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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NewsRoom
8:03 am
Fri November 2, 2012

City, Tribe Complete Casino Land Sale

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (far left), Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Chairperson Aaron Payment and private investor Bob Liggett sign a land sale agreement that turns over city-owned property adjacent to the Lansing Center to the tribe.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The proposed casino project for downtown Lansing has taken a big step forward.  The city has signed a deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to sell a tract of land adjacent to the city’s downtown convention center.

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Election 2012
12:00 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Election 2012: 69th House Likely to Stay Blue

Two local public service veterans are competing to represent Michigan's 69th district in the state House.  Democrat Sam Singh is a former East Lansing councilman and mayor.  Republican Susan McGillicuddy is a former Meridian Township trustee who's served as the township's supervisor for the last 12 years.

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Election 2012
5:22 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Election 2012: Millage to Deter Health "Doughnut Hole"

Ingham County residents are being asked to approve a three-year millage that would continue to fund the county's health plan for the uninsured.
Credit WKAR File Photo

For the past 14 years, Ingham County has provided low-cost health care for qualifying residents.  The Ingham Health Plan gives some 12,000 people who don’t qualify for Medicaid and can’t afford their own insurance access to medicine and regular doctor visits every year. 

However, upcoming changes in federal health care policy mean the plan will need additional funding.  Ingham County is asking its residents to approve a three-year millage to keep the Ingham Health Plan in operation.

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NewsRoom
8:30 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Election 2012: Red Cedar's Future Prosperity Hinges on Public Vote

Credit WKAR File Photo

On Election Day, Lansing voters will decide on the sale of 48 acres of land at the site of the former Red Cedar Golf Course.  A yes vote would move the property a step closer to commercial and environmental redevelopment.  Supporters say the site at the nexus of two cities and a major university is a key gateway in the region that must be improved.

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NewsRoom
11:14 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

MSU Game Conference Focuses on "Meaningful Play"

"DNA Roulette," designed by MSU professor Carrie Heeter, helps players learn about the probabilities of genetics.
Courtesy Michigan State University/GEL

Game designers and researchers from around the world are meeting at Michigan State University this week to talk about the concept of “meaningful play.”  MSU  is recognized as a leader in computer game development.  So-called “serious games” help players build problem solving skills, spur civic engagement and maintain their health. It’s a niche market with the potential for broad commercialization.

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NewsRoom
11:20 am
Thu October 4, 2012

All Clear in Bath Twp. After School Bomb Scare

WKAR File Photo

Classes started two hours late Thursday in Bath Township near Lansing after district officials received a pair of bomb threats early this morning.

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NewsRoom
1:37 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

At the Wharton: Capitol Steps and the Politics of Parody

Courtesy The Capitol Steps

The 2012 election is just a month away, and the campaign rhetoric continues to fly.  All that talk is a rich source of material for the Capitol Steps, a group of political satirists who perform in vaudeville-style tours.  The group began in 1981, when a bunch of congressional staffers got together at a Washington D.C. Christmas party. 

The Capitol Steps will perform Thursday evening at the Wharton Center at Michigan State University.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon October 1, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Study Reveals Gaps in Art Education

flickr/pellaea

A recent study finds some 108,000 K-12 students in Michigan have no access to arts curriculum in their schools.  The state mandates at least one credit in the arts as a requirement to graduate.

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery looks at how those who advocate for the arts and those who regulate its instruction might fill the gap.

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NewsRoom
4:53 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Peter Yarrow Speaks on Folk and Friendliness

Peter Yarrow, Mary Travers and Paul Stookey formed Peter, Paul and Mary in 1961. Yarrow will perform Sunday night at The Ark in Ann Arbor.
brizzle born and bred/flickr

Mid-Michigan has a strong folk music tradition.  The annual Great Lakes Folk Festival held in East Lansing each August has attracted international attention, and you can hear folk music on 90.5 FM WKAR every Sunday night.

One of the genre's most famous performers will appear in Ann Arbor on Sunday.  Peter Yarrow formed the folk super group Peter, Paul and Mary with fellow singers Paul Stookey and Mary Travers in 1961.  Their music was part of the soundtrack of the civil rights era.

