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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Economy
10:58 am
Tue December 23, 2014

On ice storm anniversary, BWL chairman calls for more vigorous oversight

Steve Reed of the Lansing State Journal (center) and Lansing Board of Water and Light Chairman David Price (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit WKAR/Bill Richards

This year’s Christmas holiday is bringing back unpleasant memories of last year’s intense ice storm and power outages. One year ago to the day, thousands of people in the Lansing area were without electricity because of hundreds of downed, ice-coated trees that disconnected lines.  Many residents spent days, some more than a week, without power, often at significant expense. The episode amounted to an embarassing right of passage for the capital city’s municipally-owned utility, the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

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Environment
11:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

DNR gives update on wolves, moose and cougars (oh my!)

Credit Flickr - Ray Dumas

Last week, a Michigan-made home video created a stir on the internet, particularly among animal lovers. It showed a pair of adult moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula being fed through the window of a cabin. According to Mlive, the resident says the moose have begun appearing daily, apparently expecting to be fed. The video offers a fascinating, close-up view of these extraordinary animals in or near the wild.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Lansing attorney weighs in on new U.S.-Cuba relations

Attorney Richard McLellan (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Americans have been busy discussing President Obama’s call to normalize relations with Cuba. Lansing-based attorney Richard McLellan, a long-time Michigan political insider and a two-time visitor to Cuba, supports the President’s move.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Gov. Snyder says hope still alive for road funding compromise

Gov. Rick Snyder
Credit http://www.michigan.gov/

Audio Pending...

The Michigan legislature is in the eleventh hour of this year’s lame duck session. This week, legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Snyder have been meeting more often to try to hammer out a measure for road and bridge funding in the state. A couple meetings were held yesterday, and the Governor expressed concern over how little time remains. The 2014 session is scheduled to conclude tomorrow.

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Economy
11:35 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Auto analyst: pay hikes front and center for UAW

New contract bargaining between the United Auto Workers union and American automakers is scheduled for next year. Recently, we’ve been getting a clearer picture of the union’s priorities. UAW President Dennis Williams has indicated members want to eliminate a recently introduced  feature of the autoworker landscape:  “two-tier” wages and benefits.

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Politics & Government
12:20 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rep. Singh updates Michigan's lame duck session

Sam Singh (D-East Lansing)
Credit Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

The Michigan legislature is in the middle of an eventful lame duck session. Efforts are in high gear to hammer out a road and bridge funding measure before the session wraps next Thursday, but many other important issues are also being debated.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Thu December 11, 2014

EL officials push back against GOP plans limiting local control

East Lansing city manager George Lahanas
Credit http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/

This week, the Michigan legislature has caught the ire of some municipal leaders who fear the state may be overstepping its reach into local government. One Republican sponsored bill now headed to the House floor would ban local communities from entering into negotiations with developers over wages and  so-called “community benefits.”  The measure has evoked criticism from a number of Democratic civic officials.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:24 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Lansing man describes experience with South American psychotropic

According to the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council website, ESC works to assure 'the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants'.
Credit http://www.ethnobotanicalcouncil.org/

“It’s as if a well has been sunk deep into the sediment of my life, an artesian well drilled into the stratified, impermeable bedrock of the past, and every memory that is forced to the surface breeds another ten in front of my eyes.” Those provocative words come from Sting’s 2003 memoir, "Broken Music." They recall his 1987 experience with a South American psychotropic brew called ayahuasca.

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Education
11:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Charter school advocate: judge MI authorizers on performance

Many in Michigan’s charter school community are crying foul over a recent report that criticizes the state’s charter school authorizers. Authorizers of charter schools are educational institutions, often colleges, whose responsibility is to ensure oversight, accountability and adequate performance.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Jobs, roads top concerns in post-election poll

Jeff Williams of Public Sector Consultants
Credit http://www.pscinc.com/

The 2014 election is in the rear view mirror, but its effects will certainly echo for years to come. After the last ballot was cast, some 600 Michigan voters were asked for their opinion on a number of statewide issues.

