WSIU InFocus

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.

Ways to Connect

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. 

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:

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 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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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.

www.ivasjohn.com

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

SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno about his first semester as the campuse CEO.

The issue of gun ownership has returned to the forefront after mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music festival in October and in a Texas church last month. Most of the concerns revolve around restrictions on gun purchases and who can own what type of weapon.

Things could get a little murky from a legal standpoint if you happen to inherit a gun from a loved one. In This week’s Friday Forum, we look at the case of a Rockford woman who found herself in such a situation.

People
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports on this week's marking of the 25th anniversary of Carbondale's Pyramid Apartments fire.

Winter Survival: For Crops, Soils and Trees

Dec 6, 2017
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

Now that winter weather has arrived, we take a look at how plants cope with cold.  In this first part of this report we hear from a farmer from central Illinois talking about a technique called cover cropping, which can help the soil, and, actually enrich the soil during the typical winter months of December, January and February.

Farmers Explore Cover Crops to Aid Winter Losses

Dec 5, 2017
Agriculture
Illinois Public Radio/WILL

Farmers in Central Illinois are experimenting with cover crops to stop soil erosion. Cover crops can also help stop an environmental threat hundreds of miles away. But, do cover crops cut into a farmer’s finances—or even solvency?

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Southern Illinois AIDS Coalition Chair Wally Paynter about World AIDS Day.

University of Illinois media professor Jay Rosenstein has been a longtime critic of the amount of money spent on athletics on the Urbana campus.

Now he’s published a series of articles that show that millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on U of I athletics each year, despite longtime claims to the contrary.

Agriculture
submitted / Blue River Technology

Cameras and machine learning may eventually save farmers a lot of money on chemicals. They may even help prevent water pollution and reduce the need for genetically-modified seeds. That's according to the CEO of Blue River Technology, a company based in California's Silicon Valley that John Deere just bought for $305 million.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill reports the acquisition may have wide-ranging effects on agriculture and other industries.

Monday was an important date on the way to the 2018 elections. It was the beginning of the period when Illinois candidates have to file petitions with, in some cases, thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot.

SIU President Randy Dunn talks with WSIU's Brad Palmer about his thoughts on the progress of SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno's academic reorganization plan and the kickoff of Illinois' Bicentennial celebration this weekend.

If you drive along the two lane back roads of northern Illinois these days, you’re likely to see farm fields that just a few weeks ago had row upon row of corn. Now, in those fields machines are turning laps leaving just the stub of a corn stalk. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O'Keefe has a look at this years whiskey crop...

People
State of Illinois

Illinois Public Radio's Judy Valente talks with Poet Laureate Kevin Stein, after he announced his intention to step down from the role.

People
Taylor Vessel/WSIU

Two months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico residents are struggling to recover. Power has not been fully restored, and fresh water and other supplies are still hard to come by.

In the days immediately after the storm, a southern Illinoisan decided to lend his help – in connecting others who could lend a hand. Taylor Vessel of WSIU’s River Region Evening Edition reports on Tim Maloney's trip.

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