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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Radio Made in Michigan
2:15 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Changes at Holt schools stir opposition

Holt High School. Under 'the plan', seniors would move across the street to the current 9th grade campus next academic year.
Credit http://www.hpsk12.net/schools

In the Holt School District, students, families and other stakeholders have been embroiled in a debate over changes in the district.  Recently, a dispute over a district reinvention plan has intensified.  Opponents of the plan now threaten to replace members of the Holt school board, which approved it.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:14 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Steadicam pioneer discusses long Hollywood career

Dan Kneece (right) with Yousef Linjawi in the Serengeti.
Credit Norm Torp

Cinematographer Dan Kneece has had a long career in movie-making, commercials, and music videos. He learned how to handle a Steadicam from inventor Garrett Brown, and has a track record of nearly three decades that earned him the Steadicam Guild’s first ever lifetime achievement award.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:14 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Michigan School Board President: EAA not ready for expansion

John Austin says that the EAA is making headway in some schools, but there has been a host of problems in other schools.
Credit Flickr - controltheweb

Michigan’s failing schools will be expanding future turnaround efforts by collaborating with various partners, not just the state’s Education Achievement Authority.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:13 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Votapeks reunite for Lansing Catholic benefit

Ralph Votapek
Credit Christian Steiner

 

Current State is pleased to welcome Michigan State University music professor emeritus Ralph Votapek to provide today's live music.

Votapek’s daughter Kathryn is a violinist on the faculty at the University of Michigan and associate concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. The Votapeks will play a benefit concert for Lansing Catholic High School on March 9th.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:51 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Current State #259 | February 20, 2014

Today on Current State: Utility assistance struggles; the annual MSU Comics Forum; American attitudes towards science; and the MSU Wind Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:50 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Lansing official: New state legislation exacerbates energy assistance shortage

Utility assistance this winter is the worst Dr. Johnson has seen since she has been in Michigan.
Credit Flickr - Muffet

This winter has been brutal for all of us; the extra snow, cold, and ice that we’ve been having this season have taken an especially rough toll on those who are living on low and fixed incomes.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:36 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

MSU comics forum celebrates breadth of artform

The MSU Library Special Collections is the largest public collection of comics in the world.
Credit Courtesy of MSU Comic Book Forum

Comic lovers from across the state will converge in East Lansing  this week for the annual MSU Comics Forum. This year’s event features an artist alleyway, panel discussions and keynote speaker Stan Sakai.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Survey finds Americans' interest in science remains strong

Prof. John Besley says the science community is making sure there are good quality, credible science resources available online.
Credit Flickr - Ocean Networks Canada

Despite all those studies that show America’s education system lagging further behind in the world, it turns out all is not lost when it comes our collective knowledge about science and technology.

A portion of a big national survey released late last week measured the public perceptions of science and technology and compared the data to similar studies around the world.  The results show that while Americans, like much of the rest of the world, still have some basic things to learn, there is a keen interest in the latest scientific and technological discoveries.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:27 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Carnegie Hall welcomes MSU Wind Symphony

The MSU Wind Symphony will take the stage this Saturday night at Carnegie Hall.
Credit Flickr - Bosc d'Anjou

This Saturday night, the MSU Wind Symphony’s much-anticipated Carnegie Hall concert brings music of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer John Corigliano to the stage.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:53 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Current State #258 | February 19, 2014

Today on Current State: The Michigan Office for New Americans; Soup Grant Lansing; fallout from UAW loss in Tennessee; and folk singer Tom Chapin.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:50 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Michigan Office for New Americans to focus on employer education

Bing Goei is the new director of the Michigan Office for New Americans.
Credit Flickr - Dave-Johnson

During his State of the State address last month, Governor Rick Snyder pledged to create the Michigan Office for New Americans. He did so on January 31, and named Bing Goei, of Grand Rapids, to run the office. The idea is to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:48 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Soup Grant Lansing

Participants chat during a soup dinner in December. All of the soup is made by Terry Borden.
Credit Courtesy of Soup Grant Lansing

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 Soup Grant Lansing, which hosts dinner events to raise micro-grants for community organizations. Joel Meredith and Heather Borden help run Soup Grant Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:46 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Assessing fallout from UAW defeat in Tennessee

The Volkswagen Passat is manufactured in the Tennessee factory.
Credit Flickr - al_volante

Last week, workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted down a proposal to join the United Auto Workers union. The UAW had expected to win that vote, and the rejection is seen as a blow to efforts to expand membership by unionizing plants in the south.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Folk artist Tom Chapin on career, musical family

Folk musician Tom Chapin
Credit Courtesy of Abigail Chapin

Folk singer Tom Chapin will be in East Lansing for a couple of performances this weekend. Chapin is the featured artist at this week’s Ten Pound Fiddle concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Grove Street in East Lansing. The concert is at 8 p.m. Friday. Chapin will also perform at the city of East Lansing’s Children’s Concert Series on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hannah Community Center on Abbot Road.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Current State #257 | February 18, 2014

Today on Current State: Advertisers in Olympic games; urban tree farm takes root in Detroit; and supporters defend EAA expansion.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:37 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Advertisers bet big on Olympic Games

Batra says there has been some turnover in Olympic sponsors, but companies like GE and VISA remain.
Credit Flickr - JL08

