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.
Illinois Public Media News
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.
Herb Whitlock (left) served 20 years of a life sentence before being released from prison Tuesday. His co-defendant, Randy Steidl, was set free in 2004. In both cases, the men were released after prosecutors decided they didn't have enough time to get a case together by the deadline imposed by judges. The release of both men makes the 1986 deaths of Dyke and Karen Rhoads in Paris, Illinois an unsolved double-murder. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick, who has followed the story since 2005.
The upcoming rose Bowl between Illinois and USC will carry on a tradition that's more than six decades old. In 1947, Illinois played in the first Rose Bowl to pit the champion of what was then called the Big Nine against the Pacific Coast Conference champion (now called the Pac 10). Radio was still the nation's dominant broadcast medium, and it covered not only the game itself but the buildup and the aftermath. Recordings of those broadcasts have been stored in the University of Illinois Archives ever since. Matt Ehrlich takes us back 61 years to when the Fighting Illini headed west looking for respect.
In less than six weeks, Illinois voters will make their earliest trek ever to the polls in an election cycle. Last year state lawmakers pushed the primary election up to the first Tuesday in February. It was meant to give Illinois more of a say in the selection process for Presidential candidates. But is the move working? We get an early evaluation from Brian Gaines, a University of Illinois political science professor. He talked with AM 580's Tom Rogers.
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.
Dan Fogelberg will long be remembered for songs like 'Longer' and 'Same Old Lang Syne', but a few years before he wrote and recorded those hits, he was a student at the University of Illinois, attracting crowds to a local coffeehouse. The Peoria native died Sunday at the age of 56. AM 580's Jeff Bossert talked with one of Fogelberg's earliest collaborators.
63 years ago this week, Germany was mounting its last major offensive in World War Two. Months later, the Nazis would fall and the guns of war would finally go silent in Europe. In the following decades, we heard about bits and pieces of the conflagration, hundreds of thousands of individual stories from those on the front lines. Now, one by one, those voices are also falling silent. AM 580's Tom Rogers let five area residents - four veterans (including Harold Cox, above-right) and a civilian -- tell their stories of the war's bloodiest battle.
Internet videos and blogs have become to of the easiest ways for anyone to promote a message about anything on the worldwide web. Some students at the UI's Urbana campus (like Jake Hendee, left) are now using these forums to give prospective students a better idea of student life. AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports.