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Mae Benjamins daughter Melody works as Maes personal health care assistant.
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The Janus Effect: Will Mainly African American Women Pay?

Some experts say black women may bear the brunt if union membership declines or financial support lessens as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which decreed that public sector unions can no longer force workers they represent to pay fees in lieu of union dues. But conservative groups say the cost is justified to protect workers' free speech rights.

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Trending Stories

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?

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Education Desk

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

Student loan forgiveness applicants largely denied

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Statehouse

Flickr: Gabriel Garcia Marengo / 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Drone enthusiasts, be aware – the rules for the small, unmanned aircrafts could be changing in Illinois.

A new law bars cities from regulating the use of drones.

The law excludes the city of Chicago, but a spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation says it will create consistent rules around the rest of the state.

Jackie Reiser is a co-owner of Measure Illinois – a Springfield-based company that provides drones to oversee power lines and construction sites. She says more unified regulation is a good thing.

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Health+Harvest Desk

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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.

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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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Equity

On India's west coast, revelers hoist up statues of an elephant-headed god, and parade them toward the Arabian Sea. They sing and chant, and hand out food to bystanders.

For 10 days, they perform pooja — Hindu prayers — at the statues' feet and then submerge them in bodies of water.

This is a tradition in Mumbai, India's biggest city, near the end of each year's monsoon rains: a festival honoring Ganesh, or Lord Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck. He has a human body and an elephant head.

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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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The second season of Netflix's American Vandal dropped last Friday. The first season proved a slow-build, under-the-radar, word-of-mouth phenomenon; the second arrived to a devoted and vocal fanbase. Season one was something you started hearing about over the course of weeks and months, from disparate friends and family; full, spoilery reviews of season two were posted at 12:01:01 a.m. last Friday.

This week in the Russia investigations: Rod Rosenstein denies explosive report and a reprieve on the secret documents Trump allies want declassified and disclosed.

The wire

Like a scene in a cowboy movie, a bar brawl burst from behind closed doors on Friday and spilled into the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Instead of a saloon, the venue for this fistfight was Justice Department headquarters.

Unlike an old-school dust-up, however, not all the identities of the combatants are obvious.

These days, not many tourists go to the legendary city of Timbuktu.

Indeed, the U.S. State Department advises: "Do not travel to Mali due to crime and terrorism."

But you can still send a postcard to a family member, a friend or even yourself, all the way from the fabled, mud-walled city.

Postcards from Timbuktu was established in 2016 by Phil Paoletta, an American hotel owner from Cleveland, and Ali Nialy, a 29-year-old guide from Timbuktu.

Who's Bill This Time

17 hours ago

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

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Get over here and shave me. I'm your stub-Bill (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

When Aly Raisman was a little girl, she used to watch and rewatch the 1996 U.S. women's gymnastics team win the Olympic gold and say to herself: Someday, that will be me. She was right, not once — but twice. Raisman won two team gold medals as captain of the U.S. Olympic teams in 2012 and 2016. And she also won gold for her floor exercise in 2012. Raisman chronicles her career the memoir Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything.

Predictions

17 hours ago

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

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, who will be the next video game character to make the headlines? Adam Burke.

ADAM BURKE: It will be when Namco reveals that Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are the same person, and they were just way ahead of this whole gender fluidity thing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Faith Salie.

Lightning Fill In The Blank

17 hours ago

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto our final game - Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer is worth two points.

Bill, can you give us the scores?

Limericks

17 hours ago

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MATT ROMOSER: Hi, this is Matt from Springfield, Mass.

SAGAL: Oh, what do you do there in Springfield?

ROMOSER: I am a professor of industrial engineering at Western New England University.

Panel Questions

17 hours ago

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

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Adam Burke, Faith Salie and Tara Clancy. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

Bluff The Listener

17 hours ago

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

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Faith Salie, Tara Clancy and Adam Burke. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

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Community Voices

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Youth Activist Summit In Springfield Inspired By Parkland Students

Students from a high school in Parkland, Florida turned trauma into activism and a get-out-the-vote campaign . Their high school was the site of a mass-shooting earlier this year. Their work has trickled down to Illinois and Springfield.

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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...

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Featured

Statewide: Fall Enrollment Data; Best State Budget Practices; Return Of the "Wide Awakes"

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

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Illinois Issues

shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

The People vs. The Budget

When it comes to state spending, Illinois politicians are giving voters what they want. That’s the problem.

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Fake Weed: The Danger And The Appeal

Politics

Copyright 2018 West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In Texas, a race that no one expected to be this competitive. The candidates for Texas Senate battled in a debate last night. KERA's Christopher Connelly reports from Dallas.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Editor's Note: This story contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.

Guiding her cart down an aisle of a Virginia grocery store, Leigh Michel attracts more attention than the average shopper.

"Do you know where the dog food is?" one man asks her. This kind of attention makes her uneasy.

"No, I don't," Michel answers. "Sorry."

The man assumes Michel would know the answer because her service dog, an English black Labrador named Lizzy, is walking at her side.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump promised to drain the swamp at a rally last night. He meant the Department of Justice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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50 Years Of Sockin' It To The PTA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOZPBUu7Fro A single mom who wears miniskirts is the scorn of a small town. Fifty years ago this month, the song "Harper Valley P.T.A." made singer Jeannie C. Riley the first woman to hit the top spot on both the pop and country charts . More recently, the song made Rolling Stone 's list of the "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time." Written by renowned country artist Tom T. Hall , "Harper Valley P.T.A." is a clapback to slut-shaming. The shaming comes in the...

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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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