Illinois Edition

Weekdays at noon, replays M-Th weeknights at 7.

Illinois Edition is WUIS’ local news magazine covering the arts and issues of central Illinois.  Illinois Edition airs weekdays during the noon hour (and is replayed at 7 p.m. M-Th).  On Fridays, State Week airs from 12:30-1 P.M.

WUIS News Director Sean Crawford hosts the program.  

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Harvest Desk
6:29 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Harvest Glut Clogs Rail, Rivers, Roads

An MFA Agriservices worker monitors the soybean chute as the barge fills up on the Missouri River in Glasgow, Mo. (Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media)

For the Midwest’s biggest crops, this harvest season was a big one. With winter setting in, the race is on for farmers to ship out their harvest so it’s not left out to spoil. But the giant harvest and a lack of available rail cars have created a traffic jam on the rails and the highways.

Usually, farmers store their harvest in silos and grain bins, but this year, farmers brought in so much, there’s just no room.  Farmers in Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and South Dakota are all being hit particularly hard by the storage shortage.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
2:58 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers

Ticket for AC/DC
Credit Flickr/H. Michael Karshis

If you're someone who frequents concerts and shows, chances are you have purchased tickets online. Lots of times the sites that come up on a Google search for those tickets are being offered from secondary-market brokers (a fancy term for the people who often charge extra to buy the tickets for you.). They serve as largely unnecessary middle men, and you could lose a good chunk of change if you're not careful.

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Regional
10:28 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Illinois TV Anchor On Cancer And Leading A Normal Life

WCIA's Dave Benton

It’s been three months since TV news anchor Dave Benton told viewers that his brain cancer was back, and doctors told him he had months to live.  In the time he has, he says his goal is to live life to the fullest.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
12:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Local Book Club Provides Camaraderie For Vets

Justin Blandford (L) & Jim Warner

Veterans in the Springfield area have been gathering over the past few months to discuss stories they are reading about war and other topics they can relate to. It's become a therapeutic and social outlet. Justin Blandford is with the state's Historic Preservation Agency, which is helping sponsor the events, held at the Old State Capitol. He joined us for this chat. Along with him was the group's facilitator, Jim Warner, who begins this interview telling us about why he got involved:  

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Regional
1:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Midwest Travel: Chicago All Aglow For The Holidays

The Chicago Botanic Garden in suburban Glencoe is all lit up during its Wonderland Express celebration.
Credit Chicago Botanic Garden

It's the most wonderful time of the year.  And Chicago is one of the top locations to visit for the holidays. 

Mary Galligan wrote about some of the most festive attractions in the latest edition of Illinois Times. 

From the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden  to the Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, Navy Pier, Millenium Park and more.  Holiday light displays and events are sure to delight families.

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Health Desk
7:25 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Soda Tax Idea Coming Back In Spring Session

Credit flickr/ Jannes Pockele

Americans' love affair with sweets is well known.  It also contributes to health problems like obesity, diabetes and even heart disease.  And where do most people get sugar in their diet?  From sweetened beverages, such as soda.  

That's led some health advocates to push for ways to reduce consumption.  In Illinois, a plan for a penny per ounce tax on the drinks came up last year.  However, it got a cool reception from lawmakers.  

 

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Politics
12:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Candidate Interview: Community Activist Samuel Johnson Runs For Mayor

Samuel Johnson
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

There are now five candidates in the running for Springfield mayor. Incumbent Mike Houston, county auditor Paul Palazzolo, alderman Gail Simpson, city treasurer Jim Langfelder, and perhaps the lesser known of the bunch - community activist Samuel Johnson. He joined us recently for this interview:   

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Lincoln
11:17 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Special Events In 2015 At Lincoln Presidential Library And Museum

The Lincolns at the ALPLM
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In 2015, it will have been 150 years since Abraham Lincoln died. It will also be the tenth anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield opening. These two milestones will be marked by special events, including an exhibit open now through 2016 that displays original speeches and Lincoln's death bed.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
10:16 am
Fri December 5, 2014

"Priceless" Art Show At DEMO

The artists with their works (L) Judah Johnson & Brad Balster
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Ever walked around an art gallery and marveled at the works you know you would never be able to afford? Well, here's your chance to get a piece of art for free. Judah Johnson and Brad Balster are both local artists with a flair for nostalgia and screen printing.

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Politics
1:11 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

After Frustration With Current Admin. Alderman Simpson Wants To Be Mayor

Gail Simpson
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

With five hopefuls throwing their name in the ring to be Springfield's next Mayor (current Mayor Mike Houston, Sangamon County auditor Paul Palazzolo, city treasurer Jim Langfelder, activist Sam Johnson, and Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson), WUIS is reaching out to hear from each candidate on why the desire the role.

