Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL’s old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.
 
The Champaign City Building figures prominently in this view of downtown Champaign, as seen from University Avenue.

Downtown Champaign bar manager dies nine days after shooting

Champaign Police are reclassifying the shooting of a downtown bar manager as a homicide, following the death of Brandon L. Hardway. The Champaign County Coroner’s office says the 45-year-old Hardway, of Champaign, died early Saturday at Carle Hospital, due to injuries he received in a shooting on the afternoon of February 8. Police say the shooting happened outside Hardway’s bar, Pour Brothers Craft Taproom, 40 E. University Avenue in downtown Champaign. Police say Hardway had come outside for a cigarette break, and was shot in the back.

Kickapoo Rail Trail on track for two-year completion with $11.2 million state grant.

After seven years of construction, less than half of the 24-mile Kickapoo Rail Trail in east-central Illinois has been completed. But now, the project could be finished in the next two years, thanks to a state grant. An $11.2 million grant, awarded through the state’s Rebuild Illinois Capital plan will pay for the completion of the walking and bike path.

After years of planning, a casino opens in Danville

Nearly a year after a groundbreaking ceremony, a new casino opened to the public for the first time on Saturday in Danville’s Eastgate area. Initially, the casino will be open eight hours a day, closed on Tuesdays.

Eastern Illinois University faculty go on strike

Negotiations continue Friday between Eastern Illinois University and its faculty union. But the bargaining session will take place off campus — because the union began its strike on Thursday, and doesn’t want its members to have to cross picket lines for the meeting.

Champaign County puts out the call for election judges for April 4

Tuesday, March 28 is the deadline for formal announcement of polling locations for the April 4 consolidated local elections in Illinois. In Champaign County, the county clerk’s office says the number of polling places will depend on how many election judges they can recruit. County Clerk Aaron Ammons says as of right now, Champaign County is well short of the number of judges he would like to have. 

EIU faculty union contract talks continue, now with a potential strike approved by rank & file

Federally mediated contract talks between Eastern Illinois University and its faculty and support staff union are scheduled to resume Monday, April 3. When they resume, officials with the EIU-University Professionals of Illinois chapter (Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 4100) hope the administration will feel more pressure to reach a settlement, following last week’s approval of a strike authorization vote.

WILL At 100: Langston Hughes poetry reading, recorded by WILL Radio

The WILL Radio archives include hundreds of hours of recorded programs captured on acetate discs from the 1940s and 50s, including a 1957 reading at the University of Illinois by 20th century African-American poet Langston Hughes. Jameatris Rimkus, an archivist the University of Illinois Library, tracked down the mislabeled discs, rescuing them from obscurity.

WILL At 100: Looking Back On A Century Of Broadcasting

2022 marked the 100-year anniversary of WILL-AM, the oldest component of Illinois Public Media. The University of Illinois launched the station at a time when the idea of using radio to reach a mass audience was new and cutting edge. Over the century to come, WILL became a national leader in educational broadcasting, and more recently, public broadcasting.