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

Fermentation Science Institute
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

Southern Illinois University, like other universities, adds and removes programs each year. But a new offering aims to tap into an industry growing in popularity.

Fermentation Science came online to train tomorrow’s beer wine and spirit makers.

Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director and Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about expectations for the 2017 State of the State Address.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) as the Illinois General Assembly begins its 100th session.

In the second part of the interview, Bryant goes on to say she's optimistic a compromise can be found on the state's budget crisis. She says she's encouraged by discussions on potential workers compensation reform, among others.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews SIU President Randy Dunn.

SIU Office of Information Technology

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Aur Beck, who is heading up "Heartland People Care," a group aimed at leveraging local funds for non-profit organizations.

With the focus on the Friday, January 20th Presidential Inauguration, there will be one connection between Washington D.C. and southern Illinois.  For the second inauguration in a row Mrs.  Elizabeth Byassee-Shore's Marion Junior High School Choir will perform on Saturday January 21st 2017.  Even though it has been a lot of work getting both the choir ready and taking care of the many administrative details required for a trip such as this, Byasee-Shore says it will be worth it.  On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we visit her classroom.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams about their rebuilding efforts - both downtown redevelopment and relationships.

The Big Event
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

On April first this year some Carbondale nonprofit organizations will be swarming with students, staff and faculty volunteers doing a day of community service.

It’s called The Big Event, a Saluki day of service.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Vickie Devenport about the 2017 Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim SIUC Chancellor Brad Colwell.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale NAACP Vice President Pepper Holder about this year's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A group of 1,000 students from De Montfort University in Leicester, England is in New York City this week.   The group is on an educational mission of tolerance and social responsibility in the post-Brexit / post-U.S. Election era.     The mission and student demographics of DMU is similar to that of SIU Carbondale.  WSIU's Jeff Williams recently talked with Vice Chancellor Dominic Shellard  about the group’s trip to the Big Apple.

The student's visit will culminate on Friday with a rally in Central Park; embracing the importance of being global citizens.

Chicago's violent year was especially dangerous for the city's children. Dozens of young kids were shot in 2016 before reaching high school age.

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor about what lies ahead for the state of Illinois, now that the calendar has rolled over to 2017.

As 2016 winds to a close, WSIU InFocus takes a look back at the people and stories that made headlines here.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Museum Executive Director Dona Bachman, as she prepares to retire.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn, as the university waits for state funding to pay for the second half of the fiscal year.

After winning election to the 58th District State Senate seat, Republican Paul Schimpf took time to talk with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about his goals and priorities in the next session of the Illinois General Assembly.


Harrisburg Mayor Dale Fowler will soon serve southeastern Illinois as the State Senator for the 59th District. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller sat down with Fowler to talk about his goals and priorities ahead of inauguration day.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn about budget issues, and potential "sanctuary" status for the system's three campuses.


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


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Holocaust Survivor and Author Marion Blumenthal Lazan.

Several long-serving lawmakers are retiring from the General Assembly when their terms end in January.  

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the time they spent as legislators.

Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host and interim Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director Jak Tichenor about the General Assembly's Fall Veto Session.

The head of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is preparing for a change in leadership for his agency following the election of Donald Trump as President. Jay Williams is confident, though, that the EDA efforts currently underway would succeed under the new administration.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller previews SIU's DaVinci Days with event Chair HD Motyl.

Thanksgiving week is National Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week. While millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving by filling their plates – and stomachs – with lots of traditional foods, many of them will also deal with the after effects, including heartburn, indigestion, and other issues.

If you were a soldier in World War II, a furlough was something to look forward to. It was a sanctioned leave of absence from your normal duties, a chance to relax and go have some fun. In today's economy, the word furlough has lost some of its luster. It still connotes time off, but without pay.

Tomorrow, Jeff Brownfield, who represents university civil service employees, will appear before the General Assembly's rules committee to ask lawmakers to approve a measure allowing state schools to require employees to take as many as 15 days off without pay.

Thousands of former coal workers and dependents who worked for now-bankrupt coal companies could lose their health insurance at the end of the year if Congress does not pass legislation to fund it.

Retirees in southern Illinois say losing their health insurance would amount to a broken promise from the coal companies that would have devastating effects to their well-being. Without Congressional action, Republican president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to repeal of the Affordable Care Act makes the retirees’ coverage alternatives uncertain.