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Women Make Some Gains In Illinois Elections

This week’s election was expected to bring a second “Year of the Woman” to American politics. After Tuesday, here’s what that looks like in Illinois: The state’s congressional delegation added one woman, and there will be at least one, maybe up to three, more women serving in Springfield come January.

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The Impact Of The Illinois Election Where You Live / Illinois State Board of Education

Educating Illinoisans For "The Real World"

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J.B. Pritzker / Facebook

Dear Governor-elect Pritzker

Former and outgoing Illinois leaders offer suggestions for the man going to the mansion.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

J.B. Pritzker and his fellow Democrats ran the table on statewide offices at this week's general election. The party also picked up two seats in Congress, increased its supermajority in the state Seante, and gained a supermajority in the Illinois House.

Many of the Democratic gains were rooted in former Republican strongholds outside Chicago. Do the election results suggest a permanent realignment? Or is it unique to the circumstances of 2018?

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Education Desk / Illinois State Board of Education

In Illinois, more than 80 percent of all public school teachers are white. But odds are, most of the children in their classrooms are Hispanic, Black, Asian, or a mixture of races. Only 48 percent of public school students are white.

Emily Fox is trying to bring those numbers closer together. She is “director of educator effectiveness” at the Illinois State Board of Education.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

A recent study completed by the Illinois Rural Health Summit Planning Committee found that 1.5 million Illinoisans who live in rural parts of Illinois struggle to maintain "healthy, active, and productives lives." 

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Illinois Economy

Question cards from Illinois Issues Forums.
Sean Crawford / NPR Illinois

A statewide series of forums this year found plenty of concern about the direction Illinois is heading.  But we also found work is being done at the local level to solve some of the problems.

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Charles Edward Miller / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jane Galliher says she was raped by her boss 16 years ago. At the time, she feared she wouldn’t be believed. But with the encouragement of a friend, she told her story of the sexual assault to Springfield police. 

In her case, the police report didn’t culminate in a charge being filed by the Sangamon County state’s attorney. Still, she believes she made the right decision about reporting.

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Arts & Life

International singing star Sarah Brightman has performed in every major concert hall in the world, so we've invited her to play a game called "It's not over 'till Gene Simmons sings." Before Brightman originated the lead role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, the band Kiss starred in their one and only TV movie, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Brightman will answer three questions about this 1978 film.

Click the audio link above to see how she does.

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An Illinois House and Senate conference committee will meet tomorrow in Chicago as members try to work out a compromise on the state's pension problem.
Ten lawmakers, six of them Democrats, make up the panel.  It was formed after a pension deal eluded the General Assembly in the spring.  Republican Jil Tracy of Mount Sterling is among those given the task of coming up with a solution.


Amanda Vinicky talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal Register. We'll talk about Illinois' growing, and spreading, wine industry.  And what to do about high-accident intersections.  That and more in this week's Business Report.

You can read the latest stories Landis is working on daily in the SJR. 

Peter Gray/WUIS

Springfield residents living near South MacArthur Boulevard could have a new grocery store in the neighborhood by this time next year.

Iowa-based chain Hy-Vee held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning in the parking lot of the old Kmart store and bowling alley just north of Outer Park Drive.

Hy-Vee Asst. VP of Operations Mary Fuhrman says her crews will start tearing down the vacant buildings immediately.  Fuhrman expects the store to open by late spring 2014.

Bill Wheelhouse/Harvest Public Media

Jackie Dougan Jackson grew up like many farm kids. She spent sunbaked summer hours detasseling corn, tending the crops so it can be pollinated. For farm kids, detasseling is one of the ultimate chores. For the 85-year-old Jackson, those memories still put a song in her heart.

Springfield’s Muni out-door theater is putting on its largest production yet. With a cast of just about fifty actors, plus chorus singers, Les Miserables cost 50 percent more than the average Muni show. When Les Mis recently became available to amateur theaters, The Muni was quick to buy the rights. The show is in its second week… performances start at 8:30. They are tonight through Sunday, and again next week – Thursday through Saturday. Here's the interview with cast members Sydney Assalley & Jerry Hicks and the vocal director, Damien Kaplan.

