WILL - Focus - March 13, 2013

East Central Illinois: Where Jobs are Created and Sustained?

Do you make it a point to shop and support locally owned stores and restaurants? It really does make a big difference to the local economy if you do. Today on Focus, we talked about economic development and new trends in the area.


(Duration: 50:26)

According to a new report from the Milken Institute, Champaign-Urbana and Danville are both on the list of best performing small cities, but what does that really mean? The report shows Danville climbing in ranking while Chambana was slipping. During this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage and Mike Kirchoff, President and CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.

We’ll talk about new development projects in the area, trends with unemployment rates and Danville’s retail resurgence. We’ll also talk about the health of the manufacturing industry in East Central Illinois, what’s ahead for the region and how we can keep local economies healthy in spite of state budget woes.

Categories: Animals, Community, Economics

WILL - Focus - March 08, 2013

Bats, Economic Development and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: Coming up next week on Focus

Is it important to you to shop locally? Did you know bats play a really important role in the production of tequila and chocolate? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.

Jody Williams

Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”

WILL - Focus - February 25, 2013

Weird Life

We are fascinated with exotic life forms; legends of monsters like the Kraken and Nessie liter our folklore. But why? Today on Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with David Toomey, the author of the new book Weird Life.


(Duration: 50:24)

the book cover

During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with author David Toomey about his new book, “Weird Life: The Search for Life that is Very, Very Different From Our Own.” He tells us about organisms that live off acid rather than water, those that reproduce without DNA and thrive in temperatures and pressures so extreme that they really shouldn’t be alive in the first place. Meadows also talked with Toomey about our fascination with exotic life forms here on Earth and why we’re so fascinated with the possibility of the discovery of life in the rest of the universe.

What’s your favorite exotic animal? We want to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter or post in the comments section below.

WILL - Focus - February 21, 2013

The 30th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival

Have you ever pet a cockroach? If you’ve been longing to, you’ll get that chance this weekend at the Insect Fear Film Festival. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talked with UIUC entomologist May Berenbaum about this year’s festival, cockroaches in all their glory, and flying insect swarms as UFO’s. Find the podcast here. 


(Duration: 50:11)

May Berenbaum with an insect

The Truth… about insects, is out there. At least that’s May Berenbaum’s position on the matter. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with Berenbaum, University of Illinois Professor of Entomology, about this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival. We’ll ask her about this year's X-Files theme, and the character from Season 3 of the X-Files who is named for her. Bambi Berenbaum, an entomologist who appears the episode “War of the Coprophages,” is named for May. We interviewed Chris Carter Tuesday, February 19 on Focus and asked him about it. Find the podcast here.

Cohen also talks with Berenbaum about conspiracy theories surrounding UFO’s and her upcoming article in American Entomologist about how UFO’s are most likely insect swarms. Then, we'll discuss what’s in the future for cyborg insects, robotic bugs equipped with transmitters, cameras and recording devices.

Do you have questions about insects… real or robotic? Join our conversation! Connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter or post in the comments section below.

Categories: Animals, Cinema, Environment

WILL - Focus - October 03, 2012

Talk with the Veterinarians


(Duration: 51:09)

Brendan C. McKiernan, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM-SAIM, Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine Director, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Illinois

Julia Whittington, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor,Zoological Animal Medicine and Surgery; and Director of the Wildlife Clinic, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois

Host: Craig Cohen

We welcome your questions about the care and feeding of your pets on Wednesday’s Focus. From dogs and cats to birds to gerbils and hamsters to whatever animal companions may be cavorting around your house, we’ll welcome any questions you may have for Julia Whittington, Director of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Clinic, and Brendan McKiernan, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.

Categories: Animals

WILL - Focus - July 05, 2012

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story


(Duration: 51:07)

We’ll talk with Kenyan author and conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick. For 20 years beginning in the mid 1950s, she was co-warden, along with her husband David, of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. She is the first person ever to have successfully hand-raised newborn elephants, and rehabilitated many different animals, including rhinos and zebras. She will share  stories from her African childhood and her 50 years of work in the field of wildlife conservation. That’s the subject of her memoir "Love, Life and Elephants."

This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, May 07, 2012, 11 am

Categories: Animals, Environment

WILL - Focus - June 29, 2012


May Berenbaum, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head, Entomology, University of Illinois

Host: David Inge

We welcome back University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum for another show about the most abundant life form on this planet, the insect. When May stops by we encourage you to put aside questions of extermination, and instead try to appreciate insects for the many and varied ways they live their lives. If you are curious about a particular insect, give us a call, and a description, and May will try to identify it and tell you something about its habits.

Categories: Animals, Science

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