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

NewsRoom
4:27 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Environmentalists Demand Action on MSU Coal Ash

Nick Clark with Clean Energy Now is among those calling on Michigan State University to properly dispose of tons of residual coal ash produced by the campus power plant, seen in the distance.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Environmental advocates are calling on Michigan State University to properly dispose of large deposits of coal ash buried for years beneath the campus.

The group Clean Energy Now says tons of residual toxic ash produced by MSU’s coal-fired power plant were found during a 2007 excavation.  Some ash was sent to a landfill, but the group asserts more than 90,000 cubic yards of ash were improperly relocated on university property. 

Clean Energy Now’s Nick Clark says buried coal ash poses an immediate public health hazard.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
2:46 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Current State #15 | February 1, 2013

Today on Current State, a discussion about no-fault auto insurance reform, the historic Hill Auditorium at U-M turns 100, a play about Lansing's Urbandale neighborhood and a chat with concert pianist Paul Barnes.

Governor Rick Snyder and other Republicans are calling for reforms to the state's landmark auto no fault insurance law.  They claim the law, which provides for unlimited lifetime medical benefits, often from brain and spinal cord injuries, has led to excessive rates for Michigan drivers.

Read more
NewsRoom
11:48 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bernero Says Lansing is “Powered Up” For Future

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero speaks at the site of the former Grand Trunk Western railroad depot in the city's REO Town neighborhood. The 1902 structure is undergoing a major renovation.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

On Monday, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero portrayed, in his words, a city “powered up” for the year ahead.  For his annual State of the City address, Bernero chose a refurbished railroad depot in the shadow of the city’s rising co-generation power plant which will come online this summer. 

But while Bernero acknowledged Lansing’s financial challenges, he steered clear of details.

Read more
NewsRoom
4:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bernero Says Lansing is Strong but Promises More Cuts

Credit WKAR File Photo

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will deliver his eighth State of the City address Monday night.

Bernero will speak at the historic Grand Trunk Western Railroad train depot, a century-old landmark that’s undergoing a major refurbishment by the Lansing Board of Water and Light.  The mayor will tout the progress of the co-generation power plant that’s rising to life nearby in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood, as well as other successes.  

While Bernero says the city’s outlook is good, he faces a $9 million budget deficit that he says he’s confident he can rein in.

Read more
NewsRoom
8:45 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

LISTEN: State of the State Address 2013

Credit Courtesy State of Michigan

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his third State of the State address before state lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday evening.

Read more
NewsRoom
3:42 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Lansing Adds Its Voice to Immigration Reform Debate

Immigrant rights advocates in mid-Michigan are adding their voice to a national campaign calling for renewed efforts to create a path to citizenship.
Credit flickr/pamhule

Immigrant families in mid-Michigan are supporting a new national campaign pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.

The campaign includes a reform provision that would allow deported immigrants to be reunited with their families in the U.S.  Advocates say that’s a key part of creating a path to citizenship.  Maximo Anguiano with Action of Greater Lansing says it’s time to bring the undocumented into American society.

Read more
NewsRoom
3:18 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Mayors Put Feds Under the Gun for Weapons Reform

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth (left), Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero bow in prayer at the start of a press conference on ending gun violence. Walling and Bernero are part of the national campaign Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

A coalition of mayors, law enforcement officials and faith leaders is demanding Congress enact three specific gun control measures. 

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero and Flint mayor Dayne Walling are part of a national campaign to end gun violence.  They want Congress to require criminal background checks for all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines and a federal ban on gun trafficking.  Mayor Walling says Flint has seen the counter argument to the assertion that guns don’t kill.

Read more
NewsRoom
4:33 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Freshman Reps Take Oath of Office

Credit WKAR File Photo

Twenty-eight new state lawmakers have been sworn in as members of the Michigan House of Representatives.

Among the Lansing-area lawmakers of the 2013 freshman class are Democrats Tom Cochran, Andy Schor, Sam Singh and Teresa Abed.  Republican Tom Leonard represents part of Clinton and Gratiot counties. 

Cochran says he’s optimistic about the coming session.

Read more
NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Lahanas Reflects on 2012, Optimistic About Future Projects

Credit WKAR File Photo

2012 is coming to a close, and the city of East Lansing is ending the year on firm footing.  Standard and Poor’s – one of America’s top bond rating agencies – has rated the city’s general obligation bonds as AA+.  Fitch Investors Service is renewing its AAA rating on those bonds. 

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery sat down with East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas to talk about the city’s financial health and to look back on some highlights from 2012.  Lahanas says the city has worked hard to strengthen its fund balance.

