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 rises early to arrive at WKAR in time to prepare for the 5 a.m. broadcast of "Morning Edition." A part of the WKAR staff since 1989, Melissa has also announced classical music, produced a jazz show for the station, answered phones and helped manage Earle Robinson's "SportsTalk/870," and supervised traffic and operations, among other things. A recipient of AP and Michigan Association of Broadcasting awards for use of natural sound, the Lansing native began her career at WCMU in Mount Pleasant. When not delivering the news, you can find the one-time Jeopardy contestant performing with her band, The Kanivers.

Ways to Connect

Menards sign photo
Mike Kalasnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Some small towns in Michigan are having budget problems related to large retailers appealing their property taxes. Current State talks with Bridge Magazine reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey, who recently wrote about the situation.


Our book reviewer Lev Raphael has been reading about a book about the history of a culture divided. It's called "Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition" by Nisid Hajari.


Michigan’s not likely to see anything quite like the California Gold rush in the 1800s, but it turns out, there is some gold to be found in Michigan streams. Current State talks with hobbyist Nick Straffon about panning for Michigan gold.

Claressa Shields photo
Courtesy photo

Claressa Shields of Flint was the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Current State's Melissa Benmark talks with Shields about her boxing career and her remaining ambitions in the ring.

Claressa Shields photo
Courtesy photo

A new documentary looks at the first woman boxer to win an Olympic gold medal. She’s from Flint, and the movie about her Olympic journey is coming to the Flint Institute of Arts this week. Current State's Melissa Benmark talks with filmmaker Sue Jaye Johnson.