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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Arts & Culture
11:58 am
Thu March 5, 2015

LSO concert debuts new work by local composer

LSO Music Director Timothy Muffitt. The 'Masterworks 5: Enigma Variations' concert with guest artist Richard Sherman on flute is at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Cobb Great Hall of MSU's Wharton Center.
Credit Courtesy Lansing Symphony Orchestra

The Lansing Symphony performs music by Mozart, Elgar and local composer Marjan Helms at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wharton Center. Before the concert, WKAR classical music host Jody Knol will talk with Helms, who’s work “7 Ascents for Flute and Orchestra” will be performed. That PreView conversation is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the Jackson National Lounge.

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Book Review: Emma Hooper's "Etta and Otto and Russell and James"

Life is a wondrous bit of magical happenstance. Sadly, we usually forget that fact in the mundanity of it. We go from day to day lost in worries about jobs, family, and the future. Hours and days slip by one after another with little thought or memory attached to them.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:54 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Current State #490 | March 4, 2015

Today on Current State: State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge); a preview of tonight's TEDxMSU; Neighbors in Action: Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment (ASPPIRE); and jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Sen. Jones on animal cruelty, religious freedom measures

Sen. Rick Jones (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

In January, a Lansing woman, accompanied by her two children, made a grisly discovery at the Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area, not far from East Lansing. According to the Lansing City Pulse, the three, who were on a mid-winter walk, came across the frozen body of a dog, which appeared to have been abandoned inside a small kennel in dangerously cold temperatures. According to the story, Bath Township Police are investigating the incident. They say it appears to be a case of animal cruelty, a felony in Michigan punishable by up to four years in prison.

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Education
11:44 am
Wed March 4, 2015

TEDxMSU brings student focus to storytelling series

Another TEDx event is on tap tonight in East Lansing. For tonight's TEDxMSU, MSU students have played a lead role in organizing the storytelling event, and many of the speakers are also scheduled to be students. It’s at 6 p.m. in the Cobb Great Hall of MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Community
11:38 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about a non-profit working to help young adults on the autism spectrum develop better social skills. Current State talks with the executive director of Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment (ASPPIRE), executive director Bob Steinkamp, and program alum and current office manager and peer mentor Aileen Hecht.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Wed March 4, 2015

NYC jazz guitarist teaches, performs at MSU

Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program with the MSU College of Music has another feature artist working with students on campus this week. Current State talks with guitarist Peter Bernstein of New York City.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:54 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Current State #489 | March 3, 2015

Today on Current State: A ride on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker; Chinese advertising art comes to MSU; the possible threat posed by microplastics; and kids helping adults improve their English language skills in Okemos.

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Economy
12:45 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers keep commerce flowing

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Neah Bay (WTGB-105) at port in Algonac, Michigan. The boat was built in 1979. It's one of several icebreakers that operate each winter on the Great Lakes.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Winter is still holding a firm grasp on Michigan and much of the country. In a state surrounded by fresh water, it’s imperative that the Great Lakes and the rivers which feed them are kept open for commerce. That’s the job of the United States Coast Guard, which operates several icebreaking ships on the lakes.

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Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

"Seeing Differently" through Chinese advertising art

The 'Seeing Differently' exhibit at MSU includes works from the self portrait series of Wei Da, a student at Shanghai Normal University.

A new art exhibition on the MSU campus has brought works done by top advertising students from China to East Lansing. The exhibition is called “Seeing Differently: Solving Communication Problems From Two Sides of the World”, and the art includes some interesting works. It’s here on the ground floor of the MSU Communication Arts Building for the next three months.

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Environment
12:25 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

UM researcher says microplastics could threaten Great Lakes fish

University of Michigan researcher Melissa Duhaime
Credit http://www-personal.umich.edu/

Take a look in your medicine cabinet or your shower and you’re likely to find microbeads. Those are the small plastic spheres used as exfoliants in products like face wash or toothpaste. The tiny beads have been big news since scientists found them showing up in the Great Lakes several years ago. Last week, Michigan became the latest state to introduce legislation that would ban products containing microbeads.

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Education
12:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Okemos kids help adult English language learners

Kids in Okemos are helping adults improve their English language skills.
Credit WKAR/Peter Whorf

For more than three decades, Lansing area elementary public schools have broadened student’s worlds by teaming with adults from around the globe. The greater Lansing area has a huge international community, with more than 100 countries represented on the MSU campus alone. Many of those people want to improve their English skills, and for many different reasons.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Current State #488 | March 2, 2015

Today on Current State: The recent FCC ruling on net neutrality; a preview of this week's Suren Bagratuni concert with Ralph Votapek; part two of our "Voices of Experience" conversation with former Cong. Joe Schwarz; and Detroit News sportswriter Lynn Henning on the Detroit Tigers in spring training.

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Science & Technology
12:56 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

In wake of FCC ruling, MSU researchers launch net neutrality study

MSU Professors Steve Wildman (center) and Johannes Bauer (right) with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission enacted historic new rules governing broadband technology. The FCC moved to reclassify internet service providers under Title Two of the Telecommunications Act, an 80-year-old law originally written to regulate telephone companies. Democrats hailed the decision as a victory for open access to the Internet, and a means to prevent so-called “fast lanes” for those who could afford to pay for quicker service. Some Republicans criticized the move as increased government control over the Internet.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Bagratuni, Votapek collaborate on variations, sonatas

Suren Bagratuni and Ralph Votapek perform together on Thursday.
Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

This Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU College of Music’s Cook Recital Hall, cellist Suren Bagratuni and pianist Ralph Votapek collaborate for a performance of four works. The duo will play sonatas by Benjamin Britten and Johannes Brahms, and variations by Beethoven and Martinu.

