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.

Also be sure to visit Current State Weekend with host Emanuele Berry, where she features Current State reports from throughout the week, plus timely segments focused on arts and culture.

@KARCurrentState

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Folk artist Tom Chapin on career, musical family

Folk musician Tom Chapin
Credit Courtesy of Abigail Chapin

Folk singer Tom Chapin will be in East Lansing for a couple of performances this weekend. Chapin is the featured artist at this week’s Ten Pound Fiddle concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Grove Street in East Lansing. The concert is at 8 p.m. Friday. Chapin will also perform at the city of East Lansing’s Children’s Concert Series on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hannah Community Center on Abbot Road.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Current State #257 | February 18, 2014

Today on Current State: Advertisers in Olympic games; urban tree farm takes root in Detroit; and supporters defend EAA expansion.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:37 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Advertisers bet big on Olympic Games

Batra says there has been some turnover in Olympic sponsors, but companies like GE and VISA remain.
Credit Flickr - JL08

While the Super Bowl is big for advertisers, the Olympics are also a coveted time for companies. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Rajeev Batra, a professor of marketing at the University of Michigan. He is an expert in global branding and advertising and explains what it means to be an Olympic sponsor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Innovative urban tree farm to plant soon in Detroit

Hantz Farm plots were originally intended for agriculture or Christmas trees, but neighbors raised concerns about rodents and pesticides.
Credit Flickr - Mr.Mac2009


After years of delays, Hantz farm is starting to take shape. In 2009, John Hantz, CEO of Southfield-based Hantz Group LLC proposed building the world’s largest urban farm in Detroit. After cutting through red tape and shifting plans to center on building an urban tree farm, the project is starting to unfold.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:31 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Chancellor, House Ed chair defend proposed EAA expansion

Rep. Lisa Postumus-Lyons says the education system status quo is not working, and children are being left behind.
Credit Flickr - Thomas Favre-Bulle

Michigan legislators could vote this week on a controversial proposal that would expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority.  That’s the state-run district comprised of 15 of the most challenged schools in the state, all in Detroit.

EAA administrators, Gov. Rick Snyder and other supporters say the initiative, now in its second year, is beginning to turn those schools around. They say test scores are rising due to a student-centric teaching model, a longer school year, and grouping students by ability instead of age.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:31 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Current State #256 | February 17, 2014

Today on Current State: opposition to the Educational Achievement Authority; the second installment of our Moviemaking in Michigan series; Clinton County Democrat Dawn Levey announces state Senate candidacy; and exploring Michigan’s decades-long relationship with Japan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:30 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Lack of transparency, data drive opposition to EAA expansion

State Representative Brandon Dillon
Credit Courtesy of 075.housedems.com

In 2011, the state created a school reform district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, to turn around the state’s lowest ranking schools. In its first year in operation during the 2012-13 school year, the EAA took control of 15 priority schools in Detroit. The results have been mixed at best, as the EAA has been plagued with declining enrollment, insufficient funding, and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsafe conditions.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:28 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Moviemaking in Michigan: early view from the director’s chair

Patrick Moug (right) will direct the film we're tracking. Rich Goteri (left) wrote the movie, and plans to play the lead role.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Today, we have the second installment of our new series “Moviemaking in Michigan”. Current State’s Scott Pohl is following the process of making a movie, from start to finish.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:24 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Ex-MUCC president to challenge Senator Rick Jones

Democratic candidate Dawn Levey
Credit Courtesy www.leveyforsenate.com/

A Clinton County school teacher has announced her candidacy for the Michigan Senate’s 24th district. Democrat Dawn Levey says she would make education one of her top priorities. She says Michigan school kids are “suffering because of partisan politics."

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:22 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Exploring Michigan’s decades-long relationship with Japan

Biwa Lake in Shiga, Japan
Credit Flickr - rockriver

In 1968, Michigan Governor George Romney signed an agreement with the governor of Shiga Prefecture, which is one of Japan’s 47 state-like territories, to create a sister state relationship. The cultural partnership between the two states is one of the longest-running in the country and is still going strong today.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:48 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Rising flood insurance premiums could lead to more foreclosures

Attempts to reform flood insurance in America are having serious repercussions.
Credit Flickr - usace-kcd

Attempts to reform flood insurance in America are having serious repercussions. Homebuyers, sellers and others across the country are being  slammed with soaring increases in the cost of flood insurance.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:47 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

East Lansing Mayor proposes BWL board expansion

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett pushes for representation from outside Lansing on BWL board.
Credit Flickr - michigancommunities

Talk of revamping the makeup of the Lansing Board of Water and Light Board of Commissioners has taken another step forward. East Lansing mayor Nathan Triplett has submitted an expansion plan to Lansing mayor Virg Bernero. It would, for the first time, include representation outside the Lansing city limits.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Public Poetry Announcement: Ana Castillo

Credit Flickr/Ward

For this Valentine's Day, Current State contributor Stephanie Glazier offers Ana Castillo's "I Ask the Impossible." 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

What if Detroit hosted the '68 Olympic Games?

