Illinois Public Media News

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - June 18, 2012

C-U’s Native Film Critic Turns 70: Ebert’s Early Life

By Jeff Bossert

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(Duration: 8:13)

Roger Ebert

For most people, the name Roger Ebert stands out as a man who’s known for giving movies a thumbs up or down. And it’s widely known he hails from Urbana.  But to those who haven’t read the famed critic’s memoir, there’s a backstory to a man who didn’t set out to write about film.  

Categories: Art and Culture, Cinema, Health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 29, 2012

Annual C-U Event Pushes People to Bike Ride

By Sean Powers

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(Duration: 8:03)

Mark Smith, 7, and his brother Tauryon Smith, 11, pose next to their bicycles in Champaign.

Tuesday kicks off the annual "Bike to Work Day" in Champaign-Urbana. If you don’t own a bicycle or if you have a bike that’s gathering dust, then this might be the right day to release the kickstand and take off. As part of our series on efforts in the region to increase health and wellness, Illinois Public Media’s Sean Powers recently ended a long-time hiatus from bike riding to share the stories of people in the community who are passionate about cycling.

(Funded in part by a grant from the Lumpkin Family Foundation)


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 25, 2012

UIC to Study Weight Loss After Breast Cancer

Researchers in Chicago are launching a study to find out whether weight loss can help African-American breast cancer survivors.

The University of Illinois at Chicago study is funded by a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Melinda Stolley is leading the research. She says poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity contribute to breast cancer progression.

The randomized study will recruit 240 breast cancer survivors who finished their treatment at least six months ago. Study participants need to be overweight, able to participate in moderate physical activity and not currently in a structured weight-loss program.

UIC will coordinate with the Chicago Park District to carry out the study in the Roseland-Pullman, Englewood, Austin, South Shore and Lawndale neighborhoods of Chicago.

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Categories: Education, Health, Science

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 25, 2012

Dental Groups Blast Proposed Cuts to Medicaid

If Illinois lawmakers approve Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to reduce Medicaid services to close a $2.7 billion hole, then dental care in the state would also take a hit.

Quinn's Medicaid plan includes eliminating the adult dental care program to save $51.4 million annually. There are about 172,000 adults receiving Medicaid-funded dental services each year in Illinois.

Dionne Haney with the Illinois State Dental Society said cutting dental care under the Medicaid program would be a mistake, leaving many people with dental emergencies turning to hospital emergency rooms for care.

"At that point, those physicians on staff are not able to actually treat the condition, but would potentially prescribing medications for the pain and the infection that that potential dental emergency is taking, and not looking at the long-term effects of the patients care," Haney said.

According to the Illinois State Dental Society, the state ranks 48th in the country for its Medicaid funding rates. Haney worries Illinois' ranking could worsen if the cuts go through.

"Any further cuts would drive dentists having trouble making ends meet to see these patients because the reimbursement rate is so slow," she said. "It may have some dentists opting out of the program."

Nancy Greenwalt is the executive director of Smile Healthy, a nonprofit group in Champaign that provides dental care to underserved families. Smile Healthy coordinates the Frances Nelson Dental Center, which provides care to Medicaid patients.

Since opening in November, Greenwalt said the Frances Nelson Dental Center has had about 1,200 patients, about half of which are on Medicaid. Greenwalt said cutting the adult dental care program would be a mistake.

"There's just thousands and thousands of people out there who need dental care," she said. "You know, low-income, uninsured adults, adults on Medicaid who don't know where to go. We need access to more care."

Gov. Quinn has said that the cuts are needed to help prevent the entire Medicaid system from collapsing. He has also said if something isn't done to rein in Medicaid spending, then those costs will squeeze spending in other areas, like education and public safety.

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AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 24, 2012

Photo Shows US Sen. Kirk Looking Alert Months After Stroke

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has released a photo of Sen. Mark Kirk that is the first public image of the Illinois Republican since his January stroke.

The photo shows Kirk with closely trimmed hair, looking alert and sitting up as he rests his right arm on a table.

The director of the institute's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, Dr. Richard Harvey, also gave an update Tuesday on Kirk's progress with recovery.

