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

(3-16-2017) Martin Lynch from John Martin’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Coral Gables joins us.  He talks about St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and brings food to taste.

(3-16-2017) Today’s Topical Currents features a good spring cleaning.

Few of us enjoy housework, so efficiency is essential.  We speak with Melissa Maker, author of “Clean My Space.”

(3-14-2017) .  Today’s Topical Currents goes on the police beat . . . with City of Miami Beach Police Chief, Daniel Oates.

Chief Oates served the New York City police for more than 20 years.  There, he reached the position of Deputy Chief and Executive Officer.

He came to Miami Beach in 2014, after being Police Chief in Aurora, Colorado.

We cover numerous Miami Beach issues, and of course . . . and take your calls.

(3-13-2017) Neurocognitive disease, such as Alzheimer’s, is expected to double worldwide over the next 50 years.

Today’s Topical Currents is with Dr. Marc Agronin, an expert in treatment and research of memory disorders.

Based at Miami Jewish Health, he’s the author of Building a Better Brain.

www.miamijewishhealth.org

hotline: 305-514-8710

(3-9-2017) – Nancy Scanlon, Author of My Mother’s Cookbook: Freshly Real. Topic: How to write an eBook cookbook when you don’t know what you’re doing.  She talks about how she recreated the stories and recipes from her mother’s cooking and created an ebook with them. She also gives tips for others who might want to compile or publish their family recipes and brings food from the book for us to taste.

Restaurant News: Jen Karetnick talks about a special new restaurant on Brickell. 

Dinner in Minutes

Tuna Skillet Pie: memories of my mother’s cooking

(3-9-2017) Today’s Topical Currents begins at a walk . . . for animals, that is.  Saturday is the annual event for the Broward Humane Society where thousands of people--and their pets—walk about a mile to raise funds for the Society. 

(3-8-2017) Today’s Topical Currents profiles the President and C-E-O of HistoryMiami, Jorge Zamanillo.

HistoryMiami is the largest museum in Florida, and has garnered the prestigious Smithsonian Affiliation.

Zamanillo grew up in Little Havana, with an appreciation of South Florida’s unique crossroads flavor.  He’s an F-S-U graduate, and has been at HistoryMiami for nearly 20 years.

(3-7-2017) It’s a common assumption that if one has health insurance; the company routinely covers the bulk of medical charges. 

Correct?  The answer is only a “maybe.”

Today’s Topical Currents looks at the confusing aspects of navigating the medical billing process, with patient advocate Kenneth Klein, Founder/Manager of Human Health Advocates, LLC, in Boca Raton.  He provides assistance to patients with medical bill and health insurance related concerns.

(3-6-2017) Many Americans are anxious about healthcare options.  Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed or modified? And what medical landscape will face uninsured and low-income individuals?

(3-1-2017) Has any city had as much influence on Miami as the one to the south, separated by ocean and politics?

That city of course, is Havana. With five centuries of history, it struggled with piracy and slavery, was in constant revolution against Spain, and a tenuous relationship with the Americans.

We speak with author Mark Kurlansky, whose latest work is HAVANA:  A Subtropical Delirium.

(3-2-2017) Charcoal Restaurant Chef/owner Ken Lyon. He’s a caterer, past owner of Fratelli Lyon in the Design District and now his new venture is in  Wynwood Yard. The restaurant is constructed from used shipping containers.  It has a unique menu based on two Josper ovens.  These are closed ovens that are fueled by charcoal. He will bring food to taste.

Restaurant News: Laine Doss gives a restaurant review. 

Dinner in Minutes:

Wasabi Crusted Salmon with Pan Roasted Ginger Corn and Broccoli  - a simple sauce gives salmon an Asian flavor – and in minutes

(3-2-2017) Today’s Topical Currents focuses on The Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, now named "MCCJ", its annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner, and the prestigious Silver Medallion Award, for advancing respect among people of all cultures, religions and races.

(2-28-2017) On today’s Topical Currents, we visit with Dr. John Kelly, the President of Florida Atlantic University.  FAU serves more than 30,000 students on six campuses along more than 100 miles of Florida’s east coast.  Its main campus is in Boca Raton, but it is the lead state university for Broward County.  It operates the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in St. Lucie County’s Fort Pierce.

Learn more about F-A-U with its President, Dr. John Kelly

(2-27-2017, originally aired 8-31-2016) Today’s Topical Currents recounts the history of Miami’s Virginia Key, and its place in South Florida civil rights history.

Historically, Virginia Key Beach had been an area of approved African-American recreation area.  They were prohibited on all other beaches.  In the ‘50s and ‘60s, it was a vibrant, but still strictly segregated area.

(2-23-2017) The Mango Gang Reunited -  interviews with 3 of the original gang, in studio, Chef Norman Van Aken and Chef Allen Susser, by phone Chef Mark Militello.  They talk about how the gang started and how their style of cooking changed the South Florida Culinary scene. Also a look at the South Florida restaurant scene with Matt Meltzer.

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