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

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.   

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.

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. 

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.

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.


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. 

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.