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
12:39 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Congress probes GM recall effort

GM's new CEO Mary Barra was included in Fortune's list of the Most Powerful Women in Business in 2013. Today, she will be giving a testimony before a Senate Panel about GM ignition switch failures.
Credit Courtesy of Fortune Live Media Flickr

General Motors has recalled 2.6-million vehicles for ignition switch failures, failures that are linked to at least 13 deaths. Considering the recent $1.2 billion dollar penalty levied against Toyota for that company’s problems related to sudden accelerations, dealing with the ignition switch problem could become very costly to the automaker.

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Arts & Culture
1:39 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

'City of the Arts' boasts Musee du Towelette Humide

The oldest specimens in curator John French's Moist Towelette Museum are from 1963.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Every year, thousands of people from around the state and elsewhere visit a museum in the Lansing area: the state of Michigan Historical Museum downtown perhaps, or the dynamic new Broad Art Museum in East Lansing are two that come to mind.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Month in Review: March's biggest news stories

Rep. Mike Rogers recently stated that he will not seek reelection come November.
Credit Flickr - CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies

At the end of every calendar month, Current State hosts its regular reporter roundtable to review the biggest stories of that month. Current State looked back at the drop out of a shoe-in, the unresolved gay marriage issue, the bumps facing road funding and the contest for Attorney General in Michigan.

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Politics & Government
12:24 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Who's next? Mike Rogers' departure triggers speculation among Dems, GOP

Ballenger says Cong. Rogers didn't seem to give much of a heads-up to members of his own party about his decision not to run for another term. The filing deadline to run for the seat is April 22nd.
Credit Flickr - CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies

Mike Rogers, U.S. representative of our 8th district in East Lansing, says he will not seek reelection after his term ends this year. He made the announcement official on a Detroit radio station, and said that he has been invited regularly to talk about national security issues on T.V. and radio.

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Music
12:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Director of noted English choir leads Grand Rapids ensemble

Andrew Nethsingha of the St. John’s College Choir at Cambridge University is helping the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys prepare for two weekend concerts.
Credit Courtesy/Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys

An unusual choir of men and boys based in Grand Rapids will present a Lenten season program this Friday and Saturday at St. Andrews Cathedral in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Education
12:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Goodbye MEAP: Educators to discuss changes in assessments, accountability

Dr. Rick Stiggins is scheduled to speak at the Revisioning Assessment Conference this Friday at Michigan State University.
Credit Flickr - Mammal

Across Michigan and across the country, students, teachers, and school administrators are facing greater accountability. That has put more attention on student assessments, or measuring student learning, than in the past. In about a year, Michigan students are expected to start taking a new standardized test, the "Smarter Balanced Assessment."

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Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Council Member Wood says Lansing budget should 'impact quality of life'

Once they receive the budget, the Lansing city council will compare their priorities and seek public for opinion before it is voted on.
Credit Flickr - matthileo


After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night:  The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.

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Education
12:32 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Michigan Superintendent Flanagan on EAA, student testing, teacher evals

The EAA is the district charged with turning around MIchigan’s 15 lowest performing schools.
Credit Flickr - Mars Hill Church

Last week, after months of debate, the Michigan House voted narrowly to expand state’s Education Achievement Authority. The highly debated measure, which the Senate now considers, is one of many on Michigan’s continually evolving education landscape. Others include new testing for student growth and evaluating teacher effectiveness, the Common Core curriculum, and several more.

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Politics & Government
11:40 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A busy week at the Capitol: Sorting through scrap metal, EAA, balanced budget convention

Scrap metal plunder has ravaged quite a bit of Detroit and other cities.
Credit Flickr - Adam Cohn

The bill to expand the Education Achievement Authority narrowly passed, 56-54, in the House. It wasn’t looking good, but they made some changes that got enough votes.

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

GM under scrutiny after botched recall

CEO Mary Barra wants GM to be a company that is more transparent and reactive to consumers.
Credit Flickr - Matthew Yaktine

General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.

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Health
12:41 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Health insurance payments changing to boost reforms

Andy Hetzel says Blue Cross Blue Shield is trying to move hospital payments away from volume and toward value.
Credit Courtesy of www.bcbsm.com

For several years, Michigan hospitals and physicians have been implementing reforms aimed at cutting costs and improving patient care. Similar reforms are taking effect due to the Federal Affordable Care Act. A month ago, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced that 24 affiliated hospitals have agreed to launch or expand a different kind of reimbursement model.

