Kevin Lavery

News Reporter and Host

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews for Current State. He's also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."

Prior to coming to WKAR in 2006, Lavery was a reporter at KWMU in St. Louis, Missouri, covering local politics, government, and biotechnology issues.

Lavery's journalism career began in the Navy. He studied journalism at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana; worked as news director and television producer for American Forces Network-Japan; and served in Antarctica as radio program director at the McMurdo Station Research Facility on Ross Island.

Ways To Connect

Fred Upton photo
Courtesy Cong. Fred Upton

The Pentagon is looking at Fort Custer near Battle Creek as a potential site to shield the eastern U.S. against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with Michigan Republican Cong. Fred Upton about the proposal.


Michigan prosecutors have issued a report with their positions on reforming the state's prison system.


Ingham County Courthouse photo
WKAR File Photo

Ingham County Controller Tim Dolehanty is considering the Ingham Health Plan and other issues facing the county's finances.


MSU archeological dig photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

MSU students are finding interesting artifacts in an archeological dig along the Red Cedar River.


Juli Liebler photo
Courtesy city of East Lansing

Juli Liebler is retiring as East Lansing’s chief of police. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with her about her career.


Blackhawk helicopter photo
Capt. Brian Anderson / Michigan National Guard

The Michigan National Guard has been training for conditions that might accompany a nuclear explosion this week.


M. Emin Kutay photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

MSU researcher Dr. Emin Kutay is looking for ways to use rubber from scrap tires in asphalt. Will his work lead to better roads in Michigan?


Brad Schwartz was 23 years when he co-wrote a PBS American Experience documentary on the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio sci-fi thriller, “The War of the Worlds.” He was the same age as Welles when the production aired in 1938. Now, Schwartz has published a book on the classic hoax. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with the Okemos native about his work.


It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make greater Lansing a better place. Mid-Michigan is a culturally diverse region. Lansing has long been known as a place where refugees from various parts of the world have come to build a new life. One agency at the forefront of serving refugees is St. Vincent Catholic Charities.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

There’s a lot of buzz these days about drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles have a range of uses, from military and police surveillance to search and rescue. In private hands, drones are purely recreational toys for some people, but others are capitalizing on their economic potential.

Flickr - Don Graham

Last week, three young wild geese found in Macomb County tested positive for avian flu. Their case marks the first discovery of the disease this year in Michigan. Avian flu has decimated poultry populations in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The virus has killed an  estimated 47-million birds thus far. Now, officials are trying to prevent this strain from reaching domestic birds in Michigan.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

One of the most popular tourist sites in Michigan is Colonial Michilimackinac. It’s well within walking distance of the Mackinac Bridge, just to the west along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The old French trading post that later became a British fort turns 300 years old in 2015, and parts of its original past lie just below the surface.

Courtesy - facebook.com/pages/Eva-Mozes-Kor/

In 1944, Romania was occupied by the Hungarian army, which was aligned with Nazi Germany. Eva Kor was 10 years old the day she, her parents and three sisters were forced into a cattle car that was ultimately destined for Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp in Poland. Eva Kor was a child of war who as an adult came to find her own profound moment of peace. She’ll speak tonight at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing.

http://www.csus.msu.edu/

It’s the first week of June, soon school will be out of session, and the beaches are beckoning. Michigan is expecting a strong summer tourism season in 2015, as families plan trips to all manner of destinations across the Great Lakes State.

Wikimedia commons

Many Michigan farmers are wrapping up their spring planting this month.  But this season, there’s a cloud hanging overhead...and it’s not bringing nourishing rain.  It is, however, all about water.   Last week, the U-S Environmental Protection Agency issued its final rule on what it calls the “Waters of the United States.”  The action expands the EPA’s jurisdiction over more waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.   The agency says the action is necessary to keep the nation’s waters clean.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Officials say there are some 2,800 vacant, under-utilized and contaminated brownfield sites in Mid-Michigan. Some are the legacy of a wave of automotive plant and parts supplier closures spanning three decades. Others are former gas stations, garages and dry cleaning shops that contain an array of environmental pollutants. These idle sites are a threat to public health and a barrier to economic development. Now, a new federal grant will be put towards remediation.

www.senatormargaretobrien.com/

Last week, we spent some time learning about a unique support group for caregivers based in Albion. Caring for the Caregivers is a monthly gathering that allows caregivers to share their challenges and learn about relevant skills. Today, we take another look at caregiving, this time at proposed legislation aimed at helping Michigan’s estimated two-million caregivers.

The next election in Lansing is not until August, but city officials always want to instill the importance of voting in their citizens. Tomorrow, they’ll try a fun new approach. During Lansing’s annual Be A Tourist in Your Own Town event, the Lansing city clerk’s office will set up three polling sites for people of all ages to cast their votes on some pressing issues such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.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.

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.

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.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s no shortage of talk in Michigan about renewable energy sources. But despite all our efforts to go green, our state is still very dependent on fossil fuels. Recently, a Traverse City-based oil and gas company has been looking at an area in and around the city of Mason as a possible drilling site.

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