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

man with rain gauge
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Winter is slowly coming to an end in Michigan.  But the arrival of spring means watching out for severe storms.  Last Tuesday, three confirmed tornado touchdowns were reported in southwest Michigan.

When the storms strike, the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids relies on a network of volunteer weather spotters to keep an eye on the sky. 

woman holding black curtain
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The Hall of Fame will host its next induction ceremony in a brand new location. In April, the organization will move out of the historic Cooley-Haze House in Lansing and into a space in the Meridian Mall in Okemos.

 


Dr. Mona Hannah-Attisha
Courtesy / Michigan State University

President Trump delivered his first address before Congress Tuesday.  He touched on themes ranging from immigration reform to counter terrorism to education.  One prominent guest in the audience came to hear Mr. Trump’s plans to resolve a crisis in Michigan that’s resounded around the world.

man speaking to reporters
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The state of Michigan has filed nearly two dozen new charges against Dr. Larry Nassar.  The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician is accused of sexually assaulting a number of young women who came to him as patients seeking medical treatment.  Nassar now stands accused of 25 counts of criminal sexual conduct.


crowd at high school
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

In the 2016 election, Michigan House Republicans edged out Democrats by just 3,000 votes.  Yet, the GOP won more than 57 percent of all state House seats.  Their victory was the result of creative map making.

 

State legislative districts are drawn by whichever political party is in power.  Both Democrats and Republicans tend to draw those boundaries to consolidate their voting base.  The practice is called “gerrymandering,” and opponents say it diminishes the voice of the people.


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.


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. 

Pages