This week we’re looking back on an event that’s become part of the folklore of mid-Michigan. Forty years ago, a late winter storm followed by locally heavy rains produced one of the worst floods in Lansing history. Current State’s Kevin Lavery speaks with some local residents who remember well the Flood of 1975.
While poetry is often thought of as a way to capture the beauty of the world in words, it has also long been a vehicle for political dissent and social criticism. From Walt Whitman to Pablo Neruda, many of the world’s most famous poets frequently drew inspiration for their poetry from their politics. Carolyn Forché is carrying that legacy of socially engaged poetry into the 21st century.
Last night, there was yet another episode in the dispute between Niowave and its residential neighbors in Lansing’s Walnut neighborhood. The Lansing City council’s Planning and Development committee heard from about ten exasperated Walnut residents about a plan that would let the high-tech company out of some of the requirements it agreed to last year to fix up a large metal building on its property.
Blogging is one of the greatest things to happen to the art of writing. In a blog, a writer is free to do whatever they want. They can experiment with form or subject matter, and build a readership without worrying about the approval of an agent or publisher. It can also be a launch pad for a career.
The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra presents its season finale at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium this Saturday at 8 p.m. The concert will be broadcast live on WKAR 90.5-FM. The program features works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Gustav Mahler.
Today on Current State: State Medicaid director Steve Fitton and State Sen. Jim Marleau on the challenges facing Medicaid; Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids of Barry and Eaton County; former Gov. John Engler remembers the late Sen. Robert Griffin; and the MSU College of Music's "Latin IS America" series.
Medicaid benefits used to be available mostly to low-income children, pregnant women, and disabled adults in Michigan. But that changed in 2013 when Michigan voted to use federal funds from the Affordable Care Act to extend those benefits to more people. Gov. Rick Snyder was a major force behind the legislation, saying it would mean lower healthcare costs and more federal dollars for Michigan. Healthy Michigan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program, has enrolled nearly 600,000 people to date. But the future of the program depends on the Department of Health and Human Services getting a waiver from the federal government.
Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we welcome back to the program CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County, which provides volunteer advocates for kids in family court.
Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.
The MSU College of Music presents its third annual "Latin IS America" series through May 2nd at various campus venues. Artistic director and associate professor of music Ricardo Lorenz oversees the festival.
Today on Current State: Examining Michigan's road warranty program in the days leading up to the vote on a road repair funding proposal; the declining rusty blackbird population; MSU scientists resume work at the Large Hadron Collider; and the 2015-16 Wharton Center schedule.
Two weeks from today, Michigan voters will decide whether to increase investment in the state’s crumbling roads and bridges with a one cent increase in the state sales tax. The discussion over whether to invest more in infrastructure has raised the issue of the warranties that sometimes cover that work.
All sorts of migratory birds that winter in the southern United States are returning to their northern breeding grounds. Many birds that live in Canada and Alaska are passing through Michigan. Bird watchers are keeping a close eye out for one particular subspecies whose numbers have plummeted over a period of decades.
The Large Hadron Collider is one of the world’s major research facilities. 27 miles in circumference and spanning the French-Swiss border, the LHC has been shut down for two years of planned maintenance. Before the shutdown, the collider had run for three years, and the discoveries there have included the long-sought Higgs boson. This month, the facility re-opened, and researchers from Michigan State University have a prominent role in the work being done there.
There’s always a lot of excitement when MSU’s Wharton Center announces its schedule for the coming season, and today, the slate of shows for 2015-16 is being released. The Broadway schedule always leads the way at Wharton, and the shows coming to East Lansing include some that are new to town, one major program that will be here before heading to Broadway, and the return of “The Book of Mormon.”
Today on Current State: Two grandchildren of Henrietta Lacks discuss her story, as told in the book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot; the connection between childhood imagination and creativity in adults; Michigan faces a lawsuit over allegations of prison rapes; and MSU linebacker Riley Bullough on spring football and his forays into country music.
The Lansing Community College “One Book One LCC” initiative this year has focused on a community read of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, and it concludes Tuesday night with a chance to hear from two of her grandchildren. Lacks died in 1951, and cells from her tumor, taken for research without her consent, have led to ethical debates. Jeri Lacks Whye and David Lacks Jr. will be at LCC on Tuesday.
From 2003 to 2013, Michigan prosecuted over 20,000 juvenile offenders as adults. Advocates for juvenile justice reform say youth housed in adult prisons are at a much greater risk for sexual abuse and suicide than the adult prison population. And while there is now a sight and sound barrier between juvenile offenders and the adult prison population, that wasn’t always the case. The state is now facing allegations from seven former juvenile offenders that they were sexually abused by both other prisoners and prison staff while housed in those facilities.
One of the rising stars of the MSU football team is junior linebacker Riley Bullough. His football pedigree is well known: his grandfather Hank Bullough played at MSU in the 50s; his father, Shane, was a Spartan in the 80s; his brother Max was here through the 2013 season, and another brother, Byron, is a redshirt freshman at MSU. Beyond that, his other grandfather, Jim Morse, played at Notre Dame, and three uncles also played college football.
Yesterday, Republicans in the U.S. Congress marked their 100th day of being the majority legislative party in Washington. Mike Bishop represents that majority in his capacity as the recently sworn in congressman from Michigan’s 8th District, which covers Lansing and East Lansing along with Ingham and Livingston counties and part of Oakland county.
If you’re a public radio fan, chances are you know and love Ira Glass, host of the popular weekly show and podcast "This American Life". The show started at WBEZ in Chicago in 1995, and in the 20 years since has become one of the world’s most popular public radio programs. It’s even made its way into pop culture, showing up on tv shows like "Saturday Night Live", "30 Rock", and "Orange is the New Black".
Brad Cole is our Live Music Friday guest today on Current State. We’ve heard from him and his friends Erin Sax and Chris Edrington during the show today. The trio performed yesterday at the Broad Art Museum and at a Pump House concert in East Lansing last night.
Today on Current State: Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski on body cameras; essayist Jack Lessenberry keynotes A Rally of Writers; and a preview of the upcoming Lansing Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series performance of Bach's "Goldberg Variations".
The Lansing Police Department will soon add a controversial new tool to its equipment list: 100 body cameras. Some law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan are already experimenting with the devices. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has 25 body cameras on hand. In Ingham County, officers are testing a few cameras at the county jail, and the department is preparing to receiving more. The East Lansing and Michigan State University police departments are also planning to use body cameras. The device has evolved from a technological novelty to the centerpiece of a new front in the struggle for racial harmony and civil rights.
The 28th Rally of Writers is Saturday in Lansing. The annual one-day conference will bring together leading Michigan writers like “Bootstrapper” author Mardi Jo Link, author and WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael and others with audiences who love reading and aspire to write themselves. The keynote speaker will be Jack Lessenberry, whose essays on Michigan politics are seen in publications across the state and heard on our Michigan Public Radio Network sister station in Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio.
This Sunday at 3 p.m. at Lansing’s First Presbyterian Church Molly Grove Chapel, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series presents a single work. It’s Johann Sebastian Bach’s seminal keyboard composition, “Goldberg Variations”, a one-hour study in melody and invention unsurpassed since its 18th century creation.
For years now, Michigan has struggled with how to implement its medical marijuana law. Voters approved legalized pot in 2008, but applying the law has been fraught with complications. Patients, caregivers, physicians, law enforcement, local and state governments and the courts all have had different concerns. The challenge boils down to how to regulate the drug and how to get it safely and responsibly to the people who are entitled to it. In recent years, Republican State Rep. Mike Callton has been in the middle of the state legislature’s effort to move forward.