Current State

9AM and 6PM Weekdays on 90.5 FM | noon on AM870

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
10:23 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Book recounts Detroit family's struggles with union busting

Morris recalls Walter Reuther's tale of being dragged down the overpass stairs by thugs in the 1937 'Battle of the Overpass.'
Credit www.builtindetroit.net/gallery

Michigan has a rich organized labor history, and much has been written about the early days of the United Auto Workers Union.

In “Built In Detroit: A Story of the UAW, a Company, and a Gangster”, author Robert Morris looks at the union’s infancy through the eyes of his father. Ken Morris was a regional director of the union, and in a time when union officials faced not just resistance but also acts of violence, he suffered a brutal beating.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:52 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Current State #251 | February 10, 2014

Today on Current State: improving voters' experience; Israeli jazz musician Omer Avital; reassessing the value of a college education; and a new theater company in Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:50 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

State Elections Director: Online registration, absentee balloting could be improved

Long lines during the 2012 Presidential election spurred President Barack Obama to look into ways to improve the voting experience.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In his 2012 reelection speech, President Barack Obama vowed to make voting easier for millions of Americans. This came after reports that many had to wait in line for hours at polling places to cast their votes.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:45 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Israeli musician fuses jazz, Middle Eastern traditions

Omer Avital will be at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing on February 12.
Credit Flickr - asafantman

Jazz bassist and composer Omer Avital will be at Wharton Center’s Pasant Theater with his band on Feb. 12. Avital’s music includes literally a world of influences, from Israel to Spain to Africa to America.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Reassessing the value of a college education

Dr. Richard Vedder argues that a college degree may not be worth the investment.
Credit WKAR file photo

We’ve all heard stories of Ph.D.'s who work as janitors or sales clerks. Increasingly, we’ve also heard of professionals who owe tens of thousands of dollars on their college loans and of recent college graduates unable to find work at all.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:38 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

New Lansing theater company explores ancient myths

Credit Courtesy of Ixion Theatre Company

A Lansing theater veteran is starting up a new theater company. Jeff Croff was the founder of the former Icarus Falling Theatre Company. Tonight, he launches Ixion Theatre with the first of three staged readings of “The Four Disgracers."

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:56 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

At MSU, President Obama signs long-awaited Farm Bill

President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill at MSU's McPhail Equine Performance Center on Feb. 7, 2014.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

President Barack Obama was in East Lansing on Friday to sign the Farm Bill--a major piece of federal legislation that will affect just about every American citizen in some way.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:20 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Current State #250 | February 7, 2014

Today on Current State: President Obama signs the Farm Bill at Michigan State University; TEDx Lansing; the sport of ringette; artificial intelligence; and live music with Root Doctor.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:13 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

President Obama to sign Farm Bill on MSU campus today

President Barack Obama will sign the Farm Bill today at Michigan State University.
Credit Flickr - Ethan Bloch

The 44th President will be in East Lansing today. Barack Obama will be at Michigan State University this afternoon to sign the federal Farm Bill. It's a long-awaited and sweeping law that will fundamentally change U.S. farm policy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:12 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

TEDx Lansing to focus on education

The fourth TEDx Lansing will be held in the WKAR studios on Friday, February 28th.
Credit Flickr - Daniel J. Hogan

The idea for TED (Technology, Education, and Design) began in 1984 with a conference devoted to “ideas worth spreading”, and since then, hundreds of the talks have inspired observers around the world. Some of those talks can be heard on the “TED Radio Hour” on WKAR-AM 870, Sundays at 2 p.m.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:07 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ann Arbor is home to nation's only ringette team

The Narwhal bench looks on as their teammates work to protect the net.
Emanuele Berry

With the Winter Olympics kicking off, many are looking forward to watching speed skating, skiing, and even the oddball darling: curling. But there’s one winter sport that won't be played in Sochi. In fact, it's difficult to find a game to watch anywhere in the U.S.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

When artificial intelligence suggests a dystopian future

With the increasing intelligence of machines, there is a growing concern that they will no longer require directions from humans in order to function.
Credit Flickr - chiarashine

In the 2014 Oscar nominated film “Her,” a writer falls for his highly advanced operating system. The film is rosy compared to typical Hollywood movies about Artificial Intelligence like "Terminator" or "I-Robot". These films depict violent clashes between technology and humanity. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:50 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

With new album, Lansing's Root Doctor gains accolades, international air-play

Root Doctor members from left to right: Mike Skory, James Williams, Bill Malone, and Freddie Cunningham.
Credit Joe Linstroth

Today's live music guest is Root Doctor, a Lansing-based band that plays a mix of classic soul, R&B, traditional blues, and some inspired original material. Hear Freddie Cunningham on vocals, Mike Skory on the keyboard, James Williams playing bass, and Bill Malone on guitar.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:07 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Current State #249 | January 6, 2014

Today on Current State: Gov. Rick Snyder's 2015 budget; BWL Community Review Team holds first public hearing; the impact and legacy of the Olympics; China smog and the U.S. auto industry; Book Review: "The Goldfinch"; and a Corigliano Rehearsal.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:03 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Budget director explains 2015 state spending plan

