Joe Linstroth

Producer, Current State

Joe Linstroth is the senior producer of WKAR's Current State.

Prior to joining WKAR in January 2013, Linstroth was a producer for WBEZ -- Chicago Public Media's long-running global affairs show, Worldview, and contributed to The Morning Shift and The Afternoon Shift, as well as "Changing Gears," a series on the Midwest economy.

Linstroth's reporting abroad includes stories about Bulgaria's wine industry, Kosovo’s parallel education systems and Kosovar Albanians' undying love for Bill Clinton.

In previous lives, Joe co-founded two sketch comedy groups in Chicago and was a case manager and health services coordinator for a 250-bed homeless shelter on the city's Westside.

Originally from Minnesota, Joe has a BA in history from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University.

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Music
1:07 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: The Spragues and Pumpstock Music Festival

The Spragues perform live in WKAR's Studio S on Current State.
Credit WKAR/Aaron Young

Saturday, June 7th is the date of the fifth annual Pumpstock Music Festival. The annual gathering in East Lansing’s Bailey Park features live American roots music and local food.

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Health
2:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Living with a severe mental illness: One Lansing woman's story

Despite her severe mental illness, Lansing resident Jerri Nicole Wright has a part-time job, owns a home, and has been married for 20 years.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to commemorate, Current State’s Joe Linstroth speaks with longtime Lansing resident Jerri Nicole Wright about what it’s like to live with a severe and persistent mental illness.

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Science
12:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Open Science movement challenges status quo

The Open Science movement attempts to break down barriers both inside the science community and with the general public.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Studying the final frontier of space got a little bit easier this month. On May 5th, a group of scientists launched an online simulator that allows users to explore our galaxy in incredibly accurate detail in a span of billions years. But what’s the most innovative part of this new project? Anyone can use it whether you’re getting your doctorate in astrophysics or you’re just a curious websurfer.

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Arts & Culture
11:47 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Neighbors in Action: The Homeless Angels

The Homeless Angels aims to share the stories of the homeless with the larger Lansing community.
Credit The Homeless Angels

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature The Homeless Angels, a new Lansing-based organization that does outreach and referrals primarily for street-based homeless people.

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Environment
1:31 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Army Corps of Engineers, Asian carp and Waukesha's water troubles

Wilson discusses tensions between the Army Corps of Engineers and environmental groups over the Asian carp problem.
Credit Flickr - michiganseagrant

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and Chicago-based journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we have more on the efforts to keep Asian carp and Waukesha, Wisconsin out of Lake Michigan.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
1:20 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Pinning down Lansing's pro wrestling scene

The IROG's next event is on June 13 at the Green Union Hall in Lansing.
Credit Courtesy of Danny Shay

Before the International Ring of Grapplers (IROG) was founded in Lansing two years ago, the best chance of seeing moves like a piledriver and a Double Chickenwing, and the high-flying wrestlers who perform them, was likely on TV.

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Politics & Government
1:22 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Net neutrality debate: Will the way we use the internet change?

Credit Flickr - Jason Mcleod

There has been a lot of recent buzz around the idea of net neutrality and how it will affect people’s everyday use of the internet. Net neutrality is the debate over free use of the internet and has been going on for several years now.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
1:19 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

'Oddball Michigan': Tridges, concrete kitsch, and trees from space

"Oddball Michigan: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places" is a recently published book which seeks to catalog all of the oddball tourist destinations throughout our state, and there are plenty of them.

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Music
1:13 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lindsay Lou & Joshua Rilko

Josh Rilko and Lindsay Lou performing live in studio on Current State.
Credit Marie Steinbock

This week’s Live Music Friday featured Joshua Rilko and Lindsay Lou of Lindsay Lou and the Flatbelly’s. They played several new tracks from their most recent EP, "Here Between". Their first record was released in 2010 and they have been touring for two years, playing 200 shows within the last year.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Memorial fund for Rite Aid shooting victim

Michael Addo was killed last Monday at the Rite Aid pharmacy in Frandor.
Credit Courtesy photo

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the local effort to raise funds for the funeral and family of Michael Addo, the pharmacist who was shot to death at the Rite Aid in Frandor last Monday.

