When David Paul Hammer was moved to the penitentiary at Terre Haute - where federal executions take place - a nun he had befriended referred him to Sister Rita Claire Gerardot (left) of the Sisters of Providence, whose motherhouse is just north of the city. Since then, Sr. Rita Claire has been Hammer's intermediary, both in a spiritual sense and toward the community. She tells AM 580's Tom Rogers that it was her first experience dealing with a prison inmate - not to mention one charged with capital murder - but one she would never trade in.
Illinois Public Media News
Last year, Governor Blagojevich signed a sweeping new ethics law for state officials and employees. But the ethics law doesn't stop at the state level. Every local governmental body in Illinois is required to enact its own local ethics ordinance. Some local officials say the ordinances they're being told to pass are sometimes vague, and perhaps unconstitutional. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
The Illinois native and UI graduate whose inventions in scientific instruments eventually led to $400 million in donations to scientific research -- including the UI's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology - died Tuesday May, 18, 2004, at the age of 104.
AM 580's Jay Pearce talked about Beckman's life and legacy with Beckman Institute director Pierre Wiltzius on Morning Edition.
Gay rights activists in Illinois want the same right to marry that same-sex couples now have in Massachusetts. On the day Massachusetts begin granting same-sex marriage licenses, a few same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Champaign County. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.