Illinois Edition

Weekdays at Noon and 7 PM

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 PM).  On Fridays, State Week airs from 12:30-1 PM.

WUIS News Director Sean Crawford hosts the program which is produced by Rachel Otwell.  

Hello friends. This week, Scott and I have decided to step back & reminisce over the birth and first months of this lil' venture. We both are wild about art &  culture in virtually all of its forms, and we know many of you are too!

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You may be asking: How did Illinois get to this point?

Farm dog? Check.

Barn cats? Check.

Muddy work books lined up at the back door? Five checks.

We kick off our fourth season of “My Farm Roots” with the Renyer Family, five farm kids I had the pleasure of meeting last week.

Driving onto the Renyer farm, out in Nemaha County, Kan., I was struck by the many classic examples of a farm family. After being met by the family dog, a very sweet boy named Salty, I watched as the barn cats scattered and I met Leah coming out the back door, where the knee-high work boots were standing guard.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Last Friday night, I found myself back at a place I had visited several times before.  What was recently a since moved artist co-op on the corner of South Grand Avenue and Pasfield Street known as The Pharmacy is finding life as yet another incarnation. The bottom has become a tattoo parlor - the loft above is a new artist gallery and performance called The Studio. It's a collaborative effort of several creatives in the area. 

Farmers count on chemical herbicides to keep their fields weed-free. But an international panel of scientists who studied two of the most heavily used farm chemicals to determine whether they could cause cancer, said exposure to weed-killing chemicals could come at a cost. In the last few months, scientists brought together by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, considered glyphosate and 2,4-D.

Chicago Reader

Governor Bruce Rauner campaigned on a message of transparency. But now his lawyers are fighting attempts to disclose who he's meeting with -- sections of his schedule have been blocked.

Chicago Reader senior journalist Mick Dumke  would know -- he's tried to access that information.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Take a listen to The Scene with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times and me! (And make sure you check out Scott's story about the proposed closure of the Illinois State Museum.)

Events discussed this week include:

Lydia Loveless started making her first album at the age of 17. She's been acknowledged as one of the best up-and-coming artists by both Spin and Rolling Stone magazines. Her songs are hard to classify. She is able to mix honky-tonk with a grunge/punk and even pop sound. The 24 year old is a huge pop fan, counting Prince and Ke$ha among favorites. She's on Chicago's Bloodshot Records and her newest album is called Somewhere Else.

artsalliance.org

Ra Joy  heads Arts Alliance Illinois, an advocacy group that represents hundreds of cultural groups and artists in the state. He was at the capitol this week with about 500 hundred other rally-goers, urging Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to keep the Illinois State Museum open.

commons/wikimedia/Public Domain

It was 100 years ago this week that one of Chicago's most tragic events occurred.  844 people died in a horrific scene along the Chicago River.And yet, most have never heard of the Eastland Disaster.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Athens resident, Lisa Cannon, was only in her 20s when she first learned she had breast cancer.  At the time, she had everything going for her - she was a wife and mom, and was finding success as a photographer and graphic designer with her own business. After under-going treatment she went into remission. Two years later though, the cancer was back - in her spine and liver. She learned she had stage IV metastatic cancer.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield has a great deal of Mexican and Asian restaurants - but it is lacking when it comes to some other ethnic foods. A relatively new African restaurant is bridging some of those gaps for local foodies with adventurous palates. Listen to the report:

Bee Hotels Give Native Species A Place To Call Home

Jul 14, 2015

A patchwork of bamboo and paper tubes, with diameters no bigger than a nickel, are stacked artfully inside a 4-by-4 wooden frame near the edge of a public hiking trail in Lawrence, Kan.

Organized by size, each hollow tube is about 8 inches long, designed as nests for Kansas’ wild bees. This structure is called a bee hotel.

Grow Springfield

On July 19, there's a chance to learn more about community gardens and growing in an urban setting. It's the third annual Roots to Rooftop Tour in Springfield.  5 locations will be spotlighted, including a rooftop garden at Maldaner's Restaurant.  

