From WILL - Focus -

Bats, Economic Development and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: Coming up next week on Focus

Is it important to you to shop locally? Did you know bats play a really important role in the production of tequila and chocolate? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.

Jody Williams

Jody Williams

Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”

Tuesday, March 12 - Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela 

Hugo Chavez, who was the President of Venezuela until he died March 5, started his controversial political career as an outsider.  Tuesday on Focus, we’ll talk with Damarys Canache, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Urbana-Champaign who is a Venezuelan native about Hugo Chavez, his rise to power and what his death means for the country moving forward.

Wednesday, March 13 – East Central Illinois: Where Jobs and Created and Sustained?
Do you make it a point to shop and support locally owned stores and restaurants? Why? We want to hear from you this hour!

According to a new report from the Milken Institute, Champaign-Urbana and Danville are both on the list of best performing small cities, but what does that really mean? The report shows Danville climbing in ranking while Chambana was slipping. Wednesday on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage and Mike Kirchoff, President and CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. We’ll talk about new development projects in the area, trends with unemployment rates and Danville’s retail resurgence. We’ll also talk about the health of the manufacturing industry in East Central Illinois and what’s ahead for the region.

Thursday, March 14 - White Nose Syndrome Found in Illinois: Why it Matters
We want to hear your tales about bats in your life this hour. We’ll also welcome questions you have about this misunderstood species.

Do you drink tequila? Eat chocolate? Thank a bat.  They may be notorious in popular culture, but bats play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers.

Friday, March 15 – Personal Finance with Kevin Waspi
Do you have questions about your personal finances? Call us, send us an email or engage on Facebook and Twitter.

Whether you are just starting out and looking for advice on investing, thinking about buying a home, sending your children to college, or planning for retirement, we answer your questions this hour on Focus. Kevin Waspi, who lectures on finance at the University of Illinois College of Business joins host Jim Meadows to talk about best practices for money management and decision making.