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.

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The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is recently renovated and has re-opened for tourists, who tend to go for the historical significance. There’s also a new reason for art enthusiasts to check it out.

Experts Explore Reasons, Solutions for Teacher Shortage

Sep 5, 2018

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a slew of legislation this month intended to alleviate Illinois’s teacher shortage. But some teachers and union leaders doubt the measures are enough. Illinois Newsroom’s Lee Gaines spoke with Linda Darling-Hammond to find out what legislative fixes actually work.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams and Councilwoman Carolyn Harvey. In this edition, they discuss guidance for renters new to the city, and a potential solar energy project planned for the city's northeast side.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Jennifer DeHaemers, about expectations for on-campus enrollment in the current academic year, along with projections for the future.

Back in 2012, one of the major employers in Montrose, Colorado, a sawmill, was in receivership and on the brink of collapse. At the time, local media reported that the cost of logging timber had become prohibitively expensive, and the log yard was nearly empty.  

These days, logs are stacked high next to a humming mill. Production is up 20 percent from even just 2016.

Harvest season isn’t far away for corn and soybean farmers, whose crops are worth less now than when they planted in the spring due to the United States’ trade war.

“We don't know what to think from one day to the next. It's hard to plan,” said Duane Hund, a farmer in Kansas’ Flint Hills.

Forty percent of farmers polled this summer by Farm Futures said President Donald Trump’s trade policy is permanently damaging U.S. agriculture. The scrambling of global markets is just beginning, Hund said, and pointed to the 1980 Russian grain embargo as an example.

Cahokia Mounds: A Big City 1,000 Years Ago

Aug 28, 2018
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WSIU/Kevin Boucher

On this WSIU INFOCUS, we hear from researchers analyzing the soil in and around the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

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WSIU/Kevin Boucher

As Illinois Celebrates its Bicentennial, WSIU travels to one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America.

Todd Graham, SIU Debate Coach
SIU

With a guilty verdict for former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort and a guilty plea from President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, analysts are talking about what the two cases mean, and what comes next. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Debate Director Todd Graham about his observations.

DuQuoin State Fair
IL Dept of Agriculture

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Jak Tichenor about "DuQuoin State Fair Memories," an event on August 26 that will highlight Illinois' Bicentennial as well as the Perry County institution.

IL General Assembly

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller speaks with Illinois House Higher Education Committee Chair Chris Welch about upcoming meetings on the SIU Carbondale and SIU Edwardsville campuses.

Pesticides are all over, from backyard gardens to cornfields. While their use doesn’t appear to be slowing, concern over drift and the resulting effects on health is driving research — and more worries.

Those concerns are bringing pesticides to a different venue: courtrooms. 

SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, with updates on reorganization, enrollment, recruitment and retention, and more.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, SIU's new Interim President.

The Public Learns About Hummingbirds.

Aug 10, 2018
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Thinkstock

The Shawnee Chapter of The Illinois Audubon Society recently held  a public workshop about hummingbirds.

There could soon be a different kind of fuel going into trucks and planes, one that could help farmers and create rural jobs.

It’d come from sorghum: a grass grown around the world, but increasingly so in states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. 

When we think about preventing domestic violence and human trafficking, we may not think that one of the first lines of defense against these issues is standing at the front of our classrooms.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about how Carbondale is preparing for SIUC students' return, as well as how things are changing in the town/gown relationship.

When communities watch young people grow up, go off and never return, remaining residents and politicians often bemoan there’s been a “brain drain” — especially when such population loss means schools and businesses close.

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

“The head hangs down and they don’t eat,” said Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

A couple of years ago, Ronald Reagan’s first boyhood home in Dixon was, as The Washington Post put it, “falling apart.” Today, things are looking much better. But the museum’s director says there’s still more to be done.

The transition from youth to adolescence can be anxiety-inducing, navigating the physical changes and social pressures to fit in.

  

Last week, the U.S. Secret Service released a guide for preventing school violence. Issued in response to recent massacres in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, it’s subtitled “An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence.”

But closer to home, a group from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force had already presented a very similar set of recommendations back in April.

www.aheapanel.org

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with leaders of Illinois' Anti-Harassment, Equality, and Access Panel - State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, State Representative Carol Ammons, and State Senator Melinda Bush. 

It started with a system glitch in the summer of 2016.

Hackers found a flaw in the online voting registration process in Illinois and exploited it. Illinois State Board of Election’s spokesperson Matt Dietrich said the board’s servers were flooded with queries, which are lines of code.

Lee Ann Stuart still wears her nursing scrubs, even though the only work she’s been doing since Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center closed June 11 is to pack boxes of medical supplies to be hauled away.

“It’s strange walking those halls, and they’re empty and the lights are down,” Stuart says. She’s been a nurse at the hospital in rural Kennett, Missouri, for 22 years.

Rich Egger/TSPR

Western Illinois University laid out its plans for restructuring and realigning its academic offerings during a much anticipated news conference earlier this month.

The announcement comes less than a month after two dozen faculty received layoff notices. At that time, Western also eliminated 62 vacant or soon to be vacant positions.

On Friday, July 27th, 2018 Mars and the Earth will be in Opposition to each other.  Exactly what does that mean?  Bob Baer, of the SIU Physics Department tells us.

Bruce Carney raises cattle, poultry and a few sheep on his 300-acre farm in Maxwell, Iowa. He no longer grows any grain, but is preparing for new crops of a different kind.

Orange flags dot what was previously a cattle lot, with a ridge (or swale) built around it to manage water flow. The fruit trees Carney will be planting at each of the flags later this year will also help.

Shortage Of Rural Veterinarians Puts Farmers, Food Supply At Risk

Jul 16, 2018

Thirty-eight calves, between two and four months old, moo and kick at the dirt floor in a steel barn in Brush, Colorado. One by one, a handler leads them from the pen to a narrow chute, where their legs are restrained and they’re lifted onto a hydraulic table.  

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