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
1:30 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Current State #353 | July 18, 2014

Today on Current State: An independent debate commission in Michigan; Michigan Ag Expo; Tilted Axes in Detroit; Lansing United's playoff-bound; live music with The Springtails. 

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Politics & Government
1:25 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Media key to creation of independent debate commission

It's largely up to the state's broadcast media if Michigan wants to have an official debate commission, says Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network
Credit Flickr/Tim Lydy

With elections not too far off, there's been the usual back and forth between candidates about debates. Currently, the terms and conditions of political debates in Michigan are mostly left up to the candidates to decide, which often leaves them lacking in substance for voters.  

We explore the idea of an independent statewide debate commission and what affect it might have on Michigan's democratic process with Rick Pluta, Capitol bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. 

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Science & Technology
1:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Ag Expo focuses on education, technology

The Michigan Ag Expo is held on the campus of Michigan State University and will host more than 200 exhibitors.
Credit Flickr

Thousands of farmers from all over Michigan will take some time away from the fields next week to visit the Michigan State University campus for Ag Expo. Starting Tuesday, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will be joined by MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension educators to conduct education programs. And, farm equipment producers always bring the latest in farming technology to display.

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Arts & Culture
12:53 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Tilted Axes to shred Detroit

Credit Courtesy of Patrick Grant

Detroit-area native, composer and musician Patrick Grant has created seasonal musical celebrations in his adopted home of New York City. His event titled "Tilted Axes" rung in the winter equinox of 2012 with dozens of electric guitarists hooking portable amplifiers to their belts and walking the streets of Manhattan to observe winter's arrival.

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Sports
12:43 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

After regular season title, Lansing United poised for playoffs

Lansing United takes on Minnesota United Reserves in its first ever playoff match on July 19, 2014.
Credit Courtesy of Lansing United

The Lansing United Soccer Club has enjoyed a great first season. Last week, the team clinched the championship of the National Premier Soccer League’s Great Lakes West Conference, and this weekend, the team will host the NPSL’s Midwest Region playoffs.

Team owner Jeremy Sampson joins us to look back at the team's inaugural season and look ahead to this weekend and beyond. 

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Music
12:34 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing's The Springtails

The Springtails are (left to right) Bob Bryan, Lou Rudner, Julianna Wilson, and Andy Wilson.
Credit WKAR

    

We're back with our Live Music Fridays series and featuring The Springtails. The Lansing-based band has released one album so far called "Because We're in Love" in 2013. The quartet performs a variety of styles, from swing and vaudeville standards to original compositions.

The Springtails play for us live all hour. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Current State #352 | July 17, 2014

Today on Current State: Flint's financial situation; the Faster Horses Music Festival; GOP candidates for 69th district; a Public Poetry Announcement; and Detroit's mass mobs.

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Economy
1:37 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Between pensions and police: Flint faces financial situation

Credit Flickr- Michigan Municipal League

In Flint, city leaders and residents continue to struggle with serious fiscal challenges. Lately, the focus of the debate has been over whether city services or benefits for municipal retirees is more important.

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Entertainment
1:32 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Country music with a kick at Faster Horses

Brian Lorente and the Usual Suspects played at last summer's Faster Horses country music festival at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Credit Courtesy - Kristen Leigh Smith

Michigan’s biggest country music festival of the summer is in Brooklyn this weekend. Michigan International Speedway will host the Faster Horses Festival, which includes three days of music, camping, and fun in southern Michigan.

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Politics & Government
1:23 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

GOP candidates for 69th share economic priorities

Frank Lambert (left) and George Nastas III (right) are competing in the republican primary to represent Michigan's 69th district.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Michigan’s 69th House district covers parts of the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, as well as Meridian and Williamston Townships. It’s one of the state’s most culturally diverse political districts and historically, the 69th has leaned Democratic.

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Arts & Culture
1:17 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Public Poetry Announcement: Marion McCready

'Wild Poppies' by Marion McCready was published in 2014.
Credit Flickr/Phil Parsons

It’s been awhile since we’ve paused for a Public Poetry Announcement here on Current State. With this polar vortex making the nights feel more like autumn, contributor Stephanie Glazier has a timely poem from Marion McCready to remind us that it is still, indeed, summertime. 

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Arts & Culture
1:14 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Detroit mass mobs look to fill pews, coffers

Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Detroit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Starting this past spring, Detroiters and suburbanites have gathered in growing numbers at historic Detroit Churches. They’ve been named the ‘Detroit Mass Mob’ and have been imagining the past while building toward the future.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Current State #351 | July 16, 2014

Today on Current State: Congressman Dan Kildee on bringing unaccompanied Central American children to Michigan; a 20th Michigan Shakespeare Festival preview; 8th District Democratic candidates on campaigning together; and Neighbors in Action features MSU's International Friendship Program.

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Politics & Government
12:54 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Congressman Kildee on Vassar plan: 'These kids are in danger'

Cong. Kildee says people should not confuse the current humanitarian crisis with immigration issues.
Credit Courtesy - Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

Many in our state are closely watching events in Vassar, Michigan. The community 65 miles northeast of Lansing in Genesee County could become the temporary home of 60 to 120 mostly young refugees from Central America.

