Melissa Benmark

Morning Edition Host

Melissa Ingells Benmark is the host for Morning Edition and also produces features and interviews for the program, with an emphasis on the arts.

Melissa came to WKAR from WCMU in Mount Pleasant.

Pages

Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

A legal primer on religious displays at the Capitol

MSU Law professor Frank Ravitch
Credit http://www.law.msu.edu/

A display at the state Capitol sponsored by a group called “The Satanic Temple” is raising eyebrows, even though it hasn’t been put up yet.

Read more
Environment
11:02 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Researchers eye spread of invasive faucet snails

Faucet snails are appearing along the Great Lakes coasts.
Credit Courtesy Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth

The populations of an invasive snail in the Great Lakes may be increasing, according to a new study. Researchers from ten universities including Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University have found “faucet snails” in more areas along the Great Lakes coastline than experts previously thought.

Read more
Environment
12:17 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Study: eating right may not do right by environment

Dr. Martin Heller
Credit http://css.snre.umich.edu/

A new Michigan study looks at what we eat in the context of its environmental impact. Every few years, the U. S. Department of Agriculture puts out guidelines on how Americans should eat to maintain good health. The balance between fruits and vegetables, protein, and other nutrients has been the topic of much debate.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Amid funding uncertainty, MDOT plans for the future

Credit Flickr - Doug Kerr

The Michigan Department of Transportation this month released its draft 2015-2019 Five-Year Transportation Program. MDOT will be taking public comment on the draft plan until January 5.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawmakers take up roads, LGBT rights in lame duck

Credit Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard the words “lame duck” in the last few weeks? You have a little while longer to be tired of the term. The Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session lasts for just over two more weeks.

Read more
Health
11:06 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Better stroke outcomes goal of MSU research

Matthew Reeves
Credit http://www.epi.msu.edu/

The medical challenges associated with stroke have been in the news lately with hockey great Gordie Howe suffering both strong and mild strokes over the past few months. A new MSU study aims to improve the recovery of stroke victims.

Read more
Environment
11:37 am
Tue December 2, 2014

New tool simulates climate change impact on MI shorelines

This simulation shows high water levels at the Harbor Bay Power Plant in Michigan's thumb region.
http://coast.noaa.gov/llv/

A new computer tool is helping official planners and even just people who are interested in the Great Lakes actually see what varying water levels do to the shoreline.

Read more
NewsRoom
12:09 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Raphael reviews "Danubia"

Arts & Culture
11:03 am
Fri November 21, 2014

MSU ensembles swing with Beethoven, Ellington

Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The MSU Symphony Orchestra and MSU Jazz Orchestra I are joining forces for a concert tonight at Wharton Center. It’s an Ellington and Beethoven concert, a meeting of the great composers.

Read more
Science & Technology
11:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Researcher studies microbiome of the dead

Assistant MSU Professor of Entomology and Osteopathic Medical Specialties Eric Benbow
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Dead bodies are not completely dead. Bacteria and insects live on and near corpses, and what kind of organisms are there can tell scientists lots of useful things, including how long a body has been dead. To learn from what’s called the “microbiome,” though, researchers need access, unfortunately, to dead bodies, and the more recent, the better. Bodies that are donated to research institutions are kept in cold storage for long periods of time which means the results are different.

Read more
Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu October 30, 2014

LSO concert features dramatic choral music

MSU Director of Choral Programs David Rayl
Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next MasterWorks concert is Saturday at Wharton Center. The MSU State Singers, University Chorale and Choral Union get involved with this LSO concert.

Read more
Health
11:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

MSU study links vitamin D deficiency and suicide

Dr. Lena Brundin
Credit http://neuroscience.msu.edu

An MSU researcher is part of a team that’s been looking at a possible link between Vitamin D deficiency and suicide attempts. The research was published this fall in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology.”

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
12:10 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Farewell, Current State producer Joe Linstroth

Joe Linstroth
Credit WKAR

Current State bids a reluctant but fond farewell today to the founding producer of our program. Joe Linstroth returns to his Ann Arbor alma mater as he leaves WKAR for a position at the University of Michigan's public radio station.

Read more
Music
11:25 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert feature Mendelssohn, Chopin

Pianist Colton Peltier joins the LSO for Saturday's concert.
Credit www.lansingsymphony.org/

The next Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert is Saturday night at MSU’s Wharton Center. The concert features Chopin’s first piano and Mendelssohn’s Italian symphony, and a new piece that people may not have heard yet.

Read more
Arts & Culture
12:33 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

NOLA musical legend Toussaint visits East Lansing

Allen Toussaint
Credit Courtesy - Michael Wilson

Some legendary New Orleans musicians will be in East Lansing tonight. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint play at Wharton Center at 7:30. Allen Toussaint has pretty much done it all.

Read more
NewsRoom
9:20 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Lev Raphael Talks About His Latest Mystery

Lev Raphael.
Credit Joan Young

We hear from our book reviewer Lev Raphael each month, but it’s been a while since we looked at one of his own books. Lev is an author as well as the host of our Under the Radar segment. It’s been a number of years since we last heard from character Nick Hoffman, but he’s back. The new book is called "Assault With A Deadly Lie."

