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.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri May 18, 2012

"Cirque" Soloist Skips the Show

Adrienn Banhegyi (right) is a solo jump rope skipper in the upcoming Cirque du Soleil production, "Quidam." The show begins May 23 at the Breslin Student Events Center at Michigan State University.
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.

 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

"Media Sandbox" Blends Once Separate Skills

Meagan Choi helps present her team's "Media Sandbox" entry on April 21. Media Sandbox is a multi-disciplinary communications curriculum developed by the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
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.

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NewsRoom
3:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Stabenow Bill Entices Foreign-Based U.S. Companies to Return Home

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.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon April 30, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Lansing's Energy Future May Be Up In The Air

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (at podium) announces the city's involvement in a pilot program to place wind turbines atop City Hall and the Lansing Center. The unit shown at lower right is produced by Windstream Technologies of North Vernon, IN.
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.  

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Morrill Act Opened Doors for 19th Century Americans

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act on July 2, 1862. It established the land grant university system, which had been pioneered seven years earlier through a state land grant initiative that created Michigan State University.
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. 

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NewsRoom
11:53 am
Mon April 23, 2012

WBC Protestors Target Lansing Eastern HS, MSU

Editor's Note: Some photos in this series contain phrases or language that may be deemed offensive. They are included here in order to give an accurate representation of the depicted events.
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. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Financial Literacy Classes Aim to Combat Credit Scams

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.

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NewsRoom
4:27 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

MSU Touts Newly Adopted Energy Transition Plan

The T.B. Simon Power Plant at Michigan State University has been in operation since 1965.
WKAR File Photo

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

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NewsRoom
4:10 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Lansing Teen Receives Delayed Sentence in Murder Case

Convicted murder Charles Lewis, Jr. (center) awaits sentencing by Ingham County Judge George Economy. Lewis faced the possibility of life without parole, but was instead issued probation and time at a state juvenile rehabilitation center.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

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

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

MSU Trustees Face Decision on Campus Clean Energy Plan

The T.B. Simon Power Plant at Michigan State University was built in 1965. It burns both coal and natural gas. The university is now considering a long-term clean energy transition plan.
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.

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NewsRoom
3:26 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Sparrow, MSU to consolidate pediatric specialty care

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

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:00 am
Mon April 9, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Workplace Safety Rules: Nuisance or Necessity?

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.

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NewsRoom
5:39 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Guardsmen Conduct Hazardous Materials Training in East Lansing

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.

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NewsRoom
4:58 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court Weighs MSU Free Speech Case

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

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NewsRoom
2:58 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Elected Leaders Stand Against Gay, Transgendered Discrimination

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

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NewsRoom
2:53 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Lansing Clergyman Urges Just Sentence in Juvenile’s Murder Case

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. 

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NewsRoom
4:06 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Michigan Signs Offshore Wind Energy Agreement

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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NewsRoom
5:38 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Bernero Explains Proposed 2013 City Budget

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero is presenting his proposed 2013 budget to the city council.  Last November, voters approved a public safety millage that enabled the city to reduce its projected deficit to between $5 million and $7 million -- roughly half of what it was last year.  But to close the remaining gap, the mayor’s plan asks many city employees to either take up to 26 days off without pay or pay more for their health insurance and pensions.  Mayor Bernero tells WKAR’s Kevin Lavery that the furlough days are on a sliding scale.

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Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
5:35 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Task Force Sets Out to Revitalize Former GM Properties

Starting in 2005, General Motors closed several of its mid-Michigan factories, including Lansing Car Assembly and the Craft Centre.  The economic blow was devastating to thousands of families who had given generations of service to America’s auto industry.  Now, a new task force is working to bring families, businesses and neighborhoods together to plant new seeds in those vacant brownfields.

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NewsRoom
3:42 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Task Force to Create Strategies for Former Auto Plant Redevelopment

A new task force will devise strategies for bringing more automotive manufacturing to the Lansing area, and redeveloping former General Motors properties that have been idle for years. 

