Current State

Every Tuesday the Current State public affairs radio program on WKAR in East Lansing runs an environmental story in partnership with Great Lakes Echo. The stories also run on the Echo site and are archived here.

Recent Stories

Great Lakes month in review: What’s next in algae fight?

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At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we’re focusing on the Toledo water crisis, which was in the news for several weeks this month, and could be again. This segment is produced by Current State as part of a partnership with Great Lakes Echo. Continue Reading →

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How do mosquitoes target a meal?

Mmmm, blood is tasty. Poison jackets are not. Photo: Aesum (flickr)

As summer winds down and people try to make the most out of the beautiful Michigan environment, many may be fighting off nature’s age-old enemy: the mosquito. But what makes mosquitoes more attracted to some people than others? Many myths have circulated about the cause of this rather annoying phenomenon, but scientific research is also out there about what factors make mosquitoes swarm to certain people (Hint: It has to do with a lot more than blood). Ned Walker, is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the Department of Entomology at MSU. He joins us to discuss the dining preferences of mosquitoes. Continue Reading →

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Magazine highlights the best of Lake Superior

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Lake Superior Magazine’s September issue will includes its annual Best of the Lake list. The article highlights reader favorites in dozens of categories, from best spectacular views to best boat ride to best fish sandwich. All winners are chosen from the Lake Superior states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, plus Ontario, Canada. Current State’s Peter Whorf spoke with editor Konnie LeMay, who explains that certain categories are voted on every year because Michigan residents are interested to know about those particular hidden Michigan treasures. Continue Reading →

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Michigan farmers adjusting to climate change

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If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy. At the end of June, the US Department of Agriculture published its crop acreage report. It showed a record number of acres of corn, soybeans and wheat were planted this spring in Michigan. Continue Reading →

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A deeper dive into Lake Erie’s pea-green soup

Water 'buffalos,' like this one provided by the Ohio National Guard, kept Toledo residents supplied with drinking water during the recent 3-day water crisis. Image: Karen Schaefer

Karen Schaefer, an independent public radio journalist based in Ohio who has been covering algae blooms in Lake Erie for years, reported on the recent Toledo water crisis for Great Lakes Echo. Here she gives deeper background on the development of the threat posed by algae and what may lie ahead. Additional stories here. This report first appeared on WKAR’s Current State public affairs program and is produced as a partnership with Great Lakes Echo.   Continue Reading →

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Month in review: Detroit water shut-offs, carp and pipelines

People protesting the shut off water to some Detroit citizens and businesses.
Image: Flickr- Light Brigading

At the end of each month we check in with Echo commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, Gary discusses Detroit water shutoffs and the latest legal news on the Asian Carp situation. This segment is a feature of a partnership between Great Lakes Echo and WKAR’s Current State public affairs program. supported by Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.   Continue Reading →

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Mosquitoes triple

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If you live in Michigan it seems like every summer is a time to complain about the mosquitoes being really bad this year, but how bad are they, really? Current State talked with Ned Walker about this year’s mosquito crop and some of the issues connected to mosquito-borne illness. He’s a professor in MSU’s Department of Entomology and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Continue Reading →

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