Top Stories

Katie Buck / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Food Aid To Continue Despite Shutdown, For Now

Despite the federal government shutdown, Illinoisans will continue getting food aid through February.

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Trending Stories

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Pritzker Agenda

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker takes office next week on the heels of the most decisive election victory in a generation. And he’ll be working to pass his agenda through the biggest Democratic majorities in the General Assembly since the 1960s. That raises a question: What precisely does that agenda consist of?

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Statehouse

Katie Buck / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

Despite the federal government shutdown, Illinoisans will continue getting food aid through February.

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Education Desk

Photo illustration by Søren Daum

Statistics show that only about one-third of sexual assaults get reported to authorities. But a new Illinois law removes some of the barriers that could prevent rape victims from coming forward. Dubbed "the survivors’ bill of rights," this legislation offers protections plus some small comforts for people reporting sexual assault.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Farmers in Illinois are getting closer to growing industrial hemp. The Department of Agriculture (IDOA) drafted rules for the program which lay out who can grow it, where and how much it will cost.

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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

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In the wake of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Catholic Church investigation, a victim’s advocacy group is accusing the Catholic Diocese of Springfield of intentionally leaving the names of two predator priests off its public list. They say those names are part of the group of 500 Madigan uncovered.


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Arts & Life

The newest novel by celebrated Chinese novelist Yan Lianke is a poetic nightmare that's being compared with James Joyce's Ulysses.

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Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Tensions were high at last night’s (5/6) Springfield district 186 school board meeting as the 

  new board was seated and a president and vice president were appointed.

The meeting started with goodbyes for the previous school board members.

Landmarks Illinois

The Fernwood Mausoleum is more than just the story of a dilapidated building.  It’s a sad result for those who thought that they would spend eternity inside the enclosure located in the Greene County town of Roodhouse.

But the future for the nearly 100 bodies still housed at the mausoleum remains uncertain, nearly a century after it was built.  Costly repairs are needed.  Ray Coons, with the Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association, is among those volunteers working to save the site.

sps186.org

 A Springfield school board race that was too close to call is now over. Katharine Eastvold announced today she has conceded in the race for subdistrict five. She lost by one vote to Donna Moore. A partial recount found that votes had been counted accurately. Eastvold says she considered asking a judge for a full recount but did not find enough evidence to warrant that move. A supporter of Eastvold had used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover election documents. But Eastvold says those documents failed to turn up information to justify dragging out the contest.

  Community gardens are cropping up in urban areas across the country. They’re a way for those without the yard space to grow their own food. Kemia Sarraf is the founder and president of the local group gen H Kids, which stands for Generation Healthy. She tells WUIS’ Rachel Otwell about how the group is bringing a new community garden to Springfield:

CLICK HERE for more information or email George@genHkids.org to register for a garden plot.

Court Gives AG More Time For Concealed Carry Appeal

May 3, 2013
facebook.com/lisamadigan

The U.S. Supreme Court is giving Illinois’ attorney general more time to decide whether to appeal a ruling that the state’s ban on the public possession of firearms is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan now has until June 24 to ask the high court to hear the case.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Illinois’ prohibition on the carrying of concealed firearms unconstitutional in December.  

It ordered lawmakers to pass legislation to legalize concealed carry by June 9.  The 30-day extension granted by the court Friday does not affect that deadline.

  Katharine Eastvold lost her run for Springfield school board by a single vote about three weeks ago. But she’s not quite done fighting for the seat. A partial recount earlier this week found the votes had been accurately recorded. Donna Moore was declared the winner by only one vote in subdistrict 5. But it’s not yet over. The next step says Eastvold is working with her lawyer to determine whether there’s enough evidence to warrant asking a judge for a full recount.

 The funerals for five people murdered last week in Manchester are over, but donations are still being sought to offset those costs.

The victims were five family members, including two small children. Services took place at the Mackey Daws Funeral Home in the town of Roodhouse. Justin Daws is the funeral director there. He says the burials also occurred this week – though payments have yet to be made. Daws says the area in west central Illinois is tight-knit and he will wait indefinitely for funds from the victim’s family to come in:

A plan that will leave state employees and teachers with reduced retirement benefits made it out of the Illinois House Thursday, potentially paving the way for the pension overhaul that has thus far eluded lawmakers.  But it also ignites a face-off between two of the state's top Democrats — with the potential to keep a pension overhaul as elusive as it's ever been.

Illinois' legislators have less than a month before they're scheduled to adjourn.  The Speaker of the Illinois House made some predictions about what will — and what may not — happen before then.

A measure to legalize same sex marriage in Illinois already got state Senators' approval.

But the Speaker of the Illinois House says there's not enough support for it to pass in that chamber.

Mike Madigan said in March that gay marriage was a dozen votes shy in the House. 

The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday approved a massive overhaul of state pensions. It's the first time the House has passed such a plan after more than a year of negotiating and many failed attempts.

Its also the first time Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, put his full support behind a specific proposal.

Pages

Community Voices - Past This I Believe Essays

Amelia Paries at the microphone
Dan LaGrasso / NPR Illinois

This I Believe: 26 Letters

From the moment we're born, we're bombarded with an endless array of words. Long, short, pretty, ugly—but all meaningless. Until we’re taught to read and write. But, even before then, we have to learn the alphabet. It's amazing, truly, how many ways those 26 little letters can be manipulated; the seemingly endless combinations that make up the language we know and take for granted.

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Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

What Do You Want To Know About Rebuilding Illinois’ Roads, Bridges And Infrastructure?

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. Illinois Newsroom will follow negotiations of a capital plan. And we want to know what questions you have about what needs to be fixed, how lawmakers set priorities, how to pay for it, and other...

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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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11 PM - Midnight

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 longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history continues to dominate the news out of the nation's capital. But the Mueller investigation also looms over Washington, D.C.

Federal employees went without their first paycheck since the partial government shutdown began. Jo Ann Goodlow, a mother of three from Phoenix, turned to crowdsourcing for help.

With the partial federal government shutdown dragging on, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says Congress should exempt tribes from feeling the effects. Historically, treaties with the U.S. government have guaranteed the Navajo and many other tribes federal financial assistance for health, education and economic development. So the shutdown is having an outsized impact.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is set to formally launch his bid for president on Saturday, after weeks of hinting he was ready to join the growing 2020 Democratic primary field.

The 44-year-old will be the first Hispanic candidate to enter the race for the White House, joining Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who recently said they are running. Several more well known candidates are expected to announce their plans soon.

The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history, as Saturday marks day 22. The previous record was 21 days, set in the winter of 1995-'96 when President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich were at odds over budget cuts.

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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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