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

Illinois is one step closer to having a budget for next year — the state Senate approved a spending plan late Wednesday night.

It follows years of bitter partisan fighting over state taxes and spending. But the mood around this year’s budget is remarkably different.

State Senator Chapin Rose had what he thought was a no-brainer bill. All he wanted to do was help public universities connect with promising high school juniors by sharing basic data like standardized test scores. But just hours before presenting his bill in committee, he ran into FERPA — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

It’s a federal law; there’s no easy way around it.

Taja Welton is ready for her daughter to be born. She’s moved into a bigger house, one with room for a nursery. She has a closet full of pink, Minnie Mouse-themed baby clothes. Her baby bag is packed right down to the outfit she plans to bring her baby home in that reads, “The Princess Has Arrived.”

“I can’t wait to put it on her,” Welton smiles. The princess even has a name: Macen.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about action in the General Assembly. One week remains in the Spring Legislative Session.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

An ambitious project to build a Mountain Bike trail at SIU's Touch Of Nature Environmental Center is currently underway.  Isaiah Tanner recently graduated with a Master's Degree from SIU Carbondale's Outdoor Recreation Resource Administration Program,  is leading the effort.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn. In Segment One, President Dunn explains a timeline leading up to April's Board of Trustees meeting, where a controversial budget reallocation plan was voted down.


City of Carbondale

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale's Amy Fox and General John A. Logan Museum's Mike Jones about the significance of Memorial Day in southern Illinois, 150 years after it was officially recognized.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

As we approach the Memorial Day Holiday, we take a close look at the early days of General John A. Logan.  Our expert is Mike Jones, the Executive Director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro.  For more information about the museum browse to:http://www.loganmuseum.org/

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the latest from Springfield.

Illinois Lawmakers airs at 7:30pm Fridays in May on WSIU TV.

How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask

May 18, 2018

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy.

But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits.

And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t have time to wait.

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against — with few resources.

Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, predominantly minorities, from moving out of poverty.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Christine Porucznik of the University of Utah's School of Medicine about the 2018 SIU Health Policy Institute.

Abigail Irby Fights For Family, Community Despite Loss

May 16, 2018

In Peoria, at least 251 people were hurt and 26 killed by gun violence between 2015 and 2017.

Abigail Irby moved her family to the South Side of Peoria because she felt called to make a difference. Twenty years later, she's a survivor of the chronic violence felt across the state and says, “I’m not going anywhere until God says it’s time for me to go.”

Suicide A Driver Of Gun Deaths In Rural America

May 16, 2018
People
Courtesy Beth Martinez

The national conversation around gun violence generally centers around mass shootings, school shootings and gang activity. These problems need to be addressed, but may overshadow the largest group affected: suicide victims.

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
School
Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill. to learn about how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.

 

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.

 


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the status of budget talks in Springfield.

Illinois Lawmakers airs on WSIU TV at 7:30pm CDT.

As Illinois celebrates its bicentennial year, WSIU Radio contributor Pete Peterson looks back at the history of the state's professional hockey and basketball teams and the joy they have brought to fans, especially over the past three decades.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about the city's relationship in recruitment and retention at SIUC, along with Memorial Day observances for 2018.

John A. Logan's Contribution To The Civil War

May 9, 2018
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

As we get ready to celebrate Memorial Day we visit with Teacher and Historian Mike Jones, Director of the General John A. Logan.

SIU

SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno shares his goals for his new recruitment manager, the future of his reorganization plan, and more with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

SIU Student Reflects on Trip to Ghana

May 7, 2018

As students at SIUC begin their final week of the 2018 Spring Semester, one student looks back at a critical event in the past academic year:


Two women wheel a grocery cart across the parking lot to a white van, open the door and shove kids’ toys out of the way.

Federal Food Aid Program Difficult To Navigate, But Crucial Service For Mentally Ill

May 3, 2018

It’s a challenge for people with severe mental illnesses to hold down a job or get the medical help they need. And that extends to when they try to alleviate hunger by getting on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Fearing Deportation, Unauthorized Immigrants Shy Away From Signing Kids Up For Food Aid

May 2, 2018

In the small city of Fort Morgan, Colorado, 33-year-old Verónica delicately stacks cans of food into her mini shopping cart, strolling the narrow aisles of the Rising Up food pantry to gather eggs, milk, apples and an extra-large box of cereal.

There’s a Republican-authored proposal in the next farm bill that would require millions more people to work or volunteer in order to receive federal food assistance.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the biggest federal program aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty that millions of Americans find themselves in — sometimes for a few months, sometimes for several years.

People
www.msl-chemcam.com

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Los Alamos National Laboratory Scientist Roger Wiens about his ChemCam, the Mars Rover Mission, and more ahead of his visit to The Science Center of Southern Illinois for this month's Science Cafe.

Randy Dunn
SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn about testimony before an Illinois Senate Committee, including legislation that would split the SIU Carbondale and SIU Edwardsville campuses.

New York Times

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent Carl Hulse, during his visit to SIUC and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

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