"Community gardens are a great way for neighbors to come together, create community and grow healthy food," said Joe Eby of Grow Springfield.

Hermann Tourism Office

The town of Hermann, Missouri is located approximately 180 miles away from Springfield, Illinois. 

In our latest midwest travel segment, Mary Bohlen wrote about the town with strong German heritage for Illinois Times. 

She tells WUIS' Sean Crawford there is a lot to see and do, but it's not necessarily a family destination.

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Come along for the next episode of The Scene ... where Scott Faingold and I discuss Springfield's newest festival, Springfield's newest counter-festival to the new festival, one of our favorite cartoonists/artists - and much, much more!

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

commons.wikimedia.org/ParentingPatch

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, and the insurance marketplace in Illinois - more contraceptives are available at no cost to women who are covered under the plans. But there is still confusion when it comes to just what methods are included. 

Taste of Downtown was a festival that Springfield had put on for 15 years. But it's gone. In its place is the Bacon Throwdown & Music Fest, also hosted by Downtown Springfield Inc. Victoria Ringer heads the non-profit group. She joined us to talk about the new fest - which will feature bacon as the key ingredient to the food being offered from Springfield-area resturants.

http://www.sangamonauditorium.org

Each year, dozens of performers make their way to Springfield to perform at Sangamon Auditorium. From dance, to magic, to folk tunes and Broadway - the season line-up is always a varied one. 

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

WUIS took quite a chance 3 years ago when then-manager Bill Wheelhouse decided the station needed its own locally produced news program. The change came with the retirement of Karl Scroggin who used to host classical music programming during weekdays. The entire station made the switch to all news and information programming during the day.

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It's time for this week's episode of The Scene with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times and me, take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

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Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, talks about 3 downtown Springfield building projects.  Historic items were discovered during the work being performed by Rick Lawrence, whose ultimate plan is for apartments, offices, restaurants, etc.

Also, Magro Meats and Produce is looking to open this fall in the former Eagle grocery store along Stevenson Drive. 

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan says if creativity interests you, Oak Park should be on your destination list. 

The city just outside of Chicago boasts former homes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway and museums devoted to each. 

Her article in the Illinois Times showcases famous residents and their respective careers.  She also explains the best ways to get to Oak Park and visit the sites.

Kimberly Conner headshot
Rachel Otwell / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Springfield may not be known as a particularly cinematic town, but it is home to its share of film-makers. Kimberly Conner is one of them. Her movies include Jump In and This Life Ain’t Pretty have been critically acclaimed and nationally distributed. Conner’s movies have black stars and explore issues like love, forgiveness, and the personal struggle of dealing with disease – like AIDS.

https://www.facebook.com/AJWFp

It's time for your weekly dose in local arts and culture. Scott Faingold and I are at it once again, this week with quite the array of happenings and cultural picks... Please, have a listen, we insist:

   Events discussed this week include:

Overhead view of CWLP and the Dallman Station.
Google Maps

Local conservationists have long been concerned with various issues surrounding the utility City, Water, Light, And Power and the effect it has on Lake Springfield and the environment. Illinois is one of the most coal-producing states, but even the Springfield mayor is pushing for changes.

The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care.  96% report having health insurance.  That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.

Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.

Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks.  More also say the county has strong leadership.

So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?

Rod Blagojevich mug shot
U.S. Government

Here we are, rapidly approaching the Fourth of July, and we are still talking about legislative battles, a governor picking a fight with the speaker, and Illinois heading toward a new fiscal year without a budget in place. Sound familiar?

California Drought Not A Windfall For Midwest Farmers

Jun 24, 2015
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

California grows almost half the fruits and vegetables in the U.S. It’s also deep in drought and some farms are short on water. That may sound like a chance for Midwestern farmers to churn out more peppers and broccoli, but it’s not that simple.

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