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
1:25 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Current State #111 | June 19, 2013

Today on Current State: the no-fault insurance debate; Neighbors in Action features the Fenner Nature Center; MSU announces new bioengineering facility; and "Mythbusters" comes to East Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:22 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Amidst proposed reform, no-fault insurance debate rages on

Kevin Clinton, Director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, maintains that the insurance mandated by the passage of the Affordable Care Act will ensure that critically injured victims of car accidents will be taken care of.
Credit Flickr

Last week, another wrinkle was added to the ongoing debate over auto insurance reform in Michigan, as a FOIA request to obtain information about rate setting procedures was denied. Currently, a bill in the state Senate calls to cap lifetime payouts at a million dollars per claim.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:52 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

MSU breaks ground on new $60 million bioengineering facility

The new bioengineering facility, pictured here in an artist's rendering, will be located on the south end of campus between the Life Science building and the Clinical Center.
Credit MSU Office of Planning and Budgets

MSU has long strived to be a leader in the realm of global health, and hopes to do just that after completion of a 130,000 square-foot bioengineering facility set to be finished in 2015.

Dr. Manooch Koochesfahani, Associate Dean of the MSU College of Engineering,  and Dr. Jeffrey Dwyer, Sr. Associate Dean of the MSU College of Human Medicine discuss what this new development means for the college.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:45 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Fenner Nature Center

Fenner offers a variety of nature programs for children and teenagers.
Credit Flickr

This week, Neighbors In Action features Fenner Nature Center, which has been around for over 50 years.

Katie Woodhams, the center's program manager, and Nathan Martineau, a volunteer through Fenner's Youth Leadership Program, discuss the activities and resources Fenner offers the community. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'Mythbusters' comes to the Wharton Center stage (sans explosions)

Co-host Adam Savage's background prior to 'Mythbusters' is primarily in special effects and film.
Credit Flickr

This weekend, the hosts of "Mythbusters" will make a stop at East Lansing's Wharton Center as part of their "Behind the Myths" tour. For ten years, the Discovery Channel show has entertained skeptics, science buffs and ordinary folk alike with a lighthearted and creative approach to science.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:10 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Current State #110 | June 18, 2013

Today on Current State: Ingham County Land Bank; a tour of the Greater Lansing Hall of Fame; stocking fish in the Great Lakes; and Lord Huron, an indie rock band with local roots.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:04 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Ingham County Land Bank helps build neighborhoods

The Ingham County Land Bank helps potential homeowners through down payment assistance programs and various land contract terms.
Credit Courtesy of The Ingham County Land Bank

The Ingham County Land Bank, is currently going through a bit of a renovation. Chairman and County Treasurer Eric Schertzing along with the organization's new Executive Director Jeff Burdick discuss the current changes to the ICLB, including the organization's new pilot project involving transportation, which will be the first public bike-sharing program in Michigan. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Local legends fill the Lansing Sports Hall of Fame

Muhsin Muhammad was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. The Waverly High School athlete holds the record for the longest touchdown reception in a Super Bowl.
Credit Courtesy of the Lansing Sports Hall of Fame

The Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame, located within the Lansing Center, showcases a wealth of local athletic talent. Home to memorabilia from 228 individuals and 46 teams, the Hall of Fame celebrates the world class athletic talent that Mid-Michigan has produced. WKAR’s Al Martin toured of the Hall of Fame with Executive Director and 1994 inductee Bob Every.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:53 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

The history of fish stocking in the Great Lakes

Chinook salmon were introduced to the Great Lakes to control the abundant alewives population.
Credit Wikamedia commons

Brown trout, Chinook and coho salmon  are all currently stocked in one or more of the Great Lakes, however none of these prized catches are native to the basin. These fish were stocked to help manage invasive species and to build a sport fishery.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Local band Lord Huron returns to Lansing

Ben Schneider’s band Lord Huron is playing at The Loft in Lansing tonight.
Credit Courtesy of Lord Huron

Ben Schneider, Mark Bary and Tom Renauda from Okemos, along with Miguel Briseno of Eaton Rapids and Californian Karl Kerfoot have been making waves with their band Lord Huron.  Now based in Los Angeles, Lord Huron is touring to support their album "Lonesome Dreams."

