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Women In State Senate Seek Solutions To Pregnancy-Related Deaths

Women in the Illinois Senate want to address a surge in maternal deaths related to childbirth.

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Molly Marshall / Flickr (CC-NC 2.0)

Eviction Record Sealing Measure Advances

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Illinois House Democratic Caucus

The Abortion Debate Is About To Heat Up In Illinois

Illinois could become the most progressive state in the nation on abortion rights if a proposed bill is approved this year.

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WATCH - LISTEN : As Goes Journalism, So Goes the Community

The number of news reporters has been declining for years – in print and broadcast, and markets of all sizes. One need only look at the Illinois State House Press Corps, whose numbers have dwindled from several dozen full-time, year-round reporters to a handful of credentialed journalists today, or the decreased size of local media news staff, to see the trend in our area. What’s the impact on you - and the community? Research shows that fewer journalists mean less accountability of public officials.

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Community Voices

ATTEND: Alatzas, Culhane, Korecki 2019 PAR Hall of Fame Inductees

The UIS Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) Hall of Fame
Monday, April 29, 2019, 5:30 p.m.

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Wikipedia Commons

More than a year ago, Illinois lawmakers approved a total overhaul of the way the state funds schools. That landmark legislation, known as “evidence-based funding,” got a lot of media attention. But at the same time, something else happened that went totally unreported: The state also changed the number of instructional hours required in a school day from five to zero.

Let’s be clear: The new law didn’t force any changes, so most districts carried on with their usual schedules. And as soon teachers unions noticed the five-hour requirement had been dropped, they began to lobby to reinstate it.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her first speech to her nation's Parliament after last week's terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, said the gunman should be denied the publicity he was seeking.

"That's why you will never hear me mention his name," said Ardern. "He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless."

The alleged shooter had written a 74-page screed promoting his white supremacist views and had livestreamed his attack on the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.

In the days following Friday's mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the prime minister has called for gun law reforms, and the suspected shooter awaits trial.

An outpouring of friends and family has turned out to mourn the 50 people gunned down during prayers.

Meanwhile, more details are emerging about the accused attacker, Brenton Tarrant.

The 28-year-old, an Australian citizen who lives in New Zealand, has been charged with one count of murder so far but could face more charges. New Zealand's police force says it believes he acted alone.

A white suburban police officer goes on trial in Pittsburgh on Tuesday for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager last summer.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A white police officer goes on trial in Pittsburgh tomorrow. He's accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teen last summer. Even though it happened in Pittsburgh, the jurors in this case are coming from the city of Harrisburg. A judge had ruled that pretrial publicity in Pittsburgh posed a threat to a fair trial. From member station WESA, An-Li Herring has more details.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law which will allow the punishment of individuals and online media for spreading what Russia calls "fake news" and information which "disrespects" the state.

High-ranking Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for a counterintelligence investigation into a woman who has peddled access to President Trump and who founded the massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is accused of soliciting sex.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A white police officer goes on trial in Pittsburgh tomorrow. He's accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teen last summer. Even though it happened in Pittsburgh, the jurors in this case are coming from the city of Harrisburg. A judge had ruled that pretrial publicity in Pittsburgh posed a threat to a fair trial. From member station WESA, An-Li Herring has more details.

adapted photo from Heath Alseike/flickr

Growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in Illinois is legal, and it's looking more likely that the state will legalize a recreational program as well. But one crucial component that remains illegal is for banks to do business with marijuana-related companies. 

Molly Marshall / Flickr (CC-NC 2.0)

A measure to expand cases when eviction records can be sealed has advanced out of a House committee.

Proponents say unsealed eviction notices can taint a renter’s record even if an eviction is never carried out. That makes it difficult for renters to find a new home.

Bob Palmer of Housing Action Illinois says,“We understand that landlords have a compelling interest in wanting to screen tenants so they can get good tenants, but we don't think that just having an eviction filing is a good reflection  on someone's ability to be a good tenant.”

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Analysis & commentary on the events that made news this past week in Illinois state government & politics.

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Arts & Life

In 12 days, there will be a parade to celebrate a road unifying two regions of a country torn apart by a decades-long civil war. That is, if two contractors are able to construct the road in time.

That's the premise of Dave Eggers' new novel The Parade, a slim meditation on the difficulties of global development and aid work. The story follows two men — we know them only as Four and Nine — who work for a faceless corporation, tasked with paving this highway while making as few waves as possible.

