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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Health
12:48 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

MSU counselor encouraged by White House campus sexual assault report

Shari Murgittroyd says it's clear that national advocates and the White House care about the needs of campus sexual assault victims.
Credit Michigan State University

“One in five women is sexually assaulted in college.” That’s the opening statement in a 20-page report released by the White House last week to address the epidemic of sexual assault on our nation’s college campuses. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education also revealed the names of the 55 colleges and universities that the agency is investigating for how they handle sexual assault complaints. As we know, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University were on that list.

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Health
12:40 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

American kids get near failing grade in physical activity study

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The first ever United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and youth was released last week. With a grade of D- for overall physical activity there is plenty of room for improvement. The report also focuses on the behavioral and environmental  influences which shape a child's physical activity habits.

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Arts & Culture
12:28 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Pakistani artist brings projects to Broad Art Museum, streets of EL

Imran Qureshi agreed to create the 'crack art' project called 'Fragmented' on the sidewalks and streets of East Lansing.
Scott Pohl, WKAR

A world-renowned artist from Pakistan got more than he bargained for when he accepted an invitation to display his work at MSU’s Broad Art Museum. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Imran Qureshi yesterday. Broad Art Museum curator Alison Gass has wanted to bring Imran Qureshi to East Lansing practically from her arrival at the museum two years ago.

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Music
12:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing 'Mighty Uke Day' preview

Left to right: Steve Szilagyi, Ben Hassenger and Andy Wilson in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Throughout today's show, we've heard the founder of Mighty Uke Day, Ben Hassenger, on ukulele and vocals. He was joined by Andy Wilson on uke and harmonica, and Steve Szilagyi on upright bass. They performed "Jamaica Farewell" for Current State to preview the three-day event.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Current State #312 | May 7, 2014

Today on Current State: The Center for Michigan survey; Owosso theater re-opens; Neighbors in Action featuring Northwest Initiative; a new Jackson prison museum.

Politics & Government
12:31 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Survey aims to bring focus to Michigan election issues

The survey found that Michigan residents want elected officials to focus on education and road funding.
Credit Mark Bashore / WKAR


Yesterday, the Center for Michigan released the results of a seven-month survey of people across the state. The report, issued in conjunction with Bridge Magazine, is called “Michigan Speaks: A Citizens’ Agenda for the 2014 Elections.”

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Arts & Culture
12:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After fire seven years ago, Owosso's Lebowsky Center reopens

The Lebowski Center in Owosso has colorful new seats following the 2007 fire.
Courtesy Owosso Community Players

 


Seven years ago, a fire badly damaged the Lebowsky Center, home of the Owosso Community Players. A major refurbishing project has been completed, and on Friday night, there’s a grand opening gala to celebrate the completion of work.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Neighbors in Action: NorthWest Initiative

NorthWest Initiative offers an array of services and programs, including food assistance, for residents on Lansing's West and Northwest sides.
Credit Courtesy of Northwest Initiative

 

 


Each Wednesday we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature NorthWest Initiative, which offers an array of programs and services to improve the health of neighborhoods on Lansing’s West and Northwest sides.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Jackson prison museum planned for 'Cell Block 7'

Jackson's Ella Sharp Museum has partnered with the Michigan Department of Corrections to open a museum in Cell Block 7 of the state prison there.
Credit Courtesy of Ella Sharp Museum

 

    

At the Southern Michigan Prison near Jackson, Cell Block 7 housed thousands of inmates beginning in the 1930s.  Prisoners had been convicted of crimes ranging from liquor law violations to murder. Soon, that same cell block will be transformed into a museum that tells Jackson’s story as perhaps Michigan’s best known correctional center, which at one time was the largest walled prison in the world.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:34 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Current State #311 | May 6, 2014

Today on Current State: the Community Review Team report on the Lansing Board of Water and Light's response to the December ice storm; hydraulic fracking in Michigan; and preventing running injuries.

