Current State

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Mid-Michigan's news destination for the informed, the caring and the curious. News and issues, arts and attitudes, and the personalities that make the heart of Michigan beat.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:31 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Current State #526 | April 27, 2015

Today on Current State: The "Safe Roads Yes!" campaign for Proposal 1; an American food culture exhibit at the Broad Art Museum; the role of the Michigan Air National Guard in the fight against ISIS; MSU studies the role of belly fat in high blood pressure; and WKAR's Al Martin discusses the MSU spring football game.

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Politics & Government
12:27 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Lead Prop 1 campaigner: measure not a special interest grab

The months-long discussion about whether to raise Michigan's sales tax by a penny is nearing an end. Voters will decide the issue next Tuesday. According to Michigan’s ‘Citizens Research Council,” the measure would eventually generate about an additional $1.3-billion to be spent on the state’s roads and bridges. It creates a new formula for assessing the state’s gas tax, which would be tied to the wholesale price of gasoline. At current prices, it would go up about 10 cents per gallon. Whatever the increase, it would be lessened somewhat by the removal of sales tax from gasoline.

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Arts & Culture
12:23 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

New Broad exhibit looks at evolution of American food culture

The 'American Apetite' exhibit at the Broad Art Museum includes John Baeder's 1979 work 'Market Diner."
Credit Courtesy, Broad Art Museum

When you think of American food, you probably see hamburgers, hotdogs, maybe french fries. But there’s a lot more to food culture in the United States than typical drive through fare. The evolution of what and how Americans eat is the focus of a new exhibit at the Broad Art Museum.

Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

MI Air National Guard troops to combat ISIS

Brigadier General Leonard Isabelle
Credit Courtesy, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Michigan Air National Guard has sent troops to the Middle East to, in the words of military officials, “eliminate” ISIS, the terrorist group responsible for numerous acts of violence in Iraq and Syria. About 350 airmen based at Selfridge Air National Guard base near Detroit are now in the region, as well as twelve A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. The A-10, nicknamed, the “Warthog,” is equipped with a high-powered rotary cannon capable of destroying a tank.

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Health
12:08 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

MSU study to look for link between belly fat and high blood pressure

Dr. Greg Fink
Credit Courtesy MSU Today

For a while now, medical professionals have thought there was a connection between abdominal fat and high blood pressure. Turns out, that belly fat may be more or less talking to the body’s blood vessels. The National Institutes of Health has given a grant to some MSU researchers who want to listen in on what that conversation might be.

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Sports
12:04 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Spartans' spring football game draws record crowd

MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio put his team through its paces at Saturday's Green and White game at Spartan Stadium.
Credit MSU Sports Information

MSU football fans made history over the weekend. A record 48,000 people packed Spartan Stadium on Saturday to witness this year’s Green and White scrimmage. It was the largest attendance ever recorded for the annual spring tradition.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:09 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Current State #525 | April 24, 2015

Today on Current State: Abstinance sex education instruction; the Detroit Zoo works to turn poop into electricity; Lansing city councilmember Vincent Delgado decides not to run in the 2015 election; Michigan's boat building history; and Live Music Friday with Rob Klajda of The Lash.

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Education
12:04 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

What belongs and doesn’t belong in abstinence sex ed instruction?

For about a week, sex education has been one hot topic in the Lansing area. It began last week when Alice Dreger, an author, college professor and activist, live tweeted from her son’s sex ed class at East Lansing High School. Among the quotes from the instructors, according to Dreger: “Safe sex is kind of a misnomer.” “You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." Dreger and many others on social media blasted the approach for being outdated, unconcerned with credible data and focused on fear and shame.

