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

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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Election 2012
5:19 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Trio Bids for GOP Nod in 69th House Race

Frank Lambert (left), Susan McGillicuddy and George Nastas III are competing in the Republican primary on Aug. 7 to represent Michigan's 69th House district. The district includes East Lansing, Meridian Township and part of Ingham County.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Three candidates are competing for the Republican nomination to represent Michigan’s 69th state House district.  Last night, the trio appeared on a local government access TV show to debate the issues.

The GOP candidates for the 69th House district are Frank Lambert, a General Motors employee and part-time paralegal, George Nastas the Third, a 35-year Meridian Township resident, and current township supervisor Susan McGillicuddy.  The district encompasses Meridian Township, East Lansing and much of Ingham County.

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Election 2012
8:55 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Singh, Schmidt Debate Issues Facing Michigan's 69th House District

Democrats Susan Schmidt and Sam Singh are vying for Michigan's 69th district House seat.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

The two Democrats vying for Michigan’s 69th House district seat met last night in Meridian Township for a televised debate.  

Former East Lansing Mayor Sam Singh and career educator Susan Schmidt are running in the Democratic primary on August 7 for the right to represent the 69th House district, which encompasses East Lansing, Meridian Township and much of Ingham County. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed July 4, 2012

New Law, Heat Wave Bring Ups and Downs for Fireworks Vendors

A new state law allows retailers to sell a more diverse array of fireworks in Michigan. But for some vendors, the recent heat wave is causing a drop in sales.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Happy Independence Day!  As we celebrate our 236th birthday as a nation, you might not see as many fireworks light up the sky this evening.  The long stretch of hot, dry weather we’re experiencing is forcing many local authorities to postpone their fireworks displays.  For fireworks retailers, the season has been a good news, bad news story.  Some vendors are seeing the weather bite into their revenues, but they’re also reveling in a new state law that allows them to sell more pyrotechnics than ever before.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Preparing Tomorrow's Primary Care Doctors

iPocrates / flickr

Last week’s historic Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act clears the way for some 32 million people to receive health insurance under Medicaid.  But many health experts fear there may not be enough doctors to serve everyone.  The nation is in the midst of a shortage of primary care physicians. 

In this week’s reWorking Michigan report, WKAR’s Kevin Lavery looks at how those who train tomorrow’s health care providers in mid-Michigan are getting ready for the influx of patients.

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NewsRoom
5:17 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Health Care Reform: Medicaid Won’t Cover Severely Impoverished

akay/flickr

Many people in mid-Michigan are praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.  But local health officials see a gap in the law that poses a particular challenge.

The cheering audience gathered at Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing typified the reaction of millions of Americas applauding the Supreme Court ruling. 

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NewsRoom
5:36 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ingham County 911Dispatch Center to Open Wednesday

Ingham 911 Dispatch Center Director Lance Langdon says his team will be ready for business when the new center opens Wednesday.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Ingham County’s new consolidated 911 dispatch center is set to open Wednesday.  Its start comes after a brief court-ordered delay at the request of the dispatchers.

Dispatchers had asked an Ingham County judge to block the county center’s opening because they felt their training had been inadequate.  The new center uses a telephone touch screen system that displays information about county emergency units and assets.  The dispatchers had been trained in Livingston County, and said that information did not give an accurate picture of their duties. 

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon June 25, 2012

reWorking Michigan: National Conference May Benefit Michigan Veterans

WKAR File Photo

At more than 700,000, Michigan has one of the nation’s largest military veteran populations.  That’s a number any state would be proud of.  But Michigan also has America’s highest rate of unemployed veterans.

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NewsRoom
2:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

USDA Undersecretary Praises Senate Farm Bill Passage

WKAR File Photo

U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager is praising the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion farm bill.  Tonsager was in mid-Michigan Friday to meet with farmers and homeowners. 

The farm bill that cleared the Senate Thursday cuts some $24 billion over the next decade.  It would end direct federal subsidies to farmers who’ve relied on those payments since the 1980’s.  Tonsager says farmers are doing well enough economically that there’s less need now for government assistance.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri June 22, 2012

MSU Summer Program Preps Tomorrow's Jazz Masters

Local middle and high school students are completing a week-long jazz camp at Michigan State University. They'll cap their studies Friday evening with a live performance at the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

This week, dozens of aspiring young musicians are wrapping up their time in the woodshed.  That’s how jazz artists describe the countless hours of practice to hone their skills and develop their craft.

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NewsRoom
2:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Davenport University To Create New Downtown Lansing Campus

This artist's rendering shows the planned site of Davenport University's new downtown Lansing campus. The university will renovate the 55,000 square foot Grand View Center building. Classes are slated to begin in the fall of 2013.
Courtesy Davenport University

Davenport University is announcing plans to create a new campus in downtown Lansing.  The private non-profit school will renovate a nine-story building on Grand Avenue.

Davenport University will remodel the 55,000 square foot Grand View Center building in Lansing to accommodate up to two thousand students.  The new space will house a number of medical and IT programs and will include hi-tech classrooms and labs. 

President Richard Pappas says the location is ideal for its plans to be part of a downtown educational corridor.

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NewsRoom
4:39 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

New Health Report Seeks to Identify Regional Priorities

A new report outlines causes for many health conditions among residents in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties.
WKAR File Photo

Mid-Michigan health officials say they’ve issued the most comprehensive study of its kind in this region.  The survey takes an extensive look at many social and environmental causes of health outcomes. 

The study tracks a number of physical health indicators, including obesity, smoking and stress.  The report also probes socioeconomic and environmental factors, and not surprisingly, it finds a direct correlation between poverty and poor health. 

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NewsRoom
12:20 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Lansing Activates Area Cooling Centers

WKAR File Photo

The heat index for Tuesday, June 19 is expected to reach at least 93 degrees.  Area emergency management officials have activated several cooling centers in the Lansing area.

NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Botanist and the Beast: Uprooting a Toxic Invader

The Giant Hogweed (heracleum mantegazzianum) is native to Central Asia but grows in many parts of the world. It's considered an invasive species in the U.S.
Sorbus sapiens Flickr

An Ovid resident has some giant guests in her yard who've worn out their welcome.

Giant hogweed is a towering plant that can grow as tall as 14 feet, with white flowers spreading up to two feet in diameter.  While it’s nice to look at, giant hogweed is a highly toxic plant that can cause severe burns and even blindness.

Botanist Peter Carrington is the man Michigan State University is sending to uproot this invasive species.  He’s the assistant curator of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden at MSU. 

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