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.

Pages

Politics & Government
1:23 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

GOP candidates for 69th share economic priorities

Frank Lambert (left) and George Nastas III (right) are competing in the republican primary to represent Michigan's 69th district.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Michigan’s 69th House district covers parts of the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, as well as Meridian and Williamston Townships. It’s one of the state’s most culturally diverse political districts and historically, the 69th has leaned Democratic.

Read more
Politics & Government
12:35 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Eighth District Dems decry lack of public forums

Four Democrats are campaigning together as each seeks their party's nomination for Michigan's 8th congressional district. The incumbent, Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) is leaving Congress at the end of his term. The Michigan primary election will be held August 5. From left: Eric Schertzing, Ken Darga, Jeff Hank and Susan Grettenberger.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s not uncommon in small political races for several candidates to run together as a slate to fill a number of vacancies. For example, candidates for the local school board sometimes appear together as a unit, in hopes voters will sweep them all into office.

Read more
Politics & Government
12:33 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Mediator: Lansing church dispute at an impasse

Bishop Maxwell says the dispute is not a theological one, but rather an administrative disagreement.
Credit Nicole Strobel

The sign on the vacant church building on Pleasant Grove in south Lansing says “Friendship Baptist,” but in recent months relations between two groups within the congregation have been anything but friendly.

Read more
Environment
1:33 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Lengthy clean up of former GM sites could start next year

Lansing Township Planning and Development Director Steven Hayward stands at the site of the former General Motors metal forge along West Saginaw. GM used the solvent 1,4 dioxane in its manufacturing process before the plant was shut down a decade ago. The contamination will be cleaned up by RACER Trust, the company charged with managing some 90 former General Motors properties across the country.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

This week, Lansing area residents had an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at the large vacant tracts of land along West Saginaw where General Motors factory buildings once stood. The three sites were torn down in 2005 and in the last 18 months, officials have found chemical contamination on the grounds including 1,4 Dioxane.  

Read more
Business
1:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Bigger fireworks, bigger safety concerns

American Eagle Super Store is one of the Midwest's largest fireworks retailers.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We’re celebrating Independence Day as a nation tomorrow, and that means fireworks. Michigan relaxed its fireworks sales law in 2012, so there are now more roadside stands and large retailers hawking their wares.

Read more
History
12:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Civil Rights Act at 50: Michigan was a pioneer

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law 50 years ago today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the ceremony.
Credit Flickr - U.S. Embassy New Delhi

On Friday, our nation celebrates its 238th birthday. But today, America is also observing the passage of one of the most significant laws ever crafted in its history.  On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law that forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was born in an era of violence and intolerance in America.

Read more
Environment
11:50 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Environmentalist responds to criminal probe of Lansing oil spill

Powers says that the oil spills have most likely been caused by one entity.
Credit Flickr - Jay-P

Last Thursday, an oil spill was discovered in the Grand River near Old Town in Lansing. As crews continue to clean it up, city officials are planning their next moves. Yesterday, Lansing mayor Virg Bernero held a news conference to give an update on the spill.

Read more
Health
2:27 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Awareness, prevention highlight National HIV Testing Day

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human H9 T cell, colorized in blue, turqoise, and yellow.
Credit Flickr- NIAID

Today is National HIV Testing Day. Across Michigan this weekend there will be events and opportunities for free HIV tests, including Ingham County, which has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the state.

Read more
History
2:25 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

A century ago, two bullets sparked the 'Great War'

The arrest of Gavrilo Princip, who murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
Credit Flickr- Ruslan

It’s been a full century since the event that triggered what the world once believed to be “the war to end all wars.” 

Read more
Economy
1:34 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

MSU economist maps U.S. cocaine trafficking

MSU professor Dr. Siddharth Chandra has devised a map that tracks cocaine trafficking across U.S. cities. Red circles indicate cities where cocaine is least expensive. These are often hub cities from which cocaine is distributed. Blue circles show destination cities where cocaine is most expensive.
Credit Siddharth Chandra

Last month, a federal judge sentenced a 90 year old Indiana man to three years in prison for his role in transporting more than 1,200 kilograms of cocaine into Michigan. The man’s age spurred new attention to an old problem.  Illegal drug trafficking is an ongoing epidemic across the United States. Now, a Michigan State University professor has created a new way to track the flow of cocaine into the country.