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NewsRoom
11:00 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Romney Wins Michigan Primary

Former Massachusetts governor and Michigan native Mitt Romney has won the Michigan primary, edging out rival GOP hopeful Rick Santorum.  

At 11 p.m. Tuesday, with 87 percent of the statewide vote counted, Romney carried 41 percent of the vote to Santorum's 37 percent.

Romney's win in Michigan and Arizona propels his campaign towards Super Tuesday on March 6.  Ten states and more than 400 delegates will be up for grabs.

Economic Evolution in the Great Lake State
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

reWorking Michigan: Unemployed Veterans Need Help Transitioning to Civilian Careers

Michigan Army National Guard Captain Amanda Falor is working on a master's degree in management. She says civilian employers sometimes find it difficult to understand her experiences in the military.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

The military is a unique sub-culture of American life: it speaks in acronyms, it has its own justice system, and it places great responsibility on its members.  Yet despite their high level of training, thousands of veterans who leave the military struggle to find a job.  A new initiative in mid-Michigan is designed to bring warriors to the workplace. 

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NewsRoom
4:33 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Byrum Announces Candidacy for Ingham County Clerk

Democratic State Rep. Barb Byrum (left) will run for Ingham County Clerk in August. Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope is expected to announce his candidacy later this year.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

State Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) is announcing her candidacy for Ingham County Clerk.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Mid-Michigan Voters Add Steam to Primary Pressure Cooker

Kevin Lavery WKAR

The battle among Republicans in next week's GOP primary has created a pressure cooker in Michigan.  

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NewsRoom
3:17 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Lansing Promise To Offer Scholarships This Fall

file photo WKAR

Starting this fall, leaders of the Lansing Promise Zone will offer college scholarships to high school graduates who live within the Lansing School District.  The program applies at two local institutions. 

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In Michigan
4:17 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Merchant to lead community playground rebuild

East Lansing, MI – Civic leaders in East Lansing are appealing to residents to renovate a playground in a popular city park. They've set an ambitious fundraising goal.

In 1995, East Lansing residents built a playground in Patriarche Park. It was later realized that the pressure-treated wood contained levels of arsenic. No children are known to have been injured, but now civic leaders are spearheading an effort to raise $400,000 over the coming year to replace the equipment with safer materials.

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NewsRoom
2:16 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing to host inaugural marathon April 22

Organizers in Lansing are counting down to April, when the city will hold its inaugural marathon.  

The Lansing Marathon will take place April 22 and cover a standard 26.2 mile course.  The race will start outside the Accident Fund Insurance building in downtown Lansing, cross into East Lansing near Michigan State University, turn south to Holt, back into Lansing via Potter Park and end at the Capitol.  Race director Owen Anderson says he's studied marathons in similarly sized communities, and finds they bring strong economic benefits.

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reWorking Michigan
3:06 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

State offers reimbursements for exporting companies

KTM Industries in Lansing processes corn starch into sheets of biodegradable packing foam.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

ReWorking Michigan examines our evolving economy, as the people of the Great Lakes State explore new ways to make a living and build a future.

Today, our reWorking Michigan Monday report looks at Michigan’s “STEP” program.  That’s short for State Trade and Export Promotion.  The initiative uses federal dollars to help Michigan companies with fewer than 500 employees enter or expand into the export market.  The funding helps businesses pay for things like overseas trade missions and foreign language translation services.   

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NewsRoom
3:48 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Eaton Rapids foundry to create up to 200 jobs

EATON RAPIDS, MI (WKAR) - Plans are underway to build a new foundry in mid-Michigan that will make components for wind turbines. Business and civic leaders say the plan will create about 200 new jobs for the region.

Dowding Industries and Astraeus Wind Energy make wind turbines in Eaton Rapids. The foundry that will be located at the plant will cast the 20-ton hubs that attach to the blades.

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