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
2:05 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

China looks to U.S. for cultural scholarship

Paper-cut, or Jianzhi, is a traditional Chinese art activity in which people use different papers to cut various characters. Putting paper-cuts in red paper has always been a tradition for the Chinese Spring festival. This photo features Nezha, a popular character from a very famous Chinese legend story, Fengshen Yanyi.
Credit Flickr

China’s economic and political growth has been well documented.  However, limited attention has been paid to how rapid development has dramatically impacted the nation's cultural life. Organizations in both China and the U.S. are working together to preserve and share China's "intangible" heritage and build cultural ties.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:01 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

New 'Sports Talk' host Al Martin joins WKAR

Allen Martin graduated with a bachelors' degree from the MSU School of Journalism in 2012. He was most recently a sports reporter for WLNS-TV in Lansing.
Credit File photo / WKAR

Allen (Al) Martin is joining WKAR as the host of “Sports Talk 870.”  Al’s passion for sports journalism stems from his own experience on the court.  In high school he played basketball. In college he translated his love for the game into the field of journalism. Al joins Current State's Emanuele Berry to talk about his connection with sports journalism and the future of “Sports Talk 870.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:58 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Current State #76| April 29, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan’s health disparities across 83 counties; Lansing’s business news with MLive’s Angela Wittrock; an oil boom in Jackson County; China and U.S.’s mutual efforts to preserve Chinese intangible cultural heritage and new WKAR “Sports Talk” host Allen Martin. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:02 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Jackson County Oil Boom Pits Economics, Environment

A huge crude oil field was discovered near Brooklyn, MI four years ago. Jackson County leads the state in oil production.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Michigan has made huge investments to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass.  But like the rest of the country, Michigan is still a primarily fossil fuel-driven economy.  Crude oil is big business in Michigan, especially in Jackson County.  In 2012, more than 1.2 million barrels were produced there, which is three times more than any other county.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:31 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Current State #75 | April 26, 2013

The MSU main library is home to the worlds largest library comic book collection, attracting people from around the globe.
Credit Emanuele Berry

 

Today on Current State: Lansing native Maureen Abood explores her Lebanese culture through writing and food; a researcher penetrates the murky world of  organ trafficking; and MSU Library's world renowned comic book collection. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:16 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Writer Maureen Abood explores Lebanese heritage through food

Lebanese food staples include a traditional homemade yogurt cheese, called labneh, with bread, olives and fresh vegetables.
Credit Emanuele Berry

A few years ago, writer, photographer and chef Maureen Abood quit her job, left Chicago -- where she lived for 14 years -- and moved to San Francisco to follow her passion and attend culinary school.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:59 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

MSU researcher enters murky world of international organ trafficking

From Chinese prisoners to peasants in Bangladesh to prisoners of war  in the Balkans, victims of organ trafficking span the globe. Some are enticed by promises of cash payments for their kidneys and other organs, others are forced against their will.  Few of them ever receive proper medical care or the money they were promised.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:54 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

MSU comic book collection draws scholars from around the world

Credit Emanuele Berry / WKAR-MSURandy Scott, the head of Michigan State University Libraries Comic Art Collection, says he remembers a time when there was an anti-comic book movement.Edit | Remove

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:44 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Current State #74 | April 25, 2013

Today on Current State: Macomb county first in country with fraud database; new book on Detroit Lions;  Kathryn Gray on Michigan's transportation overhaul; and Earl Nelson Singers come to Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Macomb County first in nation with software to track mortgage fraud

A memorable edition of 60 minutes from 2011 reported that banks across the nation had used forged signatures to process foreclosure documents.  After that, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette launched an investigation and found that more than 1,000 unauthorized and improperly executed documents were filed with county registers of deeds throughout the state. Those documents were prepared by a company named DocX, which was identified in the 60 Minutes program.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:41 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Book details good and bad of Detroit Lions' history

Oakland Press sports writer Paula Pasche speaks about her book 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die with WKAR's Peter Whorf. The book celebrates the Detroit Lions' history while explaining players, coaches, and major events throughout the team's evolution. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Michigan's transportation overhaul includes more than roads

While public transportation like the Lansing-area CATA bus system is useful for citizens, organizations like Trans4m look into other non-motorized forms of transportation.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Voices across Michigan---from Governor Rick Snyder to thousands of ordinary citizens---are calling for improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure.  

One Lansing-based policy organization---Transportation for Michigan---is promoting that discussion.

Trans4m, ​as it's called, constitutes a coalition of diverse groups focusing on funding and on projects that often involve non-motorized transportation.  

Trans4m Executive Director Kathryn Gray speaks with Current State about what this overhaul means.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Lansing's Earl Nelson Singers Celebrate 50 Years

The Earl Nelson Singers are performing in Lansing this Monday.
Credit michiganhistory.org

A notable Lansing-area choir is observing its 50th anniversary this year. The Earl Nelson Singers are celebrating half a century of spirituals with a concert in downtown Lansing on Monday. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark checked in with the director of the group and her husband, who’s a member, for some of their musical memories.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:42 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

House Minority leader Tim Greimel

Democratic State Representative Tim Greimel is serving his first full term in the Michigan House. It’s also his first as the leader of his party’s caucus.  

Representative Greimel speaks with Current State host Mark Bashore about the Snyder administration's education project, his party’s struggle for influence in the GOP-majority legislature and likely Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and Governor.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

MSU Wind Symphony performs as part of Latin IS America festival

The MSU Wind Symphony will perform at the Wharton Center at 7:30 p.m., on April 25.
Credit Courtesy of MSU College of Music

Latin IS America is a a celebration of the intersections between Latin American and U.S. culture. The festival started on April 15 and will close on April 27.

