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
11:48 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Current State #445 | December 22, 2014

Today on Current State: Juveniles serving life sentences in Michigan; an update on wolves, moose and more in the state; outgoing Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael Cavanaugh; and the Detroit Lions are heading to the NFL playoffs.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Mon December 22, 2014

SCOTUS case gives juvenile lifers new hope for release

Credit Flickr - Chris Miller

Michigan has the second highest number of juvenile lifers in the U.S. Those are people who were sentenced to life in prison without parole before they turned 18. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing laws mandating life without parole for juvenile offenders amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Michigan was one of a few states not to apply that ruling retroactively. But now, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could determine whether those juvenile lifers sentenced before 2012 will get a shot at release.

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Environment
11:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

DNR gives update on wolves, moose and cougars (oh my!)

Credit Flickr - Ray Dumas

Last week, a Michigan-made home video created a stir on the internet, particularly among animal lovers. It showed a pair of adult moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula being fed through the window of a cabin. According to Mlive, the resident says the moose have begun appearing daily, apparently expecting to be fed. The video offers a fascinating, close-up view of these extraordinary animals in or near the wild.

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Politics & Government
11:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Justice Michael Cavanagh reflects on 32 years on MI Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael Cavanaugh
Credit http://courts.mi.gov/courts/

When 2014 comes to a close, so too will an era in Michigan’s judicial system. On New Year’s Day, Justice Michael Cavanagh will retire after 32 years on the Michigan Supreme Court. Only one other person in history has served longer on the state’s highest court, and not by much longer.

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Sports
11:34 am
Mon December 22, 2014

"Cheese heads" could be playoff appetizer for hungry Detroit Lions

Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions. With a win at Green Bay on Sunday, Detroit would host a playoff game in January.
Credit Flickr - Debra Drummond

The Detroit Lions improved to 11-4 yesterday by beating the Chicago Bears 20-14 in Chicago. With one game left to play, Detroit has secured a place in the NFL playoffs for the first time in three years. That last game will be next Sunday at Green Bay, the team they’re tied with for first place in the NFC North, so a lot will be at stake.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:40 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Current State #444 | December 19, 2014

Today on Current State: A wrap-up of the state legislature's lame duck session; the power needs of MSU's FRIB project; East Lansing tennis great Todd Martin now leads the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum; and Live Music Friday with Three Men and a Tenor.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

After marathon session, Rep. Greimel analyzes road funding compromise

House Democratic leader Tim Greimel
Credit http://029.housedems.com/

Early this morning, Michigan’s 2014 legislative session concluded dramatically. The state legislature will be sending a proposal to Governor Rick Snyder for a one-cent increase in the Michigan sales tax. The additional revenue would generate about $1.2-billion a year for road and bridge repair. Michigan voters will decide whether to implement the measure, possibly next May.

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Science & Technology
11:30 am
Fri December 19, 2014

FRIB leads to MSU power grid upgrades

MSU's T.B. Simon power plant will supply energy for the massive FRIB facility.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The construction of what will become the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, continues at Michigan State University. The massive concrete floor of the underground chamber has been poured. Last week, the MSU Board of Trustees approved plans to connect a new power line from the T.B. Simon Power Plant on the south end of the main campus here in East Lansing to FRIB. It will require a substantial amount of power.

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Sports
11:26 am
Fri December 19, 2014

East Lansing tennis legend new Hall of Fame CEO

Todd Martin recently became CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum.
Credit http://www.tennisfame.com

Todd Martin’s days on the professional tennis circuit are behind him, but the East Lansing native has launched a new phase of his career that is keeping him active with the sport he loves. In September, he became CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Fri December 19, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Three Men and a Tenor preview holiday concert | WKAR

Three Men and a Tenor: L-R Mark Stiles, Chuck Colby, Glenn Williams and Paul Felch.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guests today, Three Men and a Tenor, brought us some holiday cheer throughout today's program. They sang live in WKAR's Studio S.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:04 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Current State #443 | December 18, 2014

Today on Current State: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Lansing attorney Richard McLellan on normalizing relations with Cuba; the controversy over religious displays at the state capitol; and a preview of the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

RFRA measure triggers tension between religious liberty, LGBT rights

Protesters took to the streets of Lansing this week to voice opposition to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Credit courtesy photo: Progress Michigan

One of the hot button issues of this year’s lame duck session was the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill. The bill would exempt people from state and local laws if they can prove those laws violate deeply held religious beliefs. Opponents of the legislation say it amounts to a “license to discriminate”, and they are worried about its implications after a companion bill that would have expanded LGBT protections died in committee.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Lansing attorney weighs in on new U.S.-Cuba relations

Attorney Richard McLellan (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Americans have been busy discussing President Obama’s call to normalize relations with Cuba. Lansing-based attorney Richard McLellan, a long-time Michigan political insider and a two-time visitor to Cuba, supports the President’s move.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

A legal primer on religious displays at the Capitol

MSU Law professor Frank Ravitch
Credit http://www.law.msu.edu/

A display at the state Capitol sponsored by a group called “The Satanic Temple” is raising eyebrows, even though it hasn’t been put up yet.

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Economy
11:31 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Detroit preps for 2015 Auto Show

The Lansing-built 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Car buffs are revving up for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. More than 800,000 people attended the show at the Cobo Center last January.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:24 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Current State #442 | December 17, 2014

Today on Current State: Gov. Snyder discusses lame duck issues; a look at the competing plans to fund road repairs in Michigan; Neighbors in Action with the Southside Community Kitchen; and the invasive faucet snail.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Gov. Snyder says hope still alive for road funding compromise

Gov. Rick Snyder
Credit http://www.michigan.gov/

Audio Pending...

The Michigan legislature is in the eleventh hour of this year’s lame duck session. This week, legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Snyder have been meeting more often to try to hammer out a measure for road and bridge funding in the state. A couple meetings were held yesterday, and the Governor expressed concern over how little time remains. The 2014 session is scheduled to conclude tomorrow.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Breaking down Michigan's competing road funding plans

The clock is counting down on the lame duck legislature at the state Capitol. Tomorrow is the last full day of the session. Lawmakers are facing a hard deadline to reach a deal to raise more than a billion dollars each year in new revenue to fix Michigan’s deteriorating roads.

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Community
11:07 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Southside Community Kitchen | WKAR

Audio Pending...

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 learn about the Southside Community Kitchen that serves meals to hungry residents on Lansing’s Southside.

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Environment
11:02 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Researchers eye spread of invasive faucet snails

Faucet snails are appearing along the Great Lakes coasts.
Credit Courtesy Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth

The populations of an invasive snail in the Great Lakes may be increasing, according to a new study. Researchers from ten universities including Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University have found “faucet snails” in more areas along the Great Lakes coastline than experts previously thought.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:44 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Current State #441 | December 16, 2014

Today on Current State: Remembering TV newsman Bill Bonds; a look ahead to next year's contract talks between the United Auto Workers union and the domestic carmakers; a new project connects watersheds with green infrastructure; and a Profiles conversation with Lansing Symphony Orchestra maestro Timothy Muffitt.

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Arts & Culture
11:40 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Remembering Bill Bonds

Longtime WXYZ-TV anchor Bill Bonds played a TV newsman in 'Escape from the Planet of the Apes'. Bonds died of a heart attack over the weekend at the age of 82.

Legendary Detroit TV news anchor Bill Bonds died over the weekend. He led the WXYZ-TV newscast from 1963 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 1995.

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Economy
11:35 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Auto analyst: pay hikes front and center for UAW

New contract bargaining between the United Auto Workers union and American automakers is scheduled for next year. Recently, we’ve been getting a clearer picture of the union’s priorities. UAW President Dennis Williams has indicated members want to eliminate a recently introduced  feature of the autoworker landscape:  “two-tier” wages and benefits.

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Environment
11:30 am
Tue December 16, 2014

New project focuses on watersheds, green infrastructure

Credit Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The water cycle is pretty simple. Evaporation. Condensation. Precipitation. But when urban areas filled with buildings and parking lots get in the way, the cycle gets interrupted, and that can cause all sorts of problems, from flooding basements to sewer overflows.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Tue December 16, 2014

PROFILES: LSO conductor Timothy Muffitt's music career

Timothy Muffitt leads the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.
Credit WKAR file photo

Timothy Muffitt has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Lansing Symphony since 2006. Muffitt has filled those same roles with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra since 1999.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:39 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Current State #440 | December 15, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan's vaccination rates; charity fraud; the "Women of Vision" exhibition at the Cranbrook Institute of Science; and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's "Symphony in D" project.

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Health
11:36 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Ahead of stricter waivers, MI experts discuss vaccination trends

'The Modern American Vaccine Debate' author Mark Largent.
Credit http://jmc.msu.edu/

Before you register your kid in a public school, you have to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against diseases like measles and whooping cough. But parents can get vaccination waivers for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons, and an increasing number of Michigan parents are doing just that. Public health officials say that means preventable, but highly contagious, diseases are making a comeback.

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Politics & Government
11:34 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Michigan AG office warns of holiday charity scams

The Michigan Attorney General's office investigates reports of unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to represent charitable organizations.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We’re halfway through December, and you’ve probably noticed retailers aren’t the only people competing for your cold, hard cash. ‘Tis the season for charitable organizations to ramp up their efforts to solicit donations. Most groups out there do represent worthy causes, but the holidays also tend to bring out the less-than-legitimate actors hoping to pull off the perfect scam.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Cranbrook exhibits works by women behind the cameras at National Geographic

'Women of Vision' can be seen at the Cranbrook Institute of Science through December 30, 2014.
Credit Flickr - Cranbrook Science

For 125 years, National Geographic has documented the world and all that is in it with stunning photography and images that capture the soul of a story. Some of the most powerful and impactful stories of the past decade have been produced by a new generation of female photojournalists. "Women of Vision", currently on exhibit at the Cranbrook Institute of Science features the work of eleven photographers.

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Mon December 15, 2014

"Symphony in D" to feature the sounds of the Motor City

Composer Tod Macover is writing 'Symphony in D' for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Credit http://www.dso.org/

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has launched an ambitious project with composer Tod Machover. He’s been commissioned to write a piece inspired by, and including, the sounds of the Motor City. “Symphony in D” will debut late next year.

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