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Politics & Government
12:16 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Guatemalan family in EL contends with immigration confusion

Oscar Castaneda hopes his family can stay in Michigan, but he may be required to return to his native Guatemala.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

A family who has spent the last 15 years putting down roots in East Lansing is hoping to persuade U.S. authorities not to order them back to Central America. Oscar Castaneda is a native of Guatemala. He traces his predicament to likely bureaucratic errors dating back to the mid 1990's.

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Health
11:30 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare provision sheds light on payments to docs, hospitals

Dr. Kenneth Elmassian
Credit http://www.drkennethelmassian.com/

Important data recently shed light on the financial relationships between key members of Michigan’s medical community. Sunshine provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act require disclosure of the money paid to physicians and teaching  hospitals by drug and medical device manufacturers.

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Stevie Wonder back in MI to perform legendary album

'Songs in the Key of Life' is one of Stevie Wonder's best-loved albums. He performs music from the album tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Tonight, a Michigan-born superstar returns home to perform a legendary album. Tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Stevie Wonder will perform all the tracks on the album “Songs In The Key of Life.”

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Science & Technology
11:43 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Amateur rocketeers launching port-a-potty

Michigan is not among the first states that come to mind when you mention the aerospace industry. An amateur rocket launch scheduled for Saturday in southwest Michigan is unlikely to change that. On Saturday afternoon, members of a Michiana Rocketry Club plan to blast a port-a-potty into space near the community of Three Oaks, near the Indiana state line.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Incoming MI Senate leader downplays electoral reform, religious freedom measure

Sen. Arlan Meekhof
Credit WKAR/Bill Richards

The Michigan legislative session beginning in January will include new leadership in the Senate and the House for both parties. Republican Arlan Meekhof will succeed Randy Richardville as Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader.

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Health
1:18 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Enroll America assists ACA signups

Credit Flickr - Adrian Clark

Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Transgender community fights for Elliot-Larsen protections

Rep. Adam Zemke (left) and Amy Hunter
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Discussions continue at the State Capitol over whether to expand protections offered by Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen anti-discrimination law. That’s the landmark 1976 measure which legally bans discrimination in the state based on religion, race, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial and marital status. Several factions have emerged. Democrats and some Republicans appear to be united behind an expansion that would protect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons. Other Republicans favor a measure that would not include trans persons, but include the others.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Fri November 14, 2014

New laws will add teeth to MI human trafficking enforcement

Activists refer to human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” wherein people, often young and often female, are subjected into work, prostitution or other dehumanizing behavior. Michigan will be strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking in 2015. Twenty-one new laws are scheduled to take effect on January first.

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Business
11:51 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Lansing art deco landmark reopens Thursday

The Knapp’s Centre is on the corner of South Washington Square and Washtenaw Street in Lansing.
Credit www.eyde.com

An historic corner in downtown Lansing has been revitalized. Tomorrow is the grand re-opening of the Knapp's Centre. The event caps a $36-million redevelopment of the five-story art deco structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Politics & Government
1:03 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Ingham's Curtis Hertel Jr. discusses election, new legislative role

Senator-elect Curtis Hertel Jr.
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

In about eight weeks, a crop of new Michigan legislators will be sworn in.  One of them, Democrat Curtis Hertel Jr., cruised to victory in Michigan's 23rd Senate district, which is nearly coniguous with Ingham County.  Hertel currently serves as the County Register of Deeds. He will succeed Gretchen Whitmer, who is term limited.

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Business
11:13 am
Mon November 10, 2014

More changes ahead for LSJ staff, readers

Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Technological change is continually reshaping the media landscape. It’s been forcing those of us in the media to adopt new ways of communicating news and information. That evolution has been especially challenging in the newspaper world. While publishers are hopeful that modest rises in online advertising and revenue will continue, a multi-year trend of overall declining ad revenue continues. According to the Pew Research Journalism Project, it dropped another 2.6-percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.

