Six proposals for new health care facilities have been laid out in east-central Illinois in the past year - and a state board has turned down five - the sixth has yet to be heard. Anyone who wants to build a hospital, dialysis facility, nursing home or outpatient surgery center has to get permission from the state Health Facilities Planning Board, through what's known as a Certificate of Need. AM 580's Tom Rogers tells us that the process generates controversy elsewhere, though many here in Illinois still want to see it work.
Illinois Public Media News
One of the anchors of NPR's All Things Considered, Robert Siegel, started his career in college. As a student reporter, he anchored coverage of the student protests at Columbia University in 1968. Speaking with AM 580's Jeff Bossert during a visit to Champaign, Siegel says his first job not only allowed him to be informative, but let him fully understand a situation without being involved himself.
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.
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.)
Disabled people in Africa face significant discrimination. But this is changing in Ghana, where as part of a long-term effort, a wheelchair athlete at the University of Illinois is helping Ghanaian athletes with disabilities (left to right: Emmanuel Boateng, Patrick Obeng and Ajara Busanga) prepare for next year's Paralympics in Beijing. AM 580's Michael Koliska has their story.
Curt Campbell (left, holding a copy of his memoirs) is a retired farmer -- and an American serviceman who experienced prison life behind enemy lines. AM 580's Tom Rogers talked with him.
Two central Illinois men had to choose between their country's call and their church's teachings. These men (Merlin Taber, far left, and Delbert Augsburger, near left) were members of historic peace denominations that preach against military service. As AM 580's Jim Meadows reports, these two men made two different decisions.
Debi Thomas has swapped her ice skates for scrubs. The former figure skating World Champion and Olympic Bronze medal winner now works at Carle Clinic in Urbana. As a figure skater, she was a specialist in triple axels. Now as an orthopedic surgeon, Thomas specializes in hip replacements. She tells AM 580's Michael Koliska she doesn't miss the life of a figure skater.
August 31 was the last day of production at the three Collins and Aikman auto parts plants in Rantoul. If anyone returns to work at the buildings, it will be for a different company that might move in. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke to a few of the 500 employees about their final week of work and their prospects for the future.
A century-old barn in Allerton Park will be the home of a new sonic experience for central Illinois. The Allerton Music Barn festival opens for the very first time in Monticello. The festival will feature five performances ranging from American classical to Balinese gamelan. AM 580's Michael Koliska has the first sound check of the new venue.