Politics & Government

Politics & Government
12:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

More questions about Aramark contract after hearing, arrest

Aramark Logo
Credit Aramark

There’s been more controversy this week involving Aramark. That’s the beleaguered food service company contracted to serve Michigan prisons. Yesterday at a meeting of the state civil service commission, one member said he felt mislead when told of a $98,000 dollar fine against the company that had actually been dropped.

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Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Local firefighters train for difficult rescues

Firefighters must sometimes rescue victims trapped in confined spaces, like underground equipment rooms.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

A number of firefighting crews have been camped out along a main road at Michigan State University for the last couple of days. They’ve been taking part in an annual training exercise to learn how to rescue victims trapped in confined spaces. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports that it turns out MSU has an ideal spot for this type of instruction.

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Politics & Government
1:36 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Ingham judge spotlights flaws, illegality in court funding

Thomas Boyd, chief judge, Ingham County 55th District Court
Credit http://dc.ingham.org/

Michigan courts, especially District Courts, assess criminal defendants all sorts of fines and fees. This revenue is crucial for cities and counties, and these fines and fees vary widely across Michigan. Ingham County relies on them for $800,000 of its annual budget. The District Court in East Lansing, according to city budget numbers, has netted the city $3-million a year for the past three years. It’s one of the only departments that actually makes money for the city.

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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Land campaign ducks MSU student debate request

Terri Lynn Land in one of her TV ads.
Credit TV Campaign Ad

Where in Michigan is Terri Lynn Land? With the November election fast approaching for Michigan’s first open Senate seat in 20 years, many are wondering where the GOP candidate has been. She’s taken heat for not publicizing her campaign schedule, for avoiding the media, and for refusing to debate her Democratic challenger, Congressman Gary Peters.

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Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

DNR Says Drilling Not OK Under Old Growth Forest

The rights to drill under a landmark old-growth forest in northern Michigan are off the auction block.

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Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Outgoing state health leader reflects on eventful career

Credit www.michigan.gov/mdch

James Haveman has enjoyed a long career in public health in Michigan, including several in key leadership positions. Twice the director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, Haveman’s last day in that position is next Monday.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Dem Lawmakers Stop Waiting To Roll Out LGBT Rights Bills

Democrats in Lansing have introduced legislation that would add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law.

As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, they say they’re pushing the question in hopes of holding a vote on the legislation before the end of the year.

State Representative Sam Singh says support for updating Michigan’s civil rights law is building. Many businesses and education institutions have expressed support, and local governments have adopted similar ordinances.

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Politics & Government
4:27 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Lawmakers Approve Bill To Avoid $1 Billion Budget Hole

It looks like Michigan will not face a billion-dollar budget hole due to a recent state Supreme Court ruling after all.

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Politics & Government
4:57 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Vote On LGBT Rights Not Likely Before November Election

Legislation adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s anti-discrimination law will probably have to wait until after the November election.

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Politics & Government
4:44 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Dems Say Businesses Should Warn Employees About To Lose Contraception Coverage

Democrats in the Legislature say women should get 90 days advance warning if their employers are about to drop contraception coverage from company-provided insurance policies.

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Politics & Government
4:13 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Roads, Pot, Civil Rights On Agenda As State Lawmakers Return From Summer Break

The state Legislature’s two-month summer break ends Tuesday.

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Politics & Government
1:17 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Lansing activists spur dialogue on racism, gun violence

Lansing residents march along Holmes Street to call attention to recent shootings in the city. The activists were also protesting police brutality. Organizers will host a community forum on these issues tonight at 7 p.m. at Letts Community Center in Lansing.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Tomorrow marks one month since the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The event sparked protests and violent clashes in Ferguson on a level seldom seen since the Civil Rights Era of the 1960’s. The incident also spurred positive conversations and peaceful activism across the country, including Lansing. On Saturday, a few dozen people gathered on the city’s southwest side for a peace march.

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Politics & Government
10:52 am
Fri September 5, 2014

LISTEN NOW: Michigan Calling with Gov. Rick Snyder

MPRN Capitol bureau chief Rick Pluta interviews Gov. Rick Snyder on 'Michigan Calling'.
Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

September 5, 2014 | Gov. Rick Snyder takes questions from a  statewide public radio audience on another broadcast of “Michigan Calling” in the 2014 election cycle.

The hour-long program was hosted by Rick Pluta, the long-time state Capitol bureau chief of the Michigan Public Radio Network.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer appeared on an earlier "Michigan Calling" program.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Anti-Wolf Hunt Campaign To Challenge Initiated Law

Opponents of wolf hunting in Michigan are waging their fight on multiple fronts.

