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
2:19 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Public Poetry Announcement: John Balaban

 

Today's public poetry announcement features David Clauson reading "Passing Through Albuquerque" by John Balaban. 

Current State's Public Poetry Announcements are brought to you by the Center for Poetry at MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:16 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

MSU honors NPR’s Don Gonyea

Don Gonyea graduated from Michigan State University in 1978. Pictured from left: School of Journalism director Lucinda Davenport, former Associated Press reporter Kathy Barks Hoffman, NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea and MSU journalism professor Eric Freedman.
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

 

The MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences will honor NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea this week with the 2013 WKAR Public Media Master Award.  Gonyea earned two degrees from MSU on his way to a remarkable career in radio. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Don Gonyea about the award and his work at NPR.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:14 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Current State #78 | May 1, 2013

Today on Current State: Ingham County Chief District Judge talks Indigent Defense ; the Lansing Information Technology Empowerment Center; Michael Finney from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and re-imagining the Grand River corridor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:11 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Chief judge makes case for indigent defense reform

The sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it clear:  any citizen accused of a crime will--if necessary--have access to qualified legal representation in court.  Many legal professionals think that guarantee has been seriously compromised in Michigan for many years.   The state often ranks low in assessments of its system of indigent defense.   In recent years, several efforts by the state legislature to strengthen the system have failed. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:09 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Lansing’s Information Technology Empowerment Center

ITEC's main goal is to provide students and adults with the technological skills needed to excel in the global economy.
Credit courtesy of the Information Technology Empowerment Center

For this week’s Neighbors in Action we feature the Information Technology Empowerment Center, which works with students and families in the Capital Region to build excitement for coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

K-12 Program Manager Cathy Post and ITEC student Joshua Ambrose join us in studio to discuss the non-profit and the technology training courses offered to children and adults.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

MEDC president on Michigan's economic future

Part of Michigan's economic picture is its growing tourism industry.
Credit Wikimedia commons

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation touts itself as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, incentives and overall economic growth.  

Michael Finney is the President and CEO of MEDC. He came to the organization after holding a key economic development position as head of the Ann Arbor Spark. Finney joins Current State to discuss MEDC and Michigan’s larger economic picture. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Organizers seek community input to transform Grand River Avenue corridor

The Charrette Studio is located at 333 E. Grand River Avenue, and will be open Thursday May 2 through Monday May 6.
Credit Wikimedia commons

The stretch of Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue from the Capitol building all the way east to Webberville is this region’s busiest corridor. A new plan, led by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, is in the works to transform this corridor with more attractive design, improved rapid transit, and sustainable business and infrastructure improvements.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Current State #77 | April 30, 2013

Credit msutoday.msu.edu

Today on Current State: a review of April's news while looking to May; Michigan sustainable food systems and a new exhibit features local architecture. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Month in Review: April’s biggest news stories

Current State reviews the biggest news stories in April, as well as some that flew under the radar.  Lansing City Pulse columnist Walt Sorg, Michigan Information and Research Service news director Kyle Melinn and Michigan Public Radio Network managing editor Rick Pluta join Current State's Mark Bashore in a reporters' roundtable. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Building sustainable food systems in Michigan

Michigan boasts the second highest agricultural output in the U.S., just behind California. But one day, that may not be the case.
Credit msutoday.msu.edu

This month, the Vermont-based local food advocacy group "Strolling of the Heifers" released its second annual Locavore Index. The index ranks states based on their commitment to local food. Michigan earned a spot at # 22 on the list.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:30 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Notable local architecture subject of ‘East Lansing Modern’

The MSU Museum hosts a new exhibit that features local architecture.
Credit msutoday.msu.edu

Michigan State University Art and Art History professor Susan Bandes has run a student project this year examining notable architecture in East Lansing. The focus has been on homes and businesses built between 1940 and 1970.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:09 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Healthcare disparities in Michigan tied to poverty, unemployment

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study shows Leelanau County ranks first in overall health outcomes in Michigan.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a massive study that analyzes health care in counties across the country and ranks them based on health data. The data shows some noteworthy findings about health disparities across 83 counties in Michigan. For instance, two neighboring counties, Wayne and Washtenaw, have very contrasting health outcomes. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:06 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

MLive's Angela Wittrock discusses Lansing business news

MLive's Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins Current State every Monday for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. Today, she talks with Current State host Emanuele Berry about how Lansing will balance its budget, the proposed Kewadin casino project and more.

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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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