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.
Illinois Public Media News
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.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says he will veto a portion of the state budget approved by lawmakers, and redirect those funds to universal health care. Former Republican state lawmaker Rick Winkel (left) says he sides with those who question the legality of that move. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with Winkel about what could occur before lawmakers conclude the longest overtime session in state history. Winkel is now a senior fellow with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs and an adjunct professor in the College of Law.
A day old newspaper may be good for lining a birdcage, but a 90-year old newspaper can be a doorway into history. Now, the University of Illinois is putting the earliest years of the old Urbana Daily Courier online, providing a glimpse at the people and events of another era. AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports.
The death from suicide of tenor Jerry Hadley (left, in 2000's The Song and the Slogan) touched many people in Illinois. Hadley died July 18, two days after he was taken off life support. While his singing career took him around the world, Hadley was an Illinois native who studied music at Bradley University and the University of Illinois. He often returned home to visit, perform and teach. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked with some of Hadley's Illinois friends to gather their memories.
Come Labor Day, Central Illinois will be one sonic experience richer. The Allerton Music Barn Festival will kick off for the first time in Monticello August 31. The festival will feature a wide range of musical genres, from American classical and Latin jazz to zydeco to Balinese gamelan. University of Illinois School of Music director Karl Kramer has been working toward this new music event since he came to Urbana Champaign five years ago. AM 580's Michael Koliska talked to him.
At your home, chances are your TV, computer and other electronic gear were made overseas. That's because it's cheaper to make them there. And it's cheaper to get rid of old electronics overseas. Someday, your old cell phone or CD player might end up right back where it started: in China. University of Illinois journalism student Ted Land visited a Chinese city where electronic waste is shipped by the thousands of tons. Pollution from that waste is threatening the health of people who live there. He submitted this story for The Environment Report.
A record label in Champaign is making a name for itself by selling old recordings... really old ones... some of them originally on wax cylinder. Archeophone Records specializes in music made between the late 1800's and the early 1920's - music that is virtually ignored by the big labels in this era of the iPod. Archeophone has been praised by scholars, and won a Grammy for its efforts. In a new version of a story first aired on March 5, AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports.
Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is the subject of a three-day forum at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. At age 88, the author of "The Gulag Archipelago" rarely leaves his home near Moscow. But his wife and two of his sons are taking part in the forum. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked with Natalya Solzhenitsyn about her husband's work since returning to Russia.