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
12:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Lansing's Earl Nelson Singers Celebrate 50 Years

The Earl Nelson Singers are performing in Lansing this Monday.
Credit michiganhistory.org

A notable Lansing-area choir is observing its 50th anniversary this year. The Earl Nelson Singers are celebrating half a century of spirituals with a concert in downtown Lansing on Monday. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark checked in with the director of the group and her husband, who’s a member, for some of their musical memories.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:42 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

House Minority leader Tim Greimel

Democratic State Representative Tim Greimel is serving his first full term in the Michigan House. It’s also his first as the leader of his party’s caucus.  

Representative Greimel speaks with Current State host Mark Bashore about the Snyder administration's education project, his party’s struggle for influence in the GOP-majority legislature and likely Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and Governor.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

MSU Wind Symphony performs as part of Latin IS America festival

The MSU Wind Symphony will perform at the Wharton Center at 7:30 p.m., on April 25.
Credit Courtesy of MSU College of Music

Latin IS America is a a celebration of the intersections between Latin American and U.S. culture. The festival started on April 15 and will close on April 27.

This Thursday, the event will feature the MSU Wind Symphony at Wharton Center. WKAR’s Peter Whorf previews the concert with MSU Director of Bands Kevin Sedatole.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:09 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Niowave dispute comes to an end

Residents of Lansing's Walnut neighborhood have complained about the barn's appearance since last July.
Credit File photo

For months, residents of Lansing's Walnut neighborhood and Niowave have a argued over how to improve the appearance of the particle accelerator company's pole barn. Bob Trezise, the executive director of  the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, updates the situation.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:50 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Greater Lansing African American Health Institute

The Greater Lansing Afrian American Health Institute will hold an open house at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at Lansing Letts Community Center.
Credit Courtesy of Greater Lansing African American Health Institute

For this week’s Neighbors in Action segment we feature the Greater Lansing African American Health Institute, or GLAAHI. Based out of Lansing’s Letts Community Center, the GLAAHI offers a variety of programs, including smoking cessation groups, food donations and assistance with health care needs. Current State's host Mark Bashore talks with Eldon Liggons, the executive director of the institute, and Dr. Don Williams, the board chairman and an MSU emeritus professor of psychiatry.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:23 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Current State #72 | April 23, 2013

Today on Current State: Councilwoman Jessica Yorko on city budget; the drawbacks of dredging; dispute over Ingham county recordkeeping; and Angela Wittrock with Lansing business news.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:22 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Dispute over Ingham circuit court recordkeeping suggests changes ahead

A minor turf war over public records is taking shape in Ingham County.

While the dispute is being downplayed by its two participants---Clerk Barb Byrum and Chief Circuit Court Judge Janelle Lawless---some observers suggest it’s symptomatic of a larger, ongoing problem:  poor public access to documents.

Current State host Mark Bashore visited with both Barb Byrum and Judge Janelle Lawless to learn more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:14 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Councilwoman Yorko on city budget

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Jessica Yorko.
Credit courtesy of lansingmi.gov

The Lansing City Council continued discussions of Mayor Virg Bernero’s proposed 2014 budget yesterday.  This time, the council focused on Bernero’s  spending plan for the city’s fire department.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Michigan DEQ limits environmental impacts of dredging

Dredging permits can take take 60 to 90 days to be granted.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This year record low water levels have spurred the Michigan government to spend over $20 million on dredging. Many hope dredging will enable recreational and commercial boating to continue, preventing revenue loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:19 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock

MLive's Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins us every week for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:29 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Current State #71 | April 22, 2013

Today on Current State: oil spill clean-up on Kalamazoo River continues; “Chasing Ice” documentary; new solar-powered electric charging stations in Lansing; and the Supreme Court hears case on gene patenting.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:24 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Two and a half years later, oil spill clean-up continues on Kalamazoo River

A ruptured pipeline contaminated 4o miles of the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
Flickr

It’s been two and a half years since an oil pipeline owned by the Canadian company Enbridge ruptured near Marshall, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. The incident has been one of the costliest oil spills in U.S. history and the clean-up is still ongoing.

Steve Hamilton, an MSU scientist who has been monitoring the clean-up, updates Current State on the situation. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:16 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Film 'Chasing Ice' documents the melting of polar ice cap

The MSU Department of Geography will screen the film 'Chasing Ice' at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th.
Credit Courtesy of James Balog

This week, MSU Department of Geography will host filmmaker Jeff Orlowski for a screening of his documentary “Chasing Ice.” The movie documents the work of National Geographic photographer James Balog. Through both film and time-lapse photography, Balog  chronicled the melting of glacial ice.  Current State’s Scott Pohl speaks with Jeff Orlowski, the director of "Chasing Ice."

Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

New solar-powered electric charging stations come to Lansing

The electric plug at the BWL's solar-powered charging station provides 240 volts' worth of power.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

In 2010, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) established its Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project. With funding from the U.S. department of Energy, the BWL installed an array of electric vehicle charging stations across the Lansing area to promote this emerging technology.  Now, the utility is taking another step towards building an electric car infrastructure.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:06 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

SCOTUS takes up of gene patenting

The case focuses on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes are used in tests to determine if a person has a heightened risk of hereditary ovarian or breast cancer.
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

  The Supreme Court heard arguments last week about whether human genes can be patented. The court’s ruling could drastically change the biotech industry and also the way universities do research.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:39 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Current State #70 | April 19, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing police chief retires; folk legend Tom Paxton; Michigan tourism; world renowned trumpeter Alison Balsom; and the Lansing Marathon.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:23 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Lansing police chief Teresa Szymanski retires

Teresa Szymanski also offers insight on police training post 9/11.
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

 Teresa Szymanski joined the Lansing Police Department in 1987. She earned her stripes over the years and rose to become the city’s police chief in 2010.  Her tenure has been marked with successes and setbacks.

