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The song "Strange Fruit" was written by a man named Abel Meeropol in the 1930s — but it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday. The lyrics vividly describe a lynching, and this haunting protest song is central to the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. The Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day plays the title character. The role is Day's acting debut, but she has already won a Golden Globe for her performance.

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For years, open-world video games, where players can explore all around the map rather than following a set path, have been hugely popular. The Pokémon franchise is finally catching up.

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COVID-19 Pandemic

State Tops 3 Million Vaccines Administered; Pritzker Announces Awareness Campaign

7 minutes ago
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

More than 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered statewide as of Friday, and Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new $10 million public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging residents to get vaccinated.

The announcement comes as Illinois set another single-day record for vaccines administered Friday with over 132,000 doses administered statewide.

Join us this week for a special edition of Inside The Blanket Fort.  Also, check out the debut podcast of "Survivied by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle from Blanket Fort Radio Theater and SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio

Lawmakers Discuss $1 Monthly Copayments for Child Care Services

1 hour ago
People
Blueroomstream.com

After an executive order from Gov. JB Pritzker that set monthly copayments for child care services to $1 for all families expired last month, a House Committee on Friday agreed to continue working on legislation to create a law to make the benefit permanent for low-income families.

House Bill 141, sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, would permanently offer the $1 monthly copayment for child care services to families whose income is at or below 185 percent of the most recent federal poverty guidelines based on family size.

People
Carbondale Police

Carbondale Police say they're looking for three people in connection to a retail theft back in January.

WSIU News Morning Update (3/5/2021)

6 hours ago

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for March 5th.

Extended Federal Benefits End for Some Jobless Residents

7 hours ago
Graph
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Benefits for some unemployed state residents provided under an aid program targeting mostly self-employed and gig workers will be capped at 50 weeks instead of 57, the state announced Wednesday.

The shortened period for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was triggered by a decline in the state’s unemployment rate.

Environmentalists in Illinois worry that having few regulations for coal-fired power plant demolitions will increase the chance for a toxic disaster when these facilities are dismantled.

image
Hakan Nural unsplash

Several  hospitals in underserved areas will soon be getting 500 extra does per week, of the COVID-19 Vaccine.  Damon Harbison, President of SSM Health says, this is good news.

Comptroller Hopeful Outdoor Events on Track for Summer, Indoor Events for Fall

Mar 4, 2021
People
Blueroomstream.com

In a Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee hearing Thursday, State Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she is hopeful outdoor events can return as early as this summer with large indoor events such as conventions and trade shows beginning in the fall.

Mendoza said that the return to holding events would be gradual and based on a number of factors, including COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates.

Report: Illinois’ Pension Debt Tops $300 Billion

Mar 4, 2021
Graph
Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability

A new report by the credit rating agency Moody’s says Illinois will set a new record this year when it reports a total net pension liability of more than $300 billion, the highest of any state in the nation.

As of June 30, 2020, the report stated, the total unfunded liabilities of the state’s five pension systems stood at $317 billion, a 19 percent increase from the prior year. That was largely due to historically low interest rates, which have depressed pension fund earnings throughout the country.

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Daily Illinois COVID-19 Briefings

InFocus returns this fall

New series of episodes focused on health, politics and policy, education, and the arts

WSIU At-Home Learning

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Science, History, Math, and English Language Arts from PBS LearningMedia.

SIU Press and WSIU present Blanket Fort Radio Theater, a project highlighting works published by SIU Press, featuring work from SIUC's Creative Writing Program.

Meet our 'Neighborly Award' Winners!

Honoring those making a difference in our communities through kindness and compassion.

WSIU News Updates

Get the latest local news and weather reports.

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