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Porgy and Bess leads on playing the iconic characters

'Porgy and Bess' was originally an opera that featured an entire cast of classically trained African American performers.
Credit courtesy of Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award for best Broadway musical revival in 2012 went to “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”. The company touring the country with “Porgy and Bess” is in East Lansing this week for eight performances at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Business
1:25 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Michigan Legislature considers state stock exchange

For 70 years, until the mid 1970’s, Detroit had its own stock exchange. It’s credited with speeding the growth of General Motors and dozens of other Michigan companies.
Credit Flickr - Thomas Hawk

Mention the phrase 'stock exchange' to most people and they’ll likely visualize Wall Street, the home of the New York stock exchange, the world’s biggest. However, smaller, regional stock exchanges are nothing new. A proposal to allow local stock exchanges in Michigan was recently filed in the state legislature. The aim is to allow citizens to invest in small, promising Michigan companies that may not qualify for a larger exchange.

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NewsRoom
1:32 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Lansing Council To Review City, BWL Storm Effort

The Lansing City Council will hold a special meeting Monday evening to review efforts to restore power following the ice storm that struck the region on December 21.
Credit WKAR File Photo

The Lansing City Council will convene a special session Monday evening to review efforts by the city’s Board of Water and Light and other personnel since Sunday’s crippling ice storm.  

The BWL says that of the 40,000 customers who were originally without power about 2,600 were still waiting for it early Friday morning. 

Council President Carol Wood says residents are upset the utility’s website does not include estimates of when power might be restored. 

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Sports
1:50 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Sports check-in with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press sportswriter Joe Rexrode joins us every Monday and Friday to discuss what's happening in the sports world -- from Michigan State to local prep athletics to the pro leagues. Today, he discusses the MSU men's basketball team's loss to Ohio State and what the ramifications are for post-season play.

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Education
1:45 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Michigan universities see shift in enrollment trends

Student enrollment at Michigan's public universities like Michigan State has dramatically increased among international and out-of-state students.
Credit Courtesy of MSU

A new story from Bridge Magazine poses a provocative question for the parents of Michigan’s high schoolers: “Is a student from China taking my kid’s college slot?”  The story explores recent trends in freshmen enrollment at the state’s public universities. Many have seen dramatic increases in the number of international and out-of-state students. Senior editor  Ron French compiled the story and discusses its findings.

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Business
12:56 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock

MLive's Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins us every Monday for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. This week, she discusses the Lansing metro area's real "GDP."

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Health
2:48 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Governor Rick Snyder calls for review of state mental health system

Mental health funding in Michigan is uneven, says Bob Sheehan, and the tri-county area around Lansing is at the bottom.
Credit Gabby Saldivia

On Wednesday, Governor Rick Snyder ordered a review of how Michigan delivers mental health services.  Among other issues, commissions headed by Lt. Governor Brian Calley will focus on how to close the gap for people who need help but end up in jail instead.

Bob Sheehan, executive director of Community Mental Health of Lansing, discusses mental health challenges in mid-Michigan and what he thinks the review needs to address.

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Arts & Culture
2:43 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Public Poetry Announcement: Jamaal May

Jamaal May is an internationally renown poet who grew up on Detroit's Westside.
Credit www.jamaalmay.com

Jamaal May is a world class spoken-word artist and poet from Detroit. He has a guest performance at this weekend’s Poetry Out Loud Michigan high school state championships, which are being held in East Lansing.  Mr. May discusses his career, shares some poetry and tells us about the competition. 

Current State's Public Poetry Announcements are brought to you by the Center for Poetry at MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

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Sports
2:16 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Sports check-in with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press sportswriter Joe Rexrode joins us every Monday and Friday to discuss what's happening in the sports world -- from Michigan State to local prep athletics to the pro leagues. Today, he discusses the MSU men's basketball team and their upcoming game against Ohio State.

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Entertainment
1:58 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Oscar preview with founder of East Lansing film festival

Sunday is the biggest night of the year for movie lovers. Hollywood honors the best movies of 2012, with Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, and more. Who deserves to win, and is that likely to be different from who will?

