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
12:17 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Current State #479 | February 17, 2015

Today on Current State: Carmine Polombo of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments on Michigan's multi-million dollar investment in idle rail cars; MSU's new film studies degree program; climate engineering; and East Lansing author Susan Froetschel on her new novel “Allure of Deceit”.

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Economy
12:16 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

MI rail supporter responds to MDOT "debacle"

Credit http://www.semcog.org/

Commuter rail plans in southeast Michigan are drawing fire from state legislators and other officials. The criticism stems from millions of dollars being spent on unused rail cars. Those rail cars await completion of projects between Ann Arbor and Detroit and between Ann Arbor and Howell. The Detroit Free Press, reporting on what it describes as “a $12-million debacle”, says the costs are to lease and refurbish 23 used rail cars MDOT acquired from a Chicago rail  system.

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Education
12:00 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

MSU launches film studies degree program

MSU professor Joshua Yumibe
Credit english.msu.edu/

The Oscars will be handed out next Sunday night. This is the 87th year for the Academy Awards. The subtle nuances of film make for an entertaining past time. But the cinema is also a serious course of study for many people. Now, Michigan State University has created a new Bachelor of Arts program in film studies.

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Environment
11:53 am
Tue February 17, 2015

US scientists urge more research on climate engineering

University of Michigan professor Dr. Joyce Penner
Credit http://aoss.engin.umich.edu/

Machines that suck carbon out of the air. Fertilizing the ocean with iron to stimulate phytoplankton. Spraying sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun and cool the earth. These scenarios might sound like science fiction, but they are increasingly being considered by scientists as a potentially necessary tool in the fight against climate change.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Local author pens novel set in East Lansing and Afghanistan

Susan Froetschel's new novel 'Allure of Deceit' is a follow-up to 'Fear of Beauty'.
Credit www.froetschel.com

East Lansing novelist Susan Froetschel has published “Allure of Deceit”, a tale that takes place in Afghanistan and East Lansing. It’s the sequel to her well-received “Fear of Beauty”.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:53 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Current State #478 | February 16, 2015

Today on Current State: U-M anticipates driverless cars; preserving the ancient sport of falconry; an MSU study on blood clots and Lansing's new "Audio Air Force."

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Business
12:53 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

U-M study anticipates impact of driverless cars

Credit Flickr/Department for Transport

Gradually, Ann Arbor is becoming known for a remarkably futuristic technology: the self-driving car.

This spring, work is expected to wrap up on a 32-acre “driverless town” on the outskirts of the city. There, Google and others will be testing vehicles featuring an array of cutting edge technology.  

One goal is a driverless vehicle not only programmed to follow a particular route, but also to avoid all kinds of less predictable developments: mistakes by other drivers, changes in the road surface, weather and so on.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:53 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Michiganders preserve ancient art of falconry

Hamdy Kassem is a master falconer. Perched on his arm is "Skunk," a 14-year-old female red-tailed hawk.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

From ancient China to modern day Michigan, the history of falconry spans both continents and centuries.

In medieval Europe, hunting with birds of prey was known as “the sport of kings,” with certain breeds reserved for the aristocracy.

While you don’t have to be royal to be a falconer anymore, it’s still a pretty exclusive club.

There are only about 130 licensed falconers in the state of Michigan.

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Health
12:52 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

MSU studies home treatment for blood clots

Credit Flickr/La Melodie

Blood clots have been in the news lately, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recovers from one in his leg. The governor was hospitalized for treatment, but what if clots were better treated at home? A new MSU study will look at home versus hospital care. 

Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with Dr. Paul Stein, a professor of osteopathic medical specialties in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, who is one of the study’s leaders.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Lansing-based "Audio Air Force" revives theater of the mind

Credit Courtesy Audio Air Force

When you think of the golden days of radio, you might think of fancy productions like “The Lone Ranger” or “The Shadow”. These programs have often been referred to as “theater of the mind.”

One local radio veteran is starting up a new troupe that he hopes will stage live audio-based productions for fans of not only the old-time shows, but more modern efforts like “A Prairie Home Companion.”  It’s called the Audio Air Force. There’s an organizational meeting at 7 p-m tonight at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.

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

Current State #477 | February 13, 2015

Today on Current State: The possible link between "Fifty Shades of Grey" and domestic abuse; "I Love Lucy On Stage" at the Wharton Center; students from Stockbridge study marine biology underwater in Florida; Rodney Whitaker on tonight's Professors of Jazz concert; and a return to the "Conceived in Liberty" exhibit at the Michigan Historical Center.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:05 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

"Fifty Shades" sparks MSU domestic abuse study

Dr. Amy Bonomi, professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU.
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Today, the 100-million-plus purchasers of the erotic romance novel “Fifty Shade of Grey" can  see the movie adaptation of the story by E.L. James. Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star as a couple whose relationship is focused on pushing sexual boundaries. The controversial story led to some interesting research at Michigan State University.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Loving "Lucy" at Wharton

Euriamis Losada (left) plays Ricky Ricardo in 'I Love Lucy On Stage' with Thea Brooks as Lucille Ball.
Credit http://www.ilovelucylive.com/

One of the icons of TV’s early days is Lucille Ball. Her shows, most notably “I Love Lucy”, have endured for decades. This weekend, a stage production based on the smash hit sitcom will be at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Education
11:48 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Stockbridge students dive into marine biology

Madelyn Armstrong (left) and Chloe Hypes are among a group of students from Stockbridge High School who spent 24 hours in a submersible chamber in Key Largo, Florida. They spoke with students back in Stockbridge via Skype.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Back in October, we told you on this program about a team of students at Stockbridge High School in rural Ingham County who build robots. The Stockbridge students build underwater robots that search for downed World War Two aircraft in the South Pacific. Now, some of the kids are off on another expedition where it’s considerably warmer than it is here.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Bassist Whitaker leads Professors of Jazz performance

Rodney Whitaker is director of Jazz Studies at MSU’s College of Music.
Credit http://music.msu.edu/

Rodney Whitaker is professor of double bass and director of Jazz Studies at MSU’s College of Music. He’ll lead the Professors of Jazz in an 8 p.m. performance tonight at MSU’s Cook Recital Hall. Current State's Peter Whorf got together with Whitaker this week to talk about Friday’s performance and some other jazz events in the coming months.

