The 21st Show

New Funding Helps Schools; Resources For Sexual Assault Survivors; Hurricanes; Wild Animal Safety


Kco Bort/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On The 21st: With all the national news stories about sexual assault, more and more survivors are speaking out and looking for help. We take a look at what’s available to people here in Illinois. Plus, we talk with a U of I scientist about hurricanes, tropical storms and if they’re getting worse. And, we talk about exotic pets and how they can be dangerous to native wildlife. But first, we check back in with a few superintendents about how they are feeling to have funding from the new formula. 

Last year state lawmakers went back and forth, for months, over how to change the way Illinois funds its K through 12 public schools. Republicans and Democrats dragged the debate on for so long that the state actually missed some of its first payments to public schools.

Eventually our state government did deliver on its promise. And a recent report found that it’s working. In the first year of the new formula, the state is, in fact, sending its newly allocated funding to the districts that need it the most.

Dan Cox joined us. He's the superintendent of Staunton Community Unit number 6, about 45 minutes northeast of St. Louis. Kristin Humphries was also on the line. He’s superintendent of East Moline School District 37. 


In recent months we’ve all been having a lot of conversations about consent and how to approach narratives of sexual assault. There are some who strongly abide by the philosophy of believe survivors. Others who would say innocent until proven guilty. But regardless of what you think about the stories of sexual assault, there is the reality that millions of women, and men, face.

The day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford shared her story of sexual assault in Congressional testimony, calls to the national sexual assault hotline went up 147 percent. People are were asking for help.

But what if you’re in Illinois? What’s available to you?

Joining us from WGLT in Bloomington Normal we had Gabe Cripe, the Director of Community Outreach at Stepping Stones, a sexual assault program at the McLean County YMCA. And Brendan Wall, the President of Students Ending Rape Culture at Illinois State University.

And in DeKalb, Lynnea Laskowski is the Director of Communication and Prevention Services at Safe Passage.


Over this past year, Americans have heard the names of many tropical storms. Whether it’s Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria. In the past couple of months alone, the names Hurricane Florence and Michael have been added to that list.

It seems like we’re seeing more extreme weather in the news but, how much do we actually know about how these tropical storms form. And, whether or not climate change plays a role in making them stronger?

Deanna Hence is an assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois. She joined us in studio. 


What’s the wildest thing you’ve been able to wrangle fishing Lake Michigan? Maybe you hooked a bass, bluegill or perch?

Last week, as Chicago fisherman David Castaneda kayaked near Waukegan Harbor, he thought he’d come across a dead salmon. Instead it was a 4-foot long American alligator.

This alligator, an exotic species removed from its natural habitat, was most likely someone’s discarded pet. The animal was found with its mouth taped shut and was eventually rescued by Waukegan’s Animal Control.

Angela Grimes joined us on the line. She’s based in Chicago for the DC-organization Born Free USA, a non-profit organization working to end wild animal cruelty. Did you hear about the alligator in Lake Michigan? Not an urban myth.

It was probably someone's pet, says Angela Grimes of @BornFreeUSA

Story source: WILL