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

CRT Report: BWL culture, recordkeeping, technology must change

Lansing mayor Virg Benero (left) received the Community Review Team report on the December ice storm outage yesterday from Chairman General Michael McDaniel.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

It’s become clearer how Lansing’s publicly-owned utility, the Board of Water and Light, failed its customers following last December’s ice storm. A detailed review by an investigative panel explores the utility’s actions before, during and after the storm that knocked out power to some 35,000 customers.

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Environment
1:28 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

DEQ fracking proposals could go further, says environmental advocate

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality proposed new rules  in late April to regulate hydraulic fracking in Michigan. The new regulations focus on monitoring high-volume fracking operations for water quality and supplying more information to the public.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
1:26 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Are you running correctly?

John Benedict says Curt Munson got him back into running following an injury, and was pain free within two weeks.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

It’s not that often that individuals from the Lansing area can claim to have had an impact around the world.  Curt Munson and John Benedict are members of that fraternity. Thanks to them, runners everywhere have been able to prevent injuries.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:30 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Current State #310 | May 5, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan's Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers; the leader of MSU's Office for International Students and Scholars is retiring; area school millage elections; and fighting degenerative diseases.

Health
11:30 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Michigan ACA enrollees top quarter million mark

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Late last week, the latest numbers for Michigan were released for the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, which ended on March 31st.  It turns out more than 272,000 people signed up for one of the plans available on the healthcare.gov website. Of those, 29 percent were from the coveted 18-34 age group and 87 percent were eligible for financial assistance.

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Education
11:28 am
Mon May 5, 2014

MSU leader reflects on growth of international students

MSU's Beaumont Tower.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The process of moving to another country for studies is daunting. There’s paperwork to be filed, cultural adjustments and lots of questions. At MSU, the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) helps international students navigate school in the U.S. For over a decade Peter Briggs has served as the Director of OISS. Briggs is retiring this fall.

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Education
11:27 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Funding vote crucial for Grand Ledge, Lansing schools

Lansing Eastern High School.
Credit Lansing School District

Voters will make important school funding decisions tomorrow in Lansing and a number of other mid-Michigan districts. Those include Grand Ledge, Eaton Rapids, Williamston and others.

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Health
11:25 am
Mon May 5, 2014

MSU pushes potential Parkinson's drug to clinical trial

MSU physicist Lisa Lapidus (right) and graduate student Srabasti Acharya are part of a team researching the effects of laser radiation on a specific protein molecule. The molecule CLR-01 shows promise as a viable drug in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and ALS.
Credit Courtesy - Michigan State University

Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s cost the U-S billions of dollars each year. Last year, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health found that in 2010, the cost of treating Alzheimer’s alone neared $215-billion.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:38 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Current State #309 | May 2, 2014

Today on Current State: Lansing marathon director, national Paralympic coach weigh in on hand-cycle controversy; summer film preview;  art fair gives voice to older foster children looking for homes; Pomp and Circumstance: How a British march became an American tradition; live music form the ELHS Gospel Choir. 

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Lifestyle & Recreation
4:31 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Lansing marathon director, national Paralympic coach weigh in on hand cycle controversy

Owen Anderson, Race Director of the Lansing Marathon, says the Lansing marathon is an event sanctioned by USA Track and Field. Their regulations prohibit geared devices from being used in the competition. Geared devices include hand cycles.
Credit Flicker- John Trefethen

On Thursday, a controversy broke out surrounding the Lansing Marathon, which takes place this Sunday.

The marathon, in its 3-year existence, has not allowed disabled athletes using hand cycles to compete. 

Hand cycles are basically 3-wheeled cycles that ride low to the ground with a gear and pedal system operated by the user’s hands.  The marathon has, however, allowed disabled athletes to compete using a push-rim wheelchair or a racing wheelchair. 

