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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Radio Made in Michigan
1:08 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Current State #307 | April 30, 2014

Today on Current State: the Month in Review for April; Civil War food; and the Wild Ones Red Cedar Chapter.

Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Month in Review: April's biggest news stories

Among many important topics this past month, student evaluations were being reconsidered. Should students be evaluated using the MEAP test?
Credit Flickr

At the end of every month, Current State takes a look back at the biggest news stories of the previous 30 days. To help us put it in context, Current State talks with the host of Off The Record on WKAR-TV and other Michigan public TV stations Tim Skubick, M-Live Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting, and editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, Susan Demas.

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History
1:03 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Feeding the Yanks: MSU historian explores Civil War era cookbooks

Veit specializes in American history in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on the history of food and nutrition.
Credit courtesy of helenveit.com

A new book from the MSU Press looks at the cookbooks and foodways of Americans in the 1860s. “Food in the Civil War Era: The North” is officially out this week. It’s  part of a planned food history series from the MSU Press.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones

Bratton says Wild Ones programs are educational: they explain the importance of different soils, plants, and landscape design. These programs are open to the public at the Fenner Nature Center.
Credit courtesy of wildoneslansing.org

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 Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones, a national organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices and environmental education.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Current State #306 | April 29, 2014

Today on Current State: Great Lakes month in review; winter's toll on golf courses; a new book about Capitol Park in Detroit; a Lansing Symphony Orchestra preview; and Escanaba's "icebreaker contest."

Environment
1:00 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Gov. Snyder on invasive species, pet coke and pipelines

Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.  

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we’re focusing on the Council of Great Lakes Governors summit, which took place in Chicago this past weekend. Wilson had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Governor Rick Snyder.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:59 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Harsh winter leaves Michigan putting greens in the rough

Credit Flickr - Tord Sollie


As the warmer weather arrives, we’re just starting to get a more complete picture of the winter’s repercussions. For many Michigan golf courses, especially in the eastern half of the state, the winter has been one of the worst on record.

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History
12:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tiny Detroit park home to state's original capitol

There's a small replica of the first state capitol building in the park.
Scott Pohl/WKAR


A new book by Jack Dempsey tells the story of Detroit’s historic Capitol Park. It’s the site of Michigan’s first capitol building, and the state’s first governor is buried there.

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Music
12:47 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

LSO season finale features Brahms

Muffitt says the LSO is proud of their association with the Gilmore competition here in Michigan. It's one of the major piano competitions in the world.
Credit Flickr - texasgurl

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra closes out its regular season with an unusual Wednesday night concert tomorrow. It features Brahms’ final symphony, a near-viral modern composition, and a piano concerto played by Andrew Hsu, a Gilmore Young Artist competition winner.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:44 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

UP rite of spring involves a submerged pick-up

Kuivinen says for the first time, someone guessed the exact minute when the truck fell into Little Bay for the Icebreaker Competition in Escanaba.
Credit Flickr - Invinci_bull

Escanaba Michigan’s “icebreaker contest” is becoming a rite of Spring in the Upper Peninsula community. Organizers haul a stripped down pickup truck out onto the frozen surface of Little Bay De Noc and the wagering begins. When will the ice give way? When will this stripped-down Ford be sent to the bottom?

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:11 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Current State #305 | April 28, 2014

Today on Current State: school discipline and zero-tolerance rules; the decline of horse racing in Michigan; guarding lake sturgeon; our Moviemaking in Michigan series; and MSU spring football.

Education
2:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

School reformers: zero-tolerance not the answer

Peri Stone-Palmquist of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan says she has seen cases where a child who brought a knife to school to cut an apple for lunch has been severely punished.
Credit Flickr - Paradox 56

Last week, students and advocates rallied at the Michigan Capitol after marching from Detroit to Lansing on foot. Students' marching hoped to raise awareness about the state’s school discipline policies. At the rally, they asked lawmakers to remove  legislation that requires zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

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Business
2:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Fading down the back stretch: Michigan horse racing industry struggles to keep up

Mike Stommen of Hazel Park Raceway says you can come to the racetrack and study horses' past performances and 'make your own luck.'
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Horse racing fans around the country are gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday. The storied run that kicks off the quest for the Triple Crown will bring thousands of people to Michigan’s three horse tracks. Many will place their bets as they watch the Derby via simulcast. They’ll also come to cheer on local horses and riders who come to the tracks to test their mettle.

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Environment
2:01 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Volunteers guard Michigan's spawning sturgeon

"Sturgeon for Tomorrow" will be guarding the banks of the Black River from poachers to ensure that lake sturgeon will be able to spawn.
Credit Flickr - USFWSmidwest

From now through early June, some volunteers will be standing guard over the Black River in Northern Michigan. They’ll be on the banks of the river making sure that the lake sturgeon, a rare and threatened species in the state, are able to leave their homes in Black Lake and successfully spawn in the Black River. Why do the fish need guarding?

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Entertainment
2:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Moviemaking in Michigan: rewriting and settling on a title

Michael Mili is a native Detroiter with a background in acting, writing and producing. He's worked extensively with 'Eastern Market' writer Rich Goteri.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Current State’s Scott Pohl has been following the making of a movie in Michigan for our series “Moviemaking in Michigan”. We’ve met a couple of people involved in this project, and it’s time for part three.

