News

The City of Marion opened a Warming Center at the Marion Training Center at 211 East Boulevard Street.

The Warming Center will be open daily from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice.

Carbondale Warming Center Recieves $10,000 Donation
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The Carbondale Warming Center received a financial boost Tuesday.

Church Women United Illinois donated ten thousand dollars to the Carbondale Warming Center.

The National Weather Service in Paducah is calling out for additional weather observers in the region.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the appointment of a local attorney as a Resident Circuit Judge for Union County in the First Judicial Circuit.

Warrant Amnesty Program Coming To Jackson County

Feb 9, 2021
A stop sign.
ElasticComputeFarm / Pixabay

A new program will allow some people to get warrants cleared in Jackson County.

The warrant amnesty program will apply to people who have warrants for outstanding traffic violations. Jackson County State’s Attorney Joe Cervantes said it will make it easier for people to take care of old violations and return to good standing.

The first session of the program will be held on Feb. 11, through virtual court.

Lawmakers, Advocates Aim to Address Racial Disparities Among Older Illinoisans

Feb 9, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

The senior advocacy group AARP is backing forthcoming legislation aimed at addressing racial disparities in health care, economic security and digital connectivity for Illinoisans over 50.

AARP Illinois, alongside community advocacy groups such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Chicago Urban League and the Resurrection Project, released a report Monday analyzing substantial gaps between white Illinoisans aged 50 and over, and minority groups in that age range.

Illinois Republicans Name Don Tracy as New Chairman

Feb 8, 2021
Illinois Republican Party

The Illinois Republican Party Central Committee on Saturday named Springfield attorney Don Tracy as its new chairman, replacing Tim Schneider, who had held the post for more than six years.

Tracy, a partner in the firm Brown Hay and Stephens, also served as chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board during former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.

CAPITOL RECAP: All Regions of State in Phase 4 Guidelines

Feb 6, 2021
Capitol News Illinois

All of Illinois’ COVID-19 mitigation regions are under Phase 4 guidelines as of Thursday, allowing for youth sports and indoor dining with loosened restrictions.

The seven-day rolling average case positivity rate continued its steady decline, dropping to 3.4 percent, a number not seen since Oct. 6.

January weather was warmer than normal in Illinois...but the state's climatologist says a big change is coming.

State Climatologist Trent Ford says last month's temps were nearly two and a half degrees above average, but that isn't continuing into February.

Federal Court Denies State Motion in Transgender Prisoner Case

Feb 5, 2021

A federal district court in Southern Illinois denied a request Thursday from the Illinois Department of Corrections to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against the department for its treatment of transgender prisoners.

That case, Monroe v. Jeffreys, was originally filed in 2018 as Monroe v. Rauner by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of five transgender women in IDOC custody. According to the ACLU of Illinois, the prisoners have experienced “denials of basic medical treatment” and “inordinate delays” in care.

A game sheet with dice.
Mitaukano / Pixabay

A new program aims to offer therapy through gaming.

Centerstone is offering a therapy group based on the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Outpatient counselor Dani LaPlant is running the group, which is the first of its kind in Southern Illinois. They said D&D can help people develop social skills and build self-awareness.

“It gives people perspective into themselves, into their views,” LaPlant said. “It’s not so defensive because it’s their character, not them. And they start to see things change and see these consequences.”

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File

Late last year, Major League Baseball decided to alter its record books by adding Negro League statistics to baseball's official record.

In his annual Black History Month essay for Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson highlights some of the top players from the Negro Leagues, some of whom made it to the big leagues and others who didn't get the chance.

Lame Duck Look Back: Feasibility of Body Camera Mandate

Feb 4, 2021
BodyCam
Ryan Johnson, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

An omnibus criminal justice bill passed by the General Assembly last month would, if signed by the governor, mandate all Illinois law enforcement agencies to use body cameras.

The legislation, contained in House Bill 3653, would amend the state’s 2015 Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act from affecting “any law enforcement” that may use body cameras to mandating “all law enforcement agencies must” use body cameras for “all law enforcement officers” by 2025.

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SIU Salukis

Wednesday was Missouri Valley Football Conference Media Day ahead of the spring season.

