With springtime finally arriving in mid-Michigan, the sounds of the season have also emerged again. The song of the northern cardinal is one of hundreds recorded by Dr. Pamela Rasmussen. She's an assistant professor of zoology at Michigan State University and assistant curator at the MSU Museum.
Today on Current State: The debate over Medicaid expansion continues; gun safety; the value of art and physical education in school; a Public Poetry Announcement featuring John Balaban, and NPR's Don Gonyea comes home to MSU this weekend.
Michigan legislators and numerous stakeholders around the state continue to spar over whether to fund an expansion of Medicaid in Michigan.
Supporters of expansion--which would happen as part of the federal Affordable Care Act--claim it’s fair to extend coverage to more low income residents and that it would be good for the economy. Opponents say they fear the future costs of the move, and some resist anything connected with ‘Obamacare.’
The senseless tragedies that took place last year at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school brought renewed focus to the national debate over gun control. It’s a thorny issue that impacts everything from constitutional rights to mental health care.
Recently, the Lansing school district announced that it will cut as many as 87 teachers in an effort to address the district’s budget deficit. Many of the teachers expected to be laid off are certified to teach art, music and physical education to elementary school students. The district says it's not eliminating its arts and physical education programs, but “redesigning” them, using existing teachers and outside programming as a substitute.
Don Gonyea graduated from Michigan State University in 1978. Pictured from left: School of Journalism director Lucinda Davenport, former Associated Press reporter Kathy Barks Hoffman, NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea and MSU journalism professor Eric Freedman.
The MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences will honor NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea this week with the 2013 WKAR Public Media Master Award. Gonyea earned two degrees from MSU on his way to a remarkable career in radio. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Don Gonyea about the award and his work at NPR.
Matt opens the show with discussion on Big Ten Football security, in wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. He also talks about the Big Ten divisions, and the difficulties that Michigan State will face. NBA playoffs coverage is also a hot topic, and Matt delves in the discussion whether the Oklahoma City Thunder can hold on for the next round. Matt closes the show with the potential draft choices for the Detroit Pistons, and the confusion that it could give fans.
Today on Current State: Ingham County Chief District Judge talks Indigent Defense; the Lansing Information Technology Empowerment Center; Michael Finney from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and re-imagining the Grand River corridor.
Matt Ludtke starts the show off with MSU football recruiting, and potential NFL talent on the current roster. He switches gears to the Detroit Red Wings, as they drop their first game to the Ducks. Plus, the NBA playoffs are in full swing, and "dirty play" is an issue looming with one NBA team. He closes the show with the debate of the Redskins.
The sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it clear: any citizen accused of a crime will--if necessary--have access to qualified legal representation in court. Many legal professionals think that guarantee has been seriously compromised in Michigan for many years. The state often ranks low in assessments of its system of indigent defense. In recent years, several efforts by the state legislature to strengthen the system have failed.
For this week’s Neighbors in Action we feature the Information Technology Empowerment Center, which works with students and families in the Capital Region to build excitement for coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
K-12 Program Manager Cathy Post and ITEC student Joshua Ambrose join us in studio to discuss the non-profit and the technology training courses offered to children and adults.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation touts itself as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, incentives and overall economic growth.
Michael Finney is the President and CEO of MEDC. He came to the organization after holding a key economic development position as head of the Ann Arbor Spark. Finney joins Current State to discuss MEDC and Michigan’s larger economic picture.
The stretch of Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue from the Capitol building all the way east to Webberville is this region’s busiest corridor. A new plan, led by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, is in the works to transform this corridor with more attractive design, improved rapid transit, and sustainable business and infrastructure improvements.
Current State reviews the biggest news stories in April, as well as some that flew under the radar. Lansing City Pulse columnist Walt Sorg, Michigan Information and Research Service news director Kyle Melinn and Michigan Public Radio Network managing editor Rick Pluta join Current State's Mark Bashore in a reporters' roundtable.