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Events
12:44 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Hamlet 'to be' headliner at Shakespeare Festival

Shawn Pfautsch stars in the Michigan Shakespeare Festival production of 'Hamlet' at Jackson College through Aug. 17.
Credit Courtesy - Michigan Shakespeare Festival

The 20th Michigan Shakespeare Festival season includes what might be the biggest of all the Bard’s works: "Hamlet". Also on the schedule is one lesser-known Shakespeare play and one non-Shakespeare classic.

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Politics & Government
12:35 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Eighth District Dems decry lack of public forums

Four Democrats are campaigning together as each seeks their party's nomination for Michigan's 8th congressional district. The incumbent, Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) is leaving Congress at the end of his term. The Michigan primary election will be held August 5. From left: Eric Schertzing, Ken Darga, Jeff Hank and Susan Grettenberger.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s not uncommon in small political races for several candidates to run together as a slate to fill a number of vacancies. For example, candidates for the local school board sometimes appear together as a unit, in hopes voters will sweep them all into office.

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Families
12:31 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Neighbors in Action: MSU's International Friendship Program

The International Friendship Program matches international students with local Lansing residents and families.
Credit Courtesy - International Friendship Program

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the International Friendship Program at Michigan State University, an organization that aims to ease the transition for international students and connect Lansing residents with the world by sponsoring cross-cultural friendships.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Current State #350 | July 15, 2014

Today on Current State: the dispute at Lansing's Friendship Baptist Church; pipelines in Michigan; an MSU study linking childhood obesity with brand recognition; and Gourmet Gone Wild.

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Politics & Government
12:33 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Mediator: Lansing church dispute at an impasse

Bishop Maxwell says the dispute is not a theological one, but rather an administrative disagreement.
Credit Nicole Strobel

The sign on the vacant church building on Pleasant Grove in south Lansing says “Friendship Baptist,” but in recent months relations between two groups within the congregation have been anything but friendly.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Activist details Michigan pipeline concerns

The University of Michigan animation shows the damage that would occur if a pipeline rupture occurred near the Mackinac Bridge.
Credit Courtesy - National Wildlife Federation

Pipelines have been a hot topic in Michigan in the last few years. Very recent developments suggest the issue is intensifying. Canada’s Enbridge is part of a proposal to install about 600 miles of new, interstate natural gas pipelines, about 150 miles of which would run through Michigan. Besides arousing environmental concerns over a possible pipeline rupture, the proposal affects homeowners whose properties were not long ago disrupted by another Enbridge project.

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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.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:20 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

'Gourmet' program connects wild game to dinner table

The people at Gourmet Gone Wild aim to reconnect people with their food sources.
Credit Courtesy - Gourmet Gone Wild

Healthy. Local. Sustainable. The words capture the priorities of the group ‘Gourmet Gone Wild,' a non-profit organization with a dual mission.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:54 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Current State #349 | July 14, 2014

Today on Current State: problems at Michigan's human services agencies; Lansing's first distillery; new rules for sign language interpreters; and previewing baseball's All-Star Game.

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Politics & Government
12:53 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Human services agencies pledge reforms in wake of scathing audits

Credit Flickr - Steve Lambert

Twice in the past month, auditors have found serious problems at Michigan human services agencies. Last week, a report from the state auditor’s office found the Michigan Department of Human Services has failed to investigate cases of suspected adult abuse and to adequately train its staff.

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Business
12:51 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

From farm to cocktail: New Lansing distillery to source locally

Credit Flickr - cyclonebill

As Michigan-made brews are flowing from taps all over the state this summer, a game-changer in the micro-brewing business is underway right here in Lansing. American Fifth Spirits aims to offer a variety of micro-distilled liquor to the Lansing community, as well as a historical milestone: it’s Lansing’s first distillery ever.

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Politics & Government
12:43 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

State listens to concerns of hearing impaired

Accurate sign language interpretation is crucial in settings like courtrooms and medical facilities.
Credit Flickr - blueliondowntown

Last week, new regulations took effect governing how sign language interpreters are used is places like courtrooms and hospitals in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:36 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Current State #348 | July 10, 2014

Today on Current State: cleaning up former GM sites in Lansing; supply chains in a global economy; Personal Property Tax reform and Proposal 1; a rare plant blooms in Ann Arbor; and a book review of "'Forgiving the Angel."

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Environment
1:33 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Lengthy clean up of former GM sites could start next year

Lansing Township Planning and Development Director Steven Hayward stands at the site of the former General Motors metal forge along West Saginaw. GM used the solvent 1,4 dioxane in its manufacturing process before the plant was shut down a decade ago. The contamination will be cleaned up by RACER Trust, the company charged with managing some 90 former General Motors properties across the country.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

This week, Lansing area residents had an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at the large vacant tracts of land along West Saginaw where General Motors factory buildings once stood. The three sites were torn down in 2005 and in the last 18 months, officials have found chemical contamination on the grounds including 1,4 Dioxane.  

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Economy
1:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

From baseball to manufacturing: role of supply chains in global economy

Michigan State University Supply Chain Management Assistant Professor Hakan Yildiz.
Credit msu.edu

One of the biggest developments in world economies in recent years has been Supply Chain Management. Wikipedia defines “supply chain” as a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to costumer.

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Politics & Government
1:24 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Personal Property Tax reform reflects mistrust between legislature, municipalities

Citizens Research Council of Michigan

Edit | Remove

On August 5th, Michigan voters will head to the polls to select who goes on to represent each party in November’s general election. They’ll also be asked to vote on Proposal 1, which is the first step in what has been a long-fought effort to reform the state’s Personal Property Tax.

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