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

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.

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.  

Over the past two years there's been 20 large scale development projects in East Lansing. This year's East Lansing City Council candidates, have differnt philosophies on how the development should be conducted.
Alec Gerstenberger, WKAR

There has been a surge in development in East Lansing over the last two years with 20 major projects that have dramatically changed the skyline of the city. The new structures, the majority of which being apartment complexes designed with students in mind, have brought with them more students.

The candidates running for this year’s city council election generally support the development. Candidates differ on how they want to go forward from the current breakneck pace. Where they differ is in how they want to move forward after such a rapid surge in development. 

Members of the Poison Squad
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration/flickr/Public Domain

When you go to the store and pick up a gallon of milk, you're probably not worried about it being filled with formaldehyde, thanks to the FDA. However, it took some brave men to risk their health to bring food safety issues to light. On this episode of Serving Up Science, science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum and WKAR’s Karel Vega talk about the heroic act of the Poison Squad.

kconnors / morgueFile

The Calhoun county sheriff’s department says they were notified on Monday, April 15 that one of their inmates was displaying symptoms of mumps. A few days later, another case was confirmed.

Tunde Olaniran
Courtesy Tunde Olaniran

Activism, body positivity, race and social issues are all themes in Flint-native Tunde Olaniran’s music. Olaniran will perform on WKAR’s Backstage Pass on April 17. Tickets are free.

icy windshield
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR-MSU

Most of Michigan is bracing for freezing rain that's expected to leave roads icy as Michigan's Upper Peninsula deals with lingering effects of an ice storm.

PIxabay Creative Commons

During periods of extreme cold, like the Midwest is facing, it is easy for exposed skin to get damaged. 

School Closings for Wednesday, January 30

Jan 29, 2019
snow blower, Grand Ledge, winter, snow
Laura Michels / WKAR-MSU

UPDATED at 7:45 p.m.: Lansing, Jackson, Detroit, Ann Arbor and schools across Michigan have  canceled classes for Wednesday, January 30. Click here for the districts.