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 SIU Vice Chancellor Jim Salmo about the 2018 Day of Giving.

A Carbondale High School student is showing off her talents at a competition in Champaign this weekend.

Widespread Drought Across US Stoking Fears That 2012's Devastation Will Repeat

Feb 28, 2018

Western Illinois might be close to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but it’s the driest part of the state this year.

“We really haven’t really had any measurable rain since the middle of October,” says Ken Schafer, who farms winter wheat, corn and soybeans in Jerseyville, north of St. Louis. “I dug some post-holes this winter, and it's just dust.”

SIU President Randy Dunn talks with InFocus Host Jennifer Fuller about the status of the SIUC reorganization proposal, as well as next month's hearings in the Illinois Legislature on budget requests.

WSIU's Kevin Boucher talks with Chastity Mays of Gift of Love Charity.

Northern Illinois Clinic Uses Multi-Faceted Treatment Program To Combat Opioid Epidemic

Feb 23, 2018

As the death toll climbs for opioid-related overdoses in Illinois, state leaders are looking for solutions. Advocates have highlighted a Whiteside County Clinic as a state leader in its outpatient drug rehabilitation program. WNIJ's Jessie Schlacks went to Rock Falls to tour the facility:

Whitney Miller is case manager of the Medication Assisted Treatment program - or MAT - at the Whiteside County Clinic.

In Organic Labels Consumers Trust, But Fraud Threatens The Industry

Feb 22, 2018

Peyton Manning, the NFL quarterback-turned-pitchman, apparently has another side hustle: Certifying shipments of grain as organic for a Nebraska-based agency called OneCert.

Problem is, OneCert president Sam Welsch doesn’t remember hiring Manning for his business, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect everything from small vegetable farms to processing plants and international grain operations.

Schools Are Using Poverty Simulations To Build Empathy, But Do They Work?

Feb 21, 2018

About 100 teachers and school support staff spent the better part of three hours inside a junior high school gymnasium in rural, east central Illinois in early January. They were role playing people living in poverty.

The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale works to assist youth in the Carbondale area.  One of their major fundraising events will take place this Friday February 23rd, 2018 at the Copper Dragon in Carbondale.  For more information browse to:  http://www.bgc-cdale.org/event/night-at-the-oscars/

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Hassan Pitts and Kelechi Agwuncha about the 40th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival at SIU.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the 2018 Budget Address from Governor Bruce Rauner.

SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. In this installment, Montemagno responds to news the university hired family members and allegations of potential influence on faculty hires, as well as updates his reorganization proposal for the campus.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Andy Anderson of SIUC's Zoology Department, one of the coordinators of the university's 2018 Darwin Week.

As Illinois celebrates its Bicentennial we take a close look at, perhaps, the most well-known Illinoisan, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers host Jak Tichenor about Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2018 State of the State Address.

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.

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.

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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