Joseph Cooper

Host Topical Currents

WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.

"It's now an obsession, but I never thought talk radio would be in my future. The wide, wide range of topics, research and reading keeps me hustling all week," he says. "It's similar to a daily newspaper column because, essentially, we write an essay to frame each show before conducting the interviews and taking calls and then it all starts over again for the next day's program."

Topical Currents is put together by a small production team, which includes producer Richard Ives and technical director Bonnie Berman. Syndicated food and dining columnist Linda Gassenheimer frequents the program, as well as a handful of expert regular contributors and regional reporters.

Topical Currents is a sub-tropical blend of regional issues and politics, local profiles, author interviews, "At Your Service" programs, South Florida history and any topic listeners might banter about around the proverbial "water cooler." It was first broadcast in January 1999.

Cooper is often asked to name his "favorite" interview subject.

"Hmmmm," he says with the hint of a smile. "Not necessarily the celebrities or famous authors but the one I've just done. Well usually.

Ways To Connect

05/27/15 - Tune in for Wednesday’s Topical Currents for a visit from Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, who chairs the psychiatric department of Columbia University. 

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05/26/15 - Join us for Tuesday’s Topical Currents, when we explore gardening in sub-tropical South Florida.

If you’ve gardened in other areas, South Florida has its unique requirements. We’ll be “At Your Service,” with Urban Horticulture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Dr. John Pipoly and Broward County Master Gardeners President, Teri Goldsmith. Topical Currents . . . “At Your Service,” Tuesday at 1pm.

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05/21/15 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Evandro Caregnato, Culinary Director, Texas de Brazil, Brazilian steak house. He’ll talk about adding Brazilian flavors to our Memorial Day Barbeques and bring steak for us to taste on the air.

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

Smoky Chicken and Three Bean Salad – simple salad for Memorial Day Weekend

A cool salad for warm Memorial Day Weekend 

Toss chicken strips in cumin and add chipotle peppers and their sauce to your favorite oil and vinegar dressing for a quick, Southwester salad dinner. Toasted baguette with Parmesan cheese complements this delicious and unconventional chicken and three bean salad.

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be found in the grocery section of the supermarket. Chipotle Chili Pepper seasoning can be found in the spice section of the supermarket.  It can be used as an alternative to the peppers in adobo sauce. If using the spice seasoning, add 2 teaspoons to the salad dressing.

Recipes

SMOKY CHICKEN AND THREE BEAN SALAD

1/2 whole wheat baguette (6 inches)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 chipotle pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon adobo sauce from bottle with pepper

1/4 cup reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

3/4 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken strips

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 pound trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas

1/2 cup canned drained and rinsed red kidney beans

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Slice baguette in half lengthwise and then in half horizontally to make four pieces.  Sprinkle the inside with Parmesan cheese and place in toaster oven to melt cheese, about 2 minutes.

 Add chipotle pepper and adobo sauce to dressing and set aside. Toss chicken strips with cumin and set aside. Place green beans in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 2 minutes.  Remove from microwave and add chicken, chickpeas, kidney beans and dressing.  Toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss again.  Serve with Parmesan baguette. Makes 2 servings.

 Nutrition InformationPer serving: 536 calories (15 percent from fat), 8.8 g fat, (2.1 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 102 mg cholesterol, 55.1 g protein, 58.8 g carbohydrates, 10.1 g fiber, 972 mg sodium.Shopping List

To buy: 1 small piece Parmesan cheese, 3/4 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken strips, 1 whole wheat baguette, 1 small can chickpeas,1 small can red kidney beans, 1 bottle dried cumin, 1 jar chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and 1/4 pound trimmed green beans

Staples: Reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns

Helpful Hints

  • Buy trimmed green beans and cut them into 1-inch pieces.
  • Toast baguette with cheese in a toaster oven or under a broiler.
  • Use same bowl for microwaving green beans and making the salad.

Countdown:

  • Toast baguette.
  • Make salad.

NOAA / Satellite and Information Service

05/21/15 - Thursday on Topical Currents: You may not care to hear the news, but our hurricane season begins June 1st.  We haven’t been severely threatened by a storm in nearly ten years, so we’ll go over possibilities with meteorologist Dr. Angela Colbert, from the Frost Museum of Science.

05/20/15 - Tune in for Wednesday’s Topical Currents, when we broach the disorder of chronic pain. At least 100-million Americans suffer from it. 

That’s more than those who suffer heart disease, cancer and diabetes, combined. We’ll learn about new interventional techniques, including localized nerve blocks and fluoroscopy video images.  Our Guests: Dr. Ira Fox, M.D., founder of Anesthesia Pain Care Consultants and Judy Foreman, author of “A Nation in Pain”That’s Topical Currents on chronic pain . . . Wednesday at 1pm.

05/18/15 - Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  It took 87-days before the oil was capped.

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05/12/15 - On the next Topical Currents, we go “At Your Service,” with workplace and employment law, and Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Donna Ballman

We’ll give an update on employment-related Florida laws passed during the past Legislative Session, and also cover such issues as non-compete agreements, severance negotiations, and overtime regulations.  That’s Topical Currents . . . “At Your Service” . . . Tuesday at 1pm on Topical Currents.

05/11/15 - Tune in for Monday’s Topical Currents when we visit with prolific South Florida-based author Les Standiford. 

05/07/15 - 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview TV celebrity, Ingrid Hoffmann.

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