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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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.  

A theatrical and punk rock venture in Champaign–Urbana has become an empowering part of the arts scene there.

U Of I Students Design Virtual Reality For Incarcerated People

Jul 12, 2018

Simple, everyday tasks  – like ordering coffee, crossing the street, or getting gas – can be an obstacle, or an intimidating challenge for people recently released from prison. This is especially true for people who have spent many years behind bars.


How would you feel if your hometown was called the most boring city in the state?

Cape Girardeau Missouri found out this year when the website business insider published a list of the most exciting and most boring cities in every sate.

Entrepreneurs and job-seekers in central Illinois can mark their calendars for December 3 and 4, 2018. Facebook is bringing a two-day workshop to Springfield.

The corn and soybeans growing in Glenn Brunkow’s fields in the rolling Flint Hills north of Wamego, Kansas, got some much needed rain recently and look healthy.

Brunkow has reason to expect a good harvest, but the way things are looking globally, he’ll lose money on the crop. Trade disputes with China, Mexico and Canada threaten to slash U.S. food exports by billions. About half the soybean crop goes overseas, most of that to China — and since mid-April, soybean prices have plunged about 20 percent and corn about 15 percent.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about the release of emails and other documents that show SIU President Randy Dunn worked to boost SIU Edwardsville, at times at the expense of SIU Carbondale.

2018 The Year Of The Bird: Dr. Mike Baltz

Jul 2, 2018
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WSIU/Kevin Boucher

With 2018 being designated as The Year Of The Bird, Ornithologist Dr. Mike Baltz comments on the birds that make southern Illinois their summer home.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with author Jeremy Finley about his new book, "The Darkest Time of Night."

The Trump administration wants to show rural communities, which voted for him by wide margins in the 2016 election, they are still on the president’s mind. It suggested a list of broad ideas in January to spark growth and carved out rural interests in an infrastructure plan.

As news has centered on the plight of hundreds of families who have been separated while trying to enter the US through Mexico, concern has been raised over the ultimate destiny of about 1,500 children being held in detention centers and shelters. There are at least 66 of those children in Chicago, according to Heartland Alliance, a non-profit with nine shelters for unaccompanied minors there.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Centerstone's Niki Grajewski about increased awareness of suicide, and how people can help those in trouble.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale NAACP Vice President Pepper Holder and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation's Charah Mckinzie about the upcoming Records Expungement Clinic in Carbondale.

Two counties in southwestern Illinois grow the majority of the nation’s — possibly the world’s — horseradish. The city of Collinsville, population 25,000, straddles both Madison and St. Clair, and celebrates the root annually, hosting the International Horseradish Festival.

Harvest Public Media decided it was time to check out the entertainment, games and horseradish-based dishes and drinks. Here’s a bite of the zesty gathering.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dayempur Herbals General Manager Terry Hickey about their upcoming Herbal Medicine Workshop.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director John Shaw about his new book, "Rising Star, Setting Sun: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and the Presidential Transition that Changed America."

SIUC

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Associate Director for Housing Operations Jim Hunsaker about the closing of "The Towers" residence halls, and what can be expected for the Fall of 2019.

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Illinois Public Radio/WILL

Ronald Pressman says everyone needs to think ahead to retirement, whether that time is far in the future, or just a few years away. He says baby boomers need to make sure their retirement benefits live as long as they do ---- and millennials need to act now to make sure their plans for retirement get off to a good start.

Pressman is the CEO for Institutional Financial Services at the non-profit financial services organization TIAA (which underwrites All Things Considered and other NPR programs that air on WSIU Radio). 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about the 2019 Illinois Budget, along with preparations for the 2020 U.S. Census, and more.

It’s been just about six months since a new Illinois law allowing 16 and 17 year olds to donate organs went into effect. Has the change made a difference for those waiting for life-saving organ transplants?

National Trails Day is Saturday June 2nd, 2018.  On this edition of WSIU In Focus, WSIU's Kevin Boucher visits with Cobden Teacher Kelly Flamm's 5th Grade Students to talk about nature.

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