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.

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Music
11:54 am
Fri February 6, 2015

MSU Symphony takes on epic Mahler Third

MSU director of orchestras Kevin Noe brought the hefty Mahler Third score to WKAR.
Credit Melissa Benmark/WKAR

The MSU Symphony Orchestra and several University choruses are taking on the epic Mahler Third Symphony on Saturday.

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Arts & Culture
11:29 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Singer-songwriter John Gorka brings road, studio experiences to EL

John Gorka's Ten Pound Fiddle concert is Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Lansing, starting at 8 p.m.
Credit http://johngorka.com/

The next guest at East Lansing’s Ten Pound Fiddle is well-loved singer-songwriter John Gorka. He’ll be performing this Friday night.

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Sports
11:11 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Recapping Spartan hoops and the Super Bowl with Al Martin

MSU men's basketball coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans beat Michigan in overtime on Sunday.
Credit Flickr - hilaryhiggins

Never mind the Super Bowl, the Spartans beat Michigan in men's basketball yesterday. It took overtime for MSU to defeat the Wolverines 76-66.

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NewsRoom
8:11 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

School Closings for Monday: Clinton, Eaton Ingham Counties

Updated 2/2/2015 6:20 a.m.

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Breaking
7:22 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Snow Emergency Declared in Lansing

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has declared a snow emergency in Lansing, according to Ingham County emergency officials.

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Environment
11:11 am
Fri January 30, 2015

BWL falcon family future up in the air

A 2014 image of Viper and Eckert in Lansing.
Credit http://lbwl.com/

Some downtown Lansing residents are being watched intently for signs of courtship. The saga of the peregrine falcons who live at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power Station continues with some new twists.

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Arts & Culture
11:25 am
Wed January 28, 2015

What do diners, bullfighting and hair salons have in common? Candacy Taylor.

Documentarian Candacy Taylor speaks in the RCAH Theatre in MSU’s Snyder-Phillips Hall, starting at 7 p.m.
Credit http://taylormadeculture.com/

MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities continues its Wednesday Night Live series tonight. Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and documentarian for the Library of Congress. She owns Taylor Made Culture, a company that produces multimedia projects that examine culture and identity in America.

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Community
11:31 am
Thu January 22, 2015

WKAR panelist previews human trafficking documentary, discussion

The WKAR Community Cinema preview of 'A Path Appears' is tonight at 7 p.m. in MSU's Communication Arts and Sciences Building.
Credit courtesy

WKAR's next Community Cinema event is tonight, featuring a preview of “A Path Appears". This three-episode series is journalist Nickolas Kristof’s latest collaboration with his wife, Sheryl WuDun, and is a follow-up on the book and movie “Half the Sky.” The subject of both is human trafficking, but “A Path Appears” focuses on the subject here in the United States.

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Environment
11:14 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Are companies downplaying environmental performance?

Dr. Tom Lyon, University of Michigan Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce
Credit http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/

Companies sometimes try to look more environmentally friendly than they are, but a new study indicates they might also downplay their “green” achievements, depending on who’s listening to their message.

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Music
11:54 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Essay ponders role of Beethoven’s heart in his music

Did an arrhythmia influence the works of Beethoven?
Credit Flickr - Eric E Castro

An essay that recently appeared in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine asks the question, was Beethoven literally composing "from the heart"? Could some of Beethoven’s rhythmic inspiration come from the arrhythmia of his own heart?

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NewsRoom
10:00 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Raphael reviews "The French Intifada"

Lev Raphael.
Credit Joan Young

Our book reviewer Lev Raphael has a timely book for us this month. It's "The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs" by Andrew Hussey.

Lev Raphael is our book reviewer. When he isn’t writing novels or teaching, he occasionally blogs for the Huffington post.

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Arts & Culture
11:37 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Featured cellist Bion Tsang plays Tchaikovsky’s "Variations on a Rococo Theme" with LSO

LSO conductor Timothy Muffitt
Credit WKAR file photo

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next Masterworks concert is this Saturday at Wharton Center in East Lansing. The program includes works by Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

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Health
12:10 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

U-M researcher looks to Brazil for breast milk bank ideas

Dr. Lisa Hammer
Credit http://www.mottchildren.org/

You’ve heard of blood banks, tissue banks and organ donation, But are you aware of breast milk banks? Likely not, because they are not widespread in the U.S.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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