Focus features a mix of newsmakers, authors and regular guests to talk about the ideas and issues that affect your life. Join us each Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for a lively, engaging conversation about what’s new and what’s interesting.
Connect with us online anytime @Focus580 on Twitter and Facebook or send us an email. During the show, you can call us toll-free at 800-222-9455.
Do you have an idea for a Focus program? Contact our producer, Lindsey Moon.
After he lost his voice, some say film critic Roger Ebert became an even better writer, pouring all his efforts into movie reviews and other columns. As he further mastered his craft, legendary writer, historian, actor and broadcaster Studs Terkel sent him a note about his ‘new’ voice. “This – what you write now, it’s more than about movies. Yes, it’s about the movies but there is something added. A new REFLECTION on life itself.”
Those last words became the title for Roger Ebert’s 2011 memoir, and is now the title of a new documentary about his life. Steven Zailian, screenwriter for ‘Schindler’s List” among other films, first approached director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, 2005) in late 2012 about the project. When James first met with Chaz and Roger about the direction the film would take, no one could have predicted he would pass away just five months later.
During this Focus interview, Jeff Bossert talks with filmmaker Steve James and Chaz Ebert about capturing Roger’s life, and his death, on film.
As a part of our series exploring difficulties in accessing mental health care in central Illinois, we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats with WILL’s newsroom Friday morning.
We wanted to talk with you to find out if we are accurately characterizing problems with stigma through our reporting and wanted to find out more about the problems you and others in the area are having trying to find care. Sean Powers, and I learned a lot.
Harry Wolin manages Mason District Hospital in Havana, Illinois, one of many clinics in Illinois that provide care to medically underserved areas. The hospital has been treating patients via telepsychiatry, when a patient meets with a doctor via a computer screen, for about four years now. Wolin says they started offering appointments that way after the county mental health center shut down due to lack of funding.
“If we wouldn’t have started offering this service, many of our patients would have had to travel an hour or more to see somebody,” he explains.
In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution?
Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, I’ll be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.
Johnny Watts started school at the University of Illinois after serving in the Army for six years. He says returning to the life of a student after serving in the military was a little daunting. He worried he wouldn’t be classroom ready, that other students would be far ahead of him in terms of coursework. But once he found a community of veterans to hang out with, he says it got easier. “It was nice when I found other vets to talk to. You kind of have your own language after being in the service,” he said. “And, then I had someone else besides my wife to talk to about school.”
Watts graduates this spring from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering, and is moving to southern California with his wife. She’s also a veteran who has been attending the University of Illinois. And, according to a new study from the Student Veterans of America, the Watts’ are among a large group of veterans who’ve taken advantage of the education benefits in the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
If you’ve been following the crisis in Ukraine and the fight for Crimea, do you have unanswered questions about why Russia is so invested? We do, and we wanted to get a better understanding of the historical context of the conflict. Kathryn Stoner, a political scientist who is a Senior Fellow at the Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, has prepared a reading list that she says go a long way in explaining the Russian perspective.
Continue reading to find her reading list and descriptions of the books and their authors.
Americans in 20 states, including Illinois once its new medicinal cannabis pilot program is fully functioning, can purchase medical marijuana to treat symptoms of diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis to glaucoma to HIV and AIDs, but the science behind why medical marijuana helps ease symptoms of some of those diseases is hazy. Because marijuana is a classified as a schedule 1 drug by the federal government, a category for drugs with no medical value and highly addictive properties, researchers have a very difficult time gaining access to marijuana plants in order to study them.
In this Focus interivew, Peter Hecht, author of the forthcoming book "Weedland," and clinical psychiatirst Suzanne Sisley, who works with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the University of Arizona, join host Scott Cameron.
Director of Outreach for Get Covered Illinois Brian Gorman says young people are signing up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's health care marketplace in the final days for enrollment, something that Illinois officials has been concerned about. He talked with Scott Cameron during this Focus interview about how many people have signed up so far. He says its important that the "extension" for enrollment announced yesterday by the Obama administration doesn't give people more time to start the process of enrolling; it only gives you more time to finish an already exisiting application for insurance.
Supriya Hobbs and Janna Eaves are painfully aware that they are surrounded by mostly male students in their engineering classes at the University of Illinois. That’s part of the reason they’re behind the new start-up Miss Possible Inc., a toy company with intentions to manufacture dolls for girls fashioned after historical figures like Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart.
“Most toys, especially dolls, are empty,” says Hobbs, “Entrepreneur Barbie wears a suit and has a smart phone; that makes her a CEO?”
This hour on Focus, Scott Cameron talks with Hobbs about the start-up, and why Hobbs and Eaves want girls to be interested in science and technology. We’ll also hear from Analisa Russo, part of the company Electroninks, which is bringing a gel pen to draw circuits to market this summer. Isabelle Cherney, a researcher at Creighton University, will tell us how the toys we play can have an effect on our perceived capabilities and our gender identity.
Then, we’ll switch gears at the end of the hour when Jake Kuebler of Bluestem Financial Advisors, LLC in Champaign joins us to discuss issues in personal finance.