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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History
11:36 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing residents remember historic 1975 flood

This Lansing intersection was under water during the 1975 flood.
Credit Norris Ingells / Courtesy Lansing State Journal

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Award-winning poet Carolyn Forché brings “poetry of witness” to MSU

Carolyn Forché will talk about her four books of poetry at 3 pm today in room W449 of the MSU main library.
Credit Courtesy The Poetry Foundation

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.

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Politics & Government
11:25 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing property owner slams city, Niowave over revised remodeling

Dale Schraeder in one of the many neighbors unhappy with the modifications made to the Niowave facility.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Book Review: Farran Smith Nehme's "Missing Reels"

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Thu April 23, 2015

A2SO season finale features Mahler’s magnificent “Fifth”

Aaron Berofsky and Kathryn Votapek will perform with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Saturday night.
Credit Courtesy Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:39 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Current State #523 | April 22, 2015

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.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MI faces hurdles in getting second federal Medicaid waiver

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

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.

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Community
11:31 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids, Barry & Eaton Counties

Deliah Underwood is a volunteer advocate with CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County.
Credit CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County

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.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Gov. Engler remembers “workhorse” Sen. Robert Griffin

After his time in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1987 to 1994. His portrait by artist Joseph Maniscalco hangs in the Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:18 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MSU’s “Latin IS America” mirrors cultural, political changes

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:47 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Current State #522 | April 21, 2015

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.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

LSJ reporters explore flawed MDOT road warranty program

Credit Flickr - The Tire Zoo

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.

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Environment
11:38 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MI naturalists recruit volunteers to track disappearing rusty blackbird

The rusty blackbird population has declined dramatically over the last few decades.
Credit Flickr - Don Faulkner

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.

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Science & Technology
11:33 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MSU scientists busy as Europe’s Large Hadron Collider re-starts

The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest machine in the world.
Credit Courtesy CERN

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:27 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Wharton schedule includes “Book of Mormon,” “Sound of Music”

'The Sound of Music' will be at the Wharton Center next February on its way to Broadway.

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.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:21 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Current State #521 | April 20, 2015

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.

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Health
12:13 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Grandchildren of Henrietta Lacks in Lansing to discuss her medical legacy

Jeri Lacks Whye (left) and David Lacks Jr. will be in Lansing on Tuesday to discuss their grandmother's story.
Credit Courtesy David Lacks Jr.

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.

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Education
12:07 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Mid-Michigan author looks at “worldplay” in children and adults

A mid-Michigan author has published a book that examines the connection between childhood’s imaginary worlds and adulthood creativity. Michelle Root-Bernstein is an historian, independent scholar, and educator affiliated with Michigan State University, and she is very interested in what makes people creative. Her recent book is called "Inventing Imaginary Worlds: From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences".

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Politics & Government
11:58 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Reporter details juvenile offenders’ lawsuit alleging prison rapes

Credit Flickr - Ben

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.

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Sports
11:47 am
Mon April 20, 2015

MSU linebacker Riley Bullough dreams of a country music career

MSU linebacker Riley Bullough plays guitar, sings and writes music in his East Lansing apartment.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:15 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Current State #520 | April 17, 2015

Today on Current State: Cong. Mike Bishop; Ira Glass brings his dance show to East Lansing; and Live Music Friday with Brad Cole, Chris Edrington and Erin Sax.

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Politics & Government
12:13 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Bishop: Obama Pacific trade deal “will increase economic growth”

Cong. Mike Bishop (left), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
12:12 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Public radio favorite Ira Glass brings dance show to East Lansing

Ira Glass (center) brings 'Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host' to East Lansing this weekend.
Credit David Bazemore

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".

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Arts & Culture
12:09 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Brad Cole, Chris Edrington and Erin Sax

Chris Edrington (left) and Erin Sax (center) join Brad Cole (right) in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Current State #519 | April 16, 2015

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".

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Politics & Government
12:04 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing police chief anticipates the future of body cameras

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.

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Arts & Culture
12:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Essayist Jack Lessenberry to keynote Rally of Writers

Jack Lessenberry keynotes A Rally of Writers in Lansing this weekend.
Credit Courtesy Michigan Radio

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:37 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing Trio re-imagines Bach masterpiece

Tigran Shiganyan

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:22 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Current State #518 | April 15, 2015

Today on Current State: Rep. Mike Callton on medical marijuana legislation; poet Terry Blackhawk; and Neighbors in Action: Sparrow's Nest.

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Politics & Government
11:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

As ballot efforts surface, legislator clarifies medical marijuana bill

Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville)
Credit http://gophouse.org/representatives/southwest/callton/

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.

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