Focus

WILL - Focus - September 23, 2013

Designing Culture

Technology is constantly changing the way we organize everything. Despite the pace of change, we’re still in control. This hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Anne Balsamo about the ways she says it’s possible for us to design the culture we want through the way we use the technologies we create.

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(Duration: 51:32)

Anne Balsamo

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Professor Anne Balsamo. She’s a media designer by trade and has been involved in creating several interactive exhibits, like a digital version of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that you can explore by quilt block, name and date. She says in order for us to live in the world we want, we need to keep that world in mind while we’re designing and using our technologies. We’ll talk with her this hour about what interactive media is and if its constructive or just another distraction.

Balsamo is also heading a project called “FemTechNet,” which among other things, has been responsible for adding women into some of Wikipedia's historical entries. We'll also talk with her about how "FemTechNet" is working to create new kinds of learning opportunities though online collaborative education and about how her femisist views mesh with her work arguments about technologies. 

Anne is giving a talk entitled “Designing Digital Memories” at 7:00 p.m. tonight in the Library and Information Science Building at 501 East Daniel Street in Champaign.


WILL - Focus - September 20, 2013

Personal Finance

Today on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Kevin Waspi, a chartered financial analyst and Jake Kuebler, a certified financial planner with Bluestem Financial Advisors in Champaign. We welcome your calls and questions!

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(Duration: 51:37)

a dollar with some cents

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high Wednesday after a decision by the Federal Reserve to keep its economic stimulus in place. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with personal finance experts Kevin Waspi and Jake Kuebler about what the means for your pocketbook. We’ll also talk about whether or not investing in bond is a good idea with interest rates on the rise. As always, we welcome your personal finance questions whether you’re planning for retirement, just starting out and looking at buying a home or trying to figure out how to manage your budget.

Categories: Personal Finance

WILL - Focus - September 19, 2013

George Harrison’s First Trip to America…was to Benton, Illinois

Before the Beatlemania that started in the US in early 1964, a member of the band visited the states, played a few sets with a band in Benton, Illinois and was interviewed by a young radio broadcaster named Marcia.

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(Duration: 51:26)

A photo of the Beatles George gave Marcia back in the 1960's. He autographed the back "Love from George Harrison."

When she was 17 years old, Marcia Raubach got a phone call to come into the station where she hosted a weekend morning teen music show because there was a musician there who wanted to personally thank her for being one of the first to play his band’s record on the radio in America. That musician was none other than the late George Harrison, and 50 years later, when she looks back on it, Raubach kicks herself for not recording the interview she did with Harrison on WFRX in West Frankfort, Illinois in the fall of 1963.

It was the first interview with a member of the band that aired on American radio, and this hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Marcia about what she asked Harrison all those years ago. We’ll talk with her about meeting him and how the interview has remained a part of her life ever since.

We’ll also talk with Jim Kirkpatrick, author of the book “Before He Was Fab,” a book about Harrison’s visit to Illinois in 1963 and Bob Bartel, a Beatles memorabilia collector and the man responsible for the “Beatles house” in Benton, where George stayed when he first visited, being named an Illinois historical landmark.

Categories: Music

WILL - Focus - September 18, 2013

Private Re-homing

When you can’t take care of a dog or a cat, it seems perfectly reasonable to go online to try and find them a new home. But would you ever even think to do that with a child?

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(Duration: 51:46)

Nicole Eason, who adopted several children through "private re-homing," even though she had her two biological children taken by social services.

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with reporter Megan Twohey about her series “The Child Exchange,” published last week by Reuters. In it, Twohey investigates what’s called “private re-homing,” a process by which an adoptive family hands a child over into another adult’s care without involving adoption officials or government agencies.


WILL - Focus - September 17, 2013

Concealed Carry for the Blind or Visually Impaired?

As the state drafts its criteria for who can obtain a concealed carry permit, should vision be a consideration?