Current State's Scott Pohl spoke with Ben Schneider about his music, and growing up in a media savvy household with his parents, well-known Lansing PR executive Sharon Emery and longtime Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider.

Radio Made in Michigan
2:05 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Current State #109 | June 17, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan high school education gap in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes; co-generation power plant in REO Town; third-party gubernatorial candidate Robin Sanders; 3D printing; and diagnosing sick dogs.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Closing enrollment gap in AP and IB classes a good short-term fix, research shows

AP and IB classes introduce college-level content to high school students.
Credit Flickr

Last week, Bridge Magazine highlighted a study conducted by The Education Trust, a Washington D.C.-based education research and policy group, showing Michigan had one of the worst rates in the country for enrollment in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes among low income and minority students. Enrollment in these higher level classes during high school greatly increases a student’s chances for success in college.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:55 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

New co-generation power plant set to recharge Lansing

The Lansing Board of Water and Light's REO Town co-generation plant will use natural gas to produce both steam and electric power.
Kevin Lavery

The massive co-generation power plant rising above Lansing's REO Town neighborhood is nearly complete. The Lansing Board of Water and Light 's (BWL) new 46,000 square-foot facility has been under construction for more than two years. The power plant officially comes online July 1, and will replace four coal-fired steam units at the nearby Moores Park plant built in 1950s. The BWL says the new plant is much more environmentally friendly. Residents and business owners believe it will also bring economic gain to their neighborhood. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:50 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Third party gubernatorial candidate Robin Sanders focuses on public safety

With his experience in correctional services and mental health, Sanders said he is better qualified to address public safety issues.
Credit Courtesy of Robin Sanders

 Many Michigan voters have begun anticipating a Gubernatorial contest next year between Republican incumbent Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer.  But a political neophyte from Southeast Michigan has also launched an effort at getting the state’s top job. Robin Sanders has spent close to 20 years as a corrections officer with the Michigan Department of Corrections, most of it specializing in mental health work.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

3D printing at the forefront of technology

3D printing technology has been used in many fields, including jewelry, health care and automotive.
Credit Flickr/Creative Tools

3D printing was in the news recently when a Texas group called Defense Distributed posted instructions on its website for printing a functional plastic handgun using a 3D printer. Although the State Department had the group remove the postings, the story brought 3D printing to the headlines.

Current State host Mark Bashore speaks with Dr. Patrick Kwon, a professor of mechanical engineering at MSU, about the technology of 3D printing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:37 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

New research helps owners, vets assess dogs' health

Maria Iliopoulou's research uses questionnaires about dogs' behavior to helps vets and owners make decisions.
Credit Flickr/Jake Jones

When a beloved dog becomes seriously ill, owners are faced with difficult decisions. Researchers are developing a new tool which could help dog owners tackle the tough choice of prolonging life or letting go.

Maria Iliopoulou, an MSU-trained veterinarian and  doctoral student in the Department Of Community Sustainability  discusses  the study.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:48 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Current State #108 | June 14, 2013

Today on Current State: the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gene patenting; Ann Arbor Summer Festival; Lansing Lugnuts; A Father’s Day memory and Mackinac fudge.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

SCOTUS rules against gene patenting

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that naturally occurring human genes cannot be patented. However, synthetic DNA created in laboratories are still under patent protection.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that naturally occurring human genes cannot be patented. The ruling will affect researchers, universities and industries. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:44 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Ann Arbor Summer Festival features live music, outdoor movies and more

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival runs from June 14 to July 7.
Credit Flickr / Jeremy Peters

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival bills itself as "an international arts gathering." Events are indoors and outdoors over the next three weeks. It will be a good time for everybody -- kids, music lovers, film buffs and even public radio fans. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Robb Woulfe about the 30th Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Woulfe has been the festival’s executive and artistic director for nine years. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:41 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Lugnuts owner discusses team performance, sports business

Lansing Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson says attendance is vital to the team's economic success.
Credit Becky McKendry / WKAR

The Lansing Lugnuts -- the capital city’s minor league baseball team -- are into their 18th season playing at Cooley Law School Stadium at Michigan and Cedar, and around the Midwest League.  As the end of the first half of the regular season approaches this Sunday, the Lugnuts are struggling with 31 wins and 35 losses, ranking them in fourth place in their division.  But Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson asserts that it’s the second half that matters.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:37 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

For the Abood family, food triggers memories on Father's Day

Maureen Abood with her father, Camille, who passed away on June 27, 2000.
Credit Courtesy of Maureen Abood

Thirteen years ago, right around Father’s Day, Lansing native Maureen Abood’s father, prominent local attorney Camille Abood, passed away from cancer.  

