Jacob McCleland

Jacob spearheads KRCU’s local news effort. His reporting has been heard on NPR’ Morning Edition and All Things Considered, PRI’s The World, and Harvest Public Media. In addition to reporting, Jacob directs KRCU’s team of student reporters and producers.

Jacob graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2000 with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish. He spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama where he worked on sustainable agriculture projects and hosted a weekly agriculture radio program.

Kris Pirmann and a handful of other Johnson County residents stand outside the county commission office in Vienna, Ill., a town of about 1,400 people tucked into southern Illinois’ rolling hills near the Shawnee National Forest. 

“Southern Illinois. I grew up as a Navy brat. I moved all over the place, and southern Illinois was always the place where family was that we could come back to as home,” Pirmann said.

Voters in Johnson County, Illinois will have a chance to voice their opinions about hydraulic fracturing at the ballot box. 

A group of Johnson County citizens submitted 1,001 signature to county officials on Thursday to put a non-binding resolution on the March 18 primary ballot that asks if fracking should be banned within the county. They only needed to gather 374.


Some Southern Illinois residents are concerned about hydraulic fracturing related water quality, chemical trade secrets and the size of fines levied on the industry.  

The comments came from among the 175 present at an Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ public hearing on fracking last night at Rend Lake College in Ina. A six-member panel listened to a range of public comments about the IDNR’s proposed fracking regulations.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) released draft rules that will regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but environmental groups aren’t pleased with the

A new study published last month finds rural homosexuals tend to have better health and well being than their big city peers.

That runs contrary to conventional wisdom, according to co-author Chris Wienke, a sociology professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and explained he expected to find that rural homosexuals find more isolation and less opportunities for social support.

Louder than a chainsaw, the cicada produces a noise reaching 120 decibels, making it the loudest known insect. The cacophony produced by the annual swarm of these insects is well known for being the sound of late summer. Timothy Judd, professor and entomologist of Southeast Missouri State University, explains how this small bug makes such an uproar.

“Insects have a cuticle which is what the hard part is. And this is another special part inside that they scrape, that scraping sound you’re hearing.

Nobody was completely pleased with the Army Corps of Engineers’' draft plan for the St. Johns Bayou - New Madrid Floodway project at a public hearing Tuesday night in East Prairie.

The proposed $164 million project would plug a 1,500 foot gap in the Mississippi River near New Madrid, install two pumping stations to remove water from inside the levee, modify 23 miles of ditches in the St. Johns Bayou Basin and manage waterfowl and other wildlife.

Officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation, or IDOT , met with members of the public Wednesday evening at Shawnee Community College to discuss the potential Interstate 66 corridor.

The interstate highway would run from Interstate 55 in Missouri to Interstate 24, near Paducah.

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart was one of only 24 Democrats who voted in favor of the U.S. House’s failed Farm Bill yesterday. Enyart represents Illinois’s 12th congressional district, which spans from Alton to Cairo. Enyart supported the bill despite some misgivings.

Enyart, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, opposed the House bill’s two billion dollars of annual cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

Clay Waller pled guilty to the murder of his wife, Jacque Waller, in Cape Girardeau County Court on Thursday, bringing a bittersweet end to one of the most high-profile murder cases in recent Cape Girardeau history.