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
1:40 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Law enforcement acclimates to pursuing drugged driving

Officer Wes Evans says recognizing and arresting those who are impaired by substances while driving will make our streets safer.
Credit Flickr - neoporcupine


Drunk driving has been a public safety problem for years across the United States. A similar and growing threat is that of drugged driving. Some new law enforcement programs are targeting people who get behind the wheel under the influence of various drugs, sometimes in combination with alcohol.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:35 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Book review: Donald Lystra’s “Something That Feels Like Truth”

Scott Southard states that the collection of stories portrays relationships on the cusp of disaster, or just past it.
Credit Donald Lystra

Traditionally, short stories are birthed out of what-ifs.

What if you go to Mars and find dead relatives? What if a sea monster confuses a fog horn with a mating call? Both of those examples, by the way, are from master short story writer Ray Bradbury.

In Donald Lystra’s latest story collection “Something that Feels Like Truth,” he does  something very different from Bradbury. In many ways, his Michigan short stories are not what-ifs but episodes. They are brief glimpses into the lives of real people, and each is at a turning point or a moment of self-realization. These are character studies focused more on the emotional impact of a moment than on a surprising plot twist.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:17 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Superheroes, Muppets, and Biblical tales part of spring movie mix

Today's discussion includes: 'Noah'; the first installment in the next book series turned film, 'Divergent'; and Tyler Perry's latest offering, 'Single Moms Club.'
Credit Flickr - P_Breen

Each film season, Mlive’s John Serba offers his thoughts on soon to be released films. This week he shared his most and least anticipated movies of the Spring season with Current State’s Emanuele Berry.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Brush Street with Michael Brush and Julie Mulady

Julie Mulady sings as Michael Brush accompanies her on the Steinway piano in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Libby Lussenhop


Today's live music on Current State comes from Brush Street, a jazz duo featuring Julie Mulady. Brush Street, started by band leader Michael Brush, is a popular Michigan blues and jazz group from the Saginaw area.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:39 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Current State #274 | March 13, 2014

Today on Current State: Lansing ballpark plans; Michigan's abortion insurance change; prisoner health; a Michigan paranormal researcher; and a statewide poetry event for high schoolers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:37 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

City finance expert: Lansing ballpark plan a step forward

Eric Scorsone thinks the development project at Cooley Law School stadium represents a manageable risk for the city of Lansing.
Credit Flickr - mwlguide

It’s hard to tell with all the new snow, but we’re three weeks away from  the “Crosstown Showdown” home opener between the Lansing Lugnuts and the MSU Spartans. Yesterday, Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson and city leaders announced plans for a $22-million development at Cooley Law School Stadium.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:36 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Health plans rep explains Michigan abortion insurance change

David Waymire says most companies that are part of the association were already offering abortion related coverage as a rider, so there's no change for them. There could be some changes, though, for Blue Cross customers.
Credit Flickr - LOSINPUN

The new ‘Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act’ bans insurance companies from offering coverage for the procedure as a standard part of a policy. Persons wanting the coverage will need to purchase a separate “rider” for their policy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:33 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

MSU, MDOC join forces for prisoner health

Dr. Marsha Rappley says many inmates will age in prison, and without a preventive focus, their health will get worse.
Credit Flickr - Chris M. Richards

Michigan State University officials have announced a plan to help out the state’s 43,000 prisoners. The university’s College of Human Medicine will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Corrections in an effort to share the school’s expertise and resources toward promoting prisoner health.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Michigan paranormal researcher battles malevolent demons

Samantha Harris says she started looking into basic hauntings, but now has an interest in inhuman hauntings. She says they're typically more severe cases.
Credit Courtesy/Samantha Harris

While some people tend to disregard the paranormal as just shadows and creaky floorboards, others decide to dive further into the unknown. Samantha Harris decided to do just that.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:27 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Statewide poetry event features creativity competition

Eric Hammerstrom says for some students, Poetry Out Loud is their first time in the spotlight.
Credit Flickr - zdenadel

High Schoolers from across the state will convene in East Lansing on Friday for the annual Michigan Poetry Out Loud Championship. At the event, students will recite famous works from memory.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:45 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Current State #273 | March 12, 2014

Today on Current State: the OCR investigation of MSU's sexual assault policies; international food fraud; and Neighbors in Action with the Refugee Development Center.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:41 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

A closer look at investigation into MSU's handling of sexual assaults

    

On February 21, a campus-wide email was sent out by Paulette Granberry Russell, MSU’s Title IX Coordinator and director of its Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In it, she stated that the university was “collaborating” with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. It was later revealed by local news outlets that MSU was in fact under a federal investigation for its policies and response to sexual assault claims.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:02 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Global food fraud: What's on your plate?

Those who commit food fraud are stealthy, but the Food Fraud Initiative works with a preventative approach to change the fundamentals of testing and buying products.
Credit Flickr - Martin Cathrae

We take the safety of our food supply as a given. We expect the food will contain what’s on the label and not contain other things that might be harmful. But globalization and new technology can sometimes compromise these expectations.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:59 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Refugee Development Center

These children were a part of the 2012-2013 Refugee Development Center's Newcomer soccer team, run in conjunction with the Lansing Soccer Club.
Credit Courtesy of Refugee Development Center

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 feature the Refugee Development Center, which provides comprehensive services to youth and adults from the area’s 40-plus refugee communities.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:10 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Current State #272 | March 11, 2014

Today on Current State: Rep. Dan Kildee on jobless benefits; climate change models for Detroit; investing in higher education; and photographer Ana Luisa Cardona.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:05 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Congressman Kildee makes case for renewal of unemployment insurance

Rep. Dan Kildee says its insulting when Senators in Washington believe that those who are unemployed want to be in that position.
Credit Flickr - slightly everything


