President Obama's Final News Conference

16 hours ago

President Obama is holding his final news conference this afternoon at 1:15 PM Central Time. This address will preempt regularly scheduled programming.

With the focus on the Friday, January 20th Presidential Inauguration, there will be one connection between Washington D.C. and southern Illinois.  For the second inauguration in a row Mrs.  Elizabeth Byassee-Shore's Marion Junior High School Choir will perform on Saturday January 21st 2017.  Even though it has been a lot of work getting both the choir ready and taking care of the many administrative details required for a trip such as this, Byasee-Shore says it will be worth it.  On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we visit her classroom.

State Senator Scott Bennett says Democrats in his chamber supported a rules change last week to impose term limits on Senate legislative leaders as a show of good faith.

The Champaign Democrat says they're showing their commitment to imposing the ten-year term limits on leaders in both legislative chambers ... as part of a state budget package.

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago State University is getting a whole new slate of leaders.

The school has struggled financially for the last few years due in part to the state's budget impasse.

Franklin County

Franklin County voters will get a chance to decide if they want a sales tax increase to build a new courthouse.

The county's Board of Commissioners approved placing a one percent sales tax increase on the April 4th ballot.

Carbondale Police

The Carbondale Police Department is offering residents a chance to learn more about what its officers do during the upcoming Citizens Police Academy.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Most communities reported light ice buildups on elevated surfaces such as trees, power lines and vehicles.

Power outages were reported across several communities in southern Illinois, especially in Jackson County, where at one point Friday afternoon, around 1,500 Ameren customers were without power.

Heartland Regional Medical Center

Heartland Regional Medical Center has selected a Marion native to become the facility's new leader.

Melisa Adkins will become the chief executive officer on February 13th.

The largest Illinois state employees union is preparing for a potential strike.

AFSCME executive director Roberta Lynch sent an email to union members telling them a strike authorization vote will take place in each local union sometime between January 30th and February 19th.


Longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro passed away in November at the age of 90.

Like many of his countrymen and women, Castro loved baseball and by some accounts almost became a professional ballplayer in the U.S.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson tells us about how some of Castro's baseball exploits are the subject of great debate.

School, Government and Business Closings and Delays for Friday, January 13, 2017 (Updated 10:00am):

**NOTE: The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale is OPEN today from Noon-5:00pm**


Jefferson County Courthouse - CLOSED

Winter Farmers Market (Carbondale) - CLOSED Saturday, January 14


Benton District 47 - CLOSED

Benton High School - CLOSED

Carbondale Elementary School District 95 - CLOSED

Ice Expected for the Entire Region

Jan 12, 2017
National Weather Service

An ICE STORM WARNING is in effect from 9 a.m. Friday to noon Sunday for Clinton, Fayette, Marion and Washington counties. 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch of ice is possible.


A member of the SIU Board of Trustees is stepping down.

Roger Herrin tendered his resignation Thursday. It's effective immediately.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Multiple vehicles on the SIU-Carbondale campus were vandalized Thursday by a man acting in a crazed manner.

Eyewitnesses with SIU-C's Office of Information Technology said the unidentified man entered the parking lot across from the Northwest Annex A building around 1:30 p.m.

SIU Reviews: La La Land

Jan 12, 2017
movie poster for La La Land
Summitt Entertainment

The 2016 romantic musical comedy  La La Land tells the story of Mia, an aspiring actress; and Sebastian, a jazz musician as they navigate life in the City of Angels.  Film critic Walter Mets takes a closer look at the 7-time Golden Globe winning film in this edition of SIU Reviews.
La La Land is currently playing at a theater near you.  Walter Metz is a professor of Film Studies in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

With possible freezing rain in the Friday forecast, WSIU visits with Williamson County Highway Department Engineer Greg Smothers, to see how they're preparing.

National Weather Service

Meteorologist Chris Knowles with the National Weather Service in Paducah says this is not a major ice event for most of the region.

Three new Republicans will take the oath of office Wednesday, pledging to serve the state and, more specifically, southern Illinois.

Illinois lawmakers quickly approved a criminal justice reform package during the two-day lame duck legislative session.

State legislators expanded Illinois’ Paid Sick Leave Act Tuesday. If signed into law, the list of covered family members would include stepchildren and domestic partners. 

Illinois' largest state employee union says it's made significant concessions in hopes of resuming contract negotiations, including a wage freeze.

President Obama Farewell Address - 1/10/17

Jan 10, 2017

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating President Obama's farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night, scheduled to begin at 8pm central. The team will be adding fact-checks and background to Obama's comments as he gives them. We'll be watching in particular for remarks on his legacy, national security, health care and foreign policy, among other topics.

Interim SIUC Chancellor Brad Colwell says the university's doors are open- and will remain that way. He says he's having to battle rumors of closure after a fake news story started circulating on social media.

Thompson Coburn

A case scheduled to go before the Illinois Supreme Court this week is challenging the law that allows the state's not-for-profit hospitals to skip paying property taxes.

Details of a massive, bipartisan compromise meant to end Illinois' budget stalemate emerged Monday in the Illinois Senate. But, the plan has been put on hold.

SIU President Randy Dunn says the system will not be designated as a sanctuary campus for undocumented students.

Dunn said campus chancellors and other officials concluded that the concept of a sanctuary campus is not clearly defined in a legal sense and violating the law would put SIU and all of its students at risk, including the potential loss of federal financial aid. But, Dunn said the system would to everything it can - within the scope of the law - to support its students.

Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

Governor Bruce Rauner and other state education leaders visited Carbondale Community High School Friday, where he signed legislation aimed at helping schools hire more full-time and substitute teachers.

movie poster of Rogue One
Disney Studios

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first installment of the so-called Star Wars Anthology series.   It fills in the timeline between Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars movie that began the epic saga in 1977.  Film critic Simone Becque takes a closer look for this edition of SIU Reviews.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently in wide release at a theater near you.   Simone Becque is a regular contributor to SIU Reveiws.

Two people have been arrested after a traffic stop that resulted in a high speed chase.

The Energy Police Department says law enforcement arrested the driver of the vehicle, 36-year-old Genie Marion of Murphysboro, and her passenger, 30-year-old Michael Chappell of Murphysboro.

A snow covered portion of Interstate 57 in Williamson County resulted in multiple crashes.