Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State budget crisis hitting local businesses' bottom line

More than two-thirds of local businesses say state budget problems and late payments have hurt their bottom line.

A spring economic survey by the University of Illinois Springfield also found that business owners believe chronic financial problems at the state will remain a major challenge in the coming year.

Nonetheless, the survey also found that local business owners are in a somewhat better mood than last fall, though they expect the economic recovery to be slow.

More than a quarter expect at least some business growth this year, up 4 percentage points from a September survey. Nearly three-fourths expect the economy to stay about the same or to continue its decline.

“Things are looking better, but they are not real confident yet,” said Patty Byrnes with the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS.

The survey was featured in a April 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100427-SJR-State-budget-crisis.pdf

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Monday, April 26, 2010

UIS alternative prom provides option for gay students

Springfield-area high school students uncomfortable with bringing dates of the same gender to their own schools’ proms have another option — an “Alternative Prom” at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The event, which runs from 8:30 p.m. to midnight on April 24 in the student center at the UIS Student Life Building, will be the sixth annual alternative prom sponsored by the UIS Queer-Straight Alliance, according to Jessica Enock, 22, a UIS junior from Buffalo Grove and chair of the event’s planning committee.

Enock said the UIS event, which has no admission charge, is open to any area high school or college-age students — gay or straight — and is geared toward young people who want to attend a dance where they will not be judged based on their sexual orientation.

Alternative prom was featured in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100424-SJR-UIS-alternative-prom.pdf

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Review: Faith, ideals, humanity themes of 'The Runner Stumbles'

Although the UIS Theatre's production of "The Runner Stumbles" is set a full century ago, when Catholic Church rituals and practices were much more structured and Catholics were struggling to gain acceptance in America's predominantly Protestant culture, its themes and plot elements remain timely.

On one level, "Runner", which plays today, Sunday, and April 29-May 1 at the University of Illinois Springfield Studio Theatre, appears to present familiar, almost stereotyped, images of a tradition-bound, repressive Catholic Church and backward, suspicious small-town residents, blended with a traditional murder mystery. But on a deeper level it is about the eternal struggle to reconcile faith, reason, and emotion and aspire to high ideals without losing touch with one's humanity.

Directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, the two-act drama by Milan Stitt -- based on an actual court case -- takes place in a Michigan logging town in 1911, where the former Catholic parish pastor, Father Rivard (Dug Hall) is on trial for the murder of a young nun, Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson) four years earlier.

The review was published in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100424-SJR-Review-The-Runner-Stumbles.pdf

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Police donate bicycles to youth foundation, UIS

The Springfield Police Department donated 14 unclaimed bicycles to the Rutledge Youth Foundation and the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center bike checkout program on Thursday.

The UIS program loans bikes, free of charge, to members of the university community. A user can borrow a bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and they’re not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

The donation was featured in a April 23, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100423-SJR-Police-donate-bicycles.pdf

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Social media's impact on consumers and businesses

University of Illinois Springfield Web Services Director Sherry Hutson was interviewed on the WTAX-AM Morning Newswatch on April 23, 2010. She spoke about social media trends when it comes to consumer habits and businesses.

Hutson says social media can serve both a positive and negative purpose for businesses. She also spotlights some of the companies that are using social media effectively.

Listen to the WTAX podcast of the interview online:
http://www.wtax.com/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=4592745

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

UIS play looks at questions of duty, faith

On its surface, “The Runner Stumbles” is a murder mystery about whether a priest killed a nun.

Milan Stitt’s play, which opens Friday in a production by UIS Theatre, digs much deeper than that, looking at questions of faith and duty, to oneself and God.

Director Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, an assistant professor of theater at the University of Illinois Springfield, said the story has a timeless quality.

Based on a true story from rural Michigan in 1911, the story unfolds in flashbacks. It opens with Father Rivard (Dug Hall) in jail, accused of murdering Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson).

The play was featured in a April 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100422-SJR-UIS-play-looks-at-duty-faith.pdf

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sangamon Auditorium, PCCC to offer rival Broadway series

Springfield’s two biggest indoor performance venues Sangamon Auditorium and the Prairie Capital Convention Center will offer competing slates of Broadway shows next season.

The change is a result of Sangamon Auditorium’s decision to end its relationship with Theatre Council Productions, which has produced and marketed the Broadway series at the University of Illinois Springfield since 2005. Beginning with the upcoming season, the auditorium will book such shows on its own.

Theatre Council, however, did not want to lose its foothold in the market, so it made a deal with the PCCC to present shows there.

Sangamon Auditorium executive director Bob Vaughn said the agreement with Theatre Council — which was already in place when Vaughn took over in 2006 — was “pretty favorable for the contractor.”

The change was featured in a April 20, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100420-SJR-Sangamon-Auditorium.pdf

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Scholarships honor state police Trooper Brian McMillen

The Criminal Justice Student Organization at the University of Illinois Springfield will sponsor a free throw-a-thon to benefit a scholarship named for an Illinois State Trooper who died in October 2007.

The first annual Brian McMillen Free Throw-a-Thon to benefit a scholarship honoring McMillen will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Student Life Gym on the UIS campus.

A 2005 graduate of UIS with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, McMillen was an Illinois State Trooper who died when his patrol car was involved in an accident with two other vehicles outside Illiopolis while he was en route to a bar disturbance

He had served with the Illinois State Police for eight months.

The event was featured in a April 17, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100417-SJR-Scholarships-honor-McMillen.pdf

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Donner family subject of program Tuesday

“Springfield’s Donner Family: Trials of the Pioneer Trail, 1846” will be the topic of the Sangamon County Historical Society’s program scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at University of Illinois Springfield Brookens Library.

Don Springer will be the speaker. His great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Donner, led the wagon train in which nearly half the party perished after becoming trapped in a blizzard in the Sierra Nevadas.

Audience members will get an opportunity to see some of the Donner materials housed in the library’s archives and special collections department.

The event was featured in a April 15, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100415-SJR-Donner-family-subject-of-program.pdf

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Learning technology trends

A wall is typically something that keeps people out, but on Facebook it lets people in. It’s just one of the many terminologies UIS alums got acquainted with as they learned the ins and outs of Facebook during a technology workshop on campus.

Fear of the unknown is what keeps many older Americans from learning new technology, which is why UIS began offering workshops like this one.

Even Karen Hasara, a U of I trustee who uses a cell phone and email daily found herself in need of a refresher course.

The Alumni Technology Workshop was featured by WICS-TV 20 in a report on April 12, 2010.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheers, tears part of naturalization ceremonies

For Nnenna Dettro of Chatham, whose husband, frequently travels abroad for his job, becoming a citizen means she won’t have to apply for a visa to travel with her husband.

And what about the ceremony itself — which featured Lincoln scholar and author Michael Burlingame as the guest speaker — will Nnenna remember?

“Everything about it was special,” she said.

Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi Lynn Distinguished Professor in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield and winner of the Lincoln prize for his book “Abraham Lincoln: A Life,” talked about Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts and writings about immigration and the U.S.

