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
1:51 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Lansing delegation attends 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

The 1963 march was organized under the themes of freedom and jobs.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The eyes of the world are on Washington, D.C. today, as hundreds of thousands of people are expected in the nation’s capital to observe the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  In many ways, the 1963 rally was the high water mark of the civil rights era and the stuff of legend.  Nearly a quarter of a million people jammed the National Mall to hear a rising Georgia preacher lay out his vision for a more just and equal world.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:49 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Dr. Lee June recalls Civil Rights Era

Dr. Lee June attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in the early 1960's. He's visiting Washington this week as a member of the Lansing area Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

 

In August of 1963, Lee June was a young college student.  He was working in New Jersey that summer, though he attended one of the nation’s most prestigious historically black colleges in the South.  Rather than attend the march, June instead came back to school.  

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:40 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Gateway Community Services

Credit Courtesy of Gateway Community Services

Each Wednesday we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. This week's Neighbors in Action segment  features Gateway Community Services, which has offered a wide array of services for the tri-county area’s at-risk youth for more than 40 years. 

Gateway street outreach program manager Jennifer Cousineau and executive director Mark Morton join us to talk about their programs.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:57 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Current State #146 | August 27, 2013

Today on Current State: new proposal to evaluate Michigan teachers effectiveness; book about living with Muscular Dystrophy; Detroit's Water Renaissance series; Detroit's current environmental initiatives; and MSU student on "Americas Got Talent."

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:51 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in Michigan

Under the new proposal from Michigan's Council for Educator Effectiveness, teachers' jobs will depend on evaluations and test scores.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In two weeks, Michigan legislators will begin hearings on how to improve teacher evaluations in the state.  They’ll consider a new plan submitted recently by the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness.  That's an independent body created by Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature two years ago after the passage of teacher tenure reform in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:46 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Local author on living with Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is a disease that weakens the musculoskeletal system.
Credit http://mogerhardt.com/

Labor Day is next Monday, and with it, the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Over the years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for research, and to help people like Mo Gerhardt live life with Muscular Dystrophy to the fullest.

Gerhardt is the author of “Perspective From An Electric Chair.” The book chronicles his childhood, his diagnosis at the age of 8, and how he’s coped with the disease.

He talked about his life, and his book, with Current State’s Scott Pohl. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:37 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Detroit's Water Renaissance: Rediscovering Detroit's lost waterways

A line of grates cover the outflow of Savoyard Creek. Before it was encased in pipes, the creek was navigable and used to carry building materials to the city center.
Emanuele Berry WKAR

Water attracted the early settlers of Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.

Join us over these next five weeks, as our regular Tuesday Knight segment will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with Detroit’s waterfront through our series "Detroit's Water Renaissance."

Our first story goes back to the days before industrialization, when the city of Detroit was a maze of fresh waterways.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:23 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Tackling environmental issues crucial for Detroit's success

The report focuses on air and water quality issues, transportation, health and land use.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This summer a coalition of Detroit based organization released the Detroit Environmental Agenda. The two-year project addresses improving quality of life through improving the environment. Guy Williams, President of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice joins Current State to discuss the report his organization helped compile. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:11 am
Tue August 27, 2013

MSU student features Rube Goldberg machines on America's Got Talent

 

 

Michigan native and MSU student, Steve Price, showed his unique abilities on this season of "America’s Got Talent." Steve builds Rube Goldberg machines, complicated contraptions that use dominos, tubes, ping pong balls and various materials to complete a simple task. The America’s Got Talent judges were impressed. Price’s invention took him all the way to the quarterfinals. Price explains why he decided to share his talent on national television.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Current State #145 | August 26, 2013

Today on Current State: a film about keeping GM in Lansing; East Lansing  developer converts a hotel into student housing;  MSU's neighborhood campus system; a new study on the relationship between HIV-infected children and their caregivers; residents concerned over South Lansing river trail extension; and Batman comes to East Lansing.   

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:47 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

‘Keep GM’ documentary in the works

The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car the Detroit automaker planned to send to Lansing to build
Credit Monica Reida / Flickr

 

If you lived in the Lansing area in the second half of the 90's, you probably remember billboards and bumper stickers shouting "Lansing Works" and "Keep GM."  It was part of an aggressive campaign to persuade General Motors from cutting back, and possibly ceasing operations in Lansing.  Up to 7,000 jobs in the city were at risk.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:44 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Developers fill housing need, while MSU builds neighborhoods on campus

MSU has one of the largest residence hall systems in the country. The neighborhood system was implemented to create a sense of 'home' on campus.
Credit Courtesy of MSU

  The fall semester here at Michigan State University begins on Wednesday.  Hundreds of new and returning students are completing their moves into residence halls and transitional housing units.  Not far from the campus, a new housing development is in the works.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:39 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Children with HIV benefit from trained caregivers

A new study on the relationship between HIV-infected children and their caregivers is showing some remarkable benefits for both groups. MSU researcher Michael Boivin and colleagues recently published the findings in The Journal of Pediatrics. 

Radio Made in Michigan
1:35 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Some residents concerned over South Lansing river trail extension

The Pathway would add more than five miles to the existing network of nonmotorized trails.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

Tonight, the Lansing City Council could move forward with a plan that would add five-miles to the city’s river trail.

The body will vote on a proposal to provide city funding for most of the “South Lansing Pathway.” That’s three sections of new biking and walking paths that would stretch from Cavanaugh Road to Waverly Road.  

Federal dollars would pay for about 80 percent of the project’s construction costs.  Tonight’s council action could green light the city’s share of funding.

