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.  



The Scene
4:28 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Art Beat: Three Art Shows & Rock N' Roll

artwork by Arjan Zazueta
Credit courtesy of the DEMO Project

Listen to this week's Art Beat with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times:

Events discussed on this edition include:

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9:12 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Combat Vets Recreate Lincoln's Hearse

Eric Hollenbeck, founder of the Blue Ox Mill

Combat veterans in California have been working on the hearse that will be used in Abraham Lincoln's funeral re-creation later this spring. It will be at the center of events in Springfield commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's funeral processional and burial. Work on the hearse provided a number of challenges. And in a way, it served as therapy for those working to make sense out of civilian life back home.

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The Scene
11:54 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Are All Those Cat Videos Making Us Stupid?

A cat on a newspaper

In this day and age when people put a lot of effort into making their videos or news stories viral,  there's one sure-fire way to garner some extra attention - put a cat in it. Instagram is full of pictures of cats, and your Facebook news feed likely sees a cat video from time to time. Grumpy Cat is a household name, and face. But what implication does this have with the quality of news we receive? Is it a sign that we as a society are dumbing down? Or is there more to it?

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11:12 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Butler Sworn In As 87th District Representative

Tim Butler is sworn in Tuesday in the Illinois House chambers.
Credit Illinois House Republicans

Republican Tim Butler is being sworn in today as the new state representative in the 87th district.  That includes portions of Sangamon, Logan, Menard and Tazewell counties.  

Butler, who lives in Springfield, says he understands it will be a contentious session regarding the state's budget.  He admits he's still learning the issues.  But he says he'll listen to all sides.

"I have friends on both sides of the aisle.  I have conservative friends and liberal friends. I have friends in the governor's office.  I am going to have an open door and an open mind," he said.

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10:31 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Kentucky Provides Model For Rauner's "Empowerment Zones"

A teamsters truck is parked outside the Warren County, KY courthouse on the day the fiscal court gave final approval to a local right-to-work law
Credit Lisa Autry / WKU Public Radio

Just over a month since taking office, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has already laid out a clear agenda. He’s detailed significant spending cuts, proposed a pension overhaul and targeted the power of unions. That includes a proposal to allow some parts of the state to become what he calls 'right-to-work' zones.  Neighboring Kentucky recently began a similar experiment, and could offer some clues as to what to expect in Illinois.

The governor first outlined his plan for what he called worker empowerment zones in late January, during a visit to Decatur.

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The Scene
3:02 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Art Beat: Paintings, A Doc & Psychedelic Rock

work from the exhibit opening at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Lyle Salmi: Sublime Light

Tune into this week's Art Beat with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times:

Events discussed this week include:

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The Scene
2:46 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bedrock 66 Live! Features Celtic And Psychedelic Rock

The Tossers

Kicking off the 2015 Bedrock 66 Live! series is Athens, GA country-folk psychedelic band, New Madrid. Joining New Madrid will be Chicago's Celtic-Punk band The Tossers. Tickets available at

Here is what Pichfork had to say about New Madrid's 2014 release "Sunswimmer"

Pitchfork: New Madrid “Manners”

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10:07 am
Tue February 24, 2015

History Series: The Importance Of "Poles" In Campaigning

Credit courtesy of Tara McClellan McAndrew

Today is the primary election for municipal offices, and we're bringing you a story about a campaign tradition back in Abraham Lincoln's era. Our historical stories are sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society and written by Tara McClellan McAndrew, local history columnist for the State Journal-Register. The actors who joined her in this piece were Tom Hutchison and Doug McDonald. 

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Arts and Culture
3:33 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

It's Winter - But You Can See The Dixie Swim Club

Grace Hughes and Deborah Kerley

The Dixie Swim Club is a play about 5 women who met on the swim team in college and have created lasting friendships ever since. Each year, they meet to reconnect and catch up with each other. The play, whose writers include one who has written for The Golden Girls, is a comedy that also tackles the serious issues that come with aging, and the drama that comes with friendship.

We were recently joined by two of the actors, Grace Hughes and Deborah Kerley for this interview:

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The Scene
11:07 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Send WUIS Your Spring Inspired Stories

A scene from Lincoln Memorial Gardens in Springfield
Credit Rachel Otwell

WUIS is once again soliciting original writings from the Springfield-area. We are looking for stories that take a maximum of 4 minutes to read out loud (abbreviated versions are fine - we can post your whole story online.) Poets are also encouraged to submit.

