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.


January 30, 2013

Navigating Illinois’ Giant New Data Project

The state of Illinois is about to make giant reems of data available for the public. But data is borderline useless without some kind of mediation. Dan O'Neill and Brant Houston are hosting the first data hack-a-thon at UofI today - offering programmers a cash prize to the best algorithm.


Virginia Public Radio
January 28, 2013

The Great Textbook War

Tonight, PBS is airing a documentary about the war over textbook content in Texas. Two years ago, radio documentarian Trey Kay made a one hour special on the first major textbook fight, which took place in West Virginia in the 1960s. The fight back then was more than political - books were burned, schools boycotted, and one protestor was shot through the heart. Kay joined us to discuss what many see as the start of the American culture war.


January 18, 2013

Community Conversations

Jim Meadows, Illinois Public Media News

Sean Powers, Illinois Public Media News

Guest Host: Jeff Bossert

From time to time, Illinois Public Media organizes or participates in other organizations’ “community conversations.” They’re opportunities to discuss a wide range of issues and ideas, to hear what various communities care about, and – ideally, for those of us in the news business – to inform the stories we ought to tell, and the way we ought to tell them. Such was the case Thursday. Illinois Public Media's Jim Meadows and Sean Powers join us to discuss what they learned from conversations with attendees of an event through Champaign Unit 4 schools.


December 18, 2012

Community Conversations

Jim Meadows, Illinois Public Media News
Sean Powers, Illinois Public Media News

From time to time, Illinois Public Media organizes or participates in other organizations’ “community conversations.” They’re opportunities to discuss a wide range of issues and ideas, to hear what various communities care about, and – ideally, for those of us in the news business – to inform the stories we ought to tell, and the way we ought to tell them. Such was the case last week. Illinois Public Media's Jim Meadows and Sean Powers join us to discuss what they learned from recent conversations.


October 08, 2012

As Goes Janesville

Henry Radcliffe, Community Engagement Producer, WILL
Tom Carrino, Economic Development Manager, City of Urbana
Guest Host: Craig Cohen

In 2008, as the nation’s economy was in freefall, the downturn was especially hard on the community of Janesville, Wisconsin. That year, a century-old General Motors plant closed. For the workers that were laid off, that meant seeking new employment in a decidedly difficult economic environment. The next three years in the lives of residents in Janesville are chronicled in a film entitled As Goes Janesville – it premieres on Independent Lens tonight at 9 on WILL-TV. Then, tomorrow night, the film will be screened again as part of WILL’s Community Cinema series at 6 P-M at the Champaign Public Library. We'll talk with two people involved in that screening and discussion.


October 02, 2012

New Polling in the Illinois 13th Congressional District Race

Tom Kacich, Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor
Guest Host: Jeff Bossert

A new poll in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District shows Democrat David Gill with a slim lead over Republican Rodney Davis, 40 to 39-percent, when Gill led by 6-percent just over a month ago. The survey of 400 registered likely voters paid for by the Gill campaign was taken September 26 and 27. Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor Tom Kacich weighs in on what this poll means on November 6th.


August 13, 2012

Political Endorsements

Kent Redfield, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Illinois at Springfield
Guest Host: Craig Cohen

In recent weeks, Dr. David Gill, the Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 13th district Congressional race, has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, and by fellow Democrat and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Gill’s GOP opponent, Rodney Davis, recently received the endorsements of Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and ACTIVATOR, the political action committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Less than 90 days from the election, it would appear we’ve entered political endorsement season. Do political endorsements matter? Kent Redfield, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield tells Illinois Public Media's Craig Cohen that endorsements matter, but not really all that much.


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