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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Community
11:34 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Arts Council of Greater Lansing

Wednesday on Current State means Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn more about one of the cultural organizations of the Capital city, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.The Council celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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History
11:27 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Rwandan genocide survivor brings story to Fowler

Immaculee Ilibagiza
Credit http://www.immaculee.com/

Nearly 21 years ago, an airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down, killing all on board. The crash ignited a four-year-old Rwandan civil war into what would become the Rwandan Genocide, a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:23 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Ahead of East Lansing show, local grower talks orchids

Bill Porter, with his prize winning cymbidium volcano queen orchid.
Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Greater Lansing Orchid Society’s annual show and sale is coming up this weekend. Current State’s Scott Pohl met up with a leading local orchid grower to learn more about these beautiful flowering plants. Bill Porter would say that successfully growing orchids isn't terribly hard as long as you treat them right.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Current State #484 | February 24, 2015

Today on Current State: a U-M survey asks local officials about road funding; a tour of "The Runway" in downtown Lansing; our Great Lakes Month in Review and the novel "Station Eleven" is a Great Michigan Read winner.

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Politics & Government
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

U-M survey shows local officials hungry for more state road money

Credit WKAR File Photo

One in four local government officials around Michigan say the roads and bridges in their jurisdictions are in poor condition.  But there appears to be little agreement among those same officials on how to generate the billions of dollars needed to repair that infrastructure.

Those are among the findings in a new survey out of the University of Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Local fashionistas land on Lansing's "Runway"

"The Runway" opened in October in the former J.W. Knapp's department store in downtown Lansing. It's the city's only fashion industry incubator.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Michigan State University students Katie Raynard and Anami Chan will receive an award honoring their work to demonstrate diversity through artistic expression.  The two MSU seniors are studying apparel and textile design. 

Raynard is an associate designer at The Runway, the new fashion industry incubator in downtown Lansing that’s only been up and running for about four months now. 

Current State’s Kevin Lavery recently toured the building, which is in a historic venue.

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Environment
1:37 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Great Lakes Month in Review: pet coke, fracking, Asian carp funding

Credit WKAR File Photo

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.  

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we hear about progress on pet coke in Chicago, what’s next for fracking in Michigan, and how budget cuts could impact the fight against Asian carp in the basin.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:37 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

"Station Eleven" named 2015 Great Michigan Read

Emily St. John-Mandel's "Station Eleven" has been named a 2015 Great Michigan Read novel.
Credit Courtesy www.emilymandel.com

The Michigan Humanities Council recently announced its Great Michigan Read title for 2015 and 2016. It’s “Station Eleven”, a novel about a post-apocalyptic world set largely in Michigan.

In January, Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with author Emily St. John Mandel about her book, which was a 2014 National Book Award finalist.  It's now the newest Great Michigan Read title.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:12 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Current State #483 | February 23, 2015

Today on Current State: MSU Assistant Dean Vincent Delgado takes on a new role as Lansing city councilor; the life of pioneering African American scholar Merze Tate; the Michigan GOP's new chairwoman; a new University of Michigan report looks at options for regulating fracking; and Detroit Free Press reporter Joe Rexrode checks in about this weekend's Spartan victory in men's basketball. 

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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

MSU assistant dean to join Lansing City Council

MSU Assistant Dean Vincent Delgado is joining the Lansing City Council.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The Lansing City Council will officially be back at full strength tonight, when it swears in its newest member.  Vincent Delgado was appointed to the council Thursday night in a 6 to 1 vote.  He’ll finish the current term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who stepped down after becoming the new Ingham County Register of Deeds.

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History
12:11 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Michigan's Merze Tate was civil rights champion, education pioneer

Sonya Bernard Hollins is writing a biography on pioneering African American scholar Merze Tate.
Credit http://www.michiganhistorylectures.com/

Merze Tate is a Blanchard, Michigan native and one of our state’s most distinguished citizens.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

A Romney takes top spot on Michigan GOP

Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, takes the reins as the new chairwoman for the Michigan GOP.
Credit Credit: http://www.migop.org

Michigan’s Republican Party has a new Chairwoman.

At its Lansing convention Saturday, activist Ronna Romney McDaniel got the nod on the first ballot.

She replaces commercial property developer Bobby Schostak at the top of the Michigan GOP. The 41-year old niece of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said ‘We need to a Republican in the White House through Michigan in 2016.’  Current State talks to Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta about the state's new GOP leader.  

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Sports
12:09 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Tight MSU victory continues Spartan upswing

The Spartans beat the Illini 60 to 53 at Sunday's game in the Breslin Center.
Credit Wikimedia: Chlopeck

MSU men’s basketball turned a glaring weakness to an impressive strength last night in Champaign, Illinois, beating the Illini 60 to 53, and avenging a loss at the Breslin Center.

 Current State talks to to Detroit Free Press writer Joe Rexrode about the Spartan's victory.  

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Environment
12:08 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

UM study explores options for fracking regulations

John Callewaert is the director of the Integrated Assessment Center at the University of Michigan's Graham Institute for Sustainability. The Institute recently released a report looking at the options for regulating the fracking industry in Michigan.
Credit Credit: http://graham.umich.edu/users/jcallew

Hydraulic fracturing--or fracking as its commonly known--involves drilling for natural gas by injecting a mixture or water, sand, and chemicals into the ground. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:01 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Current State #482 | February 20, 2015

Today on Current State: Attracting more particle acceleration companies to Lansing; building a site for the interment of burial ashes on the MSU campus; the 50th anniversary of the Malcolm X assassination; and Live Music Friday with saxophonist Vincent Bowens.

