Current State

9AM and 6PM Weekdays on 90.5 FM | noon on AM870

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.

Also be sure to visit Current State Weekend with host Emanuele Berry, where she features Current State reports from throughout the week, plus timely segments focused on arts and culture.

@KARCurrentState

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:11 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Current State #229 | January 9, 2014

Today on Current State: state legislature preview; MarsOne update; H1N1 outbreak; and switching utilities.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:08 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Budget surplus, education top 2014 legislative agenda

Credit Flickr - DanMacMan

The Michigan legislature has begun its election year session. The body will reconsider unfinished business from 2013 including an expansion of the Education Achievement Authority and road funding.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Michigan Mars One applicant makes finals

Credit Flickr - midnightinfinite

Last summer hundreds of thousands of people from around the world volunteered to take part in the first human expedition to Mars. The Mars One project provides a one-way ticket to the red planet for four finalists, who will form the first human colony on the planet.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Michigan health officials contend with rise in H1N1 virus cases

Credit United States Government Work

The University of Michigan hospitals and Health Centers have recently had hundreds of people needing emergency treatment for the flu. MLive reporter Amy Biolchini reported that some patients wound up on life support with H1N1, which reached pandemic levels in 2009.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Utility expert: Switching electricity providers isn't easy

Credit Flickr - Kiel Dyse

In most marketplaces, if customers are not happy with the product or service, they can look at competitors and choose another option. If Ford sells you a lemon, next time you go to buy a car, perhaps you’ll be looking at GM models, a Chrysler, or a foreign car. In the complex utility marketplace, however, things aren’t that simple.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:32 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Current State #228 | January 8, 2014

Today on Current State: Neighbors in Action coverage of the Lansing Board of Water and Light response to power outages; gaming in Nigeria; the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac; and last night's BWL public hearing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:27 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Citizen-activists take charge during Christmas power outage

Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Mid-Michigan has weathered two major winter storms in the last three weeks. It’s been widely reported that thousands of people who lost power following the December 21 ice storm found themselves with little or no reliable information about when or if their electricity was being restored. That prompted many citizens in the community to take it upon themselves to go looking for answers and to share what they found online.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:24 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Detroit photographer captures Nigeria's video game culture

Nick Hagen says the video game culture in Nigeria is both familiar and different.
Nick Hagen

Is there a video game culture in West Africa?  With that question in mind Detroit based photographer Nick Hagen set out so see what he could find in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:22 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Feds respond to Mackinac pipeline concerns

Credit Flickr - James Marvin Phelps

About a month ago, U-S Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking about an Enbridge Company oil pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. They asked for information on safety tests done on the pipeline, and for emergency response information from Enbridge.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:20 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Following BWL meeting, board president reiterates support for Lark

Lansing Board of Water and Light GM Peter Lark has faced criticism for the handling of the recent power outage, but he has the support of BWL Board Chairman Sandy Zerkle.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

The citizen board that oversees the embattled Lansing Board of Water and Light convened last night.  The body heard from both the public as well as numerous BWL employees and leadership about the utility’s response to last month’s overwhelming ice storm that knocked out electric power to tens of thousands in the Lansing area.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:01 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Carol Wood, BWL's Dennis Louney on outage

Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Lansing City Council Member Carol Wood and Lansing Board of Water and Light Board Member Dennis Louney talk with Current State about the upcoming special board meeting called as a follow-up to the December power outages in the Lansing Area. The full transcript of the Current State interview is below.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:54 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Current State #227 | January 7, 2014

Today on Current State: Lansing Board of Water and Light board meeting preview; conservatives on renewable energy; and Michigan's Notable Books for 2014.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:50 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Michigan conservatives join conversation on renewable energy

Credit https://www.facebook.com/michiganconservativeenergyforum

A new conservative group is hoping to open up the conversation about renewable energy.  The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is working to increase the state’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:49 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Michigan 2014 notable books: Ford, Yoopers and Fidrych

The Library of Michigan
Credit Flickr - farlane

Each year the Library of Michigan chooses 20 books which feature notable Michigan residents, historical events and Michigan writers. The 2014 Michigan Notable Books List includes works of poetry, memoirs of cities and photographs from around the mitten.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:28 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Current State #226 | January 6, 2014

 

 Today on Current State: Local officials update snow emergency; MSU's G. Robert Vincent Voice Library; and the legacy of Ford’s 'living wage'

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:27 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Lansing and East Lansing officials update snow emergency

Over a foot of snow blankets the lawn of the Michigan capitol building.
Credit Joe Linstroth

Residents throughout the state woke up to over a foot of heavy snow, following last nights large storm. Cold temperatures and high winds halted activities throughout mid-Michigan on Monday. 

The mayors of Lansing and East Lansing declared snow emergencies on Sunday, closing all non- essential government facilities. Current State spoke with several local officials for the latest on the snow emergency. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:26 am
Mon January 6, 2014

A century later: The legacy of Ford’s 'living wage'

Ford assembly line, 1913.
Credit wikamedia commons

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford introduced a conditional five-dollar a day wage for his assembly line workers. One hundred years later, different people put different spins on the story. Some say it was Henry Ford paying his workers enough to buy the cars they were producing. Some say it was only a move to stop the high levels of worker on the assembly lines.
MSU's John Beck takes a look at the competing narratives and some interesting parallels 100 years on.
  

