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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WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

A popular East Lansing park is in the midst of a major transformation. All week, dozens of volunteers have been hammering, lifting and drilling sections of what will soon be a new playground at Patriarche Park. They’re expecting to wrap up work today, and Current State’s Kevin Lavery has been following their progress. 

Flickr Creative Commons / CheshireCat@TO

One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The $1-billion road funding package that Michigan lawmakers have been struggling to pass in the final days of the session failed to achieve consensus last night. As of this morning, the Michigan Senate will have just a few hours to try to cobble together  a plan to raise the revenue to fix the state’s roads.

Flickr - Kristy

Michigan had one of the most brutal winters it has ever seen, and unfortunately its impacts are still lingering.  As people begin to plan their summer travels, there may be some residual effects from this winter.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

On June 6, 1944, more than 160, 000 Allied forces traversed the English Channel to land on the beaches of Normandy in France.  Operation Overlord, commonly known as "D-Day," was the largest seaborne invasion in history.  The offensive marked the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe.

WKAR is proud to honor the sacrifice of all veterans, living and dead, who gave of themselves to restore freedom and hope to a war-torn world.

http://www.ceicmh.org/

For decades, organizations like the American Red Cross and local fire departments have offered courses in basic first aid. Many Americans who are not in the medical field have a working knowledge of how to perform CPR. But few people are trained to give mental health first aid. That’s the aim of an ongoing training series being held this summer in Lansing.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

If you’ve found yourself passing through Lansing City Hall these past couple of days, you may have noticed a treasured piece of the city’s past. In the lobby now sits a 1901 Curved Dash Olds Runabout. It will be on display there through October as part of a new exhibit entitled “Made in Lansing.”

Flickr - marsmet tallahassee

Anyone who ever uses a computer gets hit now and then with e-mail spam or the occasional computer virus. Many are just minor hassles that try to derail our plans, but some do cause significant damage. Now imagine how often large companies and government agencies get hacked by those seeking to inflict harm. To address this, the state of Michigan is creating an all volunteer defense team, the Cyber Civilian Corps.

Flickr - Pyros Papaspyropoulos

Nationwide, a significant number of people who leave the hospital return within days or weeks for another stay. The reasons for this are varied. A conference taking place Wednesday at Michigan State University seeks to address how to implement better transitions between health care settings

paherps.com, Bob Hamilton

Some elementary students in Okemos are wrapping up their school year with a crash course in political lobbying.

http://elartfest.com/

The East Lansing Art Festival returns this weekend for its 51st run. The two-day event in the city’s downtown core features more than 180 artists and musicians. For many long-time attendees, the East Lansing Art Festival signals the unofficial start of summer.

Wikimedia Commons

Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used over the counter pain medications in the United States. Most consumers know it under such brands as Advil and Motrin. The labeling on these products purport to treat a variety of pains, from headaches to arthritis to the common cold. A growing body of research in the last few years suggests those labels should contain stronger warnings.

Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, Michigan State University embarked on a national project to study the impact of the environment on the health of children from birth to age 21. The National Children’s Study was designed to be the largest such research of its kind. MSU was part of a statewide team which interviewed more than 100 pregnant women in Wayne County. They were in search of data that might determine their children’s long term health outcomes.

Joe Linstroth/WKAR

It’s become clearer how Lansing’s publicly-owned utility, the Board of Water and Light, failed its customers following last December’s ice storm. A detailed review by an investigative panel explores the utility’s actions before, during and after the storm that knocked out power to some 35,000 customers.

Courtesy - Michigan State University

Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s cost the U-S billions of dollars each year. Last year, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that in 2010, the cost of treating Alzheimer’s alone neared $215-billion.

Michigan has just over 13,000 children in its foster care system.  Most are living in  licensed homes, but many live with relatives who are either licensed or unlicensed to provide care.  Still others are in child caring institutions.

May is National Foster Care Month and as part of that observance, one mid-Michigan agency is sponsoring an exhibition of artwork made by foster care children in search of adoption.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Horse racing fans around the country are gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday. The storied run that kicks off the quest for the Triple Crown will bring thousands of people to Michigan’s three horse tracks. Many will place their bets as they watch the Derby via simulcast. They’ll also come to cheer on local horses and riders who come to the tracks to test their mettle.

Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

Flickr - Todd Fong


It is no secret that Michigan State University has a growing body of international students. There are about 4,300 Chinese students alone enrolled at MSU.  It is a trend that is prompting faculty and staff to re-evaluate how they respond to the challenges of educating this growing segment.  

Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Take a drive through Lansing Township north of the Capitol, and you’re likely to pass by a stately Classical Revival-style mansion.  Beginning in 1855, the  Turner-Dodge House on North Street was home to several generations of one of  Lansing’s most prominent families.  Today, it’s an interpretive center with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

If you live, work or just drive through Meridian Township, you’ve probably noticed the large metal sculpture in the roundabout at Marsh and Hamilton Roads. The work, entitled “Meridius Prime,” is a 14-foot tall piece commemorating the Michigan Meridian, the north-south baseline by which the state was surveyed in the 19th century. The sculpture is part of a plan to install public art that relays a community’s “sense of place.”  The artwork is a project of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

Wikimedia Commons

This month, the U-S House will begin debating, amending and re-writing President Obama’s proposed 2015 defense budget. Over the next five years, the administration proposes spending $115-billion above the cap Congress enacted as part of the budget sequestration process. The plan could set up a showdown between Congress and the White House, and that could affect funding for the Michigan National Guard.

Courtesy tr.ingham.org

Tomorrow is the filing deadline for all potential political candidates to run in the August 5th primary election. Last month, 8th District Republican Congressman Mike Rogers  shocked many of his constituents with news that he will not seek re-election.

Wikimedia Commons

The planet Mars won’t be the only red object in the night sky tomorrow. If you happen to be up before dawn, check out the moon around 3 a.m.  If the weather is clear, Earth’s celestial neighbor will take on a reddish tone during a total lunar  eclipse.

Flickr - foreverdigital

Inmates who leave Michigan prisons at the end of their sentences need an array of support services to help them successfully reenter society. The Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative was created in 2003 to fulfill that goal. The program has done quite well in the years since, but the state is still seeking ways to improve. The Michigan Department of Corrections is asking service providers to help enhance the post-prison experience for those who’ve served their time.

Flickr - Barberton Community Foundation

Michigan has long been proud of its diverse agricultural profile. Many growers are active in the “buy local” movement through farmers’ markets and food hubs. Now, MSU and the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center are launching the Michigan Food to Institution Network.

Flickr - _chrisUK

Last week, Michigan House Republicans proposed a new funding plan that would allocate nearly a half billion dollars each year through 2018 to repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. Fixing Michigan roads is a perennial problem each spring, and the situation is particularly dire after such a severe winter. Certainly, everyone wants their own neighborhood streets and highways repaired first. But transportation planners and engineers must rely on hard data to make decisions about which roads get fixed, and when.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Spring planting season for corn in Michigan is still at least a month away, but scientists who study the crop’s amazing versatility want you to cast your vote for a “home-grown” project. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute, or MBI, is developing a process that seeks to get more use out of the leftover  residue of the plant that’s not fit for human consumption.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR


The Michigan State Spartans had a great run through March Madness, making the Elite Eight. Coach Tom Izzo may want his team to watch the playback of Sunday’s game against the U-Conn Huskies for a little self-analysis. MSU has a lot of tapes like that and other sporting events, some of which pre-date World War II. However, those old film and video clips are falling apart over time. Now, MSU is asking the public for donations to digitize those records for posterity.

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