WSIU InFocus

  • Hosted by WSIU News Team

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.

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SIU Ag Day Brings Researchers and Farmers Together

Jun 26, 2019
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

On Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 farmers, scientists and agricultural partners from all across Illinois met for a field day to showcase the latest agricultural research going on at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Earlier this year, police dispatchers in Evansville, Indiana, received a chilling call. A man said he was holding his wife at knifepoint, and he warned police that he was heavily armed.

Losing a loved one to gun violence can cause anxiety, stress and other mental health symptoms. So can simply living in an environment where violence is common.

But experts say early intervention and support can help prevent some of those negative, long-term consequences.

The Mississippi River system is both an artery and a vein. It pumps ag products out of the heartland and into the world while bringing back fertilizer and steel to keep that economic engine purring.

Girls Rock Carbondale

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller previews Girls Rock Carbondale 2019 with Organizer Carson Cates.

Dennis Pond doesn’t tell his psychiatrist about his thoughts of suicide.  But he has them. He often feels useless, in large part because his diabetes has caused terrible pain and numbness in his feet, and that affects his ability to drive, to help out around the house, to even go out in the yard.

SIU Salukis

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is gearing up for its inaugural season of women's soccer this fall.

WSIU's Patrick Codo has this preview of the newest sport in the Saluki Athletics department.

Douglas rattles around a collection of glass jars in the storage closet of his Denver apartment. They’re filled with a small grain, like barley, and covered in a soft white fungus — a mushroom spawn. Soon, he’ll transplant it in large plastic bins filled nutrients like dried manure and coconut fiber.

Over the course of two weeks, mushrooms that naturally contain psilocybin, a psychoactive ingredient, will sprout.

Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.

Nationwide, the use of glyphosate on crops increased from 13.9 million pounds in 1992 to 287 million pounds in 2016, according to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim SIUC Chancellor John Dunn.

E-cigarette Popularity Surges In Rural Classrooms

Jun 10, 2019

North Newton Junior/Senior High lies in the Northwest corner of Indiana, in a county home to more dairy cows than people.

But students have no problem getting e-cigarettes in all shapes and sizes. Some look like pens, others like computer thumb drives.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller takes a look back at the Spring 2019 Legislative Session with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor.

photo of CCHS students Torrey Taylor, Daniel Weisen and Shreya Patel
Bryan Dunn

Today we conclude our special series featuring podcasts produced by a group of Carbondale Community High School students for NPR's first ever Student Podcast Challenge.

WSIU continues our special series featuring podcasts that were produced by a group of Carbondale Community High School students for NPR's first ever Student Podcast Challenge.

Today's adaptation takes a closer look at the high school's speech team through the student experience.  It also asks the question... is speech more than just talking?

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Judy Ashby of the RBF Dome Home NFP about their ongoing restoration efforts, along with a fundraiser to help push them into the next phase.

InFocus: Illinois Lawmakers Preview (5/31/2019)

May 31, 2019

The Illinois General Assembly is in the closing hours of the spring legislative session.  Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor talks with Kevin boucher about the work to be done and has a preview of tonight's edition of Illinois Lawmakers.

photo of CCHS students Maya Benyas and Maddy Huggins
Bryan Dunn

Today, we delve into another podcast produced by a group of students at Carbondale Community High School.  The students took part in NPR's first ever Student Podcast Challenge.

NPR received nearly 6,000 entries from Junior and Senior High school students from across the country and every state in the union.  

In our second installment we feature a podcast that examines the topic of hate from a teen perspective and the role it plays in daily life.

photo of CCHS students Max Johnson, Nathaniel Pimentel
Bryan Dunn

Podcasts now reach millions of people on a daily basis with topics as diverse as the people who produce them.  This spring NPR held it's first ever Student Podcast Challenge.  NPR asked Junior and Senior High students and their teachers to put on their headphones and turn their ideas into sound.... and did they ever!

NPR received nearly six-thousand entries encompassing every state in the union - you probably heard some of the featured podcasts on Morning Edition a couple of weeks ago. 

A visit with Dr. Glenn Poshard, who visited with WSIU in late March of 2019 at the Southern Illinois Wellness Expo in Carterville.

WSIU's Amelia Blakely tells the story of southern Illinois veteran Jerry Penrod's time in the Vietnam War and his reflections fifty years after his tour. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor.

In one town in the Metro East, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, police are forcing landlords to evict tenants who have called for help during an overdose because they have heroin or other controlled substances in their rental property.

Pleasant Plains is a small but prosperous town about 15 minutes northwest of Springfield. Its schools are all rated “commendable,” and their test results outshine state averages in every subject.

And yet, in March, the high school principal, Luke Brooks, asked Illinois lawmakers to stop requiring algebra.

Courtesy of Illinois Farm Week

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, WSIU's Kevin Boucher visits with U of I Extension Educator in Local Foods and Small Farms, Nathan Johanning.

Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

The Illinois General Assembly is rapidly approaching the end of the Spring Legislative session that is scheduled to conclude at the end of May.   WSIU's Jeff Williams talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the session and the key pieces of legislation that remain in play, including some of Governor J.B. Pritzker's signature issues.

Illinois Lawmakers airs tonight at 7:30 pm on WSIU TV

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Gene Basanta and Michele Mekel of SIU's School of Law about their upcoming Health Policy Institute.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Students in the Principles of Biomedical Science class at Anna-Jonesboro Community High School present their conclusions in the fictitious death of Anna Garcia. WSIU's Brad Palmer reports.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim SIUC Chancellor John Dunn. In this episode, Dunn details 2019 Graduation, SIUC's graduation rates, retention, reorganization, and more.

As grassland and prairies gave way to farmland in the Midwest, habitats for some native birds disappeared. There’s a relatively new program in central Illinois looking to restore wetlands for migrating birds and help farmers at the same time.

The program to help them is limited but is secure for now. However, the future for both the bird and the program could be on shakier ground in just a few years.