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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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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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz on life in politics, medicine

Dr. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s occasional series, “Voices of Experience.”

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Ingham official: 'Renaissance' development is "marriage made in heaven"

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Developers are about to become the owners of 30 acres of city land straddling Lansing and East Lansing. Monday evening, the Lansing City Council approved the sale of the former Red Cedar Golf Course property to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC. Developer Joel Ferguson and his partner Frank Kass want to build a $276-million complex at the site that could include a ten-story hotel, restaurant and housing. Part of the site would remain green space.

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Politics & Government
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

U-M survey shows local officials hungry for more state road money

Credit WKAR File Photo

One in four local government officials around Michigan say the roads and bridges in their jurisdictions are in poor condition.  But there appears to be little agreement among those same officials on how to generate the billions of dollars needed to repair that infrastructure.

Those are among the findings in a new survey out of the University of Michigan.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

A Romney takes top spot on Michigan GOP

Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, takes the reins as the new chairwoman for the Michigan GOP.
Credit Credit: http://www.migop.org

Michigan’s Republican Party has a new Chairwoman.

At its Lansing convention Saturday, activist Ronna Romney McDaniel got the nod on the first ballot.

She replaces commercial property developer Bobby Schostak at the top of the Michigan GOP. The 41-year old niece of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said ‘We need to a Republican in the White House through Michigan in 2016.’  Current State talks to Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta about the state's new GOP leader.  

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Economy
12:57 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Lansing region pursues more particle acceleration businesses for Lansing

Economic developers often refer to Michigan State University’s FRIB as a “game changer.” The $730-million nuclear science facility, set to launch in around six years with around 400 employees, will be the most powerful rare isotope research site in the world. It will explore the physics of atomic nuclei, with potential applications in medicine, defense and other areas. But what other economic impacts might stem from FRIB and from Niowave, another established particle acceleration firm based in Lansing?

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Hertel plan aims to stem MI brain drain

State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

East Lansing Democratic state Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. is seven weeks into his legislative career at the state Capitol. He represents the 23rd district, which covers almost all of Ingham County. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee began discussing a bill sponsored by the former Ingham County official. Hertel wants to offer recent Michigan college graduates tax credits in exchange for a pledge to stay in Michigan.

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Economy
12:16 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

MI rail supporter responds to MDOT "debacle"

Credit http://www.semcog.org/

Commuter rail plans in southeast Michigan are drawing fire from state legislators and other officials. The criticism stems from millions of dollars being spent on unused rail cars. Those rail cars await completion of projects between Ann Arbor and Detroit and between Ann Arbor and Howell. The Detroit Free Press, reporting on what it describes as “a $12-million debacle”, says the costs are to lease and refurbish 23 used rail cars MDOT acquired from a Chicago rail  system.

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Business
12:53 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

U-M study anticipates impact of driverless cars

Credit Flickr/Department for Transport

Gradually, Ann Arbor is becoming known for a remarkably futuristic technology: the self-driving car.

This spring, work is expected to wrap up on a 32-acre “driverless town” on the outskirts of the city. There, Google and others will be testing vehicles featuring an array of cutting edge technology.  

One goal is a driverless vehicle not only programmed to follow a particular route, but also to avoid all kinds of less predictable developments: mistakes by other drivers, changes in the road surface, weather and so on.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:05 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

"Fifty Shades" sparks MSU domestic abuse study

Dr. Amy Bonomi, professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU.
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Today, the 100-million-plus purchasers of the erotic romance novel “Fifty Shade of Grey" can  see the movie adaptation of the story by E.L. James. Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star as a couple whose relationship is focused on pushing sexual boundaries. The controversial story led to some interesting research at Michigan State University.

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