Michigan At Risk Offers Several Encore Broadcasts

EAST LANSING, MI —  WKAR has updated several previously produced documentaries of the statewide, Emmy award-winning series Michigan At Risk. For eight weeks, beginning Sunday, January 7, at 6 p.m., Michigan At Risk Encore will present these programs with new introductions by series host Tim Skubick.

The 30-minute documentary specials will also be broadcast on all Michigan Public Television Stations – check local listings for time and date.

All episodes will be broadcast on WKAR Sundays at 6 p.m. The complete schedule for January and February is: Homefront (Jan.7); The Prescription Drug Crisis (Jan. 14); Charter Schools: Here to Stay? (Jan. 21); Water Trouble (Jan. 28); Patriot Games (Feb. 4); MEAP: Left Behind? (Feb. 11); Dying for a Drink (Feb. 18), and Ticket to Ride (Feb. 25).

For on-demand viewing of episodes on-line, visit WKAR.org.

WKAR-TV is part of Michigan State University Broadcasting Services and includes WKAR-TV, WKAR-DT, cable channels ‘KAR2, 3, and 4, 90.5 WKAR, AM 870, Interactive Video Services, Radio Talking Book, and online services WKAR.org and WMSU.org. WKAR-TV was recently honored as Michigan Public Television Station of the Year by Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and received seven Michigan EMMY® Awards, which were presented in spring 2006.

"Michigan At Risk”
Encore Series Descriptions


In a story that ran almost exactly one year ago Michigan At Risk Encore Revisits our Michigan National Guard and how its role and its composition have changed.  Today’s Guard is fully integrated into the regular army.  And, women are more plentiful and play a vastly different role than a generation ago.


In a program first aired in the winter of 2003, the crisis over the cost prescription drugs, particularly for people on fixed incomes, was rocketing out of control.  Since then, the Medicaid and Medicare prescription drug programs have been initiated by Congress and the White House. But for a while, the department of Homeland Security was seizing drugs sent from Canada through the mail, and threatening to confiscate orders filled in Canada by seniors crossing the border. After a public outcry however, they have since relented.


After more than a decade since voters in Michigan approved charter schools, “Michigan At Risk” looked at how charter schools have fared. And, as we found, there had been great successes and a few disasters along the way.


“Michigan At Risk” takes a look at one of the most sensitive issues in our state: water and who owns it. The Great Lakes contain 23 percent of the world’s fresh water, a massive abundance. While parched and over- populated states such as California, Texas and Oklahoma are slowly running dry and desperately eyeing new sources of water. In 2003 when this documentary first aired, Michigan had virtually no laws controlling ownership and extraction of fresh water. That has now begun to change.


In the days that followed the 9-11attacks,  President Bush’s urged the Congress to pass anti- terrorism laws that have become one of the greatest and most contentious issues ever, over Americans’ civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act is that law. In an odd twist, the law brought together two opposite ends of the political spectrum: Liberals and Conservatives who, for once, agreed that it had gone too far.  Our 2004 program examined how the Patriot act played out in Michigan.   

#106 MEAP

When we first aired our look at MEAP testing in Michigan schools back in 2003, there were scandals brewing over several thousand tests that had been lost or misplaced by an out-of-state testing service hired by the state to administer the examination. This had left high school seniors wondering if they would get their $2,500 from the state’s merit scholarship funds in time to go to college in the fall.  Many did not.  And angry parents, meanwhile, complained that it was time to do away with MEAP altogether. So, last fall, Governor Granholm did just that when she signed into law a new testing system called the Michigan Merit Exam.  


Excessive drinking among the young has always been a problem, particularly on college campuses. But what has changed in recent years is a highly dangerous pattern of how young people are drinking. The most insidious is what has become know as “celebration” drinking, in which 21 year olds down a succession of shots to match their age.  


Michigan has always worshiped the automobile.  But some have wondered whether we have worshiped it to our own detriment. They see it not just as an environmental question, but as a social and economic question involving growth and our future.  States with good public transit integrated with highways systems seem to be more livable, and beacons for young professionals. So, why hasn’t Michigan been able to ride this bandwagon?