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Many baby boomers are ready to retire, or are planning for retirement. There are some do's and dont's when it comes to how to spend your savings.

Edgar Norton, Director of  Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis, said the average 65-year old couple will spend about $250,000 on health care. (More on health care expenses coming in part 2.)

Resolute Support Media DSC-7364 / Flickr via Creative Commons

Veterans and their families who have found a home at Illinois State University now have a new affinity group to connect and share a community.  The group is for faculty and staff and is set to debut this fall and is part of the University's diversity initiative.

US Department of Agriculture

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen is proposing lawmakers adopt a five-year funding guarantee if the U of I agrees to maintain certain performance levels.

During the public radio program "The 21st", Killeen said some certainty has to be inserted into the higher ed funding process. He said the U of I should be rewarded for excelling in different areas.

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Interesting things happens in nature once the sun goes down.  The Illinois State University Horticulture Center in Normal reveals the beauty of the nighttime landscape at a brand new event later this week.

Catch A Falling Star

Aug 12, 2016
M.K. Feeney / Flickr via Creative Commons

The annual Perseids meteor shower looks to be very promising this year.  2016 is being called an outburst year for the celestial event, meaning more meteors than usual will blaze across the sky.  And it’s all thanks to a certain enormous planet.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis and Democratic State Treasurer Michael Frerichs are barnstorming across Illinois Universities in a bipartisan effort to improve college savings programs.

Among the ideas the two promote is allowing employers to take a tax credit for up to five thousand dollars per worker per year used to pay off student debt.

Illinois State University

Don't look for Illinois State University to curb its long-time practice of granting dismissed administrative workers a year's severance pay.

Many universities bring supervisory workers on board by promising them a year's salary if they're let go, but recently Western Illinois changed to paying for six-months of employment. During Sound Ideas, ISU President Larry Dietz said paying benefits and salary for a year after dismissal is needed now more than ever, since more than a hundred positions have been held open due to budget constraints.

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As students head back to school later this month, they'll be studying the basics, like geometry and world history.  But increasingly, students are exposed to a relatively new field of study involving animals and humans.   Marion Willetts is a sociology professor at Illinois State University and teaches a class she designed called Animals in Society.  This class is a part of what Willetts calls an emerging subfield of social science.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Illinois State University galleries in Uptown Normal currently has a show from Rob Swainstone called 'We thought they thought what we thought, but they didn't.'  Curated by Gallery director Barry Blinderman, the show features wood block prints on oversized sheets of fabric and paper.  Swainston uses the ancient technique of wood block printing, but with a modern sensibility. 

Illinois State University

Illinois State University Police Chief Aaron Woodruff was among about 70 law enforcement officers from around the nation invited recently to the White House to discuss critical issues facing the police.

Jim Browne / WGLT

An Illinois State University Professor of Economics does not support a move by the McLean County Board last week that prevented a change to the wind farm siting ordinance, sending the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Illinois State University president Larry Dietz commented on an alleged rape that happened during an ISU Preview orientation program. Speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier today, Dietz said this is the first time this has happened since the event was founded in 1966.

Straying From GOP Message May Have Little Impact

Jul 21, 2016
Tom McClure

The Republican national convention was designed around presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign theme, "Make America Great Again," with different subtitles such as Make America Safe Again, Make America Work Again and so on. ISU politics and government professor Tom McClure said during Sound Ideas, podium speakers at the Cleveland event have done a poor job of sticking to the theme.

Illinois State University

A father and son are accused of drugging a prospective ISU student and sexually assaulting her in a university dormitory.

It allegedly happened during the orientation program called Preview. ISU Chief of Staff Jay Groves said the situation is unprecedented in the half century of successful summer offerings.

Research from Illinois State University's Department of Economics is being used to support legislation increasing the statewide requirement for renewable energy sources, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS.