We want stories that are at least loosely tied to the theme of spring - be they a rebirth or reinvention, or a story that is set during that time of the year. Use your imagination, get creative, and send your submissions to with the subject line: SPRING STORY.

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5:51 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Midwest Travel: Hyde Park - Mr. Obama's Neighborhood

Robie House
Credit Luiz Gadelha Jr./flickr

Our series on midwest travel continues with a look at Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. 

Mary Galligan is a freelance travel writer whose latest article for the Illinois Times explores Hyde Park.  It's known now for being home to President Obama and his family, but there is a lot more to this area.

Read Mary Galligan's article in the Illinois Times.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
4:07 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Art Beat: Siren Singers, Sibling Drama & A Halted Mural Project

Lorin Devine & Ryan Bishop (Lorin plays at Bar None on Friday night)

Tune into this week's Art Beat with the Illinois Times' Scott Faingold:

Events discussed include:

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1:43 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Lincoln Legacy Lectures Broadcast: Lincoln's Funeral

Listen to the WUIS broadcast of the 12th Annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures, recorded at UIS Brookens Auditorium in October - a presentation of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.  Hosted by Barbara Ferrara.

The UIS Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series calls on scholars and policy experts to talk about issues that engaged Abraham Lincoln and the citizens of his era, and issues that are still timely today.

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Illinois Issues – The Scene
11:57 am
Wed February 11, 2015

What Happened To The Downtown Mural Project?

The mural on the side The Alamo downtown
Credit Michael Mayosky

A project meant to "art - ify" Springfield's city center may have hit a dead-end. The effort to add more murals kicked off a couple years ago. Now there's only a single incomplete one to show for it. The question remains if Springfield will join other cities in Illinois, and across the country, that can boast their downtowns as places where public art is highlighted. 


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Live At The Suggs
12:37 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Ken Bradbury's 'The Last Full Measure' Performed By Fritz Klein

Credit UIS Campus Relations

Thursday will mark the 206th year since Abraham Lincoln was born.  Ken Bradbury, a prolific Illinois playwright, wrote a one-man, one-act play called 'The Last Full Measure' about what Lincoln may have been thinking in the moments after he was assassinated.

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Illinois Issues – The Scene
6:30 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Art Beat: Lincoln's B-Day, A Vintage Shop Tour + Music & More

This week we bring you info for a vintage shop tour on Saturday in Springfield that is offering customers free charms to make jewelry with (flyer is posted in this post, more info here).  That event also includes Incredibly Delicious! PLUS: 

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The Scene
12:17 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Changes Ahead For Downtown Springfield Inc.

Credit Flickr/Lara604

Last year, Downtown Springfield Inc. made a plea to residents, saying without extra fundraising dollars the group would go bankrupt. But it was able to regain losses, and now there are changes ahead for the group. For instance, the "Taste of Downtown" event that has been highlighting local restaurants for years will start focusing on a specific ingredient. For 2015, that will mean the event will focus on bacon. DSI is also appealing to the city for financial help to keep a sustainable budget.

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The Scene
11:11 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Chicago Singles Club: Tunes Your Ears Will Fall In Love With

CSC Vol. 1 Compilation LP

Chicago Singles Club probably sounds like a dating site - but it actually is an operation that records and releases free singles, of the musical variety. Chicago Singles Club is in its second year and features some of Chicago's best and most unique independent artists. We spoke with one of the founders, Jeff Kelley, to find out more:             

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
4:13 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Art Beat: Hip Hop Battles, Foreign Film & More

Coming Back Home, Salzburg, Austria

The art & culture events we discuss this week include:

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The Scene Blog
12:59 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Meet The New Springfield Area Arts Council Director

Jon Austin
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

The Springfield Area Arts Council has a new director. Jon Austin is an Illinois native who has led a host of non-profit organizations. He's headed the Illinois State Historical Society and was the director of the Museum of Funeral Customs. He says he's excited to be a part of Springfield's diverse arts community. He joins for this introductory interview:  

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Human Interest
10:37 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Jacksonville Girl Shares Story Of Brother's Death To Help Others

Valerie with the book she helped create
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Each year, hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are the victims of domestic abuse. Some die at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect them. That's what happened to Maxwell, he was two when he died after a history of neglect and abuse that was never adequately addressed. He left behind a family who will never forget him, and a sister who has worked to cope with his passing. 

