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Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

When Walmart Leaves Town

Two small towns in rural Illinois recently lost their Walmart stores -- more than three decades after the retail giant came in and pushed out mom and pop shops. Now, the communities have lost convenience as well as major property and sales tax revenue. Some see it as an opportunity to revitalize main street, while others are not so optimistic.

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Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

On Legalizing Pot, Pritzker Says 'Get At It'

Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is making legalizing marijuana one of his top priorities.

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Statehouse

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he tried to get out of his failed re-election campaign.

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Education Desk

Matt Penning/NPR Illinois

NPR Illinois reporter Rachel Otwell has been awarded a grant from ProPublica for a year-long investigative project in 2019. More than 215 news organizations applied from 43 states, according to a news release from ProPublica announcing the award.

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Health+Harvest Desk

The recent report issued by the National Climate Assessment detailed many ways climate change is already impacting daily lives of Americans. It also explained how these affects will persist if people do not respond properly. 

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Illinois Economy

TaxCredits.net / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Illinois continues to see big box stores close. That means lost jobs, less tax revenue and often empty store space.

Still, Joe Fackel – with the Canvass Group – says he’s optimistic about the future of retail. The city of Springfield recently hired his firm to look at vacant shopping space in the capital city.

NPR Illinois talked with Fackel about the retail trends he’s seeing.

Below is a lightly edited transcript.

NPR Illinois: What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

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Equity

Why Is Deerfield (Still) So White?

Nov 15, 2018
Art Shay / @Art Shay Archive, 2018

Commentary: A North Shore suburban native reflects on the community's troubled racial history.

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Arts & Life

Rachel Otwell

Preston Jackson is a martial artist, an accomplished guitar player, an educator and professor-emeritus, and a visual artist who has studios in Bartonville, Peoria and Chicago. His newest work, unveiled on Tuesday, is a mural that depicts the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis caring for the wounded after the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield.

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More than a decade since Mexico first brought its case to the World Trade Organization, the country has lost its argument that U.S. labeling rules unfairly discriminate against its fishing industry.

Actress Eliza Dushku reached a confidential $9.5 million settlement with CBS last year after claiming she was written off one of the network's most successful shows following her complaints of sexual harassment by the program's leading man.

A federal appeals court has thrown out a power company's permit to build a natural gas pipeline across two national forests and the Appalachian Trail – and slammed the U.S. Forest Service for granting the approvals in the first place.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he tried to get out of his failed re-election campaign.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday evening that Mick Mulvaney, his director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the acting White House chief of staff.

It's unclear how long Mulvaney will serve in the role, succeeding outgoing chief of staff John Kelly. Trump announced on Dec. 8 that Kelly would leave at the end of the year.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

'Tax Liens' Mean Towns Win, Homeowners Lose

2 hours ago

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Community Voices

panelist discussing marijuana legalization
Travis Stansel / Illinois Newsroom

Answering Your Questions About Cannabis Legalization

The issue of marijuana legalization in Illinois has been hotly debated for years. But assumptions, inaccuracies, and unknowns still fuel arguments on all sides across the state. As vocal legalization supporter and governor-elect J.B. Pritzker prepares to take office, Illinois residents are trying to understand how the potential legalization will affect them.

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Featured

Statewide: Climate Change In Illinois; Schools Fail Dealing With Sexual Abuse

With all the talk of climate change and what the future may bring, turns out we're already seeing effects in Illinois. And a report outlines where schools are missing the mark in helping sexual abuse and harassment victims. Statewide brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.

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Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

Matt Penning/NPR Illinois

Reporter Rachel Otwell Chosen For Investigative Project

NPR Illinois reporter Rachel Otwell has been awarded a grant from ProPublica for a year-long investigative project in 2019. More than 215 news organizations applied from 43 states, according to a news release from ProPublica announcing the award.

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Illinois Issues

Blagojevich mugshot with wiretap waveform
Brian Mackey (illustration) / U.S. Government (photo)

Ten Years After Arrest, Has Illinois Learned The Right Lessons From Blagojevich?

News Analysis — This coming Sunday, December 9, marks the 10th anniversary of the day the FBI arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The event led to his impeachment, criminal conviction and a 14-year prison sentence. There were also changes in state ethics laws. But there are those who say the corruption was not the worst part of the Blagojevich administration — and I am among them. I'll make that argument in this week's Illinois Issues in-depth report.

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The first Illinois capitol at Kaskaskia.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Archives

Illinois' Birth: We Cooked The Books

J.B. Pritzker / Facebook

Dear Governor-elect Pritzker

Politics

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Arizona will soon have another new senator, with Republican Jon Kyl — who accepted a temporary appointment following GOP Sen. John McCain's death — stepping aside.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer, says his former boss knew it was wrong to order hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who say they had affairs with Trump — but he directed Cohen to do it anyway to help his election chances.

Cohen also said in an interview with ABC News that aired Friday that the president's repeated assertions that Cohen is lying about the payments and other aspects of his work for Trump were false.

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The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

Nancy Wilson, Legendary Vocalist And NPR 'Jazz Profiles' Host, Dies At 81

Nancy Wilson died Thursday after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif., her manager Devra Hall Levy told NPR. She was 81. Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1937, Wilson has recounted in interviews that she started singing around age 3 or 4. "I have always just sung. I have never questioned what it is. I thank God for it and I just do it," she told Marian McPartland, host of NPR's Piano Jazz in 1994. She never had formal training but was influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat "King" Cole,...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

violin
Jose Zaragoza / flickr.com/jose_zaragoza

A Preview of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra's "Simply Strings" Concert

Yona Stamatis talks with Illinois Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Ken Lam and guest piano soloist Alon Goldstein about Friday night's (November 9th) ISO concert, featuring Britten's "Simple Symphony", Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings" and Shostakovich's "First Piano Concerto". http://www.ilsymphony.org/

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