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Sitting inside a glass-encased cockpit, two men fiddle with joysticks controlling giant claws outside. They look like they're playing at a vending machine at a mall, where you try to grasp a stuffed animal. But these are engineers. The claws they're manipulating are as big as houses, and they're sifting through hundreds of tons of garbage thrown away by the world's largest consumer class.

About 13 years ago, The Alchemist brewery in Waterbury, Vt., released a new IPA called Heady Topper. The brewer, John Kimmich, had decided to neither filter nor pasteurize the beer — both common methods of extending a commercial beer's shelf life. The result was an IPA thicker with the microscopic compounds and particulates that add flavor and aroma. Customers noticed and praised the beer as being especially tasty.

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The annual Maple Syrup Festival will be held this weekend, Saturday February 25th, 2017 and Sunday February 26th, 2017 at Touch of Nature south of Carbondale.  In this report we learn the basics of harvesting maple sap to make maple syrup.

SIU's President says candidates for Carbondale campus Chancellor could be on campus soon.

Disparate entities say laws in this area need to change at the state and national levels.

A crash involving three motorcycles shut down a portion of Interstate 64 in southern Illinois Friday for over four hours.

A Carbondale house has been destroyed by fire.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says deputies, the county ambulance service and MPS Fire responded to the fire on Garden Lane in rural Carbondale just before Midnight on Thursday.

Mild February Resulting in Early Flowers

Feb 17, 2017
Chris Benda/Botanist/Illinois Native Plant Society President.

Unusually mild temperatures are causing some early spring wildflowers to come to life.  Jennifer Randolph, Natural Resources Coordinator at Giant City State Park says she has already seen Harbinger of Spring in bloom at the park.  "It's a very very tiny little white flower and it's kind of got a little pinkish tint on the inside but they are very small a lot of times you'll have to look under the leaf litter," Randolph adds.

New on DVD this week is the 2016 Sci-Fi drama Arrival.  The movie is nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Film critic Simone Becque takes a closer look in this edition of SIU Reviews.

Arrival is available at a movie store near you.  Simone Becque is a special contributor to SIU Reviews.  You can hear more reviews here.

A St. Clair County judge Thursday denied Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to freeze state-worker paychecks without a real state budget.

The budget impasse means the Illinois legislature has not directly approved money to pay state employees since summer 20-15. But a judge’s order has kept the money flowing — and state government from grinding to a halt.

Social service agencies have been among the hardest hit by the ongoing Illinois budget impasse.

There is some optimism in Springfield that a budget compromise may be on the horizon to end the nearly 20-month stalemate.

An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The News-Gazette reports the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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WSIU InFocus: 2017 Budget Address Analysis

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Analyst John Jackson about Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2017 Budget Address.

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