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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Dave Matchett/Elderly Instruments

Elderly Instruments in Lansing has been selling stringed instruments in Lansing’s Old Town for decades. Most visitors to that part of town are familiar with the old brick building they occupy. 

That facade will soon be a little brighter thanks to a huge mural painted on the front of the building by California-based artist Jennifer Springman. The mural will be painted on the big building just north of the iconic Washington Avenue location. 

Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos.

John Hermann. A few of those names are more familiar than the last one, but John T. Hermann was indeed a member of the influential “lost generation” of writers.  And the author, who wrote a book that was banned in 1926, grew up in Lansing.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

There’s a lot of buzz these days about drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles have a range of uses, from military and police surveillance to search and rescue. In private hands, drones are purely recreational toys for some people, but others are capitalizing on their economic potential.

Current State #555 | June 11, 2015

Jun 11, 2015

Today on Current State: Faith-based adoption agencies would be able to deny services to same-sex and unmarried couples under legislation heading to Gov. Snyder's desk; a lab at MSU is keeping an eye on avian flu, canine flu and chronic wasting disease; "Sesame Street" actor Roscoe Orman will visit Lansing-area libraries next week; a study links a common infection with a higher sepsis risk; and "Fat Girl Walking" author Brittany Gibbons.

State capitol
Jake Neher / MPRN

Legislation granting Michigan faith-based adoption agencies the right not to serve same-sex and unmarried couples may be going to Gov. Rick Snyder soon. Yesterday, the Michigan Senate followed the lead of the House and passed such a measure. First, it will return to a House conference committee to resolve one part of the measure.

Flickr - Don Graham

Last week, three young wild geese found in Macomb County tested positive for avian flu. Their case marks the first discovery of the disease this year in Michigan. Avian flu has decimated poultry populations in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The virus has killed an  estimated 47-million birds thus far. Now, officials are trying to prevent this strain from reaching domestic birds in Michigan.

http://www.roscoeorman.com/

“Sesame Street” is one of television’s most enduring programs, having educated and entertained children for decades. WKAR-TV airs “Sesame Street” at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays and at 9 a.m. on weekends. Next week, one of the show’s stars will visit six libraries around Lansing.

http://medicine.umich.edu/

A preliminary study suggests a connection between a common hospital infection and a very serious one, and indicates that healthy bacteria may make a positive difference. Dr. Hallie Prescott is a clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan, and one of the lead authors of the study. It looked at how older people do in the first 90 days after they are released from the hospital.

http://brittanyherself.com/

Brittany Gibbons is a writer and performer who has made a name for herself in the arena of positive self image, specifically regarding women considered to be plus-sized. Tonight, she’ll appear at the Schuler book store in the Eastwood Towne Center to talk about her book, “Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It.”

Current State #554 | June 10, 2015

Jun 10, 2015

Today on Current State: The future of the Ingham Health Plan; the archeological dig at the 300-year-old Michilimackinac; Neighbors in Action: Indigenous Youth Emplowerment Program; and wild plant expert Peter Carrington on what's edible and what isn't.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Ingham County Health Plan was created in 1998 to help the region’s most vulnerable residents help pay for medical care. At one time, the program served around 14,000 people. But after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many of those people became eligible for insurance, either through the expanded Medicaid program or the private insurance market. That means that the yearly $3.2 million dollar millage for the program that voters renewed last fall is supporting a much smaller program.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

One of the most popular tourist sites in Michigan is Colonial Michilimackinac. It’s well within walking distance of the Mackinac Bridge, just to the west along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The old French trading post that later became a British fort turns 300 years old in 2015, and parts of its original past lie just below the surface.

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program (IYEP), an after school and summer program that is helping Native American and Indigenous youth in the Lansing area reclaim their cultural heritage.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Even the most casual cable TV viewers have, on occasion, been led to ask themselves "How long could I survive in the wild without food? What could I eat?" Peter Carrington will offer those kind of insights tomorrow at Michigan State University’s Beal Botanical Garden. He's the assistant curator of the Beal Garden, where he is the edible and toxic plant specialist. He’s also been an assistant instructor in the MSU plant biology department. His free, 40-minute session is called "Weeds you can eat, and NOT."

Current State #553 | June 9, 2015

Jun 9, 2015

Today on Current State: An update on Michigan's M-STEP testing; golfboarding in Ann Arbor; the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program; and Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor.

More than a half million Michigan public school students have now completed their first M-STEP tests. The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress replaced the MEAP assessment beginning in April. M-STEP is designed as an online assessment that covers content from the more demanding Common Core curriculum.  It has fewer multiple choice questions and more that require problem solving and critical thinking skills.

