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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History
10:58 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Remembering Michigan’s 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak

Credit Flickr - Rachel McBee

Fifty years ago today, people in six midwest states including Michigan were still in shock from a massive tornado outbreak April 11th and 12th. The 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak was the third deadliest on record in the U. S., and it helped to usher in the modern system of watches and warnings to inform people about severe weather.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:05 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Current State #515 | April 10, 2015

Today on Current State: The Capital City Film Festival kicks off and Live Music Friday features Ryan Shadbolt & The Weathermen.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Capital City Film Festival features more than 80 independent films, music

Credit Courtesy Capital City Film Festival

The fifth annual Capital City Film Festival is underway and runs through Sunday.

This year, the festival features not only about 80 independent films at venues in and near downtown Lansing,  but dozens of musicians coming together for live performances as well.

Current State welcomes the two co-directors of the 2015 event, Payal Ravani and Dominic Cochran.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Live Music Friday: Ryan Shadbolt & The Weathermen

Credit Courtesy Ryan Shadbolt

Our Live Music Friday guests today are Ryan Shadbolt and the Weathermen.

Ryan has performed extensively as a solo artist, and he’s also been the frontman of the Lansing band Delicious Bass.

The lineup also includes bassist Nathan Smathers, and Ryan Eggebrecht on djembe.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:08 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Current State #514 | April 9, 2015

Today on Current State: Michigan Environmental Council policy director James Clift on MSU's coal elimination plan; former Michigan Congressman Joe Schwarz and "Symphonic Cinema" at the Lansing Center.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:07 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

MI enviro praises MSU coal elimination plan

Michigan State University says it will eliminate coal as a fuel source by the end of 2016
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has announced the school will stop burning coal at the university sometime next year.  

In a webcast on “MSU’s Energy Future,” President Simon called sustainability a “guiding institutional principal” and said it’s “great opportunity” for the school to continue to reduce its environmental impact.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:07 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Classic cinema, symphony merge at Capital City Film Festival

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra will perform "Symphonic Cinema" Saturday evening at the Lansing Center.
Credit Courtesy Lansing Symphony Orchestra

The fifth annual Capital City Film Festival is underway in Lansing this week.

One of the marquee events pairs classic silent film and classical music, courtesy of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

“Symphonic Cinema” takes place at the Lansing Center this Saturday night at 8 p.m.  Admission is Free.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Capitol City film festival to feature ‘Keep GM’ story

Credit Monica Reida / Flickr

One of the most dramatic chapters in recent Lansing history involved the groundbreaking effort to ‘Keep GM’ that began in 1996.   Former Mayor David Hollister remembers well the day General Motors’ executive Ed Donovan shared with him “some good news and some bad news.” After the 100th birthday of Oldsmobile, the company wouldn't have any new product for Lansing. 

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Community
11:42 am
Wed April 8, 2015

NIA: Life As a Zebra Foundation

Katie Dama Jaskolski experience with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and postural tachycardia syndrome inspired her to found the non-profit Life as a Zebra Foundation to raise awareness and funding for rare diseases.
Credit April Van Buren / WKAR-MSU

Wednesday on CS means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we hear about a non-profit in the Lansing area that raises money for research into rare diseases. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:29 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Current State #512 | April 7, 2015

Today on Current State: Lansing city council member Carol Wood on the proposed 2016 city budget and an ICE operation at City Hall; a new curator for the Broad Art Museum; the piping plover makes a comeback and Bay City actress Katie Travis stars in "The Phantom of the Opera."

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:28 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Councilmember Wood: ICE operations in Lansing require better communicaton

Lansing City Council member Carol Wood says the city was not pre-informed of an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation at City Hall earlier this year.
Credit WKAR File Photo

Lansing's elected officials have begun discussions over the city's fiscal 2016 budget.  

Among other items, Mayor Virg Bernero's proposed spending plan calls for the creation new, high-ranking position at the Lansing Board of Water & Light.  

There's also ongoing discussion over pay raises for the mayor, city clerk and city council set to take effect on July 1.