Survey: Pandemic Increases Vaping, Tobacco Use for Kentucky Students

Feb 3, 2021
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Kentucky News Connection

More than a third of Kentucky middle and high schoolers say the pandemic has increased their use of e-cigarettes or vapes and other tobacco products, according to a recent survey.

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Courtesy of the Carbondale Park District.

The Carbondale Park District is looking at ways  to  get the popular LIFE Community Center back in shape.  Park District Executive Director Kathy Renfro says last March, when the pandemic forced the building to close, a mold issue was discovered.

Small "Super" Device Could Hold Key to Better Soil, Water

Feb 2, 2021
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Indiana News Connection

A state-of-the-art tool is helping researchers in Indiana better understand the effectiveness of soil-conservation practices.

A small device, known as a "super gauge," gathers data around-the-clock on water quality in the Wabash River in New Harmony.

Illinois Stories - Ten Acre Treehouses
WMEC TV PBS Macomb

Perhaps the most unique lodging opportunity in the state exists among the trees near Nauvoo

Flyer for event.
Carbondale United Facebook

Local officials shared their plans for police and criminal justice reform during a virtual event on Thursday.

Community members asked questions about police procedures, gun violence, criminal sentencing, and the prosecution of sexual assault. Jackson County State’s Attorney Joe Cervantez and Carbondale Interim Police Chief Stan Reno also shared plans for police and criminal justice reform.

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File

Justin Maze is the new Williamson County Circuit Clerk.

Williamson County's Board of Commissioners appointed Maze to the position on Thursday.

Marion, IL
City of Marion / City of Marion

City leaders in Marion have taken the first step to revitalize the downtown area.

The Marion City Council passed an engineering agreement to begin redeveloping parts of the city.

After the surveying is finished work plans will be put out for bidding and work will begin.

Mayor Mike Absher says it has been around 50 years since the town square has had major work done to it and the redesign will allow space for hosting events.

A New Tick is in southern Illinois.

Jan 28, 2021
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Emily Struckhoff INHS Medical Entomology Lab.

As the climate continues changing, scientists are tracking a new arrival  in Illinois.  Holly Tuten is a Vector Ecologist with the  Illinois Natural History Survey.  And she says the small Gulf Coast tick, is now confirmed in 14 counties, including Saline and Jackson.  Tuten says  the new tick can carry a new disease.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association launched the second annual Makers Madness contest to crown the coolest thing made in Illinois.

Now through February 14 Illinoisans can nominate products as “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois”.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President and CEO Mark Denzler says anything made in Illinois can be nominated.

Lame Duck Look Back: The End of Cash Bail in Illinois

Jan 26, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing “Lame Duck Look Back” series in which Capitol News Illinois is following up on the major bills that passed both chambers of the General Assembly in the Jan. 8-13 lame duck session. This is one of several stories examining the criminal justice reform package backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois will transition away from the use of cash bail as a determinant of pretrial detention by 2023 after lawmakers passed a wide-ranging bill reforming several aspects of the criminal justice system in the state.

CAPITOL RECAP: Mitigations Scaled Back in Several Regions

Jan 23, 2021
Capitol News Illinois

Only one of the state’s 11 COVID-19 mitigation regions remains at the highest level of restricted activity Thursday, Jan. 21, as the statewide case positivity rate continues to decline.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Thursday that Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, was moved to Tier 1 mitigations, while Region 6 in east-central Illinois moved back to base Phase 4 guidelines.

A Franklin County man is dead following a traffic crash on Interstate 57 before dawn Friday morning.

Illinois State Police say 70-year-old James Bean of West Frankfort was pronounced dead at the scene near the Benton exit.

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Carbondale Police

A traffic stop Thursday afternoon led to the arrest of a Carbondale teenager.

State Climatologist Trent Ford Summarizes 2020 Weather

Jan 22, 2021
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Dave Hoefler Unsplash

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford looks back on the 2020 weather year.

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File

A man was sentenced to 84 years in prison Wednesday for a 2019 shooting incident in the area between Tres Hombres and ABC Liquor Mart in downtown Carbondale.

People
Illinois Treasurer

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs about his office's Charitable Trust program, along with the state's Bright Start college savings plan and more.

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