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Politics & Government
5:15 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Judge Says Michigan’s Largest Teachers’ Union Must Let Member Leave Any Time

A Michigan labor judge says teachers should be allowed to quit the state’s largest teachers union any time they want.

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Politics & Government
4:51 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

No-Fault Auto Insurance Rates Case To Be Appealed To Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court could soon hear arguments related to the state’s auto no-fault insurance law.

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SPECIAL BROADCAST
12:24 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Gov. Snyder to take questions from listeners | Michigan Calling

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
Credit Michigan Municipal League

Friday, Sept. 5, on 90.5 WKAR | Gov. Rick Snyder takes questions from public radio listeners statewide.

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Politics & Government
4:39 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Michigan’s Top Health Official Resigns After Suffering Mild Stroke

Michigan’s top health official is stepping down after suffering a mild stroke.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Jim Haveman says he’s resigning as director of the Michigan Department of Community Health to focus on his personal health. He said he had hoped to stay in the position through next year – but he says that changed after he suffered a minor stroke in May.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Month in Review: August's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

With August just about behind us, Current State takes a look back at Michigan’s biggest statewide stories with our monthly reporter roundtable.

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Politics & Government
5:25 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lawmakers Vote To Allow Wolf Hunts In Upper Peninsula

Credit mprn Jake Neher

Wolf hunts in the Upper Peninsula will be able to continue under a new law passed by the state House Wednesday.

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Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Civil Rights icon John Lewis tells students to 'get into good trouble'

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was one of the original Freedom Riders, directed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and led the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on 'Bloody Sunday' in 1965. Lewis was in East Lansing to talk to MSU students and community members. His book, "'March: Book One,' is this year's 'One Book, One Community' selection.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s back to school week for thousands of students at Michigan State University. In between moving into their dorm rooms and finding their way around campus, freshmen have been reading this year’s “One Book, One Community” selection. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia has written a graphic novel called “March: Book One.”

Lewis was in East Lansing Monday to speak to MSU freshmen and to meet members of the community.  Current State's Kevin Lavery spent a few minutes with the civil rights icon.

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Politics & Government
3:28 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Wolf Hunting, Civil Rights, And $1B Budget Hole On State Lawmakers’ Agenda

State lawmakers have a wide range of issues to address between now and the November election.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Former WKAR producer updates Ferguson aftermath

Former Current State producer Emanuele Berry is covering the Michael Brown story for KWMU in St. Louis.
Credit WKAR

Michael Brown is being laid to rest today in Ferguson, Missouri, 16 days after the young African-American was killed by a white police officer. Unrest that was the rule in the days following the shooting has abated in the St. Louis suburb, but a host of critical questions remain unanswered.

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Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

GOP, Dems To Hold State Party Conventions This Weekend

Democrats and Republicans will hold their state party conventions this weekend.

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Politics & Government
3:21 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Peters Says He’d Vote For Same Obamacare Bill Today

Rep. Gary Peters speaks with Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta on the statewide call-in program Michigan Calling. Peters’ opponent in his bid for U.S. Senate, Republican Terri Lynn Land, is scheduled to appear on the program on October 3rd.
Credit mprn Jake Neher

Democratic candidate for U-S Senate Gary Peters says he would not have changed his vote in favor of Obamacare knowing what he knows now.

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Politics & Government
4:25 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Judge Hears Arguments Over Recognizing 300 Same-Sex Marriages In Michigan

Lead plaintiffs Glenna DeJong (l) and Marsha Caspar (center) join Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (r) outside the federal court building in Detroit on Thursday. DeJong and Caspar were the first same-sex couple to get married in Michigan. Byrum officiated their wedding.
Credit mprn Jake Neher

About 300 same-sex couples in Michigan hope a federal judge will force the state to recognize their marriages. Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments in the case Thursday.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Audit Finds Problems With Prisoner Education Programs In Michigan

Michigan prison officials need to do more to make sure inmates have access to education programs.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Michigan Congressional Delegation To Push FEMA For Flood Help

Gov. Rick Snyder (r) and Congressman Sander Levin (l) speak with flood victims in Warren on Monday.
Credit mprn Jake Neher

Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan’s congressional delegation are teaming up to push for federal help for flood victims.

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Politics & Government
5:15 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Snyder Says Metro Detroit Flood Underpins Need For More Road Funding

Governor Rick Snyder says the need for increased funding for roads was underpinned this week by massive flooding in and around Detroit.

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Politics & Government
2:35 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Camp Grayling war games teach critical battlefield skills

Soldiers prepare to board a CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter at Camp Grayling.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Last week, President Obama ordered precision air strikes against members of Islamic State, the militant group that’s fighting U.S.-backed ethnic minorities in northern Iraq.  The president has thus far not committed ground forces to the region. Meanwhile, the United States continues air and ground attacks in Afghanistan.  

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