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

city skyline at sunset
Courtesy / flickr/Steve Marr

America has had a long history of turbulent race relations.  It took nearly a century of struggle after the Civil War to tear down the Jim Crow laws that isolated blacks from whites.  While institutional racism had been embedded into the law in the segregated South, racial disparities took on more subtle forms in the North.  So-called “sundown towns” existed from coast to coast -- including in Michigan.

 


map of Michigan
Courtesy / U.S. Dept. of Interior

In 2021, Michigan will re-draw its congressional and state legislative boundaries.  The law says each of these geographic tracts of land must contain as equal a number of people as possible.  This mandate creates a jigsaw puzzle of irregular shapes across the political map.

For decades, political parties have “gerrymandered” these borders to their own advantage.  Technically, it’s illegal for a single party to group its voting base in a specific area, but the practice can be hard to prove.   Now, grassroots support is building to place redistricting back in the hands of the people.

 


woman near dental equipment
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

A new service is starting Tuesday to help the homeless in mid-Michigan.  The Volunteers of America is opening a dental clinic at its downtown Lansing shelter.


man trims tree near power line
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

If you live in East Lansing, you may have been hearing a lot of chainsaws lately.  The city is in the midst of a five-year tree trimming project.  The Lansing Board of Water and Light is clearing branches away from power lines in hopes of avoiding the massive electric outages the region is prone to in icy and windy conditions.


two women near computer screen
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

According to the Michigan State Police, there were 516 individual acts of violent crime in Ingham County in 2015.  That’s the most recent year for which there’s available data.  A dozen of those incidents were homicides.

Lou Anna Simon
Courtesy / Michigan State University

Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon will deliver her annual State of the University address later today at the Wharton Center.


dam on Grand River
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Michigan is all about water.  Aside from touching four of the five Great Lakes, our state has some 300 rivers.  A handful of them help generate power through 13 hydroelectric plants.

A Michigan State University team is using a $2.6 million federal grant to study more environmentally efficient ways to produce hydropower.  They believe their work overseas could provide lessons for improving American waterways. 

 


Tim Skubick at anchor desk
WKAR File Photo

It was February 4, 1972. Don McLean’s “American Pie” was the number one single in America. Almost no one had ever heard the word “Watergate.” And Tim Skubick took the anchor desk as the host of “Off The Record” on WKAR-TV.

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery sat down with Tim Skubick to find out what’s kept his ear to the Capitol dome for more than four decades.

WKAR File Photo

UPDATE 2 p.m (From the Grand Ledge Police Department):

At 12:15 pm today, Officers of the Grand Ledge Police Department and Eaton County Deputies responded to a call of a possible man with a gun in the area of the Grand ledge High School.  Information had been conveyed to the High School that subjects in the area of the High School had been overheard talking about having a gun.  In response, the High School, Neff Kindergarten School and Beagle Elementary schools were locked down.

Witnesses were able to provide the identities of the persons involved and those subjects were contacted.  It was determined that there was no firearm involved and no threat to the public.  Students in all three schools were released to normal classroom activity at 1:00p.

downtown buildings
WKAR File Photo

The city of Lansing is home to nearly 800 settled refugees from some 30 countries. An effort to declare the city a sanctuary appears to be gathering strength.


voting precinct sign
WKAR File Photo

A leading mid-Michigan public policy analysis firm says it’s found no evidence of voter fraud in Michigan during the November presidential election.

The independent review found voting patterns in 2016 stayed consistent with those of 2012.  The Anderson Economic Group searched for evidence of systematic tampering, including allegations of Russian hacking and voting by ineligible residents. 

vaccination syringe
Andres Rueda / flickr/Creative Commons

In the days leading up to his inauguration, Donald Trump asked activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to lead a federal commission on vaccine safety.  Kennedy is an outspoken critic of vaccines. 

 

We wanted to know what it takes to actually manufacture and test a vaccine.  Any vaccine. 

 

woman in MSU student lounge
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Many Michigan State University students are trying to come to grips with President Trump’s executive order banning certain immigrants from entering the U.S.

 

The order affects people arriving from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. 

 

 

Ghazal Mehrani, a Lansing attorney of Iranian decent is helping area students to try and navigate their way through the ban. 

 

MSU student Faezah declined to give her full name.  She's Iranian.  She says the ban has everyone in her community “feeling new aspects of pain.”

 


three astronauts at NASA
Courtesy / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Fifty years ago today, the U.S. space program suffered a terrible loss.  Three astronauts -- Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee -- died in a fire during a training mission inside the Apollo 1 capsule.

Roger Chaffee grew up in Grand Rapids.


man standing near vegetables
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

We may be going through a mild patch now, but Michigan winters can be pretty fierce.  Sometimes it’s a little challenging picking up your favorite locally grown food.

But our ag industry doesn’t just stop cold when the snow flies.  Winter farmers’ markets are on the rise.

 


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