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch Illinois
8:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Transforming A Personal History Of Racism

Jim and Debbie Pauley at their home
Rachel Otwell/WUIS

The holidays can bring out the compassionate side of people. Some might be inspired to donate to charities or take on volunteer work. For one local man, helping the less fortunate is something he does on a daily basis. But it wasn't always that way.

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch Illinois
3:25 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Springfield NAACP President On What Ferguson Has Taught Us

Teresa Haley
Credit springfieldnaacp.org

It's been about a week since the decision was made not to indict police officer Darren Wilson after the shooting death of Michael Brown. Reactions to that decision are still resulting in protests, prayer vigils, and round-table discussions across the nation.

In Springfield, Teresa Haley who heads the local chapter of the NAACP has been at the center of much of the events concerning issues like racism and police brutality -- issues that Ferguson has brought to the forefront of many peoples' minds.

Listen to our interview with Haley, here: 

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch Illinois
12:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Report Looks At LGBT Equality In Cities

Graphic of cities considered for the MEI
Credit http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/municipal-equality-index

Same sex marriage took effect in Illinois earlier this year, and while our state has joined the ranks of others that offer an increased amount of rights and protections to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, cities differ in laws and policies that promote equality. A report that was released a few weeks ago looked at cities from around the country - seven of which are in Illinois.

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Taxes
3:17 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

Gas Tax Fails To Keep Pace With Infrastructure Needs

Credit flickr/MikeMozart

Don Fullerton is associate director of IGPA for Urbana-Champaign and a member of the IGPA faculty. He is an expert on tax policy, energy and environmental policy issues. Julian Reif is an expert in health economics and policy.

They wrote the following op-ed.

Last year, the Panzier Lane bridge in Jefferson County collapsed while a truck was driving over it. The driver was unharmed, but as reconstruction began last month, officials estimated it will cost more than half a million dollars to repair.

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Arts and Culture
12:30 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society

Credit Courtesy of the Springfield Choral Society

You can hear The Springfield Choral Society perform Handel's Messiah on Saturday, November 29th at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (524 E. Lawrence Ave) at 7:30 pm.

 Choral Director Marion van der Loo joined us for this interview about it: 

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Ferguson
9:27 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson

Reggie Dale & Sr. Mary Jean Traeger
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

 

Dozens of people gathered last night at the Union Baptist Church on the east side of Springfield for a prayer vigil. It was held in response to recent news out of Ferguson, Missouri.  

 

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Ferguson
11:36 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Notes From Ferguson: Q & A With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann

Tear gas was used in Ferguson
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann has been covering the situation in Ferguson, MO since it started back in August. She was at the announcement made by Prosecutor Bob McCulloch on Monday night that a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

In this interview, Lippmann tells us about the reactions from Brown's family, protests and riots, and more:

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Regional
3:51 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Midwest Travel: Starved Rock In The Winter

LaSalle Canyon in Starved Rock State Park
Credit flickr/Curtis Albert

If you are in the mood to travel, you might think about far away distances.  But there are plenty of things to see right here in Illinois and the midwest.  That's the focus of a new segment on Illinois Edition on WUIS. 

Mary Bohlen and Mary Galligan write travel articles for the Illinois Times.  Their trips are within a day's drive.  They look for affordable, family friendly destinations.  From state parks to small towns to big city amenities.

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Illinois Syphony Orchestra
1:10 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Illinois Symphony Orchestra Joins The Circus For Holiday Pops

Credit http://www.ilsymphony.org/

From the Illinois Symphony Orchestra Site: “Enter the fanciful world of Circus Flora at our Holiday Pops in the Heartland concert. Set among the High Tatras Mountains in the ancient and beautiful Kingdom of Spiish, A Winter Fable is a classic fairy tale with an edge of romance and deceit. Fabulous family fun where symphony and the circus arts is only the beginning of this spectacular evening!”

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Health Desk
2:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

New Efforts To Track Antibiotic Resistance

Credit Courtesy of SIU School of Medicine

This week is "Get Smart about Antibiotics Week." It's meant to address the fact that a large amount of antibiotics are used inappropriately, which can lead to what are known as "super bugs".

