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Focus (WILL)


Interviews with newsmakers and experts on national and international affairs and daily life.

Interviews with newsmakers and experts on national and international affairs and daily life.
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Urbana, IL




Interviews with newsmakers and experts on national and international affairs and daily life.




Getting Ready for Illinois Health Care Exchanges

The Obama Administration is slowly implementing mandates created by the Affordable Care Act but recently delayed one applying to some businesses. This hour on Focus, well talk about whats been delayed, what changes will be implemented as planned and what you should expect if you need to purchase health insurance through one of the exchanges this fall. Health insurance coverage through Illinois exchanges will be available for purchase October 1, and this hour on Focus, John Katsinas of...


100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Illinois

In 1870, Frances Willard proclaimed before the Illinois General Assembly that it was an insult that 21 year old boys could vote to make laws for their mothers but that the mothers themselves had no voice. More than three decades later, she, among several others, finally convinced enough lawmakers that was true. In 1913, Illinois gave women the right to vote in Presidential elections. The catch the bill for womens suffrage did not apply to gubernatorial elections or elections for state...


Jeremy Hobson and Here and Now’s New Local Host Jason Croft

Jeremy Hobson got his start in broadcasting at the ripe old age of 9 when he started contributing to a program called Treehouse Radio on WILL. These days, hes co-host of the Boston-based WBURs program, Here and Now, which is coming to WILL on July 1. This hour on Focus, well listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Jeremy earlier this spring about his time as the host of American Public Medias Marketplace Morning Report, his new adventure at WBUR and his roots in...


Caring for Damaged Plants

Its the perfect time of year for insects to take up residence in your garden, and weve also had some severe weather this week that poses a threat to your flowers and vegetables. This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with University of Illinois Extension horticulture expert Sandy Mason about how to heal your garden after a summer storm and how to protect your plants from pests and diseases. We welcome your lawn and garden care questions this hour on Focus!


64 Arts: Art and Controversy in Rural Illinois

Last spring, Susan Twomey, who curates the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois, put out a call for artists to enter a nationally juried art exhibition called 64 Arts. Among the entries was a collection of vases by a California-based artist named Joe Pinkelman. Joes vases were highly controversial and contained images taken from gay pornography. Twomey struggled with displaying the vases as part of the exhibition even before contest judge Eric Fishl chose the pots as winners...


25 Ways to Cure the Hiccups: Uncovering the Truth Behind 101 Common Myths a

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with author Brain Udermann about his book 25 Ways to Cure the Hiccups: Uncovering the Truth Behind 101 Common Myths and Misconceptions." Well talk with him about the validity of common household advice. Sorry to disappoint you, but eating celery does not burn more calories to digest than its worth, and feeding a cold and starving a fever arent in the truthful category during this episode of Focus.


The Me Me Me Generation?

Digital Natives, Millenials or twentysomethings are always a focus of discourse in late spring when new classes of graduates flood the labor market. This spring there has been a critical twist to some of the discussion referring to young Americans as the Dumbest Generation, branding young people as narcissistic, unprofessional and unemployable. Who are Millenials really? Are they so different from any other generation? This hour on Focus, well talk about what makes a Millenial a Millenial,...


Ryan Chalmers: Push Across America

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign grad, PADI divemaster and US Paralympian Ryan Chalmers has pushed himself more than 2,000 miles in the last few weeks, journeying the length of three to four full length marathons every day. Hes trying to cross the US in his racing wheelchair in 71 days, a distance of nearly 3,000 miles. He arrived in Champaign around 3:00 on Wednesday, and this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ryan about his trek and what inspired him to do it. We'll...


Digital Privacy and the Workplace

House Bill 1047, currently under consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives, would make it legal for employers to ask employees for their personal social media passwords. Under legislation that took effect July 1, 2012, its currently against the law to do so. According to some, its a severe violation of privacy for employers to be able to ask for social media account information, but State Representative Jim Durkin defends the bill saying that employers need to have agency to...