Harvey says the senator has walked more than 10 miles in total since he arrived at the center in February. He's also able to climb stairs and get in and out of vehicles.

Doctors have said the 52-year-old Kirk should make a full mental recovery, although they expect the stroke will limit movement on his left side.

(Photo courtesy of The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Prep Work for Crystal Lake Pool Demolition Underway

Four years after the closing of Urbana's Crystal Lake Pool, workers are preparing to demolish it to make way for its replacement.

The Urbana Park District's Tim Bartlett said demolition of the pool and related buildings will begin as soon as site preparation is completed. He added that he hopes that construction of the new Crystal Lake aquatic center can follow this summer, on the heels of the demolition. Bartlett said the construction plans have been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and they are waiting for the agency's approval.

"They'll do a thorough review of what's being proposed," Bartlett said. "It's not uncommon for a number of a number of things to get listed or questioned. Those will get kicked back to the park district and our architects. And then we'll refine and revise as we need to."

The old Crystal Lake pool closed in 2008, and Urbana voters approved a property tax increase in 2010 to help pay for its replacement. The new aquatic center will cost an estimated $6.1 million. But Bartlett said it could cost more --- and include more features --- if a $400,000 state grant is approved.

In addition, the Urbana Park District is accepting private donations that could pay for other additions to the project.

But even without the grant and the donations, Bartlett said the new pool complex will be built.

"But the donations will allow us to add a few extra things, and make it extra special," he said.

The new Crystal Lake aquatic center is scheduled to open in May 2013.

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Hospital Offers Employees Incentives to Stay Healthy

Carle Spokesman Sean Williams works out on the treadmill in his department.

A growing number of companies across the country have started encouraging employees to stay healthy by offering financial incentives. Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, which is one of the largest employers in the area, is pushing for a healthier workforce through its Charge Rewards Program. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers reports on how it works.

(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)

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Categories: Business, Health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Prep Work for Crystal Lake Pool Demolition Underway

Four years after the closing of Urbana's Crystal Lake Pool, workers are preparing to demolish it, to make way for its replacement.

The Urbana Park district's Tim Bartlett says demolition of the pool and related buildings will begin as soon as site preparation is completed. And he hopes that construction of the new Crystal Lake aquatic center can follow this summer, on the heels of the demolition. He says the construction plans have been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and they're waiting for the agency's approval.

"They'll do a thorough review of what's being proposed", says Bartlett. "It's not uncommon for a number of a number of things to get listed or questioned. Those will get kicked back to the park district and our architects. And then we'll refine and revise as we need to.

The old Crystal Lake pool closed in 2008, and Urbana voters approved a property tax increase in 2010 to help pay for its replacement. The new aquatic center will cost an estimated $6.1 million. But Bartlett says it could cost more --- and include more features --- if a $400,000 state grant is approved. In addition, the Urbana Park District is accepting private donations that could pay for other additions to the project.

But even without the grant and the donations, Bartlett says the new pool complex will be built. "But the donations will allow us to add a few extra things, and make it extra special", he says.

The new Crystal Lake aquatic center is scheduled to open in May of 2013.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 18, 2012

Firefighters to Get Autism Awareness Training

Illinois firefighters and paramedics will begin getting special training to help people with autism and related disorders.

The new program will help them recognize the disorders and understand techniques to communicate. The online training will be free for first responders.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says the training is important for first responders to understand how someone with autism may respond in high stress situations like a fire.

The program was developed by staff at the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the Office of the State Fire Marshal to raise awareness among first responders.

Fire departments with 75 percent or more staff members who complete the training will be recognized with plaques and magnets for their fire trucks.

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Categories: Health
Tags: health

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 18, 2012

Firefighters to Get Autism Awareness Training

Illinois firefighters and paramedics will begin getting special training to help people with autism and related disorders.

The new program will help them recognize the disorders and understand techniques to communicate. The online training will be free for first responders.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says the training is important for first responders to understand how someone with autism may respond in high stress situations like a fire.

The program was developed by staff at the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the Office of the State Fire Marshal to raise awareness among first responders.

Fire departments with 75 percent or more staff members who complete the training will be recognized with plaques and magnets for their fire trucks.

Categories: Health
Tags: health

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