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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Report suggests Michigan tax cuts have hampered prosperity

Michigan ranks 49th in the country in terms of the percentage of state and local taxes paid by business.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A recent report casts doubt on the impact of two decades of tax-cutting in Michigan. It suggests that the resulting cuts in public revenue have seriously prevented greater prosperity.

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Arts & Culture
11:25 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Neighbors in Action: House of Promise

Credit http://www.thehouseofpromise.com/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature one woman’s effort to turn her passion for addressing the horrors of human trafficking into action.

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Health
11:15 am
Tue May 13, 2014

EL health forum explores cost containment

Credit Wikimedia Commons

In the era of Obamacare, we often hear of healthcare delivery. That refers to the various ways patients are served by health professionals. For example, there are primary care from a general practitioner, secondary care at a hospital, and urgent care.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Construction expert looks at the worsening state of MI bridges

Nystrom says bridges deemed to be structurally deficient could have issues with the foundation, beams, or holes in the deck.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The state of Michigan’s roads has gotten a lot of attention lately, and if you drive or pay attention to the state legislature, you know why: our roads are just flat-out awful. But what about Michigan’s bridges? It turns out, many of those are in need of major repairs as well.

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Health
12:48 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

MSU counselor encouraged by White House campus sexual assault report

Shari Murgittroyd says it's clear that national advocates and the White House care about the needs of campus sexual assault victims.
Credit Michigan State University

“One in five women is sexually assaulted in college.” That’s the opening statement in a 20-page report released by the White House last week to address the epidemic of sexual assault on our nation’s college campuses. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education also revealed the names of the 55 colleges and universities that the agency is investigating for how they handle sexual assault complaints. As we know, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University were on that list.

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Music
12:24 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing 'Mighty Uke Day' preview

Left to right: Steve Szilagyi, Ben Hassenger and Andy Wilson in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Throughout today's show, we've heard the founder of Mighty Uke Day, Ben Hassenger, on ukulele and vocals. He was joined by Andy Wilson on uke and harmonica, and Steve Szilagyi on upright bass. They performed "Jamaica Farewell" for Current State to preview the three-day event.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Neighbors in Action: NorthWest Initiative

NorthWest Initiative offers an array of services and programs, including food assistance, for residents on Lansing's West and Northwest sides.
Credit Courtesy of Northwest Initiative

 

 


Each Wednesday we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature NorthWest Initiative, which offers an array of programs and services to improve the health of neighborhoods on Lansing’s West and Northwest sides.

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

CRT Report: BWL culture, recordkeeping, technology must change

Lansing mayor Virg Benero (left) received the Community Review Team report on the December ice storm outage yesterday from Chairman General Michael McDaniel.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

It’s become clearer how Lansing’s publicly-owned utility, the Board of Water and Light, failed its customers following last December’s ice storm. A detailed review by an investigative panel explores the utility’s actions before, during and after the storm that knocked out power to some 35,000 customers.

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Health
11:30 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Michigan ACA enrollees top quarter million mark

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Late last week, the latest numbers for Michigan were released for the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, which ended on March 31st.  It turns out more than 272,000 people signed up for one of the plans available on the healthcare.gov website. Of those, 29 percent were from the coveted 18-34 age group and 87 percent were eligible for financial assistance.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
4:31 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Lansing marathon director, national Paralympic coach weigh in on hand cycle controversy

Owen Anderson, Race Director of the Lansing Marathon, says the Lansing marathon is an event sanctioned by USA Track and Field. Their regulations prohibit geared devices from being used in the competition. Geared devices include hand cycles.
Credit Flicker- John Trefethen

On Thursday, a controversy broke out surrounding the Lansing Marathon, which takes place this Sunday.

The marathon, in its 3-year existence, has not allowed disabled athletes using hand cycles to compete. 

