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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We have another look at the 2014 election today. This time, we consider the race for the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees. The board will have two newcomers next year.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

There are 83 counties in Michigan, and a local author thinks there's something interesting about every one of them.  In fact, Barbara VanderMolen has written a two-volume set of books called "Discovering Michigan County by County: Your A-Z Guide to Each of the 83 Counties in the Great Lakes State."

Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with the author, who says it's for anyone who likes to explore every nook and cranny of the state.

Flickr - Vox Efx

Election day is November 4th, and voters have lots of decisions to make. We have an important state senate race, several local state house races, and there are some important proposals to be decided.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

Michigan State University opened the Abrams Planetarium 50 years ago.  That's five decades of giving kids and adults from all over the state a glimpse of the solar system and the universe.  As you might expect, the equipment to do that has improved a lot in those 50 years.  Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with planetarium director Shannon Schmoll about the upgrades.

One of the biggest challenges faced by new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is the poor condition of thousands of houses in the city. People won’t choose to live in a city where they can’t get a decent house. The Detroit Land Bank Authority hopes a new system of auctioning off vacant houses will spur a wave of movement into the city. It’s called “Building Detroit”.

Flickr - Alex

Voters in Michigan will elect members of the governing boards of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University on November 4th. At MSU, incumbent democrats George Perles and Faylene Owen are running to keep their seats for another eight years. Republicans have nominated Melanie Foster and Jeff Sakwa; Foster was on the board for ten years, but lost her bid for re-election two years ago, and Sakwa also ran unsuccessfully in 2012. There also are candidates from the Green, Libertarian, U.S. Taxpayers and Natural Law parties on the ballot.

Courtesy - MSU College of Engineering

In March of 2011, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan resulted in a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Three of the plants six reactors melted down, and substantial amounts of radioactive material was released. That includes contaminated water that escaped from the three units. Containing that water has proven to be an ongoing problem confronting those who are working to clean up Fukushima.

Courtesy of Soup Grant Lansing

You may recall a community group featured not long ago on Neighbors in Action. Soup Grant Lansing works to fund micro-grants in our city and gather members of the greater Lansing area for a delicious, homemade, and healthy soup and bread meal. Soup Grant Lansing turned one year old a few weeks ago.

Flickr - David

The U.S. Supreme Court has begun its new session, and the cases the court has decided not to hear have been getting a lot of attention. The cases the court will hear are highlighted by issues related to unreasonable searches and seizures, and employment discrimination.


Current State bids a reluctant but fond farewell today to the founding producer of our program. Joe Linstroth returns to his Ann Arbor alma mater as he leaves WKAR for a position at the University of Michigan's public radio station.

Travelers across the country and around the world have been using the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” as a guidebook for more than a decade now. The book is author Patricia Schultz’s effort to encourage people to get out there and see the great big world around us. Now, there’s a second edition of the book, and she will talk about the new edition of her book on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Schuler book store in the Meridian Mall.

Courtesy - Henry Brimmer

ArtPrize is probably Michigan’s top arts event. It began in 2009 in Grand Rapids as what organizers describe as a “radically open international art competition”. The event takes over three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids for 19 days each year and draws hundreds of entries and thousands of visitors.

The seven justices of the Michigan Supreme Court are hearing oral arguments this week in cases ranging from public school employee pensions to rules governing damages awarded for personal injuries. Most of the time, the justices do their work away from the media spotlight, re-surfacing to announce their  decisions. Earlier this week, Current State spoke with two members of the High Court: Chief Justice Robert Young and Justice Bridget McCormack.

If you’ve ever attended an auction, you know how entertaining they can be. It’s fun to see items go on the block, with competing bidders trying to one-up each other. A big part of that is to watch and hear a skilled auctioneer wielding the microphone and the gavel. One thing you may not know about auctioneers is that the best have been enshrined in a have a Hall of Fame.

In several Michigan communities, planning for a future affected by climate change is beginning. Monroe, East Jordan, Ludington, St. Joseph and Grand Haven are all taking part in a new program called “Resilient Michigan”.