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:53 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Symposium highlights Michigan's role in modern architecture

The Michigan State Medical Society building in East Lansing is a leading local example of modern architecture.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
2:43 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Community rallies to rebuild EL park

Volunteers work on the new playground equipment at Patriarche Park.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

A popular East Lansing park is in the midst of a major transformation. All week, dozens of volunteers have been hammering, lifting and drilling sections of what will soon be a new playground at Patriarche Park. They’re expecting to wrap up work today, and Current State’s Kevin Lavery has been following their progress. 

Read more
Environment
2:36 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Michigan may authorize new uses for toxic coal ash

Coal ash is the byproduct generated by coal-fired electric power plants. It's commonly mixed with concrete as a road construction filler, and it's also sometimes spread on farm fields. Some studied have linked coal ash exposure to lung cancer.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / CheshireCat@TO

One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:10 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Michigan roads: Is the solution in the asphalt?

Consultant Rahn Bentley explains how asphalt cement is blended with crushed rocks and other aggregates to form road pavement. Lansing Asphalt in Delta Township heats the mix to more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce up to 400 tons of asphalt each hour.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The $1-billion road funding package that Michigan lawmakers have been struggling to pass in the final days of the session failed to achieve consensus last night. As of this morning, the Michigan Senate will have just a few hours to try to cobble together  a plan to raise the revenue to fix the state’s roads.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
12:16 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Despite intense winter, Michigan tourism warming up

Michigan summer tourism remains unaffected by cold waters.
Credit Flickr - Kristy

Michigan had one of the most brutal winters it has ever seen, and unfortunately its impacts are still lingering.  As people begin to plan their summer travels, there may be some residual effects from this winter.

Read more
History
12:01 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Michigan Remembers D-Day: Today's Generation Honors the Greatest Generation

The B-17 bomber "Yankee Lady" is housed at what remains of the Willow Run bomber plant near Ypsilanti. The Yankee Air Museum is planning to move into the space once it's refurbished.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

On June 6, 1944, more than 160, 000 Allied forces traversed the English Channel to land on the beaches of Normandy in France.  Operation Overlord, commonly known as "D-Day," was the largest seaborne invasion in history.  The offensive marked the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe.

WKAR is proud to honor the sacrifice of all veterans, living and dead, who gave of themselves to restore freedom and hope to a war-torn world.

Read more
Health
1:08 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Teaching first aid for mental health

Credit http://www.ceicmh.org/

For decades, organizations like the American Red Cross and local fire departments have offered courses in basic first aid. Many Americans who are not in the medical field have a working knowledge of how to perform CPR. But few people are trained to give mental health first aid. That’s the aim of an ongoing training series being held this summer in Lansing.

Read more
History
2:31 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Exhibit celebrates 125 years of local innovation

The 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout being transported in Lansing this past week.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

If you’ve found yourself passing through Lansing City Hall these past couple of days, you may have noticed a treasured piece of the city’s past. In the lobby now sits a 1901 Curved Dash Olds Runabout. It will be on display there through October as part of a new exhibit entitled “Made in Lansing.”

Read more
Business
12:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Volunteers enlisted to protect state from cybercrime

Lohrmann says that the need for an emergency response team was at the center of the Corps' creation.
Credit Flickr - marsmet tallahassee

Anyone who ever uses a computer gets hit now and then with e-mail spam or the occasional computer virus. Many are just minor hassles that try to derail our plans, but some do cause significant damage. Now imagine how often large companies and government agencies get hacked by those seeking to inflict harm. To address this, the state of Michigan is creating an all volunteer defense team, the Cyber Civilian Corps.

