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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After the disease was declared ‘eliminated’ in the United States in 2000, measles is back. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control say there were 644 diagnosed cases of the disease in 2014.  That's more than in any year since 2000. So far this year, the number is at least 107, after five infants at a Chicago area day care center were diagnosed late last week.

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Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow marks a memorable one-year anniversary this Saturday. On February 7 of last year, Stabenow escorted President Obama to East Lansing, where he signed the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Barriers have developed that are standing in the way of advanced energy use in Michigan. That’s according to a report released recently by Michigan’s Institute for Energy Innovation. The institute says its report is the first serious effort to identify those barriers.

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With months to go before the vote, the fate of Michigan’s one cent sales tax hike has been leading the news throughout January.

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On Monday, East Lansing’s Eric and Nancy Schertzing spoke with Current State to look back on an unforgettable year. 2014 was the year Eric Schertzing decided to pursue a dream:  to represent Lansing and East Lansing in the U.S. Congress. The effort failed. The Democrat lost November’s general election to Republican Mike Bishop, who, today, represents Michigan’s 8th District. Despite the loss, both described the experience of running as an unforgettable honor. Schertzing is again focused on his responsibilities as Ingham County Treasurer and Executive Director of the Ingham County Land Bank. Today, Current State host Mark Bashore talks with Eric and Nancy Schertzing for the second part of their conversation.

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Tomorrow evening at Lansing Community College, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero makes his tenth State of the City address. In the speech, which has the theme "Lansing 3.0", the Mayor will review developments of the past year and share his agenda for 2015.

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Hundreds of Michigan utility workers are preparing to help restore power to victims of the blizzard out east. Current State host Mark Bashore speaks with Flushing resident Duane Johnson, en route to the region from Consumers Energy in Flint. Johnson was in Bloomberg, Pennsylvania during the phone conversation.

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For 14 years, Ingham County residents have known Eric Schertzing as the county Treasurer, and more recently, Director of the Ingham County Land Bank.  Last year, they assessed him in a different light: as a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress.  

The issues and the stakes expanded, as the 52-year old Stockbridge native pursued the soon to be vacant seat in Congress held since 2001 by Republican Mike Rogers.

Schertzing lost to his Republican opponent, Mike Bishop.  

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On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder’s call for improvements in the delivery of state services included the merging of two, large and important state agencies. Snyder says the Departments of Human Services and Community Health need to become more “people-centric” and less “program centric.” He says that resulting efficiencies will improve services to state residents and, with other reforms, create a "River of Opportunity".

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Last week, Current State host Mark Bashore had a chance to witness and participate in a very interesting group exercise. It was his first encounter with guided imagery, a technique that tries to direct and focus the imagination using rich, descriptive sound cues.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder updated his near term goals in the annual State of the State speech last night. The centerpiece was the creation of what the Governor called a “River of Opportunity” that would improve state services, especially those coming Michigan’s Departments of Community Health and Human Services. Snyder plans to combine the two into one. He says their work represents a “failed model” that is too focused on programs than on people.

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Recently, Michigan has been through a Gubernatorial campaign, an election, a lame duck legislative session and an inauguration. And Governor Snyder delivers his annual State of the State address this evening. Amid all this political activity, what do Michiganians think of their top elected officials?

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Two weeks ago, Democrat Gary Peters had the honor of replacing Michigan Senator Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate. Peters had already served five years in the U.S. House representing parts of southeast Michigan. Mr. Levin had just wrapped up a 35-year career.

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Lansing’s Andy Schor has begun his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives after being sworn in on Wednesday. In a statement on his web page, the former Ingham County Commissioner says the start of a new session “presents new opportunities.”

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It's Live Music Friday and today, Current State welcomes guitarist and bandleader Ray Kamalay. He performs “vintage music with style".

Last November, Ingham county voters resoundingly approved two millage proposals. The new Board of Commissioners will be turning its attention to those soon, as it launches its  2015 session. One will expand the county’s network of trails. The other will maintain the Ingham County Health Plan, which provides medical care coverage for the county’s neediest residents.

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More than a year after he came under fire for his utility’s heavily criticized response to widespread ice storm outages, Peter Lark has been dismissed as General Manager of the Lansing Board of Water and Light. In a 5-to-3 vote, the board that oversees the city-owned utility voted to fire Lark with cause. The motion also named former BWL manager Dick Pefley as interim GM.

www.electmikebishop.com

For just over a week, Mike Bishop has served as the new U.S. Congressman representing Lansing and East Lansing. Bishop takes his seat at the Capitol amid a wave of confidence for Republicans in Washington. For the first time since 2007, the GOP enjoys a majority in the Senate as well as the House. That’s obviously changing the political dynamic in the nation’s capital.

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The Reverend Michael Murphy is being laid to rest today. Murphy spent more than 20 years in Lansing as founder of St. Stephen’s Community Church. He also served as a Lansing city council member and state Representative. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at Tabernacle of David Church in Lansing.

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Two members of the board that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light have called for a meeting to discuss whether General Manager Peter Lark should be running Lansing's city-owned utility.  That meeting is set for 4:30 this afternoon at BWL headquarters on South Washington.  

Current State talks to the Lansing State Journal's Steven Reed who broke the news Monday evening. 

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The Michigan Supreme Court begins hearing arguments today involving two disputed laws passed during the first term of Governor Rick Snyder.

First, justices will consider whether the state’s recent ‘right-to-work’ law, which eliminated the payment of union dues as a condition of employment, also applies to unionized state employees.  

Second, it will explore whether the state exceeded its authority in 2011 when Michigan pensioners became subject to a 4-percent contribution from their pay in order to keep full benefits.

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What is ahead for Michigan in 2015? An income tax cut? A sales tax hike? Could elected officials move to repeal the state’s prevailing wage provisions? All are possible. A clearer picture will begin to emerge Wednesday when the 2015 Michigan legislature convenes.

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College football’s first ever national championship game is set for tonight. Ohio State and Oregon vie for the honors beginning at 8:30 on ESPN. The Oregon Ducks are six-point favorites, although both teams share identical 13-and-one season records.

Today, we’re feature another Current State “Desert Island Download.”  It’s a chance for music lovers in the Lansing area to talk about a piece of recorded music they consider indispensable, music they’d want with them on the proverbial "desert island".

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Michigan law requires that high school juniors are offered a free exam and free exam prep to determine college readiness. Next year, that exam will change. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will take the place of the ACT, which has been used since 2007.

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A closely-watched study predicts the creation of about 60,000 new jobs in Michigan this year.  That’s from the University of Michigan’s annual economic forecast, released recently. But only about 10-percent of those new jobs are expected to come from manufacturing, historically one of Michigan’s strongest job sectors, including here in Greater Lansing. So where are the new jobs coming from, and what trends are creating them?

Four months from today, Michigan voters will make the next move regarding our state’s crumbling roads and bridges. They’ll decide whether to hike the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Approval would create over a billion dollars annually to help repair the roads, but it would also restore the state’s earned income tax credit and send more state revenue to schools. Rejection means Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature are back at square one in the road funding debate. So, what can we expect to see and hear over the next four months?

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.

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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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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