The One Book, One Community program encourages MSU students and East Lansing residents to read the same book and then discuss it together. This year’s title goes to ‘The Yellow Birds,’ a novel by Kevin Powers. The book reflects Powers' experience as a veteran serving in the Iraq War.
Eighteen years ago this morning brought the sad news of the death of beloved Detroit radio personality J.P. McCarthy. McCarthy ruled the morning radio airwaves at WJR for 30 years. Current State contributor Russ White worked with McCarthy for the last five years of J.P.'s life and has this remembrance of the great voice of the Great Lakes.
Today on Current State: the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher checks in on issues at the state Capitol; a local attorney leads a petition drive to de-criminalize marijuana in Lansing; the inspiring story of an MSU graduate living with multiple sclerosis; a Public Poetry Announcement featuring the work of Paisley Rekdal and a tour of the World War II submarine U.S.S. Silversides on display in Muskegon.
Lansing voters soon may decide to change the city’s marijuana laws. Last week, organizers submitted what appears to be more than enough signatures to put a proposal on November’s ballot. It would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of pot for people who are at least 21 years old and on private property.
Other Michigan cities have already passed similar laws: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Flint. And in addition to Lansing, voters in Jackson and Ferndale may also vote this fall on similar measures.
Back in the mid-1980s, when Kelly Finger-McNeela was in high school, she began having problems walking and playing basketball, her favorite sport. Soon, Kelly would receive the terrible news: she had primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. It's one of the worst forms of the diseases, characterized by progressively worsening symptoms without any relapse.
Today marks 68 years since the official Japanese surrender to the U.S. and the ending of World War II.
The submarine U.S.S. Silversides played an important role in the epic struggle in the Pacific. From 1941 to 1945, the Silversides inflicted heavy losses on Japanese shipping. The sub sank the third most tonnage of any submarine in the U.S. Navy.
The U.S.S. Silversides Submarine Museum - and the sub itself – are now located in Muskegon, Michigan.
WKAR’s Peter Whorf joined Silversides docent Garry McKeen for a tour of the boat.
Today on Current State: the debate over children's vaccinations; remembering the Northeast blackout of 2003; historic baseball plays out in Dearborn; our Neighbors in Action segment profiles Elder Law of Michigan and the return of the Renegade Theatre Festival.
Michigan health officials and physicians have launched an awareness-raising effort to get more young people vaccinated. The move comes after data showing an increase in the number of Michigan parents choosing not to get their kids vaccinated. Last year, more than 7,000 kindergartners alone in the state had some kind of vaccination waiver.
About 250 miles southeast of WKAR's studio in East Lansing is the town of Eastlake, Ohio. Ten years ago, an electric generation plant in that small Cleveland suburb went offline, triggering the largest power outage in U.S. history. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 affected 10 million people in Canada and 45 million Americans. Here in Michigan, more than two million homes and businesses went dark, mostly in metro Detroit.
Our Neighbors in Action segment features Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. It's a nonprofit charitable organization that promotes, protects and advocates for the rights, health, housing and economic well-being of vulnerable adults.
The eighth edition of the Renegade Theatre Festival in Old Town Lansing starts Thursday. Events are planned at several locations over three days, with a number of local theater companies taking part.
Joining us today for a preview are organizers Chad Badgero and Melissa Kaplan. Chad is the founder and artistic director of Lansing’s Peppermint Creek Theatre Company; Melissa is the performing arts coordinator at Lansing Community College.
Today on Current State: Michiganders look to increase recycling rates; an update on the wolf hunting debate; an interview with and review of a local author’s new book and a father and son discuss their emotional WWII memorial trip.
At 20 percent, Michigan's recycling rate is 10 percent lower than the regional average. Many people around the state are hoping to change that. In 2012, Governor Rick Snyder identified increasing Michigan's recycling rates as a priority for his administration. Michigan Recycling Coalition executive director Kerrin O'Brien discusses what a comprehensive recycling plan might include.
A new book by mid-Michigan author Lori Nelson Spielman is getting some buzz. "The Life List" is a novel that explores the relationship between a mother and daughter, and taps into the dreams and goals we have in our youth that somehow got lost with time. Spielman spoke with WKAR's Melissa Benmark about how her career as a homebound teacher started to lead her down the road to writing.
I never liked the book description, “women’s fiction.”
It is the literary equivalent of the pink aisle in toy stores, no boys allowed. The funny thing is I have yet to see a book described as men’s fiction, but I am assuming it would involve fast cars, loose women and a lot of laser guns.
Today on Current State: Our live broadcast from the 2013 Great Lakes Folk Festival. We'll talk with festival acting director Lora Helou; local folk artist Joel Mabus; keeping the tradition of metalsmithing alive; a chat with folk afficiando Bob Blackman, the NYAKA AIDS Orphan Project and Hmong folk singer Mai Zong Vue.
For 13 years, our first guest this evening has played a role in the Great Lakes Folk Festival. Today, Lora Helou is the festival's acting director, and to those of us in the media, she’s been the “go-to” person regarding this event. She offers an overview of the weekend's festivities.
The music schedule at the Great Lakes Folk Festival features several Michigan acts this year. They include the swing dance music of Paulette Brockington of Highland Park and the Cuban/Caribbean music of Tumbao Bravo out of Ann Arbor. Artist Joel Mabus is a long-time local favorite. He stopped by the Current State tent to catch us up on his music.
Among the dozens of people plying their crafts here at the Great Lakes Folk Festival weekend are members of the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. For 26 years, the Michigan State University Museum has supported master artists and their apprentices who keep our state’s artistic traditions alive. There are nine master and apprentice teams at this year’s festival. Current State’s Kevin Lavery met one pair in a small mid-Michigan town who are turning scrap into sculpture.
Bob Blackman's name is virtually synonymous with folk music in mid-Michigan. He's been associated with the Great Lakes Folk Festival for many, many years. He’s a fixture with Elderly Instruments in Lansing, a real center of folk music in this community. Many people in our audience remember him as a part of the WKAR family. Bob Blackman hosted “The Folk Tradition” on WKAR for nearly 30 years.
One of the vendors at the Great Lakes Folk Festival is the Nyaka AIDS Orphans project. The organization offers paper-bead necklaces and traditional baskets from Uganda. The artists who created them are grandmothers in Nyaka who use the income to support the families affected by the disease.
Jackson Kaguri is the founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans project. He was a CNN Hero last year, was featured in Time Magazine in 2010, and is the author of the book, “The Price of Stones,” about building a school for AIDS orphans in his village in Uganda.
This coming week, Current State takes you to this year's World Tournament of Historic Baseball at Greenfield Village. Teams from around the Great Lakes region and beyond squared off this weekend for 19th century baseball supremacy. Tune in for the sounds of the games, cheering crowds, brass bands, steam trains and more. Plus, an inside look at 19th century baseball from one of the members of the Saginaw Old Golds - 2012's championship squad The historic baseball season continues throughout Michigan into the fall...