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Pension Buyout Participation Rate Higher Than Expected, Early Numbers Show

A program designed to curb Illinois’ pension debt is now underway. Early numbers show more Illinois state employees than expected are choosing to take a pension buyout from the state.

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Trending Stories

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Vicious Cycle Emerges With Opioid And Suicide Epidemics

As suicide and opioid death numbers climb, researchers investigate how strong a connection exists.

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Statehouse

UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

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Education Desk

You're reading NPR's weekly roundup of education news.

Looking back at week one of the LA teacher strike

The school district and union leaders returned to the negotiation table on Thursday, and with talks scheduled throughout the weekend, some are trying to see an end to this week-long teacher strike.

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Health+Harvest Desk

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With the recent approval of an industrial hemp program in Illinois, farmers will soon be able to grow the crop as an agriculture commodity. For years, similar measures were introduced in the General Assembly but failed to generate enough support, primarily because of the stigma associated with the plant. 

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Illinois Economy

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

The need for new or repaired roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure in Illinois continues to outpace the amount of funding available to complete the projects. With a new governor and legislative session starting in January, discussions have already started with an aim to change that.

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Equity

Pray With The Pope, From Your iPhone

16 hours ago

"Click to pray" are not words you'd expect to come out of the pope's mouth.

But that's what onlookers heard during the traditional Sunday address from Pope Francis, as he introduced ClickToPray, an app for communal prayer aimed at young people.

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Arts & Life

'The Gilded Wolves' Is A Rich, High-Speed Heist Tale

19 hours ago

Roshani Chokshi's Star-Touched Queen duology made its mark on the bestseller lists by blending Indian mythology with Western fairy tales to create a dreamy, romantic story. Now, with The Gilded Wolves, the time for dreaming has passed as she catapults us into a glamorous, high-speed heist set in magical Belle Époque Paris.

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Local Response To Viral Video

13 minutes ago

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Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

13 minutes ago

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

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Community Voices - Past This I Believe Essays

Gabe Knott at the microphone
Dan LaGrasso / NPR Illinois

This I Believe: Gay Forever, Hell For Never

You’re going to hell. Yes, you, the young male wearing the loud shirt, scarf, and skinny jeans. Yes, you, the student tutor with a 3.8 GPA, who aspires to have a family, who has goals for your life and a career in mind and who was baptized in a Southern Baptist church; none of that matters when the TRUTH is that you aren’t natural and neither are your actions.

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This I Believe: A Universal Language

Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

Statewide: Downstate Dealmakers; A Conversation With Gov. Pritzker; Posthumous Pardon

This week on Statewide, we take a look at government now and in the past. The new governor, J.B. Pritzker, talks about some of the issues facing the state like criminal justice, higher education, taxes and ethics. Pritzker is from Chicago. Most of the state's top leaders make that area their home. But there was a time when some downstate politicians carried significant weight in the legislature. We'll talk about that bygone era of downstate dealmakers.

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Reporting and analysis taking you beyond the daily news and providing a deeper understanding of our state. 

The 21st

21st century conversation for the 21st state.

Mondays-Thursdays
11 AM - Noon
11 PM - Midnight

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

Fridays 12:30-1 PM, 7:30-8 PM
Saturdays 6:30-7 AM

Politics

When Elizabeth Warren announced her exploratory committee for president at the end of last month, the Massachusetts senator didn't only talk about a crumbling middle class - her signature policy issue - but she acknowledged the impact of race and racism on the economy, saying that "families of color" face a rockier path "made even harder by the impact of generations of discrimination."

New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is deeply worried about her party.

"We are facing a crisis level of Republican women in Congress," Stefanik said on Thursday, noting that there are only 13 Republican women in the U.S. House, down from 23 last session.

Stefanik stepped down as House Republicans' recruitment head last month. But with a new group she's launching, dedicated to boosting women candidates, she still has top Republicans' full attention.

Several parts of the federal government have been shut down for about a month now, and cybersecurity professionals say government websites are becoming more vulnerable to security breaches each day the shutdown lasts.

Visitors to manufacturing.gov, for instance, are finding that the site has become unusable — its information about the manufacturing sector is no longer accessible. Instead, it features this message at the top of the homepage:

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For more reaction, we are joined now by Greisa Martinez Rosas. She's with United We Dream, a DACA advocacy organization. And she's a DACA recipient herself.

Good morning.

GREISA MARTINEZ ROSAS: Buenas Dias. Good morning.

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The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

Tiny Desk Sketches: An Illustrator's Year In The Front Row

As an illustrator at NPR, my work includes creating editorial illustrations for news stories, photo illustrations for the NPR Music team, looping animations for smart displays, and the occasional journalistic drawing foray out in Washington, D.C. Few things make me say, "I can't believe this is part of my real job" quite like sketching Tiny Desk concerts as they happen. I usually try to get to the desk during sound check to give myself a little extra time. Even so, it's a mad rush to get a...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

For Opera Singers, Life After Retirement — At Least At One Very Special Rest Home

Opera star Renée Fleming drew concern last year after a New York Times profile suggested the acclaimed soprano would be retiring. Luckily for fans, it turned out to be a false alarm. But if Fleming does ever start to ponder retirement, she might consider a move to Milan — where she'd likely be welcomed with open arms at Casa Verdi, a retirement home for opera singers and musicians founded by the famed Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi more than 100 years ago. Soprano Lina Vasta spent her career...

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