Big Muddy Film Festival Starts Rolling Next Week

Feb 15, 2019
Big Muddy Film Festival

For it's 41st year, the student-run film festival, The Big Muddy takes off next week.

The festival showcases independent filmmakers from all over the world for a week, at no cost.

President of the Big Muddy Crew Aster Arseneau says for the southern Illinois region, the festival is a cultural institution.

"Well, I'm from Carbondale, and I feel this is a love letter to Carbondale from me since I'm leaving soon because it allows people to see films they wouldn't see anywhere else," Arseneau said.

Illinois Democrats have introduced two measures that would expand abortion access in the state by removing a parental notification requirement and a ban on late-term abortions.

The Chicago Tribune reports the proposed legislation was filed Wednesday. One bill would repeal the state's parental notice law, which requires minors notify a legal guardian before having an abortion.

President Donald Trump is saying he needs to use emergency powers to protect the nation from drug dealers and illegal immigrants.

The president Friday declared a national emergency and plans to find other funds for the wall after expressing unhappiness about a congressional border security deal.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump spoke about border security at the White House. Congress passed a compromise spending measure Thursday to avert a government that includes some funding for the border barrier. But the White House says Trump will also sign an emergency declaration that will allow him to divert additional funds to build a wall as he has long promised.

The Illinois House Thursday joined the Senate, which had previously passed a bill to increase the state minimum wage.

The current eight dollars 25 cents an hour will gradually rise to 15 bucks an hour by 2025.

SIU Soccer Announces First Signing Class

Feb 14, 2019
SIU Salukis

The first signing class is set to go for the inaugural season of SIU Saluki women's soccer.

Head coach Grant Williams Thursday announced the first 20 players...18 of them freshmen.

SIU Trustees have set tuition and fee rates for next year - with no increase for undergraduates or graduate students on the Carbondale campus.


GasBuddy's 2019 Consumer Sentiment on Gasoline Study reveals Americans are more dependent on and frustrated by fuel purchases than ever before.

The study finds a staggering 86 percent of Americans depending on gasoline for their everyday lives.

Additional key findings:

Wayne Co. Sheriff's Dept.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Fairfield Police Department and U-S Marshall Service are actively searching for an escapee from a work release program.

Illinois News Connection

Having the wool pulled over your eyes by someone you love is one thing, but imagine unknowingly becoming an accomplice to crime.

Jessica Tharp, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois, explains singles looking for a love connection online may fall prey to scammers who use affection to manipulate victims out of their money.

A proposal for a new nursing program at SIU Carbondale illustrated continued friction within the system Wednesday.


The Illinois House is set to vote on increasing the minimum wage on Thursday.

Despite concerns from many business owners, the House will consider legislation gradually raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. The bill includes a tax credit for small businesses to help offset the cost.

State Senator Dale Fowler is pushing a plan to allow voters to weigh in on a non-partisan system for drawing legislative maps.

The Harrisburg republican says Senate Joint Resolution - Constitutional Amendment 4 would allow a vote on establishing an independent redistricting commission. Fowler says it will increase transparency and provide for hearings to gather public input.

A suspect is in custody after an anonymous threat was made to the Pope County School District.

On Tuesday, the Administration of the Pope County School District contacted Illinois State Police District 22 regarding an anonymous threat sent via the internet to a student.

Why Are There So Few Black Men In Medicine?

Feb 13, 2019
A man in scrubs standing in an operating room.
Benjy Jeffords/WSIU

Dr. Don Arnold’s home office overflows with medical textbooks, old anatomical prints and six pages of a recommendation letter from his first application to medical school - framed and hanging on the wall.

“It says I have very unique and viable talents that would serve me well, but on paper a very poor academic record,” he says. “So this is code. For those who don’t know. Nobody’s going to outwardly tell you not to take a person, but this is how they write it in code.”

Marion Police Dept.

Marion Police are searching for a suspect wanted for an armed robbery at a local business.

Officers say a man brandished a weapon and demanded money Monday morning at about 9:20 at Power Gas on West Main Street in Marion.

WSIU News (AM Update - 2/13/2019)

Feb 13, 2019
Gilster-Mary Lee

A southern Illinois business owner says a 15-dollar minimum wage in Illinois would devastate his company.

Don Welge is president and CEO of Gilster-Mary Lee, a family-held food manufacturer headquartered in Chester.

Five Illinois non-profits who help at risk youth with education, vocational and job-skills, will be benefitting from a recently announced grant from the U.S. Department of Labor's YouthBuild program.

SIU Trustees will take up tuition and fee proposals for next year when they meet in Edwardsville this week, and SIU Carbondale's leaders are asking for a zero-percent increase.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

A regional organization is looking to bring equality in the STEM field by particpating in the People's Choice Award for the Illinois Impact Challenge.

Kim Vrooman, the Director of Communications and Development at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, said if the organization is named the People's Choice Award winner it will recieve $250,000 to fund mobile STEM Labs.

Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.

A southern Illinois man is charged with making false bomb threats to various people and entities in Canada.

Mary Kay Eagan-Robbins' Facebook page

A volunteer firefighter with Down syndrome in Marion County is coming back to the department after he quit because he was bullied.

After 32 years with the SIU-Carbondale swimming and diving program, head coach Rick Walker will step down at the end of the current season.

The Kankakee native joined the Saluki staff in 1987, became the men's head coach in 1992 and took over the women's team in 2005. Walker has won nine conference championships during his tenure.

Illinois House lawmakers are discussing a universal college admission bill.

Under the legislation, students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class and meeting test score requirements would automatically be admitted to any the state's public colleges or universities.

Enrollment data at Eastern Illinois University show the school has more international students this semester representing more countries.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is being questioned by the House Judiciary Committee, now controlled by Democrats.

Lawmakers plan to press Whitaker on his controversial appointment by President Trump and his oversight of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Watch the hearing live.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh native Pete Peterson is a die-hard Steelers fan.

In his annual Black History Month commentary, Peterson tells us about a little-known Steelers scout who helped black players gain a stronger foothold in the National Football League.

Sparta Police Dept.

Authorities believe the rain-saturated ground shifted Thursday morning, causing a train to derail in Sparta.

Thirty properties in Illinois are being added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Park Service - based on recommendations from the State Historic Preservation Office - adds places to the register.