“His life story inspired me, and I hope it also inspires you,” Burlingame told the 60-plus new citizens, who represented 27 countries.

Burlingame was featured in a April 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100410-SJR-Cheers-tears-part-of-nat.pdf

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Opinion: In Praise of Illinois

Democrats take baby steps on pension reform.

The Pew Center on the States recently honored Illinois as the state with the biggest public pension mess. So it's a minor miracle that the state's Democratic legislature passed, and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign, a pension reform that at least takes baby steps in trimming the state's retirement largesse for its 700,000 government workers. Perhaps bankruptcy concentrates the mind.

A new report by Charles Wheeler of the University of Illinois Springfield summarizes the state's problem this way: "To say Illinois faces a hole in funding its public employee pension systems is like saying the Grand Canyon is an impressive ravine." He finds that the state's five retirement systems "will need roughly $131 billion to cover benefits already earned by public workers, with only $46 billion in expected revenues to cover the costs."

Wheeler's report was featured in a Wall Street Journal opinions article on April 8, 2010. The research was also featured in a February 2010 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

Download the article as a PDF:
20100408-WSJ-Illinois-and-Pension-Reform2.pdf

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Humor, healthy eating, control of finances all help battle stress, experts say

Positive thinking is one way to relieve stress, but doing it is much harder than saying it, a St. John’s Hospital nurse said Wednesday during a health-awareness forum at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Diana Weyhenmeyer, a community outreach educator, suggested that overstressed people look for humor in their lives.

Another speaker at the two-day Health Awareness Week event, which continues today at UIS, outlined ways of promoting “financial wellness.”

UIS' Health Awareness Week was featured in a April 8, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100408-SJR-Humor-healthy-eating.pdf

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UIS Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame to speak at ceremony

New citizens of the United States, including several from Central Illinois, will take the oath of allegiance during naturalization ceremonies at 2 p.m. April 9 at the Old State Capitol Historic Site.

Featured speaker will be Michael Burlingame, a history professor at University of Illinois, Springfield. U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott will preside.

Burlingame's appearance was featured on April 6, 2010, in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100406-Pantagraph-naturalization-oath.pdf

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UIS welcoming Monica Chiu to campus

A long standing goal of immigrant children has been to become “Americanized” as a key to their future economic and social success. In the particular case of Lao American youth, "becoming white" is closely associated with performing blackness.

Mae Marie-Noll from the University of Illinois – Springfield explains that author and Associate Professor of English and University Honors Program Director at the University of New Hampshire, Monica Chiu, will share her works with the public April 14th.

This talk discusses how Lao American boys' refashion themselves with the blackness inspired by media in order to achieve the so-called social acceptance among their American peers. It also highlights how their efforts to "fit in" are related to their academic struggles.

Noll adds that Chiu is one of many speakers that the university will be welcoming to the school this semester.

The event was featured by WTIM Radio in Taylorville on April 5, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100405-WTIM-Monica-Chiu.pdf

Listen to Mae Marie-Noll's interview online

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Monday, April 5, 2010

UIS studying accelerated degree potential

When interim University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry asked college officials to find out what it would take to create an accelerated degree program, he kick-started the process at all three U of I campuses.

But University of Illinois Springfield provost Harry Berman said the three-year degree idea is “relative to the traditional full-time student.”

“It’s a matter of affordability for higher education, which is a big concern for all of us,” said Berman. “We’d have to look and see what majors we could do it in.”

Berman's comments were featured in a April 4, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100404-SJR-UIS-studying-accelerated-degree.pdf

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What's Illinois voters' mood?

Democrats hold an iron grip on Illinois state government, control both U.S. Senate seats and occupy 12 of the state’s 19-seat delegation in the House of Representatives.

Illinois, remains solidly in that Democrats’ column, said Christopher Mooney, a professor with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The state has a lot of union members who tend to vote Democratic and are bolstered by the party in return.

“The political culture here is not ideological. It’s all about where you are pouring concrete, providing services,” he said. Solidly Democrat Chicago still “dominates state politics.”

Given the political makeup of the state, minority Republicans won’t be able to make much headway on national issues like the Obama administration’s passage of health care reform, said Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the university.

Mooney and Wheeler's comments were featured in a April 5, 2010, article in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100405-JJC-What's-Illinois-voters'-mood.pdf

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sustain exhibition opens at UIS Visual Arts Gallery

The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield presents an internationally juried exhibition of fine art titled Sustain. It features selections from 13 artists, whose work addresses three issues of sustainability: resource conservation, social justice and economic equity. The exhibit can be viewed weekdays Monday through Thursday. A closing reception is planned as part of the campus’ celebration of Earth Day on April 22 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the gallery. Pictured is “The Bitter Pill” by Minneanpolis artist Bart Vargas.

Sustain
Through Thursday, Apr 22
Mon-Thu, 11am-6pm
UIS Visual Arts Gallery
Health and Sciences Building, Room 201
206-6506

The exhibit was featured in a April 1, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100401-ILTimes-National-show-sustain.pdf

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nigerian-American UIS Student Denied Boarding by AA

A UIS student was set to represent his college and his country in the National Model U.N. in New York, but instead he was forced to return home alone after being denied boarding at the airport.

Alfred Komolafe, a political science major was questioned by police and the FBI after trying to board an American Airlines flight this weekend.

The university had purchased tickets for Komolafe and 15 other students months ago, with no indication of any problems until the group arrived at Lambert International in St. Louis.

Komolafe was interviewed by WICS-TV 20 for a report on March 30, 2010.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Illinois student not allowed to board plane at Lambert

A college student told News 4 he was not allowed to board a plane at Lambert International Airport. He said later he was investigated by the F.B.I.

Federal agents refuse to say why they questioned the man over the weekend. The student said he believes he was a victim of discrimination.

Alfred Komolafe spent months preparing for his trip to New York. He was planning to participate in the Mock United Nations delegation with 15 classmates from the University of Illinois-Springfield, but when he tried to get his boarding pass, he was detained.

Komolafe was interviewed by KMOV-TV St. Louis in a report that aired on March 30, 2010.

Watch the story on KMOV's website

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Crowd enjoys season's first UIS Star Party

For the Fenstermacher family, star parties at the University of Illinois Springfield are a family tradition.

Scott and Lori Fenstermacher started bringing their two daughters, Jaina, 9, and Shelby, 6, to the events about three years ago. Now, they usually attend four or five star parties a year.

The Fenstermachers were among more than 100 people who were on hand Friday as the university’s first star party of 2010 began.

John Martin, assistant professor of astronomy/physics, gave the crowd a quick lesson in astronomy and the universe on the way to the top of Brookens library, where the observatory is located.

The star party was featured in a March 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100327-SJR-Crowd-enjoys-seasons-first.pdf

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Music Notes: UIS Chorus

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site, 603 S. Fifth St.

Part of the “Let Us Be Bold With Our Songs” series, the array of pieces includes “Ahe Lau Makani (There is a Breath)” by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii; “Fire, Fire,” a polyphonic English madrigal by Thomas Morley; “The Erie Canal,” an American folk song accompanied by piano and fiddle; “Oleana,” an American folk song accompanied by violin; and “Blackbird,” by the Beatles.

