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.
Illinois Public Media News
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.
The Champaign chemist who owns Proviant Technologies (left) faces charges in what's known as the BALCO investigation. The case has brought the fight against professional athletes taking performance enhancing drugs to central Illinois. A local physician specializing in sports medicine says it will take the continued pursuit of suspects -- and more severe criminal penalties -- before steroids become less of a problem. AM 580's Jeff Bossert reports on the ongoing battle against steroids from a medical perspective.
AM 580's Jim Meadows reports on three Iraqi-Americans living in Champaign-Urbana (including Mohammad al-Heeti, left), who spoke against the U-S military presence in their home country at recent meetings held by a local anti-war group.
The first year of the heralded "Ron Zook Era" was the fourth consecutive losing year for the University of Illinois football team. The Fighting Illini finished their football season over the weekend, with just two wins -- neither of them against Big Ten teams. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports that Coach Zook says his players are starting to improve -- and he's going to work them hard until they start to win.
The enrollment period has begun for one of the largest new federal programs in history - the addition of prescription drug coverage to the Medicare program. University of Illinois law professor Richard Kaplan (left) says unlike previous entitlement benefits, seniors themselves will bear much of the burden of choosing the program that's best for them, and that choice is daunting. AM 580's Tom Rogers talked with him.
Cuts in services and a hike in taxes are the main features in a budget plan which comes to the Vermilion County Board for a final vote on November 30th. The county board voted November 15th to put the budget plan and accompanying tax levy out for public review. But AM 580's Jim Meadows reports that happened only after they exhausted their search for loopholes.
An event sponsored by the University of Illinois Naval ROTC included a display of military memorabilia, photos and documents collected by Naval Reserve veterans Bill "Chief" and Susan McLane of rural St. Joseph. The collection looks back on ancestors who served during the nation's military conflicts dating back to the Civil War. In an interview with AM 580's Jim Meadows, the McLanes said a major part of the display focuses on Susan's father, who was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war during World War II. (left: A veteran color guard takes part in a memorial service at Urbana's Eastlawn Cemetery.)