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History
11:36 am
Fri February 13, 2015

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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Radio Made in Michigan
11:33 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Current State #476 | February 12, 2015

Today on Current State: Two members of the state House Appropriations committee, Sam Singh and Earl Poleski, respond to Gov. Snyder's budget plan; sled dog races in Michigan; Harry Belafonte; and the Michigan music scene with Anne Erickson of the Lansing State Journal.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Appropriations committee members respond to Snyder budget

State Representatives Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Earl Poleski (R-Jackson), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Stakeholders across Michigan are responding to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal. The $54-billion spending plan includes increases in education, job training and the state police. It also includes spending reductions in about a dozen state agencies. As always, there’s something for almost everyone to like and to dislike.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:24 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Midwest mushers head to UP

Credit http://up200.org/

From "Iron Will" to "Balto", American pop culture is full of books and movies about the Iditarod. The 1000 mile race through Alaska is probably the most famous sled dog race in the world. But it’s not the only one. This weekend, mushers from across the Midwest and Canada will gather in Marquette for the UP 200, Midnight Run, and Jack Pine 30 races.

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Artist, activist Harry Belafonte speaks at MSU

Harry Belafonte speaks on the MSU campus today, part of the Slavery to Freedom lecture series.
Credit Courtesy photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited from its original airing on 90.5 FM and AM 870 WKAR.

He was born in Harlem, but he had a voice that came straight from Haiti. He’s won three of the entertainment industry’s Big Four: three Grammys, an Emmy and a Tony. A star of the stage and the studio, and a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He's the legendary Harry Belafonte. Today, he’ll speak at Michigan State University about his passion for civil rights.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu February 12, 2015

MI MUSIC SCENE: LSJ's Anne Erickson on Lord Huron, Grammys, upcoming concerts

Okemos native Ben Schneider (second from left) leads Lord Huron.
Credit Josh Sanseri

Every month here on Current State, we get an update on the Michigan music scene, with the latest news on upcoming releases and concerts. Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with Lansing State Journal Things To Do reporter and music columnist Anne Erickson about the upcoming release of the second Lord Huron album, Beck's surprise Album of the Year Grammy Award, and the big Michigan concerts for January.

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

Current State #475 | February 11, 2015

Today on Current State: Other states may be models for Michigan veterans services; Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now; State Rep. Gretchen Driskell's bid to unseat Cong. Tim Walberg; and Neighbors in Action: Bikers for Books.

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

Other states may be models for Michigan veterans services

State officials estimate about 30,000 military veterans live in the Lansing region. A new program aims to connect veterans’ services such as health care and educational benefits more efficiently.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:36 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now

MSU researcher Chris Adami
Credit https://natsci.msu.edu/

Evolutionary biologists at MSU have determined that a spouse in the hand is better than one that might be more suitable down the road.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Wed February 11, 2015

State Rep. Driskell launches campaign to oust Cong. Walberg

State Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Not long after Michigan voters decided Congressional contests around the state, a 7th District Democrat has declared her candidacy in next year’s election. On Monday, at appearances throughout the district including Delta Township and Jackson, State Rep. Gretchen Driskell announced that she’s a candidate. The Democrat from Saline says the 7th “isn’t getting the representation it deserves.”

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Community
11:25 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Bikers for Books

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Bikers for Books, an organization that raises money for local schools through motorcycle rides and other fundraisers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:32 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Current State #474 | February 10, 2015

Today on Current State: Training the next generation of farmers at the MSU Organic Farm; National Geographic Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg; Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council Executive Director Jeremy Orr; and the online classic rock radio station Okemos Brewing Company.

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Education
11:30 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Fledgling farmers learn the business of ag at MSU

Jeremy Moghtader of the MSU Organic Farm (center) and Joannee DeBrahl (right) of Stone Coop Farm, with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

American agriculture is graying. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in the U.S. is now 58. Around a third are already over 65. That begs the question of what happens when those farmers retire? With fewer young people considering careers in agriculture, experts are worried about the future of food production here in the U.S. That’s why the most recent Farm Bill is setting aside more money to train and support fledgling farmers.

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Business
11:23 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Michigan native takes the helm at National Geographic

National Geographic Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg met with MSU students during a visit to East Lansing this week.
Credit courtesy MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences

For generations, National Geographic magazine has brought images of the world, both stunning and subtle, to millions of people. It’s parent organization, the National Geographic Society, was founded in 1888 by 33 men whose ranks included John Wesley Powell, the explorer who led a famous expedition to the Grand Canyon in 1869. Today, National Geographic continues its scientific and educational mission in the digital age. Susan Goldberg is the magazine’s editor in chief.

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Environment
11:17 am
Tue February 10, 2015

New Lansing enviro leader focuses on environmental justice

Jeremy Orr is the new executive director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Credit http://www.midmeac.org/

Have you ever been strolling along the Red Cedar River and noticed a group of people in waders hunting for bugs? If you have, there’s a good chance they were volunteers with the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council. The grassroots group has been around for over 20 years and focuses on environmental issues in the mid-Michigan area, including river protection, green transportation, land use and sustainability. The organization recently hired a new executive director. Jeremy Orr is a Spartan alum and is returning to Lansing to take the reins of MMEAC.

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