Liz Jones is a general assignment reporter with a focus on immigration and diversity issues. Her work has taken her to central Mexico, where she produced an award-winning documentary about immigration and indigenous communities.

Previously, Liz worked as an editor and writer for Oxygen Media in New York.

One of Liz’s greatest challenges is staying put. She’s lived in Spain and Peru and loves to travel. But she finds a good radio story can often satisfy the travel bug – you get to meet new people, make sense out of something unfamiliar and find creative ways to communicate.

Her work has been heard on NPR and other national programs, including The World, Latino USA and Weekend America.

Kirkland Performance Arts
12:47 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Kirkland In Decatur Announces Upcoming Performing Arts Series Lineup

Courtesy of Millikin University

What do an aging folk singer, a Michael Jackson impersonator, and an improv comedy group from Chicago have in common? Well, they'll all be making their way to Decatur in coming months. The Kirkland Fine Arts Center recently announced the lineup for its 2013/2014 performing arts series. We recently spoke with director of the center, Jan Traughber, about it: 

CLICK HERE for more information on the coming lineup at the performance venue on the Millikin University campus in Decatur.

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Harvest Desk
9:15 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Springfield Family Bottles Tradition With Olive Oil Business

Christofilakos-Soler (second from right) speaks with a farmer's market customer Saturday, August 3rd.
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

A Springfield woman's family tree has deep roots in Greece.

On that tree's branches?  Olives.

Rini Christofilakos-Soler is helping grow her family's business by bringing the olive oil they produce to Springfield.

Peter Gray stopped by Christofilakos-Soler's table at the downtown farmers market to ask about her family farm in Greece:

Find more information at the family's Facebook page

 

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Statehouse
7:02 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Audit Finds State Computers Missing

Illinois' prison systems have misplaced $200,000 of computer equipment.  As Amanda Vinicky reports, the state's auditor general says that poses security risks. 

105 laptops are missing from the Illinois Department of Corrections - plus an additional 51 desktops.

According to a new audit,there's a risk confidential information stored on the computers could be exposed.

But D.O.C. spokesman Tom Shaer says that's not likely.

"We don't believe that these computers are laying around somewhere compromising security."

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Illinois State Fair
5:56 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Longtime Rushville Doctor Named State Fair Parade Grand Marshal

Dr. Russell Dohner
Credit Dr. Dohner Fan Page/Facebook

From Governor's news release:

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Business
4:27 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

WUIS / SJ-R Business Report: August 6, 2013

Credit SJ-R.com

The State Journal-Register's Tim Landis talks about efforts to expand the downtown Springfield Historic District, a new prototype store for Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries and a look at agriculture, a year after the drought. 

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Statehouse
1:21 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Same Sex Marriage Ruling Set For September

Credit WBEZ

A Cook County judge won't decide until late September on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's same sex marriage ban.
 
Circuit Judge Sophia Hall listened to nearly two hours of arguments on Tuesday. She then said she'll rule on Sept. 27. The lawsuit involves 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied.
 
However, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has refused to defend the state's ban, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. She says it violates the state constitution.
 

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Business
12:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

ADM Reports Lower Net Income, Higher Costs

Credit adm.com

Archer Daniels Midland says its net income fell 22 percent in the second quarter as expenses climbed. 
The agribusiness company also says it more than doubled its provision for a possible settlement of an overseas bribery probe that's being conducted by the
federal government. 

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District 186
11:38 am
Tue August 6, 2013

186 Plans Focus Group Mtgs To Aid Search For New Supt.

The search continues for a new superintendent for district 186. So far eight people have applied for the position to head Springfield public schools. The district is currently planning a two day summit later in the month consisting of meetings among the search firm leading the effort, teachers, parents, and other community members. Board member Scott McFarland is helping plan the meetings. He says the search firm hopes to garner more applicants and then narrow down the options based on feedback from the board and the community:

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Health Desk
11:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Interview: SJ-R's Dean Olsen On Rollout Of Obama Health Care Law

Dean Olsen
Credit twitter.com

Illinois' online marketplace for health insurance expected to be up and running by October.

Dean Olsen has been keeping an eye on the implementation of "Obamacare" in Illinois.

Olsen is the State-Journal Register's health care reporter. His five-part series in the SJ-R this week focuses on the new health law's impact on consumers, providers and insurance companies.

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