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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Economy
2:22 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock

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

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:00 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Year Of The Snake, Night Of The Owl

Saturday's Chinese New Year Festivities at Meridian Mall
Peter Whorf

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.

Radio Made in Michigan
5:24 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Current State #20 | February 8, 2013

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.

Politics & Government
5:11 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Governor Snyder's budget proposal for fiscal year 2014

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.  

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Sports
4:57 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Sports check-in with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press

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.

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Arts & Culture
4:51 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Lansing hosts largest LGBT college student conference in nation this weekend

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.

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Sports
12:32 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Former MSU QB Kirk Cousins on his NFL rookie year

Former MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins showed flashes of success as a rookie backup for the Washington Redskins' RGIII.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Music
12:17 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

WKAR’s music team breaks down Classical Music Grammy nominees

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:54 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Current State #19 | February 7, 2013

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.

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Health
12:08 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Medicaid expansion in Michigan closer to reality

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.

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Sports
11:59 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Grading the football recruiting hauls for MSU, U of M

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.  

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Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Public Poetry Announcement: Introduction and poet Robert Hayden

Michigan poet Robert Hayden was the first African American to be named, what is now called, poet laureate.

Today we’re starting a new recurring segment on Current State. It’s called Public Poetry Announcement.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The history behind the murals at Shanora's Beauty and Barber Supply

The murals at Lansing's Shanora's Beauty and Barber Supply, 829 W. Saginaw St., celebrate figures in African American culture.
Credit Peter Whorf/WKAR

Just a few blocks northwest of the Capitol building is Shanora’s Beauty and Barber Supply at 829 West Saginaw Street. Shanora’s was established by its owner Ora Fuller 29 years ago today.

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Music
11:07 am
Thu February 7, 2013

MSU Symphony Orchestra’s latest program includes Beethoven, Copland

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:55 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Current State #18 | February 6, 2013

Today on Current State: Newly elected 68th District Representative Andy Schor, Neighbors in Action features literacy non-profit Lansing RIF, a new report about arts in Michigan's economy, state leaders outline new initiatives for Michigan veterans, and remembering the old Stroh's Brewery. 

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Politics & Government
5:49 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

New Legislator Preview: Rep. Andy Schor, 68th District

Newly elected State Representative Andy Schor (D, 68th) discusses his career in Michigan politics and outlines his legislative agenda.

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Education
5:35 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Neighbors in Action: Lansing RIF

Each Wednesday on 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.

This week we look more closely at the Lansing chapter of Reading is Fundamental, or RIF. RIF is a national program that encourages children around the country to read. Jennifer Otto, the director of Lansing RIF, shares what it's like to open a child's mind with a book.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

New report shows economic impact of arts in Michigan

When people think of  Michigan's economy, their minds likely don't turn to art.

However, a new report may get Michigan's creative sector a second look. The non-profit organization ArtServe released its second annual “Creative State Michigan” study last week. The report suggests that creative and cultural enterprises have a positive effect on the state’s economy.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson vows more initiatives to help Michigan veterans

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced a series of new initiatives to help Michigan's nearly 700,000 military veterans today.  

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Business
5:05 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Stroh's Brewery closed its doors 25 years ago this week

The Stroh's Brewery in Detroit was a landmark until it was shuttered 25 years ago this week.
Credit Greg Kacir

This week in 1985, the Stroh Brewery Company announced that it would close its brewery on Detroit's East Side. Chairman Peter Stroh said the facility was obsolete, and it was demolished within a year.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:20 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Current State #17 | Feb. 5, 2013

On today's Current State: the Niowave pole barn dispute, the new play "U.P.", Ingham County's fight against mortgage fraud, and local graphic artist Karl Gude's work from Newsweek magazine on exhibit at the Michigan Historical Museum.