Director Sharon Graf will lead a brief discussion of the songs.

The performance was featured in a March 25, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100325-SJR-Music-Notes-UIS-Chorus.pdf

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Slight increase in area gang activity

Gang activity in Peoria is slowly on the rise according to area law enforcement. Peoria police say, the fatal shooting of a teen last weekend occurred during an altercation between two men believed to be involved in gangs.

Tuesday night, dozens of area residents and students gathered at the University of Illinois Springfield in Peoria for a forum on gang activity.

Detective Elizabeth Blair and Lt. Jason Haynes of Pekin's Federal Correctional Institute in have studied gangs extensively.

"There's a number of them initially that you see that steal cars, they do the retail theft and then they move up to the more violent kinds," said Blair.

The UIS Peoria Center event was featured in a WEEK/WHOI-TV report on March 23, 2010.

Watch the story online on WEEK/WHOI's website

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Pressure: Will the push for an income tax increase work?

Supporters of a tax increase have been undoubtedly banking on fallout sending teachers and parents banging on the doors of local lawmakers to demand a solution.

"I would think cutting education ... is a way to put greater pressure on people for a tax increase," says Charles Wheeler, a former veteran statehouse reporter and current University of Illinois at Springfield program director. "And the way these cuts are designed, whether intentionally or (not), puts added pressure on suburban legislators."

Wheeler's comments were featured in a March 20, 2010, edition of the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100320-CDH-push-for-an-income-tax2.pdf

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Politics of health care will play out

Some political experts wonder how much voters care about the minutiae of lawmaking as well as larger GOP criticisms of the health care legislation.

Chris Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield, said he believes voters in November will be consumed by the desperate straits of Illinois' economy this year.

"Democrats could end up looking totally lame, or this might turn out to be something approaching the New Deal," he said. "But right now, the situation in Illinois is so dire that the health care debate seems rather esoteric."

Mooney's comments were featured in a March 20, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100320-STL-Politics-of-health-care.pdf

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Costello still opposes health care bill

U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, was still on record as of Thursday that he will vote no on the Senate version of the health care reform bill the House is set to vote on this weekend.

Kent Redfield, an expert on Illinois politics, said the only explanations for Costello's threat to vote no on the bill are either he is bargaining for something or he wants to be shown some respect.

"If people feel they are being ignored and taken for granted, then they like to be asked," said Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 18, 2010, Belleville News-Democrat Article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100318-BND-Costello-still-opposes.pdf

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Judge rejects fingerprint testing in Slover case presented by Downstate Innocence Project

Six weeks after the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project presented its arguments for testing a latent fingerprint as a step toward overturning the murder convictions of Michael Slover, Jeannette Slover and Michael Slover Junior, a judge ruled that the print is not suitable for testing.

At the hearing in the courtroom of Assistant Circuit Court Judge Timothy Steadman on Feb. 1, project attorney Peter Wise presented a fingerprint expert who stated that a latent fingerprint found on a Bruce-Findlay Bridge railing over Lake Shelbyville was suitable for identification.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois at Springfield, seeks exoneration for wrongfully convicted downstate inmates and works to reform the criminal justice system.

The Innocence Project was featured in a March 17, 2010, article in the Decatur Herald & Review.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100317-DH&R-Innocence-Project.pdf

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brady has bunch of work to do to win, experts say

State Sen. Bill Brady squeaked by last month's six-way Republican gubernatorial primary as a relatively unknown statewide commodity known - if at all - for his downstate roots.

The strategy was successful; after all, he won. But now, experts say, Brady should be on to a new mission of endearing himself to upstate voters.

"He's an unknown factor," said Kent Redfield, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 16, 2010, article in the Southtown Star.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100316-STS-Brady-has-bunch-of-work.pdf

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Editorial: New chancellor deal must reflect times

The following is a portion of a State Journal-Register editorial published on March 12, 2010.

THE DUST-UP over University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s retirement deal in the past week has been a vivid reminder of how starkly different economic times are now compared to a decade ago.

Ringeisen deserves credit for his request Wednesday that the U of I board of trustees revert to the terms of his original contract from 2001, scrapping the sweetened retirement package that would have paid Ringeisen more post-retirement salary and provided reimbursement for travel expenses.

IT'S UNFORTUNATE that public reaction to the retirement package — which would have paid Ringeisen his full current salary for 14 months, totaling about $319,000, plus reimbursement of travel between Springfield and his new home in South Carolina during his successor’s transition — became the main focus of Ringeisen’s retirement announcement. After all, it was under Ringeisen’s leadership that UIS became the institution it is today: a respected four-year university with a campus worthy of its U of I affiliation.

Download a PDF of the editorial:
20100312-Our-Opinion-New-chancellor.pdf

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Star Parties at UIS to begin at end of March

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Friday night Star Parties will begin Friday, March 26, and continue through April 30 (excluding April 9), weather permitting.

Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory.

Conducted by UIS assistant professor of astronomy and physics John Martin, the Star Parties will use three telescopes to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Mars and Saturn, the Orion Nebula, and the moon, when visible. Other double stars and star clusters will also be viewed.

Star Parties were featured in a March 12, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100312-SJR-Star-Parties-at-UIS.pdf

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UIS students to spend spring break helping Hurricane Ike victims

A record number of students from the University of Illinois Springfield will spend their spring break volunteering in Galveston, Texas helping with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike.

The 45 students and 3 advisers will leave Springfield on Friday, March 12 and return to campus on Sunday, March 20. The group will stay at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for eight and a half hours each day. The students will be primarily helping with rebuilding and refurbishing homes that were damaged by the storm. Volunteers will also be doing community outreach, visiting home-bound residents, helping to feed the homeless and assisting in other community-related activities.

University of Illinois Springfield student volunteer Jaleesa Earthly says that a program like this is valuable not only for the students involved, but for the university as well.

Click here for audio

The UIS students are taking on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization. The group’s mission is to bring volunteers to Galveston to not only provide much needed help, labor, and support to the community here, but to also provide love, hope and encouragement.

Earthly adds that a program like this will also benefit the citizens of Galveston as well.

Click here for audio

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

This report on Alternative Spring Break was filed by WTIM Radio in Taylorville published online on March 10, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-TDN-UIS-Alt-Spring-Break.pdf

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

UIS' Ringeisen to get original retirement deal

After a week of controversy that he said had “just gotten crazy,” University of Illinois Springfield chancellor Richard Ringeisen will take his original retirement deal.

Ringeisen’s resignation from UIS will take effect Oct. 31. He will receive a year’s administrative leave at his current salary of $273,500, instead of taking a consultant job that would have lasted 14 months and would have added about $45,500 to his post-resignation income.

The agreement, approved Wednesday by the University of Illinois board, is the arrangement described in then-President James Stukel’s January 2001 letter offering the UIS position to Ringeisen.

