Mark Bashore

Host, Current State

Mark Bashore is host of Current State, WKAR's daily news show focusing on community issues, arts and culture, music and more.

Mark is well-known to WKAR listeners as mid-Michigan host of All Things Considered for several years prior to hosting Current State.  

Mark Bashore joined WKAR in May 2007. Prior to his arrival at WKAR, he hosted a talk show on WJIM AM in 2005 and previous to that was morning show host and producer at WFMK in Lansing for 14 years.

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Politics & Government
12:13 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Bishop: Obama Pacific trade deal “will increase economic growth”

Cong. Mike Bishop (left), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Yesterday, Republicans in the U.S. Congress marked their 100th day of being the majority legislative party in Washington. Mike Bishop represents that majority in his capacity as the recently sworn in congressman from Michigan’s 8th District, which covers Lansing and East Lansing along with Ingham and Livingston counties and part of Oakland county.

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Politics & Government
12:04 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing police chief anticipates the future of body cameras

The Lansing Police Department will soon add a controversial new tool to its equipment list: 100 body cameras. Some law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan are already experimenting with the devices. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has 25 body cameras on hand. In Ingham County, officers are testing a few cameras at the county jail, and the department is preparing to receiving more. The East Lansing and Michigan State University police departments are also planning to use body cameras. The device has evolved from a technological novelty to the centerpiece of a new front in the struggle for racial harmony and civil rights.

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Arts & Culture
12:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Essayist Jack Lessenberry to keynote Rally of Writers

Jack Lessenberry keynotes A Rally of Writers in Lansing this weekend.
Credit Courtesy Michigan Radio

The 28th Rally of Writers is Saturday in Lansing. The annual one-day conference will bring together leading Michigan writers like “Bootstrapper” author Mardi Jo Link, author and WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael and others with audiences who love reading and aspire to write themselves. The keynote speaker will be Jack Lessenberry, whose essays on Michigan politics are seen in publications across the state and heard on our Michigan Public Radio Network sister station in Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio.

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Politics & Government
11:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

As ballot efforts surface, legislator clarifies medical marijuana bill

Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville)
Credit http://gophouse.org/representatives/southwest/callton/

For years now, Michigan has struggled with how to implement its medical marijuana law. Voters approved legalized pot in 2008, but applying the law has been fraught with complications. Patients, caregivers, physicians, law enforcement, local and state governments and the courts all have had different concerns. The challenge boils down to how to regulate the drug and how to get it safely and responsibly to the people who are entitled to it. In recent years, Republican State Rep. Mike Callton has been in the middle of the state legislature’s effort to move forward.

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Education
12:16 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Secretary Duncan: proposed federal education cuts could hurt Michigan

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Credit Courtesy U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Senate and House of Representative both continue efforts to write the country’s first comprehensive education legislation since "No Child Left Behind" expired back in 2007. Both Republican-led chambers are at work on measures that address various issues:  educational accountability, local versus federal authority and school choice among others. The Senate measure is scheduled to go before the Education committee today. U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan is an influential critic of some features of these measures.

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Health
11:10 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Michigan office prepares for health impacts of climate change

Aaron Ferguson (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Since 2009, Michigan officials have been ramping up an effort to address the health consequences of climate change. For example, health experts anticipate greater respiratory challenges like asthma as warmer temperatures intensify smog and fuel more wildfires that emit soot. The Michigan Climate & Health Adaptation Program, MI-CHAP, is participating in a joint effort with the national Centers for Disease Control to create what it calls "climate-ready states and cities."

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History
10:58 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Remembering Michigan’s 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak

Credit Flickr - Rachel McBee

Fifty years ago today, people in six midwest states including Michigan were still in shock from a massive tornado outbreak April 11th and 12th. The 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak was the third deadliest on record in the U. S., and it helped to usher in the modern system of watches and warnings to inform people about severe weather.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Capital City Film Festival features more than 80 independent films, music

Credit Courtesy Capital City Film Festival

The fifth annual Capital City Film Festival is underway and runs through Sunday.

This year, the festival features not only about 80 independent films at venues in and near downtown Lansing,  but dozens of musicians coming together for live performances as well.

Current State welcomes the two co-directors of the 2015 event, Payal Ravani and Dominic Cochran.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:07 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

MI enviro praises MSU coal elimination plan

Michigan State University says it will eliminate coal as a fuel source by the end of 2016
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has announced the school will stop burning coal at the university sometime next year.  