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Environment
11:56 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Detroit Zoo will turn poop into power with new biodigester

The Detroit Zoo has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise funding for a planned biodigester.
Credit Detroit Zoo

There’s a lot to see at the Detroit Zoo: polar bears, giraffes, and crocodiles. But there’s also a lot that you don’t see, like all the poop from those animals. So, what happens to the animal waste from those lions and tigers and bears? At the Detroit Zoo, it could soon be turned into electricity.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Newest Lansing city council member won’t run in August

Lansing city councilmember at large Vincent Delgado has decided not to run in this year's election.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Vincent Delgado was appointed to the Lansing city council in February to fill the remaining term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who left the post after his selection as Ingham County Register of Deeds. Delgado has decided not to run for re-election in the August 4 primary. His term will end January 1.

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History
11:33 am
Fri April 24, 2015

New book looks at golden age of boat building in Michigan

We think of Michigan as the center of the auto industry, but there have been times in our history when production of recreational boats was a thriving industry as well. In fact, many of the best known boat names like Chris-Craft originated here.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Fri April 24, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Rob Klajda of The Lash

Rob Klajda sings and plays the citern today in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

For 20 years, Lansing music fans have enjoyed what’s been described as the “celtic mayhem” of The Lash. Tonight, the group will perform for the last time. They’re calling the show “One Last Paycheck”. It’s at The Avenue Café in Lansing. Jen Sygit will open the show at 9 p.m.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:47 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Current State #524 | April 23, 2015

Today on Current State: Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr; Lansing remembers the flood of 1975; poet Carolyn Forché; a Lansing property owner criticizes the city and Niowave over their revised remodeling plan; Scott D. Southard reviews "Missing Reels" by Farran Smith Nehme; and a preview of Saturday's Ann Arbor Symphony concert.

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Politics & Government
11:41 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Former Detroit EM Kevyn Orr credits city workers for "rising to the occasion"

Credit Flickr - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Four months ago, the city of Detroit turned the page on a difficult chapter of its long and storied history. Last December, Detroit emerged from the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy. The so-called “grand bargain” that sealed the deal cut $7-billion of the city’s debt and injected millions of dollars to reduce pension cuts for city retirees.

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History
11:36 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing residents remember historic 1975 flood

This Lansing intersection was under water during the 1975 flood.
Credit Norris Ingells / Courtesy Lansing State Journal

This week we’re looking back on an event that’s become part of the folklore of mid-Michigan. Forty years ago, a late winter storm followed by locally heavy rains produced one of the worst floods in Lansing history. Current State’s Kevin Lavery speaks with some local residents who remember well the Flood of 1975.

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Award-winning poet Carolyn Forché brings “poetry of witness” to MSU

Carolyn Forché will talk about her four books of poetry at 3 pm today in room W449 of the MSU main library.
Credit Courtesy The Poetry Foundation

While poetry is often thought of as a way to capture the beauty of the world in words, it has also long been a vehicle for political dissent and social criticism. From Walt Whitman to Pablo Neruda, many of the world’s most famous poets frequently drew inspiration for their poetry from their politics. Carolyn Forché is carrying that legacy of socially engaged poetry into the 21st century.

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Politics & Government
11:25 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing property owner slams city, Niowave over revised remodeling

Dale Schraeder in one of the many neighbors unhappy with the modifications made to the Niowave facility.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last night, there was yet another episode in the dispute between Niowave and its residential neighbors in Lansing’s Walnut neighborhood. The Lansing City council’s Planning and Development committee heard from about ten exasperated Walnut residents about a plan that would let the high-tech company out of some of the requirements it agreed to last year to fix up a large metal building on its property.

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Book Review: Farran Smith Nehme's "Missing Reels"

Blogging is one of the greatest things to happen to the art of writing. In a blog, a writer is free to do whatever they want. They can experiment with form or subject matter, and build a readership without worrying about the approval of an agent or publisher. It can also be a launch pad for a career.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Thu April 23, 2015

A2SO season finale features Mahler’s magnificent “Fifth”

Aaron Berofsky and Kathryn Votapek will perform with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Saturday night.
Credit Courtesy Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra presents its season finale at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium this Saturday at 8 p.m. The concert will be broadcast live on WKAR 90.5-FM. The program features works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Gustav Mahler.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:39 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Current State #523 | April 22, 2015

