More and more gay couples are adopting children. The Urban Institute estimates that 65,000 adopted children are already living in households with same-sex parents. Brandon Bowersox and Kevin Johnson make up one of those households. More than a year ago, they adopted a baby, Garrett (left, with Kevin). Kevin and Brandon say they enjoy being parents. But being gay can make parenthood problematic and frustrating. AM 580 intern Terrell Starr talked with Brandon and Kevin about the joys and dilemmas of adoption and the challenge they face as a gay adoptive couple.
Illinois Public Media News
The Veterans Administration hospital that serves central Illinois and western Indiana has a new leader. AM 580's Tom Rogers spoke with Michael Hamilton about two issues VA facilities all over the nation face - maintaining quality and preparing for an influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
The next director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois says the debate over Chief Illiniwek severely hampered the program in the past. Robert Warrior (left), currently an English professor at the University of Oklahoma, says the symbol's retirement brings a unique opportunity when he takes over the program this fall. He told AM 580's Jeff Bossert that the change at the UI led him to accept the job.
Going to school can be a daily nightmare for some students. That's because one of every six elementary and middle school students will become a victim of bullying. Some researchers say bullying is on the rise, especially with new emerging forms of online harassment. Now a new movie made with the help of 8th graders at a Champaign middle school may soon enter classrooms around the country to tackle the problem of bullying. AM 580's Michael Koliska reports.
Experts predict that in the next 20 to 30 years, a growing United States will need 30 to 60 percent more water. Growth will be even more explosive in other parts of the world, and the need for clean, usable water may someday be a staggering political issue. AM 580's Tom Rogers spoke with University of Illinois professor Mark Shannon, who's watching that potential crisis unfold.
Eating organic food is not only considered healthy -- some companies believe selling it can be very profitable. Once limited to farmers' markets and small shops, organic food is now sold by some of America's largest companies. Organic milk, meat, fruits and vegetables are earning some retailers millions of dollars, others a lot less. AM 580's Terrell Starr talked with retailers of all sizes to discuss the competitiveness of this growing industry.
In most Illinois counties, it's possible for a town to impose its own rules on zoning and new construction on land that's miles outside of the city limits. It happened last year in Champaign County. Such practices worry many rural residents and county officials. But efforts to limit such agreements through legislation are underway in Springfield. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
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.
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.
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.