Kevin Lavery

News Director

Kevin Lavery has been news director at WKAR since September 2006.

Just prior to coming to WKAR as news director, 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.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Newest Lansing city council member won’t run in August

Lansing city councilmember at large Vincent Delgado has decided not to run in this year's election.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Vincent Delgado was appointed to the Lansing city council in February to fill the remaining term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who left the post after his selection as Ingham County Register of Deeds. Delgado has decided not to run for re-election in the August 4 primary. His term will end January 1.

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Politics & Government
11:41 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Former Detroit EM Kevyn Orr credits city workers for "rising to the occasion"

Credit Flickr - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Four months ago, the city of Detroit turned the page on a difficult chapter of its long and storied history. Last December, Detroit emerged from the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy. The so-called “grand bargain” that sealed the deal cut $7-billion of the city’s debt and injected millions of dollars to reduce pension cuts for city retirees.

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History
11:36 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing residents remember historic 1975 flood

This Lansing intersection was under water during the 1975 flood.
Credit Norris Ingells / Courtesy Lansing State Journal

This week we’re looking back on an event that’s become part of the folklore of mid-Michigan. Forty years ago, a late winter storm followed by locally heavy rains produced one of the worst floods in Lansing history. Current State’s Kevin Lavery speaks with some local residents who remember well the Flood of 1975.

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Environment
11:38 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MI naturalists recruit volunteers to track disappearing rusty blackbird

The rusty blackbird population has declined dramatically over the last few decades.
Credit Flickr - Don Faulkner

All sorts of migratory birds that winter in the southern United States are returning to their northern breeding grounds. Many birds that live in Canada and Alaska are passing through Michigan. Bird watchers are keeping a close eye out for one particular subspecies whose numbers have plummeted over a period of decades.

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Politics & Government
12:04 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing police chief anticipates the future of body cameras

The Lansing Police Department will soon add a controversial new tool to its equipment list: 100 body cameras. Some law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan are already experimenting with the devices. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has 25 body cameras on hand. In Ingham County, officers are testing a few cameras at the county jail, and the department is preparing to receiving more. The East Lansing and Michigan State University police departments are also planning to use body cameras. The device has evolved from a technological novelty to the centerpiece of a new front in the struggle for racial harmony and civil rights.

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History
12:06 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Historian explains Michigan’s reaction to Lincoln assassination

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while sitting in this chair at Ford's Theatre. It's now on display at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.
Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures / Flickr

For the past four years, American have been captivated by events remembering the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Two years ago, the nation saw one of the largest gatherings in memory of the Battle of Gettysburg. Now we’ve come to the dramatic climax of the war: 150 years since the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:16 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

MSU to gauge sexual assault climate on campus

MSU is distributing a voluntary online survey to gauge perceptions of sexual assault, and to assess how well their programs and services are working.
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

A survey distributed to all Michigan State University students asks them to offer their opinion about sexual assault.  MSU will use the information to assess the effectiveness of its current programs and services.

We talk with Paulette Granberry Russell, the university's Title IX Coordinator and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

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Politics & Government
11:44 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Prop 1: more than just roads

In just over a month, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Proposal 1. That’s the statewide ballot initiative that would generate more than $1-billion to repair and maintain Michigan roads. It’s a complex plan with many parts, the implications of which reach beyond highways and bridges. If approved, the measure would enact a constitutional change to the state sales tax, and also trigger a number of statutory changes. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been following the developments of Proposal 1.

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Community
12:49 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

MSU student honors late friend with bike trip to Final Four

Derek Blalock goes for a warm-up ride near his East Lansing home before leaving Wednesday for Indianapolis. Blalock will embark on a 6,500 mile trip this summer to raise funds for heart screenings for middle and high school athletes.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

T-minus two days and counting. Two days left before the Spartan men’s basketball team strides into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face Duke University in the NCAA Final Four. This is Michigan State’s fourth time in the Final Four in a decade. and they’re hoping to carve out their first national title since 2000. Thousands of people are pouring into Indianapolis by car or plane this week.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Giant mural to capture Lansing’s early REO heritage

Artist Tony Hendrick works on a quarter panel of what will be a 58-foot mural celebrating the history of Oldsmobile in Lansing.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Forty years ago, Lansing said goodbye to a proud piece of its civic identity. In May 1975, the Diamond REO truck factory on Washington Avenue closed its doors, ending seven decades of Oldsmobile production in Lansing. Today, just one of those original buildings remains, and it will soon be adorned with a work of art celebrating the Oldsmobile era. It’s a mural, and when it’s finished, it will measure 56 feet long by 28 feet high.