Chief Szymanski is retiring from the Lansing Police Department this week.  She chats with Current State about her time at the helm of Lansing law enforcement.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Folk legend Tom Paxton discusses career and upcoming concert

Tom Paxton's decades-long career encompasses over 40 studio albums, a string of children’s CD’s and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
Credit Flickr

Folk singer Tom Paxton recently said that he enjoys songwriting more than ever.  That’s especially noteworthy since he’s been doing that since the 60’s.  Then, Paxton was at the center of America’s folk revival, performing in Greenwich Village with the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others.  

Tom Paxton talks about singing, songwriting and his eventful musical career with Current State.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:54 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Trumpeter Alison Balsom plays Hill Auditorium this weekend

World renowned trumpeter, Alison Balsom said she is looking forward to performing at Hill Auditorium because of the great acoustics it has to offer for her style of music.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Trumpeter Alison Balsom is one of the world’s premiere performers on the classical stage and on major recording labels.  She comes to Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium Saturday, April 20th. WKAR's Peter Whorf previews her concert.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:51 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Michigan’s tourism industry continues to grow

Michigan's museums and national parks saw increases in tourism last year.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The state of Michigan saw an increase in tourism spending in 2012, most of which can be attributed to travelers from other states.

This week, at the annual Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism,  MSU professor and tourism expert Sarah Nicholls predicted another year of industry growth.  Nicholls speaks with Current States Emanuele Berry to unveil more tourism trends and plans for Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:39 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Second annual Lansing marathon this weekend

The course for the race was slightly altered because of high water levels along the Grand River.
Credit via Jan Willem van Wessel Flicker

 

 Runners from around Michigan, the Midwest, Europe and South America will gather on Sunday for the second annual Lansing Marathon. At last years inaugural event, about 1,700 runners participated in either the marathon itself, the half-marathon or any of three other events. Race director Owen Anderson joins Current State to discuss the race's economic impact, security and other aspects of the event.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:13 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Current State #69 | April 18, 2013

Today on Current State: MSU's renewable energy plan; critical bacteria research; the impressive career of WKAR's Dick Estell; and pianist Bob Baldori.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

MSU addresses sustainability efforts, shift toward renewable energy

Currently under 2 percent of the MSU's energy portfolio is renewable.
Credit Courtesy of Michigan State University

 In a plan adopted last year by its Board of Trustees, Michigan State University committed to an “energy future” comprised 100% of renewable energy sources.  This week, University President Lou Anna K. Simon updates the effort in her second annual energy roundtable, which will be a live webcast.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:29 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Research on bacteria could lead to paradigm shift in medicine

There’s been a thrust in research over the last several years concerning the bacteria that live on and inside the human body. The early findings have been astounding and seem to point to a paradigm shift in medicine.

The research could unveil new methods to treat all sorts of common diseases, including diabetes, asthma and even obesity. MSU microbiologist Robert Britton explains the enormous potential behind research into what’s called the human microbiome.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

WKAR legend Dick Estell's rich radio history

Estell also did some TV work at WKAR. He hosted a program in the early 1980’s called 'Estell At Large.'
Credit WKAR file photo

Dick Estell is the longtime host of The Radio Reader on WKAR AM 870.  His program can be heard not just in mid-Michigan, but on dozens of public radio stations across the country.  

Next year, Dick Estell celebrates 50 years on the program. But his radio roots go back even farther.  He joined WKAR in 1955 as a student announcer, and by 1964, he was the station manager.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:42 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

'Boogie Bob' Baldori of The Woolies on career, new film

In 1964, musician Bob Baldori founded the rock band The Woolies.
Credit w.r. richards/WKAR

Pianist Bob Baldori's musical career has led him to countless gigs with the likes of Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

In recent years, “Boogie Bob” has spent a lot of time playing boogie woogie piano music around the world with Bob Seeley. Their time together has been documented in the movie Boogie Stomp, which the East Lansing Film Society is screening this month.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Current State #68 | April 17, 2013

Today on Current State: Former priest makes his case for change in the Catholic Church; MSU Science Fest ; Author David Shields;  and Hospice of Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:55 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Former priest makes case for ordination of women

Many wonder if Pope Francis will take a more liberal position on women seeking priesthood.
Credit Flickr

For more than 40 years, Roy Bourgeois’ life has been devoted to an often controversial liberal activism. The former Catholic priest is the founder of the Schools of the Americas Watch and has spent eight years in prison for illegal protests.  Five years ago, the 74-year old was excommunicated for his support of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Inaugural MSU Science Festival features hands-on learning

The MSU Science Festival runs from April 12 to April 21. All events are free and open to the public.
Credit Courtesy of MSU Science Festival

The first-ever Michigan State University Science Festival is underway. It’s a chance for learners of all ages to explore the science that touches our everyday lives. Hiram Fitzgerald, the associate provost of Outreach and Engagement at MSU, and Renee Leone, the coordinator of the MSU Science Festival, joined WKAR’s Melissa Benmark to unveil more details about the festival. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:17 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Author David Shields shuns novels, favors hybrid storytelling

David Shields has received many fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship.
Credit http://davidshields.com/

Renowned author David Shields will be on the MSU campus at Wells Hall today (Wednesday, April 17) for a lecture on his latest book How Literature Saved My Life. The author of 14 books and the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. Shields discusses his work and his take on current literary storytelling.

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