WKAR's Kevin Lavery asked Peter Yarrow about the current state of folk music.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon September 17, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Trade Mission to China is Michigan's Largest in Years

rich115/flickr

Business leaders from more than 20 Michigan companies are traveling to China this week on a trade mission.  The six-city tour is one of the largest overseas events Michigan economic development officials have ever sponsored.  It’s an opportunity to match Michigan farmers, automakers, engineers and manufacturers with potential customers in China.

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NewsRoom
4:41 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Broad Art Museum On Track for Nov. 9 Opening

WKAR File Photo

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is steadily taking shape.  Founding director Michael Rush says the site will be a launch point for emerging talent.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Grand Ledge H.S. Honors Fallen Heroes

Special education teacher Beth Boyd and football coach and social studies teacher Matt Bird co-coordinate the "Fallen Heroes" tribute at Grand Ledge High School.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

When the Grand Ledge Comets take the field against Lansing Sexton tonight, the players will be wearing special uniforms.  The team has been studying the lives of some 60 Michigan soldiers killed in combat.  Each member’s football jersey will bear a soldier’s name in tribute.  At the end of the game, those nameplates will be given to each of the veterans’ families.

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery sat down with Matt Bird, Grand Ledge High School head football coach, and special education teacher Beth Boyd.  Now in its third year, the school’s “Fallen Heroes” project began as a sort of civics lesson.  But Coach Bird says the event has grown to mean something greater, both for the students and the community.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu August 30, 2012

"Dragonheart" Hopes to Defend Title

Kevin Lavery WKAR

This Sunday, 13 teams will compete in the second annual Capitol City Dragon Boat Race at Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing.  That’s two more than last year, when the inaugural race was widely seen as a novelty.  Dragon boat racing started in China more than 2,000 years ago, and its popularity is growing around the world.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon August 27, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Artistry, Economy Connect on "The Ave"

"The Ave" is a series of videos and articles that tell the stories of local people working along Michigan Avenue in Lansing.
WKAR File Photo

Cities around the world are competing for new businesses and talented workers.  Lansing is no exception.  Cultural initiatives can and do play a role in economic development.  With that in mind, a new program strives to tell the stories of artists, musicians and business owners along Michigan Avenue.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue August 21, 2012

600 MSU Students "Take It To the Streets"

MSU junior Kristen Heitman (left) helps with a landscaping project at the Hildebrandt Housing complex in Lansing as part of MSU's Day of Service.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

About 600 Michigan State University students kicked off their semester Monday by giving back to their community.  MSU launched its inaugural Day of Service program, in which student volunteers spread out over the Lansing area to perform maintenance work, trash cleanup and other duties for needy residents and charitable groups. 

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NewsRoom
3:44 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Michigan House Welcomes Flint's Gold Medal Boxer

Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields receives a proclamation from the State of Michigan recognizing her achievement.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Members of the Michigan House of Representatives are welcoming home Flint native Claressa Shields, the first Olympic gold medalist in women’s boxing. 

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NewsRoom
4:41 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Dems Want Protections for Military Voters

WKAR File Photo

A former candidate for Michigan Secretary of State is calling on the Snyder administration to reform election laws to make it easier for military personnel overseas to cast their vote.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon August 13, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Window of Opportunity Opens for Undocumented Immigrants

pamhule/flickr

Immigration experts in Lansing are planning a major outreach project this week.  Starting Wednesday, thousands of undocumented immigrants in Michigan who arrived in the U.S. as children will be eligible to file for work permits. 

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Election 2012
12:54 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Election 2012: Mid-Michigan Roundup

Mid-Michigan voters approved several ballot items Tuesday and elected a local state representative to the bench.

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Election 2012
11:02 am
Tue August 7, 2012

2012 Primary Election Coverage

WKAR is watching the results of the Michigan primary election.  When the polls close tonight at 8 p.m., we’ll bring you all the results on the mid-Michigan political races and ballot questions that matter to you.  Check us out here at WKAR NewsRoom Election 2012 and follow or comment on twitter using #miprimary.  Then, listen to 90.5 FM WKAR Wednesday morning for a complete primary election rundown.

NewsRoom
1:26 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Stabenow, Vilsack Urge House Action on Farm Bill

WKAR File Photo

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-East Lansing)  and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are urging the GOP-led House to approve a new farm bill when it returns to work after Labor Day. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Lansing Diocese Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing was established by Pope Pius XI on May 22, 1937.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

About 207,000 Roman Catholics live in the 10 counties that make up the Diocese of Lansing.  It contains 84 parishes and 34 schools, and it provides charitable assistance to more than 125,000 people each year. 