Governor Pat Quinn is giving legislators less than three weeks to come together on a pension overhaul. So far the formation of a rare “conference committee” is the only result of the special legislative session Quinn called to deal with the state’s pension problem.

Regional Offices of Education have often been an overlooked area of government.  But the elected positions have unwillingly been in the spotlight over the last couple of years when Governor Pat Quinn tried to eliminate them.  A compromise with the legislature resulted in a consolidation of the offices that is underway now.  44 offices are required to drop down to 35.   In Sangamon County, an agreement was reached this month to merge with Menard County starting in 2015.

Rep. Davis Asks Supporter To Step Down

Jun 20, 2013
U.S. House


Central Illinois Republican congressman Rodney Davis is asking a campaign official to step down from his party position after writing what's been called a racist email about Davis' primary challenger. 

Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen wrote an email suggesting Erika Harold could fill a "minority quota'' if she lost the Republican primary. The bi-racial Harvard law school graduate was crowned Miss America in 2003 and launched her campaign bid this month. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Midwest waterways are getting lots of attention this summer. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency have immersed themselves in the ecology of 100 streams from Ohio to Nebraska. It’s a first-of-its kind effort to understand how ag runoff is not just changing the water but affecting the critters that live there. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson joined a crew on a rainy day while they gathered water samples and searched for fish eggs on three streams in central Missouri.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

The presidents of Illinois' public universities are rallying behind a plan intended to bolster the pension system for their employees. The proposal was the subject of a state Senate hearing Tuesday in Springfield. But its future is far from certain.

One by one, university presidents told senators why they believe something must be done about pensions. University of Illinois president Robert Easter says his schools are at a competitive disadvantage for recruiting top faculty.


Community Voices

You're Invited to Thank You Fest

Please join us for our annual "Thank You Fest" to thank our donors and supporters. This year's event will take place at the Governor's Mansion in Downtown Springfield on Wednesday, November 28th between 5:30pm- 8pm. We will celebrate with live music and delicious food. RSVP for Thank You Fest HERE.

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Statewide: Big Political Differences Across Illinois; Rural Health Challenges

It can be a struggle to live in rural Illinois. A study finds lack of access to quality healthcare is a major reason. And if you live outside of the Chicago area, the Illinois political landscape is often quite different. We learn how the latest election results continue to shape the political divide. That and more on this episode.

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NPR Illinois

Election 2018 - Illinois Results

Live election results for Illinois: Get the latest on Illinois ' ballot measures and races for governor, Senate, and House. Loading...

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Illinois Issues

Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

For Illinois Governors, Political Experience Optional

The upcoming general election will decide whether Republican Bruce Rauner gets another term as Illinois governor or if the voters will choose to go with Democrat J.B. Pritzker. But there’s one outcome of the election we already know for certain: Illinois will continue its experiment with amateur politicians running state government.

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Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Two top elections in Florida are heading for recounts, with voters almost evenly divided on candidates in the state's races for governor and the U.S. Senate. Unofficial vote tallies from all of Florida's 67 counties were turned in at noon on Saturday, and the narrow vote margins triggered machine recounts, which must be completed by Thursday.

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U.S. Troops Arrive To The Mexico Border

14 hours ago

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The X from NPR Illinois | 91.9-3 HD

Joni Mitchell At 75: A Birthday Quiz

" Good Friends ," here's " The Arrangement ." Joni Mitchell, a " Woman of Heart and Mind ," turns 75 today. She's " A Lucky Girl ." To celebrate our " Solid Love " for her, try our Joni Quiz, a virtual " Banquet " of 75 questions about Joni's life and music. It's yours " For Free " — a kind of " Twisted " " Lesson in Survival ." "If" you're thinking " I Don't Know Where I Stand " and want to shout " Help Me ," please do not call on the Internet. " No Apologies ," it's all " Down to You ." Don...

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A Preview of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra's "Simply Strings" Concert

Yona Stamatis talks with Illinois Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Ken Lam and guest piano soloist Alon Goldstein about Friday night's (November 9th) ISO concert, featuring Britten's "Simple Symphony", Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings" and Shostakovich's "First Piano Concerto".

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