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
12:27 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Current State #224 | December 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing casino plans; Michigan legislative review; a Lansing Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops concert preview; and Sleepwalker spirits and ale.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:23 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Appeals court removes Lansing Casino Hurdle

Credit http://lansingkewadin.wordpress.com/

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overturned a federal district judge’s ruling to grant the state an injunction that halted the proposed Kewadin Lansing casino project. The ruling clears the way for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to proceed with its casino project, slated to be built near the Lansing Center downtown.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:18 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Month (and 2013) in Review: December's biggest news stories

Credit Flickr - DanMacMan

The last few weeks have been eventful ones at the State Capitol.  Legislators strongly considered measures involving education and phone service, among others.  They passed measures involving abortion insurance, medical marijuana and others.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:11 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

LSO celebrates season with holiday favorites

LSO music director and conductor Timothy Muffitt
Credit Trumpie Photography

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert is Sunday at Wharton Center. Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with conductor Timothy Muffitt about the music, starting with some pieces that will include local students.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:08 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Lansing brewery-distillery seeks community investors

Credit http://www.drinksleepwalker.com/

Over the past decade there has been tremendous growth in Michigan based breweries. There’s Founders in Grand Rapids, Bell's in Kalamazoo, Atwater in Detroit. In Lansing, there’s nothing. Matt Jason and Jeremy Sprague are hoping to change that.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:19 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Current State #223 | December 18, 2013

Today on Current State: the shortage of primary care physicians; Michigan Department of Civil Rights director Matt Wesaw; mental health treatment for veterans and their families; the R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project; and locals skaters head to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:18 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Facing Michigan's primary care physician shortage

Dr. Julie Phillips (right) researches the consequences of medical student debt.
Credit http://chmfamilymedicine.msu.edu/

By the year 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts the U.S. will be short more than 45,000 primary care physicians. With the likely influx of hundreds of thousands of new patients due to the Affordable Care Act, not to mention the aging Baby Boomer generation, this shortage has the potential to wreak havoc on our health care system over the next decade.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

New MI Civil Rights head plots department's direction

Michigan Department of Civil Rights executive director Matt Wesaw
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is calling for a review of an apparent murder dating back to 1970.  The incident, still unsolved, took the life of one of the department’s own, its first executive director.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:12 am
Wed December 18, 2013

New mental health resource serves Michigan vets

Dan Zomerlei (center) and Paul Lepley (right) with host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s a new mental health resource for military personnel and their families, and Michigan is at the forefront of the effort. It’s called Star Behavioral Health Providers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:09 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Neighbors in Action: R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project

Larry Koster with a few of the toys he's made for the R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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, during this festive holiday season, we feature the R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project. The group handcrafts thousands of wooden toys each year for local children.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:05 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Audio Postcard: Young Lansing skaters off to nationals

Hannah Miller (left), Devin Pascoe (center) and Maeve Pascoe (right) are three of the five local skaters heading to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Five of mid-Michigan’s finest figure skaters will soon be on their way to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.  The week-long event begins January 5 in Boston.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:03 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Current State #222 | December 17, 2013

Today on Current State: the Lansing-Ingham County pensions dispute; regulating wetlands; Kids Count 2013; and pseudo-academic research journals.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:02 am
Tue December 17, 2013

City COO expects resolution to county 911 dispute

Chad Gamble
Credit Flickr - JimUSAguy

Last week, Ingham County commissioners voted 13 to 1 to demand that the city of Lansing pay the $1.1-million the county says it is owed for pension and health insurance obligations for the 34  city-employed 911 dispatchers who were transferred last year to the  new Ingham County dispatch center. The county’s deadline is January 15th.  If payment is not received by then, they say they’ll sue the city.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Feds could revoke Michigan's wetland authority

Credit Flickr - deu49097

Michigan is one of only two state that have the authority to regulate federal wetlands within their borders. However, the Environmental Protection Agency may revoke that power. Last week, the EPA held a hearing to determine if Michigan’s environmental standards for wetland management meet federal benchmarks.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:58 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Kids survey: Abuse, neglect and hunger up in Ingham County

A sharply growing percentage of Ingham County children appear to be victims of abuse and neglect.  And five years after the great recession, more children in Ingham County remain eligible for food assistance than the statewide average.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:56 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Are academic journals for hire?

