WILL - Focus - April 05, 2013

Talk with the Veterinarians

Are you a dog or a cat person? Maybe you’re neither? Both? This hour on Focus, we’re talking with two area veterinarians and welcome your pet questions, no matter what breed of species you love and care for.


(Duration: 51:29)

Morkie puppy

This hour on Focus, we’re talking about pet care. Sally Foote, a small animal vet from Tuscola who specializes in dog and cat behavior, will be here to walk us through some of the best ways to help scaredy cats (and dogs) through thunderstorm season, and Dr. Brendan McKiernan, who directs the UIUC Veterinary Teaching Hospital, also joins us. We welcome your questions this hour!

Dr. Foote will be giving a public talk on pets and thunderstorms at Prairie Land Feeds on Sunday April 7th. Find more information here.


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WILL - Focus - April 04, 2013

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Calling them unmanned aerial vehicles sounds just as scary as calling them drones, but what do we really mean when we talk about this technology? This hour on Focus, we talked about drones, how they are being used and how they’re not. We also heard from an Urbana man working to advance the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in journalism and to inspire high school students to study math and science.


(Duration: 55:01)

an unmanned aerial vehicle

The technologies encompassed by the term “unmanned aerial vehicle” are vast and include everything from hobbyist drones that look like toy helicopters to units that are equipped with cameras and are being used to monitor crop damage. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Matthew Schroyer, a graduate of the UIUC who is also the founder of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists. We’ll talk with him about the things drones could help us do, and we’ll ask him about the privacy concerns the technology raises. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, former Wired editor and founder of the website DIY Drones and Nancy Cooke, Professor at Arizona State University and Science Director of the Cognitive Engineering Research Institute in Mesa, Arizona, also join us.

Watch a video of Matt explaining and flying his drone. 



Are you excited by the possibilities of this kind of technology? Or does it scare you? Why? Join our conversation. Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.

WILL - Focus - April 03, 2013

Homelessness a Concern in C-U

At homeless shelters in the Champaign-Urbana area, budget cuts due to the sequester are especially unwelcome. This hour on Focus, we talked about the unmet need for sheltering and rehabilitation services in the area and will hear from a mother who has been working for the last two years to get back on her feet.


(Duration: 51:29)

A new emergency shelter for the homeless recently started serving families in Champaign county, filling the unmet need for sheltering services for families with children. But funding for the shelter will likely dry up before the end of this year. Even with the new emergency shelter in operation, Nancy Hiatt, Executive Director for the Center for Women in Transition, says there’s a huge unmet need for sheltering and rehabilitation services in East Central Illinois.

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Hiatt and Beverly Baker, the Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Champaign County. They’ll tell us about the challenges of providing shelter to families and to homeless men and women.  Host Jim Meadows also talks with one woman form Champaign who has been working to get back on her feet and recover from homelessness and drug addiction for the past two years. She’ll tell us about the stigma associated with being homeless and how difficult it really is to regain footing after losing everything.

Categories: Community, Poverty

WILL - Focus - April 02, 2013

The Lawyer Bubble

Legal services are increasingly expensive and, in some places in the state, hard to find. This hour on Focus, we talked with John Thies, President of the Illinois State Bar Association, which is calling for change in how the state educates it attorneys, and Steven Harper, author of the new book “The Lawyer Bubble.”


(Duration: 52:11)

The Illinois State Bar Association is calling for changes in the way the state educates it attorneys. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the changes the association wants made and why. According to a new report,  the debt load students are graduating with is playing a big part in the decrease in available and affordable legal services in the state. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with President of the Illinois State Bar Association John Thies about the problem.

Steven Harper, author of the new book “The Lawyer Bubble” and an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University’s School of Law and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, also joins us. He’ll tell us about what he believes is a problematic and growing gap between the goals of law schools and law firms.

Have you ever had a difficult time accessing legal advice? Have you been in a situation where you needed help but couldn’t afford to pay for an attorney? We want to hear from you! Join our conversation. Post in the comments section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Education, Law

WILL - Focus - April 01, 2013

Play Ball!

Do you know the first president to throw an MLB opening day pitch? Did you know in 1907, there was an epic snowball fight at an opening day game in New York that determined the outcome? Starting today, Major League Baseball is officially in season, and this hour on Focus, we talked with John Thorn, the official historian of the MLB and Donald Spivey, who has spent his career studying Satchel Paige.


(Duration: 55:03)

Wrigley Field

In 1974 on opening day at Comiskey Park in Chicago, several naked fans rushed the field, disrupting the game and starting a riot in the stands; in 1907, the Phillies won a game against the New Your Giants because fans threw enough snowballs onto the field to force a forfeiture. Crazier things have happened.

This hour on Focus, John Thorn, Official Historian for Major League Baseball, joins guest host Jeff Bossert to talk about baseball history. We’ll talk about what Thorn does as MLB historian and what makes opening day so iconic  in American culture. Then, during the second half of the hour, Donald Spivey, a UIUC grad and a Professor of History at the University of Miami joins us to talk about pitching legend Satchel Paige. Spivey will be giving a lecture at Eastern Illinois University this evening about Paige and his legacy. Find more information here.

Do you love opening day? Why? Who are you rooting for this season? Join our conversation! Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.

Categories: Sports

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