Community

Community
11:31 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids, Barry & Eaton Counties

Deliah Underwood is a volunteer advocate with CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County.
Credit CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we welcome back to the program CASA for Kids of Eaton and Barry County, which provides volunteer advocates for kids in family court.

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Community
11:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Neighbors In Action: Sparrow's Nest

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today we learn about Sparrow’s Nest, a program which teaches life skills to homeless women and helps them become homeowners.

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Community
11:42 am
Wed April 8, 2015

NIA: Life As a Zebra Foundation

Katie Dama Jaskolski experience with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and postural tachycardia syndrome inspired her to found the non-profit Life as a Zebra Foundation to raise awareness and funding for rare diseases.
Credit April Van Buren / WKAR-MSU

Wednesday on CS means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we hear about a non-profit in the Lansing area that raises money for research into rare diseases. 

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Community
12:49 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

MSU student honors late friend with bike trip to Final Four

Derek Blalock goes for a warm-up ride near his East Lansing home before leaving Wednesday for Indianapolis. Blalock will embark on a 6,500 mile trip this summer to raise funds for heart screenings for middle and high school athletes.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

T-minus two days and counting. Two days left before the Spartan men’s basketball team strides into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face Duke University in the NCAA Final Four. This is Michigan State’s fourth time in the Final Four in a decade. and they’re hoping to carve out their first national title since 2000. Thousands of people are pouring into Indianapolis by car or plane this week.

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Community
11:15 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Neighbors In Action: Housing Services Mid-Michigan

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today we learn about Housing Services Mid Michigan, an Eaton County organization working to find affordable housing for homeless and low-income residents.

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Community
11:16 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Neighbors In Action: Helping Women Period

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today we talk to a new Lansing organization, Helping Women Period, working to help homeless women with an often unmet need: feminine hygiene supplies.

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Community
12:08 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Afghan who served alongside Mid-Michigan soldier builds new life in America

'Z' became an interpreter for the U.S. Army at age 16 in his native Afghanistan. He came to the U.S. through a special immigrant visa. He's working to achieve American citizenship.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Last Friday, we brought you the story of William Milzarski, a retired Army officer who was awarded the Purple Heart. He was wounded in 2011 while serving as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. While he was there, Milzarski befriended two Afghan men who worked alongside him as interpreters. Milzarski is now helping those men become American citizens.

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Community
10:48 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Neighbors In Action: Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan

The stories of families like that of Sonya Webster, aided by the Ronald McDonald House of mid-Michigan, can be found at rmhmm.org.
Credit http://rmhmm.org/

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today we talk about an organization you might recgonize from the donation jar if you’ve picked up a Big Mac anytime lately: the Ronald McDonald House.

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Community
1:16 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Mid-Michigan Purple Heart recipient opens his heart to Afghan comrades

Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

    The Purple Heart is the oldest military award the United States of America gives to its service members.  It’s sometimes called “the medal nobody wants,” because it’s given to those killed or wounded in combat.  Now, a mid-Michigan man has joined those ranks.  First Lieutenant William Milzarski is  retired from the U-S Army.  He first enlisted back on August 1, 1990 -- the day before Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  He spent just a few years in as a heavy construction operator.  He was injured, got out and eventually went to Cooley Law School.

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Community
11:15 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Red Cross of Mid-Michigan

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about the Mid-Michigan chapter of an organization you’re probably pretty familiar with, the Red Cross.

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Community
11:37 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Michigan’s ALPACTs work behind the scenes to prevent Ferguson-style conflict

Last week, two key events in the arena of civil rights took place within days of each other, though one received much more attention than the other. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a stinging report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Three days before, a presidential task force submitted a report offering recommendations for building trust between communities and the police. Here in Michigan, a sustained effort to create that sense of trust has been quietly underway for years.

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Community
12:11 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Is social media making us meaner?

Rex LaMore (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit April Van Buren/WKAR

Online comment sections are rarely friendly places, especially if they have anything to do with politics. What starts as a debate quickly devolves into name calling and personal attacks. So, what is it about the Internet that seems to bring out our rudeness, and is it possible for online spaces to foster collaboration or civic engagement instead of bickering? Those are some of the topics being discussed at an upcoming forum hosted by MSU’s Center for Community and Economic Development.

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Community
11:38 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment

Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about a non-profit working to help young adults on the autism spectrum develop better social skills. Current State talks with the executive director of Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment (ASPPIRE), executive director Bob Steinkamp, and program alum and current office manager and peer mentor Aileen Hecht.

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Community
11:34 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Arts Council of Greater Lansing

Wednesday on Current State means Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn more about one of the cultural organizations of the Capital city, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.The Council celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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Community
11:33 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Sixty Plus

Credit http://www.cooley.edu/sixtyplus/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Sixty Plus, a non-profit law clinic that provides free legal assistance to low and moderate income seniors.

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Community
11:25 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Bikers for Books

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Bikers for Books, an organization that raises money for local schools through motorcycle rides and other fundraisers.

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Community
11:08 am
Wed February 4, 2015

MSU project explores diversity of Lansing's religious institutions

A class in the Michigan State University School of Journalism has produced a collaborative book exploring the Lansing area’s many religious institutions. Over the span of just a few days, a team of students spent time at churches around mid-Michigan, talking with clergy and parishioners, and they’ve written about their experiences. It’s called “One Community, One Week, Many Faiths: The Diversity of Worship and Belief”.

