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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Economy
12:02 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Pilot program seeks permanent housing for Lansing's homeless

Rebecca Porter (left) was homeless for most of the past year. She is working with case worker Amanda Fleckenstein (right) and others at Volunteers of America Michigan to move into permanent housing. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Michigan’s long winter months can give anyone the blues, but it’s an especially dangerous time for the homeless. Hundreds of people in mid-Michigan live on the streets, and their circumstances are diverse. In Lansing, officials are so far pleased with the results of a pilot program to move 11 people out of a makeshift camp and into permanent housing.

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Education
11:58 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Michigan teacher works to preserve indigenous language

Helen Roy is a tribal member of the Wikwemikong First Nations Band, Canada’s only unceded Indian Reservation on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
Credit http://aisp.msu.edu/

Movements to revitalize Native American languages have been popping up across the U.S. in recent years. Tribes from Massachusetts to California are using federal funds to help preserve their native tongues. The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has developed Cherokee language versions of Google, Wikipedia, and even Facebook.

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Arts & Culture
11:54 am
Thu December 4, 2014

MSU College of Music concert brings holiday cheer to EL

MSU’s "Home for the Holidays" concert comes to the Wharton Center stage this Saturday at 4 p.m. Kevin Noe and Kieran McMillan are the creators of the production, based on last year’s successful program.

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Arts & Culture
11:50 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Book Review: "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas | WKAR

What makes a story engrossing? Is it a surprising plot? A new twist? Or is it about the characters? Maybe a little quirk in their personalities that we find amusing? Is it an ability to see a bit of ourselves in the pages? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself since reading "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Current State #432 | December 3, 2014

Today on Current State: State lawmakers consider road funding and LGBT rights during the lame duck session; cataloging plant life at the MSU Herbarium; MSU research into better stroke outcomes; and Neighbors in Action: Tori Saves Christmas.
 

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Politics & Government
11:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawmakers take up roads, LGBT rights in lame duck

Credit Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard the words “lame duck” in the last few weeks? You have a little while longer to be tired of the term. The Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session lasts for just over two more weeks.

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Environment
11:11 am
Wed December 3, 2014

MSU Herbarium catalogues Michigan plant life

Alan Prather with a Michigan monkeyflower sample from the MSU Herbarium
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s a special kind of library in the basement of the Plant Biology Labs at Michigan State University. Here, instead of taking a book off of a shelf, you can open a folder and find a dried plant that’s 150 years old and still green. The MSU Herbarium is an important resource for research biologists on campus.

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Health
11:06 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Better stroke outcomes goal of MSU research

Matthew Reeves
Credit http://www.epi.msu.edu/

The medical challenges associated with stroke have been in the news lately with hockey great Gordie Howe suffering both strong and mild strokes over the past few months. A new MSU study aims to improve the recovery of stroke victims.

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Community
11:02 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Tori Saves Christmas | WKAR

Credit facebook.com/groups/ToriSavesXmas/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today, we learn about Tori Saves Christmas, a 24-hour “play date” that raises money to buy presents for kids in foster care.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:04 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Current State #431 | December 2, 2014

Today on Current State: A post-election poll is topped by jobs and roads; new Lansing Board of Water and Light emergency operations manager Trent Atkins looks to the winter ahead; an exhibition at the Michigan Historical Center examines post-Civil War commerce; the emerald ash borer attacks a new species of tree; and how climate change might affect Michigan shorelines.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Jobs, roads top concerns in post-election poll

Jeff Williams of Public Sector Consultants
Credit http://www.pscinc.com/

The 2014 election is in the rear view mirror, but its effects will certainly echo for years to come. After the last ballot was cast, some 600 Michigan voters were asked for their opinion on a number of statewide issues.

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Business
11:55 am
Tue December 2, 2014

New BWL emergency ops manager briefs community leaders on winter plan

Credit Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Mid-Michigan is already getting a taste of winter, no matter what the calendar says. As the weather turns colder, the Lansing Board of Water and Light is preparing for the possibility of power outages.

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History
11:45 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Post-Civil War commerce from Vernor's to cheese at state museum

Visitors can see a copy of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln's hand at the Michigan Historical Center.
Credit Flickr - Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

A special exhibit that focuses on the end of the U.S. Civil War and post-war Michigan opened this fall at the Michigan Historical Center in downtown Lansing. "Conceived in Liberty" focuses on themes from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The exhibit features artifacts from Michigan soldiers and stories of their key roles at the war’s crucial battles.

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Environment
11:40 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Emerald Ash borer moving on to new target in Ohio

Emerald ash borers have killed millions of trees.
Credit Flickr - U.S. Department of Agriculture

Emerald ash borers are tiny creatures, smaller than a penny, with  metallic green shells and big, black eyes. They’d almost be cute if they weren’t so destructive. This tiny beetle’s big appetite has had a devastating impact on forests in the U.S.