This Thursday, the event will feature the MSU Wind Symphony at Wharton Center. WKAR’s Peter Whorf previews the concert with MSU Director of Bands Kevin Sedatole.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:09 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Niowave dispute comes to an end

Residents of Lansing's Walnut neighborhood have complained about the barn's appearance since last July.
Credit File photo

For months, residents of Lansing's Walnut neighborhood and Niowave have a argued over how to improve the appearance of the particle accelerator company's pole barn. Bob Trezise, the executive director of  the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, updates the situation.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:50 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Greater Lansing African American Health Institute

The Greater Lansing Afrian American Health Institute will hold an open house at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at Lansing Letts Community Center.
Credit Courtesy of Greater Lansing African American Health Institute

For this week’s Neighbors in Action segment we feature the Greater Lansing African American Health Institute, or GLAAHI. Based out of Lansing’s Letts Community Center, the GLAAHI offers a variety of programs, including smoking cessation groups, food donations and assistance with health care needs. Current State's host Mark Bashore talks with Eldon Liggons, the executive director of the institute, and Dr. Don Williams, the board chairman and an MSU emeritus professor of psychiatry.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:23 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Current State #72 | April 23, 2013

Today on Current State: Councilwoman Jessica Yorko on city budget; the drawbacks of dredging; dispute over Ingham county recordkeeping; and Angela Wittrock with Lansing business news.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:22 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Dispute over Ingham circuit court recordkeeping suggests changes ahead

A minor turf war over public records is taking shape in Ingham County.

While the dispute is being downplayed by its two participants---Clerk Barb Byrum and Chief Circuit Court Judge Janelle Lawless---some observers suggest it’s symptomatic of a larger, ongoing problem:  poor public access to documents.

Current State host Mark Bashore visited with both Barb Byrum and Judge Janelle Lawless to learn more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:14 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Councilwoman Yorko on city budget

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko.
Credit courtesy of lansingmi.gov

The Lansing City Council continued discussions of Mayor Virg Bernero’s proposed 2014 budget yesterday.  This time, the council focused on Bernero’s  spending plan for the city’s fire department.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Michigan DEQ limits environmental impacts of dredging

Dredging permits can take take 60 to 90 days to be granted.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This year record low water levels have spurred the Michigan government to spend over $20 million on dredging. Many hope dredging will enable recreational and commercial boating to continue, preventing revenue loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:19 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock

MLive's Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins us every week for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:29 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Current State #71 | April 22, 2013

Today on Current State: oil spill clean-up on Kalamazoo River continues; “Chasing Ice” documentary; new solar-powered electric charging stations in Lansing; and the Supreme Court hears case on gene patenting.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:24 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Two and a half years later, oil spill clean-up continues on Kalamazoo River

A ruptured pipeline contaminated 4o miles of the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
Flickr

It’s been two and a half years since an oil pipeline owned by the Canadian company Enbridge ruptured near Marshall, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. The incident has been one of the costliest oil spills in U.S. history and the clean-up is still ongoing.

Steve Hamilton, an MSU scientist who has been monitoring the clean-up, updates Current State on the situation. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:16 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Film 'Chasing Ice' documents the melting of polar ice cap

The MSU Department of Geography will screen the film 'Chasing Ice' at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th.
Credit Courtesy of James Balog

This week, MSU Department of Geography will host filmmaker Jeff Orlowski for a screening of his documentary “Chasing Ice.” The movie documents the work of National Geographic photographer James Balog. Through both film and time-lapse photography, Balog  chronicled the melting of glacial ice.  Current State’s Scott Pohl speaks with Jeff Orlowski, the director of "Chasing Ice."

Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

New solar-powered electric charging stations come to Lansing

The electric plug at the BWL's solar-powered charging station provides 240 volts' worth of power.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

In 2010, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) established its Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project. With funding from the U.S. department of Energy, the BWL installed an array of electric vehicle charging stations across the Lansing area to promote this emerging technology.  Now, the utility is taking another step towards building an electric car infrastructure.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

SCOTUS takes up of gene patenting

The case focuses on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes are used in tests to determine if a person has a heightened risk of hereditary ovarian or breast cancer.
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

  The Supreme Court heard arguments last week about whether human genes can be patented. The court’s ruling could drastically change the biotech industry and also the way universities do research.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:39 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Current State #70 | April 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing police chief retires; folk legend Tom Paxton; Michigan tourism; world renowned trumpeter Alison Balsom; and the Lansing Marathon.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:23 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Lansing police chief Teresa Szymanski retires

Teresa Szymanski also offers insight on police training post 9/11.
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

 Teresa Szymanski joined the Lansing Police Department in 1987. She earned her stripes over the years and rose to become the city’s police chief in 2010.  Her tenure has been marked with successes and setbacks.

Chief Szymanski is retiring from the Lansing Police Department this week.  She chats with Current State about her time at the helm of Lansing law enforcement.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Folk legend Tom Paxton discusses career and upcoming concert

Tom Paxton's decades-long career encompasses over 40 studio albums, a string of children’s CD’s and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
Credit Flickr

Folk singer Tom Paxton recently said that he enjoys songwriting more than ever.  That’s especially noteworthy since he’s been doing that since the 60’s.  Then, Paxton was at the center of America’s folk revival, performing in Greenwich Village with the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others.  

Tom Paxton talks about singing, songwriting and his eventful musical career with Current State.

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