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Sports
1:59 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Spartans re-load at Green & White scrimmage

Al Martin hosts 'Current Sports' on WKAR-TV and WKAR-AM 870.
Credit file photo

About 35,000 football fans took in MSU's annual Green and White scrimmage on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. By many accounts, Michigan State showed a lot to be excited about.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:14 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Current State #304 | April 25, 2014

Today on Current State: Independent 8th District candidate Preston Brooks; Notable Book author Steve Hamilton; finalizing the new Wharton Center season; and live music with Lansing trio Mighty Medicine.

Politics & Government
1:13 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Independent 8th District candidate proposes end to zero sum political solutions

Brooks says like the roads, we cannot keep just refilling the potholes in the 8th District with the same speed bumps.
Credit Courtesy of Preston Brooks


“Big money is corrupting our political process.”   

Those are the words of an Oakland County business owner and entrepreneur who, for the second time, is in the race to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional district, which includes Lansing and East Lansing.

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Arts & Culture
1:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Notable Books author returns home to celebrate Michigan letters

Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series currently includes ten volumes; Hamilton discusses letting the character 'rest' while he develops works that do not include Alex.
Credit Courtesy of Steve Hamilton


On Saturday, the Library of Michigan Foundation will hold its annual Night for Notables event, honoring the authors of books that were named Michigan Notable Books for 2014. The keynote speaker at tomorrow’s event is Steve Hamilton.  His book “Misery Bay” was a Michigan Notable Book for 2012.

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Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Sedaris, Glass highlight new Wharton season

A couple of weeks ago, Scott Pohl told us about “Once” and “Annie” being on the Broadway schedule; today, he reveals some more of the big hits coming to town.
Credit Flickr - nobara hayakawa


MSU’s Wharton Center announced part of their schedule for the 2013-14 season two weeks ago. Now, the rest of the schedule is out, and Current State’s Scott Pohl is back with more on the shows coming to Wharton.

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Music
12:54 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing trio Mighty Medicine

L to R: Larry Neuhardt (guitar, vocals), DeShaun Sparkle Snead (piano, vocals), and John Esser (percussion, vocals).
Credit Stacy Hoxsey

 


Joining Current State today in Studio S is DeShaun Snead, Larry Neuhardt, and John Esser of Mighty Medicine. This trio from Lansing plays a range of music from jazz to rock to blues and soul for all audiences.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:02 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Current State #303 | April 24, 2014

Today on Current State:  Connected vehicle technology; teaching international students; a new book that chronicles Lansing's First Family; and World Tai Chi Day.

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Science and Technology
2:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Ann Arbor emerging as global leader in connected vehicle technology

Connected cars can talk wirelessly with each other and with other parts of the traffic system to adjust to road conditions and avoid accidents.
Credit Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

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Education
2:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Teaching international students offers lesson for professors

Professors often must find creative ways to engage international students in the classroom.
Credit Flickr - Todd Fong


It is no secret that Michigan State University has a growing body of international students. There are about 4,300 Chinese students alone enrolled at MSU.  It is a trend that is prompting faculty and staff to re-evaluate how they respond to the challenges of educating this growing segment.  

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History
1:54 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

New book chronicles Lansing's First Family

The Turner-Dodge house is the only 19th century residence in the greater Lansing area open to the public.
Credit Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Take a drive through Lansing Township north of the Capitol, and you’re likely to pass by a stately Classical Revival-style mansion.  Beginning in 1855, the  Turner-Dodge House on North Street was home to several generations of one of  Lansing’s most prominent families.  Today, it’s an interpretive center with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
1:53 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Lansing area marks World Tai Chi Day

In Studio S, Bob Teachout talks Current State host Mark Bashore through some tai chi movements.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

On the last Saturday of every April, people around the world celebrate World Tai Chi Day.The event, which started in 1999, celebrates the ancient Chinese martial art.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:23 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Current State #302 | April 23, 2014

Today on Current State: The Supreme Court's Michigan Affirmative Action ruling; an update on Art for Charlie; public art as a placemaker; and pension reform.

Politics & Government
12:16 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

SCOTUS upholds Michigan's race admissions ban

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that Michigan voters have the right to decide if Michigan's public universities use race conscious admission policies.
Credit Flickr - SP8254

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke yesterday at a press conference about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment which prohibits affirmative action at the State’s public universities. In the 6-2, ruling, the judges offered five separate opinions showcasing drastically different views.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Neighbors in Action: An update on Art for Charlie

'Where the River Cleaves' by Sam Knecht is the winner of the first annual Spirit of Michigan competition as a part of Art for Charlie Foundation.
Credit Courtesy of artforcharlie.com

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 have an update on Art for Charlie, the East Lansing-based non-profit that works to improve hospice care for children and bereavement services for families who have lost a child.

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Arts & Culture
12:10 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Local municipalities turn to public art for placemaking

'Meridius Prime' by metalsmith artist Tim Higgins is the latest in a series of public art projects being unveiled in mid-Michigan communities.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

If you live, work or just drive through Meridian Township, you’ve probably noticed the large metal sculpture in the roundabout at Marsh and Hamilton Roads. The work, entitled “Meridius Prime,” is a 14-foot tall piece commemorating the Michigan Meridian, the north-south baseline by which the state was surveyed in the 19th century. The sculpture is part of a plan to install public art that relays a community’s “sense of place.”  The artwork is a project of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

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