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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Music
12:11 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

LSO to feature American composers Copland, Bernstein

In Bernstein's 'Symphonic Dances from West Side Story', the composer sought to remove the pieces from the pit orchestra setting.
Credit Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next MasterWorks concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. It features music from American composers Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:59 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Current State #284 | March 27, 2014

Today on Current State: 'Storming the Hill' to stem veteran suicides; Newly married gay couple from Lansing faces legal limbo with confidence; Director of noted English choir leads Grand Rapids ensemble. 

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Politics & Government
12:58 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

'Storming the Hill' to stem veteran suicides

Iraq war veteran Nick Cook now works to help Michigan veterans with access to benefits and other resources.
Credit stormthehill.org


All this week, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in Washington D.C. to lobby for legislation aimed at reducing the numbers of veteran suicides.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:52 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Newly married gay couple from Lansing faces legal limbo with confidence

Greg McNeilly says that marriage is "too clumsy an entity to regulate the heart."
Credit Flickr - guccio


The lives of a Lansing couple took a profound and very public turn last weekend. After more than 12 years in a serious relationship, attorney Douglas Meeks and investment executive Greg McNeilly became one of Michigan’s first same sex couples to be legally married.

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Music
12:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Director of noted English choir leads Grand Rapids ensemble

Andrew Nethsingha of the St. John’s College Choir at Cambridge University is helping the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys prepare for two weekend concerts.
Credit Courtesy/Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys

An unusual choir of men and boys based in Grand Rapids will present a Lenten season program this Friday and Saturday at St. Andrews Cathedral in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Current State #283 | March 26, 2014

Today on Current State: Revising standardized tests in Michigan; Verger's Dahomey photography at the MSU museum; and Michigan food and farming systems.

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Education
12:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Goodbye MEAP: Educators to discuss changes in assessments, accountability

Dr. Rick Stiggins is scheduled to speak at the Revisioning Assessment Conference this Friday at Michigan State University.
Credit Flickr - Mammal

Across Michigan and across the country, students, teachers, and school administrators are facing greater accountability. That has put more attention on student assessments, or measuring student learning, than in the past. In about a year, Michigan students are expected to start taking a new standardized test, the "Smarter Balanced Assessment."

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Arts & Culture
12:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

MSU prof recaptures iconic African images

Darcy Greene's photos were taken in 2012. The MSU Museum exhibition runs through April 27.
courtesy of Darcy Greene

The exhibit Revisiting Verger’s Dahomey: A Photographic Contrast is currently on display at the Michigan State University Museum. The show presents a comparison of the images of Pierre Verger, the French photojournalist who immersed himself in the lives, customs, and beliefs of the people of Dahomey, now Benin, West Africa.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Denae Friedheim is the operator of Foodshed Farm in Bath Township.
Credit Courtesy of www.miffs.org

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 Michigan Food & Farming Systems, or MIFFS. It’s a statewide organization based in East Lansing that advocates for and offers assistance to new and women farmers, as well as those from underrepresented groups in Michigan’s agriculture industry.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Current State #282 | March 25, 2014

Today on Current State: Lansing City Council member Carol Wood offers initial reactions to Mayor Virg Bernero's budget proposal; Great Lakes Month in Review; and the documentary film, "Medora."

Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Council Member Wood says Lansing budget should 'impact quality of life'

Once they receive the budget, the Lansing city council will compare their priorities and seek public for opinion before it is voted on.
Credit Flickr - matthileo


After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night:  The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.

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Environment
2:24 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Tar sands, Great Lakes Day, water retail

Gary Wilson explains that when shipping accidents occur, tar sand oil sinks, making it much harder to clean up.
Credit Flickr - chefranden

At the end of each month on Current State, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Current State #281 | March 24, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan's gay marriage ruling in limbo; and the Educational Achievement Authority. 

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Politics & Government
12:39 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Gay marriage in Michigan in legal limbo

Michigan's first marriage licenses to same-sex couples were issued this weekend in Ingham and several other counties.
Credit Flickr - Kelly Kline

The legal status of same-sex marriage here in Michigan was taken for quite the ride over the weekend. Late Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. By Saturday afternoon, the clerks in four Michigan counties – Washtenaw, Muskegon, Oakland and Ingham – issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to put the ruling on hold was granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That temporary hold lasts until Wednesday.

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Education
12:32 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Michigan Superintendent Flanagan on EAA, student testing, teacher evals

The EAA is the district charged with turning around MIchigan’s 15 lowest performing schools.
Credit Flickr - Mars Hill Church

Last week, after months of debate, the Michigan House voted narrowly to expand state’s Education Achievement Authority. The highly debated measure, which the Senate now considers, is one of many on Michigan’s continually evolving education landscape. Others include new testing for student growth and evaluating teacher effectiveness, the Common Core curriculum, and several more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:54 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Current State #280 | March 21, 2014

Today on Current State: Sorting through legislative issues including scrap metal, the EAA, and a balanced budget convention; Meridian offers class on Nordic walking; live music with Lansing singer Twyla Birdsong with Paul Ojibway and Brian Lange.