Today on Current State: State Medicaid director Steve Fitton and State Sen. Jim Marleau on the challenges facing Medicaid; Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids of Barry and Eaton County; former Gov. John Engler remembers the late Sen. Robert Griffin; and the MSU College of Music's "Latin IS America" series.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MI faces hurdles in getting second federal Medicaid waiver

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

Medicaid benefits used to be available mostly to low-income children, pregnant women, and disabled adults in Michigan. But that changed in 2013 when Michigan voted to use federal funds from the Affordable Care Act to extend those benefits to more people. Gov. Rick Snyder was a major force behind the legislation, saying it would mean lower healthcare costs and more federal dollars for Michigan. Healthy Michigan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program, has enrolled nearly 600,000 people to date. But the future of the program depends on the Department of Health and Human Services getting a waiver from the federal government.

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Community
11:31 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids, Barry & Eaton Counties

Deliah Underwood is a volunteer advocate with CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County.
Credit CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we welcome back to the program CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County, which provides volunteer advocates for kids in family court.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Gov. Engler remembers “workhorse” Sen. Robert Griffin

After his time in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1987 to 1994. His portrait by artist Joseph Maniscalco hangs in the Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.

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Arts & Culture
11:18 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MSU’s “Latin IS America” mirrors cultural, political changes

The MSU College of Music presents its third annual "Latin IS America" series through May 2nd at various campus venues. Artistic director and associate professor of music Ricardo Lorenz oversees the festival.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:47 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Current State #522 | April 21, 2015

Today on Current State: Examining Michigan's road warranty program in the days leading up to the vote on a road repair funding proposal; the declining rusty blackbird population; MSU scientists resume work at the Large Hadron Collider; and the 2015-16 Wharton Center schedule.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

LSJ reporters explore flawed MDOT road warranty program

Credit Flickr - The Tire Zoo

Two weeks from today, Michigan voters will decide whether to increase investment in the state’s crumbling roads and bridges with a one cent increase in the state sales tax. The discussion over whether to invest more in infrastructure has raised the issue of  the warranties that sometimes cover that work.

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Environment
11:38 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MI naturalists recruit volunteers to track disappearing rusty blackbird

The rusty blackbird population has declined dramatically over the last few decades.
Credit Flickr - Don Faulkner

All sorts of migratory birds that winter in the southern United States are returning to their northern breeding grounds. Many birds that live in Canada and Alaska are passing through Michigan. Bird watchers are keeping a close eye out for one particular subspecies whose numbers have plummeted over a period of decades.

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Science & Technology
11:33 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MSU scientists busy as Europe’s Large Hadron Collider re-starts

The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest machine in the world.
Credit Courtesy CERN

The Large Hadron Collider is one of the world’s major research facilities. 27 miles in circumference and spanning the French-Swiss border, the LHC has been shut down for two years of planned maintenance. Before the shutdown, the collider had run for three years, and the discoveries there have included the long-sought Higgs boson. This month, the facility re-opened, and researchers from Michigan State University have a prominent role in the work being done there.

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Arts & Culture
11:27 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Wharton schedule includes “Book of Mormon,” “Sound of Music”

'The Sound of Music' will be at the Wharton Center next February on its way to Broadway.

There’s always a lot of excitement when MSU’s Wharton Center announces its schedule for the coming season, and today, the slate of shows for 2015-16 is being released. The Broadway schedule always leads the way at Wharton, and the shows coming to East Lansing include some that are new to town, one major program that will be here before heading to Broadway, and the return of “The Book of Mormon.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:21 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Current State #521 | April 20, 2015

Today on Current State: Two grandchildren of Henrietta Lacks discuss her story, as told in the book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot; the connection between childhood imagination and creativity in adults; Michigan faces a lawsuit over allegations of prison rapes; and MSU linebacker Riley Bullough on spring football and his forays into country music.

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