Hand cycles are basically 3-wheeled cycles that ride low to the ground with a gear and pedal system operated by the user’s hands.  The marathon has, however, allowed disabled athletes to compete using a push-rim wheelchair or a racing wheelchair. 

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Music
3:56 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: ELHS Gospel Choir

The East Lansing Gospel Choir started two years ago.
Credit Joe Linstroth

Current State's featured musicians this Friday are the East Lansing High School Gospel Choir. Twelve of the group's 25 members joined us in-studio today.

We spoke with director Elie Kirkland about the group's upcoming spring concert, May 31st at the Tabernacle of David in Lansing. 

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Science
1:38 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Bionic eye helps Michigan man see again

The Argus II uses electical stimulation of the retina to reproduce an image that is captured by a video camera.
Credit Courtesy - Second Sight

Restoring sight to the blind and visually impaired has long been thought of as more in the realm of science fiction than actual science. But Roger Pontz of Reed City, Michigan would beg to differ. Diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease as a teenager, Pontz was almost completely blind until last January, when he became just the fourth person in the United States to have a device called the Argus II implanted.

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History
1:31 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The stories fossils can tell

Dr. Gottfried brought this cast of a skull of a so-called 'mammal-like reptile' from South Africa, that is about 240 million years old to WKAR's Studio S, along with a 50-million year old Sand-tiger shark tooth fossil from the Canadian Arctic.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Kids go crazy about dinosaur fossils at the museum. Most of us grow out of that dinosaur phase, and those dinosaurs become reminders that we are turning into fossils, at least to our kids. But fossils are much more than just old bones. They can tell stories about where we came from, and about our planet’s history.

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Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Month in Review: April's biggest news stories

Among many important topics this past month, student evaluations were being reconsidered. Should students be evaluated using the MEAP test?
Credit Flickr

At the end of every month, Current State takes a look back at the biggest news stories of the previous 30 days. To help us put it in context, Current State talks with the host of Off The Record on WKAR-TV and other Michigan public TV stations Tim Skubick, M-Live Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting, and editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, Susan Demas.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones

Bratton says Wild Ones programs are educational: they explain the importance of different soils, plants, and landscape design. These programs are open to the public at the Fenner Nature Center.
Credit courtesy of wildoneslansing.org

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones, a national organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices and environmental education.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
12:59 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Harsh winter leaves Michigan putting greens in the rough

Credit Flickr - Tord Sollie


As the warmer weather arrives, we’re just starting to get a more complete picture of the winter’s repercussions. For many Michigan golf courses, especially in the eastern half of the state, the winter has been one of the worst on record.

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Music
12:54 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing trio Mighty Medicine

L to R: Larry Neuhardt (guitar, vocals), DeShaun Sparkle Snead (piano, vocals), and John Esser (percussion, vocals).
Credit Stacy Hoxsey

 


Joining Current State today in Studio S is DeShaun Snead, Larry Neuhardt, and John Esser of Mighty Medicine. This trio from Lansing plays a range of music from jazz to rock to blues and soul for all audiences.

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Politics & Government
12:16 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

SCOTUS upholds Michigan's race admissions ban

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that Michigan voters have the right to decide if Michigan's public universities use race conscious admission policies.
Credit Flickr - SP8254

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke yesterday at a press conference about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment which prohibits affirmative action at the State’s public universities. In the 6-2, ruling, the judges offered five separate opinions showcasing drastically different views.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Neighbors in Action: An update on Art for Charlie

'Where the River Cleaves' by Sam Knecht is the winner of the first annual Spirit of Michigan competition as a part of Art for Charlie Foundation.
Credit Courtesy of artforcharlie.com

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we have an update on Art for Charlie, the East Lansing-based non-profit that works to improve hospice care for children and bereavement services for families who have lost a child.

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Health
12:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Breaking the stigma: Training imams to identify mental illness

The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Later this week in Dearborn, doctors, psychologists, social workers, and religious leaders from around the world will gather for the Sixth Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference. According Dr. Farha Abbasi, an MSU assistant professor of psychiatry and a founder of the conference, this is one of the very few of its kind in the world, if not the only one.

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