Illinois Public Media News

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - March 10, 2008

FutureGen’s Future—Elsewhere?

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.

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - February 29, 2008

Athlete/Novelist

An accident in her teens left Arley McNeney with only partial use of her legs, but it led her to success in wheelchair basketball. That experience provides the background for the University of Illinois graduate student's first novel entitled "Post." McNeney played with Canada's national wheelchair basketball team, which won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. Now, her novel is shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize in the "best first book" category. AM 580's Michael Koliska spoke with McNeney off the court during the National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Champaign.

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Categories: Biography, Education, Sports

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - February 19, 2008

WORLD WAR II: CENTRAL ILLINOIS STORIES Illinois’ Tuskegee Airmen

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen began as an experiment and ended by proving the ability of many African-American servicemen. The military's first black pilots withstood animosity to fight America's enemies overseas while continuing to fight racism on the home front. The next in our series looks at the paths taken by two of the first members of the Army Air Corps' 99th Pursuit Squadron. Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul was the first training ground for these officers. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with the widows of two men, Bill Thompson and Ellsworth Dansby, who helped pave the way for many others.

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Categories: Biography, History
Tags: people, history

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - February 19, 2008

A Comedic Look at Urbana History

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.

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Categories: Community, History

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 31, 2008

FutureGen Now in Doubt

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.

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WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 29, 2008

PRIMARY 2008: A Battle Between Republicans

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.

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Categories: Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 09, 2008

Whitlock Walks

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.

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Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: crime

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - December 27, 2007

Rose Bowl ‘47

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.

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Categories: Education, History, Sports

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - December 21, 2007

The Illinois Primary: Too Soon?

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.

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Categories: Education, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - December 19, 2007

Mattoon’s Big Prize

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.

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Categories: Community, Economics, Energy

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