While the Super Bowl is big for advertisers, the Olympics are also a coveted time for companies. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Rajeev Batra, a professor of marketing at the University of Michigan. He is an expert in global branding and advertising and explains what it means to be an Olympic sponsor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Innovative urban tree farm to plant soon in Detroit

Hantz Farm plots were originally intended for agriculture or Christmas trees, but neighbors raised concerns about rodents and pesticides.
Credit Flickr - Mr.Mac2009


After years of delays, Hantz farm is starting to take shape. In 2009, John Hantz, CEO of Southfield-based Hantz Group LLC proposed building the world’s largest urban farm in Detroit. After cutting through red tape and shifting plans to center on building an urban tree farm, the project is starting to unfold.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:31 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Chancellor, House Ed chair defend proposed EAA expansion

Rep. Lisa Postumus-Lyons says the education system status quo is not working, and children are being left behind.
Credit Flickr - Thomas Favre-Bulle

Michigan legislators could vote this week on a controversial proposal that would expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority.  That’s the state-run district comprised of 15 of the most challenged schools in the state, all in Detroit.

EAA administrators, Gov. Rick Snyder and other supporters say the initiative, now in its second year, is beginning to turn those schools around. They say test scores are rising due to a student-centric teaching model, a longer school year, and grouping students by ability instead of age.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:31 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Current State #256 | February 17, 2014

Today on Current State: opposition to the Educational Achievement Authority; the second installment of our Moviemaking in Michigan series; Clinton County Democrat Dawn Levey announces state Senate candidacy; and exploring Michigan’s decades-long relationship with Japan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:30 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Lack of transparency, data drive opposition to EAA expansion

State Representative Brandon Dillon
Credit Courtesy of 075.housedems.com

In 2011, the state created a school reform district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, to turn around the state’s lowest ranking schools. In its first year in operation during the 2012-13 school year, the EAA took control of 15 priority schools in Detroit. The results have been mixed at best, as the EAA has been plagued with declining enrollment, insufficient funding, and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsafe conditions.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:28 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Moviemaking in Michigan: early view from the director’s chair

Patrick Moug (right) will direct the film we're tracking. Rich Goteri (left) wrote the movie, and plans to play the lead role.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Today, we have the second installment of our new series “Moviemaking in Michigan”. Current State’s Scott Pohl is following the process of making a movie, from start to finish.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:24 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Ex-MUCC president to challenge Senator Rick Jones

Democratic candidate Dawn Levey
Credit Courtesy www.leveyforsenate.com/

A Clinton County school teacher has announced her candidacy for the Michigan Senate’s 24th district. Democrat Dawn Levey says she would make education one of her top priorities. She says Michigan school kids are “suffering because of partisan politics."

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:22 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Exploring Michigan’s decades-long relationship with Japan

Biwa Lake in Shiga, Japan
Credit Flickr - rockriver

In 1968, Michigan Governor George Romney signed an agreement with the governor of Shiga Prefecture, which is one of Japan’s 47 state-like territories, to create a sister state relationship. The cultural partnership between the two states is one of the longest-running in the country and is still going strong today.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:48 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Rising flood insurance premiums could lead to more foreclosures

Attempts to reform flood insurance in America are having serious repercussions.
Credit Flickr - usace-kcd

Attempts to reform flood insurance in America are having serious repercussions. Homebuyers, sellers and others across the country are being  slammed with soaring increases in the cost of flood insurance.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:47 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

East Lansing Mayor proposes BWL board expansion

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett pushes for representation from outside Lansing on BWL board.
Credit Flickr - michigancommunities

Talk of revamping the makeup of the Lansing Board of Water and Light Board of Commissioners has taken another step forward. East Lansing mayor Nathan Triplett has submitted an expansion plan to Lansing mayor Virg Bernero. It would, for the first time, include representation outside the Lansing city limits.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Public Poetry Announcement: Ana Castillo

Credit Flickr/Ward

For this Valentine's Day, Current State contributor Stephanie Glazier offers Ana Castillo's "I Ask the Impossible." 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

What if Detroit hosted the '68 Olympic Games?

With seven tries, Detroit has the most unsuccessful bids to host the Olympic Games.
Credit Flickr - briandetroit
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Radio Made in Michigan
2:21 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Micah Ling to juggle cello, banjo and vocals on debut album

Micah Ling is a member of the Earthwork Music collective based in Wyoming, Michigan.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Our featured musician this Friday is Micah Ling. This week, the Grand Rapids native and MSU grad surpassed her goal on Kickstarter to produce her debut solo album. She plays some the songs that will be featured on the new album and discusses her love for Old Time music. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:23 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Current State #254 | February 13, 2014

Today on Current State: Ingham County parks; big data in ecology; fair housing in Michigan; and student hearing loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Ingham commissioners consider parks millage

Ingham County Commissioner Randy Schafer argues that other county departments are more in need of revenue than parks. However, Koening and Holman are not eager to dismiss the discussion.
Credit Flickr - UGArdener

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is looking at a possible county parks millage. Earlier this week, the body asked its County Services committee to begin work on a draft proposal. The focus of a millage would primarily be an expansion of Lansing’s Rivertrail network.

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