Sen. Duckworth; New Dental Health Law; Mindfulness & Childbirth; R. Kelly Criminal Investigation

January 09, 2019
 

AP/J. Scott Applewhite

On The 21st: Sen. Tammy Duckworth joined us to talk about the latest in politics, including the government shutdown. Also, a new law signed last month is focused on advancing dental healthcare in rural areas. How might communities here in Illinois benefit? Plus, early research shows there are benefits for women who use mindfulness techniques to turn toward the experience of childbirth, rather than run away from it. And, prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are investigating singer R. Kelly after the documentary, 'Surviving R. Kelly' aired on Lifetime last week.

Last night, President Donald Trump gave an address from the Oval Office, the first of his presidency, as we enter day 19 of the federal government shutdown -- a result of the argument between the President and Congress over a wall on our southern border.

We spoke with Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth about what the shutdown means for our state and its citizens.

Also --

A new law originally introduced by Illinois Representative Robin Kelly is helping improve dental healthcare in struggling rural and urban communities.

The legislation -- signed by President Trump last month -- is intended to allow more groups to qualify for federal grants that develop and expand different dental health programs. How might communities here in Illinois benefit from this new Action for Dental Health law?

To help answer that question, we invited Molly Parker who’s been covering this for the Southern Illinoisan. Also on the line from Chicago, Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry joined us. She’s the President of the Chicago Dental Society.

Plus --

Having a baby is a life-changing event. For many mothers, it can also be the most challenging -- and painful -- experience of their lives.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, early research suggests that mindfulness training -- paying close attention to what’s unfolding in the present moment -- can help relieve pain and improve the experience of childbirth. That’s because mindfulness and meditation can help engage the body’s natural calming response.

To help us learn more about how this all works, Heidemarie Laurent joined us in the studio. She’s an assistant professor of psychology at University of Illinois, where she both studies and teaches about mindfulness and meditation.

Jeri Lake was also with us in our Urbana studios. She’s a nurse midwife who is also trained in mindfulness and childbirth. They’re both a part of Mindful Birth C-U, which offers childbirth and parenting classes to pregnant women and their support partners.

And --

Have you been watching the new Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly? You’re not alone. It’s scoring record ratings for the network. And more importantly, it may lead to new criminal investigations of the Chicago R&B singer, born Robert Kelly, and his alleged abuse of women throughout his career. Just a note for our audience: we’re going to be talking about this topic of sexual abuse for the rest of the show.

Since the six-part series aired, there have been two more investigations in two states that have been opened into the Chicago-born singer - including by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Kathy Chaney is one of the many people interviewed in the series. She’s a longtime Chicago journalist who is currently deputy managing editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. She joined us over the line from their newsroom to give us the latest on the allegations.