Lansing city councilmember Carol Wood talks about budget issues...and about a recent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation at City Hall.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:28 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

New curator brings international experience to Broad Art Museum

Caitlin Doherty is the new curator of the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.
Credit Courtesy Caitlin Doherty

A new curator has begun work at MSU’s Broad Art Museum.  Caitlin Doherty has deep roots in contemporary art, having worked around the world in places as varied as rural Ireland and Doha, Qatar. Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with Caitlin Doherty about her career, her plans, and the recent death of the Broad’s founding director, Michael Rush. She says the job of a curator is to be a bridge between the artist, their creations, their vision, and potential exhibitions.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:27 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Piping plovers make comeback in the Great Lakes

The piping plover is a Michigan shorebird found mainly in the northern Lower Peninsula. After nearly becoming extinct, the species has made a remarkable recovery.
Credit Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Spring is in the air.

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the beaches of the Great Lakes are calling.

Well, maybe not for us humans yet.

The piping plover, on the other hand, will be packing its bags and headed for the lakeshore in the next couple of weeks.

The endangered species of shorebird was once almost extinct--with just 12 pairs left in the Great Lakes.

But thanks to conservation efforts, scientists are starting to see a rebound in the population.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:26 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Bay City native stars in "Phantom" at Wharton Center

Bay City native Katie Travis and Storm Lineberger perform in "The Phantom Of The Opera" now running at MSU's Wharton Center.
Credit Courtesy Wharton Center for Performing Arts

"The Phantom of the Opera” is in the middle of a two-week run at MSU’s Wharton Center. A singer-actress from Bay City has the lead role of Christine.  Current State's Mark Bashore talks with Katie Travis about what it's like to perform in the touring company of the most successful musical production of all time.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:16 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Current State #511 | April 6, 2015

Today on Current State:  a new Michigan State University survey on sexual assault; protecting baby animals in the wild; a former juvenile offender's prison story highlights flaws with the system and Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:16 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

MSU to gauge sexual assault climate on campus

MSU is distributing a voluntary online survey to gauge perceptions of sexual assault, and to assess how well their programs and services are working.
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

A survey distributed to all Michigan State University students asks them to offer their opinion about sexual assault.  MSU will use the information to assess the effectiveness of its current programs and services.

We talk with Paulette Granberry Russell, the university's Title IX Coordinator and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:15 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Baby animals may be best left alone

Credit Clay Junell/Flickr

Baby animals are making their way into the world as the weather gets warmer.  Here in mid-Michigan we might see fawns, newborn birds and rabbits and more.  But what if you see one without an obvious parent nearby?  Current State's Melissa Benmark talks with MSU professor of zoology Jim Harding.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:15 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Former juvenile inmate's story highlights justice system flaws

The Michigan Council on Crime and Deliquency is hosting a forum in Lansing Tuesday entitled "Youth Beyond Bars."
Credit Tim Pearce / Flickr

In the 1990s, many states, including Michigan, began getting tough on juvenile crime.

That meant harsher sentencing and sending more youth to adult prisons.

Between 2003 and 2013, Michigan sent thousands of youth under the age of 18 to serve time in adult prisons.

But many are beginning to question the effectiveness of those “tough on crime” policies.

Advocates for reform say that sending a young person to an adult prison can have devastating consequences.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:14 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

On opening day, Free Press reporter looks at 2015 Tigers

The Detroit Tigers kick off the 2015 season with a home opener today against the Minnesota Twins.
Credit George Thomas / Flickr

Spring only arrived a couple of weeks ago, but spring training baseball is over and it's time for the games to count!

It's Opening Day in Detroit, with the Tigers hosting the Minnesota Twins.  Current State's Mark Bashore talks with Detroit Free Press sportswriter Shawn Windsor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:49 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Current State #510 | April 3, 2015

Today on Current State: An analysis of Proposal 1 to fund road repairs in Michigan; a preview of Michigan State's Final Four matchup with Duke; Michigan Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Rich Studley on RFRA and talent development; and Live Music Friday with Brendan Doherty.