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

We all know the story of Peter Pan.  Or do we?  The Illinois Shakespeare Festival peels back the legend to reveal an imaginative and funny origin story for the iconic character. Adapted from the popular 2006 novel, 'Peter and the Starcatcher' was a huge hit on Broadway .  Director Any Park describes it as the 'Wicked' of the Peter Pan story, letting audiences in on how an orphan boy became Peter Pan. 

Tom Marko

A popular local jazz musician and educator has just completed his first album -- and it's getting a release on a major label.  Drummer Tom Marko is ISU's jazz director and a busy area musician, working with a variety of jazz groups.  Now he's stepping into the spotlight with his first release as a leader: "Inner Light." 

Pete Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is shaking things up this season with a production of "Hamlet" that features a gender switch.  Casting a woman to play the melancholy Dane can help the audience and actors alike see an old favorite in a new way.

sima dimitric / Flickr via Creative Commons

Dementia recently claimed the life of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt. A new case of dementia is diagnosed every four seconds.  It's estimated that the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030.  With the demand for dementia care rising, there is a need to know more about the treatment, not just of the illness itself, but of those impacted by it.  With an eye towards helping those who help dementia sufferers, the Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing recently launched a research project about nursing care knowledge and attitudes towards patients with dementia.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The 2016 Illinois Shakespeare Festival is just getting underway, and for one stalwart performer, this season marks an even dozen times he's trod the boards at the theater at Ewing.  Actor Tom Quinn has portrayed a wide variety of characters, from a king to a musketeer.  So in honor of his twelfth season, which includes a turn as Feste in "Twelfth Night," Tom has pulled back the curtain to share twelve secrets of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University is losing its Provost. Janet Krecji is leaving at the end of the year to become Dean of the School of Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Krejci said she's sorry to go, but she has had changes in her family situation back in Wisconsin over the last couple months.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz is telling the campus community 'thanks' to lawmakers for the stopgap spending bill, but things still aren't great.

In a campus wide e-mail Dietz notes ISU starts off the current fiscal year the same way it did last year with no budget. And spokesman Jay Groves says the stopgap measure is still an eleven million dollar cut.

University Galleries

Gigantic pneumatic sculptures splashed with DayGlo-colored paint fill two of the largest spaces at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.  The installation creates a sensual landscape dominated by gigantic billowing forms.

Joan Brehm

MIKE McCURDY: This is Sound Ideas. I’m Mike McCurdy in the studio with Kevin Bersett, editor of ISU’s Redbird Scholar Magazine and the Ask An Expert column in the Redbird Scholar magazine. Thanks for joining us on Sound Ideas.

MarylandGovPics / Flickr

The massacre at the Orlando nightclub earlier this month lit the spark of another furious debate over gun control.

Illinois State University Assistant Professor of Politics and Government Kerri Milita has worked in Florida and is familiar with gun laws there and the constitutional issues surrounding it. During an appearance on Sound Ideas, Milita said Florida is known as the "Gunshine State," a moniker residents proudly tout.

David Proffer / Creative Commons

An Illinois State University scholar said climate change is raising the water temperature of a 10-million-year-old lake in East Africa. 

ISU Professor of Geography-Geology Catherine O'Reilly has been studying Lake Tanganyika for 15 years.

ISU Actuarial Program Receives Award

Jun 16, 2016

The Casualty Actuarial Society has chosen Illinois State University to receive one of four CAS University Awards. 24 schools from around the globe competed for the honor.


After the attack in Orlando, the focus should not be exclusively on whether the shooter is Muslim or an Islamist, according to the Chair of the Illinois State University Politics and Government.

Dr. Ali Riaz says there are other factors that should be examined.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Rehearsals for the 39th season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at the Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington have begun, and the artists are ready to blaze new trails with a romantic comedy, the melancholy Dane...and Peter Pan.


The McLean County Board’s Finance Committee recommends spending an extra $215,000 to handle what could be unprecedented voter turnout for the November presidential election. McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael calls the worst-case scenario for taxpayers the best case scenario for Democracy.