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When George Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross took the stand for the prosecution, she described the couple's struggle with drugs as part of the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

"It's a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids," Ross testified. "We both suffered from chronic pain. We both had prescriptions."

During the opioid crisis, millions of Americans became addicted to prescription painkillers, then turned to street opioids including fentanyl. "We tried really hard to break that addiction many times," Ross said.

Fetal tissue is uniquely valuable to medical researchers - useful for developing treatments and better understanding diseases like HIV, Parkinson's, and COVID-19.

But many anti-abortion rights groups oppose it on moral or religious grounds.

Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says he's reversing several restrictions on fetal tissue research put in place during the Trump administration.

All federal prison inmates will have the opportunity to receive a vaccine by mid-May, according to the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Michael Carvajal.

Vaccines have already been made available to all federal prison staff, he said, speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing Thursday.

More than 40,000 people incarcerated in federal prisons have received both doses of the vaccine, the bureau says, which is about a third of the people in BOP custody. Nearly 18,000 federal prison staff have been fully vaccinated.

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COVID-19 Pandemic

Pritzker Announces $1.6 Billion in Federal Funding for Early Childhood Services

6 hours ago

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that $1.6 billion in federal funding will be allocated toward early childhood education and child care providers in Illinois.

The funds will be provided through the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March, Pritzker announced at a news conference in Aurora on Friday, and will include $140 million in direct grants for child care providers to be dispersed over the next three weeks.

Quarter of Illinois’ Population Fully Vaccinated

7 hours ago
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Nearly one quarter of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data released Friday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

With more than 3.18 million state residents fully vaccinated, the percentage of fully vaccinated Illinoisans has reached 24.95 percent as of Thursday.


A cannabis cultivation company that operates a production facility in Union County is working with an area community college to create new jobs.

Advocates for people with disabilities are pushing Illinois lawmakers to do better when it comes to funding for caregivers across the state.

The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, along with partner organizations, says a new study shows direct support providers need more financial support.

Illinois State Police

The family of a Tamms man is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his death.

WSIU News Morning Update (4/16/2021)

11 hours ago

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for April 16th.

Safe Shawnee Hiking with Expert Hiker Shawn Gossman

17 hours ago
WSIU/Kevin boucher

Over the last several weeks, several hikers have sustained injuries after falling in the Shawnee National Forest.  On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we speak with hiking expert Shawn Gossman about how to enjoy southern Illinois' natural areas while staying out of the emergency room.

climate update logo
Unity Point Environmental Club

Climate Update is a monthly radio essay dedicated to exploring the impact of climate on our world.  The program is produced by the 4th Grade students in the Environmental Club at Unity Point School in Carbondale, Illinois.

Climate Update regularly airs the second Friday of the month on WSIU Radio.

Elected Chicago School Board Bill Passes House

18 hours ago

A bill which would implement an elected Chicago school board passed the Illinois House Thursday, while opponents of the legislation continued to push for compromise amendments.

House Bill 2908 would create elections for 21 Chicago school board members in the 2023 and 2027 consolidated primary elections. Currently, the seven sitting Chicago Board of Education members are appointed by the Mayor.

Senator Tammy Duckworth is encouraging all Illinoisans to get the COVID-19 vaccines for the sake of the community.

In a virtual town hall Thursday night, leaders including Duckworth and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike stressed the need for vaccines. Duckworth emphasized the need for people to work as a community and get vaccinated to protect each other, especially those too young to get the shot. Ezike encouraged those who have already been vaccinated to reach out to friends and neighbors.


Daily Illinois COVID-19 Briefings


InFocus concentrates on health, politics and policy, education, and the arts

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