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Arts & Culture
4:07 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Art fair gives voice to older foster children looking for homes

Michigan has just over 13,000 children in its foster care system.  Most are living in  licensed homes, but many live with relatives who are either licensed or unlicensed to provide care.  Still others are in child caring institutions.

May is National Foster Care Month and as part of that observance, one mid-Michigan agency is sponsoring an exhibition of artwork made by foster care children in search of adoption.

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History
4:04 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Pomp and Circumstance: How a British march became an American tradition

file photo
Credit Michigan State University

Commencement season is upon us. MSU is sending new graduates into the world this weekend in East Lansing. The only thing more ubiquitous than caps, gowns, and cameras is a military march written by a British guy in 1901. 

Seriously, why do Americans graduate to a tune that across the Atlantic Ocean essentially has become an unofficial English National Anthem? Current State’s Melissa Benmark explores the song that’s helped “commence” graduates for over a century.  

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Music
3:56 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: ELHS Gospel Choir

The East Lansing Gospel Choir started two years ago.
Credit Joe Linstroth

Current State's featured musicians this Friday are the East Lansing High School Gospel Choir. Twelve of the group's 25 members joined us in-studio today.

We spoke with director Elie Kirkland about the group's upcoming spring concert, May 31st at the Tabernacle of David in Lansing. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:44 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Current State #308 | May 1, 2014

Today on Current State: attracting foreign investors and workers to Michigan; author Christopher Moore; Michigan man gets a bionic eye; reviewing Kurt Vonnegut's novels from 1976-1985; and MSU Paleontologist Dr. Mike Gottfried.

Economy
1:43 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Michigan looks to attract foreign investment through immigrants

Scott Woosley says the EB-5 Center will have offices in Lansing and Detroit.
Credit Courtesy - http://www.michigan.gov/mshda

Earlier this year in his State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder emphasized  his administration’s desire to increase immigration to Michigan. Recently, state officials got news that could move the state closer to that goal. Last month, federal customs officials approved the state’s application to launch an initiative that could attract more foreign investment and workers to the state.

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Arts & Culture
1:40 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Visiting novelist Chris Moore finds humor in the dark

Christopher Moore will give a talk and sign books at Schuler Books in the Eastwood Towne Center on Saturday.
Credit Courtesy - http://www.chrismoore.com/

Most people don't travel to Venice and think of sea monsters, but most people, aren't novelist Christopher Moore. Set against the backdrop of Venice,  Moore’s latest novel blends together Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "Othello" with Poe’s "The Cask of Amontillado." Throw in a people eating sea monster, humor and some bawdy prose and you have Moore’s "The Serpent of Venice".

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Science
1:38 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Bionic eye helps Michigan man see again

The Argus II uses electical stimulation of the retina to reproduce an image that is captured by a video camera.
Credit Courtesy - Second Sight

Restoring sight to the blind and visually impaired has long been thought of as more in the realm of science fiction than actual science. But Roger Pontz of Reed City, Michigan would beg to differ. Diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease as a teenager, Pontz was almost completely blind until last January, when he became just the fourth person in the United States to have a device called the Argus II implanted.

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Arts & Culture
1:33 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Book Review: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels 1976-1985

Credit Courtesy - Library of America

Listen: One of my writing heroes is Kurt Vonnegut and for four years I had his home phone number sitting on my desk. That blessed number was a present from a friend of mine and every day it taunted me, teased me. When Vonnegut died in 2007, I threw the number away. I never had the guts to call it. So it goes.

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History
1:31 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The stories fossils can tell

Dr. Gottfried brought this cast of a skull of a so-called 'mammal-like reptile' from South Africa, that is about 240 million years old to WKAR's Studio S, along with a 50-million year old Sand-tiger shark tooth fossil from the Canadian Arctic.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Kids go crazy about dinosaur fossils at the museum. Most of us grow out of that dinosaur phase, and those dinosaurs become reminders that we are turning into fossils, at least to our kids. But fossils are much more than just old bones. They can tell stories about where we came from, and about our planet’s history.

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