Women’s Health

Angelina Jolies announcement that she had a preventative double mastectomy because of her high risk for developing breast cancer has been all over the news, but when is the testing she went through appropriate? This hour on Focus, guest host Kimberlie Kranich talks with Suzanne Trupin, a board certified and obstetrician and gynecologist, about the BRCA1 gene that led Jolie to make her decision. Well also talk about everything from menses to menopause and how and when to talk about sex with...


Personal Finance - Saving Money

This hour on Focus, we talk with personal finance expert Kevin Waspi about some good tricks to save money for things like a new car or a summer vacation. We'll also talk about when it's right to continue to save and when it's time to try and borrow money. Do you have questions about your personal finances?We also welcome your questions for Kevin whether you are just starting out and looking for advice on investing, thinking about buying a home or sending your children to college. Do you...


Let’s TALK Kids

Claudia Quigg founded Baby TALK in the late 1980s in Decatur after having children of her own and realizing that even though she had a supportive group of friends, she needed advice and access to resources. Today the organization has a presence in 36 states and Canada and has more than 100 programs in operation in Illinois communities. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Claudia about why the earliest years of life, from birth to age 3, are so important and what resources her...


Tax Policies and Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis

According to the Fiscal Futures Project at the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Illinois is currently ranked in last place out of all 50 states for its bond ratings. Legislators at the statehouse have made some progress towards passing reform to try and solve Illinois massively underfunded state pension system but even if reform is passed, the state has a long way to go to get back in the black. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ralph...


Talk with the Managers

This hour on Focus host Jim Meadows talks with Illinois Public Medias head honchoes. Bob Culkeen and Mark Leonard will be here to discuss programming changes taking place this summer, the health of your public media station and new ideas were cooking up at WILL.


Record Sales Continue to Climb in US, Illinois

According to Nielsen Soundscan, a company that tracks the sale of music in the US, vinyl sales are up by 35% over the same time last year; nearly two million vinyl albums have sold so far in 2013. Nielsen says their data shows that vinyl sales started climbing in 2007 and have kept on going ever since. Interesting considering music hasnt been released solely on vinyl albums for decades... This hour on Focus, well talk about the resurgence of records and record stores and will talk about what...


Itty-Bitty Technology; Big Potential

Nanotechnology works to understand the physics, chemistry and biology of nanoscale objects. Simply put, its the study of things that are very, very, very small. This hour on Focus, well talk about nanotechnology and developments being made when it comes to nanomanufacturing here at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Irfan Ahmad, Executive Director of Nanoscale Science and Technology at the UIUC and Engineering Professor Placid Ferreira, who studies nanotechnologies and...


City Cycling

According to recent research, most people dont commute on bikes because they are afraid of being hit by a car. And most people who are comfortable riding bikes in traffic are men. This hour on Focus, we talk with Jeff Yockey, the President of Champaign County Bikes and Cynthia Hoyle, who works with Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit. Theyll tell us about how the cities in our area are working to create infrastructure that fosters a strong pedestrian and cycling community. The month of May also...


Jane Brody and Kathrine Switzer

Jane Brody is known for her writing on health, wellness and end of life preparation and care. Her Personal Health column in the New York Times is syndicated across the country and new every Tuesday. For the first half of this hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Brody about her writing and career. Shell be speaking at the UIUC Monday, April 29. During the second half of this hour, Jim talks with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon with a bib number....


The Best Things You Can Eat

Pumpkin seems to be taking over the world of specialty flavors, but is that a good thing? Doesnt pumpkin have health benefits? If you dont like vegetables, is V8 juice really the right way to get the vitamins and minerals you need? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with David Grotto, a registered dietician and nutritionist, about the best things you can eat. Well talk about the vital nutrients everybody needs and why they are important. Well also note some common food...


Jeremy Hobson

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with public radio host and Champaign-Urbana native Jeremy Hobson. Hobson is currently the host of the Marketplace Morning Report, an eight-minute daily business news program with an audience of nearly six million. This hour, we talk with him about his experiences interviewing billionaires like former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and philanthropist Melinda Gates; his experience reporting in Turkey at the start of the Iraq war and the start of...