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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Business
12:40 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

BWL ice storm report delayed again

Louney attributes delays to a desire by the Community Review Team to dig deeper into the issue.
Credit 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.

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Music
1:32 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: The DeCamp Sisters from Romeo, Michigan

L to R: Riley and Libby DeCamp
Credit 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.

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Health
1:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

MSU continues leadership role in osteopathic medicine

The MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine expects to play a key role in addressing Michigan’s physician shortage, which is expected to rise to at least four to five thousand physicians by the year 2020.
Credit 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.

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Health
11:42 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Are you born with the glass half full?

MSU psychology professor Jason Moser's new study found that there were big differences in brain activity between positive and negative thinkers.
Credit 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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:39 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Neighbors in Action: CASA for Kids in Barry and Eaton Counties

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children Executive Director Becky Carson says there are 170 kids in foster care each month in Eaton and Barry counties.
Credit 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.

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Health
1:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Events, advocates raise awareness about sexual assault in Lansing area

Take Back the Night is a daylong series of events that aims to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence.
Credit 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.

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Education
11:35 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Behind the effort to create a new Lansing area high school

Organizers say many leaders of local Lutheran congregations think now is the time to try and get a new high school off the ground.
Credit 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.

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Sports
1:34 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

MSU legal scholars argue student-athletes are employees

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon co-authored an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week against unionizing college athletes.
Credit 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.

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Economy
1:14 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

New MSU project expected to help create thousands of Michigan jobs

The Food Processing and Innovation Center is raising the funding for the estimated $5.5 million project. It’s expected to consist of a mix of federal and state dollars, along with a commitment from MSU and five industry partners. It will be located on Hewlett Road.
Credit 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.

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Education
4:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Youth Action Committee

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.

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Politics & Government
1:28 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

More freedom or less democracy? Sorting out ramifications of the McCutcheon ruling

The McCutcheon decision effectively raises the individual political donation limit from $117,000 to approximately $3.5 million.
Credit 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.

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Music
11:51 am
Fri April 4, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing's Wisaal

From L to R, members of Wisaal are: Mike List, Ty Forquer, Tim Patterson, Ben Fuhrman, Igor Houwat and Will Cicola.
Credit 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.

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Education
12:49 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Latest kids count: Michigan's numbers abysmal on child well-being

Jane Zehnder-Merrell says the percentage of African American children living in high poverty areas in Michigan is the highest in the nation, nearly 20 percent above the national average.
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
12:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Public Poetry Announcement: Jane Kenyon

Credit Flickr - Licorice Medusa

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

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Health
12:36 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Michigan Minority Health Coalition

Dr. Othelia Washington Pryor explains that in almost every category, the health outcomes for people of color are worse than whites, including infant mortality rates and diabetes.
Credit 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.

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Health
12:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Healthy Michigan Plan begins enrolling low income residents next week

Healthy Michigan is expected to enroll 322,000 people by the end of 2014, and over 500,000 by the end of 2016.
Credit 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.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Denae Friedheim is the operator of Foodshed Farm in Bath Township.
Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
12:39 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Gay marriage in Michigan in legal limbo

Michigan's first marriage licenses to same-sex couples were issued this weekend in Ingham and several other counties.
Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
11:40 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A busy week at the Capitol: Sorting through scrap metal, EAA, balanced budget convention

Scrap metal plunder has ravaged quite a bit of Detroit and other cities.
Credit 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.

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Music
11:22 am
Fri March 21, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Lansing singer Twyla Birdsong with Paul Ojibway and Brian Lange

Left to right: Paul Ojibway on piano, Twyla Birdsong singing the blues, and Brian Lange on tenor saxophone.
Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
12:33 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

The Asset Independence Coalition assists people with local, state and federal taxes.
Credit 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.

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Education
12:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

College readiness network to expand in Ingham County

The Capital Area College Access Network provides students with information about college resources.
Credit 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.

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Music
1:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

LIVE MUSIC: Brush Street with Michael Brush and Julie Mulady

Julie Mulady sings as Michael Brush accompanies her on the Steinway piano in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit 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.

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Health
3:36 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Health plans rep explains Michigan abortion insurance change

David Waymire says most companies that are part of the association were already offering abortion related coverage as a rider, so there's no change for them. There could be some changes, though, for Blue Cross customers.
Credit 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.

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Health
3:33 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

MSU, MDOC join forces for prisoner health

Dr. Marsha Rappley says many inmates will age in prison, and without a preventive focus, their health will get worse.
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
3:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Michigan paranormal researcher battles malevolent demons

Samantha Harris says she started looking into basic hauntings, but now has an interest in inhuman hauntings. She says they're typically more severe cases.
Credit 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.

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Politics & Government
2:41 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

A closer look at investigation into MSU's handling of sexual assaults

    

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.

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Education
1:59 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Refugee Development Center

These children were a part of the 2012-2013 Refugee Development Center's Newcomer soccer team, run in conjunction with the Lansing Soccer Club.
Credit 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.

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Business
12:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan business group says state gains from higher ed reinvestment

According to Doug Rothwell, college education is needed now more than ever before, but it needs to be affordable.
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
12:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Michigan artist stresses imagery as catalyst for communication

Ana Luisa Cardona says that the basic standards of art education should mimic the creative process, including create, perform, and respond.
Credit 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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