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Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County Schools Ask Voters To Approve Tax Increase

Springfield public schools have an ambitious 30-year master plan to renovate or rebuild facilities on all campuses, plus create new baseball, softball and soccer fields. Of course, those improvements cost money. So Springfield and surrounding districts are asking Sangamon County voters to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase in November. All proceeds would go toward facilities.

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Trending Stories

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Teachers Union President Accused Of Strong-Arm Tactics

Every two years, Springfield teachers elect a union president. This year, that election was a squeaker. With close to 1,500 teachers voting, a new president was elected by a narrow, nine-vote margin. There’s no way to know how many of those teachers were aware that — less than a year earlier — the teacher they elected as their leader had appeared before the Springfield School Board to defend himself against allegations that he had put a 7th-grader in a chokehold.

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Statehouse

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Vice President Mike Pence was in Springfield Friday, stumping for Congressman Rodney Davis. Pence has been crisscrossing the country to help GOP candidates maintain control of districts that could flip Democratic in the midterm election.


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Education Desk

KCD Lower School Computer Lab (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Access to high-speed internet stops about seven miles east of both Nippersink School District 2 and Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157, according to Tom Lind. He’s the superintendent of both districts, located near the border of Wisconsin —  about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

There’s been a lot of changes in agriculture through the decades, from the equipment used to the amount of land needed to sustain a livelihood. Gary Oxley is an Illinois man who has been farming for more than 70 years. He discusses the changes he's witnessed first hand.

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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. 

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Equity

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This month marks a year since the Me Too movement went viral as a hashtag on social media (after having first been started in 2006 by Tarana Burke.) This week, we hear from several women in Illinois whose work in government has been affected. The first woman we spoke to is Susana Mendoza, state Comptroller and member of the Illinois Anti-harassment Equality and Access Panel.

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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.

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The drywall is finally ready to go up at Paul Lowenthal's new house, just outside Santa Rosa, Calif. After going through the most destructive blaze in California history, his long rebuilding process is almost done.

Fueled by extreme winds, Sonoma County's Tubbs Fire last year killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes and buildings.

Since then, the community has banded together to pick up the pieces. But it's also been grappling with a tough question — one that faces fire-ravaged communities around the state:

At the beginning of Esi Edugyan's new book Washington Black, it seems the narrator is not going anywhere.

It's the 1830s, and the narrator, a boy named George Washington Black, is enslaved on the British-controlled island of Barbados. He seems likely to be worked to death in sugar cane fields — until he's carried away.

He's made into an assistant of a visiting white man, and they become friends. Sort of.

"Any true friendship between them is impossible because of the power imbalance – it's just too great," Edugyan says in an interview.

On Thursday, Amber Gee evacuated her Callaway, Fla., home a day after Hurricane Michael made landfall. Callaway is just east of Panama City on the Florida Panhandle — an area that has been devastated by the storm and an area where many of Gee's family members also live.

On Saturday, Gee was on Facebook where she found a link to NOAA's interactive satellite map that could give her an idea of the damage. Gee began to look at aerial images of the destruction, when she made a serendipitous discovery.

The Trump administration said late Monday that it will require drugmakers to reveal the list prices of their medicines in television ads. The move sets the stage for months or possibly years of battle with the powerful industry.

The proposed rule would require pharmaceutical companies to include the price in a TV ad for any drug that costs more than $35 a month. The price should be listed at the end of the advertisement in "a legible manner," the rule states, and should be presented against a contrasting background in a way that is easy to read.

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Dies At 65

8 hours ago

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against President Trump by adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed the president had defamed her earlier this year on Twitter.

The lawsuit was filed over a tweet Trump sent in April suggesting Daniels was lying about being threatened in 2011 not to go public with her story of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Paul Allen, who co-founded tech giant Microsoft with Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Allen's death was announced in a statement released by his investment firm, Vulcan.

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Illinois Issues Survey

Community Voices

UIS

Lincoln Legacy Lectures At UIS This Thursday

The Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series will happen this Thursday night on the University of Illinois Springfield campus. The topic this year is Lincoln vs. Douglas: Slavery and Race in Illinois History.

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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...

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Featured

Statewide: Interview With Conservative Party Candidate Sam McCann; How Campaigns Use Social Media

Statewide, with host Sean Crawford, brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.

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LLINOIS STATE MUSEUM, DICKSON MOUNDS MUSEUM. ARTIST, ANDY BUTTRAM.

Is It Time For Illinois To Stop Celebrating Columbus Day?

Illinois Issues

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Is Age Just A Number? The Race For Illinois Secretary Of State

Secretary of State Jesse White has held the elected office nearly two decades. This year, his Republican opponent is questioning whether White will be able to serve out another four-year term if elected.

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Politics

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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still missing, nearly two weeks after he entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. And questions continue to swirl about his disappearance. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was dispatched to Riyadh, while in Istanbul, a team of investigators searched the consulate.

President Trump told reporters on Monday morning that he had just spoken with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who he said "firmly denied any knowledge" of what happened to Khashoggi.

But Trump had a theory.

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Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

After Hurricane Michael slammed through the Florida panhandle and into Georgia last week, President Trump has surveyed damage and met with officials about recovery efforts.

At a briefing alongside Florida Gov. Rick Scott at Eglin Air Force Base, Trump praised the work of emergency responders and law enforcement.

"The job they've done in Florida has been incredible," he said, and described Scott as a leader who "steps up in the biggest emergencies, the biggest problems, and he gets it done."

President Donald Trump weighed in on Monday morning about the case of disappeared journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

Hear The Bangles Cover The Three O'Clock For Paisley Underground Compilation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sUZwqaWRT4 When Michael Quercio, lead singer, bassist, and founder of The Three O'Clock used the term " Paisley Underground " in an interview in 1982 to describe a particular slice of the Los Angeles music scene in the mid-'80s, little did he know that it would become a moment in rock and roll that would have significant historical importance. An amalgam of psychedelic rock, garage rock, and jangly, melodic pop, the scene was represented primarily by The Three...

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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...

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