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Community
12:01 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Same sex marriage ban upheld; what's next?

April DeBoer reacts to the 6th Circuit ruling with her partner, Jayne Rowse, (right) and their legal team.
Credit Rick Pluta/MPRN

Supporters of same sex marriage in Michigan were handed a major setback late yesterday. After about an eight month wait, the 6th Circuit federal appeals court reaffirmed the state’s ban on same sex marriage.

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Politics & Government
11:33 am
Thu November 6, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Congressman-elect Mike Bishop on 8th district victory

Congressman-elect Mike Bishop
Credit http://www.electmikebishop.com/

Tuesday evening, Lansing and East Lansing residents learned who their next U.S. Congressman would be. Former Republican State Senator Mike Bishop will become part of a GOP majority Congress in January.

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Community
11:32 am
Thu November 6, 2014

East Lansing Episcopalians debate gun control resolution

Credit Flickr - Steve Mays

Some mid-Michigan members of the Episcopal Church are disagreeing with each other over a recent resolution on guns. At a late October convention in Lansing, The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan passed a resolution supporting stricter gun control. It includes calls for background checks on all gun sales and a ban on certain military style, semi-automatic weapons.

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Politics & Government
11:34 am
Wed November 5, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Ballenger recaps Snyder, Peters victories

Cong. Gary Peters declares victory in Michigan's U.S. Senate race in front of hundreds of Democratic supporters in Detroit on Tuesday.
Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

With some exceptions, Michigan Republicans have reason to celebrate the 2014 mid-term election. Several major statewide offices, as polls ususally suggested, went to GOP incumbents including Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. But Democrats are celebrating the election of Congressman Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate and a victory on Michigan’s conservative leaning Supreme Court.

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Community
11:03 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Lansing BWL appoints first emergency operations manager

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero (left) with Trent Atkins as he accepts his new position as the Emergency Operations Manager for the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Eleven months ago, the Lansing Board of Water and Light came under intense criticism for its response to a historic power outage just days before Christmas. About 40-percent of the BWL’s customers lost electricity for several days. The incident sparked a detailed,  independent review of the agency’s procedures. Now, the Lansing Board of Water and Light has named Lansing Assistant Fire Chief Trent Atkins as its first-ever Emergency Operations Manager.

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Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Mon November 3, 2014

DESERT ISLAND DOWNLOAD: NEO Center's Tom Stewart

Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin
Credit www.andrewmcmahon.com

Today, we’re launching a new segment on Current State. “Desert Island Downloads” gives people a chance to talk about music they consider indispensable, what they’d want with them on the proverbial desert island.

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Politics & Government
10:59 am
Tue October 28, 2014

ELECTION 2014: 8th district Congressional candidate Democrat Eric Schertzing

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing (D) hopes to replace Mike Rogers in Congress.
Credit http://www.ericschertzing.com/

Current State’s coverage of the 2014 mid-term election continues this week. Yesterday, we heard from the Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional district, Mike Bishop. While the 8th, which includes Lansing and East Lansing, has been reconfigured to the GOP’s advantage, Democrat Eric Schertzing says he’s confident heading into the contest, which is now one week away.

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Politics & Government
2:27 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

ELECTION 2014: 8th district Congressional candidate Republican Mike Bishop

Former state Senate majority leader Mike Bishop (R) hopes to replace Mike Rogers in Congress.
Credit www.electmikebishop.com/

Next Tuesday, Ingham county voters will help determine who will represent them in the U.S. Congress. Today and tomorrow, Current State visits with both of the major party candidates. Many observers favor Republican Mike Bishop to win in the 8th district, which comprises Ingham, Livingston and northern Oakland counties.

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Politics & Government
11:51 am
Fri October 24, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Republican AG Bill Schuette

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Credit http://www.billschuette.com/

In eleven days, Michigan voters will decide who will hold a handful of statewide offices, one of them, Attorney General. The race pits incumbent Republican Bill Schuette against Democratic challenger Mark Totten, who was a guest on Current State last week.

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