Top Stories

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

A Different Path To A Degree

lllinois has historically ranked second in the nation when it comes to high school graduates leaving the state to go to college. But there's good news for a certain set of students who opt to stay. New data released by the state Board of Higher Education shows Illinois is tops in the nation for getting students who start out at community college through to a bachelor's degree.

Read More

Trending Stories

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Tackling Illinois' Crumbling Roads & Bridges One Tour At A Time

Illinois roads and bridges are in major disrepair. But after a two-year budget impasse and a backlog of bills that the state is struggling to cover, infrastructure continues to take a backseat. This year, advocates and lawmakers plan to change that.

Read More

Education Desk

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read More Education Stories

Statehouse

Twitter Cristina Castro- @senatorcastro

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a plan last week that would bar employers from asking about salary history. Now, some lawmakers say these actions could impact the governor’s race in which Rauner is vying for a second term.

Read More Statehouse Stories

Health+Harvest Desk

flickr

The Illinois Department of Public Health said they are trying to prevent an outbreak of Hepatitis A after several neighboring states have experienced their own.

Read More Health+Harvest Stories

Arts & Life

Rachel Otwell / Michael Christensen

A fiddling duo is playing Civil War era tunes on the Old State Capitol plaza in downtown Springfield. Near them is a log cabin on wheels (well, technically it's made of cardboard) with a large ball attached to it - fashioned to look as though it was made of iron or steel, with the words "link on to Lincoln." It's old-timey propaganda created by a contemporary Illinois artist.

Read More Arts & Life Stories

Equity

A report on clerical sexual abuse in Germany released Tuesday found thousands of cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics in the Catholic Church between 1946 and 2014 — and warns that the actual number is surely higher.

The study looked at more than 38,000 sets of personnel records from the country's dioceses, as well as criminal records and interviews with those who say they were abused and clerics accused of abuse.

Read More Equity Stories

Illinois Economy

Midwest High Speed Rail Assoc.

Imagine trains that travel 200 miles per hour between Chicago and St. Louis, drastically cutting the travel time for that trip.  It’s not far-fetched.  In fact, it’s happening in other places.  But in Illinois, high speed rail has been more about baby steps than giant leaps. 

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

If the Federal Reserve announces another quarter-percentage-point increase in interest rates Wednesday as expected, it's likely to lay out why the economy is strong enough to take it.

The Fed is expected to raise the benchmark borrowing rate to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, which would be the third hike this year.

The first thing that hit Ashley Simpson when she opened her car door was the smell: a rotten, stale, mold smell, leftover from the sewage-contaminated flood waters that engulfed her silver 2010 Chevy HHR Cruiser during Hurricane Florence. The next thing to hit her were the gnats flying out that had been breeding amid the mold for nearly a week.

Aimé Mpane remembers when he first saw the old statues.

It was 1994, and the Congolese visual artist had just moved to Belgium, which once ruled his country. Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mpane says he had been taught in school that the Congolese were descended from the Gauls — "that they were our kings."

"In our schoolbooks, it was as if the Congolese did not exist without Belgian colonialists," says Mpane, 50. His work explores the memory of colonialism in Congo and Belgium. "I wanted to know what [the Belgians] knew about us."

Philosophy professor John Kaag's 2016 book, American Philosophy, was a heady mix of memoir and intellectual history wrapped up in a romantic story of a lost library and new love. In Hiking with Nietzsche, he tries to repeat this feat by chronicling his return — with his second wife and their toddler daughter — to the scene of his near-fatal teenage attempt to follow Nietzsche's trail and thought processes through the Swiss Alps.

When 49 people died during the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, it was, at the time, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. But an investigation by public radio station WMFE and ProPublica finds that, if paramedics and firefighters had been allowed inside Pulse earlier that night, the death toll may not have been so high.

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

Federal and state authorities in Mexico have disarmed the entire police force in the city of Acapulco as investigators look into suspicions that it has been infiltrated by drug gangs.

According to The Associated Press, officers "were stripped of their guns, radios and bullet-proof vests and taken for background checks. Law enforcement duties in the seaside city of 800,000 will be taken over by soldiers, marines and state police."

Air ambulance rides can be lifesavers. But how much should they cost?

In the ongoing, crowdsourced "Bill of the Month" investigation, NPR and Kaiser Health News have received more than a dozen bills from people around the country on the hook for medevac helicopter rides that ranged from $28,000 to $97,000.

What gives? Why should a lifesaving flight come with a life-altering bill?

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

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

Pages

Community Voices

Rachel Otwell

Civil Rights Leader Urges Students: Keep Fighting, With Love

Earlier this month, Diane Nash told a full auditorium of University of Illinois Springfield students that she and fellow civil rights activists, “Loved you before we met you.” She said efforts to make the U.S. a more equitable place had been done, and are still being done, “For generations yet unborn.” And she urged others to join the cause, or risk sliding into what she sees as an increasingly authoritarian state.

Read More

Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

tom.arthur/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Ask The Newsroom: How Are Early Voting And Mail-in Ballots Handled?

In the past, Ann Quackenbush would wake up early on election day to get to her polling place. The elementary school teacher in Champaign says it was often hard to make time to vote during a busy school day. For the primary last March, she tried something different – mailing in her ballot before election day. “It is just incredibly convenient,” said Quackenbush, who has already requested a mail-in ballot for the mid-terms in November. Quackenbush posted to social media encouraging friends to...

Read More

Featured

Illinois Issues

Yolanda Harrington walks one of her students into Barkstall Elementary in Champaign. Harrington, who had dreams of becoming a teacher, makes $18 an hour and works a second job. She has been a paraprofessional for 19 years.
Courtesy of the Student's Family

Could One Answer To Teacher Shortage Be Right Under Our Nose?

Like most states, Illinois is struggling with a severe teacher shortage. And, also like most states, that shortage is felt most profoundly in the area of special education. There is, however, an army of teacher assistants already on the job. Could they help relieve this shortage?

Read More
shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

The People vs. The Budget

Politics

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

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

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

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

The stakes are high for Thursday's Capitol Hill hearing, pitting Trump Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault — an accusation Kavanaugh has denied — when they were both in high school.

READ MORE POLITICS STORIES

The 21st: Mondays-Thursdays 11 AM - Noon, Replay 11 PM - Midnight

Participate by calling 800-222-9455.

The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

30 Years Later: Was 1988 The Greatest Year In Music?

It's 1988. A gallon of gas is about 90 cents. Movie tickets average $3.50 a flick. And while you were at the movies, chances are you caught Rain Man , Who Framed Roger Rabbit , Big or Beetlejuice . On television, Miami Vice was still going strong, as St. Elsewhere was ending. In August, Yo! MTV Raps debuted. Musically, your Walkman collection of cassettes game is strong. You're holding a new album by this new Philly hip-hop duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and a few new releases by The...

Read More

NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

On 'Fanfare For The Common Man,' An Anthem For The American Century

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdqjcMmjeaA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK92hdp6u18 This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem . Aaron Copland 's "Fanfare for the Common Man" begins with dramatic percussion, heralding something big and exciting. Then comes a ladder of simple trumpet notes, solemn and heroic. The whole piece takes less than four minutes to play, but its admirers say it...

Read More