In a webcast on “MSU’s Energy Future,” President Simon called sustainability a “guiding institutional principal” and said it’s “great opportunity” for the school to continue to reduce its environmental impact.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Capitol City film festival to feature ‘Keep GM’ story

Credit Monica Reida / Flickr

One of the most dramatic chapters in recent Lansing history involved the groundbreaking effort to ‘Keep GM’ that began in 1996.   Former Mayor David Hollister remembers well the day General Motors’ executive Ed Donovan shared with him “some good news and some bad news.” After the 100th birthday of Oldsmobile, the company wouldn't have any new product for Lansing. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:28 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Councilmember Wood: ICE operations in Lansing require better communicaton

Lansing City Council member Carol Wood says the city was not pre-informed of an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation at City Hall earlier this year.
Credit WKAR File Photo

Lansing's elected officials have begun discussions over the city's fiscal 2016 budget.  

Among other items, Mayor Virg Bernero's proposed spending plan calls for the creation new, high-ranking position at the Lansing Board of Water & Light.  

There's also ongoing discussion over pay raises for the mayor, city clerk and city council set to take effect on July 1.

Lansing city councilmember Carol Wood talks about budget issues...and about a recent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation at City Hall.

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Business
11:33 am
Fri April 3, 2015

State chamber CEO in sync with Snyder on RFRA, talent development

There are few issues of public importance in Michigan that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce does not weigh in on. The state chamber is the advocate for businesses and job providers across the state. It assists more than 6,000 member employers, trade associations and local chambers in the legislative, political and legal process.

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Economy
11:30 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Does Michigan need an economic “grand bargain?”

Last week, the organization Business Leaders for Michigan gathered in Lansing for one of its periodic Leadership Summits. The group’s mission is advance strategies to make Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. According to Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh, those in attendance which included the CEOs, Chairpersons and Senior Executive of Michigan’s largest companies and Universities, spent a good deal of time lamenting the lack of a cohesive economic growth agenda for the state.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Month in Review: RFRA’s future in MI, Prop 1 update

Credit Wikimedia Commons

March is almost behind us. In and around the state Capitol, the month included more questions about the fate of Proposal 1, some tension inside both major parties regarding priorities including education, and improving employment numbers.

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Education
12:21 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Michigan tries to close "college access gap" with more guidance counselors

Ron French of Bridge Magazine (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

All over Michigan, there are high school students who perform well enough on assessments to attend a four-year university. However, some of them, especially those in low-income and rural districts, do not pursue that path. It's created what some are calling a "college access gap." What sometimes makes the difference is school guidance counseling.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Ex-Kellogg lobbyist on 30 years of Capitol Hill arm-twisting

For three decades, George Franklin lobbied on behalf of the most famous tiger in the world. Franklin is the former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek. Obviously, the tiger is “Tony.” In his book, “Raisin Bran and other Cereal Wars", Franklin writes that the role of a lobbyist is widely misunderstood.

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Education
11:12 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Spartahack-ers use computer skills for good, not evil

Spartahack is this weekend at MSU.

Say the word “hack” or “hacker” and the impression you create is likely a negative one. Organizers of Spartahack are quick to point out their hacking event is about building and creating websites, apps, anything that’s connected to the digital world. It takes place beginning this Friday evening here at Michigan State University. Spartahack is expected to attract about 300 participants.

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Health
12:13 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Lansing health professionals share decades-long perspectives on fighting cancer

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is back with his latest production. “Cancer:  The Emperor of All Maladies” is described as the most comprehensive documentary ever made about a single disease. It airs in three installments on WKAR-TV next Monday through Wednesday nights. This Thursday evening, WKAR is hosting an abbreviated look at the film. The gathering will also include presentations from local health professionals who’ll offer various perspectives on the disease.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu March 19, 2015

John Schneider on cultural exchange trip to Cuba

John Schneider (right), with Current State guest host Melissa Benmark.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

For almost 25 years, Lansing and mid-Michigan connected through John Schneider's column in the Lansing State Journal. He left the paper in 2012, but new columns appear regularly. Recently, readers took in an account of John’s visit to Cuba, where he encountered “breathtaking scenery and warm people.”

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Health
11:29 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Ingham health official on potential impact of SCOTUS ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
Credit rosebennet/flickr

Once again, the future of Obamacare is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. This summer, the court’s interpretation of four words in the Affordable Care Act will have a significant impact on the future of the law. Many Americans are counting on millions of dollars of Obamacare federal tax credits to pay for health insurance coverage. The high court’s ruling will determine whether those credits will be offered or withdrawn to residents of 34 states, including Michigan.

