Mike Whorf is known to countless Michigan and midwestern radio listeners as the long-time host of WJR's Kaleidoscope. The daily program which aired from the mid-1960s to the late 90s won the coveted Peabody Award in 1968...as well as numerous other statewide and national honors.
Kaleidoscope brought listeners an hour-long journey into people, places and events - woven together with period music, archival news recordings, and Whorf's distinctive narrative.
Today on Current State: City Pulse's Andy Balaskovitz on the latest Lansing city council squabble, potential sale of city's Board of Water and Light; Neighbors in Action features ePIFanyNOW; solutions to record low water levels in Great Lakes ; an "owl prowl"; and Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Doug Rothwell.
Each Wednesday in our Neighbors in Action segment, we feature a person or an organization that is working to make our community a better place.
This is a listener-generated segment, meaning that each week, the person or organization we highlight will be nominated by you.
For this week, we look at ePIFanyNOW, which organizes at least two events a year where everyone and anyone is invited to gather together and pass kindness forward. Started in 2009, the events have drawn so much interest that last year, ePIFanyNOW was featured on the CBS Evening News.
This month Lake Michigan and Lake Huron hit record low water levels. The receding water is causing environmental and economic problems in the Great Lakes Basin.
To offset the water levels, Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a $21 million budget to dredge harbors. Patrick Doran, director of conservation for the Michigan Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Jon Allan, director of the Office of the Great Lakes, discuss dredging and the future of the Great Lakes’ water levels.
The organization Business Leaders for Michigan calls itself the state’s “business roundtable.” It’s comprised of the top executives of Michigan’s largest corporations and universities. The organization develops strategy and advocates policy that its members believe can grow the state’s economy.
Today on Current State: Lansing City Council member Brian Jeffries and Lansing Township Supervisor Kathy Rodgers discuss the sale of Waverly Golf Course; MSU jazz professor Rodney Whitaker reflects on his career and previews an upcoming performance; founders of the Birmingham Urban League recall Alabama in the 1960s; and the MSU band's role in big games.
About a year ago, Lansing voters approved a proposal to sell the 120-acre Waverly Golf Course, along with the adjacent Michigan Avenue Park. Last night, the Lansing City Council considered the next step -- a formal decision to sell the land. Lansing City Councilman Brian Jeffries, who heads the council’s planning and development committee, and Lansing Township Supervisor Kathy Rodgers discuss what this means, along with the larger future involving all that park and green space on Lansing’s Westside.
MSU Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker and theProfessors of Jazz play at Cook Recital Hall in the MSU Music Building on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. The concert happens to coincide with Prof. Whitaker's birthday.
WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with the musician about the milestone performance.
Alabama in the 1960s was at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. The bus boycotts, the marches, the sit-ins, the snarling dogs and gushing fire hoses -- many of that era’s iconic moments happened in Alabama.
Under the leadership of Whitney Young, the National Urban League, which is one of our country’s oldest civil rights organizations, joined the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and others in the fight to end Jim Crow segregation in the Deep South.
John Madden is associate professor of music, associate director of bands, and director of the Spartan Marching Band at Michigan State University. Professor Madden and the Spartan Brass will be embedded in the Izzone tonight as the Spartans square off against the Michigan Wolverines for their first-ever meeting as Top-10 ranked teams.
Today on Current State: Local business leader and chairman of the MSU Board of Trustees Joel Ferguson opens up about business, politics; 21st century community building around the #lovelansing Twitter hashtag; sports with the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode, Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock.
Joel Ferguson has been among Lansing’s most influential people in business, politics and community service for many years. The founder and president of Ferguson Development is also active in Democratic party politics statewide and nationally. And he currently serves as president of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.
A unique community has evolved around the #lovelansing Twitter hashtag. It started as a way for Lansing-lovers to tweet the places they go and things they do. It’s now full of retail and restaurant specials, sure, but also links to Lansing State Journal articles, cultural events, and it’s even been used to rally volunteers during a holiday shortage of meal deliverers.
Early users Robin Miner-Swartz and Belinda Thurston discuss the evolution of the #lovelansing hashtag.
Detroit Free Press sportswriter Joe Rexrode joins us every Monday and Friday to discuss what's happening in the sports world -- from Michigan State to local prep athletics to the pro leagues. This time, he previews tomorrow's huge men's basketball game between Michigan and Michigan State in East Lansing.
Coming up this week on Current State, you'll hear the sounds of Chinese New Year in Mid-Michigan from Saturday's Meridian Mall festivities. Hundreds gathered for music, dance, painting, games and many other Chinese arts and traditions in celebration of the Year of the Snake. Later in the week, a visit to the Harris Nature Center's Owl Prowl with Park Naturalist Katie Adams. Just how many kinds of owls call Michigan home? What do they sound like? Katie tells all.
Today on Current State: State Budget Director John Nixon and State Representative Sam Singh discuss Governor Snyder's budget proposal, sports with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, the largest LGBT college student conference comes to Lansing this weekend, Kirk Cousins on his NFL rookie year, and a breakdown of the Grammy nominees in classical music.
Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his fiscal year 2014 budget on Thursday. The $50 billion spending plan calls for increases in education funding, as well as in health, public safety and other areas. The administration also wants to hike gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to help pay for more than a billion dollars in road and infrastructure repairs.
What’s being billed as the nation’s largest gay college student conference will be held this weekend in Lansing. The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference expects 2,000 people to attend at the Lansing Center. It was organized by students from Michigan State University, and is open to all college students. Erica Shekell, director of marketing and public relations for the conference, discusses the weekend's events.
Former Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins was back in Michigan yesterday headlining the MSU Club of West Michigan's third annual Spartan Winter Tailgate in Grand Rapids. Current State contributor Russ White caught up with Cousins yesterday.
Russ White can be heard every Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. on MSU Today on AM870 WKAR or at SpartanPodcast.com.
The 55th Grammy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday night at 8pm on CBS. Millions of eyes and ears will be turned to some of the world’s most popular music that evening.
Classical music, as usual, will be somewhat of a sidebar. The classical Grammys are typically announced off-camera in a separate awards ceremony. But the fact remains that the breadth and depth of classical music leads to a large number of categories, nominations and awards.
Today on Current State: Michigan moves closer to expanding Medicaid, assessing MSU and U of M football recruiting classes, a Public Poetry Announcement featuring Robert Hayden, the murals on West Saginaw in Lansing, and a preview of the MSU Symphony's upcoming performance.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made it official yesterday: He supports expanding the state’s Medicaid program.
The federal Affordable Care Act offers to cover the costs of all the newly insured for three years. That could total up to a half-million Michigan residents. Proponents cite the savings to hospitals for no longer having to eat the emergency room costs of the poor who can’t pay. Currently, those costs are now passed along to the hospitals’ other paying customers.
National Signing Day is a minor secular holiday for college football fans. It's the day when the nation's top-rated recruits announce where they'll be playing football next year. Local sports journalist Jack Ebling breaks down yesterday's announcements and who's joining the Spartans and the Wolverines.
The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Friday, Feb. 8, at the Wharton Center. They’ll play Beethoven’s First Symphony, music from Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid,” and “The Chairman Dances” by John Adams. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with MSU Director of Orchestras Kevin Noe about the the program, starting with the Beethoven, which has a beginning that almost sounds like an ending.