Abigail Censky

Politics/Government Reporter

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR.

Abigail joined WKAR in December 2018.

Prior to joining WKAR, Abigail served as news intern at St. Louis Public Radio, covering the Missouri 2018 midterm elections; and covered Colorado politics as a reporter with the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Abigail Censky has a bachelor's degree from Colorado College.

Members of the Michigan State University marching band are braving below freezing temperatures to take part in "Sparty Watch" — a more than 50-year-old protection scheme devised to fend off attacks on MSU's beloved mascot, The Spartan, in advance of their rivalry football game on Saturday.

It's 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and 22 degrees. Twenty members of the MSU marching band and color guard are huddled outside in the snow flanking the 9-foot bronze statue.

Newcomers made the biggest gains on both the Lansing and East Lansing City Council's with Brandon Betz ousting incumbent Jody Washington. And, Lisa Babcock and Jessy Gregg knocking off Eric Altmann in East Lansing.
Amanda Pinckney, WKAR

Two incumbents were ousted from the Lansing and East Lansing City Councils in Tuesday’s election. The upsets were part of a trend of progressive and anti-establishment newcomers, unseating well-financed and widely recognized incumbents. WKAR’s Abigail Censky talked to Lansing State Journal Reporter Sarah Lehr about the results. Below are highlights of their conversation. 

Tuesday was election day across Mid-Michigan with races happening in Eaton, Ingham and Jackson Counties.
Photo: WKAR

Local elections happened all across Mid-Michigan Tuesday. For many Michigan voters this was the first election it was possible to vote no-reason absentee, or register on the same day after Proposal 3 was passed in the 2018 midterms. 

This post will be updated as the results come in. Below are the results for races across Ingham, Eaton and Jackson Counties.

Nancy Schlichting, second from left,  stands behind MSU Trustee Melanie Foster.  She served under a year of the remainder of George Perles' term before resigning, citing trustees unwillingness to waive privilege and conduct an independent investigation.
Alec Gerstenberger, WKAR

Nancy Schlichting has resigned from the Michigan State University Board of Trustees after serving under a year of the remaining four years of George Perles’ term. She sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer over the weekend resigning from her post citing the board's unwillingness to conduct an independent investigation of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. 

United States Supreme Court Building
Ray Garcia / WKAR-MSU

Early Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower Michigan court’s decision that would require lawmakers redraw gerrymandered district and congressional lines before the elections in 2020. WKAR's Politics Reporter Abigail Censky spoke to Riley Beggin, Bridge Magazine's politics reporter about the decision and it's implications for Michigan. Below are highlights of their conversation.

Alec Gerstenberger / WKAR-MSU

The United Autoworkers strike against General Motors is now in its fifth week. By some estimates workers have lost more than six hundred million in wages. Now, the UAW has announced they've reached a tentative agreement with GM.

With the UAW strike against General Motors in its fourth week, the automaker is losing millions of dollars. So are the businesses that supply GM. Many of their workers have also been out of work for four weeks, but unlike the striking UAW workers, their plight is much less visible.

Lansing, Mich., has nine regional GM suppliers. These are companies that do everything from producing ads to making parts for GM's cars and trucks. Altogether, that's more than 6,000 jobs. Supplier jobs in Lansing outnumber GM jobs.

Starting in November, the state of Michigan will begin accepting license applications for recreational marijuana businesses. However, don’t expect to start seeing these businesses open up for some time. WKAR’s government and politics reporter Abigail Censky spoke to Lansing State Journal reporter Sarah Lehr about new marijuana legislation approved by the Lansing City Council.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin faced consituents for the first time Wednesday after announcing she now backs an impeachment inquiry.
Amanda Barberena / WKAR-MSU

Hundreds of people crowded into a Grand Traverse Pie Company in East Lansing on Wednesday for Representative Elissa Slotkin’s (MI-08) first in-district public event since she announced she was joining calls for an impeachment inquiry last week.

A United Auto Worker strikes outside of the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in the first week of the strike. The strike is now three weeks old and some analysts predict supplier wage losses are outpacing UAW wage losses.
Alec Gerstenberger, WKAR

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors entered its third week Monday.  It’s estimated that GM has lost more than $135 million over the course of the strike. But the businesses that supply GM are also losing millions. WKAR’s politics reporter Abigail Censky spoke with Patrick Anderson, CEO of the Anderson Economic Group, about how much he estimates suppliers are losing. Below are highlights of their conversation.

WKAR Special Report: Marijuana in Michigan
illustration / WKAR-MSU

The city of Lansing will be making the rules that govern recreational marijuana by modifying their rules on medical marijuana. Lansing State Journal reporter Sarah Lehr reports on city council and she joined WKAR’s Abigail Censky in the studio to discuss the potential changes. Below are highlights of their conversation.

United Auto Workers strike outside of the Lansing Grand River assembly plant earlier this week. This is the largest strike against GM since 2007.
Alec Gerstenberger, WKAR

This week nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers walked out of General Motors plants across the country in the first national UAW strike against GM since 2007. The strike officially surpassed the length of the 2007 strike on Wednesday. Now, everyone outside of the negotiating room in Detroit is left scratching their heads on what the potential cost of this strike could be. WKAR politics reporter Abigail Censky joined WKAR’s Karel Vega to speak about the potential impact of a lingering strike on the local economy in a GM town. Below are highlights from the conversation. 

MSU sign
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

One day after Michigan State University was slapped with a historic $4.5 million dollar fine by the US Department of Education, the MSU trustees announced they would put an external investigation on hold.

MSU sign
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

On Thursday, Michigan State University was fined $4.5 million by the US Department of Education for failing to protect students from sexual harassment and abuse. It’s the largest fine ever issued by the Department for not complying with a federal law that requires clear and prompt reporting of crimes that endanger students. WKAR’s Abigail Censky and Mary Ellen Pitney talked about the report's findings on Friday's Morning Edition

Elissa Slotkin takes questions from the audience in Howell at her third official town hall. She demurred, when asked to take a position on an impeachment inquiry now that 137 House Democrats support impeachment or an inquiry.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

Over the August recess the number of Democrats in the House of Representatives in favor of impeachment or an impeachment inquiry has increased to more than half of the chamber’s Democrats. But most of the Democrats who have signed on to support an inquiry are from solidly blue districts. WKAR’s politics reporter Abigail Censky talked with WKAR Host Karel Vega about what Democrats from republican leaning districts in Michigan are thinking.