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Business
11:27 am
Tue March 17, 2015

New LSJ columnist returns to journalistic roots

Judy Putnam (right) of the Lansing State Journal, with Current State guest host Sue Carter.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

A well-established policy advocate in Lansing is beginning a new chapter in her career this week. Judy Putnam has been the communications director of the Michigan League for Public Policy for seven years. This week, she returns to her roots in journalism as a columnist for the Lansing State Journal.

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Politics & Government
1:23 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Interim BWL chief criticizes capital project’s “hidden costs”

Dick Peffley, Interim Manager for the Lansing Board of Water and Light
Credit Credit: Lansing Board of Water and Light

For two months, our first guest has been navigating highly publicized change at the Lansing Board of Water and Light. Dick Peffley’s retirement was interrupted in mid-January when he was asked to serve as interim General Manager of the city-owned utility after the sudden dismissal of Peter Lark. Peffley spent 38-years at the Board of Water and Light in several managerial positions including as Executive Director of Operations and once before as interim General Manager. When he accepted the job, he commented “I want to do what’s best for the BWL and our cu

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Education
11:58 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Report says Michigan hurting from adult ed cuts

Michigan League for Public Policy CEO Gilda Jacobs (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Enrollment in adult education in Michigan has dropped by nearly half since 2001. State funding in adult ed has fallen a whopping 88-percent since the mid 90’s. Those are among the noteworthy findings in a new report that urges reinvestment in adult education.

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Politics & Government
11:27 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Michigan IT chief details threats to cyber security

Credit Wikimedia Commons

What happens in Michigan 730,000 times a day? According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, that's the number of times daily that someone tries to hack into a state government computer. Officials are quick to point out that virtually all are detected and quickly stopped. Still, it requires a comprehensive and expensive cyber security effort to stay ahead of the threat. Officials say the number of attempts will rise.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:22 am
Tue March 10, 2015

MSU retiree to hike Continental Divide for youth charity

Ken Dawson
Credit http://www.cdtjourneyforthekids.com/

Like thousands of Michigan baby-boomers, Ken Dawson is planning to retire soon. Dawson has spent six years at Michigan State University, most recently as a project representative in the school’s Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities Department. Unlike many of those retiring boomers, he will soon be embarking on a challenging adventure. Beginning in about a month, the Farmington Hills resident will begin a 3,100 mile hike atop the spine of North America: the Continental Divide.

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Education
12:44 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Brighton charter school flap demonstrates public-private tension

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last weekend in Brighton, Michigan, an opponent of a proposed charter school in that community was arrested. His infraction was his refusal to leave an  “invitation only” meeting involving charter school supporters. Michigan charter schools receive public funding amounting to  nearly $1-billion a year and are subject to oversight by the Michigan Department of Education. Glenn Ikens insists that as a Brighton resident and a taxpayer, it entitles him to attend such meetings.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Sen. Jones on animal cruelty, religious freedom measures

Sen. Rick Jones (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

In January, a Lansing woman, accompanied by her two children, made a grisly discovery at the Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area, not far from East Lansing. According to the Lansing City Pulse, the three, who were on a mid-winter walk, came across the frozen body of a dog, which appeared to have been abandoned inside a small kennel in dangerously cold temperatures. According to the story, Bath Township Police are investigating the incident. They say it appears to be a case of animal cruelty, a felony in Michigan punishable by up to four years in prison.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Wed March 4, 2015

NYC jazz guitarist teaches, performs at MSU

Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program with the MSU College of Music has another feature artist working with students on campus this week. Current State talks with guitarist Peter Bernstein of New York City.

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Politics & Government
12:47 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz reflects on a life of service

Former Cong. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

Last Thursday, Current State aired part of an interview with former Congressman Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek. Dr. Schwarz, who is a physician and head and neck surgeon, represented Michigan’s 7th district in 2005 and 2006. That discussion focused on his political and medical careers, and his service in southeast Asia, which included service as a surgeon during the Vietnam War and then as a CIA operative. Schwarz has never returned to that part of the world in the 40-plus years since those experiences.

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Politics & Government
12:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Month in Review: Sales tax vote, state party conventions, 2016 budget

Credit File photo / WKAR

At the end of the month, Current State takes one last look back at the top news stories in Michigan politics and government. This time around, we revisit a proposed, new state budget, new leadership for Michigan’s Republican Party, and the discussion over May’s sales tax proposal.

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