With seven tries, Detroit has the most unsuccessful bids to host the Olympic Games.
Credit Flickr - briandetroit
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Radio Made in Michigan
2:21 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Micah Ling to juggle cello, banjo and vocals on debut album

Micah Ling is a member of the Earthwork Music collective based in Wyoming, Michigan.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Our featured musician this Friday is Micah Ling. This week, the Grand Rapids native and MSU grad surpassed her goal on Kickstarter to produce her debut solo album. She plays some the songs that will be featured on the new album and discusses her love for Old Time music. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:23 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Current State #254 | February 13, 2014

Today on Current State: Ingham County parks; big data in ecology; fair housing in Michigan; and student hearing loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Ingham commissioners consider parks millage

Ingham County Commissioner Randy Schafer argues that other county departments are more in need of revenue than parks. However, Koening and Holman are not eager to dismiss the discussion.
Credit Flickr - UGArdener

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is looking at a possible county parks millage. Earlier this week, the body asked its County Services committee to begin work on a draft proposal. The focus of a millage would primarily be an expansion of Lansing’s Rivertrail network.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:10 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

MSU ecologists steer adaptation to big data

Ecologists need to understand multiple systems, regions, and continents. Looking at both small and broad scale systems is made easier with new technological tools.
Credit Flickr - infocux technologies


Big data is being applied across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Businesses are using it to forecast consumers trends, political junkies to predict elections before they happen and scientist are decoding DNA in minutes, working to find cures and prevent disease.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Housing discrimination pervasive but subtle

Kisch says that testing, such as setting up a fake housing offer, is the only way to uncover illegal housing discrimination in cases of race and national origin.
Credit Flickr - YST

Housing discrimination is often difficult to even notice, much less prove. Landlords who don’t want to rent to someone based on their race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation many times have what seem like legitimate excuses that are often delivered with a “smile and a handshake.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:41 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

MSU adopts innovative hearing loss program

Jeffrey Astrein, an MSU graduate student, gained useful skills to deal with his hearing loss through the Kooser program.
Credit John Patrick McGuire

High schools and colleges around the country are facing an alarming trend. A number of studies, from places such as the University of Florida and the Hearing Health Foundation, report as many as one teenager in four has some degree of hearing loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:51 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Current State #253 | February 12, 2014

Today on Current State: backyard farming; glass artist Craig Mitchell Smith relocates to Old Town; musician Josh White Jr.; the Haslett Robotics Club; and MSU's land grant legacy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:51 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

State proposes local control of backyard livestock

Credit Flickr - Lost Albatross

   

An important debate over urban farming in Michigan continues today in Lansing. Officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and others will discuss proposed rule changes governing farm animals in developed, residential areas.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:44 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Old Town welcomes noted glass artist

Craig Mitchell Smith at Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virginia during his 2012 show. Craig is in the process of installing "The Hydrangea" floral sculpture.
Credit Courtesy of Craig Mitchell Smith and Sheri Ten Ecyk.

Lansing’s Old Town has become a haven for the city’s artistic community over the years. This week, the Old Town arts and business communities welcome a big catch. One of the area’s most prominent artists, Craig Mitchell Smith, has moved his glass works gallery from a prime spot in the Meridian Mall in Okemos to a new spot in Old Town Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:37 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Musicians pay tribute to 'Fathers of Black Folk'

Credit Courtesy of www.joshwhitejr.com

Legendary African American folk-singer Josh White’s entrance into the world of music happened at age 7, when he took a job leading blind musicians across the states. Eventually Josh became an accomplished musician himself. He is credited with bringing gospel, blues and black folk music to the masses. In 1941, he was even the first African American musician to give a performance at the White House.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:34 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Haslett Robotics Team

Credit Courtesy of the Haslett Robotics Club

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Haslett Robotics Club, which uses robotics to engage youth in the Haslett school district and surrounding areas in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:32 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Historic MSU space commemorates land grant legacy

MSU's Morrill Hall before it was torn down last summer.
Credit Flickr - larrysphatpage

Yesterday, Michigan State University officials dedicated Morrill Plaza, a kind of interpretative center on the spot where the fabled Morrill Hall once stood. The 113-year-old building, which was built as a women’s dormitory, was torn down last year. In its place are several brick markers and a kiosk that showcase MSU’s history as the first land-grant university in the nation.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:42 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Current State #252 | February 11, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan's battle against winter; health risk communication; the impacts of wind turbine noise; and author Robert Morris talks about his new book, "Built in Detroit: A Story of the U.A.W., a Company, and a Gangster."

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:37 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Winter takes toll on Michigan county budgets, salt reserves and fleets

Credit Flickr - Fellowship of the Rich

With prolonged frigid temperatures, frequent snowfall, and related transportation and power emergencies, winter has hit mid-Michigan hard.

And with more than another month of the season to go, Lansing and many other municipalities are nearing the end of road salt supplies and the money to buy more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Communicating about public health fraught with challenges

Credit Flickr - meddygarnet

The healthcare industry in America is a multi-billion dollar behemoth. It’s a high-stakes arena where the quest for newer and better pharmaceuticals collides with government regulation and a relentless profit motive. However, what is sometimes lost in the dialogue is the messaging aimed at helping the patient take charge of their own health.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:30 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Wind turbines pose potential health risks

Credit Flickr - Jetta Girl


In an effort to increase the U.S.’s renewable energy portfolio, the wind industry has grown tremendously. Michigan is now home to just under 700 turbines, but not everyone is happy about the growing wind farm industry.

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