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Environment
12:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

MSU raising money to restore iconic polar bear

Darin McCullough and Dr. Scott Winterstein are working to restore this polar bear at the entrance to MSU's Natural Resources building.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For decades, first time visitors to the Natural Resources building on the MSU campus have been startled by the guard keeping watch by the north doors. Standing nine feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, a huge polar bear stands frozen in time, in a menacing pose. Polar bears have been on the Endangered Species list since 2008, and though long dead, the MSU bear is once again in danger. The bear was killed in Barrow, Alaska in 1957. It’s showing some wear and needs to be repaired soon.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:43 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Bike adventurist says northern Michigan trails are best on Earth

Bob Downes has ridden bike trails around the world for 30 years. He says the trails of northern Michigan are the best he's seen.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The calendar says it’s spring. You may be getting over a dose of cabin fever and dreaming of a getaway Up North. If you’re pulling your dusty bicycle out of the garage, then a Michigan author has your guide to some of the best trails in the Lower Peninsula.

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Education
11:34 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Incoming MI Superintendent: adults must help students "take ownership" of learning

Brian Whiston has been chosen to be Michigan's next state School Superintendent.
Credit dearbornschools.org

Public education in Michigan will have new leadership this summer. Last week, the state board of education voted 7 to 1 to hire Dearborn schools chief Brian Whiston as the next State Superintendent. He will replace Mike Flanagan, who will retire in June after 10 years at the helm of the Michigan Department of Education. Whiston’s appointment is pending formal approval from the state board, which is expected soon.

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History
12:05 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

The Michigan Meridian mapped the Mitten 200 years ago

The Michigan Meridian, which marks the state's original north-south survey line, was drawn in 1815. It's the baseline from which many political subdivisions in the state were drawn. In Meridian Township, named for the Michigan Meridian, a 14-foot metal sculpture called 'Meridius Prime' commemorates this bit of geographic history.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For many of us in the Lansing area, U-S Highway 127 is our gateway “Up North” to the more idyllic Michigan to which we all dream of escaping. But decades before the highway was built, surveyors drew an imaginary north-south line that would become the basis of countless maps of the state. It’s called the Michigan Meridian, and 2015 marks its 200th anniversary. The Michigan Meridian runs right through Meridian Township.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Lansing PAC teaches winning campaign strategies

Credit wzzm13.com

There’s been a lot of attention this year on the road funding proposal that will go before Michigan voters in a special election on May 5, but later this year, many political jurisdictions including the city of Lansing will hold primary elections in August and a general election in November. The Lansing Regional Chamber Political Action Committee is teaching techniques for candidates preparing to campaign. It’s a non-partisan group that endorses candidates with a pro-business, pro-economic development platform.

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Community
12:08 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Afghan who served alongside Mid-Michigan soldier builds new life in America

'Z' became an interpreter for the U.S. Army at age 16 in his native Afghanistan. He came to the U.S. through a special immigrant visa. He's working to achieve American citizenship.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Last Friday, we brought you the story of William Milzarski, a retired Army officer who was awarded the Purple Heart. He was wounded in 2011 while serving as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. While he was there, Milzarski befriended two Afghan men who worked alongside him as interpreters. Milzarski is now helping those men become American citizens.

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Health
12:00 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

MSU chemist patents potential Alzheimer’s treatment

Dr. Muraleedharan Nair is a natural products chemist at MSU. He's working with a botanical compound called withanamides, which are showing promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.
Credit Courtesy - MSU Department of Horticulture

The first documented case of Alzheimer’s disease was recorded in 1906. Since then, scientists have struggled to understand the cause of this neurological disorder that robs the mind of normal behavior. A Michigan State University chemist believes a natural compound from a well-known medicinal plant may one day be used to treat Alzheimer’s. He’s patented that compound in the hopes of starting human clinical trials.

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History
11:52 am
Fri March 20, 2015

NUWARINE exhibit celebrates women in uniform

The name NUWARINE represents the military branches in which women have served: NU (U.S. Army Nurses); WAR (WAVES, WACs and SPARs); and INE (Marines).
Credit Courtesy - Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame

In tandem with Women’s History Month, a new exhibit in Lansing celebrates a unique group of military veterans. Founded in 1947, Post 535 in Lansing is the last all-female American Legion post in the state of Michigan. It was founded by female World War Two veterans, but it also includes women who’ve served in more recent conflicts.

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Environment
11:21 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Trade group, environmentalist weigh in on Snyder energy plan

Credit Flickr - Dr. Farnsworth

Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder announced the creation of a new state entity: the Michigan Agency for Energy. The action comes less than a week after the governor called on the state to increase its reliance on  clean energy. Snyder has set a goal for the state to draw up to 40-percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. He also wants to see the state become more energy efficient and reduce waste.

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Community
1:16 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Mid-Michigan Purple Heart recipient opens his heart to Afghan comrades

Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

    The Purple Heart is the oldest military award the United States of America gives to its service members.  It’s sometimes called “the medal nobody wants,” because it’s given to those killed or wounded in combat.  Now, a mid-Michigan man has joined those ranks.  First Lieutenant William Milzarski is  retired from the U-S Army.  He first enlisted back on August 1, 1990 -- the day before Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  He spent just a few years in as a heavy construction operator.  He was injured, got out and eventually went to Cooley Law School.

