The Super Bowl not only marked the first time the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears met up in football's championship game, but the closest-ever proximity between two rival cities. That resulted in somewhat of a dilemma for fans right in the middle. AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports from Indiana, along I-65 -- halfway between two spheres of influence.
Illinois Public Media News
A forum on racial and ethnic tensions on the University of Illinois campus brought together top university officials and a student group. The event was entitled "Racism, Power and Privilege on the UIUC Campus." The student group confronted the administration in the wake of a fraternity/sorority party last fall, in which students dressed as offensive Mexican stereotypes. But the "tacos and tequila" party was just part of the discussion. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
Champaign now joins Urbana in banning smoking in restaurants and bars. Bar owners and customers have been the most vocal opponents of the ban. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked to people at a Champaign bar as they enjoyed their last legal evening of smoking while drinking.
Thousands of books from around the world never make it into American living rooms or even libraries just because they are not in English. But the non-profit Dalkey Archive Press wants Americans to read these books. For more than two decades the Press has found overlooked literary treasures from all over the planet and translated them. Recently the Press moved from Normal, Illinois, to Champaign to establish a unique literary translation program with the U of I. AM 580's Michael Koliska talked to Dalkey Press founder John O'Brien (left). He says less and less foreign literature gets published in the US, but these books are important to learn about the world.
A University of Illinois economics professor says the winner of presidential elections in Ecuador fits the trend toward the left in Latin America. Werner Baer was Rafael Correa's advisor when the 43-year old former finance minister (at left) gained his doctorate from the U of I in 2001. Baer spoke with AM 580's Tom Rogers - he stresses that Correa is not necessarily in the mold of the most well-known of those new leaders, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Society is still trying to figure out what place the Internet has in our political life. In eastern Illinois, candidates and political watchers are taking to weblogs, either to get their messages out or to hear what like-minded or opposite-minded people have to say. But is the buzz from blogs percolating out into the general public? And do they add to the political discourse or lower it? AM 580's Tom Rogers takes a look.
A recent newspaper report said the University of Illinois had made tentative plans to transfer ownership of the Chief Illiniwek symbol to a group of alumni who had portrayed the Chief. All sides deny that any agreement is in place but confirm that "informal" talks have occurred. The former student quoted in the report, Steve Raquel, remains hopeful that Chief supporters and opponents alike can find a way to see beyond their differences. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with him.
A lifelong engineer will switch between two of the nation's premier engineering institutions this spring. Linda Katehi (left) was tapped last month to be the next provost at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus. She leaves the dean of engineering post at Purdue University. Katehi is a native of Greece, and as she tells AM 580's Tom Rogers, she's excited about taking a top position in a school that excels in areas beyond engineering.
Computer hacking brings to mind the thief who tries to take over your system, stealing valuable information or rendering your machine useless. But hackers also help improve computing's best defenses - the security systems that prevent ill-intentioned attacks.
Recently a University of Illinois club known as "SigMIL" placed fourth in a worldwide hacking competition - the goal was to enter other teams' systems while keeping them from attacking yours. AM 580's Tom Rogers talked with Frank Stratton, an undergraduate member of the U of I team.
Folksinger Arlo Guthrie is using the fame of his hit recording, "City of New Orleans," as the focal point of a benefit tour to help New Orleans musicians devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The song is based on the Illinois Central train (left, in 1968) that has crossed Illinois for decades. AM 580's Jim Meadows got on Amtrak's version of the train with Arlo Guthrie in Chicago for this report.