WSIU InFocus

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WSIU takes a closer look at issues around the region. From arts and entertainment, to science and nature, the environment, politics, and other topics people are talking about.

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Two democrats are seeking the party's nomination in southern Illinois' 12th congressional district. WSIU's Brad Palmer introduces us to Brendan Kelly and David Bequette.

Murphysboro's Mike Bost is seeking a 3rd term representing southern Illinois' 12th congressional district. His primary opponent is Preston Nelson of Benton. WSIU's Brad Palmer profiles both candidates.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports on Chancellor Carlo Montemagno's plans to revitalize the campus climate at SIUC.

15th Congressional District Democratic Primary

Mar 12, 2018
15th Congressional District Democratic Primary
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The Illinois primary election is rapidly approaching, and on March 20, voters will narrow the field.

Democrats must choose a challenger for the seat currently held by Republican Rep. John Shimkus: the 15th Congressional District in Illinois.

The Democratic Candidates running for the 115th State House of Representative Seat are  Tamiko "T.C." Mueller and Marsha Griffin. 

On March 20th voters will go to polls and vote for Republican and Democratic candidates for the Illinois 115th State Representative Seat, which is currently  held by Terri Bryant, a Republican.

U of I Graduate Workers Strike Hinges On Tuition Waivers

Mar 7, 2018

Hundreds of classes have been canceled and dozens more relocated as a strike by graduate employees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continues into a second week. On Tuesday night, graduate workers occupied the office of university president Tim Killeen. Strikers have a variety of demands, but one of the most contentious points focuses on the future of tuition waivers — and whether some graduate workers will have to pay tuition while employed in academic positions on campus.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry about recent discussions between the city and Carbondale Park District.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Vice Chancellor Jim Salmo about the 2018 Day of Giving.

IL Democratic Gubernatorial Forum (3/1/18)

Mar 1, 2018
Zane Mazwell/UChicago Institute of Politics

The Democratic candidates for governor met on stage Thursday evening at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics for a forum discussing their respective visions for the future of our state.

Candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, State Sen. Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Dr. Robert Marshall participated. The forum was moderated by WBEZ Chicago’s Melba Lara with a panel of three reporters: WBEZ Chicago’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold, and POLITICO's Natasha Korecki.

A Carbondale High School student is showing off her talents at a competition in Champaign this weekend.

Widespread Drought Across US Stoking Fears That 2012's Devastation Will Repeat

Feb 28, 2018

Western Illinois might be close to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but it’s the driest part of the state this year.

“We really haven’t really had any measurable rain since the middle of October,” says Ken Schafer, who farms winter wheat, corn and soybeans in Jerseyville, north of St. Louis. “I dug some post-holes this winter, and it's just dust.”

SIU President Randy Dunn talks with InFocus Host Jennifer Fuller about the status of the SIUC reorganization proposal, as well as next month's hearings in the Illinois Legislature on budget requests.

WSIU's Kevin Boucher talks with Chastity Mays of Gift of Love Charity.

Northern Illinois Clinic Uses Multi-Faceted Treatment Program To Combat Opioid Epidemic

Feb 23, 2018

As the death toll climbs for opioid-related overdoses in Illinois, state leaders are looking for solutions. Advocates have highlighted a Whiteside County Clinic as a state leader in its outpatient drug rehabilitation program. WNIJ's Jessie Schlacks went to Rock Falls to tour the facility:

Whitney Miller is case manager of the Medication Assisted Treatment program - or MAT - at the Whiteside County Clinic.

In Organic Labels Consumers Trust, But Fraud Threatens The Industry

Feb 22, 2018

Peyton Manning, the NFL quarterback-turned-pitchman, apparently has another side hustle: Certifying shipments of grain as organic for a Nebraska-based agency called OneCert.

Problem is, OneCert president Sam Welsch doesn’t remember hiring Manning for his business, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect everything from small vegetable farms to processing plants and international grain operations.

Schools Are Using Poverty Simulations To Build Empathy, But Do They Work?

Feb 21, 2018

About 100 teachers and school support staff spent the better part of three hours inside a junior high school gymnasium in rural, east central Illinois in early January. They were role playing people living in poverty.

The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale works to assist youth in the Carbondale area.  One of their major fundraising events will take place this Friday February 23rd, 2018 at the Copper Dragon in Carbondale.  For more information browse to:

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Hassan Pitts and Kelechi Agwuncha about the 40th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival at SIU.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the 2018 Budget Address from Governor Bruce Rauner.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly.

Illinois lawmakers have only enacted a budget for one of the three years he’s been in office.

That led to service cuts and some layoffs, but the state didn’t collapse. For most people, life went on as normal.

So we asked Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey: Does it really matter if Illinois has a budget?


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. In this installment, Montemagno responds to news the university hired family members and allegations of potential influence on faculty hires, as well as updates his reorganization proposal for the campus.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Andy Anderson of SIUC's Zoology Department, one of the coordinators of the university's 2018 Darwin Week.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been in power for a year now. “State of Trump” is our series discussing what’s changed in Illinois, and what might be ahead

Partisan politics may meet its match in the 2018 farm bill.

The massive legislation, versions of which will be introduced this spring in the U.S. House and Senate, is shaping up to be less about political affiliations and more about finding common ground.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about projects in the downtown area, as well as the "Town-Gown" relationship with SIUC.

As Illinois celebrates its Bicentennial we take a close look at, perhaps, the most well-known Illinoisan, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.


Illinois celebrates its bicentennial in 2018.

Although football has not been around quite that long, the state's  long and successful history on the gridiron started as early as the 19th century.

WSIU contributor Pete Peterson has more in this special report.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Ramesh Neupane and Vamsi Manne about the upcoming SIUC International Festival.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers host Jak Tichenor about Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2018 State of the State Address.