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
3:26 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

State, Delta Dental address oral health in Michigan

Credit Flickr/Herald Post

According to federal statistics, young Americans miss around 51 million hours of school each year due to oral-health issues.  For about a year now, a philanthropic effort from Delta Dental of Michigan called "Brighter Futures" has tried to tackle both the healthcare and educational challenges that come with poor dental care.

Chris Farrell, oral health program director for the Michigan Department of Community Health, and Sarina Gleason, spokesperson for Delta Dental of Michigan, discuss how to improve dental care, especially among children.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:17 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Rural development in Michigan extends beyond agriculture

USDA's Rural Development office in Michigan has invested in improvements to small town residents' access to culture and technology.
Credit Flickr/Kathleen Tyler Conklin

With Michigan being such an agriculturally diverse state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a strong presence here, but not all having to do with cattle or crops.  The USDA's Rural Development office's purpose is to support smaller communities that, in turn, support the nation’s farmlands.

James Turner, the USDA Rural Development agency's state director, discusses its efforts to improve rural Michiganders' access to culture and technology. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:51 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Rock 'N' Roll in 'America's Loudest City'

In addition to the artists, 'Detroit Rock City' gives life to the venues that housed these rock legends.
Credit Flickr/kodamakitty

Motown is what most people connect with Detroit's music scene, but the Motor City has also been the birthplace of some of the most influential American rockers.

"Detroit Rock City," the latest book by local author Steve Miller, chronicles the city's rock scene through interviews with some of its most legendary rock musicians, such as Iggy Pop, Bob Seger and Jack White. Miller and Current State's Scott Pohl discuss the deep tracks of Detroit's rockin' legacy. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:23 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Current State #131 | July 29, 2013

Today on Current State: food security in Detroit and mid-Michigan; a Public Poetry Announcement with Gwendolyn Brooks; Ingham County animal control; Michigan veterans' struggle to access services; Michigan’s craft distillery movement; and MSU football.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:21 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Examining food security in Detroit, Lansing

Detroiters can find fresh produce and meats at the Eastern Market.
Credit Flickr/Dig Downtown Detroit

Grocery stores have been making the news in Detroit recently. Last week, the Michigan-based retailer, Meijer, opened its first Detroit location. This follows the news last month of the grand opening of the city’s first Whole Foods Market. Based on these stories, one might think Detroiters were only recently introduced to the concept of the grocery store. That’s not true.

 MSU associate professor of sociology Craig Harris, an expert in the sociology of food, discusses food security in Detroit, as well as here in mid-Michigan. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:11 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Public Poetry Announcement: Gwendolyn Brooks

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Gwendolyn Brooks’ “The Bean Eaters” is today's Public Poetry Announcement.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:05 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Dog fighting, hoarding and strays: Animal control issues in Ingham County

American pit bulls and their mixed offspring make up nearly 60 percent of the shelter's stray dogs, says Jamie McAloon-Lampman, director of Ingham County Animal Control.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

From pet hoarding to dog fighting to stray cats and dogs, if it has four-legs and a problem, chances are that Ingham County’s animal control division will be called in to help.  Jamie McAloon-Lampman, the director of  Ingham County Animal Control, discusses the Lansing-area's animal control issues. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:56 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Veterans struggle to access services in Michigan

Eric Calley served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq. He's the co-founder of the veterans' advocacy group, The Fight Continues. He's pictured with his service dog, Liberty.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

 

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States has deployed nearly two million military personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan.  As operations wind down, thousands of troops are returning home, and many with profound physical and psychological wounds.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Michigan's craft spirits industry is on the rise

East Lansing's Red Cedar Spirits is part of the state's growing craft distillery movement.
Credit Courtsey of Red Cedar Spirits

Michigan’s economy and culture has been positively impacted by the craft beer and wine industry. But if beer or wine isn’t your style, don’t fret. Michigan is also one of the friendliest states to small distillers, and as a result the state’s spirits industry is growing. Kris Berglund, an MSU distinguished professor of food science and chemical engineering and a statewide industry leader, discusses the spirits industry in Michigan. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:37 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Spartan football team seeks offensive improvements

The Spartans kick-off the 2013 season against Western Michigan University at home on Aug. 30.
Credit Flickr/Alex

Another football season is around the corner. Spartans will kick off its 2013 campaign against the Broncos of Western Michigan University on August 30.