The decision was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-SJR-U-of-I-trustees-approv.pdf

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U of I trustees vote to pay outgoing chancellor $273K

The University of Illinois board of trustees voted Wednesday to give Richard Ringeisen, the retiring chancellor of the Springfield campus, a one-year paid administrative leave after he steps down Oct. 31.

The arrangement, in which Ringeisen will be paid $273,500 but not have any job responsibilities, is a change to what was proposed last week. Under the former deal, Ringeisen would have kept his salary for 14 months while serving as a consultant to the president.

Ringeisen, 65, asked for the change, said spokesman Tom Hardy.

The agreement was featured in a March 10, 2010, Chicago Tribune Breaking News article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-Trib-u-of-i-trustees-vote.pdf

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UIS notebook: Class 2A boys supersectional draws largest TRAC crowd yet

The Class 2A boys basketball supersectional between Robinson and Decatur St. Teresa high schools Tuesday brought the largest crowd ever to The Recre­ation and Athletic Center on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

A throng of 2,600 spectators, according to UIS athletic director Rodger Jehlicka, packed the stands of the four-year-old facility that holds nearly 3,000. Those in attendance saw Robinson and University of Illinois recruit Mey­ers Leonard win 81-60. That’s the fullest Jehlicka has ever seen TRAC.

About 1,100 spectators saw Springfield High edge Belleville Althoff 60-59 in overtime in a Class 3A girls basketball super­sectional game March 1 at TRAC. The NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference held its men’s and women’s basketball championships there last week­end.

The TRAC numbers were featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-SJR-UIS-notebook-Class-2A-boy.pdf

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Tourist town: Springfield hopes to increase tourism

The Capital Area Sports Commission recently partnered for the first time with the University of Illinois Springfield to host the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II conference brought more than 300 players, coaches and staff and at least $100,000 to Springfield last weekend. In addition to pre-conference preparations, the sports commission provided beverages for the teams and recruited volunteers to take tickets at the door.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll see other tournaments,” says Amy Beadle, SCVB sales manager. “We want to put our best foot forward, make the city look good, make UIS look good, and hopefully bring other sporting events.”

The partnership was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-ILTimes-Tourist-town.pdf

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Starry stroll at Lincoln Memorial Garden

Star gazers and animal enthusiasts get two for the price of free at Lincoln Memorial Garden March 12. Trek the trails with two UIS science professors and learn about the night sky and night animals. Dr. John Martin from the astronomy/physics program will have telescopes and teach about the nighttime sky. Biology department vertebrate biologist Dr. Matt Evans leads an owl-calling night hike and a presentation on nocturnal animals.

Star and Night Hike
Friday, Mar. 12, 7-9pm
Lincoln Memorial Garden
2301 East Lake Drive
529-1111
Free

The event was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-ILTimes-Starry-stroll.pdf

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Illinois recruit delivers thrills to 2,600 at UIS

Being the 7-foot center of attention has meant a lot of pushing, shoving and occasional verbal challenges for University of Illinois-bound Meyers Leonard this basketball season.

Tuesday night’s Class 2A supersectional at the University of Illinois Springfield was no exception, but the Robinson High School senior kept his cool for the most part.

But as the Robinson Maroons were pulling away from the Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs for an eventual 81-60 victory, Leonard saw a chance to make a statement for the near-capacity crowd estimated at 2,600 at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The event was featured in a March 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-SJR-Illinois-recruit-thrills-at-UIS.pdf

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Hasara: U of I board may scrutinize future work contracts

A University of Illinois trustee hinted Tuesday that the board in the future might scrutinize more closely employment agreements such as the one that called for University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen to receive a year of paid leave after his retirement as chancellor.

“Given our financial situation, a lot of things will be done differently at the university,” said trustee Karen Hasara of Springfield. “That could be one of them.”

Ringeisen’s hiring deal in 2001 called for him to receive a year of paid administrative leave -- at his current salary of $273,500 -- when he left the chancellor’s office.

Hasara's comments were featured in a March 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-SJR-Hasara-U-of-I-board-might.pdf

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

IHSA 2A Boys Basketball sectional held at UIS

Meyers Leonard, a 7-foot University of Illinois basketball recruit, will be the featured attraction tonight when the University of Illinois Springfield serves as host for a Class 2A boys supersectional at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The winner of the UIS Supersectional winner will play the winner of the Joliet Supersectional in the second game of the 2A state tournament at 8:15 p.m. Friday in Peoria.

Shuttle service

UIS will have overflow parking for tonight’s game and a shuttle from Lot B, which is located on the northeast corner of campus off University Drive. Shuttle service begins at 6 p.m. and continues after the game.

The game was featured in a March 9, 2010, report in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100309-SJR-Leonard-to-play-at-UIS-tonight.pdf

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Commish comes home: GLVC's Naumovich has come long way

Jim Naumovich, a Springfield native is now the face of the GLVC and has served as commissioner since 2000. He is back in his hometown this weekend for the GLVC basketball championships at the University of Illinois Springfield. The title games of the men’s and women’s conference tournament are today at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Naumovich, the longest serving commissioner in conference history, oversees a 32-year-old league made up of 15 schools (soon to be 16 with the addition of William Jewell later this year) located in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. The league sponsors 17 sports.

Naumovich was featured in a March 7, 2010, article in State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100307-SJR-Commish-comes-home-GLVC.pdf

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In Illinois, Race Is Set for Governor

A full month after votes were cast in a primary, the race for governor was at last set in Illinois Friday. The campaign will pit a conservative downstate Republican lawmaker against the sitting Democratic governor, who must overcome a dire state budget gap as well as memories of the ousted Democratic governor Rod R. Blagojevich.

“This may have been the more desirable outcome for Pat Quinn,” said Kent Redfield, a political scientist from the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the New York Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-NYT-In-Illinois-Race-Governor.pdf

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Leave with pay was part of Ringeisen's hiring deal

Richard Ringeisen’s contract when he was appointed chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield in 2001 guaranteed him a year of paid administrative leave when he eventually left the chancellor’s office.

A letter sent in 2001 by then-U of I President James Stukel also envisioned that Ringeisen, who announced earlier this week he would retire as UIS chancellor on Oct. 31, could return to the ranks of tenured faculty members after that leave of absence.

When Ringeisen announced his retirement earlier this week, however, Ringeisen and U of I interim president Stanley Ikenberry agreed that, instead of a year’s paid leave, Ringeisen would serve as consultant for long-range planning and special assistant to the president for 14 months following his retirement.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-SJR-Leave-with-pay-Ringeisen.pdf

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UI-Springfield chancellor to spend next year as consultant

The chancellor of the University of Illinois-Springfield, who announced his resignation this week, will stay on an additional year as a special assistant, with his full chancellor’s salary.

Richard Ringeisen will resign as chancellor effective Oct. 31.

In a proposal to be discussed by the board of trustees next week, interim President Stanley Ikenberry will recommend that Ringeisen be appointed as chancellor emeritus.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 4, 2010, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100304-CNG-UI-Springfield-chancellor.pdf

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Editorial: U of I board should rethink Ringeisen deal

The following is a portion of an editorial published in the March 5, 2010, edition of the State Journal-Register.