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(Duration: 51:20)

two people with guns

It violates the American with Disabilities Act to discriminate against the visually impaired, even when it comes to gun ownership. The state of Illinois issues FOID cards, the documentation you need to legally own a gun in Illinois, and hunting licenses to the blind. So, even if you can’t see, or don’t see well, you can own a gun in Illinois, but should you be able to carry it in public?

Categories: Civil Rights, Law

WILL - Focus - September 16, 2013

The Future for AM Radio

Can terrestrial radio survive in a digital era? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai about why he’s trying to save AM radio.

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(Duration: 51:35)

WILL AM-580 staffers in the 1930's

AM radio audiences are at an all-time low, but Ajit Pai, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, has a plan to try and save AM signals from the static. Pai joins us for the first half of this hour on Focus to talk about why he is pushing for new policies to help AM stations bolster their signals.

Tags: radio, am radio, am, fcc

WILL - Focus - September 13, 2013

Where are the Butterflies?

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with horticulture expert Sandy Mason and Mike Jeffords of the Illinois Natural History Survey. We welcome your lawn and garden calls and questions today!

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(Duration: 51:36)

a monarch

If you’ve been trying to attract butterflies to your garden but haven’t seen any, you’re not alone. There has been a substantial decrease in butterfly populations this year throughout the Midwest. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Mike Jeffords of the Illinois Natural History Survey about why.

Sandy Mason, our resident gardening expert, will also be here to answer your lawn and garden questions.


WILL - Focus - September 12, 2013

Chanute Air Force Base’s Tuskegee Connections

Did you know the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black group of fighter pilots to see combat in the US military, started their training in Rantoul, Illinois? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about Chanute Air Force Base’s connections to the Tuskegee Airmen and will learn more about the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron, who will be giving an air show in the area this weekend.

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(Duration: 52:01)

the restored Mustang fighter plane

This hour on Focus, we’ll take a look back at East Central Illinois’ connections to the first all-black group of United States fighter pilots with Jim Eldridge, former education director at the Octave Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul. Brad Lang, a professional pilot who volunteers with the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron also joins us. His dad, Donald, served with the Tuskegee airmen in WWII.

Categories: History

WILL - Focus - September 11, 2013

Christopher Baker and Claire Lieberman

What inspires you? Have you ever traveled somewhere or seen something that led to one of those “moments.” This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with two Illinois artists inspired by seemingly opposing mediums – technology and nature.

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(Duration: 51:37)

Christopher Baker's "Hello World! Or: How I stopped listening and learned to love the noise."

Christopher Baker, a Chicago based artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s work “Hello World!  Or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise” is currently on display at the Krannert Art Museum and combines more than 5,000 video diary entries into one display. You can’t understand all the voices individually, and if you step back far enough, you can’t even see clearly who the people are. These days, Baker says, it’s easy to get lost in that shuffle, to be drowned out by the noise. Should we accept that, or rebel against it? For the first half of this hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Baker about his art, his video diary project and a little about the history of YouTube.

Then during the second half of this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Illinois State University’s Claire Lieberman. She teaches sculpture and is preparing for an expedition to the North Pole to observe the landscape and most importantly, the ice and what it looks like as its melting. She’ll spend about 2 weeks on a ship with scientists, climatologists and we’ll talk with her about the trip, how she’s preparing for it and what she hopes to discover while she’s there. 

Have you gone to what seems like the ends of the earth seeking inspiration? Where did you go? What did you do? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Art and Culture

WILL - Focus - September 10, 2013

David Inge

Illinois Pioneers returned to WILL-TV last week…with David Inge as host. This hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with David about the show.

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(Duration: 49:35)

Host David Inge with Lou Henson

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Inge about his new gig and about his life and career as a public broadcaster. We’ll hear about some of the upcoming interviews he’ll host on WILL-TV, and we’ll talk with him about his days as host of Focus, how he got started as a public broadcaster and what it’s like to talk with some of the most powerful and respected names in Illinois history.

WILL Producer George Hovorka also joins us for the first half of this hour on Focus to tell us more about Illinois Pioneers. 

Categories: Community

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