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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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J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Pritzker Agenda

Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Website / Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

State's Sexual Assault Crisis Centers Struggling During Gov't Shutdown

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

Shivering and blue-lipped but smiling, Niraj Shukla emerged from the Ganges River this week, flanked by his parents and millions of other people, feeling renewed.

"The water is very cold, but once you have a bath – it's sort of a miracle, you know?" said Shukla, a 32-year-old engineer who lives in India's capital New Delhi.

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Arts & Life

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been retold endlessly by now, from the numerous film, TV, and YouTube adaptations of the original novel to the many, many books that use its structure, characters, and story arc to do something different. P&P has been adapted into a zombie story (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith), a mystery (Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James), a tale of a contemporary 30-something English spinster (Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding).

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Isolation is a part of life for many seniors, but a national program helps curb the loneliness by pairing homebound residents with peers, who make weekly visits.

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

While powerful winter storms hit parts of the Midwest on Saturday, heavy thunderstorms swept through the South. A tornado may have destroyed prominent buildings in a town north of Montgomery, Ala.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro gets the reaction of immigration activist Greisa Martinez Rosas, a DACA recipient herself, to President Trump's latest offer to reopen the government.

While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spurned President Trump's shutdown deal before he even officially offered it, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will push for a vote on it this week.

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

Shivering and blue-lipped but smiling, Niraj Shukla emerged from the Ganges River this week, flanked by his parents and millions of other people, feeling renewed.

"The water is very cold, but once you have a bath – it's sort of a miracle, you know?" said Shukla, a 32-year-old engineer who lives in India's capital New Delhi.

Starting this month, hospitals must publish prices for procedures and services online. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal of Kaiser Health News tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro it's not very user friendly — yet.

The number of air traffic controllers was at a record low before the government shutdown. With sickouts and resignations, union leader Joel Ortiz says the shutdown is making the skies less safe.

NPR's Mara Liasson joins Lulu Garcia-Navarro to discuss the president's negotiation-by-spectacle strategy on the shutdown, and to examine the latest moves in the Mueller investigation.

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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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CREDIT RACHEL LATTIMORE / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

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.

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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

The number of air traffic controllers was at a record low before the government shutdown. With sickouts and resignations, union leader Joel Ortiz says the shutdown is making the skies less safe.

NPR's Mara Liasson joins Lulu Garcia-Navarro to discuss the president's negotiation-by-spectacle strategy on the shutdown, and to examine the latest moves in the Mueller investigation.

They oppose President Trump's proposal, which temporarily would protect some young people who immigrated illegally and provide $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Sunday marks the second anniversary of President Trump's inauguration. At the midpoint of his four-year term, Trump has already delivered on some of his campaign promises, such as boosting funding for the military.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

With negotiations over reopening the government at a standstill, President Trump offered to back temporary protections for some immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, many of whom are now adults, in exchange for funding for a wall on the Southern border.

In a White House speech on Saturday, Trump also offered to extend the Temporary Protected Status program that blocks deportation of certain immigrants fleeing civil unrest or natural disasters.

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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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