Current State

9AM and 6PM Weekdays on 90.5 FM | noon on AM870

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.

Also be sure to visit Current State Weekend with host Emanuele Berry, where she features Current State reports from throughout the week, plus timely segments focused on arts and culture.

@KARCurrentState

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:25 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

MSU President Simon highlights URC and entrepreneurship

President Simon predicts the demand in education will involve a blend of vocational training and high-end jobs such as engineering.
Credit MSU

Today is the first of two day-long sessions at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.  Much of this year’s agenda focuses on the connection between public education and the health of Michigan’s economy.

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon plays a noticeable role in this year’s gathering.  She’s leading a key panel discussion today on the importance of corporate investment in education and efforts to close Michigan’s much publicized “skills gap.”   

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Democratic Sen. Gretchen Whitmer discusses education funding

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer voted against the school funding measure in the 2014 Michigan budget because it was insufficient, she says.
Credit Flickr

A key piece of the 2014 Michigan budget moved forward yesterday. The Republican-held majority of the state Senate passed a spending plan covering Michigan's public schools, community colleges and universities.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Back to the 70s with 'Arthur White' at (SCENE) Metrospace

Will Jurkiewicz (Will Witkowski, left) and Art Chiaravalli (Arthur White) star in 'An Evening With Arthur White.'
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Tonight, a show at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing will transport us back to the Detroit music scene on the mid 70's.

Those who attend "An Evening With Arthur White" will become part of the legend. The show, which combines theater and music, is the brainchild of Art Chiaravalli and Will Jurkiewicz, who recently spoke with Current State's Scott Pohl about the project and the mid-70's era men they portray.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:10 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Current State #96 | May 29, 2013

Today on Current State: Sen. Debbie Stabenow discusses the Farm Bill; the 250th anniversary of the battle of Fort Michilimackinac; Neighbors in Action; and a MSU student and former American Idol stars in local production and gets taste of American Idol.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:07 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Senator Debbie Stabenow discusses the Farm Bill, Michigan politics

Crop subsidies aren't the only controversial component of the 2013 Farm Bill. Among the hotly debated issues is Sen. David Vitter's amendment to cut food stamps to certain felons.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

A new five-year Farm Bill is making its way to a vote in the U.S. Senate.  This is the second time in a year that the legislation has cleared the Senate.  Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, says the House has promised to take up the bill in mid-June.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:59 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The 250th anniversary of the attack on Fort Michilimackinac

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac was founded by the French in 1715. It came under British control in 1761.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Memorial Day signals the start of the summer tourist season in Michigan, and the Straits of Mackinac is a traditional favorite for thousands of people. One of the area’s top attractions is Fort Michilimackinac, built by French fur traders in the early 1700's, and later turned into a British military outpost.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:57 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Charter House

In addition to regular social happenings like this open house luncheon (pictured), the club provides members with outings to other local events, like baseball games.
Credit Courtesy of Charter House

Each Wednesday, Current State presents “Neighbors in Action,” which features people and organizations working to make our community a better place.  This week we feature Charter House, a daytime clubhouse  for adults with mental illnesses in the Lansing area.

Clubhouse director Stephanie Tighe and Charter House member Nicole Wright join Current State to discuss the impact that a safe, social environment can have on an individual with a mental illness.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:33 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

MSU senior draws on American Idol experience for Riverwalk production

Although he can't remember for certain if his "American Idol" segment aired or not, Adam Woolsey drew on the audition experience for his most recent project, "My Favorite Year."
Credit Courtesy/Riverwalk Theatre

Adam Woolsey grew up in Jackson with musical theater on his mind. A performance at the “American Idol Experience” at Disney World in Orlando led to Woolsey auditioning for the TV show in 2011 – and gaining some national exposure.

Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with the MSU senior about his newest endeavor -  starring in the upcoming production of “My Favorite Year” at Lansing's Riverwalk Theatre.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:33 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Current State #95 | May 28, 2013

Today on Current State: Educators develop new model to evaluate the teachers; Great Lakes commentator Gary Wilson; Michigan Muslim Capitol Day ; Lansing business news; and WKAR anti-bullying campaign.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:22 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Michigan developing new model for teaching evaluation

The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness is a independent commission made up of education experts.
Credit Courtsey of Wikimedia commons

Michigan educators and administrators will soon learn more about how their job performances may be evaluated in the future.

