The head of a St. Louis-based consulting firm hired to manage the Champaign County Nursing Home says there will be no quick turnaround for the facility. But Management Performance Associates President Michael Scavotto also says the home is also getting a bit of a bad rap due to a massive debt... empty beds... and an uneven number of Medicaid and Medicare residents. Scavatto just completed his first visit to the Nursing Home, getting a first-hand look at the facility and meeting with staff. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with him.
Illinois Public Media News
The Champaign County Board is discussing recommendations from a consultant for improving finances at the Champaign County Nursing Home. County officials say they understand that they have to act quickly and decisively to fix the nursing home's precarious finances. But even with those changes, many are saying that more tax money will be needed to balance the books. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
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.
Thousands of women flock to the UI campus for the largest women's conference in the nation, the Biennial Conference for Women. Among this year's guests is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist Anna Quindlen. She also writes a biweekly column for Newsweek, alternating with conservative commentator George Will. One of Quindlen's present prime topics is the Democratic Presidential campaign. She shared her thoughts on the race with AM 580's Michael Koliska.
The Veterans Administration hospital that serves central Illinois and western Indiana has a new leader. AM 580's Tom Rogers spoke with Michael Hamilton about two issues VA facilities all over the nation face - maintaining quality and preparing for an influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Experts predict that in the next 20 to 30 years, a growing United States will need 30 to 60 percent more water. Growth will be even more explosive in other parts of the world, and the need for clean, usable water may someday be a staggering political issue. AM 580's Tom Rogers spoke with University of Illinois professor Mark Shannon, who's watching that potential crisis unfold.
In most Illinois counties, it's possible for a town to impose its own rules on zoning and new construction on land that's miles outside of the city limits. It happened last year in Champaign County. Such practices worry many rural residents and county officials. But efforts to limit such agreements through legislation are underway in Springfield. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
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.
US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has made it official -- he's pulling federal funding from the FutureGen clean-coal plant slated for Mattoon. He favors several smaller projects using the same technology. Meanwhile, members of Illinois' Congressional delegation hope they can convince congress or the President to return to the original plan. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
Shane Cultra (left) is seeking his fourth term as state representative for east-central Illinois' 105th District. But for the first time, the Onarga Republican has some competition. Champaign School Board President David Tomlinson hopes to defeat Cultra in the primary. In this House district, the Republican nominee is considered the likely winner in November. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.