"IT'S A SWEET DEAL, no doubt, for a university president signing off from a lengthy career in higher education.

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen gets $273,000 after he retires to serve as an adviser to the president of the University of Illinois. He won’t have to live in Illinois to do the job, and he’ll even get reimbursed for flying back and forth between his new home in the Carolinas and the Land of Lincoln."

Download a PDF of the full editorial:
20100305-SJR-Our-Opinion-U-of-I-board.pdf

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

U. of I. Springfield chancellor to get salary for 14 months after leaving post

The retiring chancellor of University of Illinois' campus in Springfield will retain his $273,500 salary for 14 months after he leaves the post this fall, according to a retirement agreement released Wednesday.

Richard Ringeisen, 65, the UIS chancellor since 2001, is expected to step down Oct. 31. He would then serve as special assistant to the president and consultant for long-range planning through Dec. 31, 2011, before retiring from the university.

During nearly a decade as chancellor, Ringeisen is credited with significantly boosting the Springfield campus' profile and transforming it into a more traditional university.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 3, 2010, Chicago Tribune report.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100303-TRIB-UofI-Springfield-chancellor.pdf

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Ringeisen might retain salary after retiring

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen would make $273,500 annually as an adviser to the U of I president after his retirement this fall, under a proposal to be considered next week by the university board.

Under the agreement, Ringeisen would serve as consultant for long-range planning and special assistant to the president from Nov. 1 through 2011. His pay would be equal to his current salary as chancellor.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 4, 2010, report in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100304-SJR-Ringeisen-might-retain.pdf

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Democrats taking applications for Ill. lt. gov.

Illinois' Democratic voters picked a pawnbroker as their candidate for lieutenant governor, and that didn't exactly end well.

The Democrats' approach to the candidate selection process is unprecedented in Illinois, according to political analysts. The closest the state has come in recent history is in 2004, when Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan left the race and the party's central committee replaced him with Alan Keyes, a conservative who didn't live in Illinois at the time, said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Keyes went on to lose to President Barack Obama.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 3, 2010, Associated Press article published in the Belleville News Democrat.

Download the article as a PDF:
20100303-BND-dems-start-taking.pdf

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ringeisen retiring as chancellor of University of Illinois Springfield

People take it for granted now that Springfield has a four-year university, University of Illinois Springfield chancellor Richard Ringeisen said Monday.

Ringeisen said that’s the proudest achievement he’ll take away when he steps down as UIS chancellor in October.

At times battling tears, Ringeisen, 65, on Monday announced his retirement after more than nine years at UIS.

“It sounds like a cliche, I guess, but I just feel it’s the right time,” Ringeisen said.

Ringeisen's retirement was featured in a March 2, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100302-Ringeisen-retiring-as-chancellor.pdf

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UIS Chancellor plans to retire in October

The chancellor at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus is stepping down after nine years on the job.

Richard D. Ringeisen, who is about to turn 66, said his retirement is effective Oct. 31.

He is the fifth CEO in the 40-year history of the school, known as Sangamon State University for 25 years, campus spokesman Derek Schnapp said.

Ringeisen told The News-Gazette that his proudest accomplishments came with the planning of the university as it moved into a four-year liberal arts college and NCAA sports program.

"We were a little uncertain who we were when I started," he said.

Ringeisen's comments were featured in a March 2, 2010, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100302-CNG-UIS-Chancellor-plans-to-retire.pdf

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Ringeisen to Retire

Richard Ringeisen has been chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield since 2001. Enrollment has increased by 16 percent to nearly five thousand students this fall. New buildings including a recreation center and student dorm have gone up on campus and the school began taking freshman.

Ringeisen has announced that he's retiring. WUIS public radio's Amanda Vinicky spoke with him about why in a March 1, 2010 interview.

Listen to the report online:

PC Link | Mac Link

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UIS Chancellor announces retirement

With Illinois public universities facing drastic cuts as a result of the state’s record budget deficit, Richard Ringeisen, chancellor for the University of Illinois at Springfield, announced Monday that he would retire in October.

The smallest campus of the state’s flagship university is feeling the pinch as a result of the state’s $13 billion budget shortfall.

But the UIS head said the desire to spend more time with his family, not the state’s fiscal crisis, affected his decision to step away.

“The budget’s a danger... This is almost Biblical – The bad budget shall always be with us,” Ringeisen said. “We just have to make the proper moves to take care of it.”

Ringeisen's comments were featured in a Illinois Statehouse News article on March 2, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100301-ILSHN-uis-chancellor-announces.pdf

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A Conversation with the retiring UIS Chancellor

Podcast of Chancellor Ringeisen’s live interview about his retirement with Bob Murray on the WTAX Morning NewsWatch on March 2, 2010.

Listen online:
http:/www.wtax.com/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=4436277

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Fields set for GLVC Final Four at UIS

Two teams ranked in the NABC NCAA Division II national poll and the defending league champion have advanced to the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament set for Saturday at The Recreation and Athletic Center at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The semifinalists in the GLVC Women’s Basketball Tournament will take the court at TRAC prior to their male counterparts.

The tournament was featured in a March 1, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100301-Area-colleges-Basketball-UIS.pdf

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Service clubs losing members, but still fulfilling for many

Jonathan Isler, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois Springfield, says he believes people are as committed as ever, but community service has taken different forms.

“People are still doing social things and are engaged and community-oriented,” Isler says. “They’re not more selfish or more narcissistic, but there’s this kind of rallying-around-the-wagons mentality in which people want to take care of family and friends first.”

Isler's comments were featured in a February 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100227-SJR-Social-clubs-losing-members.pdf

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Cyber security conference set in Springfield

A one-day conference on cyber defense and disaster recovery will be held Friday, March 12 at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The event is hosted by the UIS Computer Science Department in cooperation with InfraGard Springfield. Breakout sessions in Conference Room C/D on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center will cover topics such as cyber threats, hacking, risk assessment and computer-forensic response.

The event was featured in a February 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100226-Cyber-security-conference.pdf

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B-N business community fueled Brady's campaign

If Bill Brady becomes the next governor of Illinois, he may have his peers in the Twin City business community to thank.

Brady’s early support from his peers and family is common, said Ron Michaelson, who led the state Board of Elections for 27 years and now teaches at the University of Illinois-Springfield. That strong base of cash was key to establishing Brady as a credible candidate to others, he said.

“He’s now got to establish stronger support and visibility in the six-county area (around Chicago) where a lot of the money is and where all of the votes are, quite frankly,” Michaelson said.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a February 26, 2010, edition of the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100226-B-N-business-Brady.pdf

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Human Trafficking prevails in Springfield

When you hear about "human trafficking", you might think it's something that happens only in third world countries. But, as many students at the University of Illinois at Springfield found out Wednesday afternoon, the problem is prevalent here as well.

As part of the university's "Engaged Citizenship Common Experience" speaker series (ECCE), the coordinator of the Illinois Rescue and Restore Coalition gave some shocking statistics.

Project Coordinator Lisa Fedina says her group's national hotline has been successful in identifying who, and where, these victims are, and in initiating the process of safely rescuing them.

