Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office / AP Photo

Gun Violence Forum in Kalamazoo

A group called the Coalition for Common Ground will hold a public forum on gun violence in Kalamazoo on Monday, July 24. It will feature Sandy Phillips, the founder of Jessi's Message . It's named for Phillips' daughter, who was killed during a mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012.

Read More
Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, via Facebook

Saugatuck Fest Presents Savory 'Czech Mix' Program

Drew Le, pianist and co-director of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck with his wife, violinist Jennifer Walvoord, says that for the 30th season of the festival, they stuck to their successful combination of concerts featuring west Michigan musicians, with two exceptions - the New York-based Claremont Trio and Chicago-based Kontras Quartet. Some quaint traditions, such as cash-only admission, linger as well. Free admission for students with ID on Fridays is a new feature.

Read More

On WestSouthwest, a rebroadcast of an interview with Tom Vance discussing his book about former U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson. 

Ryan Dy of Holland (right) and Tom Fik of Allegan (left) fishing at Allegan Dam
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

People aren’t supposed to eat the fish out of the Kalamazoo River, but many still do. Fish in the river are contaminated with PCBs - the toxin leftover from Kalamazoo’s old paper mills. Eating the fish over time could cause cancer, birth defects, neurological issues, and other health problems. Decades ago the state put up signs warning people of the risks that come with eating the fish, but those signs aren’t reaching everyone.

A coalition that wants to legalize recreational marijuana has gathered 100,000 signatures for a petition drive so far. Cigarette sales are down in Michigan, but lung cancer deaths are up. Black bear populations have risen in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Kevin Lavery, WKAR

The 2018 election is still a ways away, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of hopeful candidates from throwing their hats in the ring. A Democrat with eyes on Michigan’s 8th Congressional District announced her candidacy Monday. 


Health care providers and patient advocates in Michigan are watching to see what’s in a re-vamped Republican health care overhaul. The rollout is expected later this week in Washington. 

State Police Seek "Angel" Volunteers

Jul 10, 2017
Elise Amendola / AP Photo

The Michigan State Police are joining a nationwide effort to fight abuse of heroin and "opioid" drugs. The "Angel Program" lets addicts seek help from law enforcement agencies without fearing arrest or investigation.

Vetoed Criminal Justice Bill Getting Revived

Jul 10, 2017
Kevin Lavery, WKAR

(MPRN-Lansing)  State lawmakers are taking another run at establishing a database for criminal justice information. Governor Rick Snyder vetoed an earlier effort. 

Another member of the Portage City Council now plans to run for mayor. Changes coming to parking in downtown Kalamazoo. The Growlers and Bombers both win on the road. 


A city with wealthy philanthropists where families who started successful business have chosen to stay and donate their money to causes to make it a better community. That describes both Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Rufus Ferguson

Rufus Ferguson was a freshman at Western Michigan University when Keith Hall first heard the young pianist's soulful, gospel-inflected playing. At that time, Ferguson had only just begun to explore jazz. Through hard work, and under the guidance of piano professor Jeremy Siskind, Keith Hall and other members of the WMU jazz faculty, Ferguson developed into a multifaceted performer and composer who takes pride in the nickname "Sideman Ferguson." He can fit into nearly any performance situation and make it sound good. In an in-studio performance and interview with Keith Hall, Rufus Ferguson takes a turn as a soloist, and talks about what made him the player he is today.