Scott Pohl

News Reporter and Host

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews for Current State. He's also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."

Scott has been working for WKAR since 1984. Previously, he was employed by the Michigan News Network, WFMK, WKHM in Jackson and WALM in Albion.

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A mid-term election with a challenging post-mortem for state Democrats, a highly anticipated lame duck legislative session, and a new direction for Detroit and many of Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. All of those developments made news in November here in Michigan.

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In recent years, we’ve asked MSU corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski to whip up a new idea for your Thanksgiving table. Our premise is that it’s Thanksgiving morning, you have out all the stuff you’ve purchased for the meal, and you decide you want to do something different with it. Being a busy morning, and maybe your favorite grocery store isn’t open, you’re limited to what you have on hand.

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On Friday night, the Williamston Theatre will stage the first preview performance of their 50th show. “Miracle on South Division Street” runs through December 28th.

Eaton County voters have chosen a different state Representative in four straight elections. Rick Jones won his last House term in 2008; fellow Republican Deb Shaughnessy won in 2010; she lost her re-election bid in 2012 to Democrat Theresa Abed; and a few weeks ago, Abed lost her shot at another term to Republican Tom Barrett of Potterville.

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Our Live Music Friday guest today is Melissa Greener. Melissa is in East Lansing to perform at tonight’s Pump House concert. She’s a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who grew up in the Detroit area before moving on to music Meccas like Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, which has been her base for about five years now.

Courtesy © General Motors

Cadillac has unveiled the next model that General Motors will build in Lansing. GM is showing off the new ATS-V at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

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Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.

This year, we’ve been following a project by a team of filmmakers hoping to make a movie called “Eastern Market” in Detroit. We’ve met the writer, co-writer, producer and director, with hopes of being a part of the action from start to finish.


The Michigan State football team got back on the winning track Saturday, beating Maryland 37-15. The win moves MSU’s record to 8-2, 5-1 in Big Ten Conference play. Next Saturday, the Spartans will play their final home game of the season, hosting Rutgers.

In recent years, Canada has included its First Peoples populations in its efforts to expand renewable, clean energy projects. Lumos Energy president Chris Henderson has spent the last two-and-a-half decades working, as his website states, “at the intersection of clean energy, sustainable development, environmental action, economic development, and Aboriginal communities”.

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Cris Williamson has enjoyed a remarkable career in music. Back in 1975, she recorded an album called “The Changer and The Changed”, and released it on her own label, Olivia Records. Olivia was the first woman-owned, woman-focused record company. To this day, “The Changer and The Changed” remains one of the best-selling independent records of all time.

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The Turner-Dodge House in north Lansing is one of the city’s most historic structures. It’s almost 160 years old, and over the years, it has hosted hundreds of events ranging from tours and music events to wedding receptions. Last January, a burst pipe caused extensive water damage at the Turner-Dodge House, and things are only now getting back to normal.

Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, a former senior political scientist at RAND, and a current adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of the new book, "Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East".

Courtesy Parkbelt Drive residents

Back in August, we brought you the story of an online fundraising effort aimed at bringing in enough money to pay for the demolition of a single burned-out house in Flint. Gordon Young is a Flint expat and author of “Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City”. His idea was simple: while Flint has hundreds of abandoned homes, and some neighborhoods suffer mightily from such blight, he wanted to find a house that needed tearing down in an otherwise well maintained neighborhood, one where the demolition would improve the neighborhood’s chances of thriving into the future.

Today on Current State: state Senator-elect Curtis Hertel Jr.; actor Julian Sands; EPA jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act; and a veterans history project story for Veterans Day.

British actor Julian Sands is known for films like “A Room With a View” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. On Sunday, he’ll bring his one-man show “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” to MSU’s Wharton Center.


The Michigan State football team lost to Ohio State Saturday night, and with the 49-37 defeat, the Spartans have now lost twice and will not make it into the NCAA’s four-team playoff at the end of the season. MSU has fallen to #12 in the AP college football poll.

There’s always a lot of good music to consider in Lansing and elsewhere around the state. Some of the big names coming through Michigan in November are Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for music lovers.

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A young actor with deep theatrical roots is starting to get noticed in Lansing. Michael Boxleitner has only been a student at Lansing Community College for a few months, but he’s already had one lead role at LCC, and he has another this weekend and next in "A Room With A View".

Jake Neher/MPRN

With some exceptions, Michigan Republicans have reason to celebrate the 2014 mid-term election. Several major statewide offices, as polls ususally suggested, went to GOP incumbents including Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. But Democrats are celebrating the election of Congressman Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate and a victory on Michigan’s conservative leaning Supreme Court.

In December, a new theatre company will stage its first show at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. It’s called Andromeda Community Theatre, and they’ll put on a production of “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

Look up the word “catcall” in the dictionary and it reads “a shrill, whistle-like sound or loud raucous shout made to express disapproval at a theater, meeting, etc.”  But the word’s come to mean a lot more in 2014. That became clear last week, after a video of a woman getting catcalled by men in New York City went viral and triggered days of discussion.

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A major exhibition of Chinese art is opening at MSU’s Broad Art Museum. “Future Returns: Contemporary Art From China” includes works from 21 Chinese artists in a variety of media.

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It’s Live Music Friday on Current State, and today we welcome Adrian and Meredith to Studio S. Adrian Krygowski is a Nashville-based artist who has performed solo and with a band; these days, he’s playing with Meredith Brown, late of the Bard Owls, a group that has played for us on a Live Music Friday a couple of times.

Five days before a mid-term election, the media is full of political news involving  candidates, Democratic and Republican. In reality of course, the political landscape is more diverse. On Tuesday, Michigan voters will, for example, face at least five choices for Governor, including little known candidates from the Libertarian, Green and U.S. Taxpayers parties.

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General Motors is making news in Michigan this week. The Detroit automaker is planning a $40-million investment at its transmission plant in Warren to build the new drivetrain for the next generation of the Chevrolet Volt. The announcement is the latest in a string of high-profile plans G-M has unveiled this year. Those include assembly plant expansions in the Lansing area.

The East Lansing Film Festival starts Thursday and runs through November 6th. This marks the 17th year of the East Lansing Film Festival, with lots of feature-length movies, documentaries, and shorts. The Thursday night opening film is a documentary about legendary jazzman Clark Terry, and his work counseling a young musician.

The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is coming up later this week. Four of the Hall’s eight contemporary inductees have local ties, including Two Men and a Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets and long-time educator Barbara Roberts Mason. Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with the other two local contemporary inductees.

A documentary filmmaker will bring his latest movie to East Lansing tonight. It’s the third installment of Darryl Roberts series called “America the Beautiful”.

Ariel Vida

In its earliest days, The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle was just one guy. Dylan Rogers was performing as a one-man band on street corners about four years ago, and since then, his group of musicians has grown to a total of 11, and that isn’t including a few other people who work with the group on costumes and even puppets. They’ve recently put out a new album called “Dream Machine”, and they’re becoming a big part of the revival of REO Town in Lansing.