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.

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Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow will introduce legislation she says will lure U.S. companies who’ve moved their operations overseas back home.

Stabenow visited Lansing Community College’s west campus to announce the “Bring Jobs Home Act.”  The measure would end tax loopholes that encourage companies to leave the country, and offer a tax credit to cover 20 percent of their cost to resume operations in the U.S.  Stabenow says the tax code needs to be modified to keep workers from paying for their own companies’ move.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Last week, Mayor Virg Bernero announced that a series of small wind turbines would be installed on the roofs of City Hall and the Lansing Center in June.  Generating electrical power from wind energy is part of Michigan’s overall renewable energy strategy.  But there’s some debate as to whether the urban core is the best laboratory in which to try it out.  

Courtesy of Michigan State University

Michigan State University often boasts of its status as America’s “pioneer land grant university.”  In 1855, MSU was chartered under state law as an agricultural college.  The deal included 14,000 acres of state owned land.  Seven years later, the Morrill Act granted federally-owned land to the states to build new universities. 

The act marked a major shift in American education.  Up till then, colleges mainly emphasized the liberal arts.  Land grant universities still taught the classics, but also included agriculture, science and engineering. 

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Members of a controversial Kansas church returned to mid-Michigan Monday to picket students at Lansing Eastern High School and Michigan State University. 

Cash
WKAR File Photo

Michigan may be officially out of the Great Recession, but its aftermath continues to affect millions of people here and across the country.  Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago kicks off its 10th annual “Money Smart Week” in mid-Michigan.  It’s a public education program offering nearly two dozen financial literacy classes in the city of Lansing. 

Many Americans struggle with credit problems.  Using it wisely and repairing it when it gets damaged is just one focus of the week’s activities.

Simon Power Plant photo
WKAR File Photo

Michigan State University is explaining its new energy transition plan to a potentially global audience. 

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

An Ingham County judge has issued a delayed sentence against a Lansing teen convicted of a 2010 murder.

Courtesy Michigan State University

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees faces a pivotal decision today.  The board will decide whether to approve a strategic clean energy plan that would eventually transition the campus to 100 percent renewable energy.  The plan calls for MSU to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewables in just three years. 

The plan has been staunchly opposed by student environmental groups at MSU, who claim it’s not strong enough to effect any real change.  They’re also critical of the fact that the vision does not include scrapping the university’s coal-fired power plant.

Sparrow Health System and Michigan State University are planning to consolidate most of their pediatric outpatient services in a single location. 

Our report this week looks at safety in the workplace.  In 2011, the state of Michigan created the Workplace Safety Advisory Rules Committee.  For months, its members combed through volumes of health and safety rules applying to a wide range of industries.  The committee recommended eliminating hundreds of regulations it deemed obsolete or burdensome.  State lawmakers are now considering that report.  In the meantime, some labor groups say the recommendations go too far.

The streets of East Lansing near Michigan State University became a military command post Thursday morning.  Soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard rolled into town a couple of blocks from Grand River Avenue to test their response to a simulated environmental hazard.  The exercise was part of the Guard’s required training, and evaluators were on hand to judge how well they handled a potentially life-threatening situation. 

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery spent some time with the troops.

The Michigan Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a case that questions the constitutionality of a Michigan State University ordinance. 

Rainbow Flag
File Photo / WKAR

More than 65 elected officials from all over Michigan are supporting proposed state legislation to give gay and transgendered stronger legal protections. 

A prominent Lansing clergyman is calling on an Ingham County judge to be lenient in his sentencing of a juvenile convicted of murder.  The pastor and the teen’s mother say Charles T. Lewis, Jr. should not receive life without parole. 

The state of Michigan has signed an agreement with four other states and the federal government to share the work of reviewing proposed offshore wind energy projects. 

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