The event was featured in a February 24, 2010, report by WICS-TV 20.

Read more and watch online:
http://www.wics.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wics_vid_1602.shtml

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UIS, civil service workers reach tentative agreement on furloughs

The University of Illinois Springfield has reached tentative agreement on unpaid leaves of absence with five of seven bargaining units representing campus civil service employees.

Most University of Illinois academic employees, including more than 460 at UIS, were ordered to take furlough days this spring as part of the university's response to a growing backlog of unpaid state appropriations to the U of I.

The article was featured in a February 24, 2010 edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a pdf of the article:

UIS%2C%20civil%20service%20and%20furloughs.pdf

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Curious' collection: Springfield artist goes own way in UIS exhibit

One week before she is to open a solo exhibition at the University of Illinois Springfield, Felicia Olin is sitting in the living room of her Springfield home, surrounded by her work.

Some paintings are stacked against the fireplace mantel. Others are lined up beneath the television in the corner. More are on the landing of the stairs.

Liz Murphy Thomas, the director of the visual arts gallery and an assistant professor of art and digital media at UIS, said she tries to program a diverse array of exhibits each academic year at the gallery. That diversity includes local and national artists and both two- and three-dimensional work.

The article was published in a February 18, 2010, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SJR-Curious-collection-UIS-exhibit.pdf

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Shimkus challenges climate-change research

The event was a rah-rah session for Sangamon County Republicans, but U.S. Rep. JOHN SHIMKUS, R-Collinsville, couldn’t let his time in front of a microphone pass without making clear his disdain for those who are sounding the climate-change alarm.

DENNIS RUEZ JR. is assistant professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“Most people do not understand the difference between climate and weather,” he said. “Ice fishing in Illinois does not necessarily mean cooling climate; similarly, a hot summer does not necessarily mean warming climate. Additionally, southern Illinois ponds can’t be used as a climate proxy for the entire planet.

Reuz's comments were featured in a February 18, 2010, Bernard Schoenburg column in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SJR-Bernard-Schoenburg-Shimkus.pdf

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No more private sessions, Senate president vows

After criticism from open-government advocates, Senate President John Cullerton pledged to avoid convening the Senate in private again as he did Wednesday to hear a budget briefing from a nationwide legislative association.

One longtime legislative expert said he'd never seen a similar instance of barring public access in four decades of watching the Senate.

"When it's a briefing about fiscal matters, I don't think there's a valid reason that it shouldn't be open," said Charles N. Wheeler III, director of the University of Illinois at Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting program and a former Sun-Times Statehouse bureau chief.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a February 18, 2010, edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SunTimes-No-more-private-sessions.pdf

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Illinois-Springfield professor will address changing view of Lincoln

What turned out to be a mistaken assumption by a college professor back in 1984 led to revealing new information about Abraham Lincoln.

"I assumed everything that was important that Lincoln ever said or was said about him or his administration had long since been discovered by an army of Lincoln scholars and I could do my research by just consulting these published sources," said Michael Burlingame, who holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Conclusions drawn from resources, particularly about former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Lincoln, will be highlighted Monday in Pittsfield. Burlingame will be the featured speaker at a Lincoln symposium sponsored by the Abe Lincoln Project of Pike County and the Pittsfield Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Burlingame's appearance was featured in a February 16, 2010, article in the Quincy Herald Whig.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100216-QHW-Lincoln-symposium.pdf

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Burlingame picks Presidents Day reading list

Books about Abraham Lincoln by Knox College scholars occupy two of the top five spots in a “Presidents Day Reading List” in The Wall Street Journal.

The books were selected by historian and Lincoln biographer Michael Burlingame for a “Presidents Day Reading List — Best Five Books on Abraham Lincoln,” published Saturday in “The Wall Street Journal.” Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12, and Presidents Day was Monday.

Burlingame is professor of history at the University of Illinois-Springfield and author of a new biography, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life,” which recently won the 2010 Abraham Lincoln Prize. The prize, which includes the largest award in the field of history, is given annually for the best book on Lincoln and Lincoln’s era.

Burlingame's selections were featured in a February 16, 2010, article in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100215-GRM-Knox-College-scholars.pdf

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Legislators offer ideas to improve election process

Fresh off an election with seemingly little voter interest, state lawmakers are pushing several proposals to increase voter participation and make for a smoother election process.

Matt Van Vossen, president of the Student Government Association at the University of Illinois at Springfield, supports the measures. He said many students choose not to vote because they cannot reach the polling place in time.

“If early voting were to be made available on campuses, student voter turnout would increase,” Van Vossen said.

UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said students who live on campus can vote at nearby Lincoln Land Community College. He said the school’s student government group offers carpools for students who need rides to polling places.

The article was featured in a February 14, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100214-Legislators-offer-ideas.pdf

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

UIS sees record enrollment for spring semester

The University of Illinois Springfield has set a record for spring enrollment, following on the strength of a record-setting enrollment last fall.

The university said Wednesday that 4,862 students are enrolled this spring, an increase of 327 over last spring. Spring 2010 enrollment topped a record set in spring 2007, when 4,613 students were enrolled.

The 7.2 percent increase is primarily due to more continuing students.

The news was reported in the February 4, 2010, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100204-SJR-enrollment.pdf

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Waterfowl research going on at Emiquon Preserve

Recently, wildlife technicians Danielle DeVito and Curt Kleist, of the Illinois Natural History Survey of the Forbes Biological Station in Havana, have been studying the migration of water fowl at the Emiquon Preserve.

Their mallard research, based at the Therkildsen Field Station - a teaching and research facility owned by UIS - is part of a larger effort to transform Emiquon from farmlands to floodplain.

Their research and details about Emiquon were featured in a February 4, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100204-ILTimes-mallards.pdf

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Global Experience Program in Japan invites public to participate

UIS is inviting the public to join degree-seeking students for two study-abroad weeks in Ashikaga, Japan, in June. The global experience has been a program UIS has held in Springfield’s sister city for ten years.

UIS’s Global Experience program will offer a short course on Japanese language and culture in Ashikaga.

Details of the trip and past participants' experiences were highlighted in a January 30, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100130-SJR-Ashikaga.pdf

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Political social media increasing

If you're on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, chances are you've seen a political candidate's message. A new study shows the number of statewide candidates in Illinois who have an Internet presence is increasing, although the most popular method is to have a campaign Web site or blog.

Institute of Government and Public Affairs senior fellow Michael Cheney, a communications professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, found that while participation in social media is going up, some candidates have no presence whatsoever.

The study was featured in a January 28, 2010, broadcast/article by the Illinois Radio Network.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-IRN-Political-Social-Media-Increasing.pdf

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Is taking a jab at House Speaker politically risky?

As the clock runs down on the primary election season, some candidates are making bold claims or hurling accusations against opponents.

Kent Redfield, a former political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said Democrats who seriously oppose House Speaker Michael Madigan won't get far.

"For those who think they are going to be independent, criticizing the Speaker, voting against the Speaker, that would be disastrous for the representative and bad for the district," Redfield explained. "Madigan has a long memory and keeps score when members cross him. It can be isolating and ineffective if you go directly against him."

