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
12:17 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Without revisions, Sen. Peters a ‘no’ on Trans Pacific Partnership

Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

Democratic Michigan Sen. Gary Peters has gotten behind legislation that would address two very different national issues: criminal justice and student debt. Monday, on a visit to Detroit, the state’s junior senator called for a “top to bottom” review of the U.S. criminal justice system by creating a National Criminal Justice Commission. And last week, Peters introduced the Federal Adjustment in Reporting (FAIR) Student Credit Act. It would help private student loan borrowers rehabilitate defaulted loans.

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Business
11:40 am
Wed May 20, 2015

LSJ reporter on BWL’s settlement with former GM

The Lansing Board of Water and Light's Otto E. Eckert Station.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/Paul R. Kucher

Four months of negotiations between Lansing’s Board of Water and Light and the utility’s former General Manager, Peter Lark, concluded last night.

BWL commissioners agreed unanimously to settle with Mr. Lark for $650,000 after his January dismissal “for cause” by those same commissioners.  A dismissal “for cause” implies employee misconduct.  Current State gets an update from LSJ reporter Steven Reed, who has covered the BWL since the 2013 ice storm that eventually led to yesterday’s agreement.  

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Politics & Government
11:40 am
Wed May 20, 2015

MI film commissioner discusses filmmaker incentives, new strategic plan

Michigan Film Commissioner Jenell Leonard.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

State lawmakers are again looking for ways to pay for road repairs in Michigan, and that means subsidies for the film industry are again being targeted. That has amounted to $50-million a year in recent years. 

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Politics & Government
12:59 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Rep Singh: GOP, Dem leaders should confer on roads

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

It’s a busy time under the dome in Lansing these days. Just two weeks after the historic defeat of a road funding proposal that would have altered the Michigan Constitution, House Democrats and Republicans are offering competing alternatives. The GOP plan would shift revenue to a transportation fund by various means, including siphoning funds from tribal casino revenues and eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit. Meanwhile, Democrats propose raising the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon over the next three years.

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Business
12:44 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

“Two Men” founder to tell her story at Startup Grind event

Two Men and a Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets
Credit Courtesy Startup Grind Lansing

Few if any Lansing success stories compare with that of Two Men and a Truck. The moving company began in 1985 as an after school endeavor with an advertising budget in a ceramic dish.  Today, founder Mary Ellen Sheets leads a company whose revenue clears $300-million annually. Two Men and a Truck has locations in 39 states and four countries. It has completed roughly five million moves. It also donates about two and a half million dollars in moving services annually.

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Education
11:55 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Sister Cyril’s educational mission in India spans six decades

Sister Cyril Mooney has devoted her career to educating the children of Calcutta.
Credit http://www.loretobowbazar.in/

Sister Cyril Mooney is renowned for her decades of work to improve education for the impoverished of Calcutta, India. Sister Cyril was initiated into the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Loreto order, in her native Ireland in 1955. She has been affiliated with the Loreto School of Calcutta almost all the years since.

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Politics & Government
12:20 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

New EL council member calls for different approach to city development

East Lansing city council member Ruth Beier
Credit http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/

Economist Ruth Beier became a member of the East Lansing City Council in January. She says she grew tired of attending council meetings, complaining and getting nowhere, so she decided to run for office. Beier says it’s time for East Lansing to do things differently. Mainly, she says, it needs to shift more attention and resources away from the city’s commercial downtown to its neighborhoods.

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Environment
11:35 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Local biologist fears Red Cedar bald eagles have abandoned nest

The female bald eagle arrives at the Lansing nest in April.
Credit Christopher N. Hull

Dozens of bird lovers have journeyed to Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo recently to view the area’s first nesting bald eagles in decades. The nest sits in a large tree in a marshy area in the middle of the Red Cedar river. What’s the likelihood that the birds could make that area a permanent home? Biologist Christopher Hull has his doubts. He has vield the nest and the eagles a number of times, and he thinks the eagles may be in the process of abandoning the nest now.

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Environment
11:37 am
Wed May 6, 2015

State challenges MI commuters not to drive solo

State officials and other stakeholders are asking Michigan commuters a question: do you drive to work alone? If so,  they want to remind you of options that could not only reduce air pollution, but lower your gas budget and benefit your health. Governor Rick Snyder has declared May Commuter Challenge Month. Part of the effort is aimed at the many drive alone commuters that you see on the state’s roads every day.