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LGBT
10:41 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Phoenix Center Strives To Connect With Transgender Community

Credit Luca Casarteli/Wiki Commons

November 20th is known as "Transgender Day of Remembrance." It's an acknowledgement of those who were the victims of violence caused by their gender identification and presentation. Unlike the rest of the words in the acronym "LGBT" - transgender is not a sexuality. It is an umbrella term used for those who feel the sex they were born as is not an accurate depiction of the gender they feel themselves to be. 

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
11:19 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Photographer Kari Bedford Puts "Girls In Focus"

Kari Bedford
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Kari Bedford is a well-known photographer in the Springfield area. Her usual focus is on portraits and events like high school graduation and weddings, but she's decided to take her skills and apply them to an additional cause. She started the project "Girls In Focus" to diversify the stories that are told by and about young women through photography. How exactly? Well, Bedford joined us for this interview to explain her project and her goals: 

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Culture
11:13 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Africans In Central Illinois Host Cultural Event To Combat Ebola

Braimah Kanu & Munah Jallah
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

The group "Africans in Central Illinois" and  Grace United Methodist Church  are hosting an event on Saturday night at 5 at Southeast High School. It will raise funds for Doctors Without Borders  in the fight against Ebola and include dance, a fashion show, music, and a silent auction. We spoke with Munah Jallah and Braimah Kanu about it:

CLICK HERE for a piece about the event in the Illinois Times.

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Illinois
2:40 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

How Illinois Might Have Looked

Credit Graphic courtesy of Kenneth Olson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Illinois became a state in 1818, but figuring out its shape was not a simple process. While most people hear Illinois and think Chicago - it could have been without the city, if not for advocacy and politics. An article in the current edition of Illinois Issues magazine (and below) explores the issue. Rachel Otwell sat down to talk with the author, Eliot Clay, about it:

 

'How Illinois might have looked' by Eliot Clay

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
11:39 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Meet Dynamo Duo Hank & Cupcakes

Credit Javier Ortega // hankandcupcakes.com

The story behind the combo that goes by Hank and Cupcakes is a global one - one that brought a couple together through their mutual love of music and a stint in the Israeli army band. They are now based in Brooklyn and are on tour for their newest album, 'Cash 4 Gold'. Their music is hard to define - but it is heavily anchored in pop and electro sounds - though they manage to play without synthesizers or guitar.

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Regional
7:50 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

It's Community Foundation Week

John Stremsterfer
Credit CFLL

It was 100 years ago that community foundations began.  It was in Ohio.

"It was actually a banker from Cleveland who thought,there's all these charitable trusts being formed.  If we consolidated these it could be more efficient for philanthropy," said John Stremsterfer, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.  

Based in Springfield, it serves Sangamon, Cass, Christian, Logan, Menard, Morgan, and Montgomery counties. The organization helps match donors with specific causes. 

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
11:32 am
Wed November 12, 2014

New Ken Bradbury Play Explores Lincoln's Last Hours

Phil Funkenbusch (left) & Ken Bradbury
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

It's not all that often that a play begins at the end - but that's exactly the case for a new work by Illinois author Ken Bradbury. In the one-act, one-man play, titled The Last Full Measure - Bradbury explores what Lincoln may have been thinking near the end of the his life. The play premieres at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday and runs through the weekend. It will be performed by actor Fritz Klein - one of the foremost Lincoln impersonators.

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Locals Want To Keep Russian Poet Out Of Prison & Make His Work Known

Ethan Lewis (left) & Mike Mheidze
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has fallen out of the media spotlight here in the US to some extent, but not for one local man named Mike Mheidze. He grew up in the former Soviet Union and has lived in Springfield for 20 years now.

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch Illinois
12:25 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

After Ferguson -- A Look At Obstacles Facing Young Black Males

"Isaiah Milton, 10, at a memorial for his 19-year-old cousin Jeremiah Shaw, who was shot to death in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago."
Credit Photograph by Alex Wroblewski

The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has brought to national attention the obstacles that many young black males face - including racial profiling and a world where media portrayals of their peers are often less-than-flattering. Maureen McKinney took a look at the topic in Illinois. She joined Rachel Otwell for this interview: 

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Criminal Justice
12:09 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Prisoner Claims Innocence, Needs Organ Transplant & Seeks Clemency

Niurca Torres
Credit https://www2.illinois.gov

Niurca Torres was born in Puerto Rico and lived in Miami where she worked as a real estate agent and ran a catering business. In 1995 she took the invitation to go on a road-trip with some new friends in an R.V. They were stopped by police in Henry County, and 1,100 pounds of cocaine were found to be along for the ride. The woman was convicted of trafficking a controlled substance and was ultimately given a 20 year sentence to serve. She's always claimed innocence, saying she did not know about the drugs

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