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Business
4:20 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Niowave pole barn draws neighbors' ire, attention to city planning process

Many Walnut Neighborhood residents argue that Niowave's pole barn, which was completed in early 2012, has caused a drop in property values.
Credit Mark Bashore/WKAR

Niowave, the high-tech, particle acceleration company here in Lansing, has been growing. Its success has been a benefit in many ways to the community – more jobs, greater tax revenue, more clout in the tech world for the city.

But the company’s growth has also led to some friction.

Early last year, Niowave built a large pole barn at its headquarters, which is a former school in Lansing’s Walnut Neighborhood.

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Arts & Culture
4:20 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

New play 'U.P.' details highs and lows of life in the Upper Peninsula

The new play "U.P." from the Michigan State University Department of Theatre starts tonight.

“U.P.” was written by Michigan natives Mark Colson and Peter Mervis.

WKAR’s Scott Pohl shares what he learned at a recent rehearsal.

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Business
4:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Ingham County’s fight against mortgage fraud gets boost from settlement

There was some good news last week in Michigan involving the fight against mortgage  fraud.  On Thursday, officials announced the state will receive $2.5 million dollars -- that’s the settlement in a mortgage fraud lawsuit filed last year by State Attorney General Bill Schuette.  The legal action involved about 1,000 victims of robo-signing statewide, with nearly 300 of them from Ingham County.  

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Arts & Culture
4:18 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

New exhibit shows off graphic artist's work at 'Newsweek' magazine

Karl Gude is the Graphics Editor in Residence at MSU.  Before MSU, Gude was the director for information graphics at Newsweek magazine and his professional work is currently on display at the Michigan Historical Museum.  WKAR’s Peter Whorf spoke with Gude about information graphics and the creative process.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Current State #16 | February 4, 2013

Apple's groundbreaking commercial during the 1984 Super Bowl inspired MSU ad professors Bruce Vanden Bergh (center) and Bob Kolt (right) to start rating the game's ads.
Credit W.R. Richards/WKAR-MSU

Today on Current State: MSU advertising instructors rate the Super Bowl ads, the Free-Press' Joe Rexrode recaps the big game and local sports, No Labels works for bipartisanship in D.C., The Henry Ford celebrates Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday, and local business and politics with MLive.com’s Angela Wittrock.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:46 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Current State #15 | February 1, 2013

Today on Current State, a discussion about no-fault auto insurance reform, the historic Hill Auditorium at U-M turns 100, a play about Lansing's Urbandale neighborhood and a chat with concert pianist Paul Barnes.

Governor Rick Snyder and other Republicans are calling for reforms to the state's landmark auto no fault insurance law.  They claim the law, which provides for unlimited lifetime medical benefits, often from brain and spinal cord injuries, has led to excessive rates for Michigan drivers.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Current State #14 | January 31, 2013

Today on Current State:  A journalists' roundtable explores the issues that made the news in January, a conversation with a Michigan National Guard soldier recently returned from Afghanistan, "QuizBusters'" host Matt Ottinger, and a preview of the annual Mid-Winter Singing Festival.

MLive.com's Angela Wittrock, the LSJ's Mickey Hirtin and Lansing City Pulse contributor Walt Sorg re-hash January's news 

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:45 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Current State #13 | January 30, 2013

Lansing City Council President Carol Wood makes an announcement about her political future on today's show.
Credit Courtesy/City of Lansing

Today on Current State: Lansing City Council President Carol Wood, business start-ups with the NEO Center, serving the local homeless population, and a preview of the BBC's Concert Orchestra performance at the Wharton Center.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:31 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Current State #12 | January 29, 2013

For every dollar the state invested in Michigan's three major public universities -- Michigan, Wayne State and Michigan State (above) -- the economy received $17 in return, a recent URC study shows.
Credit Courtesy of Michigan State University

Today on Current State: Coverage of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero's "State of the City" address, a tour of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, MIRS' Craig Mauger discusses his lengthy interview with House Speaker Jase Bolger, and the economic impact of Michigan's public universities.

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