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Business
11:08 am
Wed March 11, 2015

At MSU, former Missouri Lt. Governor rallies small farmers to fight Big Ag

Joe Maxwell
Credit http://www.humanesociety.org/

Michigan State University has always been known for its strong Agriculture and Natural Resources programs. The university is in the midst of its 100th annual ANR Week, which showcases the sciences of farming and environmental stewardship. One recent conference highlighted farm sustainability into the 21st century.

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Community
11:37 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Michigan’s ALPACTs work behind the scenes to prevent Ferguson-style conflict

Last week, two key events in the arena of civil rights took place within days of each other, though one received much more attention than the other. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a stinging report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Three days before, a presidential task force submitted a report offering recommendations for building trust between communities and the police. Here in Michigan, a sustained effort to create that sense of trust has been quietly underway for years.

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Economy
12:21 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

MI utilities prepare for expected energy shortage

Credit WKAR File Photo

Later this month, Governor Rick Snyder is expected to deliver a special message outlining Michigan’s energy production goals. The Michigan Public Service Commission says the state will experience an energy shortfall as soon as next year, largely due to the planned retirement of nine coal-fired power plants in Michigan in the coming years.

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Health
12:03 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

New Lansing program seeks greener, healthier homes

Hector Moreno (center) instructs Lansing-area assessors on the types of environmental and health hazards they may encounter in their work in the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Moreno is an environmental assessor with the national GHHI office in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Anyone who’s ever bought or lived in an older home knows there is always something to fix. In an ideal situation, it’s a patch here, some paint there, but older homes are sometimes plagued with environmental problems that can threaten the health of their occupants. These issues run the gamut from lead paint chips to mold to leaky stoves and furnaces. A new program in Lansing is now training assessors to not only document those defects, but to help improve residents’ health.

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Economy
12:45 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers keep commerce flowing

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Neah Bay (WTGB-105) at port in Algonac, Michigan. The boat was built in 1979. It's one of several icebreakers that operate each winter on the Great Lakes.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Winter is still holding a firm grasp on Michigan and much of the country. In a state surrounded by fresh water, it’s imperative that the Great Lakes and the rivers which feed them are kept open for commerce. That’s the job of the United States Coast Guard, which operates several icebreaking ships on the lakes.

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Science & Technology
12:56 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

In wake of FCC ruling, MSU researchers launch net neutrality study

MSU Professors Steve Wildman (center) and Johannes Bauer (right) with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission enacted historic new rules governing broadband technology. The FCC moved to reclassify internet service providers under Title Two of the Telecommunications Act, an 80-year-old law originally written to regulate telephone companies. Democrats hailed the decision as a victory for open access to the Internet, and a means to prevent so-called “fast lanes” for those who could afford to pay for quicker service. Some Republicans criticized the move as increased government control over the Internet.

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Business
12:35 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

MI farmers speak out on road funding, ethanol, water use

Credit Wikimedia commons

It’s still too cold for spring planting, but the legislative issues Michigan farmers care most about are heating up again. Yesterday, dozens of crop producers from across the state met in Lansing for the annual Lansing Legislative Seminar, sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Farmers met in conference sessions to talk about a number of current issues, and many had a chance to speak one on one with their local lawmakers.

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Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Local fashionistas land on Lansing's "Runway"

"The Runway" opened in October in the former J.W. Knapp's department store in downtown Lansing. It's the city's only fashion industry incubator.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Michigan State University students Katie Raynard and Anami Chan will receive an award honoring their work to demonstrate diversity through artistic expression.  The two MSU seniors are studying apparel and textile design. 

Raynard is an associate designer at The Runway, the new fashion industry incubator in downtown Lansing that’s only been up and running for about four months now. 

Current State’s Kevin Lavery recently toured the building, which is in a historic venue.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:37 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

"Station Eleven" named 2015 Great Michigan Read

Emily St. John-Mandel's "Station Eleven" has been named a 2015 Great Michigan Read novel.
Credit Courtesy www.emilymandel.com

The Michigan Humanities Council recently announced its Great Michigan Read title for 2015 and 2016. It’s “Station Eleven”, a novel about a post-apocalyptic world set largely in Michigan.

In January, Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with author Emily St. John Mandel about her book, which was a 2014 National Book Award finalist.  It's now the newest Great Michigan Read title.

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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

MSU assistant dean to join Lansing City Council

MSU Assistant Dean Vincent Delgado is joining the Lansing City Council.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The Lansing City Council will officially be back at full strength tonight, when it swears in its newest member.  Vincent Delgado was appointed to the council Thursday night in a 6 to 1 vote.  He’ll finish the current term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who stepped down after becoming the new Ingham County Register of Deeds.

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