The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
(Nikopoley/Wikimedia)
June 05, 2013

The Legislature Adjourns

Lawmakers were tasked with addressing lots of big issues during this spring's legislative session. This hour on Focus we'll talk about the takeaways - what passed, what didn't and what the means for you.


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A painted mural of "Uncle Joe" Cannon on the side of a building in downtown Danville at the corner of Harrison and Vermilion streets depicts the Time Magazine cover he was featured on.
Pam Dempsey
May 28, 2013

Uncle Joe Cannon

Many consider Joseph Gurney Cannon one of the most dominant speakers of the House of Representatives in U.S. history. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the life and legacy of Uncle Joe Cannon.


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Photo Courtesy of the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability
May 06, 2013

Tax Policies and Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis

Are you tired of hearing how broke the state is? Do you have a suggestion for solving the problem? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s deficit and tax policy.


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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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Ambassador Michael Collins
February 12, 2013

His Excellency Ambassador Michael Collins

What's it like to be an ambassador to the United States? During this episode of Focus, Craig Cohen talked with H.E. Ambassador Michael Collins, Irish Ambassador to the United States.


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cigarettes
Photo by Wikimedia
February 05, 2013

Outside Influence

Does offering incentives like money or candy motivate kids to perform better in school? Is the new Illinois cigarette tax really helping to deter people from smoking? Today on Focus, we'll talk about what influences behavior....and what doesn't. Join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


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January 08, 2013

The Pension Situation in Illinois

On today's show, we turn our attention to the history of and issues surrounding Illinois’ pension debt. We’ll talk about how our state found its way into such a massive debt obligation, some of the issues lawmakers are working through right now in Springfield, and what might ultimately be the best way forward to meet that debt and sustain the state’s public pension system.


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December 27, 2012

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre.  A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status.  Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am


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December 17, 2012

Gun Violence

Our show will be dedicated to the subject of gun violence after Friday’s shocking Connecticut school shooting. We’ll look at how the shooting may impact America’s conversations about guns and safety. We'll also discuss the recent court ruling striking down Illinois’ concealed carry ban, and what it means for the future of gun laws in Illinois. And we'll welcome your thoughts - about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, about what it says about our society, and about what, if anything, it tells us about our feelings towards guns. Guests will include Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Jerry Belair of Stop Handgun Violence, an organization promoting gun safety.


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