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

Joe Linstroth/WKAR

There will been another delay in the release of the report reviewing the response of the Lansing Board of Water and Light to last December’s huge ice storm.

WKAR/Joe Linstroth


Today for our live music Friday series, we welcome The DeCamp Sisters to the studio. Hailing from the Romeo, Michigan, Riley and Libby DeCamp bring their earthy and harmonious music to life.

Flickr - Steven Depolo

Michigan State University is home to the nation’s first publicly-funded Osteopathic Medical School in the country. MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is also the top-ranked school of its kind in the nation.

Flickr - Anton Peck

Do you tend to see the glass half full or half empty? A new study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology is the first to show that brain activity is actually different between positive and negative thinkers, so just telling someone to try and see the glass as half-full isn’t going to help them do it.

Courtesy of www.barryeatoncasa.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 CASA for Kids in Eaton and Barry Counties. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.

takebackthenight.org

It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a number of events have been happening across the MSU campus and in the Lansing area to bring attention to the issues surrounding sexual violence. Today, in particular, there are numerous events planned as part of Take Back the Night, including workshops, art displays, a candlelight vigil, and a march down Michigan Avenue from campus to the capital steps. Current State's Joe Linstroth spoke with two young leaders on campus about sexual assault.

Flickr - Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

The idea of starting a high school under any circumstances is a daunting one, to say the least. With schools struggling all across Michigan, the economy still on the rebound, and the constant political maneuvering in education policy, the task of creating a new high school in the Lansing area seems that much more difficult.

Flickr - Rich Renomeron

Late last month the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees under federal law and can therefore unionize. The decision has been divisive. While some applaud the move to provide players with more rights and financial compensation, others fear that the collegiate athletic system will be destroyed by the move.

Courtesy - Michigan State University


There are plans to build a new center here at MSU that, if realized, proponents say could have a substantial economic impact on the state of Michigan, including the creation of potentially thousands of new jobs. Current State's Joe Linstroth talked with Chris Peterson, an agricultural economist and the head of MSU’s Product Center, who says there are more than 600 mid-sized food processors in the state of Michigan. Many of these companies’ facilities are maxed out, meaning that if they want to create a new product, they don’t have the capacity to test the product or its manufacturing and packaging techniques to see if it’s economically viable.

courtesy of Robin Miner-Swartz


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 Capital Region Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee or YAC. The committee is made up of high school students in the Tri Country Area who volunteer and distribute grants to area non-profits that serve youth.

Flickr - marsmet462

The U.S. Supreme Court last week came out with another controversial ruling on our nation’s campaign finance laws.

In the case McCutcheon versus the FEC, the Supreme Court struck down the limits on the overall amount of money an individual can give to all federal candidates and committees in a two-year election cycle.

WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Current State's Live Music Friday series features Wisaal, an East Lansing-based band that combines Eastern and Western musical styles to form a sound that’s all their own. Wisaal is made up of members Ben Fuhrman on mandolin, Igor Houwat on oud, Will Cicola on clarinet, Tim Patterson on bass, and Ty Forquer and Mike List on percussion.

Flickr - Deval Patrick

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its latest Kids Count Report yesterday that looks at child well-being across the country. For the first time, its researchers broke down the numbers across ethnic and racial groups and found disparities nationwide when it comes to how our children are faring.

Flickr - Licorice Medusa

Current State contributor Stephanie Glazier reads "At the IGA: Franklin, New Hampshire", by Jane Kenyon.

Flickr - World Bank Photo Collection


Today in our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place, we feature the Michigan Minority Health Coalition. It’s a statewide organization that works to improve the health of Michigan’s ethnic and racial minority populations.

Flickr - Susan


Two notable developments related to health insurance take place in just a few days. Monday is the last day for Americans to sign up for coverage on healthcare.gov without incurring a penalty on their federal taxes next year. Healthcare.gov is the federal website functioning as an insurance exchange for 36 states, including Michigan. The next day, April 1st, is the first day close to a half-million low-income Michigan residents can enroll for coverage offered by the ‘Healthy Michigan’ plan.

Courtesy of www.miffs.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 Michigan Food & Farming Systems, or MIFFS. It’s a statewide organization based in East Lansing that advocates for and offers assistance to new and women farmers, as well as those from underrepresented groups in Michigan’s agriculture industry.

Flickr - Kelly Kline

The legal status of same-sex marriage here in Michigan was taken for quite the ride over the weekend. Late Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. By Saturday afternoon, the clerks in four Michigan counties – Washtenaw, Muskegon, Oakland and Ingham – issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to put the ruling on hold was granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That temporary hold lasts until Wednesday.

Flickr - Adam Cohn

The bill to expand the Education Achievement Authority narrowly passed, 56-54, in the House. It wasn’t looking good, but they made some changes that got enough votes.

Musicians performing in studio
Anthony Cepak / WKAR-MSU

As our live music guest today, Current State welcomes singer Twyla Birdsong. She was joined by Paul Ojibway on piano and Brian Lange on the tenor saxophone. Birdsong is a blues singer based here in Lansing, Michigan who often plays with the collaborative, The Hoopties.

Flickr - Phillip Taylor PT

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 two services from the Capital Area United Way: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and their  2-1-1 support line.

Courtesy of the Capital Area College Access Network

Since 2009, the Capital Area College Access Network has helped hundreds of students from the Lansing School District with college readiness skills and support. The Network is now looking to expand throughout all schools in Ingham County.

Libby Lussenhop

Audio Pending...

Today's live music on Current State comes from Brush Street, a jazz duo featuring Julie Mulady. Brush Street, started by band leader Michael Brush, is a popular Michigan blues and jazz group from the Saginaw area.

Flickr - LOSINPUN

The new ‘Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act’ bans insurance companies from offering coverage for the procedure as a standard part of a policy. Persons wanting the coverage will need to purchase a separate “rider” for their policy.

Flickr - Chris M. Richards

Michigan State University officials have announced a plan to help out the state’s 43,000 prisoners. The university’s College of Human Medicine will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Corrections in an effort to share the school’s expertise and resources toward promoting prisoner health.

Courtesy/Samantha Harris

While some people tend to disregard the paranormal as just shadows and creaky floorboards, others decide to dive further into the unknown. Samantha Harris decided to do just that.

    

On February 21, a campus-wide email was sent out by Paulette Granberry Russell, MSU’s Title IX Coordinator and director of its Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In it, she stated that the university was “collaborating” with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. It was later revealed by local news outlets that MSU was in fact under a federal investigation for its policies and response to sexual assault claims.

Courtesy of Refugee Development Center

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 Refugee Development Center, which provides comprehensive services to youth and adults from the area’s 40-plus refugee communities.

Flickr - Andrew Munro

After years of controversial cuts to higher education, Michigan has begun reinvesting in its colleges and universities. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 6.1 percent spending hike for Michigan’s 15 state-funded colleges and universities. Higher education officials applauded the move, which would be contingent on universities limiting tuition increases.

courtesy of Ana Luisa Cardona

MSU Global is featuring the photography of Ana Luisa Cardona, a Michigan-based artist. Part of the exhibit features an exploration in visual communication between her and the late Bay Area artist and photographer, Daniel del Solar.

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