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Current State #103 | June 7, 2013

Jun 7, 2013

Today on Current State:  Michigan schools face a financial crisis; exercise in space; the 60th anniversary of the Flint Beecher tornado; and the 2013 Pumpstock American Roots Music Festival.  

Flickr

The number of Michigan school districts facing serious financial challenges continues to grow. On Thursday, state schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan reported there are 55 districts across the state operating in the red.   That’s up by six since the start of the year.

Flanagan updates the state legislature quarterly on school finances.  He commented that the situation requires “more resources.”

Courtesy of NASA

In the coming decades, if NASA has its way, the long, harrowing trip to Mars will be more than just a bad Hollywood movie directed by the likes of Michael Bay.

The space agency has said it plans to send astronauts to the Red Planet by the early 2030's.  While 20 years is a long way off, NASA has already begun the planning and research, and MSU scientists are part of these early stages.

Courtesy of the Flint Journal

On June 8, 1953, an F-5 tornado hit Flint and the nearby community of Beecher, killing 116 people.  It was the tenth deadliest tornado in U. S. history, and a generation of Michigan residents would never look at a dark sky the same way again.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

This weekend is the fourth annual Pumpstock music festival. The annual gathering in East Lansing’s Bailey Park features live American roots music and local food. Festival coordinator Dudley Smith, more commonly known as “Smitty,” and performer Elden Kelly joins Current State host Mark Bashore.