Today, Current State's guest host Emanuele Berry discusses the team's offensive approach with Current Sports production assistant Matt Ludtke.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:36 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Current State | July 26, 2013

Today on Current State: MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Athletic Director Mark Hollis and Detroit Free Press’s Joe Rexrode discuss sports journalism; Michigan’s native plants; vintage radios; and master gardening.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:55 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Current State | July 25, 2013

Today on Current State: Time banks; a century-long study on Great Lakes water quality; the confirmation of the Higgs boson particle; and a book that explores the color of Christ.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:34 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Current State | July 24, 2013

Today on Current State: cultural exchange with China; Lansing Hall of Fame's Bob Every; Fort Michilimackinac; Neighbors in Action features LAP Respite Center; and the MAC attack.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:58 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Current State #130 | July 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Detroit files for bankruptcy protection; Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta on Medicaid expansion and Common Core standards; MSU's study abroad program in Mali and the new book to honor Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Detroit files bankruptcy protection, then what?

Gov. Rick Snyder said the city of Detroit needs a “radically restructure” and bankruptcy is the "only feasible option" to fix the city's finances. But many worry about the potential impact to municipalities’ bonding credit and state employees’ pension plan.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A much-feared -- but widely anticipated -- day arrived yesterday in Michigan’s largest city.  Officials filed a 16-page bankruptcy petition on behalf of the city of Detroit in U.S. Court, making the city the largest municipal bankruptcy in the U.S. history.

Gov. Rick Snyder authorized the filing yesterday after efforts by state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr failed to satisfy numerous creditors. According to reports, the city owes as many as 100,000 creditors and  accrued obligation is as much as $20 billion.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:43 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Rick Pluta discusses Medicaid expansion, Common Core standards

Some members of the Michigan legislature are having a busier summer than usual. While most legislators are on a summer break, party leaders and work groups continue debating major proposals not resolved by the June passage of the 2014 state budget.  Those include Common Core education standards, Medicaid expansion and others.   Michigan Public Radio state capitol bureau chief Rick Pluta talks with Current State's  Mark Bashore for an update on legislators' current progress on such issues. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:23 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Study abroad programs bring MSU students to Mali

Mali is about the size of Texas and California combined. It has a population of 14 million, and its economy is struggling.
Credit Flickr/Peter Casier

The West African nation of Mali is well known for its spectacular art and musical traditions, as well as its famed historical city of Timbuktu.  Until March 2012, it was also known as the most stable democracy in  Africa. That image was shattered, however, when a military coup threw the country into chaos, leading to the displacement of nearly half a million people, a surge in Islamist rebel fighters in the north, and an influx of French troops and UN peacekeepers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:19 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Fan remembers Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych in new book

Mark Fidrych joined the Detroit Tigers in 1976. He was known for his antics on the mound, and for shaking hands with nearly everyone after games.
Credit Flickr/Ed McDonald

Mark Fidrych is one of the biggest stars in baseball history. In 1976, the legendary Detroit Tigers pitcher took baseball and the sports world by storm. His 19 wins brought him Rookie of the Year honors and an All-Star game appearance.

A new book "The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych" by lifelong Tigers fan Doug Wilson remembers the Tiger great, who died in 2009.

WKAR's Al Martin recently spoke with Wilson about his memory of Fidrych's baseball career.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:57 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Current State #129 | July 18, 2013

Today on Current State: "Okemos 7's" Dennis Forsberg discusses impending prison sentence; a message in a bottle; a Wisconsin town deals with water quality issues and the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:57 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Dennis Forsberg of 'Okemos 7' discusses impending prison sentence

The 'Okemos 7' group knew that the endeavor was illegal under federal law, but assumed that they would not be prosecuted because of the state's medical marijuana law, Lance Forsberg's attorney told City Pulse in May.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons



In 2010, Dennis Forsberg, an Okemos business owner, launched an undisguised effort to start a legal marijuana-growing business.  He and six others intended to operate within the parameters of Michigan’s medical marijuana law, even consulting with Meridian Township police.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Message in a bottle draws attention to Harsens Island_New

Almost 100 years ago, two young girls enjoying their summer on Harsens Island scrawled a note, stuck it in a glass bottle and threw it in the St. Clair River. Early last month, Bernard Licata , President of the Harsens Island/St. Clair Flats Historical Society, was contacted about the bottle after a diver stumbled across it. Licata share this remarkable piece of history with Current State.


