Amanda Barberena

News Intern

Amanda Barberena helps write stories for online and books interviews for newscasts. The Michigan State University student started with WKAR in the Fall of 2017 during her freshman year.

Ways to Connect

I Voted Stickers
UnSplash Creative Commons

I voted stickers
Scott Pohl WKAR

UPDATED Wednesday March 11 at 3:16 p.m.: results for local ballot proposals from unofficial results.

A small but stalwart crowd gathered at the Michigan state Capitol for the 2020 Lansing Women's march. Capitol facilities estimated more than 250 people took part in festivities despite heavy snow earlier in the day and poor driving conditions.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

A stalwart crowd of protesters gathered at the state Capitol Saturday for the 2020 Women’s March. The event was one of 200 sister marches held across the country for the popular protest that began in 2017 as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, the day after his inauguration.

Bag of Chips
Pixabay Creative Commons

Whenever you’re stressed at work or school, do you ever catch yourself reaching for a bag of chips or candy? Or are you ever so lost in your work that you don’t realize you’re snacking? On this episode of Serving Up Science, science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum and WKAR’s Karel Vega discuss stress eating with student reporter Amanda Barberena.


Lansing skyline
WKAR File Photo

The City of Lansing began several new development projects this year including the Red Cedar Development, linking Lansing to East Lansing, and a mixed use space near the Cooley Law school stadium. Combined both projects are valued at over $300 million. As the flurry of new developments increases candidates running for city council are deciding what their elevator pitch of the city will be and who it will be addressing. 

After both medical and recreational marijuana were legalized this year's crop of Lansing city council candidates are tasked with taking a position on the future of marijuana in the city.
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR Public Media

 

After the State of Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2018 midterms, cities and municipalities across the state are now deliberating what role marijuana will play in their future. Yet for many, including Lansing, markets are still developing and businesses are just beginning to be licensed forcing city council candidates to take a stand on how permissive they'll be toward cannabis businesses.  

 

 


Lansing City Hall
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

Managing legacy costs is weighing down Lansing’s budget. As of July, the city has more than $700 million in money that has not been set aside to pay for retired city worker’s pensions and healthcare. In 2018, the city only had $130 million saved for unfunded pension liabilities. 


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

East Lansing has a city income tax for the first time this year. It was passed by voters in 2018 after a previous iteration was defeated in a referendum several years before. Many of the candidates running for council this year support the income tax, but how much revenue the tax will net for the city remains largely unknown.


Jack-o'-Lanterns
Amanda Barberena/Karel Vega

Candy, scary movies and costumes all signify that Halloween is approaching, but one important characteristic is missing: jack-o’-lanterns. On this episode of Serving Up Science, science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum and WKAR’s Karel Vega discuss the dawn of the jack-o’-lantern with the help of student reporter Amanda Barberena.


Holistic Health is a business that offers medical marijuana exams and renewals on Grand River in East Lansing. After Prop. 1 was passed in 2018 the city council and candidates are faced with deciding what role recreational marijuana will play in the city.
Alec Gerstenberger, WKAR

After Proposition 1 was passed by Michigan voters in 2018, many cities and counties in the state are grappling with how they’ll open their communities to recreational marijuana. That includes college towns like Ann Arbor  and East Lansing, where marijuana has been decriminalized for years.  

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