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Environment
11:37 am
Tue December 2, 2014

New tool simulates climate change impact on MI shorelines

This simulation shows high water levels at the Harbor Bay Power Plant in Michigan's thumb region.
http://coast.noaa.gov/llv/

A new computer tool is helping official planners and even just people who are interested in the Great Lakes actually see what varying water levels do to the shoreline.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:17 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Current State #430 | December 1, 2014

Today on Current State: A family from Guatemala hopes to stay in East Lansing amid immigration confusion; World AIDS Day; changing diets in urban Africa; and MSU football looks ahead to the bowl game season.

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Politics & Government
12:16 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Guatemalan family in EL contends with immigration confusion

Oscar Castaneda hopes his family can stay in Michigan, but he may be required to return to his native Guatemala.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

A family who has spent the last 15 years putting down roots in East Lansing is hoping to persuade U.S. authorities not to order them back to Central America. Oscar Castaneda is a native of Guatemala. He traces his predicament to likely bureaucratic errors dating back to the mid 1990's.

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Health
12:14 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

MI advocates work for "AIDS-free generation"

A Red AIDS awareness ribbon decorated the North Portico of the White House in honor of World AIDS Day last year.
Credit Flickr - Ted Eytan

It’s been 30 years since scientists discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the height of the American AIDS epidemic in the 1980's and early 1990's, an HIV positive diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. Today, advances in treatment have greatly improved outcomes for people living with HIV, but the pandemic is far from over. We still have around 800 new infections every year in Michigan alone.

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Health
12:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

MSU researcher examines health impact of changing African diets

Dr. Dave Tschirley is part of a group of researchers at MSU with the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

From pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes to eggnog and Christmas cookies, the holiday season is filled with delicious food, but it isn’t exactly great for our waistlines. The holiday excess might already have you thinking about that New Year’s diet. Dr. Dave Tschirley thinks about diets all the time, but not for himself. He’s with the Food Security Group in MSU's Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. They’re studying how the diets of people in Africa are changing dramatically as the continent becomes more urbanized.

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Sports
12:11 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

MSU football looks to bowl season

MSU football coach Mark Dantonio
Credit MSU Sports Information

The Michigan State football team wrapped up the regular season on Saturday with a 34-10 win at Penn State. The Spartans wind up with a 7-1 mark in Big Ten play and a 10-2 overall record, the fourth time in the last five seasons reaching ten victories. They won’t be playing in the Big Ten championship game; that will be Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, but a choice bowl invitation awaits for MSU.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:55 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Current State #429 | November 26, 2014

Today on Current State: Our November Month in Review; Neighbors in Action: the MSU Student Food Bank; and a cranberry glaze recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey.

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Politics & Government
10:54 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Month in Review: November's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

A mid-term election with a challenging post-mortem for state Democrats, a highly anticipated lame duck legislative session, and a new direction for Detroit and many of Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. All of those developments made news in November here in Michigan.

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Community
10:48 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: MSU Student Food Bank | WKAR

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today, we talk about Michigan State University’s Student Food Bank.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
10:39 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Dress up your turkey with this cranberry glaze

MSU corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Scott Pohl/WKAR

In recent years, we’ve asked MSU corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski to whip up a new idea for your Thanksgiving table. Our premise is that it’s Thanksgiving morning, you have out all the stuff you’ve purchased for the meal, and you decide you want to do something different with it. Being a busy morning, and maybe your favorite grocery store isn’t open, you’re limited to what you have on hand.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:32 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Current State #428 | November 24, 2014

Today on Current State: MSU's national championship women's cross country team; doctors and drug companies; Great Lakes Month in Review; the Williamston Theatre's 50th show; and WKAR says farewell to music host Mark Schwitzgoebel.

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Sports
11:32 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Spartan women run to national crown

MSU's Leah O'Connor was the Big Ten Conference cross country athlete of the year. MSU won the national championship over the weekend.
Credit http://www.msuspartans.com/

The MSU Women’s Cross Country team stood on college running high ground Saturday, capturing the NCAA National Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana. It was the university’s first national championship since MSU men’s hockey in 2007, and the second women’s national championship in school history.

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Health
11:30 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare provision sheds light on payments to docs, hospitals

Dr. Kenneth Elmassian
Credit http://www.drkennethelmassian.com/

Important data recently shed light on the financial relationships between key members of Michigan’s medical community. Sunshine provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act require disclosure of the money paid to physicians and teaching  hospitals by drug and medical device manufacturers.

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Environment
11:28 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Midterm elections may have implications

Credit Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’ll be talking about what impact the recent midterm elections could have on environmental policies, both in Washington and in Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
11:24 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Williamston Theatre: Four founders, fifty shows

Emily Sutton-Smith, John Leppard, Tony Caselli, and Chris Purchis of Williamston Theatre.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

On Friday night, the Williamston Theatre will stage the first preview performance of their 50th show. “Miracle on South Division Street” runs through December 28th.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:11 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Sayonara, Schwitzgoebel

Credit WKAR

For nearly 3 decades, WKAR’s morning music host Mark Schwitzgoebel has been a fixture for thousands of mid-Michigan classical music listeners. This week, Mark hangs up his microphone and retires from WKAR. Mark’s last day on the air is this Wednesday.

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