Current State #5 | January 18, 2013

Jan 18, 2013

On today's Current State:  Local efforts for immigration reform, Michigan prison breakouts, a musical celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the hometown competitors in this weekend's U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.

Local efforts push for comprehensive immigration reform

The Dream Act is a part of what many are proposing as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Credit (Wikimedia Commons)

On Monday, President Barack Obama will be sworn in to start his second term.  Nationwide, Obama received more than 70-percent of the Latino vote in the 2012 election.  As a group, Latinos are at the heart of the national debate on immigration and they’re sure to press the issue in a second Obama administration.

Local advocates in mid-Michigan are adding their voice to a national campaign to create comprehensive immigration reform.  Dr. Ruben Martinez, the director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, discusses the local efforts in the fight for immigration reform.

Michigan fugitives: some recent, some old; some caught, some not

Jerry Bergevin was an expert safe-cracker who hasn't been heard from since he escaped from a Michigan prison 44 years ago.
Credit Michigan Department of Corrections

Jerry Bergevin escaped from a low-security state prison east of Jackson in 1969.  Unaccounted for ever since, Michigan corrections officials finally called off their search for Bergevin a few weeks ago.  If he is alive, Bergevin is a free man.  Michigan Department of Corrections’ John Cordell talks about this mysterious case and other Michigan prison escapes, including the infamous “fugitive mom” Susan LeFevre.

Jazz spirituals honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Jazz, Spirituals, Prayer and Protest will feature many musicians from the MSU College of Music and the surrounding area on Jan. 20 at 3pm and 7pm at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.

MSU professor of double bass and director of jazz studies Rodney Whitaker heads the musical celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. WKAR’s Peter Whorf joined Prof. Whitaker to talk about jazz in the Civil Rights era and this weekend’s event.

Sports update with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free-Press

In our Friday check-in with Joe Rexrode, we talk MSU basketball, the weird scandal surrounding Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, and Lance Armstrong's fall from grace.

Talented local skaters compete in the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships

Oksana Yekusheva (left) coaches her son, Ivan Mohkov, in preparation for his performance at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in Omaha.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Two young local athletes are gearing up to compete in the U.S Figure Skating Championships to be held next week in Omaha.  Sixteen-year-old Hannah Miller and 13-year-old Ivan Mohkov practice at a rink in East Lansing.  That’s where Current State’s Kevin Lavery found them hard at work chasing their dreams.