Illinois Edition

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Illinois Edition is the news magazine covering the news and culture of IllinoisWeekdays at noon and  7 PM. 

Sean Crawford hosts.  Produced by Rachel Otwell.  

Ways to Connect

Matt Turner/flickr

How many are there?  Chuck Pell says maybe 20 or more.

He's the Chairman of the Sangamon County Historic Preservation Commission.  The group has teamed up with the county's Farm Bureau to find out more about the long standing structures.

"I am confident many of these we will learn about are those type of families where they are fairly confident of their history of the last 150 to 200 years," Pell said.  He points out the homes don't need to be a current residence. 

Move over turkey. Step aside stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year and it’s as popular as ever.

Mike Berners-Lee may not be an expert on the American Thanksgiving. A native of the UK, he’s never actually had the pleasure of experiencing one. But as one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread.

Tune in and hear from Lisa Higgs, the president of the Vachel Lindsay Association which organizes community and poetry-related events in Springfield. Plus find out about the holiday farmer's market, a performance from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and much more:

In The Fields, A Search For Monarch Butterflies

Nov 18, 2015

The population of monarch butterflies has declined so dramatically in recent years that the iconic insect is being considered for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list. In Nebraska and across the other areas of the Midwest, a stop on the monarch migration route, efforts are underway to determine the scope of the decline.


  For the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, it's all about philanthropy.  

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield is home to a variety of antique markets, book and record shops, and boutiques. l would like to introduce you to a few over on a corner of Governor St. off of MacArthur Blvd. that have popped up in the past couple years., user: Dining For Women

There are many ways to get involved with a charity or social justice group. But what if you could combine those efforts with food? That’s exactly what the national organization called “Dining For Women” does. With hundreds of chapters that meet, it helps fundraise for women in developing countries - where it's been shown that if you invest in the women of a community - your dollars stretch further.

Earlier this year, Des Moines, Iowa, made news when the city announced it would sue farmers in a legal battle over fertilizer. The city’s water supply from the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers often surpasses the legal limit for nitrates (10 mg/L), which commonly appear in water contaminated by runoff from farm fields.

DEMO Project gallery

An international film fest, and an internationally known artist/art critic are in town - all in the same weekend! And there's plenty more to talk about. This week, Scott and Rachel are joined by Thea Chesley who works with the Route 66 Intl. Film Fest.

Events discussed this week include:

The history of Jewish migration was partially defined by the peddlers who left their homes in search of a better life. They sold things like jewelry, and house-wares, traveling from town to town and staying in the homes of strangers. Their legacy includes the likes of businesses such as Sears and Levis Strauss.

Illinois Issues/WUIS

On Tuesday, voters in Ohio considered whether to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use. It would have created a new provision in the state's constitution that allowed only ten farms to grow the plant legally. That plan had its critics, and the measure failed. Many experts have their eye on Ohio - as it serves as an example of Midwestern residents trying to take on the legalization issue that has swept Colorado and the West Coast.

Memorial Health System

An addition to the health care skyline in Springfield is Memorial Medical Center's new patient tower.

Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Erik Terstriep, perched in the captain’s chair of his combine, glides through eight rows of corn at a time.

From The Scene: Happy Halloween, 2015

Oct 29, 2015

Halloween is this Saturday, and as such there is a plethora of events in the area to help you celebrate. The Scene is here to tell you about the stand-outs:

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In recent years, there has been a push at the statehouse to revive and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. It'd be a symbolic gesture, since the measure failed in the 1970s, and never did get enough support from states to pass federally. It was meant to include in the Constitution that women shall be afforded the same rights as men and not discriminated against due to gender.

Known for their calm temperaments and soft fleece, alpacas were at one time the next hot thing to backyard farmers. A decade ago, the market was frenetic, with some top of the line animals selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the bubble burst, leaving thousands of alpaca breeders with near-worthless herds. Today, craigslist posts across the country advertise “herd liquidations” and going-out-of-business deals on alpacas, some selling for as little as a dollar.

Education Group Says It Has Budget Impasse Antidote

Oct 27, 2015
(flickr/Daniel X. O'Neil)

There’s no end in sight to the political gridlock in Springfield.

But one group says it has an education plan it’s convinced both Republicans and Democrats could support.

That plan is a new twist on an old idea: corporations paying money into a special fund.

They’d get tax breaks. And parents would get cash to use for the school of their choice.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In northern Illinois, a new space is open for kids to complete a variety of unique creative projects. I took a visit, here’s the report:

The Young Philanthropists in Sangamon County has hit the decade mark.  

Get Spooky With The Scene

Oct 22, 2015

On the week's episode of The Scene, Rachel and Scott talk about Halloween festivities, preview a multi-sensory art show, and talk about a local museum most area-residents haven't heard of. Take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer Dave Mason plays the Sangamon Auditorium Saturday night.

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet. Drive down a dirt road, a two-lane country highway, even many Interstates in the Midwest and the view out the window is likely to get monotonous: massive fields filled with acres of corn sprawled in all directions.

Do you ever daydream of hiking or biking through Europe but have just a weekend to spare? Then plan a trip to New Glarus, Wisconsin, known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” where you can enjoy scenic trails, indulge your taste for Swiss cheeses and chocolate, and stay at a Swiss-style hotel, bed-and-breakfast or even a guest farm.

Americans have a big appetite for everything meat. We smoke it, grill it, slice it, and chop it. The typical American puts away around 200 pounds of beef, pork, and poultry every year.

The Scene With Guest Host Arlin Peebles

Oct 14, 2015
Rachel Otwell/ WUIS

Gather around, let us sing you a tune. Well, Arlin Peebles will play you one anyway. He's our guest of the week and will be playing a show in Springfield on Friday night. He also helps run the new multimedia venue called 'The Studio.' We have lots to tell you about, so let's get started:

Events discussed this week include:

Top Shelf Productions

The event is Monday night on the UIS campus.

Are you a woman age 40 or older? Uninsured? Under-insured?

Mammogram Mondays are taking place this month with free screenings available.  

You must call for an appointment at one of the following locations:

For appointments from 4 – 7 p.m. at: Memorial Medical Imaging Breast Diagnostic Services at the Baylis Building, 747 N. Rutledge, Springfield, call 217-788-4042.

For appointments from 3 – 4:30 p.m. at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, 200 Stahlhut Dr., Lincoln, call 217-605-5108., User: ShimerCollege

Shimer College was founded in 1853 and has existed in several different incarnations and locations around Illinois. It's now on the south side of Chicago, in a space it rents from the Illinois Institute of Technology. About 100 students attend, and they take courses that center around what's called the great-books curriculum. Students are expected to come to class ready to discuss, and the teachers are called facilitators, simply there to help move the discussion along. Classes never have more than 12 people.

The 13th annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures, presented by the University of Illinois Springfield, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2015 in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS.