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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Radio Made in Michigan
1:11 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Auto industry ramps up hydrogen battery effort

The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity boasts zero emissions but is not yet available for purchase - only for leasing in areas with publicly available refueling stations.
Credit Flickr/Alan Gore

As emission standards tighten around the world, auto manufacturers are ramping up research and development of hydrogen fuel cells.   Last week, General Motors announced a new seven-year joint effort with Honda to develop such vehicles.  It’s the latest in a series of similar alliances involving manufacturers.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

New research points to potential source of mental disorders' symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, observing behavioral changes, psychological evaluations and imaging tests such as MRIs can help diagnose schizophrenia.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

The process of diagnosing, classifying and treating mental illness is incredibly complex and often controversial. The recent debate surrounding the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders illustrates how difficult it can be to get a handle on what causes the symptoms of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Eaglevision Ministries

Eaglevision offers veterans like Dan Jensen job training programs which offer resume help, training for interviews and computer training.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

In the heart of Lansing, Eaglevision Ministries is giving back to the community by helping some of the hardest hit people in the area find stability and employment – from youths to veterans to those recently released from jail or prison.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:05 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The benefits of bats in your backyard

Little brown bats, or Myotis lucifugus, are the most common bats in North America and can eat three times their weight in mosquitoes, according to Brodak's website.
Credit Flickr/K.P. McFarland


Humans have had a mixed relationship with bats over the centuries. People tend to dislike or fear them, but bats may gain more fans in Michigan this summer because of their phenomenal capacity for eating mosquitos.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with Phil Brodak, the proprietor of Batsbirdsyard.com,  based in southeast Michigan, about the business of attracting bats to backyards.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Book sheds new light on a tragic poet's life

Although most associate Sylvia Plath with confessional poetry and a tragic death, Winder's book aims to shed light on a different period of Plath's life.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Most people don't think of happiness when they think of Sylvia Plath, but a new book aims to round off the perception of the tragic poet. Elizabeth Winder's "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," covers a joyful month-long period in Plath's life as she dated, worried about clothes and makeup and worked as an intern.

WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael speaks with Melissa Benmark about his impressions of the book.
 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:02 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Current State #127 | July 16, 2013

Today on Current State: a discussion of early childhood education in the state; the Michigan Agriculture and Food Index; a Michigan-based group helping to eliminate electronic waste; and celebrating the life of the late president Gerald R. Ford.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Support growing for strengthening preschool education

Governor Snyder says the investment should reduce by half the number of preschoolers from low-income families waiting to get into Michigan’s “Great Start Readiness Program.”
Credit Wikimedia commons

Governor Rick Snyder recently excited bipartisan backers of stronger early childhood education with his approval of a new state budget.  The budget seeks to increase early childhood funding for next year by $65 million.

Tanya Wright, assistant professor of education at Michigan State University and Kelly Mix, an MSU early childhood learning specialist, discuss what's needed to educate young children in the state.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:58 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Michigan Agriculture & Food Index aims to gauge the industry’s health

The 34th annual Agriculture Expo is the three-day outdoor farm show starting today at Michigan State University.
Credit Wikimedia commons

The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is releasing the first-ever Michigan Agriculture & Food Index, or MAFI.  It's designed to gauge the business climate for agriculture and food business within the state.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

How should we deal with increasing electronic waste?

Old desktop computers can be donated at Green Earth Electronics Recycling events where they are refurbished and provided to those who could not have previously afforded the technology.
Credit Wikimedia commons

As new consumer technology becomes more rapidly available, unwanted electronics are building up in America's landfills. Jim Grandholm, founder of Michigan-based Green Earth Electronics Recycling, discusses how these items become e-waste and how they can be safely disposed of or donated.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:53 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Remembering the life and work of President Gerald Ford

Pictured here with his wife Betty, President Gerald Ford was the longest living president in U.S. history, passing away at the age of 93.
Credit Wikimedia commons

Last Sunday marked the centennial of the birth of President Gerald Ford.  The only president from Michigan, Ford was also the only person in U.S. history never to be elected president or even vice-president.  Current State's Melissa Benmark spoke with James Kratsas, Deputy Director of the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids about Ford’s life and legacy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:17 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Current State #126 | July 12, 2013

Current State broadcasts live from the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing all this week! Tonight, the "I am Lansing" campaign; the silent disco at Common Ground; The BLAT! Pack; Harris Nature Center summer programs; The Soil & the Sun; and Common Ground memories.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:16 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

'I am Lansing' campaign promotes exercise, nutrition

The city unveiled the mascot CUFF Lynx early this year. The character's mission is to be a role model for choosing good foods, being physically active, and having fun enjoying parks and the Lansing River Trail. The name 'CUFF' stands for Community United with Food and Fitness.
Credit Courtesy/City of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department

 All this week, Current State has been broadcasting here at Adado-Riverfront Park, site of the Common Ground festival.  This public green space alongside the Grand River is one of dozens of properties managed by the city of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:15 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Common Ground afterparty: disco with no speakers

Credit Courtesy of Common Ground Music Festival

There’s a big afterparty at the Common Ground Music Festival Friday and Saturday nights, and there’s a fun, unusual twist to the proceedings.