Next month, the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness (MCEE) will announce recommendations toward developing a model for “fair and effective” teacher evaluation.

Republican State Senator Phil Pavlov, Chairman of the Senate Education committee and Amber Arellano, Executive Director of the Education Trust Midwest, discuss the commission’s work.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:03 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Prioritizing issues in the Great Lakes region

The recent meeting of the Great Lakes Advisory Board focused on priorities for the next four years of Great Lakes restoration.
Credit Courtsey of Wikimedia commons

This weekend Gov. Snyder will welcome Governors from across the Great Lakes region to the 2013 leadership summit on Mackinac Island. Great Lakes journalist and commentator Gary Wilson previews the summit and reflects on the Great Lakes Advisory Board's meeting in Chicago.

Wilson is the former co-editor of the Great Lakes Town Hall. He’s a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and currently writes for Great Lakes Echo.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Michigan Muslims strive to build relationships with legislators

The day’s schedule includes meeting legislators and attending Senate and House sessions.
Credit Courtsey of Wikimedia commons

Michigan has one of the larger Muslim populations in the country. Today, community leaders from across the state will be gathering in Lansing for the annual Michigan Muslim Capitol Day. The event, organized by the Michigan Muslim Community Council, seeks to strengthen relationships with state lawmakers.

Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a local physician and board member at the Islamic Center of East Lansing and MSU psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abbasi discuss the goals and concerns of the Michigan Muslim community.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:22 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock

Detroit’s Emergency Manager is exploring the idea of selling off artwork owned by the city to aid in paying off the city’s debts.
Credit Courtsey of Wikimedia commons

Mlive’s Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins us every Monday for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. Today, she discusses the Michigan Flyer-AirRide motorcoach service, Detroit’s finical issues and the loss of current Bank of America customer perks. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:17 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

WKAR anti-bullying video contest

The best video's will air on WKAR-TV for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
Credit Courtesy of WKAR.org

WKAR is asking area middle school students to produce their own videos that speak out against bullying.  The best ones will be aired on WKAR-TV. WKAR's Jason Thomson, a multimedia producer with MSU’s Interactive Video Services department, explains more about the series. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:22 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Current State #94 | May 24, 2013

Today on Current State: marijuana convictions in Okemos; slavery films; Michigan’s bad year for mosquitoes and MSU “Food for Thought” food truck.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:20 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Attorney alleges 'miscarriage of justice' over local marijuana convictions

Currently, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act only allows patients with the need for medical marijuana to either grow the plant on their own, or find an individual -- known as the primary caregiver -- who is willing to grow it for them to do so. However, registered primary caregivers can only assist up to five qualifying patients.
Credit Wikimedia commons

Marijuana possession is still a federal crime, but law enforcement and prosecution has been extremely confusing in many states -- including Michigan -- which have legalized the use of marijuana to varying degrees.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:12 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Examining slavery in American film

Credit flickr/Boston Public Library

Slavery is a part of American history, but a part people are uncomfortable speaking about.  So, contemporary conversations about slavery often play out on the big screen. 

And, apparently, we still have a lot to say about it. Seven new films about slavery are slated to come out in 2013.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:49 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Swarms of mosquitoes have followed heavy spring flooding

MSU professor Ned Walker says heavy spring flooding this spring is creating a very severe mosquito population in Michigan.
Credit Wikimedia commons

If you’ve been outside in the last few weeks, it's not hard to notice the swarms of attacking mosquitoes. The creepy buzzing in the ears, the itchy welts and the inordinate blood loss -- they all seem particularly bad this spring. Ned Walker, MSU entomology professor and an expert on the dastardly mosquito, talked with Current State host Mark Bashore about how bad it is and why.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

'Food for Thought' is newest addition to local food truck scene

The "Food for Thought" food truck debuted on MSU Campus on March 25.
Judi Smelser

In March, Spartan Hospitality Group at Michigan State University launched a new venture that it hoped would change the nature of fast food on the MSU campus and beyond. The venture is called the "Food for Thought" food truck. Since then, business has steadily grown.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:07 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Current State #93 | May 23, 2013

Today on Current State:  Interim Lansing police chief Mike Yankowski; MSU professor Karl Gude's new art exhibit; the East Lansing Park District Project and a new book on race relations in Detroit.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:04 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Interim Police Chief Mike Yankowski reflects on first month at LPD helm

Interim police chief Mike Yankowski says that he hopes to bring a data-driven approach to the Lansing Police Department.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Captain Mike Yankowski is about one month into his new responsibilities as the interim chief of the Lansing Police Department, after succeeding retired police chief Teresa Szymanski. He's considered a strong possibility for the permanent position as chief.