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Economy
12:57 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Lansing region pursues more particle acceleration businesses for Lansing

Economic developers often refer to Michigan State University’s FRIB as a “game changer.” The $730-million nuclear science facility, set to launch in around six years with around 400 employees, will be the most powerful rare isotope research site in the world. It will explore the physics of atomic nuclei, with potential applications in medicine, defense and other areas. But what other economic impacts might stem from FRIB and from Niowave, another established particle acceleration firm based in Lansing?

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Community
12:45 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

MSU considers on-campus interment site for burial ashes

A columbarium for human cremains, like this one, could be coming to the MSU campus.
Credit Flickr - Daniel Ramirez

The Michigan State University Alumni Association has begun asking its members a delicate question: if they could, would they like to have their remains interred on the MSU campus when they die? Their survey is designed to see if there’s enough interest to justify construction of such a place. Their description paints a picture of a peaceful garden, “complete with strolling walkways and reflection benches”, and a columbarium.

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History
12:34 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

"Kaleidoscope" marks 50th anniversary of Malcolm X assassination

Credit Flickr - Cheikh.Ra Films

Tomorrow marks 50 years since African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated at New York City’s Audubon Ball Room.

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Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Vincent Bowens

(Left to right) Saxophonist Vincent Bowens performs with Pierre Charles, Adam Olszewski and Ryan McMahon in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s a Live Music Friday again here on Current State, and today, we’ve been enjoying the saxophone of Vincent Bowens. This week, Bowens has been spending time with students in the MSU College of Music Jazz Studies program as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program, along with drummer Tim Froncek.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:29 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Current State #481 | February 19, 2015

Today on Current State: The new Kids Count report on child well-being in Michigan; a Spartan Stampede preview; a report on state revenue sharing; the MSU Department of Theatre stages "Macbeth"; and Scott D. Southard's book review of "The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man" by W. Bruce Cameron.

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Economy
12:24 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Advocates say economic recovery leaves too many MI children behind

Michigan takes a lot of pride in its nickname as the “comeback” state. And after taking a beating during the Great Recession, Michigan is indeed on the upswing. Forecasts say the state should continue to see economic growth and improvements to the unemployment rate in the next two years. But not everyone is feeling the impact of that recovery yet. Among those left behind are the nearly 550,000 Michigan children living in poverty.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:17 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Spartan Stampede gallops into East Lansing

The Spartan Stampede is at the MSU Pavilion Friday through Sunday.
Credit http://www.msurodeoclub.com/

The 46th Annual Spartan Stampede starts tomorrow at the MSU Pavillion. It’s presented by the MSU Rodeo club and features much of the stuff you’d expect at a rodeo.

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Politics & Government
12:03 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

CRC recommends new approaches to state revenue sharing

If you track how the state of Michigan spends its money, you're aware that much of it  goes to cities and municipalities. Eight days ago, Governor Snyder proposed an increase of $24-million in the states next budget be assigned to revenue sharing for cities, townships and villages. That would make a total of $788-million. Another $214-million would go to counties.

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Arts & Culture
11:58 am
Thu February 19, 2015

MSU Theatre takes on "the Scottish play"

The MSU Department of Theatre presents 'Macbeth' February 20 through March 1.
Credit http://theatre.msu.edu/

The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s "Scottish play" begins tomorrow night at Fairchild Theatre. Full of abuses of power, political wrangling, and outright murder, it hits home for audiences even 400 years after Shakespeare wrote it.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Book Review: W. Bruce Cameron's "The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man"

Literature is filled with stereotypes about us Michiganders. If, for example, a character in a book is from Ann Arbor, you can expect them to be smart. If they are from Detroit, they probably grew up rough and tumble in the inner city. They might be tough, but they will have a hidden heart of gold. And if a character is from northern Michigan or the UP, they’ll be poor, struggling, and have a strong attachment to hunting and beer. Also flannel. There will be lots of flannel.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:50 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Current State #480 | February 18, 2015

Today on Current State: A federal judge strikes down President Obama's executive orders on immigration and deportation; a preview of the Thursday MSU Concert Band and Concert Orchestra concert; State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. on student debt legislation; and Neighbors in Action: Sixty Plus.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Michigan activists respond to immigration injunction

Immigration advocates in Michigan are decrying a federal judge’s ruling striking down two executive orders protecting millions of immigrants from deportation. Last November, President Obama announced two programs that were set to take effect today.  One would prevent  undocumented parents of children legally living in the U-S from being sent back to their countries of origin. The other extends protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U-S as children.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Non-music majors find outlet in MSU Concert Orchestra

Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The MSU Concert Band and Concert Orchestra perform tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Wharton Center.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Hertel plan aims to stem MI brain drain

State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

East Lansing Democratic state Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. is seven weeks into his legislative career at the state Capitol. He represents the 23rd district, which covers almost all of Ingham County. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee began discussing a bill sponsored by the former Ingham County official. Hertel wants to offer recent Michigan college graduates tax credits in exchange for a pledge to stay in Michigan.

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Community
11:33 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Sixty Plus

Credit http://www.cooley.edu/sixtyplus/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Sixty Plus, a non-profit law clinic that provides free legal assistance to low and moderate income seniors.

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