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
12:21 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Current State #439 | December 12, 2014

Today on Current State: State Representative Sam Singh and Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network on the lame duck legislative session; Oakland Press sportswriter Paula Pasche on her Detroit Lions history book; the environmental impact of the food we eat; and Live Music Friday with John Dale Smith.

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Politics & Government
12:20 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rep. Singh updates Michigan's lame duck session

Sam Singh (D-East Lansing)
Credit Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

The Michigan legislature is in the middle of an eventful lame duck session. Efforts are in high gear to hammer out a road and bridge funding measure before the session wraps next Thursday, but many other important issues are also being debated.

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Sports
12:18 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Book recounts Detroit Lions storied past

Joe Schmidt. Yale Lary. Alex Karras. Lem Barney. Just a few of the legendary names and stories in the 2012 book "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die."  It’s a collection of Detroit Lion history by Oakland Press sports writer Paula Pasche.

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Environment
12:17 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Study: eating right may not do right by environment

Dr. Martin Heller
Credit http://css.snre.umich.edu/

A new Michigan study looks at what we eat in the context of its environmental impact. Every few years, the U. S. Department of Agriculture puts out guidelines on how Americans should eat to maintain good health. The balance between fruits and vegetables, protein, and other nutrients has been the topic of much debate.

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Arts & Culture
12:10 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: John Dale Smith | WKAR

John Dale Smith is director of music at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lansing.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s Friday, and here at Current State, that means live music. Today, we’ve invited noted local pianist John Dale Smith to join us for some music marking the approaching Christmas holidays.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Current State #438 | December 11, 2014

Today on Current State: The Michigan Department of Transportation's draft of a five-year transportation plan; the local music scene with Anne Erickson of the Lansing State Journal; a proposal to bar local communities from negotiating with developers over wages; and the South American psychotropic drug ayahuasca.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Amid funding uncertainty, MDOT plans for the future

Credit Flickr - Doug Kerr

The Michigan Department of Transportation this month released its draft 2015-2019 Five-Year Transportation Program. MDOT will be taking public comment on the draft plan until January 5.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Thu December 11, 2014

MI MUSIC SCENE: LSJ's Anne Erickson on December concerts

Flatfoot will headline the Punks vs. Pokes concert Friday at Mac's Bar in Lansing.
Credit http://www.macsbar.com/

It’s time for another look at the local music scene. Current State’s Scott Pohl is here with some concert and gift-giving ideas for December. He talked with Anne Erickson, the Lansing State Journal’s Things to Do reporter.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Thu December 11, 2014

EL officials push back against GOP plans limiting local control

East Lansing city manager George Lahanas
Credit http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/

This week, the Michigan legislature has caught the ire of some municipal leaders who fear the state may be overstepping its reach into local government. One Republican sponsored bill now headed to the House floor would ban local communities from entering into negotiations with developers over wages and  so-called “community benefits.”  The measure has evoked criticism from a number of Democratic civic officials.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:24 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Lansing man describes experience with South American psychotropic

According to the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council website, ESC works to assure 'the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants'.
Credit http://www.ethnobotanicalcouncil.org/

“It’s as if a well has been sunk deep into the sediment of my life, an artesian well drilled into the stratified, impermeable bedrock of the past, and every memory that is forced to the surface breeds another ten in front of my eyes.” Those provocative words come from Sting’s 2003 memoir, "Broken Music." They recall his 1987 experience with a South American psychotropic brew called ayahuasca.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:13 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Current State #437 | December 10, 2014

Today on Current State: Police-community relations in Lansing; the New York Philharmonic's new residency partnership with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor; and our Neighbors in Action segment this week is with the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association.

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Politics & Government
11:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

LPD chief, leading pastor address community's policing concerns

Union Missionary Baptist Church pastor Dr. Melvin T. Jones addresses the crowd gathered for a forum on community and police relations in Lansing.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For weeks, the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved in their deaths have sparked sometimes violent protests across the country. The cases have even reached mid-Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
11:09 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Ann Arbor's UMS partners with NY Phil

Michigan classical music fans received big news recently as Ann Arbor’s University Musical Society announced a new five-year residency partnership with the New York Philharmonic, beginning in 2015.

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Community
11:07 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Capital Area Down Syndrome Association | WKAR

Kierin Kerbawy is a self-advocate on CADSA’s board.
Credit http://www.cadsa.org/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place.