A deal to renew federal benefits for the country’s long-term unemployed continues to elude the U.S. Congress. However, supporters of the effort, which include Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, are hopeful of a breakthrough in the Senate this week. There, Senators are looking at two proposals, one from each party.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:55 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Models help communities plan for climate change

Laura Schmitt-Olabisi's project focuses on a model of Detroit in the case of an extreme heat wave, but also the uncertainty of climate change.
Credit Flickr - Sagittariuss

Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan business group says state gains from higher ed reinvestment

According to Doug Rothwell, college education is needed now more than ever before, but it needs to be affordable.
Credit Flickr - Andrew Munro

After years of controversial cuts to higher education, Michigan has begun reinvesting in its colleges and universities. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 6.1 percent spending hike for Michigan’s 15 state-funded colleges and universities. Higher education officials applauded the move, which would be contingent on universities limiting tuition increases.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan artist stresses imagery as catalyst for communication

Ana Luisa Cardona says that the basic standards of art education should mimic the creative process, including create, perform, and respond.
Credit courtesy of Ana Luisa Cardona

MSU Global is featuring the photography of Ana Luisa Cardona, a Michigan-based artist. Part of the exhibit features an exploration in visual communication between her and the late Bay Area artist and photographer, Daniel del Solar.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:36 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Current State #271 | March 10, 2014

Today on Current State: proposed changes to special education; summer music festivals; animal expert Temple Grandin; and "Sinking and Melting," an art project about climate change.
Radio Made in Michigan
12:33 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Advocates concerned with proposed changes to special education

A student testing.
Credit Flickr - biologycorner

Changes may be in store for special education students and teachers in Michigan. Lately, the Michigan Department of Education has been getting public comment on a host of proposed rules changes that govern special education. They include giving local school districts more authority over special education staffing and changes in how Michigan evaluates special education students, and then how they customize students' individual education plans, labeled IEP's. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:28 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

A preview of summer concerts from mid-Michigan to Interlochen

Interlochen's art camp for grades 3-12 performing over the summer.
Credit Courtesy of www.interlochen.org

As we dream of warm days to come, summer music festivals around Michigan are releasing their summer schedules. Among the performances are the Great Lakes Chamber Festival, Interlochen and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Animal welfare expert Temple Grandin to visit MSU

Dr. Temple Grandin
Credit Flickr - shannonkringen

Dr. Temple Grandin will be at MSU tomorrow. She’s noted for her research and writings on animal behavior, especially how to reduce stress on animals going to slaughter. She’s also autistic, and has gained visibility as an advocate who helps forward understanding of people on the autism spectrum. Her life story was portrayed in an HBO movie starring Claire Danes, which won seven Emmy awards and a golden Globe.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Exhibit preserves artifacts of endangered places

A Pilgrim Monument Souvenir Plate, which is part of the "Sinking and Melting" collection. The plate was sent in by Steve Desroches, from Provincetown, Mass.
Credit Courtesy of sinkingandmelting.tumblr.com

Many scientists predict that as climate change becomes more extreme, dry and coastal regions around the globe will be heavily impacted by drought and rising sea levels.  Entire communities could disappear.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:14 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Current State #270 | March 7, 2014

Today on Current State: residents of a condemned mobile home park face imminent eviction; a new Democrat emerges to challenge Republican Congressman Mike Rogers; an update on the Kepler space telescope project and the American Roots sound of Kalamazoo duo Red Tail Ring.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:14 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Clock ticks for residents of condemned Lansing trailer park

Residents of the Life O'Riley mobile home park in Lansing are facing a 5 p.m. deadline to vacate. The eviction order came from the Ingham County Health Department, which deemed the facility unsafe.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last Tuesday, the Ingham County Health Department notified residents of the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park and Campground that they had 10 days to find another place to live. A failing sewage disposal system and other issues have created an urgent health hazard.

This evening at 5 p.m. is the deadline for all 85 households in the park to be vacated. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:13 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

CMU professor from Lansing launches bid for Congress

CMU professor Susan Grettenberger is seeking the Democratic nomination to unseat incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Brighton).
Credit Susan Grettenberger for Congress

Another Democrat has announced her candidacy to represent Lansing and East Lansing in Congress.

Susan Grettenberger is the director of Central Michigan University's Social Work Program and an associate professor in the department.  In a news release about her candidacy last week, the Lansing resident discussed "a theme of economic populism and giving voice to everyday Americans."

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:12 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

NASA project detects 715 new planets

Kepler's Supernova is named for 17th century German astronomer Johannes Kepler. The deep space telescope named for him recently discovered 715 new planets.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last week, NASA announced its latest findings from the Kepler mission.  Kepler is a space telescope that was launched in 2009 to look for habitable planets.  Current State’s Emanuele Berry sat down with Michigan State University astronomer Megan Danahue to learn more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:12 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Kalamazoo duo Red Tail Ring

Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp comprise the Roots Americana duo Red Tail Ring.
Credit Joe Linstroth / WKAR

Michiganders Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo are the duo known as Red Tail Ring.

Last year the "roots/Americana" duo released their third full length studio album, "The Heart's Swift Foot."  They play tonight at the Ten Pound Fiddle concert series.

With instruments like the fiddle, banjo, mandolin and even the jawharp, Premo and Beauchamp blend their harmonies into a clean traditional sound.

Red Tail Ring joined us in the studio to talk more about their roots and their writing process.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Current State #269 | March 6, 2014

Today on Current State: the debate over whether juvenile offenders should receive life without parole; a new CEO at the non-profit Prima Civitas Foundation; the bygone era of the passenger pigeon and Detroit's jazz legacy.

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