This month, the Vermont-based local food advocacy group "Strolling of the Heifers" released its second annual Locavore Index. The index ranks states based on their commitment to local food. Michigan earned a spot at # 22 on the list.
Michigan State University Art and Art History professor Susan Bandes has run a student project this year examining notable architecture in East Lansing. The focus has been on homes and businesses built between 1940 and 1970.
The summer movie season is upon us. Soon we will be inspired by the feats of cinematic superheroes, and clutching our seats in fear as we watch the world’s demise. Entertainment reporter and film critic for MLive.com and TheGrandRapidsPress, John Serba, helps Current State's Emanuele Berry sort through the many films of summer.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a massive study that analyzes health care in counties across the country and ranks them based on health data. The data shows some noteworthy findings about health disparities across 83 counties in Michigan. For instance, two neighboring counties, Wayne and Washtenaw, have very contrasting health outcomes.
MLive's Lansing beat reporter Angela Wittrock joins Current State every Monday for a rundown of the latest news about the local economy, business and development. Today, she talks with Current State host Emanuele Berry about how Lansing will balance its budget, the proposed Kewadin casino project and more.
Paper-cut, or Jianzhi, is a traditional Chinese art activity in which people use different papers to cut various characters. Putting paper-cuts in red paper has always been a tradition for the Chinese Spring festival. This photo features Nezha, a popular character from a very famous Chinese legend story, Fengshen Yanyi.
China’s economic and political growth has been well documented. However, limited attention has been paid to how rapid development has dramatically impacted the nation's cultural life. Organizations in both China and the U.S. are working together to preserve and share China's "intangible" heritage and build cultural ties.
Allen (Al) Martin is joining WKAR as the host of “Sports Talk 870.” Al’s passion for sports journalism stems from his own experience on the court. In high school he played basketball. In college he translated his love for the game into the field of journalism. Al joins Current State's Emanuele Berry to talk about his connection with sports journalism and the future of “Sports Talk 870.”
Today on Current State: Michigan’s health disparities across 83 counties; Lansing’s business news with MLive’s Angela Wittrock; an oil boom in Jackson County; China and U.S.’s mutual efforts to preserve Chinese intangible cultural heritage and new WKAR “Sports Talk” host Allen Martin.
A huge crude oil field was discovered near Brooklyn, MI four years ago. Jackson County leads the state in oil production.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR
Operations VP Tim Baker oversees West Bay Exploration's drilling in Jackson County. The company wants to build two deep wells in the area to bury wastewater brine that's pumped up with the oil and natural gas.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR
Tanker trucks load brine, oil and natural gas at oil processing stations scattered across the county. As many as 40 trucks travel local roads every day, which has local residents concerned.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR
Irish Hills resident John Bancroft looks out over the Raisin River. Last year, an empty brine truck overturned at this site, causing fears of a much more damaging spill in the future.
Michigan has made huge investments to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. But like the rest of the country, Michigan is still a primarily fossil fuel-driven economy. Crude oil is big business in Michigan, especially in Jackson County. In 2012, more than 1.2 million barrels were produced there, which is three times more than any other county.
Matt Ludtke is back to recap last night’s NFL draft. Ludtke analyzes the Ansah choice and other potential picks for the Detroit Lions. He also looks into the possibility of a recent MSU basketball commitment becoming a recruitment advocate for Tom Izzo. The Detroit Red Wings defeated Nashville last night, and the NBA playoffs are in full swing. These topics are among others on today’s SportsTalk.
Today on Current State: Lansing native Maureen Abood explores her Lebanese culture through writing and food; a researcher penetrates the murky world of organ trafficking; and MSU Library's world renowned comic book collection.
From Chinese prisoners to peasants in Bangladesh to prisoners of war in the Balkans, victims of organ trafficking span the globe. Some are enticed by promises of cash payments for their kidneys and other organs, others are forced against their will. Few of them ever receive proper medical care or the money they were promised.