WILL - Focus - March 28, 2014

Researching medical marijuana a challenge for scientists

The science behind medical marijuana is hazy, in part because its difficult for scientists to gain access to the drug for research.


(Duration: 40:42)

Medical marijuana crap

Americans in 20 states, including Illinois once its new medicinal cannabis pilot program is fully functioning, can purchase medical marijuana to treat symptoms of diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis to glaucoma to HIV and AIDs, but the science behind why medical marijuana helps ease symptoms of some of those diseases is hazy. Because marijuana is a classified as a schedule 1 drug by the federal government, a category for drugs with no medical value and highly addictive properties, researchers have a very difficult time gaining access to marijuana plants in order to study them.

In this Focus interivew, Peter Hecht, author of the forthcoming book "Weedland," and clinical psychiatirst Suzanne Sisley, who works with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the University of Arizona, join host Scott Cameron. 


Categories: Government, Law

WILL - Focus - January 22, 2014

Conceal and carry law now in effect

Illinois new conceal and carry law took effect January 1. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what citizens who aren’t gun owners can expect from people who will soon be concealing a loaded weapon on their person.


(Duration: 51:42)

A handgun is on display during a seminar on gun violence in Springfield, Ill.

Concealed Carry permits are being approved by the Illinois State Police and could start being mailed soon. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about who will be carrying a gun and what kind of training the state requires before they’ll issue a permit. Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh and concealed carry instructor John Boch join host Jim Meadows to start this hour on Focus. We’ll hear about how the application review process is working out in Champaign county and will hear what kind of training you can expect people with concealed carry permits to have.

Then, police departments and citizens who want a license to conceal and carry aren’t the only ones who’ve been getting ready for the new law. Private Security Consultant Tim Sutton says he’s been working with hospitals and churches addressing security concerns posed by the new law.

Did you apply for a conceal and carry license? Why do you want one? Now that conceal and carry is a reality in Illinois, do you feel safer or not? Give us a call this hour on Focus or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580

Categories: Community, Law

WILL - Focus - January 16, 2014

Net Neutrality

Tuesday, a circuit court in Washington D.C. struck down rules ensuring net neutrality. This hour on Focus we’ll talk about what that means for the internet.


(Duration: 51:33)

 A federal appeals court ruling struck down parts of the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules Tuesday, a move that has raised concerns about net neutrality. Big telecom companies including Verizon and Comcast say the ruling will allow them to expand their service to consumers, but not everyone agrees the ruling is a good thing.
To start this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Milton Mueller, a professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, about what the ruling means for the future of the internet and about the importance of having an open internet. John Koontz of Champaign-based Wolfram Research, operator of the answer engine website Wolfram/Alpha, also joins us. He says the possibilities that the ruling creates for the future is worrisome for companies like his. Then, Meadows talks with former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth about the FCC's role in regulating internet service. 
Do you support net neutrality? Why? Post in the comments section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Law, Technology

WILL - Focus - November 22, 2013

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman, and Controlling Chaos

This hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Illinois new Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman, then we'll talk with Jack Rozdilsky, who researches the aftermath of natural disasters to try and make the recovery more efficient.


(Duration: 51:34)

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman

Illinois new Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman has been head of the state’s high court for almost a month now. During the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Garman, who lives in Danville, about what it took for her to get there. We’ll also ask Garman about her views on cameras in the court room, and about her work to create a committee on child custody issues for the state’s supreme court.

Then on the second half of this episode of Focus, Jack Rozdilsky joins host Jim Meadows. Rozdilsky is a professor at Western Illinois University who teaches and researches what strategies make emergency management most effective. We’ll talk with him about how to orchestrate a recovery and how to teach someone to control chaos.

Categories: Community, Law

WILL - Focus - October 15, 2013

When to Grant Clemency?

Friday, Governor Pat Quinn granted 65 clemency requests while working through a backlog of cases left by Fmr. Gov. Rod Blagojevich. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why and when clemency requests are granted.


(Duration: 51:31)

courtroom gavel and scales

So far in his time as Governor, Pat Quinn has granted nearly 1,000 clemency requests, reducing penalties for people convicted of certain crimes. In the batch he approved Friday, Southern Illinois University Former Board of Trustee Member Enoch Benson, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Branden Jones, an armed robber and several former drug dealers were among those pardoned.

This hour on Focus, we’ll hear from Urbana Attorney and University of Illinois Law Lecturer Steve Beckett about what’s taken into consideration when deciding to either approve or deny a clemency request and who applies for it. Host Jim Meadows also talks with Beckett about the reasons someone would request clemency, why the Governor has the power to grant it and why it’s an issue that Fmr. Gov. Rod Blagojevich left so many cases sitting.

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?


(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 09, 2013

The Illinois Supreme Court Fall Term

Who’re your state’s Supreme Court justices? What decisions are they making for you this fall? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about some of the cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and will learn more about who’s on the court and how they’re likely to vote.


(Duration: 51:55)

Illinois Supreme Court Judges

Despite the fact that we never seem to hear much about it, there are several important cases before the Illinois Supreme Court this fall. One of them could affect the state’s efforts to solve its pension problems, and one of them . This hour on Focus, we’ll talk through some of the cases and their implications with Kirk Jenkins, an appellate attorney based in Chicago. Steve Beckett, a founding partner at Beckett and Webber, P.C. in Urbana and a lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Law also joins us.

Both attorneys have argued cases before the state’s high court, and we’ll also talk with them about Illinois’ Supreme Court justices, who they are and why we never seem to hear much about them.

Do you have questions about the Illinois Supreme Court? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Criminal Justice, Law

WILL - Focus - June 11, 2013

Decisions, Decisions: The 2012-2013 Supreme Court Term

This hour on Focus, we talk about US Supreme Court decisions that have already been made this term, and some that will set new precedents in the coming weeks. Do you have questions about any of the cases currently before the high court?


(Duration: 51:25)

US Supreme Court Justices (2010)

This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Lisa McElroy and Daniel Hamilton about the 2012-2013 Supreme Court term. We’ll discuss cases yet to be decided that will set new precedents for same sex marriage, affirmative action and genetic research. We’ll talk about why it’s rumored that the court might throw out the arguments they heard on Proposition 8 and will talk about a case that could allow biotechnology companies to patent genetic material from the human body. We’ll also discuss issues to do with drug-sniffing dogs and search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

Lisa McElroy is an Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, and Daniel Hamilton is the Incoming Dean of Boyd Law School at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Categories: Law

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 - March 29, 2013

Next Week on Focus: MLB Opening Day, Drones and The Lawyer Bubble

Do you love MLB Opening Day? Who’re you rooting for this season? Does the idea of drone technology scare you or excite you?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

Thursday on Focus, we'll talk about unmanned aerial vehicles.

Next week on Focus, we'll talk with the official historian for Major League Baseball and an Urbana man working with unmanned aerial technology for both journalistic purposes and to inspire high school students to study math and science. We'll also address the unmet need for homeless services in the area and talk about the growing disconnect between law schools and law firms in Illionis and why it matters. 

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