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.

Ways To Connect

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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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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.

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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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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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