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Politics & Government
11:40 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A busy week at the Capitol: Sorting through scrap metal, EAA, balanced budget convention

Scrap metal plunder has ravaged quite a bit of Detroit and other cities.
Credit Flickr - Adam Cohn

The bill to expand the Education Achievement Authority narrowly passed, 56-54, in the House. It wasn’t looking good, but they made some changes that got enough votes.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:34 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Walk like a Nordician: Meridian offers class on Nordic walking

Eric Ederer says nordic walking can be done on paved surfaces, grass...anywhere you can normally walk.
Credit Peter Whorf/WKAR


 

Eric Ederer instructs Mid-Michiganders in techniques of Nordic Walking at the Harris Nature Center in Meridian Township on Saturday March 22.

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Music
11:22 am
Fri March 21, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing singer Twyla Birdsong with Paul Ojibway and Brian Lange

Left to right: Paul Ojibway on piano, Twyla Birdsong singing the blues, and Brian Lange on tenor saxophone.
Credit Anthony Cepak

As our live music guest today, Current State welcomes singer Twyla Birdsong. She was joined by Paul Ojibway on piano and Brian Lange on the tenor saxophone. Birdsong is a blues singer based here in Lansing, Michigan who often plays with the collaborative, The Hoopties.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Current State #279 | March 20, 2014

Today on Current State: GM under scrutiny after botched recall; an MSU cybercrime expert looks at hackers; and Feminist musician Near.

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

GM under scrutiny after botched recall

CEO Mary Barra wants GM to be a company that is more transparent and reactive to consumers.
Credit Flickr - Matthew Yaktine

General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.

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Science & Technology
1:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

MSU cybercrime expert looks at hierarchy of hackers

Jared Andrews of MSU has seen cybercrimes that range from being minor, repairable annoyances to more invasive breaches.
Credit Flickr - Steve Petrucelli


Last December, some high tech grinches tried to steal Christmas for one major retailer. Computer hackers broke into the Target Corporation mainframe and downloaded some 40-million credit card numbers.  The breach was executed despite the fact that Target had installed malware detection software months before.

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Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Feminist musician Near reflects on activism, career

Holly Near encourages youth to take ownership of activism.
Credit Flickr - majunznk


March is Women’s History Month, and a pioneer of the women’s movement will be here on Friday. Holly Near has been combining music and activism since the 1960s.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Current State #278 | March 19, 2014

Today on Current State: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan reimbursement changes; lead cast members from "Porgy and Bess" production; the Capitol Area United Way Income Tax Assistance Program; punk rocker Glen Matlock; and the Capitol Area College Network.

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Health
12:41 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Health insurance payments changing to boost reforms

Andy Hetzel says Blue Cross Blue Shield is trying to move hospital payments away from volume and toward value.
Credit Courtesy of www.bcbsm.com

For several years, Michigan hospitals and physicians have been implementing reforms aimed at cutting costs and improving patient care. Similar reforms are taking effect due to the Federal Affordable Care Act. A month ago, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced that 24 affiliated hospitals have agreed to launch or expand a different kind of reimbursement model.

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Porgy and Bess leads on playing the iconic characters

'Porgy and Bess' was originally an opera that featured an entire cast of classically trained African American performers.
Credit courtesy of Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award for best Broadway musical revival in 2012 went to “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”. The company touring the country with “Porgy and Bess” is in East Lansing this week for eight performances at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Politics & Government
12:33 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

The Asset Independence Coalition assists people with local, state and federal taxes.
Credit Flickr - Phillip Taylor PT

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 two services from the Capital Area United Way: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and their  2-1-1 support line.

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Music
12:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Punk legends unplug for Lansing performance

Glen Matlock, above, the original bassist in the Sex Pistols, will be performing tonight with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls in Lansing.
Credit Courtesy of www.sexpistolsofficial.com

Two legends of punk rock music will be in Lansing for a concert tonight, but rather than screaming electric guitars, the show will be acoustic. The “Punk Goes Acoustic” tour features Sylvain Sylvain, who played guitar in the New York Dolls, and Glen Matlock, who was the original bassist in the Sex Pistols before the infamous Sid Vicious.

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Education
12:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

College readiness network to expand in Ingham County

The Capital Area College Access Network provides students with information about college resources.
Credit Courtesy of the Capital Area College Access Network

Since 2009, the Capital Area College Access Network has helped hundreds of students from the Lansing School District with college readiness skills and support. The Network is now looking to expand throughout all schools in Ingham County.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:27 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Current State #277 | March 18, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan considers a state stock exchange; the grass carp; documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak; the Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival; and the Selfie Project.

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