 Maureen, who pens a popular blog about Lebanese food and culture called Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, was gracious enough to share her memories of her father and explain how the healing power of food helped her and her family cope with their loss. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:33 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Mackinac Island lays claim to fudge capital of the world

There are more than 15 fudge stores on Mackinac Island.
Credit Flickr/mackinacislandgal

This Sunday isn’t just Father's Day -- it's also National Fudge Day. By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was concocted in Baltimore in the 1880's. By the turn of the 20th century, fudge making arrived on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

 

The Michigan Public Radio Networks Rick Pluta tours the modern day "fudge capital."

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:10 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Current State #107 | June 13, 2013

Today on Current State: Congressman Tim Walberg; Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger; the classical music festival season and Lansing's Juneteenth celebration.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:09 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Congressman Tim Walberg weighs in on NSA leaks, immigration

Congressman Tim Walberg says that he does agree with the idea of criminal action against reporters who knowingly publish classified information.
Credit Tim Walberg


Recently, the nation has become focused on a series of scandals emanating from Washington, D.C.  Edward Snowden, an analyst with the National Security Agency, publicly disclosed details of a secret telephone data mining program.  That disclosure came shortly after news that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted and allegedly harassed Tea Party groups.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

House Speaker Jase Bolger talks Medicaid expansion, gay rights and political future

House Speaker Jase Bolger says he supports the recent Medicaid expansion, and that the measure puts more control in the hands of citizens in terms of managing their healthcare.
Credit Stacy Landry/WKAR

A Michigan House committee has approved a much debated proposal to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.   Expansion of the federal program enjoys some bipartisan support, but the measure was delayed by some House Republicans who wanted stricter guidelines.  Some were also reluctant to approve the expansion because of its connection to the federal Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Lansing's Juneteenth celebration remembers emancipation

Among the activities scheduled for this weekend's Juneteenth celebration are a health fair, and a "hip-hop explosion," and a tribute to commemorate Negro League Baseball.
Credit Flickr

 Today, Lansing kicks off the opening events of the 20th annual Juneteenth celebration, which is a three-day festival celebrating the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery. The holiday has been officially recognized in the state since 2005 when Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared the third Saturday in June to be "Juneteenth National Freedom Day."

Cheryl Benjamin, board member of the Lansing Juneteenth Committee, joins Current State to explain the holiday's origins and what the next three days have to offer.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:05 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

The classical music festival season in Michigan and beyond

Of the multiple features of this year's Midwestern classical music season, one is the 20th anniversary of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival - which will celebrate with over 20 concerts throughout downtown Detroit.
Credit Flickr

The start of summer signals the time for music festivals to spring up all across the Great Lakes region. WKAR’s Jody Knol, Mark Schwitzgoebel and Peter Whorf preview and highlight the 2013 summer classical music festival season throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:04 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Current State #106 | June 12, 2013

Today on Current State: the Ingham Health Plan and healthcare changes; wind energy in Michigan; the MSU Student Organic Farm; Neighbors in Action features Black Men Inc. of Greater Lansing and discovering a Lake Michigan shipwreck from 1679.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:03 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Healthcare changes could affect Ingham Health Plan

The Ingham Health Plan currently provides 12,000 Lansing-area residents with health services at reduced/no cost.
Credit Flickr

Medicaid expansion continues to be a very closely watched issue in Michigan.  Yesterday, a House committee moved to loosen requirements and the impact of the federal Affordable Care Act is tied closely to Medicaid expansion.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:01 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The state of wind power in Michigan

There are wind farms scattered throughout Michigan - including Delta County, Huron County and Gratiot County.
Credit Flickr

Michigan was one of the fastest growing states for wind power in 2012.  That's according to the American Wind Energy Association’s annual market report. But the nuts and bolts of harnessing wind energy  is a complicated issue, with its fair share of supporters and detractors.  

Jim Dulzo of the Michigan Land Use Institute in Traverse City joined Current State to explain where the state stands in moving forward on wind power. 

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