I, Too, Dream American

What started as a homework assignment for SIU student Tomas Cortez, turned into a new documentary project aimed at educating the Southern Illinois community about DACA and the people who were part of the program.

The film follows two SIU students who were part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, and what their experiences were after the Trump Administration rescinded the executive order and how they plan to move forward.

A screening of the film will take place on Thursday, February 7th starting at 7pm at the Epiphany Lutheran Church in Carbondale with a discussion session immediately following.

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Fighting the Flu

The most recent flu season has been one of the worst we have seen, including right here in the River Region. Evening Edition reporter Holly Piepenburg talked with health care providers for tips on staying healthy.

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Wildfires Rage in Tennessee

As the wild fires continue to decimate eastern Tennessee, fire departments here in southern Illinois are preparing to assist if called upon.

Scott Crist, Fire Specialist with the Shawnee National Forest, says that the forest service is trying to free up equipment, including a fire truck, to send to Tennessee if their forest fire response service is needed.

Crist says that when the call comes in, they will determine how much time they have to get there. He says that sometimes they are on the road within two hours and sometimes they can wait until the next morning. It depends on the distance and severity of the fire.

With the Shawnee National Forest in our backyards in southern Illinois, it raises the question of what is the possibility of a wild fire happening here?

Crist says that many of the vegetation in the Shawnee is of the Appalachia variety, making it a similar fire environment to that of the Smokey Mountains. “The difference would be they [Tennessee] have a lot more undeveloped wild land.” The wild land areas in southern Illinois are close enough to developed areas that fire crews would be able to respond fairly quickly if a fire was to break out.

Currently, the fire danger is low due to the rain southern Illinois received in the past couple of days. The region was seeing drought-like conditions. Rains did not make up for all of the dry conditions, but it did help quite a bit.

Crist says that the Forestry Service analyses fire danger on a daily basis, so conditions could be dramatically different in just a few days.

“We do not consider the Shawnee at high risk for fire at this point,” he says.

Eastern Tennessee is expected to receive rain tonight which would ease extreme drought conditions and slow the fires.

SIU Election Protest

A protest took place on campus today to show support for Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigrants’ rights in light of the recent election.

Carbondale Community High School student Cecilia Albert-Black says the event was planned to “help spread love and understanding” in the midst of division.

Sara Beatty and Angie Youroukos led the event, and hope to continue showing support through future peaceful protests.