The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Should it be higher?
Rachel Warren is 21 and says that she “makes it work” supporting herself by working two jobs for minimum wage, one in Champaign and one in Urbana. If she had to support someone else, however, she says that just wouldn’t be feasible. Gov. Pat Quinn has been pushing for an increase to Illinois minimum wage, which is already a dollar higher than the federal standard. If the state mandated a wage increase for people like Warren, she says even a dollar more an hour would make a substantial difference in her monthly budget.
This hour on focus, we’ll hear from Warren and will talk about the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage and the arguments for and against doing so. Bob Bruno, Professor of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Chicago and James Sherk, a Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation join us.
Do you or have you ever worked for minimum wage? Are you a small business owner who would be affected by a potential wage increase? Post in the comments section below!
Today on Focus, host we’ll learn more about cooking with and growing herbs. Do you grow herbs in your garden in the spring and summer? We want to hear how you use them!
Due to the life-threatening cold that shut down schools and businesses through much of the Midwest yesterday, we'll spend the first few minutes of this hour on Focus checking in with State Climatologist Jim Angel to get an update on the weather and hear a little more about this weekend's storm.
Then, we’ll turn our attention to thoughts of warmer days ahead… There are lots of beautiful plants to incorporate into a garden, and if you're a person who likes function as well as beauty, planting a herb garden might be a good way to go. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Chuck Voigt, University of Illinois Extension vegetable and herb specialist, and Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the US Botanical Garden about herbs.
According to historian and author Jon Lauck, in comparison to the South, the far West and New England, the history of the American Midwest has been far overlooked in its importance. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows.
The American Midwest played a crucial role in the development of the US as a whole, helped spark a revolution of American manufacturing by producing food for urban centers and played a critical role in the Union victory of the Civil War. If you ask most historians about the Midwest, however, you might find yourself explaining all that.
We see squirrels every day in cities across Illinois, but squirrels didn’t always live in urban areas in such abundance.
If you’ve spent time on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana, you’ve likely noticed the squirrels… and their odd behavior. According to mammalian ecologist Ed Heske, they live on campus because in the early 1900’s, the UI allotted $125 dollars to introduce squirrels to campus to enhance interaction between its students and the natural world.
Ryan Bartelmay recently published his debut novel, which is based in central Illinois. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows.
If you were going to create a town with fictional characters who could live anywhere in the world, where would those characters go when they go home? Your first inclination may not be to create a story based in central Illinois, after all, there are much more exciting places to set a novel. But Morton native and author Ryan Bartelmay says he wouldn’t think to write about characters living anywhere else. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows about his debut novel, “Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward.” We’ll hear about why he writes about cultures in small towns in the Midwest and will hear about a set of characters who make a living working at a pumpkin canning factory.
This hour, we'll hear a roast of 2013 from the team at Capitol Steps.
According to the team at Capitol Steps, 2013 has been great for job creation....mostly for comedians. This hour we'll hear their annual mock documentary special, "Politics Takes a Holiday!" This year will feature all-new year-end awards including"Best Moment in Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour Filibuster," "Best Thigh-Reducing Exercises to do While Waiting for Healthcare.gov" and, of course "Best Reason to Spy On the American Public — Because You Can!"
We are sorry we cannot provide a podcast of this holiday program locally. Please visit Capitol Steps' website to download this program.
We spend nearly a third of our lives asleep…but have you ever wondered why? Interestingly enough, despite years and billions of dollars in research, even leading sleep scientists still can’t answer that question. We'll listen back to a conversation, Lindsey Moon had with David Randall, author of the book “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.”
Studies of the brain and its processes are often full of more questions than they are answers, but one such question started to nag at David Randall after he sleep walked into a wall. “Why do we sleep?”
This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation Lindsey Moon had with Randall about his book “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep." We’ll hear about why many of the sleep disorders we classify as problems today weren’t anything to be worried about before the invention of the light bulb, why it’s so hard to pin down the biologic reason for why the human brain needs sleep and will talk about the real reason it’s so hard to drag teenagers from bed before 10 a.m. We’ll also talk about what’s being called sleep crime, cases where sleepwalkers have committed murder while dreaming.
Randall is a senior reporter at Reuters and an adjunct professor at New York University. He’s also been published in the New York Times, New York Magazine and Forbes. Dreamland is his first book.
This hour on Focus, we’ll take a look back at 2013 by the headlines.
In 2013, the Illinois legislature finally passed a bill to try and fix the state’s pension issues, legalized same sex marriage and legalized medical marijuana. The Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges made their debut, plagued with problems, and the US almost took action in Syria. Tornadoes late in the fall tore through the state flattening homes in Gifford and Washington, and the state’s film community said goodbye to renowned critic Roger Ebert.
This hour on Focus, we’ll take a look back and 2013 by the headlines. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Mackey, and WILL reporters Sean Powers and Jeff Bossert talk with host Jim Meadows about the biggest stories of the year.
What was the biggest news in your life this year? Post in the comments section below!
Have you ever taken a personality test to see what it says about you? Today on Focus, we find out what they actually measure and what we can and can’t learn from them.
Personality tests inform hiring selections, career paths, dating options and any number of other decisions in business, academia and culture. But what do personality tests actually measure, and do our personalities change over time? Why do we seem to love to taking personality tests so much? This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Professor Brent Roberts about the science, popularity and limits of personality tests. Cindy Harris, a human resources manager, from the International Society of Arboriculture also joins the program. The Champaign-based organization says using the “True Colors” personality test has been really helpful in its workplace culture.
Have you taken a personality test? Did you find it useful or useless? Do you have questions about how it scored you? Give us a call this hour on Focus!
Kwanzaa begins today and lasts through January 4. During this hour, we'll learn more about the holiday and will listen to plenty of music with host Madafo Lloyd Wilson.
Madafo Lloyd Wilson has been hosting public radio's only Kwanzaa program for nealry 20 years. During this hour, we'll join him as he captures tales and traditions of African American and African people with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.
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