Illinois gun advocates cheered last year when the Supreme Court ruled that the state could not ban concealed weapons.
February 21, 2013

The Future of Conceal and Carry

As of right now, Illinois is the only state in America without a law regulating concealed firearms. Last year, the state tried to ban so-called 'conceal and carry,' but the Supreme Court judged the law unconstitutional, and ruled that Illinois had to pass a law, any law, on concealed firearms within 180 days. With the three months almost up, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking for more time. Law professor Brannon Denning - once of Southern Illinois University, now at the law school at Samford University in Alabama - explains why a law is necessary. Without one, concealed weapons in Illinois will be totally legal.

E.E. Cummings, one of the poets featured on the Poetry Foundation's list of notable odes to love.
February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day with the Poetry Foundation

There is such a wealth of art about love - romantic, unrequited, familial, heartbroken - that it would seem almost impossible to catalogue it all. The Poetry Foundation in Chicago is making an effort - they've created a list of almost 100 notable love poems for Valentine's Day. Catherine Halley, the editor of the Poetry Foundation online joins us to go over some of her favorites.

The Confucius Institute may be coming to the University of Illinois
February 08, 2013

The University of Illinois Teams up with China

The University of Illinois is proposing a joint venture with the Chinese Department of Education to set up a Confucius Institute, for the study of Chinese language and culture. There are institutes like this at colleges all over the Midwest, but they are also controversial. Some people are uncomfortable with working so closely with the Chinese government, while more conspiracy minded people believe the institutes are a covert form of spying. Wolfgang Schlör from the university joins us to discuss the proposal.

Pat Quinn delivering last night's State of the State address.
February 07, 2013

The State of the State of the State

On Wednesday, governor Pat Quinn gave his annual State of the State address. Critics say that what it lacked in specifics, it made up for in platitudes. Columnist Tom Kacich of the Champaign News-Gazette walks us through what to expect during the next legislative term.

The logo for ILove, a group advocating for marriage equality in Illinois.
February 05, 2013

Is Gay Marriage Coming to Illinois?

Earlier this year, state senator Heather Steans introduced a bill during the lame duck congressional session that would legalize gay marriage. She didn't have the votes, and then the term expired. Now, with the Democrats firmly in control of the state house and senate, she's putting the bill up for another vote. But its passage is not a sure thing. Steans joined us to discuss her bill, and working with Republicans.

Melany Jackson, executive director of CU at Home (on left)
February 04, 2013

The Homelessness Problem in Central Illinois

Last Friday, students at the University of Illinois slept outside to raise awareness about homelessness. It was a fun event that contrasts with a grim reality. Champaign-Urbana has one of the state's largest rates of homelessness, and last week was marked by bitter low temperatures. An interview with Melany Jackson, a homelessness advocate who says we don't have enough shelter space. Also, Kerri Spear, who runs the homeless count for Champaign-Urbana. She outlines some the challenges of finding all of the homeless in town - an initiative that could help us provide better services for those living outside.