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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Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Tue March 31, 2015

MSU exhibit features ArtPrize finalist

The exhibition 'More or Less' includes pieces from Henry Brimmer's first Art Prize entry, 'Touch Wood'.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

MSU assistant professor of Advertising and Public Relations Henry Brimmer has gained some notoriety for his entries in the Grand Rapids ArtPrize. Brimmer was an ArtPrize finalist last year for a work called “There’s Something Happening Here”, made up of silhouettes on the roofs of downtown buildings. It later came to Old Town Lansing for a while. An exhibition of his works is opening today at the MSU Nisbet Building.

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Environment
11:23 am
Tue March 31, 2015

MSU study raises doubts about biodegradable plastics

Credit Flickr - Public Affairs

A new study out of MSU finds that some additives that supposedly help plastic bags biodegrade really aren’t effective. Issues of biodegradation and recycling are a lot more complicated than “good plastic vs. bad plastic".

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History
11:20 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Kiwanis centennial and its MSU Connection

This year, Kiwanis International celebrates its 100th birthday. Kiwanis was founded in 1915 in Detroit, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario the following year.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:26 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Current State #506 | March 30, 2015

Today on Current State: The "college access gap" created by a need for more school guidance counselors; the MSU Quidditch Team; Great Lakes Month in Review examines Flint's water supply; efforts to restore a polar bear on display at the MSU Natural Resources Building; and Spartan men's basketball advances to the Final Four.

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Education
12:21 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Michigan tries to close "college access gap" with more guidance counselors

Ron French of Bridge Magazine (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

All over Michigan, there are high school students who perform well enough on assessments to attend a four-year university. However, some of them, especially those in low-income and rural districts, do not pursue that path. It's created what some are calling a "college access gap." What sometimes makes the difference is school guidance counseling.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:16 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

MSU students bring Quidditch to the muggle world

The MSU Quidditch Team is heading to the World Cup next month.
Credit Courtesy MSU Quidditch Team

Quidditch is a pretty big deal for the young wizards and witches at Hogwarts. The Quidditch World Cup, held every four years since 1473, is like the Olympics of the wizarding world. But you don’t have to get your Hogwarts acceptance letter or make it through Platform Nine and Three Quarters to get in on the fun. Us Muggles have our own version of the Quidditch World Cup that takes place next month in South Carolina.

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Environment
12:12 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Great Lakes Month in Review: fights over Flint’s water, mercury limits before SCOTUS

Credit Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, Current State checks in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we look at the latest developments in Flint’s drinking water problems, hear about a conference on toxic algae blooms, and look at what the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case could mean for Michigan’s energy policy.

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Environment
12:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

MSU raising money to restore iconic polar bear

Darin McCullough and Dr. Scott Winterstein are working to restore this polar bear at the entrance to MSU's Natural Resources building.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For decades, first time visitors to the Natural Resources building on the MSU campus have been startled by the guard keeping watch by the north doors. Standing nine feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, a huge polar bear stands frozen in time, in a menacing pose. Polar bears have been on the Endangered Species list since 2008, and though long dead, the MSU bear is once again in danger. The bear was killed in Barrow, Alaska in 1957. It’s showing some wear and needs to be repaired soon.

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Sports
11:56 am
Mon March 30, 2015

After nail-biting games, MSU bound for Final Four

Fans poured onto the streets of East Lansing after MSU's win over Louisville earned the Spartans another trip to the Final Four.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Michigan State won two more games over the weekend, including yesterday’s thrilling 76-70 overtime win over Louisville to win the East regional of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Tom Izzo is taking the Spartans to the Final Four for the seventh time in his 20 years as head coach.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:50 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Current State #505 | March 27, 2015

Today on Current State: Longtime Kellogg's lobbyist George Franklin on his book "Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars"; Bob Downes talks about his book "Biking Northern Michigan"; a study indicates that fast food might be addictive; Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press previews MSU's Sweet 16 basketball game tonight; and Live Music Friday with Abbey Hoffman.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Ex-Kellogg lobbyist on 30 years of Capitol Hill arm-twisting

