WSIU InFocus

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  • Hosted by WSIU News Team

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

Diane Doherty is the executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition. She talks about federally funded programs for low-income individuals — such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — and their future in 2018.

Illinois coal mines lost 228 jobs in the last year, according to numbers from the federal agency that tracks mine safety. That’s fewer jobs than were shed in 2016, and production is up by around 11 percent in the state.

The trend is encouraging, said Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association. He attributes the shift in part to President Donald Trump’s roll-back of the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations during his first year in office.

Rural America was an important demographic in the last election cycle, helping Donald Trump advance to the White House over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Even though Illinois was an electoral victory for Clinton, only twelve of Illinois’ 102 counties went blue, and more than half of those were located in Chicagoland

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

Trump campaigned on building a wall between the border of Mexico and the U.S. While it appears he's willing to scale back that effort, targeting immigrants who do not have protected status remains near the top of his agenda. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn about the effects of the first year of the Trump Administration.

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

 

Today we hear from high school government teacher Neil Calderon about how the Trump presidency has affected the way he teaches:

 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Liz Hunter and Annette Jaymes of the Women United Network about their upcoming "Southern Illinois March To The Polls."

Farm, Food, Forestry And More On The Table In The Next Federal Farm Bill

Jan 16, 2018

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it’ll spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.

The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers — whether they know it or not — and runs the gamut from farm safety net and conservation programs to food stamps and loan guarantees for rural hospitals. Since the bill hasn’t been introduced yet, now is the time when interest groups, farmers and others clamor to ensure their desires will be heard.

Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner used his veto authority to make big changes to a small clean-up bill that’s necessary to enact school funding reform. Democrats who pushed the reform warned that Rauner’s action could derail the bipartisan effort to make school funding more equitable. As it turns out, they’re not the only ones upset about it.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Stephanie Brown, the chair of the Carbondale NAACP's 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. 

A few years ago, Kansas City restaurateur Anton Kotar surveyed the local and national restaurant scenes and concluded his town’s reputation as a steakhouse paradise had slipped.

The problem, he says, is the way conventional beef is raised – bulked up with grain on feedlots, making it cheap and plentiful and changing what Americans expect to taste.

SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno about enrollment potentials, and his reorganization proposal.

Chancellor Montemagno had a few more examples to share, including how the reorganization he hopes to implement will help students in the future:

People
Illinois Public Radio/WILL

For years, Illinois 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis has been trying to get legislation passed that give local governments in rural Illinois a better shot at disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Now, the Taylorville Republican says he may finally have his chance.

If you're sick of hearing people say "nothingburger," "impactful," "drill down," and "pre-owned," you're not alone. Those are just a few of the words and phrases newly-banished for "over-use, mis-use and general useless-ness" by the language guardians at Lake State Superior State University in Michigan.

Teachers and some staff at Western Illinois University will begin the new year without a new contract.  They're in mediation with the administration and are working under terms of the previous contract, which expired over the summer.

Humans In Southern Illinois - Long Before Statehood

Jan 3, 2018
Photo Provided by Dr. Mark Wagner Director of Center for Archaeological Investigations at SIU Carbondale.

Centuries   before Europeans arrived in Illinois, Native Americans made the state their home.  One expert illustrates just how long southern Illinois has been inhabited.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Fitness Instructor Tori Gusewelle and Carbondale Spokeswoman Amy Fox about the Fresh Fitness Program, which will join the Winter Farmers Market starting January 6 in Carbondale.

As we get ready to welcome 2018, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another wild year in Illinois government and politics.

As part of WSIU Radio's look back at some of the top stories of 2017, WSIU's Brad Palmer reports on the housing crisis in Cairo.

A Look Back At SIUC's Leadership Changes in 2017

Dec 28, 2017
SIU

SIU Carbondale concluded its search for a permanent chancellor this summer when the university’s Board of Trustees selected Dr. Carlo Montemagno to lead the campus.

The sudden death of Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela in November of 2014 set in motion a transition for SIUC that would last nearly three years. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller looks back at Illinois' Budget Crisis, which stretched two years into 2017.

A Look Back at The Eclipse of 2017

Dec 26, 2017

The region received many visitors from around the world for the first of two total solar eclipses in the Summer of 2017.

People
Illinois Public Radio/WILL

You’re going to hear a lot of Christmas songs between now and December 25th. And you may hear one that features a little boy asking Santa to replace his two central incisors, after losing them in a slide down the banister. The vocalist that made that song famous was George Rock, a trumpeter hailing from the central Illinois town of Farmer City.

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Illinois Sunshine Project

With roughly three months to go until Illinois’ primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to be governor of Illinois.

One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket?

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

A group of 5th graders at Cobden Elementary School in Union County is putting together a school newspaper. WSIU's Brad Palmer talked with teacher Kelly Flamm and the student journalists about their new endeavor.

Leslie Goddard has a PhD in history from Northwestern, but she never lets academia get in the way of having a little fun with history. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O'Keefe talked recently about her latest project, the history of Frank Capra’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.

SIU Carbondale's proposed reorganization faced stiff opposition at last week's Board of Trustees Meeting. In this edition of WSIU InFocus, System President Randy Dunn talks about what comes next.

Debate over SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s proposed campus reorganization got heated as the university’s trustees met in Carbondale.

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WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Park District Executive Director Kathy Renfro about the upcoming "Blue Christmas" show at the Varsity Center.

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