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
3:33 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Rapper Coolio coming to Lansing

Coolio performs at The Loft in Lansing on Thursday.
Credit Courtesy/coolioworld.com

Coolio got his start in the Los Angeles rap music scene in the late 80s and early 90s, and he hit it big when the producers of the movie “Dangerous Minds” chose his song “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the soundtrack.

It went to the top of the charts and win the Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1996. In all, he’s sold 30-million records worldwide. He’ll be in Lansing for a concert at The Loft Thursday night.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:32 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Neighbors in Action: The Firecracker Foundation

Our weekly Neighbors in Action interview features people and organizations working to make our community a better place. This week, we feature the newly-launched non-profit called The Firecracker Foundation. It seeks to provide therapy and support for victims of child sexual abuse.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:29 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Voices of the World Dwarf Games at MSU

Ollie Brown of Great Britain is one of the athletes competing this week in the World Dwarf Games at MSU.
Credit John Patrick McGuire

All this week, 395 athletes from 17 nations have been competing in 14 events all over the MSU campus and the Lansing area as part of the 2013 World Dwarf Games.

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Radio Made in Michigan
9:26 am
Wed August 7, 2013

World Dwarf Games

Credit John Patrick McGuire

WKAR teamed up with Chicago-based photographer John Patrick McGuire to capture the buzz of the 2013 World Dwarf Games, through portraits and interviews with the athletes. |  You can view individual athlete portraits here. To hear audio from some of the participants click into post. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:49 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Current State #137 | August 6, 2013

Today on Current State: the growing seasonal worker population in Michigan; scientific disagreement with Michigan biodiversity bill; the sequestration and Michigan workforce training; and the Whole Foods ripple effect.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:47 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Michigan's migrant and seasonal worker population sees growth

Michigan's Fruit Belt hugs the west side of the state along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Much of the seasonal worker population is in that part of the state.
Credit Wikimedia commons

Michigan's signature cherry crop, among other agricultural state staples, depend heavily on thousands of migrant workers each year.  Even after a killing frost destroyed much of the crop in 2012, a new report shows Michigan's migrant and seasonal farm population is growing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Sequestration's potential impact on Michigan workers

About 500,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in Michigan during the recession.
Credit Wikimedia commons

In a recent opinion piece in the Lansing State Journal CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works Doug Stites wrote that the 20%  funding cuts to his agency come at a critical time when efforts to retrain Michigan workers for in-demand jobs is extremely important.  At the same time, a number of taxpayers are skeptical of the publicly funded agency's work.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:38 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Scientists across Michigan oppose legislation to limit biodiversity

State scientists argue the bill would be a setback for land conservation and harmful to the state's ecosystems.
Credit Wikimedia commons

This past spring the Michigan Senate passed Bill 78, which prohibits state agencies from setting aside land to maintain biodiversity.  The bill has drawn strong criticism from various environmental groups.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

How Whole Foods might affect similar local businesses

The East Lansing Food Co-op began in the 1970's with about 30 members, and now boasts more than 3,500.
Credit Wikimedia commons

Texas-based Whole Foods recently announced plans to open a new store on Grand River Avenue in Meridian Township in 2015.  This location will put the new organic food store in very close proximity to several similar stores, including Foods for Living and the East Lansing Food Co-op.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Current State #136 | August 5, 2013

Today on Current State: a preview of Lansing's mayoral primary election; an update on the MSU FRIB project; the Michigan Wine Competition; and a book on how to become a great leader.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:41 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Lansing mayoral primary election check-in

Lansing City Hall
Credit WKAR file photo

Voters in Lansing will go to the polls tomorrow for a primary election that will narrow the field of candidates for mayor and the city council.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:29 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

U.S. Department of Energy approves next phase of MSU FRIB project

The U.S. Department of Energy last week approved the cost and schedule for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams project.
Credit Courtesy of MSU FRIB project

Late last week, MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams received several critical approvals from U. S. Department of Energy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:22 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Michigan Wine Competition draws producers, wine experts

The 2013 Michigan Wine Competition will take place on Tuesday. Despite the extra rain this year, Karel Bush of the Michigan Grape and Wine Council says it's a good year for Michigan wine grapes.
Credit Flickr/lpwines

On Tuesday, the 36th annual Michigan Wine Competition will take place at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Some of Michigan’s top wineries will present their best creations to a panel of wine experts from across the state and nation.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:15 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

How to lead employees? Don't overmanage

Murnighan suggest a focus on the employees who are getting things done, to stimulate and facilitate their performance.
Credit Courtesy of J. Keith Murnighan

How to become a great leader? The trick may not be in how much work you do, but in trusting your staff.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:28 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Current State #135 | August 2, 2013

Today on Current State: State Rep. Sam Singh; the 2013 World Dwarf Games; and Lansing’s at-large city council race.

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

State Rep. Singh shares thoughts on Common Core, Detroit, Medicaid expansion

Rep. Sam Singh says he's open to the idea of the using a sales tax increase to fund both road construction and education.
Credit Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

This summer’s been busier than usual at the State Capitol, with ongoing discussions happening on hot button issues including Medicaid expansion, Common Core education standards, road funding and more.

Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) joins the Current State to offer his perspective on those issues and more. He represents the House's 67th district.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

World Dwarf Games return to their birthplace, attract hundreds of athletes

Len Sawisch, Dwarf Athletic Association Co-Founder and World Dwarf Games volunteer compares his shooting results with 10-year-old athlete Liam Smith.
WKAR/Emanuele Berry

For the past 20 years, dwarfs from around the world have gathered every four years to compete in the World Dwarf Games (WDG). This year the games are returning to their birthplace -- East Lansing. Beginning this weekend, short-statured children, adults and seniors will play basketball, run track and swim in the largest sporting event in history exclusively for athletes with dwarfism. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spent some time with athletes getting ready for the games. 