 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Just miles away from Lake Michigan, Wisconsin town is parched

Waukesha has long struggled with radium levels in water supply and looks to Lake Michigan for a safer water source.
Credit Wikimedia Commons



Waukesha, Wisconsin is on a quest for water; its groundwater supply is dwindling and contaminated.  Although the town is less than 20 miles away from Lake Michigan, it falls west of the Great Lakes basin line, which means no water without permission from the Great Lakes Compact.

Gary Wilson, journalist for Great Lakes Echo and former co-editor of the Great Lakes Town Hall, discuss what Waukesha’s quest for water means for the Great Lakes.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Michigan Shakespeare Festival comes to Jackson

Janice Blixt describes Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," which will be performed at the festival, as one of the playwright's funniest comedies.
Credit Wikimedia Commons


 

The 19th season of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival begins in Jackson today. The schedule for the festival includes “Twelfth Night,” along with the lesser-known “King John," and rounds out with Oliver Goldsmith’s “She Stoops To Conquer.”

Current State’s Scott Pohl went to Jackson to talk with artistic director Janice Blixt about the season.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:12 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Current State #128 | July 17, 2013

Today on Current State: hydrogen-fueled cars; new research on mental illness; Neighbors in Action features Eaglevision Ministries; bats in backyards and a book on poet Sylvia Plath.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:11 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Auto industry ramps up hydrogen battery effort

The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity boasts zero emissions but is not yet available for purchase - only for leasing in areas with publicly available refueling stations.
Credit Flickr/Alan Gore

As emission standards tighten around the world, auto manufacturers are ramping up research and development of hydrogen fuel cells.   Last week, General Motors announced a new seven-year joint effort with Honda to develop such vehicles.  It’s the latest in a series of similar alliances involving manufacturers.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

New research points to potential source of mental disorders' symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, observing behavioral changes, psychological evaluations and imaging tests such as MRIs can help diagnose schizophrenia.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

The process of diagnosing, classifying and treating mental illness is incredibly complex and often controversial. The recent debate surrounding the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders illustrates how difficult it can be to get a handle on what causes the symptoms of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Eaglevision Ministries

Eaglevision offers veterans like Dan Jensen job training programs which offer resume help, training for interviews and computer training.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

In the heart of Lansing, Eaglevision Ministries is giving back to the community by helping some of the hardest hit people in the area find stability and employment – from youths to veterans to those recently released from jail or prison.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:05 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The benefits of bats in your backyard

Little brown bats, or Myotis lucifugus, are the most common bats in North America and can eat three times their weight in mosquitoes, according to Brodak's website.
Credit Flickr/K.P. McFarland


Humans have had a mixed relationship with bats over the centuries. People tend to dislike or fear them, but bats may gain more fans in Michigan this summer because of their phenomenal capacity for eating mosquitos.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with Phil Brodak, the proprietor of Batsbirdsyard.com,  based in southeast Michigan, about the business of attracting bats to backyards.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Book sheds new light on a tragic poet's life

Although most associate Sylvia Plath with confessional poetry and a tragic death, Winder's book aims to shed light on a different period of Plath's life.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Most people don't think of happiness when they think of Sylvia Plath, but a new book aims to round off the perception of the tragic poet. Elizabeth Winder's "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," covers a joyful month-long period in Plath's life as she dated, worried about clothes and makeup and worked as an intern.

WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael speaks with Melissa Benmark about his impressions of the book.
 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:02 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Current State #127 | July 16, 2013

Today on Current State: a discussion of early childhood education in the state; the Michigan Agriculture and Food Index; a Michigan-based group helping to eliminate electronic waste; and celebrating the life of the late president Gerald R. Ford.

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