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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

WKAR File Photo / WKAR-MSU

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.

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. 

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Economic gardening -- helping local entrepreneurs grow their own jobs rather than recruiting new workers from outside -- is building strong roots in Michigan. KI Technology Group recently took part in Michigan's economic gardening pilot program.

WKAR File Photo

Sparrow Health System in Lansing is joining forces with one of the nation’s most renowned names in health care. 

Sparrow Health System is the first in Michigan to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network.  The alliance will give Sparrow caregivers and patients direct access to Mayo’s research and expertise.  Sparrow joins four other U.S. health providers in the Mayo network. 

Sparrow CEO Dennis Swan says his organization and the Mayo Clinic share core values.

flickr Creative Commons / Incursion Voyages

About 65 Michigan business and civic leaders are traveling to Turkey this weekend to sign a historic partnership.  Members of the East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, or LEAP, will meet with automotive parts makers and exporters in Istanbul.  There, they’ll sign two “memorandums of understanding” that will facilitate trade alliances between Michigan and Turkey. 

Ray DeWinkle is leading the Lansing area team.  He’s the senior vice-president of global business development for LEAP. 

De Winkle told WKAR’s Kevin Lavery the trip stems from a prior meeting with the head of a leading auto parts association in Turkey.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Earlier this year, Michigan State University created the MSU Innovation Center.  The university has long paired inventors with private sector businesses whom it licenses to turn their ideas into products.  Now, the new center will help create new start-up companies around MSU inventions. 

Al Seib

A number of professional sports in America trace their roots to the school playground.  Basketball, baseball, football and even hockey.  But can you make a career out of skipping rope?  As it turns out...yes.

Adrienn Banhegyi began her jump rope career growing up in Hungary.  She won three world titles before auditioning for the acclaimed touring company, “Cirque du Soleil.”  She’ll perform with the company next week in East Lansing, when Cirque du Soleil presents its show “Quidam."

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery asked Banhegyi to explain the show’s storyline.


Nafalie Kolb / Michigan State University

Milennials. Digital natives. Generation Z.  Many terms describe the young adults who’ve grown up with technology.  They carry pocket devices that contain more computational power than was used to put a man on the moon.  From kindergarten through college, educators are re-tooling their classes to prepare students for a quickly evolving media world.

Michigan State University is no exception.  All semester, five student teams have been competing to design a multimedia campaign that explains the university’s new communications strategy, the “Media Sandbox.”  On Saturday,  one of those teams will be announced the winner.

WKAR File Photo

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.