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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Science & Technology
12:59 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

MSU breaks ground on historic FRIB project

Site preparation for the FRIB project.
Credit Courtesy of frib.msu.edu

This is a big day at Michigan State University for one of the biggest projects in mid-Michigan. A host of dignitaries are formally breaking ground at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, commonly known as FRIB.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Emergency personnel plan for mid-Michigan flood scenarios

Emergency personnel are preparing for the dangers of possible springtime flooding.
Credit Fickr - cseeman

The mercury is slowing climbing and Thursday marks the first day of spring. As the snow fades away it’s time to be aware of the dangers of flooding. High water can be a dangerous scenario for drivers on the roads and also for anyone in low-lying areas. First responders are getting ready for those potential hazards.

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Arts & Culture
12:56 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Lights, camera, pie: film documents town devoted to pie

Longtime mid-Michigan artist Jane Rosemont is making a documentary called, "The Pie Lady of Pie Town."
Credit Flickr - oh estelle

Art, like life, goes through phases and changes. A longtime mid-Michigan artist who relocated to New Mexico a few years ago is exploring the inspirations there and has just come out with her first short film. Many listeners will be familiar with Jane and Dick Rosemont. He was one of the forces behind Flat Black and Circular, an East Lansing record shop, and she was a fine arts photographer.

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Education
12:54 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Lansing schools official on district's modernization options

Lansing's Eastern High School
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last fall a facilities task force was created to help the Lansing School Board figure out what to do with its aging buildings. In January, the group presented their recommendations to the board, however the fate of many of the districts buildings, including the high schools, remains unknown. The districts modernization plan is supposed to be presented later this month or early in April.

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Education
12:53 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

MSU course enlivens students with the undead

MSU Professor Glen Stutsky's class looks at issues related to the economy, religion and psychology through the lens of the undead.
Credit Courtesy of zombie.msu.edu

Zombie themed courses are popping up at college campuses across the U.S. Topics like the economy, religion and psychology are being studied through the lens of the undead.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:48 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Current State #275 | March 14, 2014

Today on Current State: MPRN's Rick Pluta on wolf hunting, roads and more; law enforcement acclimates to pursuing drugged driving; Scott Southerd reviews Donald Lystra’s “Something That Feels Like Truth”; a spring movie preview; and live Music with piano-vocalist duo Brush Street.

Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

From the capitol: wolf hunt, EAA, roads

Rick Pluta of MPRN says along with the ongoing battle over wolf hunting in Michigan, lawmakers are considering education and road repair funding proposals.
Credit Flickr - warriorwoman531

The controversy over wolf hunting continues in Michigan with new developments this week.

Last November and December, hunters killed 23 wolves in three parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That was a little more than half the number allowed under the state's new wolf hunting rules. The wolf debate didn't end with the hunt, though.

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Politics & Government
1:40 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Law enforcement acclimates to pursuing drugged driving

Officer Wes Evans says recognizing and arresting those who are impaired by substances while driving will make our streets safer.
Credit Flickr - neoporcupine


Drunk driving has been a public safety problem for years across the United States. A similar and growing threat is that of drugged driving. Some new law enforcement programs are targeting people who get behind the wheel under the influence of various drugs, sometimes in combination with alcohol.

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Arts & Culture
1:35 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Book review: Donald Lystra’s “Something That Feels Like Truth”

Scott Southard states that the collection of stories portrays relationships on the cusp of disaster, or just past it.
Credit Donald Lystra

Traditionally, short stories are birthed out of what-ifs.

What if you go to Mars and find dead relatives? What if a sea monster confuses a fog horn with a mating call? Both of those examples, by the way, are from master short story writer Ray Bradbury.

In Donald Lystra’s latest story collection “Something that Feels Like Truth,” he does  something very different from Bradbury. In many ways, his Michigan short stories are not what-ifs but episodes. They are brief glimpses into the lives of real people, and each is at a turning point or a moment of self-realization. These are character studies focused more on the emotional impact of a moment than on a surprising plot twist.

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Entertainment
1:17 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Superheroes, Muppets, and Biblical tales part of spring movie mix

Today's discussion includes: 'Noah'; the first installment in the next book series turned film, 'Divergent'; and Tyler Perry's latest offering, 'Single Moms Club.'
Credit Flickr - P_Breen

Each film season, Mlive’s John Serba offers his thoughts on soon to be released films. This week he shared his most and least anticipated movies of the Spring season with Current State’s Emanuele Berry.

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Music
1:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Brush Street with Michael Brush and Julie Mulady

Julie Mulady sings as Michael Brush accompanies her on the Steinway piano in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Libby Lussenhop

This audio is pending

Today's live music on Current State comes from Brush Street, a jazz duo featuring Julie Mulady. Brush Street, started by band leader Michael Brush, is a popular Michigan blues and jazz group from the Saginaw area.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:39 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Current State #274 | March 13, 2014

Today on Current State: Lansing ballpark plans; Michigan's abortion insurance change; prisoner health; a Michigan paranormal researcher; and a statewide poetry event for high schoolers.

Business
3:37 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

City finance expert: Lansing ballpark plan a step forward

Eric Scorsone thinks the development project at Cooley Law School stadium represents a manageable risk for the city of Lansing.
Credit Flickr - mwlguide

It’s hard to tell with all the new snow, but we’re three weeks away from  the “Crosstown Showdown” home opener between the Lansing Lugnuts and the MSU Spartans. Yesterday, Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson and city leaders announced plans for a $22-million development at Cooley Law School Stadium.

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Health
3:36 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Health plans rep explains Michigan abortion insurance change

David Waymire says most companies that are part of the association were already offering abortion related coverage as a rider, so there's no change for them. There could be some changes, though, for Blue Cross customers.
Credit Flickr - LOSINPUN

The new ‘Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act’ bans insurance companies from offering coverage for the procedure as a standard part of a policy. Persons wanting the coverage will need to purchase a separate “rider” for their policy.

