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
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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Environment
2:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Could Michigan do more with its water resources?

The Great Lakes Compact bans freshwater exports, but as Dale Buss explains, there are opportunities to positively exploit shipping freshwater to areas in need, such as California.
Credit Flickr - gbozik photography

With snow piled deep across the Great Lakes region, there are hopes that the upcoming melt will push lake levels higher. It’s a scenario envied by many in the American west, especially in California where residents are being hammered by the severest drought in three decades. 

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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.

Sports
3:26 pm
Mon February 18, 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. This time, he previews tomorrow's huge men's basketball game between Michigan State and Indiana in East Lansing.

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Economy
3:14 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Detroit's financial woes may lead to drastic action

In response to Detroit's ongoing financial woes, Governor Rick Snyder is expected to appoint an emergency manager.
Credit Courtesy of Patricia Drury (Wikimedia Commons)

State officials and many in southeast Michigan have been keeping a very close eye on financial reports coming out of Detroit.  Sunday's Detroit Free Press reported that an emergency financial report completed late Friday suggests an emergency manager is inevitable.  The report found the city’s deficit continues to grow even after some degree of state oversight for more than 10 months.  

Free Press reporter and columnist Nancy Kaffer joins us to explain one of the biggest, ongoing stories in Michigan.

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Business
2:16 pm
Mon February 18, 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.

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Politics & Government
1:31 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

MSU economist Charles Ballard on the Michigan economy, minimum wage debate

President Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage this week in his State of the Union Address. Michigan legislative Democrats followed up with their own calls for an increase. Republicans at all levels say an increase would be a job-killer.

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Arts & Culture
1:29 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Book recalls famous and forgotten Michigan authors

Credit www.bibliovault.org

Dave Dempsey is a widely respected environmentalist and writer; his attorney brother, Jack, is also a writer. Together, their love for Michigan and the written word are united in “Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors." The book has been chosen as a Michigan Notable Book for 2013. They join us to talk about Michigan’s rich literary history.

Jack and Dave Dempsey will appear at the Schuler Book Store in Okemos on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. to discuss the book.

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Sports
1:27 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Sports check-in with Joe Rexrode

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. This time, he recaps this week's men's basketball game between Michigan and Michigan State and looks ahead to the rest of the Big Ten schedule.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
1:25 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

A 'Downton Abbey' music special preview

Credit Richard Munckton

This Sunday night at 9 p.m., WKAR TV presents the two-hour Season Three finale of the hit PBS TV series Downton Abbey. The “Sturm und Drang” of the third season brought us the wedding of Mary and Matthew, the death of Sybil, the near financial ruin of the estate itself and many more joys and heartbreaks. Millions of viewers nationwide will be tuned in to see what this year’s final installment brings and what it may promise for the coming Season Four.

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Environment
12:49 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

State seeks public input on Michigan's energy future

What should Michigan’s long-range priorities be regarding energy?  Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials want to know.

This Thursday afternoon in Lansing is the public’s first chance to make its voice heard at a forum being held at the State Library. Next December, the Governor plans to issue a comprehensive set of recommendations based in part on the forums.  

Today on Current State, three guests with different perspectives discuss the energy issue.

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