WSIU InFocus

Provided by Ameren Illinois

Ameren Illinois is continuing with efforts, through its Avian Protection program, to save birds, while at the same time, reduce the number of bird-caused power outages.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane about Fall 2020 enrollment numbers, retention plans, COVID-19, and more. 

Commentary: Dr. Mike Baltz and More on Plastics

Sep 7, 2020
Kirti Nagar, Unsplash.

On his monthly feature, Ornithologist Dr. Mike Baltz gives some startling statistics on how common waste plastic is.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marci Moore-Connelley and CEO Rex Budde about how they're responding to COVID-19, with regional cases rising.

Treating COVID-19 With Plasma Therapy

Sep 2, 2020

The FDA has recently issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. Southern Illinois Healthcare has been participating in an extended access program, treating southern Illinoians with plasma.

Carbondale / Carbondale

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about how COVID-19 is affecting the city's financial status.

Illinois Treasurer

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs about a milestone for the I-Cash Program, the Charitable Trust Program, and more.

Whether it’s the global pandemic or social unrest, nearly everyone has experienced some trauma in 2020.

It’s hard to grasp the long-term mental health implications of COVID-19. But many Americans have already seen their mental health suffer during the pandemic.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony. In this edition of InFocus, they discuss how COVID-19 has changed SIU's Fall 2020 semester, along with additional conversations addressing racism in higher education.

Chris Bohr’s farm in Martinsburg, Missouri, has hundreds of acres of soybeans and corn. It also has a 5,000 head hog barn that requires a lot of electricity to power its ventilation system, cooling fans and lights.

About fifty yards away from the barn are three rows of solar panels. Bohr is among a growing number of farmers that are generating solar power to meet their needs. 

Bohr received a Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for his solar panels. And the number of farmers applying for the grants is going up.

As colleges across the country welcome students back to campus, incoming freshmen are starting college in the middle of a pandemic. And, many are struggling with a tough decision to start or defer college this fall.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 28-year-old Mayra Ramirez was working as a paralegal for an immigration law firm in Chicago. She enjoyed walking her dogs and running 5K races. 

Ramirez has a condition requiring medication that could’ve suppressed her immune system but was otherwise healthy. When the Illinois governor issued a shelter-in-place order in March, she began working from home, hardly leaving the house. So she has no idea how she contracted COVID-19.

Courtesy of the Glaciers End Facebook page.

On this edition of InFocus, we hear  about a new way to help southern Illinoisans buy locally grown food.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane about preparations for the new school year, amid a global pandemic.

Ornithologist Dr. Mike Baltz on Plastic

Aug 10, 2020
Tanvi Sharma courtesy of UnSplash.

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we hear the comments of Ornithologist Dr. Mike Baltz.

Garwin Family Foundation

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Marsha Ryan of the Garwin Family Foundation, along with three local students who've benefitted from the Foundation's work.

SI Wellness

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SI Wellness Executive Director Michelle Snyder about their upcoming "Dementia 360" conference, featuring Teepa Snow.

Carbondale / Carbondale

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams, as the city continues to deal with COVID-19 and prepares for thousands more students to return for classes at SIUC this month.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has experienced unemployment figures not seen since the Great Depression. But Bill Polley, Associate Professor of Economics at Western Illinois University, said the Great Depression is more akin to the Great Recession of 2008 than to this year's economic freefall.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony about how the university system is preparing for students to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A federal court in California recently vacated the three popular dicamba herbicides

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller caught up with SIH CEO Rex Budde about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in his oranization's service area, along with what he expects for the next several weeks and months.

School Will look Different In 2020

Jul 22, 2020
School Safety /

In June the Illinois State Board of Education release guidelines for returning to school in the fall.

Under those guidelines administrators say things will be different when the students return because of COVID-19.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with 40 Below Joe creator Curt Jones about his new endeavor, along with ties to Southern Illinois University and plans for the future.

This story was updated on July 24, 2020 to include additional information on deaths in group homes.

One of the ways Mikaela Coppedge has coped during the COVID-19 pandemic has been through writing poetry. Her poem “The Fear That Is COVID-19," starts: 

“Since the coronavirus outbreak and then the quarantine beginning, life as we know has all somewhat gone to hell.” 

Coppedge has a rare brain disease called Rasmussen’s encephalitis. As a treatment, half her brain was removed when she was three years old.  

Ali Schroer was just out of college when she started her first teaching job, but her new insurance plan didn’t cover her allergy medication. 

"So this new allergist that I was seeing in Colorado had said, after several go arounds of me asking to take this medication, said, ‘Oh, well actually know that you can just get it online.”'

Seth Thompson learned about COVID-19 early.  He’s an engineer in Carthage, Missouri, a town of just under 15,000 that sits along historic Route 66 in the southwest corner of the state. The virus first came to Thompson’s attention in February, when the global firm he works for shut down its offices in China. Back then, the danger seemed remote.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane, as the campus prepares to welcome back students, faculty, and staff for the Fall 2020 semester.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with former State Representative Roger Eddy, who has written about his time in the Illinois legislature and during the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich in his new book, "A Front Row Seat."

SIU Salukis

SIU is one of hundreds of universities trying to figure out how to get athletes back on the field amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some returned to campus recently, and leaders say they're keeping a close eye on things. SIU-C Athletic Director Liz Jarnigan talks with WSIU's Brad Palmer about the situation.