Today, Lansing kicks off the opening events of the 20th annual Juneteenth celebration, which is a three-day festival celebrating the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery. The holiday has been officially recognized in the state since 2005 when Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared the third Saturday in June to be "Juneteenth National Freedom Day."
Cheryl Benjamin, board member of the Lansing Juneteenth Committee, joins Current State to explain the holiday's origins and what the next three days have to offer.
Recently, the nation has become focused on a series of scandals emanating from Washington, D.C. Edward Snowden, an analyst with the National Security Agency, publicly disclosed details of a secret telephone data mining program. That disclosure came shortly after news that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted and allegedly harassed Tea Party groups.
A Michigan House committee has approved a much debated proposal to expand Medicaid coverage in the state. Expansion of the federal program enjoys some bipartisan support, but the measure was delayed by some House Republicans who wanted stricter guidelines. Some were also reluctant to approve the expansion because of its connection to the federal Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”
The start of summer signals the time for music festivals to spring up all across the Great Lakes region. WKAR’s Jody Knol, Mark Schwitzgoebel and Peter Whorf preview and highlight the 2013 summer classical music festival season throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.