Monday, Nov. 25: Can terrestrial radio survive in a digital era? Today on Focus, we’ll listen back to a talk with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai about why he’s trying to save AM radio.
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.
Tuition at Illinois’ private and public universities has risen by an average of more than 30 percent since 2008. As a cost-saving measure, many students are turning to community colleges to take “general education” courses for the first two years of their degrees and then transfer to four year schools. What happens then, when tuition at community colleges starts to increase? According to the Illinois Community College Board, tuition at the state’s community colleges has also risen by around 30 percent since 2008.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Parkland College President Tom Ramage and Danville Area Community College President Alice Jacobs about the role the state’s community colleges play in higher education. We’ll hear about some of the challenges Illinois community colleges face and how they’re moving forward despite cuts in state funding and changes in local tax support. We’ll also hear this hour about a program at Danville Area Community College to help train and employ veterans and will find out more about Parkland College’s recent acquisition of the University of Illinois’ aviation program.
Mary Sutherlin has spent the last few days working with her neighbors and her husband to clean up what’s left of her home. She says when the tornado struck her hometown of Gifford on Sunday, she and her husband and 11 year-old grandchild barely made it into the back room before the tornado blew away most of her neighborhood. For the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Sutherlin about what’s next and how she’s handling rebuilding and clean-up. Champaign County Emergency Management Agency Spokesman Rick Atterberry also joins us.
Then, Jim Gilliland, former mayor of Ogden, Illinois joins us. He says when a tornado struck the town of around 700 people in late April of 1996, both the damage and the idea that he was a key decision maker was overwhelming. We’ll talk with him about how the community came together and started to pick up the pieces in the weeks and months following the storm.
Chancellor Wise, who oversees the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus, has been pushing for “future excellence” through her “Visioning Future Excellence” initiative. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Chancellor Wise about her goals for the university’s future.
We’ll also talk with Wise about the university’s growing presence in China, the growing reliance on private support, including philanthropy from individuals and foundations, like the University of Illinois Foundation, for funding, and about the increasing emphasis on diversity as a mission of the university.
150 years ago tomorrow, President Lincoln delivered one of the best known speeches in American history. Do you remember, without looking it up, when the battle happened that inspired the speech? Today on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Bruce Levine about the significance of the Gettysburg address and the Battle of Gettysburg. Levine says that while the Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most important battles of the war, the Gettysburg Address is not the most important speech Lincoln gave during that time period. We’ll talk about why that speech became so famous and what that says about American history.
The stock market continues to set new record highs and this hour on Focus, we’ll talk with personal finance experts Kevin Waspi and Jake Kuebler about what that means for your investment portfolio. We’ll also talk about holiday spending during this hour on Focus. Economists predict spending will be down this season; we’ll talk about why and will find out how that could affect you.
As we’re quickly approaching end of year finance questions, host Jim Meadows also talks with Waspi and Kuebler about what you can be doing to get ready for tax season. And 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.
Read more to see this month's updated couch potato porfolio.
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas in 1963, Richard Stolley was Los Angeles bureau chief for Life Magazine. He got a call soon after the news of the assassination broke that someone named Zapruder had caught the whole thing on film.
Janet Riehecky’s been fascinated by dinosaurs since she was a little girl; today, she writes books about them. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Riehecky about writing a children’s book that grounds itself in scientific fact. Riehecky is the author of several children's books, including the series "Killer Animals," which features a variety of creatures found in nature such as scorpions and cobras.
Then, Meadows talks with Urbana author Marianne Malone. Malone has been working on a series of books inspired by the Thorne Room art exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although the stories are fictional, she says the books pull from history and are meant to teach about the past. Malone has so far written three books in the series, the latest being The Pirate's Coin.
What were your favorite books when you were little? Did they teach you anything?
In farming communities in Kenya, there is a period of time every year called wanjala, when food is scarce and hunger is rampant. In his most recent book "The Last Hunger Season," Roger Thurow tells the story of four farmers in western Kenya, and their struggles with hunger and poverty, while they try out a program supplied by the NGO One Acre, that brings hope of eliminating the “Hunger Season” for good.