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Politics & Government
11:44 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Prop 1: more than just roads

In just over a month, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Proposal 1. That’s the statewide ballot initiative that would generate more than $1-billion to repair and maintain Michigan roads. It’s a complex plan with many parts, the implications of which reach beyond highways and bridges. If approved, the measure would enact a constitutional change to the state sales tax, and also trigger a number of statutory changes. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been following the developments of Proposal 1.

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Sports
11:37 am
Fri April 3, 2015

From EL to Indy: MSU in the Final Four

Credit Flickr - hilaryhiggins

Michigan State will play Duke Saturday night in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four. This team has had an impressive run through the latter stages of the Big Ten season, the Big Ten tournament and now the NCAA tournament. Can MSU beat the Blue Devils and then, either Kentucky or Wisconsin in the championship game on Monday night?

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Business
11:33 am
Fri April 3, 2015

State chamber CEO in sync with Snyder on RFRA, talent development

There are few issues of public importance in Michigan that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce does not weigh in on. The state chamber is the advocate for businesses and job providers across the state. It assists more than 6,000 member employers, trade associations and local chambers in the legislative, political and legal process.

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Fri April 3, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Brendan Doherty

Brendan Doherty (right) was joined by Jen Sygit to perform in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is Brendan Doherty. He’s an Irish guitarist-folk singer who’s new to East Lansing, after a life of performing all over the world. He’s joined today by a local favorite, Jen Sygit.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:59 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Current State #509 | April 2, 2015

Today on Current State: Legislation that would allow advanced practice registered nurses more authority to prescribe medications; an MSU student who is bicycling from East Lansing to Indianapolis for the Final Four; interim general manager Dick Peffley; the MSU College of Music's Cello Plus series; and Scott D. Southard reviews "The Rosie Effect" by Graeme Simsion.

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Health
12:57 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Proposed MI law would increase nurses’ authority

Cynthia McCurren
Credit www.gvsu.edu/kcon

Millions of people have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Will there be enough doctors for the influx of new patients? One solution to a potential doctor shortage is to give nurses with advanced training more autonomy. That’s what a bill currently in the State Senate would do. It would allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRN's, to prescribe medication and play a more prominent role in health care.

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Community
12:49 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

MSU student honors late friend with bike trip to Final Four

Derek Blalock goes for a warm-up ride near his East Lansing home before leaving Wednesday for Indianapolis. Blalock will embark on a 6,500 mile trip this summer to raise funds for heart screenings for middle and high school athletes.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

T-minus two days and counting. Two days left before the Spartan men’s basketball team strides into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face Duke University in the NCAA Final Four. This is Michigan State’s fourth time in the Final Four in a decade. and they’re hoping to carve out their first national title since 2000. Thousands of people are pouring into Indianapolis by car or plane this week.

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Arts & Culture
12:43 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

MSU Cello Plus series combines music and film

Suren Bagratuni
Credit WKAR file photo

The MSU College of Music’s Cello Plus series returns to Fairchild Theatre this Monday night at 7:30. WKAR will be there with a live broadcast on 90.5 Classical. Cello professor, string department chair and series founder Suren Bagratuni presents four diverse programs over the course of the week.

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Arts & Culture
12:37 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Book Review: Graeme Simsion's "The Rosie Effect"

It’s pretty common to hear people complain about the impact TV has on society. It ruins young minds. It contributes to obesity. It shortens attention spans. But while there’s plenty of talk about how bad television is for humans, no one ever talks about the influence it has on books. Exhibit A: "The Rosie Effect" by Graeme Simsion, which is the sequel to his New York Times bestseller "The Rosie Project".

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:33 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Current State #508 | April 1, 2015

Today on Current State: Business leaders consider an economic "grand bargain" for Michigan; a huge new automotive mural will grace a building in Lansing's REO Town; Neighbors in Action: Housing Services Mid Michigan; and a Michigan man pays homage to the bowling shoes of actor Dave Madden.

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