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Politics & Government
12:47 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz reflects on a life of service

Former Cong. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

Last Thursday, Current State aired part of an interview with former Congressman Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek. Dr. Schwarz, who is a physician and head and neck surgeon, represented Michigan’s 7th district in 2005 and 2006. That discussion focused on his political and medical careers, and his service in southeast Asia, which included service as a surgeon during the Vietnam War and then as a CIA operative. Schwarz has never returned to that part of the world in the 40-plus years since those experiences.

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Sports
12:40 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Spring is on the way - for the Detroit Tigers

Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida is the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers.
Credit Flickr - Catch Central Florida

For many people, the first sign of spring isn’t the return of the robin to Michigan. It’s when pitchers and catchers report for spring training. That happened last week, so baseball fans in Michigan are watching the news out of Lakeland, Florida, where the Detroit Tigers have begun prepping for the 2015 season.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:13 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Current State #487 | February 27, 2015

Today on Current State: Our state government Month in Review; the Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids; a plan to buy much of the town of Hell, Michigan; and Live Music Friday with the Zodiac Trio.

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Politics & Government
12:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Month in Review: Sales tax vote, state party conventions, 2016 budget

Credit File photo / WKAR

At the end of the month, Current State takes one last look back at the top news stories in Michigan politics and government. This time around, we revisit a proposed, new state budget, new leadership for Michigan’s Republican Party, and the discussion over May’s sales tax proposal.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:55 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Beer from 100 MI breweries on tap at Grand Rapids festival

Michigan’s expanding brewing culture will be well-represented today and tomorrow in Grand Rapids. The 10th Annual Winter Beer Festival will feature more than 100 Michigan breweries with over 1000 different craft beers available to sample.

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Business
11:49 am
Fri February 27, 2015

“Damned” exhibition eyes new home in Hell (MI)

This sign welcomes visitors to Hell, Michigan.
Credit http://www.gotohellmi.com/

You’ve probably seen the picture come across your Facebook or other social media at some point this winter. A sign that reads “Hell” with icicles hanging off the bottom. Don’t worry, it’s not a sign of the end times, it’s just pointing you in the direction of Hell, Michigan, a small community northwest of Ann Arbor. While Hell might be frozen over, it’s a hot commodity on the real estate market, and for the price of $999,666, you could own a piece of it. But, you’ll have to beat Anthony DVS to do it.

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Arts & Culture
11:41 am
Fri February 27, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: The Zodiac Trio

The Zodiac Trio performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guests today on Current State are the Zodiac Trio: Kliment Krylovskiy on clarinet, Vanessa Mollard on violin, and Riko Higuma on piano. The group is in Lansing to record at the Blue Griffin Recording Studio, and they’ve been playing for us throughout the show today.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Current State #486 | February 26, 2015

Today on Current State: Voices of Experience with former Cong. Joe Schwarz; a possible passenger rail service from Ann Arbor to Traverse City; farmers discuss road funding and other issues; and collegiate hookup culture.

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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz on life in politics, medicine

Dr. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s occasional series, “Voices of Experience.”

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Business
12:55 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Passenger rail plan would link Ann Arbor, Traverse City

Credit http://www.mlui.org/

Earlier this month, the Michigan Land Use Institute floated the idea of a new passenger train service from Ann Arbor to Traverse City. It’s a complicated process, but it appears that one of the biggest components is getting people excited about it.

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Business
12:35 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

MI farmers speak out on road funding, ethanol, water use

Credit Wikimedia commons

It’s still too cold for spring planting, but the legislative issues Michigan farmers care most about are heating up again. Yesterday, dozens of crop producers from across the state met in Lansing for the annual Lansing Legislative Seminar, sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Farmers met in conference sessions to talk about a number of current issues, and many had a chance to speak one on one with their local lawmakers.

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Education
12:30 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Demystifying the college hookup culture

MSU prof. Stephanie Amada, author of 'Hooking Up: A Sexy Encounter With Choice'
Credit http://wrac.msu.edu/

It shouldn’t be shocking to hear that college students are sexually active. What might come as a surprise is the attitude many of today’s students are bringing to their sexual lives. What’s changed is that what people tend to think of the preferred order of things, getting to know someone well and for a long time before sex, maybe even marriage before sex, seems to be shifting. For some now, the sex comes first, and on a casual basis.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:45 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Current State #485 | February 25, 2015

Today on Current State: Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann on the Red Cedar Golf Course development; Neighbors in Action: Arts Council of Greater Lansing; a Rwandan genocide survivor visits Fowler; and growing orchids.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Ingham official: 'Renaissance' development is "marriage made in heaven"

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Developers are about to become the owners of 30 acres of city land straddling Lansing and East Lansing. Monday evening, the Lansing City Council approved the sale of the former Red Cedar Golf Course property to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC. Developer Joel Ferguson and his partner Frank Kass want to build a $276-million complex at the site that could include a ten-story hotel, restaurant and housing. Part of the site would remain green space.

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Community
11:34 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Arts Council of Greater Lansing

Wednesday on Current State means Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn more about one of the cultural organizations of the Capital city, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.The Council celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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