For three decades, George Franklin lobbied on behalf of the most famous tiger in the world. Franklin is the former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek. Obviously, the tiger is “Tony.” In his book, “Raisin Bran and other Cereal Wars", Franklin writes that the role of a lobbyist is widely misunderstood.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:43 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Bike adventurist says northern Michigan trails are best on Earth

Bob Downes has ridden bike trails around the world for 30 years. He says the trails of northern Michigan are the best he's seen.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The calendar says it’s spring. You may be getting over a dose of cabin fever and dreaming of a getaway Up North. If you’re pulling your dusty bicycle out of the garage, then a Michigan author has your guide to some of the best trails in the Lower Peninsula.

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Health
11:39 am
Fri March 27, 2015

UM study: fast food may be addictive

Dr. Ashley Gearhardt
Credit www.lsa.umich.edu/psych

A new study from the University of Michigan indicates that there may be something to those fast food cravings you get. The findings indicate that highly processed foods heavy in fat, salt, and sugar are among the most addictive foods out there.

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Sports
11:36 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Sweet 16: Rexrode with Spartans in Syracuse

A berth in the Elite Eight is on the line tonight when Tom Izzo's Spartans face Oklahoma in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Credit Flickr - hilaryhiggins

The Michigan State men’s basketball team beat Georgia and Virginia last weekend to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. The Spartans have now made it to the Sweet 16 in seven of the last eight seasons. Tonight, MSU will try to advance against the Oklahoma Sooners. The game will be played in Syracuse, New York shortly after 10 p.m. tonight.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Fri March 27, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Abbey Hoffman

Abbey Hoffman performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is singer-guitarist-songwriter Abbey Hoffman. If you were listening a couple of weeks ago when Donny Brown was our Live Music Friday guest, Abbey was here to accompany him. She’s here today as a solo artist. She’s released a solo album called “This Too Shall Pass”.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:40 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Current State #504 | March 26, 2015

Today on Current State: Almost 2-million people in Michigan lack access to healthy foods; the MSU Department of Theatre stages "Bug"; MSU doctoral student Apryl Pooley's book recounting her personal story of sexual assualt, addiction and PTSD; and a story of working on a Great Lakes freighter.

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Health
11:37 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Report: Almost 2m in Michigan struggle to find healthy food

Credit Flickr-Masahiro Ihara

When you need to stock up on milk or fresh fruits and vegetables for the week, you probably just drive a couple miles to the nearest Kroger or Meijer. Or maybe you take a trip to your local farmers market and load up your trunk with groceries. But for 1.8-million Michiganders, it isn’t quite so easy to find healthy food. That’s the number of people living in so called “food deserts”, according to a new report from the Philadelphia based organization The Food Trust.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU Theatre presents psychological thriller “Bug”

The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of “Bug” starts tonight and runs this weekend and next. It’s a psychological thriller by Tracy Letts, who wrote “August: Osage County.” The show deals with themes of trauma, paranoia, and trust.

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Health
11:26 am
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU grad student authors personal account of sexual assault and PTSD

Apryl Pooley will talk about her book 'Shadow Brain' at 7 p.m. tonight at Everybody Reads in Lansing.

A Michigan State University doctoral student in neuroscience has written a book about sexual assault and how post traumatic stress disorder affects women. Apryl Pooley is the author of “Shadow Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through PTSD and Womanhood”.

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History
11:21 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Shipping out for the summer: life on a Great Lakes freighter

Roger LeLievre on the deck of the Ernest R. Breech.
Credit Courtesy Roger LeLievre

Michigan’s Soo Locks opened on time yesterday as the mighty one thousand foot Edward H. Gott sailed through at 11:25 a.m. Ann Arbor’s Roger LeLievre is very familiar vessels like the Gott. LeLievre spent his childhood near the Soo and  grew up watching immense freighters sail the lakes and locks. At age 17, he spent a summer working aboard the Ernest R. Breech.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:37 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Current State #503 | March 25, 2015

Today on Current State: Incoming state Superintendent Brian Whiston; Joshua Davis of the Lansing band Steppin' In It competes on TV's "The Voice"; Neighbors in Action: Helping Women Period; and this weekend's Spartahack event at MSU.