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:25 am
Mon January 6, 2014

MSU voice library houses words of presidents, stars and more

 

MSU's G. Robert Vincent Voice Library houses over 40,000 hours of spoken word recordings. Voices in the collection range from everyday people to cultural and political figures. Over 100,000 voices are captured in the collection, which includes audio dating back to 1888.

Current State's Peter Whorf spoke with John Shaw, supervisor of the Vincent Voice Library. 

 

 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:31 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Crisis communication expert: BWL manager's NYC trip was 'unwise'

J. Peter Lark, general manager of Lansing Board of Water & Light, vows to remain on the job at a press conference on Jan. 2.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

On Thursday afternoon, J. Peter Lark, the embattled general manager of Lansing’s Board of Water & Light, stated at a press conference that he would remain as the head of the public utility. The announcement came after the Lansing State Journal reported that Mr. Lark was out of town in New York City for the early days of the extended power outage.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:42 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Averill Woods neighbors compile list of questions for city, BWL officials

A broken tree limb downed a power line on the 800 block of North Capitol Ave following an ice storm on Dec. 22.
Credit WKAR/Emanuele Berry

The Lansing Board of Water & Light said on its website yesterday that it has restored power to its entire electric service territory. However, judging by reports and comments on BWL’s Facebook page, there are a number of individual homes and pockets of homes that are still without electricity since a major ice storm hit the region 12 days ago on December 22.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:26 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Spartans outlast Stanford in 100th Rose Bowl

Dream big. That was MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio's simple mantra for his team this season. The Spartan football program's dream was realized last night with its 24-20 victory over Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl.  

We call southern California to recap the game and the atmosphere with Current Sports host Al Martin, Current State host Mark Bashore, and Scott Westerman, executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:12 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Frustrated BWL customers vent, demand answers

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (right) and Peter Lark, general manager of the Board of Water & Light, address Lansing Council members in a special session on Dec. 30 about the extended power outages for BWL customers.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Last night more than 50 Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) customers who lost power over the last 9 days vented their anger and frustration during a special council session at Lansing City Hall. Residents complained of BWL’s slow response and poor communication. Some who spoke were still without power since an ice storm hit the region on December 22.  There were also calls for resignations, demands of an independent review board, and safety concerns that some said went unaddressed by city and BWL leaders. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:05 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Spartans prepare for biggest game in decades

The match up between MSU and Stanford is the 100th Rose Bowl.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

It's been 25 years since the last time the Michigan State Spartans were in the Rose Bowl. Tomorrow they take on Stanford in Pasadena, with tens of thousands of fans in Green and White expected to cheer them on. The two teams, both with strong defenses and ground games, are near mirror images of each other. Current Sports host Al Martin has followed the team to Los Angeles and tells us how the Spartans have been handling the Hollywood hoopla and offers a preview of the game.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:03 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Great Lakes Year in Review: budget woes and Waukesha

Gary Wilson says fighting harmful algae blooms, especially in Lake Erie, is one of the USEPA’s top priorities.
Credit Wikamedia commons

 

Each month we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. This year we’ve covered, diverting water, budget woes, algal blooms and more. Gary joins us to look back at some of the major environmental stories of 2013.

 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Current State #225 | December 20, 2013

Harpist Deidreanna Potter, with violinists Charis Smith and Stephen Smith.
Credit Audrey Bashore

Today on Current State: Gov. Snyder's energy future plan; losing unemployment benefits; "Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie"; the Festival of Trees; a review of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol"; and the MSU Community Music School provides live Christmas music.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:29 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Environmental official encouraged by Snyder energy blueprint

Credit Flickr - eddy.matt

Governor Rick Snyder wants a “no regrets energy future" for Michigan by 2025.  That was how he summarized his administration’s long-awaited energy “blueprint” which was released yesterday.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:26 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Optimism in the face of lost jobless benefits

Daphne Whitfield is a staff volunteer at Tabernacle of David in Lansing. She's one of nearly 45,000 Michigan residents who will lose their federal unemployment insurance benefit on Dec. 28. Whitfield says she's undeterred by the loss. She's a full-time student and is planning to launch her own clothing business soon.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The holidays can be a stressful time in and of themselves, but some  Michigan residents are bracing for more difficulty.  About 45,000 people in the state who are currently receiving unemployment insurance through a federal extension program will lose that benefit by the end of the month.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:22 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Fried Walleye, Cherry Pie': A guide to Midwestern cuisine

Peggy Wolff, editor of 'Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie'.
Credit Peggy Wolff

When we discuss food culture in the U.S. we typically think of the chic restaurants on the East or West coast. But a new book is trying to change the way people understand Midwestern food culture.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:22 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Festival of Trees brightens Old Town, Turner-Dodge

One of the featured trees at last year's Festival of Trees at the Turner-Dodge House in Lansing.
Credit http://www.lansingmi.gov/tdodge

For the second year, the Old Town Festival of Trees takes place at Lansing's historic Turner Dodge House. This year’s event runs through the 29th and features 23 trees decorated by Old Town businesses and neighbors.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:20 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Book Review: Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'

Credit Flickr - Paolo Camera

We as a culture owe Charles Dickens a big apology. War on Christmas? Ha! It’s nothing compared to the outright torture we have done to his “A Christmas Carol” since its publication in 1843.

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