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Business
11:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Businessman from Dubai brings Toastmasters message to EL

Integrity. Respect. Service. Excellence. For its 313,000 members around the world, those are the stated values of International Toastmasters. Toastmasters’ focus is on developing communication and leadership skills in its members.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:44 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Three weeks in, MSU retiree logs 315 miles on Continental Divide journey

MSU retiree Ken Dawson is hiking 3,100 miles across the Continental Divide. At last check, he'd reached Pie Town, NM.
Credit WKAR File Photo

A recently retired Michigan State University employee is not taking his retirement lying down.  

Back in March, Mr. Ken Dawson told Current State about his plan to spend five months hiking America’s Continental Divide.  The 3,100-mile solo adventure began April 15 in in extreme southern New Mexico, not far from the Mexican border.

Current State’s Mark Bashore connected with Ken Dawson by phone on Saturday as he was passing through Pie Town, New Mexico.    

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Politics & Government
12:02 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Prop 1 foe: look for MI road dollars elsewhere

Paul Mitchell is leading the fight to defeat Proposal 1 next Tuesday.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

In four days, Michigan voters will decide whether or not to increase the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Proposal 1 would raise just over $1.2-billion which would, in a couple of years, be spent on road and bridge improvements. But the measure also earmarks about $800-million for areas including education, municipalities and help for some low income Michigan residents.

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Science & Technology
11:45 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Social media helps solve Michigan girl’s 1980 disappearance

WOOD-TV reporter Ken Kolker
Credit WOOD-TV

Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Month in Review: Auto no-fault reform, Proposal 1, gay marriage

Credit File photo / WKAR

Auto-no fault insurance reform, a U.S. Supreme Court hearing for Michigan’s same sex marriage ban and critical budget discussions were among the top  political news stories in our state in April.

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Politics & Government
11:37 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Proposed MI no-fault reforms generate heated debate

Credit Flickr - Ray Dumas

Michigan legislators are in a pitched and partisan battle over proposed reforms to the state’s auto no-fault insurance system. Mainly Republican reformers are intent on lowering the state’s sky-high car insurance premiums by imposing cost controls on catastrophic accident claims. Mainly Democratic opponents say the move threatens a strong system that may be the best in the nation. Many allege it’s a money grab by the insurance industry and their allies in the legislature.

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History
11:13 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Century old postcards document life at Michigan Agricultural College

Steven Terry of Williamston is the first ever deltiologist, or collector of picture postcards, to appear on Current State. His collection numbers around a thousand. A specialty is postcards featuring images of the MSU, or more correctly, the Michigan Agricultural College campus from about a century ago.

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Politics & Government
12:27 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Lead Prop 1 campaigner: measure not a special interest grab

The months-long discussion about whether to raise Michigan's sales tax by a penny is nearing an end. Voters will decide the issue next Tuesday. According to Michigan’s ‘Citizens Research Council,” the measure would eventually generate about an additional $1.3-billion to be spent on the state’s roads and bridges. It creates a new formula for assessing the state’s gas tax, which would be tied to the wholesale price of gasoline. At current prices, it would go up about 10 cents per gallon. Whatever the increase, it would be lessened somewhat by the removal of sales tax from gasoline.

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Education
12:04 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

What belongs and doesn’t belong in abstinence sex ed instruction?

For about a week, sex education has been one hot topic in the Lansing area. It began last week when Alice Dreger, an author, college professor and activist, live tweeted from her son’s sex ed class at East Lansing High School. Among the quotes from the instructors, according to Dreger: “Safe sex is kind of a misnomer.” “You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." Dreger and many others on social media blasted the approach for being outdated, unconcerned with credible data and focused on fear and shame.

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Politics & Government
11:25 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing property owner slams city, Niowave over revised remodeling

Dale Schraeder in one of the many neighbors unhappy with the modifications made to the Niowave facility.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last night, there was yet another episode in the dispute between Niowave and its residential neighbors in Lansing’s Walnut neighborhood. The Lansing City council’s Planning and Development committee heard from about ten exasperated Walnut residents about a plan that would let the high-tech company out of some of the requirements it agreed to last year to fix up a large metal building on its property.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Gov. Engler remembers “workhorse” Sen. Robert Griffin

After his time in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1987 to 1994. His portrait by artist Joseph Maniscalco hangs in the Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

LSJ reporters explore flawed MDOT road warranty program

Credit Flickr - The Tire Zoo

Two weeks from today, Michigan voters will decide whether to increase investment in the state’s crumbling roads and bridges with a one cent increase in the state sales tax. The discussion over whether to invest more in infrastructure has raised the issue of  the warranties that sometimes cover that work.

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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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