Built by French explorer Rene-Robert Sieur de La Salle, the vessel "Le Griffon," or "Griffin" in English, was the first vessel to sail the Great Lakes. The ship was an important supply line to support La Salle’s expedition in search of the mouth of the Mississippi River. However, the ship was disappeared in 1679 and hasn’t been found since.
Today on Current State: Can redistricting be done without politics?; archeological finds under MSU's campus; Lansing's new sewer project; and state transportation issues including road funding and Detroit metro's new Regional Transportation Authority.
Michigan’s state legislative districts are redrawn after every U.S. Census. The last time around the process turned contentious and led many Democrats to allege gerrymandering by the GOP majority. They point to what they say are contorted district lines drawn to ensure a political advantage.
This Thursday, Lansing residents have a chance to weigh in on the latest suggestion for dealing with city sewage and stormwater. City administrators say the so-called "Wet Weather" project would combine Lansing’s 20-year old CSO, or “combined sewage overflow” project, with two other similar ones involving sanitary sewer overflow and stormwater.
Regionalism is a buzzword that’s uttered throughout metropolitan communities across the country, and mid-Michigan is no exception. Proponents say it’s more than a lofty ideal whereby the assets and resources of large cities benefit the surrounding suburbs. They claim in hard economic times, regionalism is a lifeline for survival.
It should come as no surprise that Kathryn Votapek is a musician, as both of her parents are pianists. Her father, Ralph Votapek, was the first winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
But Kathryn and her musician brothers chose other instruments, and her career path led her to the music faculty at the University of Michigan, where she is a lecturer in violin.
Exports are big business in Michigan. In 2012, $53 billion, which is about 15 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), was attributed to the state’s export economy. And that’s up 12 percent from 2011.
Former state schools superintendent Tom Watkins says some of Michigan's 800 school districts would lose $10,000 for each dropout or transfer student. Still, those school districts haven't taken subsequent actions to minimize the revenue loss.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Along with hundreds of other state officials, Michael Finney - CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation - spent a few days last week at the Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. The annual gathering offers decision-makers from the public and private sectors a chance to connect with each other and learn more about the issues facing the state, along with possible remedies.
Each year, billions of dollars of our nation's agriculture sector are the direct result of the work done by bees. In Michigan, blueberry, apple and cherry growers - among others - count on them to pollinate their crops.
However, bee populations have been in slow decline across most of the United States.
Today on Current State: Michigan's demand for homebuilding labor; the Lansing Symphony Orchestra performs 1980s classics; Neighbors in Action features Friends of Ingham County Parks; East Lansing's Prima Civitas explores opportunities in Libya; and MSU's 53rd season of "Summer Circle Theatre."
One of the first casualties of the Great Recession was the national housing market; home values reached historic lows after the bubble burst in 2007. Now, a rising demand for new housing is driving a nationwide recovery. But the problem is that many skilled workers who lost their jobs in the last six years have moved on.