Susan Woods, the founder of the East Lansing Film Festival, offers her thoughts on the contenders.

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Politics & Government
4:07 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

New State Representative Tom Cochran Outlines 2013 agenda

Having been a House democrat for six weeks now, 67th District Representative Tom Cochran discusses what's going on in the Michigan Democratic party.
Credit Michigan House Democrats

Mason Democrat Tom Cochran prevailed in the 67th State House District race last November.  In his freshman term, the former Lansing fire chief sits on the House Transportation and the Insurance committee.

He shares his thoughts on state's road funding, the leadership of Michigan Democrats, and getting acclimated to the state capitol.

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Economy
4:00 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Michigan Economic Center report surveys attitudes toward public spending

John Austin discusses MEC's survey results about public spending.
Credit MLive

The Michigan Economic Center has released the results of a new survey with some attention-getting  numbers in it.  The MEC’s “Michigan Dream Restored” project  studied attitudes toward “public goods” -- all the things that our tax dollars pay for -- and asked hundreds of Michigan residents how important those public goods actually are in terms of  stimulating the Michigan economy.    

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Politics & Government
3:57 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Local moms join national movement for 'sensible' gun control

On December 15, the day after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, a stay-at-home mom in suburban Indianapolis founded One Million Moms for Gun Control.

Now called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in AmericaShannon Watts’ initial Facebook page has transformed into more than 80 chapters and hundreds of thousands of members nationwide. Their goal is to become the MADD equivalent for gun violence while advocating for “sensible” gun regulations.

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Economy
2:56 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

With Detroit facing emergency management, Flint leaders share their experience

A report released Tuesday afternoon by the Detroit emergency review team all but clears the way for Governor Snyder to appoint an emergency manager to take over the city’s finances. This scenario is nothing new to Flint, where, in late 2011, Governor Snyder appointed Michael Brown as emergency manager.  

We speak with Brown, as well as Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, about what the experience is like and what Detroit officials can learn from it.

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Education
11:50 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Closing the Digital Gap

Instructors like Sharon Courtland at Closing the Digital Gap help Lansing area residents improve their computer skills.
Credit Courtesy of Closing the Digital Gap

For this week’s Neighbors in Action segment, we feature Closing the Digital Gap, a Lansing-based non-profit that provides computers and computer training to low-income adults and families.

Executive Director Marcus Jefferson explains how his organization helps bridge the technical divide between rich and poor.

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Politics & Government
2:42 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Lansing teachers seek new contract before 'Right to Work' kicks in

In five weeks, Michigan’s so-called Right to Work law takes effect.  Some local Michigan teacher unions are working to lock in new contracts before then.  In some cases, it’s an effort to delay the impact of the controversial new law since it will not include contracts already in place by March 27, when it takes effect. 

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Environment
2:36 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Michigan's fragile groundwater resources a growing concern

Michigan's groundwater and inner lake levels are falling, with the 2012 drought and high corn prices contributing to the shift.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Great Lakes’ record-low water levels are rightly receiving all of the attention now, but evidence is growing that Michigan’s fragile groundwater resources are quietly becoming a concern for the future.

Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona and author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to do About It,” knows Michigan well and shares his insights.

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Arts & Culture
2:29 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Michael Rush, the Broad's founding director, on museum's success, future

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum was designed by architect Zaha Hadid.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

For the first time since opening, MSU’s Broad Art Museum is closing exhibits to make way for new displays. Founding director Michael Rush discusses how things have gone at the Broad so far.

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Politics & Government
3:39 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Clearing some haze around state's medical marijuana laws

Much is still unknown regarding Michigan's medical marijuana laws, including how to distribute the drug safely and legally.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

There’s been significant movement at the state capitol regarding medical marijuana recently.  The week before last, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the state’s pot law does not allow dispensaries.  But late last week, State Representative Mike Callton of Nashville announced he’ll introduce a bill that would allow businesses to dispense cannabis.

Stuart Dunnings Jr. is Ingham County prosecutor and among the many legal officials and police who’ve been frustrated by the vagaries of Michigan’s medical marijuana law.  Robin Schneider is a Lansing resident and a legislative liaison for the National Patients’ Rights Association.  They both help clear some of the haze around Michigan's medical marijuana regulations.

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