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Education Desk

Wikipedia Commons

More than a year ago, Illinois lawmakers approved a total overhaul of the way the state funds schools. That landmark legislation, known as “evidence-based funding,” got a lot of media attention. But at the same time, something else happened that went totally unreported: The state also changed the number of instructional hours required in a school day from five to zero.

Let’s be clear: The new law didn’t force any changes, so most districts carried on with their usual schedules. And as soon teachers unions noticed the five-hour requirement had been dropped, they began to lobby to reinstate it.

Read More Education Stories

Equity & Justice

Equality Illinois

LGBTQ activists are speaking out about  proposed legislation that would punish medical  professionals who treat transgender youth.  

Under Republican sponsor Tom Morrison’s (R-Palatine) plan, medical professionals performing sex-change surgeries or prescribing certain hormones could have their licenses suspended or revoked.

Advocates pointed to Morrison’s history of proposing legislation hurtful to transgender youth, including an unsuccessful measure that would have required transgender students use the bathroom or locker room corresponding to their gender at birth.

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Health+Harvest Desk

adapted photo from Heath Alseike/flickr

Growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes in Illinois is legal, and it's looking more likely that the state will legalize a recreational program as well. But one crucial component that remains illegal is for banks to do business with marijuana-related companies. 

Read More Health+Harvest Stories

Illinois Economy

Flickr user: TaxCredits.net

Stores in Illinois keep a portion of what you pay in sales tax. Think of it like a collection fee, though in state government shorthand it’s called a retail discount.

The amount is based on a percentage of what they collect. So the more they sell, the more they keep.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to cap that amount to $1,000 per month for each retailer. It’s one of several proposals aimed at addressing a $3.2 billion deficit in next year’s budget.

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

Statehouse

Molly Marshall / Flickr (CC-NC 2.0)

A measure to expand cases when eviction records can be sealed has advanced out of a House committee.

Proponents say unsealed eviction notices can taint a renter’s record even if an eviction is never carried out. That makes it difficult for renters to find a new home.

Bob Palmer of Housing Action Illinois says,“We understand that landlords have a compelling interest in wanting to screen tenants so they can get good tenants, but we don't think that just having an eviction filing is a good reflection  on someone's ability to be a good tenant.”

Read More Statehouse Stories

Politics

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

There aren't many people who can command attention at the White House, the classrooms of Princeton University, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Alan Krueger did all three.

Krueger, who served as economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, died over the weekend at age 58. The cause was suicide, according to a statement from his family, released by Princeton University where Krueger taught.

The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh whether one of those convicted in the "D.C. Sniper" killings should have a lessened sentence.

Lee Boyd Malvo, 34, is currently serving a life term in prison for his role in the 2002 shootings that killed 10 people. The two months of shootings represent one of the most notable attacks to take place in the nation's capital.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Bernie Sanders who's running for president in 2020 is not the same Bernie Sanders who ran in 2016.

Yes, he has many of the same policy positions, and many of his 2016 supporters are enthusiastically backing him again. But the Vermont independent senator is no longer the insurgent taking on a political Goliath with huge name recognition. Now, he is the candidate with high name recognition, taking on candidates who are introducing themselves to the American people again.

Sunday Politics

Mar 17, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

President Trump responded to the mosque shootings in New Zealand on Friday by saying it was a terrible thing. But again, contradicting national security experts, he also minimized the threat that white nationalism poses worldwide.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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All Songs Considered's 'Wow' Moments From SXSW 2019

Each year, the buzz in Austin, Texas, at the South By Southwest music festival can reach a deafening pitch. Our NPR Music team is here to help you cut through the noise. Every evening, we'll gather to roundup and recap the best discoveries of the day. Keep up with our coverage of SXSW 2019 by subscribing to All Songs Considered. We'll be sharing 'Wow' moments every morning and updating our SXSW 2019 playlist with the best-of-the-fest tunes from the bands that we couldn't get enough of. John...

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NPR Illinois Classic - STREAM ONLY UNTIL NEW TRANSMITTER COMPLETE

NPR Music's Best Classical Albums Of 2018

Narrowing a list to just 10 is always a painful game. This year, amid a multitude of albums, I found favorite musicians ( Víkingur Ólafsson ), newcomers (the young Aizuri Quartet) and familiar players in compelling collaborations ( Brooklyn Rider and Magos Herrera ), all offering fascinating performances of music from the baroque to the freshly minted. Think of the albums on this list as portals. They'll take you to Tsarist Russia, the New Mexico desert, 18th-century Spain, the austere...

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