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 29, 2010, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-CDH-Is-taking-a-jab-at-House-Speaker2.pdf

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UIS consultants recommend consolidation of 3 districts

No action was taken as citizens from Abingdon, Avon and Bushnell-Prairie City school districts met in a packed Avon High School gym to address the feasibility of at least two districts consolidating their school systems. However, the three University of Illinois-Springfield professors who conducted the Avon-initiated study recommended the consolidation of all three school districts.

“What you have now is the information to make that decision,” said professor William H. Phillips, who lead the study. “But we think this would be the greatest opportunity to educate your students.”

The UIS consultants were featured in a January 29, 2010, article in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-GRM-Consultants-recommend-consolidation.pdf

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Race for lieutenant gov takes wacky, pricey turn

The open office has attracted six Democrats and six Republicans and has seen a record amount of money raised and spent.

"It's a very unusual situation," said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield, who confirmed the race is the most expensive in the office's history. "If we hadn't had the impeachment [of Rod Blagojevich], it would be a lower profile sort of thing."

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 28, 2010, article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100128-SunTimes-Race-for-lieutenant-gov.pdf

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Diversity Coalition reconvenes

After six years of inactivity, the Coalition to Promote Human Dignity and Diversity, dedicated to speaking out against bigotry, has reconvened in response to a cluster of incidents in 2009, including the hanging of nooses at city and state government workplaces.

“There was something different about last year, where people acted out acts of hatred quantitatively in a different way than had been occurring for quite a while within the city,” said Larry Golden, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, who is a member of the coalition.

The news was featured in a January 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100123-SJR-diversitycoalition.pdf

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Emiquon to host public lecture on mallards

A public lecture titled “Monitoring Mallard Movements in the Illinois River Valley and Beyond” will be hosted at the UIS Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:30.

The presenters of the lecture will be Danielle DeVito and Curt Kleist, waterfowl research technicians with the Illinois Natural History Survey, Forbes Biological Station in Havana.

The information about the lecture was published in the January 22, 2010, Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100122-GalesburgRM-Mallards.pdf

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ill. Democrats might worry after Mass. Republican win

Illinois will conduct primaries for Obama's old Senate seat and every statewide office in two weeks, right after an upset win for the Senate seat in Massachussettes by Republican Scott Brown.

Chris Mooney, professor of political science at UIS, said Illinois Democrats in general might have to worry about the image of partywide complacency and sense of entitlement that has hurt the party in Massachusetts.

Mooney's comments were featured in a January 21, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100121-STLPostDispatch-elections.pdf

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

UIS alumnus debuts novel

University of Illinois Springfield alumnus Laura Bynum's debut novel, “Veracity” (Pocket Books), was released last week. She returns to her Springfield hometown at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a book-signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 3111 S. Veterans Parkway.

Just a few years ago, Bynum was doing the “safe” thing — working in the corporate world, raising her daughters with second husband Eric, and ignoring the lifelong yet risky urge to write.

“I was really in a quandary,” she said. “I made decent money as a corporate department builder. I knew I could make money for my family. As an artist, it’s a crapshoot.”

Bynum's story was featured in a January 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100110-SJR-The-story-of-her-life.pdf

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Primary election favors incumbents

Illinois' Feb. 2 primary election comes so soon after the holiday season, it usually leads to uninformed choices by the voters and an advantage for incumbents, who have both name recognition and time to raise more funds than new candidates, according to political experts like Dr. Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in an article about the fast-approaching primary election in a January 8, 2010, article in the Kankakee Daily Journal.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100108-KankakeeJournal-primary%20election.pdf

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Schillerstrom likely needs longer than one term to fix Ill. state government

Bob Schillerstrom, a Republican who is running for governor, plans for just one term if elected, saying that four years is all he needs to do the work.

But with Illinois is facing a $13 billion budget deficit, it will likely take longer than one term to fix the state's problems, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 7, 2010, article in the Illinois Statehouse News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100107-ILStatehouseNews-Schillerstrom.pdf

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Increased voter registration doesn't necessarily mean big turnout

Voter registration for the February primary is at an all-time high, but increased registration does not always mean increased turnout, according to Ron Michaelson, political science professor at UIS.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a January 7, 2010, article published by the Illinois Statehouse News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100107-ILStatehouseNews-voters.pdf

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

U of I to enforce furlough days and hiring freeze

Most University of Illinois employees — including more than 460 at UIS — face furlough days this spring as part of the university system’s response to a growing appropriations shortfall.

The cost-cutting measures, including furloughs and a hiring freeze, are designed to trim $82 million from the U of I’s operating budget and ease a $436 million backlog of unpaid state appropriations to the university.

The news was featured in a January 6, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100106-SJR-furloughdays.pdf

The topic was also covered by other news outlets.

Download a PDF of an article from the Chicago Tribune: 20100106-ChiTrib-furloughdays.pdf

Download a PDF of an article from the Chicago Sun-Times: 20100106-ChiSunTimes-furloughdays.pdf

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Political candidates use social media during campaigns

A year after Obama's historic election during which he utilized social media to build his support, candidates across the country - and throughout the Chicago suburbs - are following suit. Candidates running for federal, state and even county offices are campaigning via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and e-mail.

If you don't have a Web site, people assume you aren't credible, according to Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 2, 2010, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100102-DailyHerald-socialmedia.pdf

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

UIS Theatre production noted as one of 2009 top performances

The UIS Theatre production of "As You Like It" was featured in a 2009 review of the top performances in the area for the year.

The State Journal-Register commented that Aasne Vigesaa, playing the leading role of Rosalind, gave the best performance by an actor the reviewer has seen in Springfield and also noted that the rest of the cast gave stellar performances as well.

Download a PDF of the article
20091224-SJR-A%26E.pdf

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lending a hand: Holiday season volunteering

Chris Maxey, a junior double major in political science and sociology/anthropology at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he recently began volunteering at the breadline to fulfill 20 hours of community service required by his Poverty, Law and Justice course.

Maxey, 21, said he soon found volunteering is much more than just putting the hours down on a piece of paper. He said he was shocked to find the standard of living some coming for meals withstand.

“I was surprised how many elderly, homeless people there were (at the breadline),”Maxey said.

Maxey's comments were featured in a December 22, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091222-SJR-Lending-a-hand.pdf

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Monday, December 21, 2009

With no incumbent, 10th Congressional district up for grabs

As Mark Kirk bows out of the 10th Congressional race to run for U.S. Senate, the political doors again are open for both democrats and republicans.

"I think it's likely to be an expensive, high-profile race that gets national attention," said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Voter mood also has changed since the 2008 Democratic whirlwind led by President Barack Obama.

"It will be interesting to see who's playing offense and who's playing defense," Redfield said.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 20, 2009, edition of the Chicago Daily Herald

Download a PDF of the article:
20091220-Daily-Herald-10th-Congressional.pdf

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Judy Baar Topinka attempts return to state office

Republican Judy Baar Topinka is attempting to return to statewide office. At 65, she's running for Illinois comptroller, saying she can't stand to see state government engulfed by financial problems.