Courtesy - Amol Pavangadkar

India has one of the most vibrant filmmaking communities in the world. The Indian movie industry is often referred to as Bollywood. Their movies are known for elaborate musical productions and eye-grabbing colors. What better place to send MSU students who want to learn about the craft of movie-making?

Scott Pohl/WKAR

For a long time, libraries have embraced change, becoming much more than simply a place to find a book. Music, movies, you name it. Libraries try to keep up with the demands of their visitors. The East Lansing Public Library’s newest effort is a maker studio.

The 3-million member National Education Association has a new president, and she was in East Lansing yesterday. Lily Eskelsen Garcia took office on September 1st. Her trip to East Lansing was devoted to pushing for not only organized labor, but also for making higher education affordable.

The downtown Lansing branch of the Capital Area District Library opened 50 years ago. To celebrate, there’s a 50th birthday event Sunday afternoon at 1:30. You’ll be able to meet with staffers past and present, learn about its architecture, and see what’s been changed over the years if you haven’t been there in a while.

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 City Rescue Mission, the largest homeless shelter in the mid-Michigan area. It offers beds to around 160 people every night. But shelter administrators says that they are at capacity, especially when it comes to their men’s shelter. They’ve been working for the past several years on an expansion of that program. Over the next month, City Rescue Mission plans to add around 40 additional beds for homeless men.

Today on Current State: modernizing some Lansing schools; Latino experimental art at the MSU Library; Lansing Catholic High School's Pew Crew; and live music with Twyla Birdson, Elden Kelly and Louie Leager.

Scott Pohl, WKAR

Lansing Catholic High School is building a new chapel, and the project is getting an unusual boost from a team of volunteers. They call themselves the Pew Crew, and they're building all of the pews that will be installed in Lansing Catholic’s new chapel. These pews won’t cost the school a dime.

Scott Pohl, WKAR

Today, the MSU Department of Theatre will dedicate the new home of Summer Circle Theatre. If you've ever attended a Summer Circle Theatre performance at MSU, the experience wasn’t always pleasant. Being near the Red Cedar River next to the MSU Auditorium, Summer Circle was often plagued by water, mosquitoes, and traffic noise. The new space will be much more comfortable and will host events beyond these student productions.

Today on Current State: flaws in Michigan's court funding system; audiobook narrator George Guidall; a new online news service in East Lansing; and Neighbors in Action: Kiwanis Aktion Club.

Tonight, an Audie-Award winning audiobook reader will visit Okemos to talk about his craft. George Guidall has read the audiobook versions of titles like John Irving’s “A Widow for One Year” and Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much Is True”. He’ll be at the Okemos Public Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Guidall has narrated 1,200 unabridged books.

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is launching a new program aimed at helping veterans re-enter the work force.

The Ten Pound Fiddle concert series that starts this weekend is the 40th for the East Lansing acoustic music institution. Pretty much everybody who’s anybody in folk music has performed for Ten Pound Fiddle over the years, many of them coming to town numerous times. - Corey Hayes

Tonight’s Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert launches their 85th season. The program includes works by Gandolfi, Bruch and Tchaikovsky.

Today is September 11th, the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. Observations to honor the victims and first responders are being held in places like Wentworth Park in Lansing, where “Lansing Remembers” started at 8:30 this morning, “Mason Cares” at the fire station on Ash Street from 1 to 7 p-m today, another at the Williamston fire station tonight at 6 p-m, and probably others in your town. While we reflect on what happened that day 13 years ago, we also consider how the effects of the 9-11 attacks linger in the world today. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the beheadings to two American journalists, Steven Sotloff and James Foley, bringing to light the danger faced by journalists around the world today.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Actress and writer Carol Dunitz calls Sarah Bernhardt “the world’s first superstar”. Dunitz brings her one-woman show inspired by the turn-of-the-last century stage and silent film star to East Lansing. “Bernhardt on Broadway: The Musical” will be at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing at 7:30 p-m Saturday.