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.

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Illinois Department Of Public Safety / Illinois Department Of Public Safety

COVID-19 cases are on the rise and states have implemented migration measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Health experts are recommending that everyone should get a flu shot two weeks before visiting friends and family during the holidays.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with  Betsy de Parry and Joe Allen about the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980, and how lessons from that legislation could apply today.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony, as the system moves from a hybrid of online and in-person classes to a fully online plan for the rest of the semester.

The continued stress from COVID-19 has heightened mental health problems nationwide. And some experts say that has led to an increase in drug overdoses.

An Expert Explains How To Understand COVID-19 Data

Nov 18, 2020

With so much data coming out, it can be hard to understand the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Louis University School of Medicine's Timothy Wiemken spoke with WSIU about what some of those numbers mean, and what types of data are most help in understanding the pandemic.

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WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC's Director Admissions, John Frost, about recruiting during a pandemic, along with the university's "Getting to Know SIU" night - set for this Tuesday (11/17). 


Dusty Spurgeon is proud to be a female farmer. 

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WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane, as students prepare to move to online classes for the remainder of Fall 2020, and look ahead to Spring 2021.

The pandemic has forced numerous faith leaders out of the pulpit and into the homes of many via computer screens and other devices. But for some worshipers, internet sermons just aren’t enough.

The King James version of the Bible said, “And he said unto them, ‘Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” That’s Mark 16:15. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIH CEO Rex Budde and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marci Moore-Connelly about the latest COVID-19 numbers, and how the organization is moving into the cold and flu season with coronavirus surging. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with John Jackson of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute about big issues facing voters for Election Day 2020:

Media outlets in other countries are closely following this year's presidential election in the United States. A couple researchers from Monmouth College are involved with a project to examine what is being reported and how it differs from four years ago.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Land of Lincoln Legal Aid's Andrew Weaver and Nicholette Dolin about an upcoming virtual expungement clinic.

Now that summer is over and temperatures are dipping across the Midwest, people are headed indoors, some experts fear the already striking rise in cases is the beginning of another wave of COVID-19.

“I think that as fall moves forward ... what we're seeing right now is kind of a preview of what we can expect, as we even see colder temperatures come,” says Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics at the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute. 

Damla Ozaka Unsplash

Each Tuesday through October, the Illinois Supreme Court is partnering with the State Justice Institute and the National Center for State Courts, to explore ways to deal with the problem of large numbers of mentally ill non-violent people behind bars in Illinois.

There is just one hospital in western Indiana’s Vermillion County. The slender, 37-mile long county is dotted with corn and soybean fields, and driving from one end to the other would take nearly an hour. 

Union Hospital Clinton is small, only 25 beds, but it also serves parts of two neighboring counties. The area suffers from some of Indiana’s highest rates of heart attack and stroke. 

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane about how the campus is handling COVID-19, along with what he's working on to boost enrollment in the future.

WSIU/Kevin boucher

On this month's original feature written and voiced by Ornithologist Dr. Mike Baltz, he reviews a book which asks "Why Do We Work? "

Southern 7's Head Start Adapts to COVID-19

Oct 8, 2020
Courtesy of Shawnna Rhine Southern Seven Health Department.

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives and educators are busy keeping up with delivering to students, while keeping everybody safe.

As the new school year gets underway, some students are in classrooms and others are at home but one thing is now clear: all kids can get free school meals. That’s because the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program and the Summer Food Service Program, has extended the pandemic provisions it introduced last spring, which include eliminating the requirement that families apply for reduced-fees or free meals. 

While COVID-19 has hampered farmers this year by forcing many farmers markets and restaurants to close, usually it’s the weather that threatens crops. A practice called “gleaning” helps save crops from going to waste while feeding those in need. 

Heavy rain was causing flooding all along the Arkansas River. Before Joe Tierney knew it, water from the nearby creek was creeping forward onto his farm in Bixby, Oklahoma. He had to evacuate, leaving behind fields full of vegetables. All Tierney could do was watch the water get closer and closer, he says.

Lexington, Nebraska, is just one of the many rural communities that has long dealt with food insecurity, but the global pandemic both intensified need in the town of 11,000 residents and presented new challenges in getting people food. 


Ja Nelle Pleasure never used to think twice about putting food on the table for her family.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with authors Cary O'Dell and Thad Heckman about their new book, "Bucky's Dome."

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with southern Illinois Live 2 Lead Facilitator Russ Williams about this year's event, and the effects of COVID-19 on the annual series.

The Women's Center

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Andrea Stephens, the Domestic Violence Program Coordinator for The Women's Center in Carbondale.

Todd Graham, SIU Debate Coach

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Debate Director Todd Graham ahead of the first Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony about the university's response and plans surrounding COVID-19, and also recent "Conversations of Understanding" and initiatives combatting racism throughout the system.

Dan Klefstad

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois News Anchor Dan Klefstad about his novel, Fiona's Guardians.

So far this year, we've experienced extreme forest fires as well as a very active hurricane season.  Brandon Derman is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.  His new book is Struggles for Climate Justice: Uneven Geographies and the Politics of Connection.  WSIU's Jeff Williams recently talked with Derman about his book and the environmental, political, and social impact of our changing climate.