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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Business
11:20 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Detroit Auto Show 2015: the electrics

The Chevy Bolt electric vehicle on display at the Detroit Auto Show.
Credit Mark Bashore/WKAR

The Detroit Auto show is in full swing in downtown Detroit. Two very different automakers are grabbing a lot of the electric vehicle attention at the Cobo Center this week. Current State's Peter Whorf has the latest on the electric cars on display at the North American International Auto Show through Sunday.

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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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Radio Made in Michigan
12:05 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Current State #459 | January 20, 2015

Today on Current State: The Michigan State of the State survey; Startup Grind Lansing; the possible impact of prescription drugs getting into the Great Lakes; and Buick's display at the Detroit Auto Show.

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Politics & Government
12:02 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

MI survey: Snyder's numbers higher than Obama's

Charley Ballard (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Recently, Michigan has been through a Gubernatorial campaign, an election, a lame duck legislative session and an inauguration. And Governor Snyder delivers his annual State of the State address this evening. Amid all this political activity, what do Michiganians think of their top elected officials?

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Business
11:47 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Startup Grind Lansing aims to give entrepreneurs a boost

Michael Labriola of Digital Primates is Startup Grind Lansing's first speaker this week.
Credit http://www.digitalprimates.net/

A national organization designed to inspire and educate entrepreneurs is coming to Lansing. It’s called Startup Grind. The Lansing Startup Grind will hold its first meeting on Thursday night. Startup Grind was formed in 2010 and has grown to 150 cities in 65 countries.

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Environment
11:43 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Are prescription drugs harming Great Lakes fish?

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Rebecca Klaper
Credit http://home.freshwater.uwm.edu/

Lots of things end up in Great Lakes that shouldn’t be there. Plastic bottles and microbeads, fertilizer runoff from farm fields, and invasive species are only a few. Now, add to that list prescription drugs. Researchers are increasingly worried about how chemicals from prescription medication could be impacting aquatic wildlife.

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Business
11:35 am
Tue January 20, 2015

New Buick convertible, concept car shown off at Detroit Auto Show

The Buick Cascada is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Credit WKAR/Peter Whorf

What’s made in Poland and is named after the Spanish word for waterfall? It’s the newest convertible from Buick, the Cascada, unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The North American International Auto Show is in full swing at Detroit’s Cobo Center this week. Current  State will bring you all the latest these next few days in our NAIAS series.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:49 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Current State #458 | January 19, 2015

Today on Current State: Freedom Rider Henry Thomas; a Voices of Experience conversation with Mordechai "Max" Kreinin; Michigan's newest U.S. Senator, Gary Peters; and an essay from Sandra Seaton on civil rights in America.

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Community
11:43 am
Mon January 19, 2015

1961 Freedom Rider keynotes MLK holiday luncheon

Henry Thomas was a Freedom Rider in 1961. He's the keynote speaker at today's luncheon in Lansing marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. Cities across America are holding various events, including in Lansing. In 2015, the day seems to resonate with even greater impact than usual, following a tumultuous year of unrest. We've seen events like the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and Tamar Rice in Cleveland. You could feel the echoes of the 1960’s, when protests and violence were much more widespread.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Voices of Experience: 57 year MSU professor Mordechai Kreinin | WKAR

Professor Mordechai Kreinin retires this week after 57 years on the MSU faculty.
Credit http://econ.msu.edu/

We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s ongoing series, Voices of Experience. This week, long-time Michigan State University economics professor Mordechai “Max” Kreinin officially retires, ending a 57-year career on the MSU faculty.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Sen. Peters assesses unfolding congressional agenda

Sen. Gary Peters (left) with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Two weeks ago, Democrat Gary Peters had the honor of replacing Michigan Senator Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate. Peters had already served five years in the U.S. House representing parts of southeast Michigan. Mr. Levin had just wrapped up a 35-year career.

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Community
11:20 am
Mon January 19, 2015

A civil rights essay: Sandra Seaton

Sandra Seaton
Credit www.sandraseaton.com/

At the start of today's Current State, we heard from Henry Thomas, one of the original 13 “Freedom Riders” who rode through the Deep South in 1961 to defy Jim Crow laws. Now, on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we end with an essay from one of our mid-Michigan citizens who remembers the sting of segregation. Sandra Seaton is a local playwright who spent part of her childhood in Tennessee.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:03 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Current State #457 | January 16, 2015

Today on Current State: State Rep. Andy Schor; did arrythmia influence Beethoven's work?; the Islamic Center of East Lansing's new Imam, Sohail Chaudhry; and Live Music Friday with Ray Kamalay.

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Politics & Government
11:57 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Rep. Schor praises Snyder bill signings, vetoes

Rep. Andy Schor (D)
Credit http://068.housedems.com/

Lansing’s Andy Schor has begun his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives after being sworn in on Wednesday. In a statement on his web page, the former Ingham County Commissioner says the start of a new session “presents new opportunities.”

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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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Community
11:46 am
Fri January 16, 2015

New Imam hopes to be a bridge between faith communities

Imam Sohail Chaudhry serves Muslims at the Islamic Center of East Lansing.
Credit http://lansingislam.com/

Lansing area Muslims are being led by a new Imam. Sohail Chaudhry comes to the Islamic Center of East Lansing from West Virginia.