Listen to feature story above.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:15 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Lansing neighborhood leaders weigh in on Council primary

Lansing residents go to the polls next Tuesday to vote in their next primary election. Four incumbents on the city council are facing challengers, as well as Mayor Virg Bernero. In these final days leading up to the Lansing primary, Current State is examining the key races from the voters’ perspective.  

Yesterday we looked at the issues and candidates in the Second and Fourth Wards. Today, we discuss the race for the two at-large seats on Lansing's City Council. The incumbents Brian Jeffries and Kathie Dunbar are facing four challengers -- Ted O’Dell, Judi Browne-Clarke, Jonathon Smith and Keith Smith. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:22 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Current State #134 | August 1, 2013

Today on Current State:  primary election races in Lansings 2nd and 4th Wards; a review of J.K. Rowling's new book; the NEO center; and Mark Meadows' trip on the Appalachian Trail.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:18 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Lansing's Second Ward incumbent Houghton to face challenger in general election

Second Ward Councilwoman Tina Houghton
Credit Lansing City Council

Lansing residents go to the polls next Tuesday to vote in their next primary election.  Four incumbents on the city council are facing challengers, as well as Mayor Virg Bernero.  In these final days leading up to the Lansing primary, Current State takes a look at the key races from the voters’ perspective.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:14 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Lansing's Fourth Ward incumbent Yorko faces three primary opponents

Last week, the Lansing State Journal reported that Councilwoman Jessica Yorko raised $15,740 in campaign funds, not far ahead of challenger Chong-Anna Canfora, who raised $14,840.
Credit Lansing City Council


Fourth ward incumbent Jessica Yorko faces off next Tuesday against three challengers: Chong-Anna Canfora, of the liberal political advocacy group Progress Michigan, attorney Bert Carrier Jr. and Larry Hutchinson, a stay-at-home father.  The top two vote-getters will face off in November’s general election.    

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:11 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Book Review: J.K. Rowling's 'The Cuckoo's Calling'

Although best known for crafting the 'Harry Potter' series, author J.K. Rowling has received critical praise for her adult fiction, including her most recent novel, 'The Cuckoo's Calling.'
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Publishers, libraries and book stores like to pigeonhole writers into neat little boxes. Write one fantasy novel and you wear that mantle for the rest of your career. Same goes for romance and science fiction and on and on. Some writers happily wear their personal albatross, others fight it.

J.K. Rowling is an author who fights it.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:48 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

NEO Center offers collaborative space for aspiring entrepreneurs

In addition to workspace, the NEO Center offers prospective Lansing businesses things like networking and business placement assistance.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

The NEO Center, Lansing’s first business incubator, is marking a year and a half of helping aspiring entrepreneurs launch small businesses.  The NEO Center, short for New Enterprise Opportunity, offers office space and a variety of other resources to help new business endeavors get a foothold and hopefully take off.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:44 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Former state representative Meadows hikes the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 states and varies wildly in elevation.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Former state representative Mark Meadows has been thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail for decades. This summer, he did it … well, about half of its 2,200 miles.

Meadows started his south to north hike in Georgia in March, expecting warmer weather than the sub-freezing overnight lows he encountered during the first week. He stopped for the season after about 100 days, in Maryland, with his son by his side for part of the time. He hopes to complete the rest of the hike next year.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:21 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Current State #133 | July 31, 2013

Today on Current State: a review of July's biggest news stories; Neighbors in Action features the Mason Orchestral Society; and an interview with radio legend Garrison Keillor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:19 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Month in Review: July's biggest news stories

On the last weekday of each month, Current State looks back on the biggest news stories around Michigan with a panel of journalists. Dave Eggert of the Associated Press, Tim Skubick of WKAR-TV and Kathleen Gray of the Detroit Free Press join us to discuss Detroit's bankruptcy, Medicaid expansion, road funding and other big July news stories.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:16 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Mason Orchestral Society

The Mason Orchestral Society, founded in 1975, also works to provide scholarships for student musicians.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Neighbors in Action features the Mason Orchestral Society, which offers a venue and musical outlet for a variety of ages, skill levels and interests. Board president Mike Steele, who also plays the french horn, and symphony conductor Tim Krohn explain the Society's role in the community.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:13 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Garrison Keillor and company bring 'Radio Romance' to Wharton Center

Singer and fiddler Sara Watkins, The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band and comedian Fred Watkins join Garrison Keillor for his 'Radio Romance' tour.
Credit Flickr/Ryan Somma

For almost 40 years, "A Prairie Home Companion" has been a beloved staple of the public radio airwaves. Host Garrison Keillor combines music with skits, comedy and storytelling for an old-time radio show that makes even city people feel nostalgic for small town life.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:40 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Current State #132 | July 30, 2013

Today on Current State: Fracking in Michigan; improving dental care; rural development in Michigan; and the history of Detroit rock ‘n’ roll.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:39 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

The regulatory issues unearthed by fracking

The hydraulic fracturing also known as "fracking" is the process of releasing natural gas trapped deep within underground rock formations by pumping large amounts of high pressured water combined with chemicals and sand. Though many politicians and industry leaders say the process is safe and a means for energy independence, there are critics who claim that this type of drilling can threaten air, soil and water quality.

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