Friday Forum

The Cunningham Group

Rockford area officials have sought a casino for decades as a way to help deal with economic problems. And even with a casino looking to open just over the border in Wisconsin, they still feel that way. In this Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Guy Stephens looks at the area’s casino craving.

State Sen. Dave Syverson has been pushing for a Rockford casino for years. The Rockford Republican says casinos were started in Illinois to keep money from leaving the state, and that continues to be a big issue. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

America has been dealing with racism for hundreds of years, but we still have a long way to go. In the first of a two-part Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens sits down with Northern Illinois University professor Joseph Flynn to talk about racism’s deep roots in American culture and institutions.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

The Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee holds an annual conference on disaster preparedness. Normally, the group focuses on hazardous materials. This year, the issue of mass shootings was added to the agenda. In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Chase Cavanaugh highlights two speakers who talk about responding to these incidents.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Treatment is one piece of the puzzle in tackling the opioid epidemic. But people seeking help in Illinois may face another major challenge … paying for it. Health insurance companies pose different requirements for getting these medications. Some physicians say this can lead patients back to the streets. In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Jessie Schlacks looks at obstacles for people ready to defeat their addiction ... and how lawmakers are trying to fill the gaps.

niu.edu

Communication can be difficult for some people. It may be due to a moderate to severe stutter they've had all their life, or a catastrophic event like a stroke that renders them inarticulate. In today’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Guy Stephens tells us how researchers, including some at Northern Illinois University, are using music to help overcome or alleviate speech problems in ways they are still trying to fully understand.

Jaime Mayer oversees several projects at Northern Illinois University that explore the interfaces of music, language and thought.

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