Illinois Public Media News

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - July 11, 2008

A Pivotal Former Mayor Leaves Rantoul

It's been 20 years since the federal government announced that Chanute Air Force Base would be closing its doors. That cost over a thousand jobs and decimated Rantoul's population, but the effort to redevelop the land has produced a number of success stories. Katy Podagrosi served as Rantoul's mayor through much of that time. This week, the village's leader for more than 12 years -- and resident for nearly 50 -- is leaving the community. She spoke with AM 580's Jeff Bossert (click below for the full interview)

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - June 19, 2008

A Small Hospital Rebuilds—but Builds Small

One of Illinois' smallest hospitals wants to expand and offer new services over the next few years. But the chief executive officer of John and Mary Kirby Hospital in Monticello says to do that, they'll need a brand new hospital at a brand new location. AM 580's Tom Rogers talked to him.

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Categories: Business, Community, Health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - May 14, 2008

Improving Dental Access—Where Are We?

In 2004, AM 580 won a national award for its Smile Healthy Project, a collaboration of community partners focused on improving access to dentists for low income residents in Champaign County. What's happened since then? Reporter Lynn Crandall created several stories for the Smile Healthy project - she takes a look at dental access in the county today.

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - March 10, 2008

FutureGen’s Future—Elsewhere?

With the proposed FutureGen power plant on hiatus, it's unclear which path so-called clean coal research will take next. FutureGen was to turn coal into hydrogen before burning it to generate electricity, and to inject the resulting carbon dioxide deep into the ground - all at one single plant near Mattoon. But as AM 580's Tom Rogers reports, other projects using portions of that technology are already taking root.

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - February 19, 2008

A Comedic Look at Urbana History

A six foot long cake loaded with historical pictures and live music highlighted Urbana's 175th birthday celebration at Lincoln Square Village. History was the theme -- and not just in edible form. Historians tell us that Urbana's founding fathers had a name before they even found a perfect location for the city. The Zoo Theatre Improv Group (R to L: Sean Whitsitt, Aubrey Wachtel and Brian Hagy) has put its spin on the unusual founding of Urbana, and how it might have been when Abraham Lincoln came to Urbana for the very first time.

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Categories: Community, History

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - December 19, 2007

Mattoon’s Big Prize

After nearly two years of work, the Coles County city of Mattoon snagged the $1.8 billion FutureGen experimental power plant project. FutureGen promises to revitalize the state's coal industry by using a combination of technologies to nearly eliminate pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. It also promises hundred of jobs for the area, beginning with construction work in 2010. But funding for the project is still uncertain. AM 580 has been covering the announcement.

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Categories: Community, Economics, Energy

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - October 26, 2007

A New, Old Town Centerpiece

Not long ago, one of Ford County's landmarks was falling apart. But since then, two preservation groups have helped convert it into a museum that explains how the area was established. Those responsible for rehabbing the old Paxton water tower and pump house are getting a statewide honor. AM 580s Jeff Bossert reports.

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Categories: Architecture, Community

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - October 08, 2007

Meet Me at the Chautauqua

Next to the county fair, one of the highlights of many a small towns summer used to be the Chautauqua. Traveling shows would come to Illinois towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and give people a chance to learn about the world they live in, all served up with a good dose of entertainment. The Urbana Park District wants to revive the Chautauqua as it celebrates one hundred years of managing the city's parks. AM 580s Tom Rogers talked with the people who have put together nearly a week's worth of events for the new Urbana Chautauqua. (far-left: the main Chautauqua tent in Urbana. right: a much earlier Chautauqua in Lithia Springs, IL.)

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Categories: Community, Recreation

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 22, 2006

Could Former Chiefs Take Over Illiniwek’s Mantle?

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(Duration: 3:46)

archival picture of Chief Illiniwek dancing

A recent newspaper report said the University of Illinois had made tentative plans to transfer ownership of the Chief Illiniwek symbol to a group of alumni who had portrayed the Chief. All sides deny that any agreement is in place but confirm that "informal" talks have occurred.  The former student quoted in the report, Steve Raquel, remains hopeful that Chief supporters and opponents alike can find a way to see beyond their differences.  AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with him.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - June 30, 2005

Assignment: Peru

Assignment: Peru

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(Duration: 4:26)

Adam Jadhav and Pilar Arroyo

A young journalist's learning experience often involves covering a nearby school board or house fire. But for a group of Illinois students, their beat was a foreign country with an unfamiliar language. The ten students are back from three weeks in Peru, where they talked with government leaders, poor villagers, alleged terrorists and ordinary Peruvians. The result is a two-hour documentary, "Assignment: Peru", which aired July 2 on AM 580. Tom Rogers talked to two of the student reporters and the professor who oversaw their South American trip.


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