Read more
Arts & Culture
11:16 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Visiting Ethiopian director on race, film in America

An image from the Haile Gerima film 'Teza'.
Credit http://www.tezathemovie.com

An Ethiopian filmmaker whose films deal with themes of displacement and powerlessness is in East Lansing this week. Haile Gerima is best known as the director of "Sankofa", and his most recent film, "Teza", will be shown along with an earlier work, "Bush Mama", over the next few days.

Read more
History
12:37 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Award winning journalist tells story of Great Migration

Isabel Wilkerson
Credit http://isabelwilkerson.com/

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will be at Wharton Center this week. On Thursday, Isabel Wilkerson will discuss her book "The Warmth of Other Suns" in a joint appearance with television journalist Soledad O’Brien. Wilkerson’s book is an epic work of non-fiction that chronicles the great migration northward of Southern African-Americans.

Read more
Economy
12:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Michigan vineyards stressed by cool, wet weather

Credit Flickr - Amy

Strange weather in Michigan continues to affect various kinds of agriculture. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has been checking into the effects of a hard winter and a cool summer on the wine industry in the state.

Read more
Community
10:25 am
Mon September 15, 2014

NPR's Michele Norris brings Race Card Project to MSU

Michele Norris speaks at MSU tonight.
Credit michele-norris.com - Mary Noble Ours

To longtime NPR listeners, Michele Norris is a familiar voice. She’s the former co-host of All Things Considered, and is the curator of the Race Card Project. Her memoir, “The Grace of Silence,” is one of the offerings in the most recent “One Book, One Community” program.

Read more
Environment
1:23 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Cleaning up the Grand River, one tire at a time

A willow tree lies in the Grand River near Reed Road in Jackson County.
Credit http://www.great-mi.org/

Here on Current State we do lots of reporting on environmental programs and policies in the Great Lakes region, but it’s always good to remember that taking care of our waters often happens because someone decides to fight pollution one empty bottle at a time. That’s happening in Jackson this coming weekend.

Read more
Business
12:21 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

MSU study looks at gender and 'image management'

An MSU study looked at how women should present themselves in job interviews for traditionally male-dominated fields.
Credit Flickr/Steve Wilson

    

Say you’re a woman, and  you’re interviewing for a job in a traditionally male-dominated field like engineering. What qualities about yourself should you highlight in your interview? A new MSU study offers some ideas.

Read more
Health
11:58 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Breast cancer forges bond between Israeli from MI, Palestinian

Ruth Ebenstein
Credit www.laughthroughbreastcancer.com/

What is sisterhood? One Michigan woman’s experience suggests the path to acquiring a loving sister can be unexpected and extraordinary. Ruth Ebenstein belongs to a diverse group of breast cancer survivors whose mission is to support women with the disease who live in conflict zones.

Read more
Health
12:17 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Questionable additive okay for toothpaste but not hand soap?

Triclosan has been taken out of many antibacterial soaps but continues to be used in products such as Colgate Total toothpaste.
Credit Flickr - Brooke Singer

Starting in 2017, the state of Minnesota will ban the use of an antibacterial chemical in consumer products. Triclosan has been found in the waters and fish of the Great Lakes, and a number of health organizations in Canada are urging their government to ban the chemical as well.

Read more
Environment
1:29 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

New NWF chief to focus on education, outreach

Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of National Wildlife Federation.
Credit www.nwf.org

The National Wildlife Federation has a new president and CEO. Collin O’Mara was recently in Michigan for an environmental tour of the Detroit Area, and stopped by Current State. For a CEO, he’s fairly young at 30 years old. Current State’s Melissa Benmark asked him what environmental values he brings to this position that might be different than someone in their fifties or sixties.

Read more
Music
3:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing's Heartland Klezmorim

From left: Ben Godoshian, Chris Hamilton, Drew Howard and David Klein.
Credit WKAR

The Great Lakes Folk Festival kicks off next weekend in East Lansing. One of the musical attractions is the traditional Klezmer group Heartland Klezmorim from the Lansing Area. They join us today as part of our Live Music Fridays series.

Read more
NewsRoom
12:05 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Raphael reviews "Headhunters"

Author and book reviewer Lev Raphael.
Credit Joan Young

Our reviewer Lev Raphael has been reading a tale about supplementing one’s income…with art thefts. The book is “Headhunters” by Jo Nesbo.

Read more
Environment
12:55 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Detroit water shut-offs and Asian carp litigation

People standing before one of the largest bodies of water in the world in solidarity with the people of Detroit as they shut off water to some citizens and businesses in the city.
Credit Flickr- Light Brigading

At the end of each month we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. 

Read more
Economy
11:31 am
Mon July 28, 2014

A look at the changing face of pensions

Credit Flickr - 401(K)_2012

From the Detroit bankruptcy to a high-profile lawsuit against phone giant Verizon, pensions are in the news lately. With all the talk about pensions being frozen, or reduced, or bought out, we wanted to get kind of a “Pensions 101” perspective.

Read more
Health
12:24 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

MSU study: Brand awareness linked to overweight kids

The study found a correlation between the amount of familiarity each child had with certain food brands and the child's BMI.
Credit Flickr - Ian Muttoo

A recent Michigan State University study indicates that the more familiar young children are with the brand names of less healthy foods, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. The study is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is how you get a bunch of 3 to 5 year olds to express themselves on ideas like brand identification.

Read more

Pages