A recently retired Michigan State University employee is not taking his retirement lying down.
Back in March, Mr. Ken Dawson told Current State about his plan to spend five months hiking America’s Continental Divide. The 3,100-mile solo adventure began April 15 in in extreme southern New Mexico, not far from the Mexican border.
Current State’s Mark Bashore connected with Ken Dawson by phone on Saturday as he was passing through Pie Town, New Mexico.
Today on Current State: Proposal 1 opponent Paul Mitchell; solving the 1980 disappearance of a Michigan girl; a new assessment program placing at-risk kids in appropriate care settings; and Live Music Friday with Jen Sygit.
In four days, Michigan voters will decide whether or not to increase the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Proposal 1 would raise just over $1.2-billion which would, in a couple of years, be spent on road and bridge improvements. But the measure also earmarks about $800-million for areas including education, municipalities and help for some low income Michigan residents.
Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.
St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing is one of the largest human service providers in Michigan. One of its core missions is caring for at-risk children. Some have direct, ongoing ties with their parents, while others are in foster care. The organization has just completed its first year of a new clinical assessment program designed to place kids in the best possible care setting.
Our Live Music Friday guest today is local singer-songwriter Jen Sygit. Jen has been featured on WKAR-TV’s “Backstage Pass,” and she sat in a few weeks ago here on Current State with Brendan Doherty. It seems she’s everywhere there’s live music in Lansing, including the open mic scene, and she’s working on an exciting recording project we’ll learn more about.
Today on Current State: Month in Review for April on no-fault auto insurance reform, Proposal 1 and same-sex marriage; Lansing United kicks off its second soccer season; East Lansing voters consider decriminalizing marijuana and a charter amendment regarding the sale of city properties; and a preview of the upcoming Piano Monster concert.
Along with Proposal 1 to increase the state sales tax to fund road repairs going before voters in Michigan next Tuesday, East Lansing is presenting a couple of proposals to voters. One would allow for the use, possession and transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana on private property by people over the age of 21. The other would amend the city charter to allow for the sale of certain city properties with the approval of a simple majority of voters rather than the current requirement of approval by three-fifths of votes cast.
This Sunday at MSU’s Fairchild Theatre, four pianists on four grand pianos will fill the stage with the sounds of Dvořák, Debussy and much more. It’s the MSU College of Music’s 4th annual "Piano Monster" concert featuring faculty artists Panayis Lyras, Derek Polischuk, Zhihua Tang and piano faculty chair Deborah Moriarty.
Today on Current State: State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. discusses sex education reforms; Neighbors in Action: ePIFany Now; Public Poetry Announcement: T.S. Eliot; reforming no-fault auto insurance in Michigan; and "America's Got Downton" star Luke Kempner.
Two weeks ago, a now infamous sex education class at East Lansing High School unleashed strong reactions among parents and students. The abstinence-based course was conducted by Pregnancy Services of Greater Lansing, an organization that opposes abortion. The class provoked negative comments about the so-called SMART curriculum now in place at East Lansing High School.
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 look at ePIFany Now, an event coming up on Sunday. Participants will be given ideas on ways to pass kindness forward to others. Later that day, people will get back together to tell the stories of the things they did and the reactions of those they helped along the way.
April is National Poetry Month, and before we get to the tulips and sunny days of May, we wanted to take some time to listen to one of the most famous poems about this month. Here is Director of the Michigan State University Center for Poetry Anita Skeen reading an excerpt from “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot.
Michigan legislators are in a pitched and partisan battle over proposed reforms to the state’s auto no-fault insurance system. Mainly Republican reformers are intent on lowering the state’s sky-high car insurance premiums by imposing cost controls on catastrophic accident claims. Mainly Democratic opponents say the move threatens a strong system that may be the best in the nation. Many allege it’s a money grab by the insurance industry and their allies in the legislature.
“Downton Abbey” is the biggest hit show on PBS in many years. So popular, in fact, that a one-man show poking gentle fun at “Downton Abbey” is touring the country, including a stop at MSU’s Wharton Center this week.
Today on Current State: The U.S. Supreme Court arguments over Michigan's same-sex marriage ban; birdwatching at the Harris Nature Center; Great Lakes Month in Review examines the drought in California; the student-made documentary "Gay from Gaylord" explores LGBTQ life in northern Michigan; and Steven Terry discusses his book "Michigan Agricultural College Campus Life 1900-1925: A Postcard Tour.”
The day millions of Americans have been waiting for is finally here. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a series of cases focusing on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Thirty-six states currently allow the practice. Michigan is not one of them. Michigan joins three other states in defending their bans.
From March Madness to April showers, the signs of spring have been making their arrival in Michigan these past few weeks. You’ve probably also noticed a few more bird songs accompanying those first rays of morning light. Bird enthusiasts such as Harris Nature Center bird naturalist Clare Bratton have been venturing out more and more lately, binoculars at the ready.
At the end of each month, Current State checks 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’re focusing on agriculture and water across the country, from California to the Great Lakes.
The lives of LGBTQ Americans are more visible than they’ve ever been before. In the past decade, the number of television shows and movies feature gay, lesbian, and transgender characters has exploded. Celebrities and public figures are more open about their sexual orientations.
Steven Terry of Williamston is the first ever deltiologist, or collector of picture postcards, to appear on Current State. His collection numbers around a thousand. A specialty is postcards featuring images of the MSU, or more correctly, the Michigan Agricultural College campus from about a century ago.
Today on Current State: The "Safe Roads Yes!" campaign for Proposal 1; an American food culture exhibit at the Broad Art Museum; the role of the Michigan Air National Guard in the fight against ISIS; MSU studies the role of belly fat in high blood pressure; and WKAR's Al Martin discusses the MSU spring football game.
The months-long discussion about whether to raise Michigan's sales tax by a penny is nearing an end. Voters will decide the issue next Tuesday. According to Michigan’s ‘Citizens Research Council,” the measure would eventually generate about an additional $1.3-billion to be spent on the state’s roads and bridges. It creates a new formula for assessing the state’s gas tax, which would be tied to the wholesale price of gasoline. At current prices, it would go up about 10 cents per gallon. Whatever the increase, it would be lessened somewhat by the removal of sales tax from gasoline.
When you think of American food, you probably see hamburgers, hotdogs, maybe french fries. But there’s a lot more to food culture in the United States than typical drive through fare. The evolution of what and how Americans eat is the focus of a new exhibit at the Broad Art Museum.
The Michigan Air National Guard has sent troops to the Middle East to, in the words of military officials, “eliminate” ISIS, the terrorist group responsible for numerous acts of violence in Iraq and Syria. About 350 airmen based at Selfridge Air National Guard base near Detroit are now in the region, as well as twelve A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. The A-10, nicknamed, the “Warthog,” is equipped with a high-powered rotary cannon capable of destroying a tank.
For a while now, medical professionals have thought there was a connection between abdominal fat and high blood pressure. Turns out, that belly fat may be more or less talking to the body’s blood vessels. The National Institutes of Health has given a grant to some MSU researchers who want to listen in on what that conversation might be.
MSU football fans made history over the weekend. A record 48,000 people packed Spartan Stadium on Saturday to witness this year’s Green and White scrimmage. It was the largest attendance ever recorded for the annual spring tradition.
Today on Current State: Abstinance sex education instruction; the Detroit Zoo works to turn poop into electricity; Lansing city councilmember Vincent Delgado decides not to run in the 2015 election; Michigan's boat building history; and Live Music Friday with Rob Klajda of The Lash.