Michigan spends $2 billion annually on its prison system. That’s slightly more than one-fifth of the state’s general fund, according to a 2012 House Fiscal Agency report. In order to whittle down the size of the prison system’s financial burden, Michigan lawmakers have been looking at private companies to provide services.
Tonight, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra wraps up its season with a program featuring music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto Number One. Current State's Melissa Benmark caught up with conductor Timothy Muffitt for a preview.
Administrators, staff and students of one of Lansing’s newest charter schools got some bad news yesterday. The Learn, Live, Lead Academy, launched by local banking executive and former Lansing Community College President Paula Cunningham, was told its contract was being revoked. “L3,” as it’s called, is nearing the end of its first year of operations.
It’s the third annual Mighty Uke Day this weekend, with many of the festivities taking place in Lansing’s Old Town. In the studio to play for us today is The Mighty Uke Day Trio, as they’re calling themselves. They are Chris Hamilton on the ukulele; Andy Wilson on the harmonica and pocket trumpet; and the Mighty Uke Day organizer, Ben Hassenger, is also on the ukulele. They spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore.
There’s movement in both Lansing and Washington D.C. toward what many call a “leveling of the playing field” regarding sales taxes. A pair of measures dubbed “The Main Street Fairness” bill is currently being debated in the Michigan House. The proposal would collect a 6% Michigan sales tax on purchases from out of state internet retailers at the point of sale. And on Monday, the U.S. Senate widely approved a measure that would empower states to do just that.
A little known state agency is celebrating an important milestone today. The Michigan Historical Commission is holding its 100th anniversary meeting in Lansing. The commission is the group responsible for the more than 1,700 green and gold historic markers scattered across the state. It’s also heavily involved in the ongoing sesquicentennial of Michigan’s role in the Civil War. The chair of the Michigan Historical Commision, Jack Dempsey, spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore about the importance of preserving Michigan’s history.
In a speech Monday night at a law enforcement memorial held at the state Capitol, longtime Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth decried the political influence and budget cuts on law enforcement. Sheriff Wriggelsworth spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore about the effects of downsizing police departments.
Our weekly Neighbors in Action segment features people and organizations working to make our community a better place. This week, we feature a new organization: the Greater Lansing chapter of First Book. It’s a non-profit that offers new books to children in need. Board chairperson Jeremiah Rivera and chair-elect Paul Harmon spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Matt Ludtke starts the show off recapping the overtime thriller from the Detroit Red Wings last night at Joe Louis Arena. He then delves into the latest in the Derrick Rose decision, and NBA playoff matchups. Matt closes the show with the induction of MSU linebacker Percy Snow to the College Football Hall of Fame, and then looks at the upcoming football schedule for next season.
According to a 2012 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, bacterial levels of Great Lakes’ beaches exceeded public health standards more than beaches in any other region. Contaminated water can cause illness and force beaches to close. Joan Rose is the Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research. She discusses beach health and water systems. She spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore.
A Michigan filmmaker is taking her romantic comedy on the festival circuit, including a screening tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
“Detroit Unleaded” focuses on the personalities who come and go at a gas station in the Motor City.
The movie’s writer, director and producer Rola Nashaf grew up on the west side of Lansing. She emigrated with her family from Lebanon at the age of five. The Waverly High School graduate moved to Detroit after college.
For years, eating disorders such as bulimia and the binge / purge subtype of anorexia were thought to be connected to cultural and psychological pressures, especially among girls and women. But a new study by a Michigan State University psychologist indicates binge eating may have biological roots. Dr. Kelly Klump concludes that female rats are more likely to binge eat than males. Her work could influence the science of eating disorders in humans. She spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Today on Current State: the expansion of Jackson National Life Insurance’s headquarter in Lansing; chef and author Anthony Bourdain coming to the Red Haven; Detroit Tiger’s Hank Greenberg; and Lansing’s business news with MLive’s Angela Wittrock.
Last week, company officials from Jackson National Life Insurance, alongside Gov. Rick Snyder and mayor Virg Bernero, announced a proposed $100-million expansion of its headquarters near Lansing. The project has rekindled an interesting discussion on marketing Lansing as a hub of the insurance industry. Four insurers-Auto Owners, Jackson National, the Accident Fund and Farm Bureau Insurance-already employ at least 5,500 people in Lansing, according to the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. The expansion plan, if it proceeds, would add about another 1,000.
In the spring of 1933, a young ballplayer from the Bronx named Hank Greenberg began his rookie campaign with the Detroit Tigers. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Tiger legend’s first season. Greenberg's storied career is celebrated not only for his excellence on the diamond but also for the adversity Hammerin' Hank overcame during one of the world's most turbulent periods.
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 Mark Bashore about the delayed Market Place project in downtown Lansing, a new food business in Old Town, and the future of convention business in Detroit.
Matt Ludtke hosts another addition of SportsTalk, and recaps the great night in sports. The Detroit Red Wings finish the Anaheim Ducks in overtime to even up the series, and Ludtke has all the analysis. Draymond Green’s career high propels the Warriors past the Nuggets, and other NBA teams made a big splash. Matt also discusses the possible strategy in the consulting hire of Phil Jackson for the Detroit Pistons.
Today on Current State: a new study reveals Asian carp may already be in the Great Lakes; former Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider; the summer blockbuster movie season has arrived and a Michigan State University ornithologist catalogs more than 10,000 bird songs scattered across the globe.
A new study released in April finds Asian carp may in fact be reaching the Great Lakes. The Asian carp is an invasive species with an appetite large enough to potentially decimate the food chain ecosystem of the Great Lakes. There have been many efforts to contain the spread of the fish in the Chicago Area Waterway System to connects to Lake Michigan. The study now raises new questions about the effectiveness of that system.
For 24 years, John Schneider's column was a "destination read" in the Lansing State Journal. Schneider retired from the paper just over a year ago to free up more time for fishing and meandering in the woods...but it's been a thoroughly modern retirement. It's continued to include a blog, a regular column with Bridge magazine and -- Current State has learned -- a periodic return to the Lansing State Journal.
The summer movie season is upon us. In a few weeks, we will be inspired by the feats of cinematic superheroes, clutching our popcorn in fear as we watch the world's demise. Current State's Emanuele Berry joined MLive.com and Grand Rapids Press entertainment reporter and film critic John Serba to sort out the many films of summer.
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.