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Health
3:33 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

MSU, MDOC join forces for prisoner health

Dr. Marsha Rappley says many inmates will age in prison, and without a preventive focus, their health will get worse.
Credit Flickr - Chris M. Richards

Michigan State University officials have announced a plan to help out the state’s 43,000 prisoners. The university’s College of Human Medicine will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Corrections in an effort to share the school’s expertise and resources toward promoting prisoner health.

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Arts & Culture
3:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Michigan paranormal researcher battles malevolent demons

Samantha Harris says she started looking into basic hauntings, but now has an interest in inhuman hauntings. She says they're typically more severe cases.
Credit Courtesy/Samantha Harris

While some people tend to disregard the paranormal as just shadows and creaky floorboards, others decide to dive further into the unknown. Samantha Harris decided to do just that.

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Arts & Culture
3:27 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Statewide poetry event features creativity competition

Eric Hammerstrom says for some students, Poetry Out Loud is their first time in the spotlight.
Credit Flickr - zdenadel

High Schoolers from across the state will convene in East Lansing on Friday for the annual Michigan Poetry Out Loud Championship. At the event, students will recite famous works from memory.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:45 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Current State #273 | March 12, 2014

Today on Current State: the OCR investigation of MSU's sexual assault policies; international food fraud; and Neighbors in Action with the Refugee Development Center.

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Politics & Government
2:41 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

A closer look at investigation into MSU's handling of sexual assaults

    

On February 21, a campus-wide email was sent out by Paulette Granberry Russell, MSU’s Title IX Coordinator and director of its Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In it, she stated that the university was “collaborating” with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. It was later revealed by local news outlets that MSU was in fact under a federal investigation for its policies and response to sexual assault claims.

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Health
2:02 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Global food fraud: What's on your plate?

Those who commit food fraud are stealthy, but the Food Fraud Initiative works with a preventative approach to change the fundamentals of testing and buying products.
Credit Flickr - Martin Cathrae

We take the safety of our food supply as a given. We expect the food will contain what’s on the label and not contain other things that might be harmful. But globalization and new technology can sometimes compromise these expectations.

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Education
1:59 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Refugee Development Center

These children were a part of the 2012-2013 Refugee Development Center's Newcomer soccer team, run in conjunction with the Lansing Soccer Club.
Credit Courtesy of Refugee Development Center

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 Refugee Development Center, which provides comprehensive services to youth and adults from the area’s 40-plus refugee communities.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:10 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Current State #272 | March 11, 2014

Today on Current State: Rep. Dan Kildee on jobless benefits; climate change models for Detroit; investing in higher education; and photographer Ana Luisa Cardona.

Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Congressman Kildee makes case for renewal of unemployment insurance

Rep. Dan Kildee says its insulting when Senators in Washington believe that those who are unemployed want to be in that position.
Credit Flickr - slightly everything


A deal to renew federal benefits for the country’s long-term unemployed continues to elude the U.S. Congress. However, supporters of the effort, which include Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, are hopeful of a breakthrough in the Senate this week. There, Senators are looking at two proposals, one from each party.

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Environment
12:55 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Models help communities plan for climate change

Laura Schmitt-Olabisi's project focuses on a model of Detroit in the case of an extreme heat wave, but also the uncertainty of climate change.
Credit Flickr - Sagittariuss

Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.

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Business
12:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan business group says state gains from higher ed reinvestment

According to Doug Rothwell, college education is needed now more than ever before, but it needs to be affordable.
Credit Flickr - Andrew Munro

After years of controversial cuts to higher education, Michigan has begun reinvesting in its colleges and universities. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 6.1 percent spending hike for Michigan’s 15 state-funded colleges and universities. Higher education officials applauded the move, which would be contingent on universities limiting tuition increases.

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Arts & Culture
12:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan artist stresses imagery as catalyst for communication

Ana Luisa Cardona says that the basic standards of art education should mimic the creative process, including create, perform, and respond.
Credit courtesy of Ana Luisa Cardona

MSU Global is featuring the photography of Ana Luisa Cardona, a Michigan-based artist. Part of the exhibit features an exploration in visual communication between her and the late Bay Area artist and photographer, Daniel del Solar.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:36 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Current State #271 | March 10, 2014

Today on Current State: proposed changes to special education; summer music festivals; animal expert Temple Grandin; and "Sinking and Melting," an art project about climate change.

Education
12:33 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Advocates concerned with proposed changes to special education

A student testing.
Credit Flickr - biologycorner

Changes may be in store for special education students and teachers in Michigan. Lately, the Michigan Department of Education has been getting public comment on a host of proposed rules changes that govern special education. They include giving local school districts more authority over special education staffing and changes in how Michigan evaluates special education students, and then how they customize students' individual education plans, labeled IEP's. 

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Music
12:28 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

A preview of summer concerts from mid-Michigan to Interlochen

Interlochen's art camp for grades 3-12 performing over the summer.
Credit Courtesy of www.interlochen.org

As we dream of warm days to come, summer music festivals around Michigan are releasing their summer schedules. Among the performances are the Great Lakes Chamber Festival, Interlochen and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

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Education
12:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Animal welfare expert Temple Grandin to visit MSU

Dr. Temple Grandin
Credit Flickr - shannonkringen

Dr. Temple Grandin will be at MSU tomorrow. She’s noted for her research and writings on animal behavior, especially how to reduce stress on animals going to slaughter. She’s also autistic, and has gained visibility as an advocate who helps forward understanding of people on the autism spectrum. Her life story was portrayed in an HBO movie starring Claire Danes, which won seven Emmy awards and a golden Globe.

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