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Health Desk
2:26 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Cervical Cancer Awareness


January is "Cervical Health Awareness Month" and those in the health field around the country, including SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, are urging women to get screened. Cervical cancer is usually caused by HPV, a virus that can sometimes be prevented with the use of vaccines. You can find guidelines on how frequently Pap tests are suggested by The American Cancer Society here.

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1:41 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

What's Up With Chatham's Water?

Left: Ryan & Amy Mann, Right: Chatham Mayor Tom Gray
Credit Rachel Otwell/village of Chatham

Some residents in Chatham are concerned that since a new water plant was built there and began operating, their water quality is not what it used to be. Issues raised include that the water leaves behind a corrosive, chalky residue, has a bad taste and odor, and contains black particles.

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Harvest Desk
9:54 am
Wed January 28, 2015

How Much Does Farming Feed The Carbon Cycle?

Crops in the Midwest take in and give off so much carbon that the impact can be seen across the northern hemisphere. (Courtesy USDA NRCS South Dakota)

Scientists have noticed a change in the atmosphere. Plants are taking in more carbon dioxide during the growing season and giving off more carbon in the fall and winter. Recent research shows the massive corn crop in the Corn Belt may be contributing to that deeper breath.

It comes down to the Carbon Cycle. Over the winter when corn fields lay dormant, corn stalks and roots break down, sending CO2 into the air. Then in the summer when a new crop is growing, it takes up carbon from the atmosphere.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
1:28 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Hoogland Show Brings Irving Berlin To The Stage

The Land of Lincoln Chorus perform "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."
Credit Land of Lincoln Chorus

Things went so well with a December performance that the Land of Lincoln Chorus will return with "An Evening With Irving Berlin" this Friday night.  The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. 

Along with the music, Bob Grant will portray Berlin on stage.

"(Berlin) is quite a fascinating character," Grant said. "Even George Gershwin said that he was the greatest American composer."

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch
12:24 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Interview: Combating Systemic Racism In Springfield

SDART co-coordinators Leroy Jordan & Sister Marcelline Koch
Credit Patrick Yeagle

Some people claim we're living in a "post-racial" world. There's a black president, and laws to protect the rights of citizens no matter their skin color. But while it's no longer common place to overtly discriminate against others due to their looks - racism is alive and well in many of the institutions and systems of power in this country, and that includes in Springfield.

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5:04 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

New Governor Means New Material For Political Cartoonists

Portrayal of Gov. Bruce Rauner (Scott Stantis)

This month's inauguration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner marks a change in leadership for lawmakers and employees at state agencies. But it's also a big transition for people who will deal with the new governor in a very different capacity over the next four years: political cartoonists.

Scott Stantis draws political cartoons for the Chicago Tribune. He says Bruce Rauner has very identifiable features.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
1:42 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Art Beat: Paper Dolls, A Doc About A Street Photog & More

self portrait by Vivian Maier, from
Credit © 2014 Maloof Collection, Ltd.

This week, we take a look at an art exhibit currently on display at the Prairie Art Alliance's H.D. Smith Gallery at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield. We talk to Carolyn Owen Sommer about her work that came from a challenge to create 30 pieces of art in 30 days. The result is an interesting take on a host of women's issues.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
7:00 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Springfield Native Jonathan Mitchell Makes "Movies For Your Ears"

Jonathan Mitchell
Credit courtesy of Jonathan Mitchell

Jonathan Mitchell has been working in public radio for nearly 20 years. His background is in music, he often creates his own music for his stories, which use creative sounds. Mitchell studied music composition at the U of I and learned about the recording studio while working on a project that incorporated manipulated natural sounds.

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6:28 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Midwest Travel - St. Louis Museums Provide A Winter Break

A sister plane to Charles Lindbergh's famous Spirit of St. Louis hangs in the main hallway of the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. Filmmakers used the plane in a 1957 movie about the aviator's successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The origi
Brent Bohlen

Freelance travel writer Mary Bohlen tells us about three indoor museums in St. Louis' Forest Park. 

The Missouri History Museum provides an up close look at several unique and important items with a 1904 World's Fair exhibit now underway.

The St. Louis Art Museum includes a modern art collection and works by Degas and Monet.

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