Today on Current State: Closing Michigan's manufacturing skills gap; Cadillac unveils a new Lansing-built model in LA; Stevie Wonder performs "Songs in the Key of Life"; expanding services to at-risk children; and amateur rocketeers plan to launch a port-a-potty.
The Lansing area, like much of Michigan, has been shaped by manufacturing. But the industry has taken a beating in the past 13 years. The state has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs since 2001. After years of cuts, though, the industry is starting to make a comeback here in mid-Michigan.
The Michigan legislature won’t be back to work until December 2, when lawmakers return for a three-week lame duck session. In the meantime, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been thinking about what it believes should be the state’s next major investment strategy.
Michigan is not among the first states that come to mind when you mention the aerospace industry. An amateur rocket launch scheduled for Saturday in southwest Michigan is unlikely to change that. On Saturday afternoon, members of a Michiana Rocketry Club plan to blast a port-a-potty into space near the community of Three Oaks, near the Indiana state line.
Today on Current State: Republican Arlan Meekhof, who will become Senate Majority Leader in January; the MSU Opera presents "Cosi Fan Tutte"; Neighbors in Action: New World Flood; and an MSU screening of the documentary "A River Changes Its Course".
The Michigan legislative session beginning in January will include new leadership in the Senate and the House for both parties. Republican Arlan Meekhof will succeed Randy Richardville as Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader.
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 talk to New World Flood, a local non-profit that aims to create a culture of volunteerism in the Lansing and Kalamazoo areas.
Michigan State University celebrates Geography Awareness Week with multiple campus-wide educational and entertainment opportunities through this Sunday. One event includes a screening of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary "A River Changes Course".
Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.
For many students, the sight of their school bus rolling into their neighborhood each morning conjures up a flurry of emotions, and not all of them are positive. But a new project being unveiled today in Lansing hopes to re-make the image of the bus as a key part of the educational experience. This bus is a much more modern, high-tech creation. In fact, it’s called the Tech Transport Bus.
Killer shrimp might sound like the name of a B-grade horror film you’d see on the Syfy channel. But unlike Sharknadoes, the tiny crustacean poses a real threat, especially in the Great Lakes. Its voracious appetite has earned it a spot on the state’s recently updated banned species list, which identifies potential invasive aquatic pests.
Raina Miller (right) is one of more than 100 cadets now attending the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy. After suffering bouts of anxiety and depression, Raina voluntarily entered the academy. Her mother, Robyn, is a retired military police officer.
Two months into the traditional school year, Michigan students are already thinking about Thanksgiving break. That includes students who are taking a less conventional route through their studies. Right now, more than 100 teenagers from communities across the state are participating in the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy, a program sponsored by the Michigan National Guard.
Today on Current State: A proposal to leave transgender people out of Michigan's Elliot-Larsen anti-discrimination law; an update on our "Moviemaking in Michigan" project; a deer hunting season look at helping private land owners plan for habitat care; and sportswriter Joe Rexrode on MSU's football victory over Maryland.
Discussions continue at the State Capitol over whether to expand protections offered by Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen anti-discrimination law. That’s the landmark 1976 measure which legally bans discrimination in the state based on religion, race, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial and marital status. Several factions have emerged. Democrats and some Republicans appear to be united behind an expansion that would protect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons. Other Republicans favor a measure that would not include trans persons, but include the others.
This year, we’ve been following a project by a team of filmmakers hoping to make a movie called “Eastern Market” in Detroit. We’ve met the writer, co-writer, producer and director, with hopes of being a part of the action from start to finish.
Many Michigan deer hunters consider the opening day of firearms season a state holiday. Thousands of sports-people joined the hunt starting this past Saturday. Last year 43-percent of Michigan hunters were successful, for a total of about 385,000 deer harvested.
The Michigan State football team got back on the winning track Saturday, beating Maryland 37-15. The win moves MSU’s record to 8-2, 5-1 in Big Ten Conference play. Next Saturday, the Spartans will play their final home game of the season, hosting Rutgers.
Today on Current State: Human trafficking in Michigan; the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra accompanies the film "Singin' in the Rain"; Canadian First Peoples and clean energy; and Live Music Friday with singer-songwriter Cris Williamson.
Activists refer to human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” wherein people, often young and often female, are subjected into work, prostitution or other dehumanizing behavior. Michigan will be strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking in 2015. Twenty-one new laws are scheduled to take effect on January first.
Tonight through Sunday, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor come to life on the big screen in the Hollywood classic "Singin' In The Rain". The Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra will perform live accompaniment to the HD screening at Grand Rapids’ De Vos Theatre.
In recent years, Canada has included its First Peoples populations in its efforts to expand renewable, clean energy projects. Lumos Energy president Chris Henderson has spent the last two-and-a-half decades working, as his website states, “at the intersection of clean energy, sustainable development, environmental action, economic development, and Aboriginal communities”.
Cris Williamson has enjoyed a remarkable career in music. Back in 1975, she recorded an album called “The Changer and The Changed”, and released it on her own label, Olivia Records. Olivia was the first woman-owned, woman-focused record company. To this day, “The Changer and The Changed” remains one of the best-selling independent records of all time.
Today on Current State: Criminalizing homelessness; the Turner-Dodge House reopens; Graham E. Fuller on his new book, "Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East"; and book reviewer Scott D. Southard considers Gregory Maguire's "Egg and Spoon".
A group of pastors and volunteers for a local non-profit in Ft. Lauderdale are facing jail time and hundreds of dollars in fine after a run-in with police last week. Their crime? Passing out food to the homeless in a city park. Advocates for the homeless says these kinds of ordinances are part of a larger trend of cities criminalizing the activities of homeless people. Here in Michigan, a number of cities have ordinances restricting vagrancy and panhandling.
The Turner-Dodge House in north Lansing is one of the city’s most historic structures. It’s almost 160 years old, and over the years, it has hosted hundreds of events ranging from tours and music events to wedding receptions. Last January, a burst pipe caused extensive water damage at the Turner-Dodge House, and things are only now getting back to normal.
Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, a former senior political scientist at RAND, and a current adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of the new book, "Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East".