Yankowski joins Current State to discuss several issues including high profile local cases, his law enforcement philosophy and the state of medical marijuana in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:01 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

MSU professor and painter Karl Gude promotes his new exhibit

While a fan of impressionist styles, painter and professor Karl Gude says his work focuses primarily on hyper-realism.
Credit Courtesy of Karl Gude

Michigan State University professor and graphics expert Karl Gude approaches the visual side of storytelling with a heavy dose of creativity.  He relies on that impulse to teach "Visualizing Information" and other classes in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.  He also taps into this mindset to paint and he is now promoting his most recent exhibit at the Nisbet Building at MSU.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:58 am
Thu May 23, 2013

East Lansing development process moving forward

The scope of downtown East Lansing is changing as the city council considers two proposals from DTN Management Co. and Lurvey White Ventures.
Credit Flickr

Yesterday, a public panel in East Lansing might have moved the city a little closer to updating a key downtown space.  The city’s Park District review team made recommendations regarding specific development companies and their plans for that space.  

Many in the area are eager to start developing the largely derelict area west of Abbot Road and north of Grand River. The panel recommended that the city council focus on plans from both DTN Management Co. and Lurvey White Ventures.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:52 am
Thu May 23, 2013

New book discusses Detroit race relations

Darden's book discussed how the residents of Detroit can improve not only their lives but the town itself.
Credit Flickr

The last few years have brought significant changes to the city of Detroit. A financial emergency was declared, and despite opposition from residents and the city council, a financial manager was appointed. And just this month, Mayor Dave Bing announced he would step down from office at the end of his term—and a crowded field of new candidates announced their intentions.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:08 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Bernero vows to veto Lansing budget

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero is vowing to veto parts of the budget the city council passed on Monday.
Credit Joe Linstroth / WKAR

Elected officials in Lansing are nearing the end of their annual give and take over the city’s next budget.  

By a 5-3 vote Monday night, the city council approved a roughly $115 million spending plan that eliminated a number of items supported by Mayor Virg Bernero.  The mayor has promised a veto.  

Mayor Bernero talks with Current State's Mark Bashore about what he can and can’t accept, and about several developments have unfolded just in the 24 hours.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:03 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Current State #92 | May 22, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing mayor Virg Bernero on the city budget process; the new "bible of psychiatry" is published and "Neighbors in Action" features The Gift of Life.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:00 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Influential D.S.M.-5 is released today amid much criticism

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders outlines diagnoses for hundreds of mental disorders.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Today, the new Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, or D.S.M. -5 as it’s more commonly known, comes out.  Often called the “Bible of Psychiatry,” the new 947-page manual outlines diagnoses for hundreds of mental disorders.  Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the manual is broadly influential, affecting mental health professionals, insurance companies, the court system, and pharmaceutical and mental health research. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:59 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Gift of Life

Each Wednesday, Current State presents “Neighbors in Action,” which features people and organizations working to make our community a better place.  This week we feature Gift of Life, which facilitates organ donorship in Michigan.

Mark Bashore talks with communications specialist Betsy Miner-Swartz and Patty Jo Herndon, president of the Michigan Donor Family Council and a sister of an organ donor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:01 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Current State #91 | May 21, 2013

On today's Current State: Medicaid expansion hinges on an unlikely waiver; a Public Poetry Announcement by poet Jane Kenyon; farmers fear a migrant labor shortage for the harvest; the International Joint Commission issues a report card on the health of the Great Lakes and Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:44 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Public Poetry Announcement: Jane Kenyon

Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Jane Kenyon’s “Afternoon At MacDowell” is this week’s Public Poetry Announcement.

Current State's Public Poetry Announcements are brought to you by the Center for Poetry at MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

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