Current State #216 | December 9, 2013

Dec 9, 2013

Today on Current State: campaign finance and education reforms in Michigan; country music in Detroit; remembering the tragic Italian Hall fire; Chinese student business owners; and MSU football heads to the Rose Bowl.


With just a few days left in the 2013 legislative session, the Michigan House is working its way through a cluster of controversial proposals. One package of bills calls for significant education reforms, including a plan to hold back Michigan third graders who aren’t reading at that level.  Another would impose a letter grading system on school districts statewide. Another addresses the regulation of so-called “issue ads.”


In the middle of the 20th century, Detroit was home to a thriving country music scene. This little known music history of the Motor City is chronicled in the book “Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys and Rockabillies.”

A century later, Michigan author recounts UP tragedy

Dec 9, 2013

Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula is known for its rugged beauty, freezing weather, and copper.  Copper mining is a way of life in the UP whose tradition goes back more than a century.  And it was a century ago that one of the darkest episodes in the history of Copper Country played out in the small town of Calumet.

Some Chinese MSU students mix business with learning

Dec 9, 2013

Imagine you were an 18-year-old American student, and you went off to study at a university in China that taught economics, biology and all the other subjects in Chinese. Then imagine on top of that navigating the legal and cultural differences to start your own business. For most of us, it would be a daunting challenge to say the least, and more likely too difficult to even attempt. At Michigan State University, some Chinese international students are up to the challenge.

New Big Ten champs bound for Pasadena

Dec 9, 2013
Al Martin/WKAR

Pasadena hasn't been on the MSU football itinerary since 1988. In 23 days, that will change with a Spartan Rose Bowl date with Stanford.