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
1:41 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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Radio Made in Michigan
2:58 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

MSU Student Organic Farm is a teaching, production facility

The MSU Student Organic Farm sells produce to campus dining halls and the MSU Food Stores.
Credit Peter Whorf

The MSU Student Organic Farm operates year-round as both a teaching and production facility. WKAR’s Peter Whorf speaks with MSU Student Organic Farmstand manager April Plankey about healthy eating trends, the farm's day-to-day operations and the weekly bounty.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:56 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Black Men Inc. of Greater Lansing

One of the offerings of Black Men Inc. of Greater Lansing is an annual college tour - where some students have been accepted on the spot.
Credit Black Men Inc. of Greater Lansing


This week, Neighbors In Action features Black Men Inc. of Greater Lansing, a group that has mentored local black youth for almost 20 years.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:47 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Uncovering a shipwreck three centuries later

A sketch of what Le Griffon, which disappeared in 1679, looked like.
Credit Great Lakes Exploration Group

Built by French explorer Rene-Robert Sieur de La Salle, the vessel "Le Griffon," or "Griffin" in English, was the first vessel to sail the Great Lakes. The ship was an important supply line to support La Salle’s expedition in search of the mouth of the Mississippi River. However, the ship was disappeared in 1679 and hasn’t been found since. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:44 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Current State #105 | June 11, 2013

Today on Current State: Can redistricting be done without politics?;  archeological finds under MSU's campus; Lansing's new sewer project; and state transportation issues including road funding and Detroit metro's new Regional Transportation Authority.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:41 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Democratic Rep. McCann calls for change to redistricting laws

Michigan’s state legislative districts are redrawn after every U.S. Census.  The last time around the process turned contentious and led many Democrats to allege gerrymandering by the GOP majority.  They point to what they say are contorted district lines drawn to ensure a political advantage.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:33 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Summer construction reveals long buried artifacts under MSU campus

An axe head was one of the artifacts MSU Archeologist Katy Meyers brought to the Current State studios.
Credit Scott Pohl

Summer is a busy time for archeologists at Michigan State University. Construction projects on campus give them the opportunity to explore what’s long been buried under the surface of the MSU campus.

Lynne Goldstein, MSU professor of anthropology, and Katy Meyers, an MSU graduate student who is serving as campus archeologist this summer, tell us what they've found. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

‘Wet Weather’ sewer project aims to save Lansing $230 million

Chad Gamble, Lansing's Director of Public Service, says that the city discharges up to 600 million gallons of sewage annually into the Grand River.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This Thursday, Lansing residents have a chance to weigh in on the latest suggestion for dealing with city sewage and stormwater.  City administrators say the so-called "Wet Weather" project would combine Lansing’s 20-year old CSO, or “combined sewage overflow” project, with two other similar ones involving sanitary sewer overflow and stormwater. 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:11 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Detroit's new RTA, road funding at the top of Michigan's transportation issues

There is no shortage of transportation issues to discuss here in Michigan.

After 40 years and 23 attempts, metro Detroit finally has a Regional Transportation Authority. 

At the top of Governor Snyder’s agenda is a new road funding bill, but will the legislature provide the funds he says he needs to make the necessary improvements?

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:48 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Current State #104 | June 10, 2013

Today on Current State: municipalities consolidating fire services; violinist Kathryn Votapek; Michigan’s export market and a new Broad Art Museum exhibition of “Blind Field.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:47 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Lansing, East Lansing and four others to consolidate fire services

The cities of Lansing and East Lansing share the services of Fire Chief Randy Talifarro.
Credit Flickr

Regionalism is a buzzword that’s uttered throughout metropolitan communities across the country, and mid-Michigan is no exception.  Proponents say it’s more than a lofty ideal whereby the assets and resources of large cities benefit the surrounding suburbs. They claim in hard economic times, regionalism is a lifeline for survival.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:43 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Musician Kathryn Votapek discusses parents' influence on her life

Kathryn Votapek is a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance.
Credit Courtesy of the University of Michigan

It should come as no surprise that Kathryn Votapek is a musician, as both of her parents are pianists.  Her father, Ralph Votapek, was the first winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

But Kathryn and her musician brothers chose other instruments, and her career path led her to the music faculty at the University of Michigan, where she is a lecturer in violin.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:40 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Michigan's export market ripe for exploration

According to Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Canada is the largest destination for Michigan exports. Mexico, China, Germany and Japan also rank among the state's top five export markets.
Credit Flickr

Exports are big business in Michigan. In 2012, $53 billion, which is about 15 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), was attributed to the state’s export economy. And that’s up 12 percent from 2011.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:35 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

The work of young Brazilian artists graces The Broad

A new exhibition has opened at MSU’s Broad Art Museum. “Blind Field” features works from a group of young Brazilian artists.

Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with the museum’s assistant curator, Yesomi Umolu, about “Blind Field”. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Current State #103 | June 7, 2013

Today on Current State:  Michigan schools face a financial crisis; exercise in space; the 60th anniversary of the Flint Beecher tornado; and the 2013 Pumpstock American Roots Music Festival.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:52 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Record 55 school districts running deficits, subject to state review

Former state schools superintendent Tom Watkins says some of Michigan's 800 school districts would lose $10,000 for each dropout or transfer student. Still, those school districts haven't taken subsequent actions to minimize the revenue loss.
Credit Flickr

The number of Michigan school districts facing serious financial challenges continues to grow. On Thursday, state schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan reported there are 55 districts across the state operating in the red.   That’s up by six since the start of the year.

Flanagan updates the state legislature quarterly on school finances.  He commented that the situation requires “more resources.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:48 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

MSU studying ways to keep astronauts fit in deep space

While astronauts are receiving fitness training for their space mission, Dr. Feltz's research focuses on how to motivate them to exercise through the long journey of space exploration.
Credit Courtesy of NASA

In the coming decades, if NASA has its way, the long, harrowing trip to Mars will be more than just a bad Hollywood movie directed by the likes of Michael Bay.

The space agency has said it plans to send astronauts to the Red Planet by the early 2030's.  While 20 years is a long way off, NASA has already begun the planning and research, and MSU scientists are part of these early stages.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:43 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

60 years after, how Flint Beecher tornado influenced tornado forecasting

Credit Courtesy of the Flint Journal

On June 8, 1953, an F-5 tornado hit Flint and the nearby community of Beecher, killing 116 people.  It was the tenth deadliest tornado in U. S. history, and a generation of Michigan residents would never look at a dark sky the same way again.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:26 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Local musicians highlight Pumpstock American Roots Music Festival

Musician Elden Kelly of Richmond, Vermont plays his guitar and sings live in the Current State studio at WKAR.
Credit Scott Pohl / WKAR

This weekend is the fourth annual Pumpstock music festival. The annual gathering in East Lansing’s Bailey Park features live American roots music and local food. Festival coordinator Dudley Smith, more commonly known as “Smitty,” and performer Elden Kelly joins Current State host Mark Bashore.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:47 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Current State #102 | June 6, 2013

Today on Current State: Republican Terri Lynn Land on her senate run; the market for farmers markets; MEDC CEO Michael Finney; the decline of bees in Michigan; and Potterville's Gizzard Fest.

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