad in Havana for five months in summer 2014, and fell in love with the country, its people and its culture.

She was so excited to share it with me and for me to experience it for myself.

Current Sports #472 | May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015

  Today's show is full of different voices on the air, as Current Sports has not one, but two guests. Troy Matlock, the new head coach of Lansing Eastern football, joins the show to discuss how he plans to improve a team that only won three games in the past four years. Then, Al and Isaac talk about their favorite "30 for 30" documentaries, in response to Chris Webber's comments about the 'Fab Five.' Finally, Chris Gandy of the "Those Detroit Guys" podcast calls in to talk about his mission, his show, and Detroit sports.   


Flickr - Gage Skidmore

Eighteen months away from the 2016 presidential election, two Democrats and six Republicans have formally thrown their hat into the ring. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was the first Republican to announce his candidacy. Cruz is the son of Cuban immigrants who before his congressional career was the longest-serving Solicitor General in Texas history.

Courtesy Whites Bridge Historical Society

A historic Michigan landmark in Ionia County is set for restoration soon. For close to 150 years, Whites Bridge near the small town of Smyrna in Ionia County served both a practical and picturesque function. Practical as a way for travelers in the area to cross the Flat River, and more recently as a scenic area popular with shutterbugs and young people getting their engagement photos taken. Two years ago, someone burned it down. But bridge lovers have raised enough money now for a complete rebuild.

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we hear about an organization you’re probably familiar with: the YMCA. What you might not know is the organization offers a lot more than swimming lessons, including programs for adult refugees and physical education programs in Lansing public schools.

Flickr - Shinya Suzuki

“Usonian” is an architectural term attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, describing some of his affordable family home designs beginning in the 1930s. Usonian homes were typically small, single story dwellings without a garage or much storage. But they were as thoughtfully designed as Wright’s commissions for far wealthier clients. A group of young professionals in Kalamazoo County was among the first to embrace Wright’s innovative idea.

mprn jake neher

State Senator Virgil Smith has been charged with multiple gun and assault felonies.

Current Sports #471 | May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015

 The 'Deflategate' punishments have been finally handed down, but did the NFL get this one right? Current Sports discusses the news as callers also chime in with their takes. Then, Al brings Nick Germano of the Insane Inflatable 5K to discuss the new competition that will be stopping in Lansing. Several pieces of breaking news come in during the show, and Al and Isaac provide their first reactions. Then, all attention turns to college violations, both Michigan's recruiting violations and questions about Tim Beckman's coaching, to end the show.


WKAR Photo

After a marathon session, the Lansing City Council last night approved Mayor Virg Bernero’s proposed 2015-16 budget, but it was not a complete victory for the mayor. The council also rejected his plan to create a new layer of oversight to regulate the Lansing Board of Water and Light. Bernero proposed establishing the position of inspector general to review the BWL’s procedures to ensure greater accountability, but after hours of debate and several failed attempts to pass amendments, the city council instead decided to fund an audit of the BWL by an independent agency.

Credit 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 US. In our second installment of this four-part documentary series, we hear from 90-year-old Holocaust survivor and Detroit area resident Katherine Sattler.

In the coming year, nine of Michigan’s coal-fired power plants are scheduled to retire. That has environmentalists and renewable energy advocates cheering. And the state’s two major utilities, Consumer’s Energy and DTE, say they are ready to invest in a more sustainable energy future. But first, the companies say, Michigan has to return to a fully regulated electricity market.

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