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Education
11:34 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Incoming MI Superintendent: adults must help students "take ownership" of learning

Brian Whiston has been chosen to be Michigan's next state School Superintendent.
Credit dearbornschools.org

Public education in Michigan will have new leadership this summer. Last week, the state board of education voted 7 to 1 to hire Dearborn schools chief Brian Whiston as the next State Superintendent. He will replace Mike Flanagan, who will retire in June after 10 years at the helm of the Michigan Department of Education. Whiston’s appointment is pending formal approval from the state board, which is expected soon.

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Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Steppin’ In It frontman Joshua Davis steps out on “The Voice”

Joshua Davis of the band Steppin' In It is a contestant this season on NBC's 'The Voice'.
Credit joshuadavismusic.com

One of Lansing’s top bands in recent years has been Steppin’ In It. For a long time, they played a weekly gig at The Green Door. Now, fans are following the exploits of singer Joshua Davis. He’s competing on NBC’s “The Voice” this season.

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Community
11:16 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Neighbors In Action: Helping Women Period

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 talk to a new Lansing organization, Helping Women Period, working to help homeless women with an often unmet need: feminine hygiene supplies.

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Education
11:12 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Spartahack-ers use computer skills for good, not evil

Spartahack is this weekend at MSU.

Say the word “hack” or “hacker” and the impression you create is likely a negative one. Organizers of Spartahack are quick to point out their hacking event is about building and creating websites, apps, anything that’s connected to the digital world. It takes place beginning this Friday evening here at Michigan State University. Spartahack is expected to attract about 300 participants.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:19 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Current State #502 | March 24, 2015

Today on Current State: Lansing health providers talk about treating cancer patients; the 200th anniversary of the Michigan Meridian; a slimy microorganism is appearing more frequently in northern Michigan lakes; and a preview of the MSU Opera production of Handel's "Xerxes".

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Health
12:13 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Lansing health professionals share decades-long perspectives on fighting cancer

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is back with his latest production. “Cancer:  The Emperor of All Maladies” is described as the most comprehensive documentary ever made about a single disease. It airs in three installments on WKAR-TV next Monday through Wednesday nights. This Thursday evening, WKAR is hosting an abbreviated look at the film. The gathering will also include presentations from local health professionals who’ll offer various perspectives on the disease.

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History
12:05 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

The Michigan Meridian mapped the Mitten 200 years ago

The Michigan Meridian, which marks the state's original north-south survey line, was drawn in 1815. It's the baseline from which many political subdivisions in the state were drawn. In Meridian Township, named for the Michigan Meridian, a 14-foot metal sculpture called 'Meridius Prime' commemorates this bit of geographic history.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For many of us in the Lansing area, U-S Highway 127 is our gateway “Up North” to the more idyllic Michigan to which we all dream of escaping. But decades before the highway was built, surveyors drew an imaginary north-south line that would become the basis of countless maps of the state. It’s called the Michigan Meridian, and 2015 marks its 200th anniversary. The Michigan Meridian runs right through Meridian Township.

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Environment
11:44 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Slimy microorganism increasing in northern Michigan lakes

Holopedium glacialis is being increasingly found in upper Michigan waters.
Credit Courtesy - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Scientists are noting increased numbers of a zooplankton in some inland lakes that are just plain slimy. Holopedium glacialis is a mucus-coated microorganism that, in groups, makes a ball of slime something like clear tapioca pudding. The slime can clog water pipes and disrupt the food web.

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Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Tue March 24, 2015

MSU Opera director preview's Handel's "Xerxes"

Melanie Helton is directing the MSU Opera production of Handel's 'Xerxes'.
Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

George Frederic Handel's opera "Xerxes" comes to the Fairchild Theatre stage this week. The MSU College of Music opens the production tomorrow night, with additional performances Friday through Sunday.

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