Today, Bishop Earl Boyea will observe the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the diocese with a special Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in downtown Lansing. 

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery spoke with Bishop Boyea about the some of the difficulties the Catholic Church is facing in America today.  But first, he asked him what he felt was a significant achievement of the Lansing diocese.

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NewsRoom
3:36 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Feds Pledge Help for Post-Automotive Redevelopment

Twisted piles of debris now stand where General Motors once built cars along West Saginaw in Lansing. Local officials are working with the Obama Administration to revitalize this property and several others like it.
WKAR File Photo

Federal officials are watching mid-Michigan’s efforts to revitalize its former General Motors assembly sites.   The Obama Administration is poised to offer its help.

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Election 2012
12:00 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Election 2012: Ingham County Drain Commissioner Race Swirls in Troubled Waters

The drain commissioner oversees all storm drains and manages rainwater runoff in Ingham County. County Commissioner Mark Grebner is challenging incumbent Pat Lindemann in the Aug. 7 primary.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Michigan voters go to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes in the state primary election. In Ingham County, the most divisive contest is the race between Mark Grebner and Pat Lindemann for the office of Drain Commissioner.

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Election 2012
12:00 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Election 2012: Dems Fight for Hotly Contested 68th House Seat

WKAR File Photo

The 68th state House district covers a large swath of the city of Lansing, plus parts of Ingham County and Lansing Township.  The current officeholder,  Democrat Joan Bauer, will vacate the seat this year.  Seven Democrats are vying for the nomination to represent this very diverse district.

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NewsRoom
4:02 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

City, Tribe Extend Deadline to Complete Casino Land Transfer

An artist's rendering of the Kewadin Lansing casino. Planners are extending their self-imposed deadline for transferring land from the city of Lansing to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which will operate the casino.
Courtesy City of Lansing

The city of Lansing and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians are extending their self-imposed deadline for finalizing a land transfer in preparation for a new downtown casino. 

Project leaders had initially set an August 1 completion date to transfer ownership of the land adjacent to the Lansing Center from the city to the tribe.  Now, they’re pushing their deadline back 90 days to November 1.  Officials insist the Kewadin Lansing casino project is following what they call an “aggressive” timeline, but say they simply need more time to finalize some details. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

East Lansing Train Depot On Track For Upgrade

The East Lansing Amtrak station near the MSU campus has seen a 130 percent increase in ridership since 2001.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

The Amtrak train station just off the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing is getting a major renovation.  The Capital Area Transportation Authority has received a $6.3 million federal grant to rebuild the station and add a separate bus terminal.

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NewsRoom
6:15 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

East Lansing's Amtrak Station To Get an Upgrade

A federal grant will enable regional officials to renovate the 37-year-old Amtrak station in East Lansing.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Regional transportation planners will use a federal grant to rebuild and enhance the Amtrak train station in East Lansing. 

The $6.3 million grant will help the Capital Area Transportation Authority expand the Amtrak station near Michigan State University.  CATA will create a 200-acre multi-modal facility, with a separate bus terminal, upgraded waiting platform and accommodations for taxis and bicycles. 

U.S.  Department of Transportation general counsel Robert Rivkin says the project is part of a $12 billion federal program to improve intercity rail service.

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NewsRoom
6:10 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

MSU Conducts Full-Scale Emergency Exercise

Regional first responders conducted a simulation involving a campus shooting Wednesday at Michigan State University
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Training to respond to acts of violence is a basic function of emergency personnel across the country.  On Wednesday, dozens of first responders from the Lansing region gathered at Michigan State University to test their skills in a mass casualty drill. 

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery watched the drill unfold.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon July 16, 2012

reWorking Michigan: City Team Reviews "Red Cedar Renaissance" Proposals

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann is developing a strategy for a storm water treatment system at the site of the former Red Cedar golf course.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

In 2007, the city of Lansing closed the Red Cedar Golf Course near the Frandor shopping center for budgetary reasons.  Now, an economic development team is studying five proposals to revitalize a portion of the 61-acre tract.  Regardless of which plan is selected, the land will undergo a major engineering project to keep pollutants from storm water runoff from spilling into the Red Cedar River.   

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