Dr. Jim Pivarnik
Credit http://rio.msu.edu/

The role of the academic journal in advancing research findings is changing rapidly. A New York Times article earlier this year looked at the problem of pseudo-academic journals which had names similar to well-established ones, and which charged hefty fees for publication.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:28 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Current State #221 | December 16, 2013

Today on Current State: the Red Cedar Renaissance development; the economic impact of universities; outgoing Lansing city councilman Brian Jeffries; and the Potter Park Zoo helps save an endangered toad.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:28 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Red Cedar project to feature market rate and student housing

Joel Ferguson
Credit http://trustees.msu.edu/

After months of silence, one of the Lansing area’s biggest development projects is back in the news. Officials say they are hoping for groundbreaking by late Spring for the $125-million ‘Red Cedar Renaissance,' formerly the ‘Capital Gateway.'

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:26 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Current funding for higher education called 'unsustainable'

Beaumont Tower at Michigan State University
Credit Flickr - schopie1

Since 2008, the state legislature has cut funding for its 15 public universities by a whopping 32%, the 13th highest in the nation according to a report issued earlier this year by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:25 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Jeffries reflects on Lansing council tenure

Brian Jeffries
Credit http://www.lansingmi.gov/

The Lansing city council begins its 2014 term in three weeks, and for the first time in more than a decade, it will not include at large councilman Brian  Jeffries. Jeffries served 11 years on the council until he was defeated last month by political newcomer Judi Brown Clarke.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:23 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Lansing zoo plays role in saving endangered toad

Credit Flickr - Billy_J._Santiago

The Puerto Rican crested toad is endangered. At Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo, officials are involved in a project to help save the toad from extinction. The Puerto Rican crested toad is a native species of toad that cannot be found anywhere else.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:28 am
Sat December 14, 2013

'Medora,' captures small town struggles through basketball

Thursday evening, WKAR’s Community Cinema event will feature a preview of the film “Medora.” The documentary tells the story of a struggling Indiana basketball team.  Emanuele Berry spoke with Davy Rothbart, one of the film's co-producers, and Dylan McSoley, a former Medora High School basketball player who is featured in the film.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:53 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Current State #220 | December 13,2013

Today on Current State: enrolling for health coverage; theatre organ; the Sandy Hook shootings anniversary; survivors of violence; and the Acoustic Guitar Project.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:51 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Enroll America, Ingham County step up health care outreach

Credit Flickr - Eldercare2008

By virtually all accounts, the roll out of the Affordable Care Act has been shaky at best. The website, healthcare.gov, was virtually unusable for October and into November. But lately, reports are showing that the website’s improved considerably and, correspondingly, the number of people signing up for the health care exchanges is growing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:50 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Lansing Theatre organ pipes up

Lansing Theater Organ president Scott Smith will provide the musical accompaniment this Sunday to Laurel and Hardy's 1929 film, 'Big Business.' The concert will be at the Grand Ledge Opera House.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

At the boom of the silent film era a century ago, theater organs were a mainstay in movie houses across the country.  Lansing had its own such place, the Michigan Theater.  It closed more than three decades ago, but the original 1928 concert organ still exists.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:44 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Mid-Michigan moms remember Sandy Hook tragedy

Ceremonies like this one last year at the University of Michigan were held across the country to remember the victims at Newtown.
Credit Flickr - Michigan Engineering

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A year ago, a gunman broke into the school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children and 6 adults.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Expert: Commemorations helpful for survivors of violence

Dr. Frank Ochberg is an expert on the effects of violence and trauma.
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut happened a year ago tomorrow. Remembrances are flooding the airwaves, but Newtown officials have asked the media to stay away during this painful time for the families.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Traveling guitar project picks up Detroit musicians

Greater Alexander performed live in Studio S today. He's one of the musicians in the Acoustic Guitar Project.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

People around the world strum away at guitars on a daily basis, maneuvering their language, voices and notes into spellbindings sounds. The Acoustic Guitar Project is all about trying to create and capture those moments.

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:13 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Current State #219 | December 12, 2013

Today on Current State: Right to Work one year later; a review of Wally Lamb's latest novel "We Are Water";  a local start-up competition for $10,000 in seed money; and Lansing Marathon organizer goes global. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:58 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Right to Work, one year later

The Capitol lawn after the Right to Work protests on December 12, 2012.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

  It’s now been a year since Michigan’s controversial right-to-work measure was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.  The law, which formally took effect last March, made it illegal to require that employees join a union as a condition of employment.

    Right-to-work triggered a stormy, sometimes violent, debate. Supporters called it an issue of worker freedom and a job creator. Opponents complained it was a flagrant attempt to undercut the power of unions and the working people who belong to them.

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