Read more
NewsRoom
3:48 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Freshman Legislators Face Steep Learning Curve

Credit WKAR File Photo

For most of us, the 2012 election is fading into memory as thoughts of the holidays take over.  But for those preparing to take office, this week marks a milestone: roughly the midpoint between Election Day and Inauguration Day. 

If you’re one of the 28 new Michigan House members who’ll soon be making decisions on behalf of the roughly 2.5 million of us who live in your districts, you may want to listen to Gary Randall’s sage advice.

Read more
NewsRoom
3:00 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

City of Lansing Awards Arts Grants to Four Organizations

The Lansing Lions Club will build a
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The “Sense of Place” grants are meant to spur the visibility and aesthetic appeal of the Lansing area. 

The Lansing Art Gallery will receive just under $57,000 to commission up to 10 sculptures from local artists to be installed in Wentworth Park in downtown Lansing.

The Lansing Host Lions Club is working with the Potter Park Zoo to build a so-called “sensory garden” at the zoo that also includes sculptures. 

The Lansing Symphony Association will use its grant to produce a symphonic pops concert in 2013. 

Read more
NewsRoom
8:47 am
Mon December 3, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Teacher Development Critical to Solid Arts Education

Dance instructor Heather Vaughn-Southard (right) leads third-grade students through an exercise at Pleasant View Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in Lansing.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

On Tuesday, arts educators will come to Michigan State University for an annual breakfast meeting at the Wharton Center. 

Read more
NewsRoom
5:06 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Styrofoam Spaceship Splashes Down Without Video Victory

The balloon payload consisted of a Styrofoam bucket containing five digital HD cameras to record the journey.
Troy Hale

This week we brought you the story of Troy Hale, a filmmaker and media instructor at Michigan State University.  He built a homemade weather balloon, minus the weather equipment.  Hale worked with the National Weather Service in Pontiac to launch the balloon, which was equipped with digital cameras to record the journey.  The balloon didn’t go as high as planned, but it traveled farther. 

Unfortunately, Hale doesn’t have his sought-after video.  He told WKAR’s Kevin Lavery about what happened.

Read more
NewsRoom
6:33 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Bernero: Italian Green Manufacturer Coming to Lansing

Credit WKAR File Photo

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says he's finalizing a deal to bring some 80 green energy jobs to the city. 

Read more
NewsRoom
5:42 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

A Styrofoam Spaceship? MSU Filmmaker Launches a Childhood Dream

Troy Hale tests the parachute atop a parking ramp at Michigan State University
Jef Richards

As a young boy growing up in the Netherlands, Troy Hale once released a balloon with his name and address attached in hopes that someone, somewhere would find it.  No one ever did.  Now, decades later, he’s trying something like that again.

Hale is now a media specialist at Michigan State University.  On Thursday, he'll launch a homemade helium balloon outfitted with several digital cameras from a weather station in Pontiac.  He hopes to send it to 100,000 feet to document the experience of going into space.

Read more
NewsRoom
5:00 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

The Economy of Ethics: One Ad Man's Take on Truth

Wally Snyder is the executive director of the Institute for Advertising Ethics.
Credit Bill Richards / WKAR

The re-election of President Barack Obama on November 6 was the finale of the most expensive election in American history.  It also ended months of thousands of  political campaign ads aired across the country. 

Read more
NewsRoom
3:40 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

For Richer, For Poorer: Michigan Households Experience Growing Income Gap

Credit WKAR File Photo

There’s a steadily growing gap between the incomes of Michigan’s wealthiest and poorest families.  That’s the finding of a new report analyzing national income trends.

Read more
NewsRoom
4:19 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Michigan Coalition Urges Congress to Fix the Debt

Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

A grassroots coalition in Michigan is urging Congress to resolve the impending “fiscal cliff” before the end of the year. 

Read more
NewsRoom
4:16 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Immigrants Rally for Licenses, Freedom to Work and Study

Immigrants and advocates rally at the Michigan State Capitol Friday to protest Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's policy denying driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. President Obama's executive order allows immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 to apply for temporary work permits.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

A large crowd marched through the Capitol and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s offices today to protest the state’s policy of not issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. 

Read more
NewsRoom
12:02 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Big Night for Dems; Two Mid-Michigan GOP Congressmen Retain Seats

Credit flickr/League of Women Voters of California

Democrats won or retained many Mid-Michigan political offices Tuesday, with a few exceptions.  Here's a snapshot of some key races and issues.

Read more
NewsRoom
2:09 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Exit Polls Expected to Yield Few Surprises

Credit WKAR File Photo

Poll watchers in mid-Michigan say they expect today’s voter turnout to be about the same as the 2008 presidential election.  However, surge voters could play a large role in the outcome.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages