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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Science & Technology
1:00 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Film captures human drama at the large Hadron Collider

A new documentary called “Particle Fever” will be screened by the East Lansing Film Society tomorrow night. It’s the story of the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs Boson. The East Lansing Film Society will screen “Particle Fever” tomorrow night at the Studio C! Theatres in Okemos.

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Education
11:35 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Behind the effort to create a new Lansing area high school

Organizers say many leaders of local Lutheran congregations think now is the time to try and get a new high school off the ground.
Credit Flickr - Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

The idea of starting a high school under any circumstances is a daunting one, to say the least. With schools struggling all across Michigan, the economy still on the rebound, and the constant political maneuvering in education policy, the task of creating a new high school in the Lansing area seems that much more difficult.

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Economy
1:14 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

New MSU project expected to help create thousands of Michigan jobs

The Food Processing and Innovation Center is raising the funding for the estimated $5.5 million project. It’s expected to consist of a mix of federal and state dollars, along with a commitment from MSU and five industry partners. It will be located on Hewlett Road.
Credit Courtesy - Michigan State University


There are plans to build a new center here at MSU that, if realized, proponents say could have a substantial economic impact on the state of Michigan, including the creation of potentially thousands of new jobs. Current State's Joe Linstroth talked with Chris Peterson, an agricultural economist and the head of MSU’s Product Center, who says there are more than 600 mid-sized food processors in the state of Michigan. Many of these companies’ facilities are maxed out, meaning that if they want to create a new product, they don’t have the capacity to test the product or its manufacturing and packaging techniques to see if it’s economically viable.

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Economy
4:53 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

State prisoner reentry program looks to address unemployment

Russ Marlan of the MDOC says that they have about 43,500 prisoners in Michigan's 31 correction facilities. Releases vary from around 9,000 to 10,000 a year.
Credit Flickr - foreverdigital

Inmates who leave Michigan prisons at the end of their sentences need an array of support services to help them successfully reenter society. The Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative was created in 2003 to fulfill that goal. The program has done quite well in the years since, but the state is still seeking ways to improve. The Michigan Department of Corrections is asking service providers to help enhance the post-prison experience for those who’ve served their time.

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Arts & Culture
4:41 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

More music, films at this year's Capital City Film Festival

The fourth Annual Capital City Film Festival starts this Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Credit Courtesy of Capital City Film Festival

The fourth Annual Capital City Film Festival will showcase four days of films. Shorts, documentaries,  and narrative features are all included. The festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Capital City Film Festival Director Dominic Cochran and Festival Coordinator Payal Ravani discuss this year’s offerings.

Politics & Government
1:28 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

More freedom or less democracy? Sorting out ramifications of the McCutcheon ruling

The McCutcheon decision effectively raises the individual political donation limit from $117,000 to approximately $3.5 million.
Credit Flickr - marsmet462

The U.S. Supreme Court last week came out with another controversial ruling on our nation’s campaign finance laws.

In the case McCutcheon versus the FEC, the Supreme Court struck down the limits on the overall amount of money an individual can give to all federal candidates and committees in a two-year election cycle.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Mon April 7, 2014

The bumpy process of prioritizing road funding

Each spring, Michigan faces the problem of repairing roads damaged during the winter.
Credit Flickr - _chrisUK

Last week, Michigan House Republicans proposed a new funding plan that would allocate nearly a half billion dollars each year through 2018 to repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. Fixing Michigan roads is a perennial problem each spring, and the situation is particularly dire after such a severe winter. Certainly, everyone wants their own neighborhood streets and highways repaired first. But transportation planners and engineers must rely on hard data to make decisions about which roads get fixed, and when.

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Business
11:39 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Business leaders update "Michigan Turnaround Plan"

Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, says Michigan has seen significant improvement in terms of a balanced budget and tax rates since 2009.
Credit businessleadersformichigan.com

An organization that includes many of Michigan’s top corporate leaders is making new recommendations on the way ahead for the state. “Business Leaders for Michigan” is a non-profit whose 90 or so members are among the top executives of the state’s most established businesses including General Motors, Dominos Pizza and Meijer.

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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

New Dem LG candidate outlines priorities

Mark Schauer describes Brown as 'a fighter' who 'knows how to lead.'
Credit Courtesy of Lisa Brown

Michigan's Democratic candidate for Governor, Mark Schauer, selected his running mate this week. To no one's surprise, Schauer selected Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown.

Before her election as Clerk, the West Bloomfield resident represented central Oakland County for two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before that, she worked both as an attorney and realtor.

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Politics & Government
12:56 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Enthusiasm for public service drives mayor in run for Rogers' seat

Barnett says he brings a unique perspective as a mayor 'who has seen what effective leadership can do and how it can deliver results.'
Credit https://www.rochesterhills.org/

In fewer than 24-hours, the race for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District picked up two new candidates. Both are Oakland County Republicans. 

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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

This audio is pending

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

This audio is pending

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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Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

From the capitol: wolf hunt, EAA, roads

Rick Pluta of MPRN says along with the ongoing battle over wolf hunting in Michigan, lawmakers are considering education and road repair funding proposals.
Credit Flickr - warriorwoman531

The controversy over wolf hunting continues in Michigan with new developments this week.

Last November and December, hunters killed 23 wolves in three parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That was a little more than half the number allowed under the state's new wolf hunting rules. The wolf debate didn't end with the hunt, though.

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Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Congressman Kildee makes case for renewal of unemployment insurance

Rep. Dan Kildee says its insulting when Senators in Washington believe that those who are unemployed want to be in that position.
Credit Flickr - slightly everything


A deal to renew federal benefits for the country’s long-term unemployed continues to elude the U.S. Congress. However, supporters of the effort, which include Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, are hopeful of a breakthrough in the Senate this week. There, Senators are looking at two proposals, one from each party.

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Business
12:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan business group says state gains from higher ed reinvestment

According to Doug Rothwell, college education is needed now more than ever before, but it needs to be affordable.
Credit Flickr - Andrew Munro

After years of controversial cuts to higher education, Michigan has begun reinvesting in its colleges and universities. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 6.1 percent spending hike for Michigan’s 15 state-funded colleges and universities. Higher education officials applauded the move, which would be contingent on universities limiting tuition increases.

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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Breaking down the debate over juvenile lifers

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the fate of more than 350 prison inmates sentenced to life with no chance of parole as juveniles.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments today on what should be done with more than 350 prison inmates sentenced to life with no chance of parole as juveniles.  The Michigan case follows a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring life without parole sentences for minors violates the U.S. constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. 

Current State speaks with the Michigan Public Radio Network’s statehouse bureau chief, Rick Pluta.

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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

New Prima Civitas chief seeks to enhance mission

Arnold Weinfeld is the new Prima Civitas CEO.
Credit Courtesy Prima Civitas

Since 2006, East Lansing's Prima Civitas has been a catalyst for economic and community development --initially in mid-Michigan and eventually across the state.  The non-profit brings together business owners, entrepreneurs and Michigan State University resources to spark economic growth.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

When passenger pigeons filled Michigan skies

Seven passenger pigeons from the aviary at the University of Chicago, 1896.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Later this year, we mark the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon---the last being a resident of a Cincinatti zoo.  The well-publicized event capped the annihilation of a species whose population at one point was so overwhelming that one ornithologist believed there were more passenger pigeons than all other species combined. 

Efforts to bring the population under control began back in the mid 19th century, in part because enormous flocks wreaked havoc on trees and farms.

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Economy
12:03 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Pennyslvania offers lessons on clearing road funding hurdles

Pennsylvania's situation regarding roads and politics are similar to Michigan's.
Credit Flickr - chrisUK

With an intense pothole season beginning to unfold in Michigan, debate is intensifying over how to repair and better maintain state roads and highways.

Republican Governor Rick Snyder has favored a longer-term, comprehensive approach that would invest over a billion dollars a year in the effort. However, fellow Republicans in the legislature have withheld support for the tax and fee increases that would fund the Governor’s plan.

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