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Radio Made in Michigan
9:51 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Current State | August 20, 2013

Today on Current State:  Plastic pollution in the Great Lakes;  the MSU surplus store; a look at the book "Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader;" and the connection between Cuba and American baseball. 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:50 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Current State | August 23, 2013

Today on Current State: we discuss "The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych;" the good and bad of the Detroit Lions' draft choices; Tiger legend Hank Greenberg fought off pitches and anti-semitism; and Senior Vice President and General Manager at FOX Sports South,  Jeff Genthner.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:50 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Current State | August 22, 2013

Today on Current State: The future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal; MSU women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant on life, leadership; Stephen Esquith, Dean of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities discusses the culturally rich West African country of Mali; and the growing problem of electronic waste. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:46 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Current State | August 21, 2013

Today on Current State:  Message in a bottle found near Harsens Island; research points to potential source of mental disorders' symptoms; and Lansing's Habitat for Humanity. 

   

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:58 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Current State | August 19, 2013

Today on Current State:  The auto industry ramps up hydrogen battery effort; a look at the book “Encyclopedia Paranoiaca;”  MSU Coach Mark Dantonio discusses children and health; and artist Karl Gude on information graphics and the creative process. 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:15 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

A recap of Current State's top stories from the past week

Here's a review of the top stories on Current State from this past week:

 At 20 percent, Michigan's recycling rate is 10 percent lower than the regional average. Kerrin O'Brien of the Michigan Recycling Coalition explains the reasons for Michigan's low rate and how a comprehensive statewide recycling plan can improve the current efforts. Click here for the full story. - August 13, 2013.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:29 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Current State #144 | August 16, 2013

Today on Current State: a look at how the Affordable Care Act would impact small business owners; Michigan fans remember Elvis Presley; legendary broadcaster George Blaha and his career experience; the winning script of this year's 'One Book, One Community' program - 'The Yellow Bird;" Lansing's first rowing regatta and remembering WJR personality J.P. McCarthy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:29 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Michigan small business reactions to Medicaid expansion

The passage of the Affordable Care Act would make more than 300,000 Michiganders eligible for Medicaid health insurance.
Credit Flickr

Beginning in 2014, much of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes effect. The landmark law aims to ensure that U.S. citizens have access to quality and affordable health insurance.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:27 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Michigan fans to remember Elvis Presley with music, impersonation

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Elvis Presley will be in Ionia this weekend, at least in spirit. The Michigan Elvis Presley Fan Club has arranged “a concert for the King” with several Elvis interpreters at the Ionia Theater on Sunday. Today is the 36th anniversary of Elvis' death. Yet many years on, he continues to attract devoted fans. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with Jennifer Thede, one of the fan club's co-founders.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:27 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Legendary broadcaster George Blaha reflects on career

Credit Courtesy of NBA.com

Broadcasting legend George Blaha is the long-lasting television and radio play-by-play voice of the Detroit Pistons. He is also the play-by-play voice of Spartans football.

Recently, he spoke with the Current Sports host Al Martin to talk  about his past, the NBA during the 80's and 90's and the upcoming season for the Pistons.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:26 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

'One Book, One Community' features the book 'The Yellow Birds'

The name of the book -- 'The Yellow Birds' -- is derived from a traditional U.S. Army marching cadence or call-and-response marching song sung by military personnel when preparing for combat.
Credit Courtesy of 'One Book, One Community' program

The One Book, One Community program encourages MSU students and East Lansing residents to read the same book and then discuss it together. This year’s title goes to ‘The Yellow Birds,’ a novel by Kevin Powers. The book reflects Powers' experience as a veteran serving in the Iraq War.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:26 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Remembering WJR legend J.P. McCarthy

Russ White with then MSU football coach George Perles and J.P. McCarthy at WJR in August 1992.
Credit Russ White

Eighteen years ago this morning brought the sad news of the death of beloved Detroit radio personality J.P. McCarthy. McCarthy ruled the morning radio airwaves at WJR for 30 years. Current State contributor Russ White worked with McCarthy for the last five years of J.P.'s life and has this remembrance of the great voice of the Great Lakes.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:39 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Current State #143 | August 15, 2013

Today on Current State: the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher checks in on issues at the state Capitol; a local attorney leads a petition drive to de-criminalize marijuana in Lansing; the inspiring story of an MSU graduate living with multiple sclerosis; a Public Poetry Announcement featuring the work of Paisley Rekdal and a tour of the World War II submarine U.S.S. Silversides on display in Muskegon.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:39 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

MPRN's Jake Neher checks in on the Capitol beat

The Michigan state Capitol in Lansing.
Credit WKAR File Photo

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher joins Current State to talk about a proposed ballot item to raise revenues for road improvements and education in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:38 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Lansing attorney leads effort to de-criminalize marijuana in city

Lansing attorney Jeff Hank is leading a citizen-based effort to de-criminalize the use of marijuana in the city of Lansing.
Credit WKAR File Photo

Lansing voters soon may decide to change the city’s marijuana laws.  Last week, organizers submitted what appears to be more than enough signatures to put a proposal on November’s ballot.  It would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of pot for people who are at least 21 years old and on private property.

Other Michigan cities have already passed similar laws: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Flint.  And in addition to Lansing, voters in Jackson and Ferndale may also vote this fall on similar measures.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:36 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Diagnosed with MS at 15, MSU grad lives inspiring life

Kelly Finger_McNeela (left) and Doreen Rickert-Rademacher.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Back in the mid-1980s, when Kelly Finger-McNeela was in high school, she began having problems walking and playing basketball, her favorite sport. Soon, Kelly would receive the terrible news:  she had primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.  It's one of the worst forms of the diseases, characterized by progressively worsening symptoms without any relapse.

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