Though she was constantly bad-mouthed by former governor Rod Blagojevich, she still has two weapons in her arsenal: strong name recognition and a scandal-free reputation, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 17, 2009, article in the Chicago Tribune about Topinka's comeback.

Download a PDF of the article
20091217-ChiTrib-Topinka.pdf

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

LMS competitors call truce

A three-and-a-half-year court battle between learning management system (LMS) giant Blackboard Inc. and competitor Desire2Learn ended Dec. 15 when the companies agreed to license each other's patents and drop longstanding lawsuits.

Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, said the settlement between Desire2Learn and Blackboard "holds far less meaning" than if the companies had come to an agreement three years ago.

Schroeder's comments were featured in a December 17, 2009, article about the agreement published on ecampusnews.com.

Download a PDF of the article
20091217-ecampusnews-onlinetruce.pdf

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Illinois divides over Thomson-Gitmo decision

The government has purchased the Thomson Correctional Center to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay in Thomson, Ill.

The purchase was the feature of a December 15, 2009, news story by WAND-TV Channel 17. UIS' Baker Siddiquee, associate professor of economics, was interviewed for the story.

See the broadcast story here.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Democrats try to retain power during redistricting

Every 10 years, Illinois lawmakers break out their markers and redistrict the state’s legislative districts, which produces political strife during the year to come.

Democrats currently hold all of the power and will be focusing on retaining it, according to Kent Redfield, a political science professor emeritus at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 14, 2009, article in the Chicago Current.

Download a PDF of the article
20091214-ChiCurrent-redistrict.pdf

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Budget crisis could get worse in Illinois

Though the Illinois state budget seems to be bad enough, it could get worse, experts say.

Ultimately, budget crises in some states can even lead to the closing down of state government for brief periods, according to Chris Mooney, a political science professor at UIS. State shutdowns, or the threat of one, may be one of the few things that convince lawmakers to make the more difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions, like raising taxes and cutting services, he said.

Mooney's comments were featured in a December 14, 2009, article on Stateline.org.

Download a PDF of the article
20091214-Stateline-statebudget.pdf

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Local film premieres at UIS' Brookens Auditorium

On World Aids Day, Kimberly D. Conner’s short film "This Life Ain’t Pretty," premiered at UIS’ Brookens Auditorium. The auditorium was more than full of cast, crew, friends and supporters for her film.

The film's premiere was featured in a December 10, 2009, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article
20091210-IT-moviepremiere.pdf

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Lawmakers suspected of favoring politically-connected with scholarships

Lawmakers have awarded at least 197 tuition-free scholarships to relatives of campaign contributors, and some lawmakers and good government groups have raised concerns that the scholarship program favors the politically connected.

Charles N. Wheeler, III, director of the public affairs program at UIS, said lawmakers can protect themselves from suspicion by using independent committees and using objective guidelines to nominate scholarship recipients.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, article in the Southwest Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article

20091208-SWnewsherald-campaigndonors.pdf

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Forum includes former and current WUIS news directors

Six of the seven Republican candidates for governor will participate in a forum Monday in Springfield.

Rich Bradley, who recently retired as WUIS-FM news director, will moderate the forum and the panel of reporters asking questions will include Sean Crawford, current WIUS news director.

The forum was announced in the December 9, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091209-SJR-repubforum.pdf

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Presidential search forum at UIS

Members of the University of Illinois’ presidential search committee hope a public forum allowed faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities they feel are needed by the university’s next president.

“We like as many comments as possible,” said U of I trustee Karen Hasara of Springfield, who chaired the forum. “We’re hoping the publicity will encourage people to e-mail.”

The forum was featured in a December 9, 2009, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091209-SJR-Presidential-search-forum.pdf

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U of I Presidential Search Forum Comes to Springfield

The search continues for a new president at the University of Illinois and the committee in charge of hiring wants to hear from you.

Several members of the presidential search committee heard feedback on qualities they want to see in the next university president.

WICS-TV 20 featured U of I trustee Karen Hasara and student committee member Charles Oliver in a December 8, 2009 report.

Watch the report online here.

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One year later: 'Blagojevich hangover' continues

Believe it or not it was one year ago today (December 9, 2008) that FBI agents knocked on Rod Blagojevich's front door and opened the final chapter in the former governor's troubled tenure in office.

Political science professor Kent Redfield said it could be a decade or more before the state is cured of its "Blagojevich hangover."

The University of Illinois at Springfield professor says voters will have to find new faith in new leaders. He said Blagojevich did so much damage that voters may have a hard time trusting any elected official.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, edition of the Quad-Cities Dispatch-Argus.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091208-QuadCities-One-year-Blagojevich.pdf

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elluminate is one online tool used at UIS

Elluminate gives an instructor the ability to hold a web conference with up to 300 participants, host interactive displays, video streaming and just about every function a teacher could want in an online classroom.

UIS is one of a few higher education institutions using the very popular Elluminate. UIS was mentioned in a December 8, 2009, article in the Vator News about Elluminate.

Download a PDF of the article
20091208-VatorNews-Elluminate.pdf

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Monday, December 7, 2009

UIS finds success with iTunes Story

Through its new iTunes Store listing, UIS is bringing some of its archived oral history to more than 200 million users worldwide.

In the first three months UIS has been part of the iTunes Store, new downloads have increased by more than 75,000. Previously, the campus averaged only 3,000 downloads every three months.

A story about UIS and the iTunes story was published in the December 7, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091207-SJR-itunes.pdf

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

UIS presents Fall Music Showcase

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus, Choir and Band will present the Fall Showcase Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Studio Theatre at the Public Affairs Center on campus.

Information about the fall showcase was published in the December 3, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091203-SJR-musicshowcase.pdf

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"Avenue Q" comes to Sangamon Auditorium

“Avenue Q” recently embarked on its first national tour of smaller cities, which brings the grown-up puppet musical to Springfield for the first time Saturday night at Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus.

An article about Avenue Q was featured in the December 3, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article

20091203-SJR-AvenueQ.pdf

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WUIS launches new alternative digital radio station

WUIS/Illinois Public Radio has launched a new “alternative” digital radio station, which is part of a nearly $300,000 upgrade.

The station, called “Xponential Radio,” first arrived on the airwaves in mid-October and can be received using an HD radio or listening online at www.wuis.org.

The news was the subject of a December 1, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091201-SJR-WUISalternativestation.pdf

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Social networking sites are beneficial tools for government candidates

Those running for statewide office in Illinois see the Internet and its new social networking tools as inexpensive, invaluable gateways to reach voters. The emergence of the Internet as an everyday part of life has political candidates pushing the boundaries of “e-campaigning,” from Facebook and Twitter posts to YouTube videos and blogs, just as President Obama did in his presidential campaign.

“A lot of folks say, ‘I want to be like Barack,’” said Michael Cheney, a senior fellow at the Institute of Government and Politics at the University of Illinois, in a November 30, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091130-SJR-ecampaigning.pdf

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