It’s a disco, but it’s unlike any you may have ever experienced before. The disco is silent.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:14 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Volunteers keep things running at Common Ground

Musicians, sponsors and fans are among crucial elements that go into making the Common Ground Music Festival a success. Not to be overlooked, though, are the contributions of festival volunteers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:13 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

The BLAT! Pack brings local hip hop to Common Gound on Sunday

The BLAT! Pack was founded in the late Summer of 2008, and has seven artists and vocalists now. The band will perform on Sunday at the GM Pavillion Stage.
Credit Courtesy of Common Ground Music Festival

The BLAT! Pack was founded in the late Summer of 2008 and has seven artists and vocalists. The group will perform on Sunday at the GM Pavillion Stage.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:12 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Harris Nature Center offers summer outdoor activities

The Harris Nature Center is on Van Atta Road in Okemos.
Credit Courtesy/Harris Nature Center

The height of the summer season means camping for many Michiganders. And even if you can’t get away every weekend, Meridian Township’s Harris Nature Center can help.

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:10 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

The Soil And The Sun brings 'New Mexican Space Music' to Common Ground Friday

The Soil And The Sun are on the Friday night schedule at Common Ground.
Credit Courtesy/Common Ground Music Festival

The band The Soil And The Sun identifies itself as “corn-fed, Michigan-made.”  They describe their music as "Experiential Spiritual Orchestral Rock."

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Radio Made in Michigan
8:08 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Fans share memories of past Common Ground music festivals

More than just the music, Common Ground is about the memories and the people who flock here every summer.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Colorful, inflatable structure graces Common Ground landscape

You can visit the Architects of Air luminarium at Common Ground.
Credit courtesy/Architects of Air

There’s a strange and colorful new shape along the riverfront in Lansing. It's a large luminarium.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority helps bring Common Ground to life

Who exactly makes Common Ground happen?  We learned roughly half the answer to that question yesterday when we spoke with Kevin and Jenna Meyer of Meridian Entertainment.  Their responsibilities include booking the likes of Slash, Ludacris and Bare Naked Ladies to perform at the event. Today, we get to know the other key player.  The Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, or LEPFA.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

General Motors plant manager discusses local expansion plans

The Cadillac ATS model was developed in Warren, Mich. in the General Motors Technical Center, according to General Motors.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons



General Motors is preparing to break ground on a new 400,000 square foot logistics center at its Grand River assembly plant.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers bring folk/funk mix to Common Ground

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers appear at Common Ground Friday night.
Credit courtesy/Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are known for their folk sound, which is fused with a hint of funk, Motown and pop.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Jackson National Life expansion plans include 1,000 new jobs

In April, one of Lansing’s largest employers announced plans to bring 1,000 new jobs to the region.  Jackson National Life Insurance Company will spend more than $100-million to double the size of its headquarters in Alaeidon Township.  Construction could begin later this year, pending a number of regulatory steps.

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Radio Made in Michigan
9:36 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Current State # 125 | July 11, 2013

Current State broadcasts live from the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing all this week! Tonight, the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority; Architects of Air; GM Lansing Regional Plant Manager Tony Francavilla; Jackson National Life expansion; and Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Sparrow Health System and Mayo Clinic create partnership

Under the Mayo/Sparrow partnership, patients now have access to Mayo Clinic resources when seeking additional input about care or a condition.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

A Sparrow Hospital official says a new alliance with the Mayo Clinic will benefit the community.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Meals on Wheels

Individuals as well as groups like the Coast Guard (pictured above) have delivered Meals on Wheels to seniors in need.
Credit Flickr/US Coast Guard

For years, the well-recognized program Meals on Wheels, based in the Tri-County Office on Aging, has provided meals and other services for many of the area’s elderly and disabled.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Lansing teen Taylor Taylor to play Common Ground

Taylor Taylor is set to play tonight at the Leiny Lodge Stage at 6:30pm.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR


At age eight, Lansing native Taylor Taylor asked for guitar lessons.  Since then she’s put her lessons to good use, pursuing a music career, performing all over Michigan and the U.S.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

MSU to study dioxin's impact on human health

 



Michigan State University is starting a new project to learn more about how certain environmental contaminants affect the human body.  MSU will use a $14-million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study dioxins, which form a large class of chemical compounds.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Cycling to raise awareness of the deaf-blind community

Janna Rowan hopes her cycling journey will help people learn about the challenges facing the deaf and blind among us.


DeWitt resident Janna Rowan is planning to cycle 1,200 miles to raise awareness for the deaf-blind community. The journey will take her from Michigan to Texas.

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:00 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Current State # 124 | July 10, 2013

Current State broadcasts live from the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing all this week! Tonight, MSU's dioxin grant; Neighbors in Action features Meals on Wheels; cycling for the deaf/blind community; the Sparrow/Mayo Health Clinic parternship; and an interview with musician Taylor Taylor.

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