Credit Flickr - borman818

Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his budget for the 2015 fiscal year yesterday. Overall, the plan increases state gross spending by 2% over this year's budget, with increases in education and educator pensions, the rainy day fund, roads, and many more.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

McDaniel review team holds first public hearing

Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

The Community Review Team, charged with analyzing the actions of the Lansing Board of Water and Light in the wake of the historic Dec 21 ice storm, held its first public meeting last night in East Lansing. The nine-member team led by retired Army Brigadier General Mike McDaniel, who’s now a Cooley Law school professor, is gathering information about the storm and the BWL’s response to recommend corrective actions and best practices. Current State’s Kevin Lavery was at the meeting.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Why host an Olympic Games?

The Sochi International Airport in Russia.
Credit Flickr - rapidtravelchai


The opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics will be held tomorrow, but some events begin today. Global competition to host the Olympic Games can be fierce, so what motivates officials to seek the Olympics? What have past host cities gotten out of all of the work and expense?

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

China's environmental concerns could be GM's problem too

Credit Flickr - kevin dooley


You’ve probably seen the pictures of the Chinese smog problem, including shots from Shanghai or Beijing that show buildings disappearing in what appears to be a thick, brown, fog. There are a number of things that cause smog, but one of them is the increasing numbers of cars and that has implications for U. S. automakers like General Motors, which counts China as its biggest market.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Book Review: Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch'

'The Goldfinch' is a novel about a 13-year-old New Yorker who survives an accident that kills his mother.

Literature is a living art form.

Yes, books are printed out of dead forests and each story comes with its own customized ending or demise, but that is never really the end. Mythologist Joseph Campbell used to argue that all stories are variations on one story, what he called the hero’s journey. I always thought of that as a beautiful theory, creating a nice feeling of unity to all tales, everywhere, no matter the culture of origin.

I like to picture literature as a great tree with hundreds of branches. If one of the branches on that literary tree was Charles Dickens, the next one branching off from it would be Donna Tartt.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Current State #248 | February 5, 2014

Today on Current State: Michigan's proposal for a part time legislature; Georgia's part time legislature; MSU Symphony concert preview; Michigan's court interpreters; and Zero Day.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:07 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Proposal seeks return to part-time legislature

Norman Kammeraad
Credit Courtesy WKAR/Off the Record

    

Norman Kammeraad is a West Michigan business owner who chairs the Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-Time Legislature. The group is calling for a two-month legislative session with salaries of $35,000.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:06 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

SIDEBAR: A look at Georgia's part-time legislature

The state seal of Georgia
Credit Flickr - wallyg

If governing nearly 10-million people with a legislature that meets for just two months sounds impossible, take a trip down Interstate 75 and spend some time in the Peach State.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:04 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

MSU Symphony features Copeland, Brahms.

MSU Director of Orchestras Kevin Noe
Credit www.music.msu.edu

The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Friday night at Wharton Center. It features the fourth and last symphony of Brahms, and Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:03 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

State's high court seeks more language interpreters

Justice Bridget McCormack
Credit www.courts.mi.gov

The American legal system is littered with ancient Latin terms. Phrases like “habeus corpus,” “ex post facto” and “pro bono” are common in our courts. Many of us who are not lawyers and judges have some idea what they mean, but imagine trying to grasp what’s happening in a courtroom when English is not your first language. At best, the experience can be stressful and even frightening without an interpreter.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:02 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Zero Day

Credit Courtesy of Zero Day

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 Zero Day, a Lansing-based non-profit that provides employment training and supportive services to local veterans.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:39 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Current State #247 | February 4, 2014

Today on Current State: Pending charges on the Lado case; the plan for a new park around the capitol; MI GOP response to Snyder reelection bid; and the Mobile Black History museum comes to Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:35 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Kosgar Lado case: Innocent of murder, in trouble for false confession

The Lansing City Hall and Police Building
Credit Flickr - MI SHPO

Last week, the Lansing State Journal wrote about the case of a 21-year old mentally ill man named Kosgar Lado who falsely confessed under police interrogation to a murder that took place in Lansing last June.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Officials plan for new park around Capitol

Credit Bob Johnson

Along with two other U.S. capitals, Lansing will receive Green Design Assistance from the EPA. The project the city plans to develop under the Greening America’s Capitals program is a park on the state capitol complex.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Michigan GOP chief on Snyder's reelection bid

Gov. Rick Snyder
Credit Rick Snyder

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is launching his re-election campaign with a string of appearances that tout “Michigan’s Comeback.”  Yesterday, the Governor pressed the flesh in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.  Today, it’s on to Traverse City, Frankenmuth and Oakland County.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Mobile Black History museum stops in Lansing

Credit blackhistory101mobilemuseum.com


The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will be in Lansing today. The museum’s Peacemakers exhibit includes more than 150 artifacts and can be seen in the Sparrow Professional Building on the third floor atrium from 10 am to 5 pm. Current State’s Scott Pohl is here with more on the exhibit.

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