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Arts & Culture
11:35 am
Fri January 16, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Ray Kamalay | WKAR

Ray Kamalay is our musical guest performing live from Studio S today.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It's Live Music Friday and today, Current State welcomes guitarist and bandleader Ray Kamalay. He performs “vintage music with style".

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:49 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Current State #456 | January 15, 2015

Today on Current State: Michigan's declining school enrollment; new trucks at the Detroit Auto Show; Ingham County Board of Commissioners Chairman Brian McGrain; and the possible discovery of the Le Griffon shipwreck.

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Education
11:45 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Policy org studies declining enrollment, school funding, suggests changes

Current State host Mark Bashore, with Craig Thiel (right) of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Educators in schools all over Michigan will take a head count of their students next month to determine their slice of the state funding pie. Michigan currently spends more than $7,000 each year per student. A new report  from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan suggests lawmakers should alter its per pupil allocation system to reflect the reality of steady declines in  enrollments.

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Business
11:40 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Detroit Auto Show 2015: trucks lead the way

The Chevy Colorado is the Motor Trend 2015 Truck of the Year.
Credit WKAR/Peter Whorf

More than one auto writer has taken to calling the Big 3 automakers “truck companies that also make cars”. Trucks and SUVs have become the most successful categories for automakers in recent years, particularly for General Motors and Ford.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Ingham Board Chair McGrain assesses 2015 agenda

Brian McGrain chairs the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.

Last November, Ingham county voters resoundingly approved two millage proposals. The new Board of Commissioners will be turning its attention to those soon, as it launches its  2015 session. One will expand the county’s network of trails. The other will maintain the Ingham County Health Plan, which provides medical care coverage for the county’s neediest residents.

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History
11:24 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Archeologists doubt validity of Le Griffon shipwreck find

State of Michigan Archeologist Dean Anderson (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

There are thousands of shipwrecks on the bottom of the five Great Lakes, but one ship in particular has always captured the attention of history buffs. And no, it’s not the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s Le Griffon, a boat known as the “holy grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:00 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Current State #455 | January 14, 2015

Today on Current State: The Lansing Board of Water and Light ousts General Manager Peter Lark; Lansing's Potter Park Zoo has two new gray wolves; Cong. Mike Bishop; Neighbors in Action: MSU's Fostering Academics, Mentoring Excellence program; and remembering Rev. Michael Murphy.

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Politics & Government
11:58 am
Wed January 14, 2015

BWL commissioner explains Lark ouster

BWL commissioner Dennis Louney (right) with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

More than a year after he came under fire for his utility’s heavily criticized response to widespread ice storm outages, Peter Lark has been dismissed as General Manager of the Lansing Board of Water and Light. In a 5-to-3 vote, the board that oversees the city-owned utility voted to fire Lark with cause. The motion also named former BWL manager Dick Pefley as interim GM.

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Environment
11:54 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Young wolf brothers join sister at Potter Park Zoo

A young male gray wolf stands near his older sister sitting on a perch behind him at Potter Park Zoo.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Take a moment now, and think back to your childhood, and your elementary school music class.  You might remember listening to Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 classic “Peter and the Wolf.”  The wolf is an enigmatic figure in our imagination, but the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is helping us learn more about wolves with the arrival of two male gray wolves. The brothers are each eight months old.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Cong. Bishop on Keystone XL, immigration

Cong. Mike Bishop (R) represents Michigan's 8th district.
Credit www.electmikebishop.com

For just over a week, Mike Bishop has served as the new U.S. Congressman representing Lansing and East Lansing. Bishop takes his seat at the Capitol amid a wave of confidence for Republicans in Washington. For the first time since 2007, the GOP enjoys a majority in the Senate as well as the House. That’s obviously changing the political dynamic in the nation’s capital.

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Community
11:37 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Fostering Academics, Mentoring Excellence at MSU | WKAR

Andrea Martineau (center) and Sharonda Chaney (right) with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we hear from Fostering Academics, Mentoring Excellence, or FAME, an organization at MSU that helps students who have aged out of the foster care program be successful in college.

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Community
11:21 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Remembering Rev. Michael Murphy

Rev. Michael Murphy
Credit http://peopleschurchucc.org/

The Reverend Michael Murphy is being laid to rest today. Murphy spent more than 20 years in Lansing as founder of St. Stephen’s Community Church. He also served as a Lansing city council member and state Representative. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at Tabernacle of David Church in Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:46 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Current State #454 | January 13, 2015

Today on Current State: Lansing Board of Water and Light general manager Peter Lark is at risk of losing his job; the Michigan Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether the right-to-work law applies to state employees; the University of Michigan Energy Institute takes a look at the future of renewable energy in Michigan; the history of prominent Kalamazoo cartoonist, writer, and socialist politician Guy Lockwood; and violinist Johnny Gandelsman on his performance featuring J.S. Bach's entire catalog of violin solos.  

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Politics & Government
12:45 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

BWL chief's job is on the line

Lansing Board of Water and Light General Manager and CEO J. Peter Lark
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Two members of the board that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light have called for a meeting to discuss whether General Manager Peter Lark should be running Lansing's city-owned utility.  That meeting is set for 4:30 this afternoon at BWL headquarters on South Washington.  

Current State talks to the Lansing State Journal's Steven Reed who broke the news Monday evening. 

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