Read more
Health
1:26 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Michigan providers address costly hospital readmissions

Moving from an authoritarian to a collaborative model of healthcare is one of the many issues being discussed at the 2014 Care Transitions Statewide Summit.
Credit Flickr - Pyros Papaspyropoulos

Nationwide, a significant number of people who leave the hospital return within days or weeks for another stay. The reasons for this are varied. A conference taking place Wednesday at Michigan State University seeks to address how to implement better transitions between health care settings

Read more
Politics & Government
1:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Okemos fourth graders lobby for state amphibian

Northern Spring Peeper
Credit paherps.com, Bob Hamilton

Some elementary students in Okemos are wrapping up their school year with a crash course in political lobbying.

Read more
Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Director previews 51st EL Art Festival

The 51st annual East Lansing Art Festival is Saturday and Sunday.
Credit http://elartfest.com/

The East Lansing Art Festival returns this weekend for its 51st run. The two-day event in the city’s downtown core features more than 180 artists and musicians. For many long-time attendees, the East Lansing Art Festival signals the unofficial start of summer.

Read more
Health
11:26 am
Wed May 14, 2014

MSU physician discusses risk of ibuprofen and related drugs

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used over the counter pain medications in the United States. Most consumers know it under such brands as Advil and Motrin. The labeling on these products purport to treat a variety of pains, from headaches to arthritis to the common cold. A growing body of research in the last few years suggests those labels should contain stronger warnings.

Read more
Health
11:13 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Michigan researchers pick up pieces of children study

Dr. Paneth says infant mortality has declined, but not because we know more about its causes; we've gotten better at treatment.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, Michigan State University embarked on a national project to study the impact of the environment on the health of children from birth to age 21. The National Children’s Study was designed to be the largest such research of its kind. MSU was part of a statewide team which interviewed more than 100 pregnant women in Wayne County. They were in search of data that might determine their children’s long term health outcomes.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

CRT Report: BWL culture, recordkeeping, technology must change

Lansing mayor Virg Benero (left) received the Community Review Team report on the December ice storm outage yesterday from Chairman General Michael McDaniel.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

It’s become clearer how Lansing’s publicly-owned utility, the Board of Water and Light, failed its customers following last December’s ice storm. A detailed review by an investigative panel explores the utility’s actions before, during and after the storm that knocked out power to some 35,000 customers.

Read more
Health
11:25 am
Mon May 5, 2014

MSU pushes potential Parkinson's drug to clinical trial

MSU physicist Lisa Lapidus (right) and graduate student Srabasti Acharya are part of a team researching the effects of laser radiation on a specific protein molecule. The molecule CLR-01 shows promise as a viable drug in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and ALS.
Credit Courtesy - Michigan State University

Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s cost the U-S billions of dollars each year. Last year, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that in 2010, the cost of treating Alzheimer’s alone neared $215-billion.

Read more
Arts & Culture
4:07 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Art fair gives voice to older foster children looking for homes

Michigan has just over 13,000 children in its foster care system.  Most are living in  licensed homes, but many live with relatives who are either licensed or unlicensed to provide care.  Still others are in child caring institutions.

May is National Foster Care Month and as part of that observance, one mid-Michigan agency is sponsoring an exhibition of artwork made by foster care children in search of adoption.

Read more
Business
2:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Fading down the back stretch: Michigan horse racing industry struggles to keep up

Mike Stommen of Hazel Park Raceway says you can come to the racetrack and study horses' past performances and 'make your own luck.'
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Horse racing fans around the country are gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday. The storied run that kicks off the quest for the Triple Crown will bring thousands of people to Michigan’s three horse tracks. Many will place their bets as they watch the Derby via simulcast. They’ll also come to cheer on local horses and riders who come to the tracks to test their mettle.

Read more
Science and Technology
2:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Ann Arbor emerging as global leader in connected vehicle technology

Connected cars can talk wirelessly with each other and with other parts of the traffic system to adjust to road conditions and avoid accidents.
Credit Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

Read more
Education
2:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Teaching international students offers lesson for professors

Professors often must find creative ways to engage international students in the classroom.
Credit Flickr - Todd Fong


It is no secret that Michigan State University has a growing body of international students. There are about 4,300 Chinese students alone enrolled at MSU.  It is a trend that is prompting faculty and staff to re-evaluate how they respond to the challenges of educating this growing segment.  

Read more

Pages