April Van Buren/WKAR

The state of Michigan used to be rich in wetlands. The receding glaciers that carved out the Great Lakes also left smaller depressions across the landscape which would fill in with water and become important habitats for all kinds of birds, amphibians, and other animals. But after Europeans began to colonize the region, those areas were drained for agriculture or development. Today, we learn about a program that’s helping private landowners restore some of that habitat, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

Courtesy - facebook.com/pages/Eva-Mozes-Kor/

In 1944, Romania was occupied by the Hungarian army, which was aligned with Nazi Germany. Eva Kor was 10 years old the day she, her parents and three sisters were forced into a cattle car that was ultimately destined for Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp in Poland. Eva Kor was a child of war who as an adult came to find her own profound moment of peace. She’ll speak tonight at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing.

Current State #552 | June 8, 2015

Jun 8, 2015

Today on Current State: Mickey Hirten of the Lansing City Pulse says the city should cut ties with BWL and the City Market; Summer Circle Theatre finds a new space for its new season; a doctor who contracted Lyme Disease offers insight on prevention and treatment of it; and MSU Today's Kirk Heinze talks to Vermont College of Law professor Melissa Scanlan about her proposal for a Great Lakes trail. 

www.lansingcitypulse.com

 

Every week, our first guest shares his views in the pages of the Lansing City Pulse, where he serves as Associate Publisher.

Recently, Mickey Hirten has opined on a potential sale of the Lansing Board of Water and Light--a good move in his view--and the future of the Lansing City Market.

Current State checks in with Mickey on those issues and his upcoming column  that will look into a recent initiative by the Catholic Diocese of Lansing to assist the poor in the city of Flint.

Courtyard scene
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

The annual outdoor theatre season at Michigan State University Summer Circle Theatre opens this week. It’s an exciting time for the MSU Theatre department because Summer Circle will be staged for the first time on the newly-constructed Summer Circle Courtyard stage next to Fairchild Theatre.

Flickr/USDAGOV

 

With summer upon us, more of us will be spending more time outdoors…some of it in Michigan’s deep woods. Smart campers, hikers and bushwackers know that a “tick-check” might be in order after some time in the wild. Ticks are known carriers of Lyme Disease – an affliction that’s widespread throughout the Eastern U.S.

http://www.vermontlaw.edu/

It might be the “mother of all hiking trails.”  A devotee of the Great Lakes is proposing a nearly 11-thousand mile path that would circumnavigate all five of the lakes.

Current State #551 | June 5, 2015

Jun 5, 2015

Today on Current State: Former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, chair of Lansing's Financial Health Team, discusses the idea of selling the Board of Water and Light; Live Music Friday with Nathan Bell; helping kids avoid the "summer slide" now that school is out; and a second Live Music Friday segment with Michaela Anne and the Wild Hearts.

Picture of David Hollister and Virg Bernero
Mark Bashore / WKAR

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says the time has come to explore the possibility of selling the city-owned Board of Water and Light. According to a statement provided to Lansing City Pulse, Bernero views potential changes involving the BWL as “a way to address our long term liabilities.” However,  he said any decision at this point, “would be premature.”

Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s a Live Music Friday here on Current State, and Nathan Bell performs for us in WKAR's Studio S. He’s part of tomorrow’s Pumpstock music festival lineup in East Lansing. Today, he’s doing an acoustic lunch performance at the Broad Art Museum, starting at 12:30 p.m.

School’s out for summer! Today marks the last day of school for many districts, including the Lansing School District. As students clean out their lockers and say goodbye to friends, many will be looking forward to summer camps and family vacations. But for some kids, particularly those who are low-income, enriching summer activities aren’t always accessible. And that can have a huge impact on their academics come fall because of something called the “summer slide”. That’s the term used to describe the learning losses kids experience over the summer.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Michaela Anne is a young Americana artist who’s a self-described “military kid” with family ties to the Lansing area. You can hear her and her band The Wild Hearts at 8 p.m. tonight at the House of Eden Rock in Lansing.

Current State #550 | June 4, 2015

Jun 4, 2015

Today on Current State: A preview of Michigan's summer tourism season; the Lansing Art Gallery's Project Pop Up; Scott D. Southard reviews "Sweet Forgiveness" by Lori Nelson Spielman; a new app from the ACLU of Michigan lets you record encounters with the police; and MSU's bee-palooza.

http://www.csus.msu.edu/

It’s the first week of June, soon school will be out of session, and the beaches are beckoning. Michigan is expecting a strong summer tourism season in 2015, as families plan trips to all manner of destinations across the Great Lakes State.

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