a foreclosed home
Wikimedia Commons
March 20, 2013

Home Foreclosure in Illinois

Even though the economy is slowly starting to improve, Illinois still has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Today on Focus, we talked about the problem and about new policies that are supposed to help solve it. We also talk with one community member working to help East Central Illinois families keep their homes.


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Early American Museum, Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mahomet IL
Flickr
March 05, 2013

Curating Local History

Are you intrigued by the past? Do you have a favorite factoid about Champaign-Urbana history? Today on Focus, we talked about curating local history.


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Chancellor
February 26, 2013

President Robert Easter and Chancellor Phyllis Wise

During this episode of Focus, we talked with University of Illinois President Robert Easter and Chancellor Phyllis Wise and addressed concealed carry on campus, unofficial St. Patrick's day and the controversy over Chief Illiniwek. 


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Ben and Timmy McClelland
January 22, 2013

International Adoption in Illinois

The Russian government recently instituted a controversial ban on adoptions to the United States. Outcry from both families in the middle of the adoption process with Russia and families who have previously adopted from the country has been harsh.


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Baby lying in a crib
January 11, 2013

Home Birth and Midwifery in Illinois

Most women give birth in the hospital and some would not have it any other way.  But there are other women who prefer to have their babies in the comfort of their own home in the care of a midwife.


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November 06, 2012

Exploring JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit

This September marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. An estimated 100 million copies of the book have been sold since its publication, but interest in The Hobbit sees no signs of abating, as the first of a trilogy of Hobbit films by Peter Jackson opens this December. Author Corey Olsen, who produces a podcast called The Tolkien Professor, feels that The Hobbit has lived far too long in the shadow of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. His idea is to turn attention back to what he calls "this brilliant little book." Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland and the President and founder of the Mythgard Institute, a new online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature.


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September 07, 2012

Why Does the World Exist?

Jim Holt, Essayist and contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books.

Host: Craig Cohen

It’s hard to pass up any book that promotes itself as an “existential detective story.” That’s the subtitle of author Jim Holt’s new book “Why Does the World Exist?” In it, Holt traces efforts to grasp the origins of the universe, and suggests along the way that many discussions revolving around the classic question “why are we here?” are simply too narrow – that there are many more possible answers than the old God versus the Big Bang debate would suggest. Holt talks with philosophers, physicists, and a Buddhist monk, among others, as he seeks big answers to the biggest of questions.


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September 03, 2012

The 20th Century Exodus: The Triumphant Life and Journey of the Jewish in Our Community

A radio documentary special  by Urbana University Laboratory High School students.

Growing up in Champaign as one of a handful of Jewish children in town, Ruth Kuhn Youngerman enjoyed friendships with people from a variety of faiths. The Jewish community was small and close-knit, led by Jewish storeowners such as the Sterns, Lowensterns and Kuhns who helped develop commerce in downtown Champaign and Urbana.

Yet Jewish residents were integrated and accepted in the community, said Youngerman, who was born in 1914, the same year that the first Jewish temple was built at State and Clark streets. When her grandfather, Kuhn’s Department Store founder Joseph Kuhn, died, they called him the best “Christian” in the community, Youngerman said. “In other words, they were saying he was like them, that they (Jews) were good people.”

Urbana University High School students interviewed Youngerman and 13 other leaders of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish community for a new radio documentary, The 20th Century Exodus: The Triumphant Life and Journey of the Jewish in Our Community.


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