The first year of the heralded "Ron Zook Era" was the fourth consecutive losing year for the University of Illinois football team. The Fighting Illini finished their football season over the weekend, with just two wins -- neither of them against Big Ten teams. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports that Coach Zook says his players are starting to improve -- and he's going to work them hard until they start to win.
Illinois Public Media News
The enrollment period has begun for one of the largest new federal programs in history - the addition of prescription drug coverage to the Medicare program. University of Illinois law professor Richard Kaplan (left) says unlike previous entitlement benefits, seniors themselves will bear much of the burden of choosing the program that's best for them, and that choice is daunting. AM 580's Tom Rogers talked with him.
Cuts in services and a hike in taxes are the main features in a budget plan which comes to the Vermilion County Board for a final vote on November 30th. The county board voted November 15th to put the budget plan and accompanying tax levy out for public review. But AM 580's Jim Meadows reports that happened only after they exhausted their search for loopholes.
An event sponsored by the University of Illinois Naval ROTC included a display of military memorabilia, photos and documents collected by Naval Reserve veterans Bill "Chief" and Susan McLane of rural St. Joseph. The collection looks back on ancestors who served during the nation's military conflicts dating back to the Civil War. In an interview with AM 580's Jim Meadows, the McLanes said a major part of the display focuses on Susan's father, who was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war during World War II. (left: A veteran color guard takes part in a memorial service at Urbana's Eastlawn Cemetery.)
It's been 19 years since Dyke and Karen Rhoads were found stabbed to death in their burning home in Paris, Illinois. A year later, two men were convicted of the murders and sentenced to prison. Last year, a series of state and federal legal maneuvers led to the release of one of those men. But prosecutors still call Randy Steidl (left) a suspect. AM 580's Jeff Bossert looks at the latest efforts to re-examine his case -- while Steidl seeks to clear his name.
After two summers with relatively few cases, the West Nile Virus has made a comeback in Illinois. So far this year, West Nile illness has been confirmed in 242 Illinois residents, eleven of whom have died. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports on current research into how the the mosquito-borne virus spreads.