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.

Ways to Connect

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews SIU Carbondale Professory Gary Kinsel about his upcoming Science Cafe.

Photo Provided by Dean and Janet Golliher

Dean Golliher, formerly of Murphysboro and now living in Anna Illinois, served in the U-S Army and was stationed  in Vietnam from September of 1967 to September 1968.  As a Specialist Four attached to the 507th Transportation Brigade,  his job was to document and coordinate cargo flights into Tan Son Nhut Airbase, the huge air base near Saigon in far southern Vietnam.  

In his living room in Anna, Illinois, along with his wife Janet, Dean talks to WSIU'S Kevin Boucher about what it was like during the Tet Offensive, in late January of 1968.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) about a special Senate Human Service hearing in Carbondale.

Wild Birds Unlimited

With Autumn here, we can start seeing birds from the the northern portions of the United States and Canada.  In this feature WSIU talks with local birding expert Vicki Lang-Mendenhall about which feathered friends from the north we can expect to see as the weather in southern Illinois gets cold.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller speaks with Margeurite Mariama about her visit to SIU Carbondale.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews SIUC Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell.

Randy Dunn

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller speaks with SIU President Randy Dunn.

Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

Carbondale Community Arts opens its new headquarters this weekend in Carbondale. The building, at 304 West Walnut, used to house Carbondale's public library. Now, it's an open space with plenty of natural light, and for leaders in the organization now - the opportunities are nearly endless.

Many Illinois nurses are nearing retirement. Baby Boomers in the state are also aging and may need more care. Will there be enough nurses to meet the demand?

Kevin Boucher/WSIU

In 1991, the LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond Research Natural Area was officially designated as a research site, the nation's 250th such area.  Join IDNR Herpetologist Scott Ballard as he takes us on an informative hike on Snake Road.

Dayemi Community Center
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

  It’s estimated that just over 3 percent of students in the US are homeschooled according to National Centers for Educational Statistics.

That’s about 1.77 million kids that parents want in a alternative school environment.

Randy Dunn

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn.

WSIU Radio continues its series on education with a look at how teachers are trained locally to step into classrooms and become effective instructors in today's changing society. Brad Palmer reports.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Joseph Brown of SIUC's Africana Studies Department about Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and their impact on schools all over the country.

Dr. Mark Wagner

Flatboats were homemade rectangular boats put together in the 1800s by pioneers looking to ship their products to markets on both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  Tens of thousands of these boxy boats were made, but not a single one has ever been found.  Until September of 2000 when a local resident John Schwegman discovered one such flatboat on an exposed shoreline of the Ohio river in Pulaski County. 

POW Photo
Jan Thompson/National Archives

Southern Illinois University Carbondale Professor Jan Thompson talks with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about her documentary, "Never The Same: The Prisoner-of-War Experience."

A Hike at Ferne Clyffe State Park

Sep 3, 2015
Kevin Boucher

Ferne Clyffe State Park is a 2,430 acre park in Johnson County, just off of Illinois Route 37 12 miles south of Marion.  Join Site Superintendent Joe Nelson as he leads us on a trail ending at the park's famous waterfall.

DuQuoin 5K this Monday Benefits Special Olympics

Sep 2, 2015

Over 1,300 athletes will compete this Labor Day, Monday September 7th, in the first DuQuoin State fair 5K to benefit Special Olympics.  In this feature Paul Melzer, the Director for Special Olympics Illinois Southern Area 15, talks about this inaugural competition.

Updated September 1, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

A contract between the United Steelworkers and U.S. Steel is set to expire midnight Tuesday, and a last-minute deal is not expected. The company employs roughly 2,000 in Granite City, and operations at the plant will likely continue past the deadline.

Members of the United Steelworkers say they are not planning a strike at this point and the company says it remains committed to operating "without disruption as labor contract talks continue."

August 25 marks the start of a new semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University hired Dr. Carlos Vargas as its 18th school president in March. The longtime educator officially took over the position on July 1st from Dr. Ken Dobbins, who had led the Cape Girardeau based school since 1999. WSIU's Brad Palmer talked with Vargas about his first full-time university leadership position.

Dr. Fred Isberner

On August 21st, 2017 a Total Solar Eclipse will occur, with a point south of Carbondale being ground zero for this event.  To gather important scientific data from this event Dr. Matt Penn, with Tuscon Arizona's National Solar Observatory, has put together a proto-type computer-linked telescope to gather this data. 

Mark St. George/WSIU

The skies above Marion County will feature floating globes of color this weekend as the Centralia Balloon Fest takes place.

Providers all over Illinois say dramatic changes to the formula used to calculate subsidies are making it hard for families to pay for childcare.

Doctor Promise Ojukwu came to southern Illinois from Detroit, Michigan. The OB/GYN says serving the community is a big part of what drew him to Shawnee Women's Health.

The Stone Walls of Southern Illinois, Part 2

Jul 30, 2015
Mark Motsinger

Last week we heard about the existence of numerous prehistoric stone walls in southern Illinois from Mark Motsinger, a History teacher at Carrier Mills High School.  In this feature, Mark tells us more about these structures, which were built before the more well know Cahokia Mounds.  We will also hear about evidence that suggests that there were humans living in southern Illinois between one-thousand and three-thousand B.C.  In the spring of 2014 Mark received the Olive Foster Outstanding Teacher Award by the Illinois State Historical Society.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) released the state's first ever Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.  The document is the state's plan to decrease pollution of local waterways, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico -- pollution caused in large part by fertilizer runoff from farmland.

Page Publishing

Jerri Locke is an author, and has written a play about single parenthood, which will be presented on August 1st at Carbondale's Varisty Center for The Arts.  In this interview, Jerri describes the inspiration for her work.


Mark Motsinger is a Social Studies and History Teacher at Carrier Mills High School.  In March of 2014 he was recognized for his enthusiasm in the classroom   by The Illinois State Historical Society with the Olive Foster Outstanding Illinois History Teacher.  In this report, he talks about when he uncovered a portion of a human habitation in southern Illinois which is older than the Cahokia Mounds.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, over 1,500 plants and animals in this country are currently under the strict protection of the Endangered Species Act.  The F-W-S is currently assessing the status of five Midwestern amphibians and reptiles to see if populations of these five species of animals have declined to the point where they need to be added to the Endangered Species List.  A couple of these animals can be found in southern Illinois.