Today, we learn about the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association, or CADSA, an organization that helps support people with Down Syndrome and their families.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:57 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Protest planned for MSU Commencement address by George Will

Washington Post columnist George Will will address MSU graduates on Saturday. A student protest against his views on campus sexual assault is being planned.
Credit http://www.washingtonpost.com/

The selection of newspaper columnist George Will to speak to MSU graduates this weekend is drawing the ire of students angered by his position on campus sexual assaults.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:04 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Current State #436 | December 9, 2014

Today on Current State: A charter school advocate responds to a report critical of Michigan charter school authorizers; the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to rules on mercury emissions; and the opera "William Tell" comes to Ann Arbor.

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Education
11:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Charter school advocate: judge MI authorizers on performance

Many in Michigan’s charter school community are crying foul over a recent report that criticizes the state’s charter school authorizers. Authorizers of charter schools are educational institutions, often colleges, whose responsibility is to ensure oversight, accountability and adequate performance.

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Environment
10:54 am
Tue December 9, 2014

SCOTUS to consider challenge to EPA mercury rules

Nick Schroeck, director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.
Credit http://law.wayne.edu/

The environment has taken center stage in President Barack Obama’s second term. Under his direction, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued sweeping regulations aimed at curbing global warming. But should the EPA have to consider what it costs utilities to comply with those regulations? That’s the question being asked in a case before the Supreme Court right now.

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Arts & Culture
10:51 am
Tue December 9, 2014

"William Tell": an opera, not just an overture

Teatre Reggio Turin Orchestra will perform 'William Tell' tonight in Ann Arbor.
Credit Courtesy Teatre Reggio Turin Orchestra

Tonight at 7:30 at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, artists from Teatro Regio Torino perform a concert version of Rossini’s famed opera "William Tell". Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads the performance, which makes stops in Chicago, Toronto and New York City.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:21 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Current State #435 | December 8, 2014

Today on Current State: An update on federal oversight of Michigan's child welfare system; retailers in Michigan seek sales tax fairness; and a preview of tonight's Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing concert.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Mon December 8, 2014

State, child welfare advocates spar over DHS oversight

Sara Bartosz is lead counsel for Children’s Rights.
Credit http://www.childrensrights.org/

After six years of federal oversight, Michigan is seeking to reclaim control of its child welfare system. The state came under supervision of federal monitors in 2008. That was after a 2006 class action lawsuit that alleged the Michigan Department of Human Services had failed to protect the safety and well-being of almost 19,000 children in state custody.

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Economy
11:12 am
Mon December 8, 2014

MI retailers push for sales tax fairness

Many online retailers, like Amazon, don't collect the state sales tax from customers in Michigan.
Credit Flickr - Carl Malamud

Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
11:06 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Arts Chorale holiday concert features Dvořák, Rutter

The Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing’s holiday concert is tonight. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. at River Terrace Church on River Terrace Drive in East Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:16 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Current State #434 | December 5, 2014

Today on Current State: Ingham County experiments with police body cameras; snowboarding's Michigan history; the reliability of energy resources in rural Michigan; and Live Music Friday with Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny.

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Politics & Government
11:15 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Ingham County experiments with police body cameras

Recent police custody deaths have led to a call for more widespread usage of law enforcement body cameras.
Credit Flickr - West Midlands Police

The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.

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History
11:14 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Snowboarding's Michigan roots

We may be headed into the deep, dark winter, but Michiganders are well-known for thriving in the snow. Our state has made an industry of winter activities. The sport of snowboarding itself was born in Muskegon. Native son Sherman Poppen got it all started during Christmas of 1965.

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Environment
11:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Limited energy infrastructure curtails rural development

Credit Flickr - Seth Sawyers

Shortly before Thanksgiving, some rural businesses in Michigan’s Thumb region faced a difficult request. At the peak of the fall harvest, Consumers Energy asked several customers to voluntarily curtail their natural gas usage for 10 hours a day. The shutoff didn’t last long, but agri-business leaders say it highlighted an ongoing concern for the future of Michigan’s energy infrastructure.

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Arts & Culture
11:10 am
Fri December 5, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Phil Denny | WKAR

Phil Denny's annual holiday concert is Saturday night. He performed live from WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny. On Saturday night, the Phil Denny and Friends Christmas Collective will present his third annual holiday concert in the Pattengill Auditorium on Marshall Street in Lansing, starting at 7:30.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:14 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Current State #433 | December 4, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan Supreme Court Justice-elect Richard Bernstein; placing Lansing's homeless in permanent housing; a Michigan teacher working to preserve indigenous language; a preview of this weekend's "Home for the Holidays" concert; and a book reviewer of "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Bernstein hopes to bring "blind justice" to state's highest court

Richard Bernstein will become a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in January.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.

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