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Community
11:00 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Crosswalk Teen Center | WKAR

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Crosswalk Teen Center, a new after school and summer program for teens in the Charlotte area.

The Center is working to raise $10,000 for its operating costs with a GoFundMe campaign

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Community
11:36 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Meteorologist Darrin Rockcole breaks down the snowstorm

The MSU campus is digging out from around a foot of snow.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

We are all digging out from the first major snow storm of the winter season. Winter Storm Linus has now passed us and is hitting New England.

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Community
11:23 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Lansing updates snow emergency

Lansing was buried under a fresh blanket of new snow on Sunday. Residents have been urged to keep streets cleared so snowplows can get around.
Credit April Van Buren/WKAR

The city of Lansing today is bringing residents up to date on the winter storm that blasted the area yesterday. Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with Chad Gamble, the city of Lansing’s director of Public Service, for a look at how Lansing has responded to the storm and what lies ahead.

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Community
11:47 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Volunteers brave cold to connect with Lansing's homeless

Dozens of people led by the Volunteers of America in Lansing scoured the streets early Thursday morning to seek out the homeless and guide them to shelter.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Dozens of volunteers have wrapped up an evening out in the cold on the streets of Lansing. Last night, the Volunteers of America in Lansing conducted its annual Point in Time Count, which tracks the homeless in our community.

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Community
11:33 am
Thu January 29, 2015

EL author shares stories of Hmong resettlement in Michigan

The new book on the Hmong people of Michigan was published by the MSU Press.
Credit http://msupress.org/

In the decades following the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees have settled in the United States. The Hmong, an ethnic minority, were recruited during the war to fight in the CIA’s secret campaign against communist forces in Laos. But while the war officially ended in 1975, the terror was just beginning for many Hmong families. Facing brutal persecution at the hands of the Laotian government, the Hmong fled their villages for refugee camps in Thailand. Over half of the Hmong refugees who came to the U.S. eventually re-settled in Midwestern states, including Michigan.

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Community
11:20 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Tuesday Toolmen | WKAR

The Tuesday Toolmen volunteer to do fixup work for Lansing area senior citizens free of charge.
Credit http://www.glhc.org/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about the Tuesday Toolmen, a group of volunteer handymen who offer repairs and safety modifications for low-income seniors in the Lansing area.

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Community
11:27 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Michigan utility workers head to Northeast for blizzard duty

Credit WKAR File Photo

Hundreds of Michigan utility workers are preparing to help restore power to victims of the blizzard out east. Current State host Mark Bashore speaks with Flushing resident Duane Johnson, en route to the region from Consumers Energy in Flint. Johnson was in Bloomberg, Pennsylvania during the phone conversation.

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Community
11:31 am
Thu January 22, 2015

WKAR panelist previews human trafficking documentary, discussion

The WKAR Community Cinema preview of 'A Path Appears' is tonight at 7 p.m. in MSU's Communication Arts and Sciences Building.
Credit courtesy

WKAR's next Community Cinema event is tonight, featuring a preview of “A Path Appears". This three-episode series is journalist Nickolas Kristof’s latest collaboration with his wife, Sheryl WuDun, and is a follow-up on the book and movie “Half the Sky.” The subject of both is human trafficking, but “A Path Appears” focuses on the subject here in the United States.

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Community
11:24 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Neighbors in Action: Greater Lansing 100 Women Who Care | WKAR

Rose Zack (center) and Donna Odea (right) of Greater Lansing 100 Women Who Care, with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, when Current State features people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about a group of Lansing area women raising money to help Lansing area non-profits thrive, Greater Lansing 100 Women Who Care.

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Community
11:43 am
Mon January 19, 2015

1961 Freedom Rider keynotes MLK holiday luncheon

Henry Thomas was a Freedom Rider in 1961. He's the keynote speaker at today's luncheon in Lansing marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. Cities across America are holding various events, including in Lansing. In 2015, the day seems to resonate with even greater impact than usual, following a tumultuous year of unrest. We've seen events like the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and Tamar Rice in Cleveland. You could feel the echoes of the 1960’s, when protests and violence were much more widespread.

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Community
11:20 am
Mon January 19, 2015

A civil rights essay: Sandra Seaton

Sandra Seaton
Credit www.sandraseaton.com/

At the start of today's Current State, we heard from Henry Thomas, one of the original 13 “Freedom Riders” who rode through the Deep South in 1961 to defy Jim Crow laws. Now, on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we end with an essay from one of our mid-Michigan citizens who remembers the sting of segregation. Sandra Seaton is a local playwright who spent part of her childhood in Tennessee.

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Community
11:46 am
Fri January 16, 2015

New Imam hopes to be a bridge between faith communities

Imam Sohail Chaudhry serves Muslims at the Islamic Center of East Lansing.
Credit http://lansingislam.com/

Lansing area Muslims are being led by a new Imam. Sohail Chaudhry comes to the Islamic Center of East Lansing from West Virginia.

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Community
11:21 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Remembering Rev. Michael Murphy

Rev. Michael Murphy
Credit http://peopleschurchucc.org/

The Reverend Michael Murphy is being laid to rest today. Murphy spent more than 20 years in Lansing as founder of St. Stephen’s Community Church. He also served as a Lansing city council member and state Representative. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at Tabernacle of David Church in Lansing.

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