Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr: Ryan McGilchrist

Pritzker To Decide If 'Tobacco 21' Becomes Law

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea.

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Trending Stories

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Eyes On The Pie: Consolidation Bills Target State's Plethora Of School Districts

There's an old saying that the hardest animal to kill is a school mascot. But Illinois lawmakers are taking a look at possibly thinning the herd. Illinois has some school districts operating with only elementary grades, some with only high school grades, some with fewer than a hundred children — a total of 852 school districts. That's more than any other state except California and Texas, both of which have more than twice our population. Does it matter?

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Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

WATCH - LISTEN : As Goes Journalism, So Goes the Community

The number of news reporters has been declining for years – in print and broadcast, and markets of all sizes. One need only look at the Illinois State House Press Corps, whose numbers have dwindled from several dozen full-time, year-round reporters to a handful of credentialed journalists today, or the decreased size of local media news staff, to see the trend in our area. What’s the impact on you - and the community? Research shows that fewer journalists mean less accountability of public officials.

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Community Voices

ATTEND: Alatzas, Culhane, Korecki 2019 PAR Hall of Fame Inductees

The UIS Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) Hall of Fame
Monday, April 29, 2019, 5:30 p.m.

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This I Believe: A Koala Bear

Jan 29, 2007
Lauren Ross in the studio
NPR Illinois

I barely remember yet I remember so vividly, I was on 5 years old. Excited about approaching kindergarten: I couldn't wait to ride the bus, go to the cafeteria, play on the playground and make new friends. I was an unstoppable bundle of energy waiting for my first day of school. Sleep the night before the before the class listing was posted on the school door was impossible. I had shopped for all my supplies and they were ready to occupy my desk on the very first day. However, my life changed drastically and sadly I never arrived on the first official first day of school.

A Return to the Roots of Childhood

Dec 15, 2005

At 68, Barb Fuller-Curry lives across the road from the farm where she grew up, in Whiteside County, Ill. In her youth, Fuller-Curry's father and mother took turns working the fields in order to make ends meet.

After raising her own family elsewhere, Fuller-Curry returned to the farm after 40 years to care for her mother, who passed away earlier this year. The house Curry lives in is one her parents built.

Speaking with her 34-year-old son, Craig, Fuller-Curry recalled the sacrifices her parents made -- and how little she thought about it at the time, when she was just 7.

Kidnapped Tourists Killed in Yemen

Oct 27, 2002

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

The complete act that started public media. Subpart D — Corporation for Public Broadcasting Sec. 396. [47 U.S.C. 396] Corporation for Public Broadcasting (a) Congressional declaration of policy The Congress hereby finds and declares that —

Eight years before WUIS began began broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 initiated consideration in communities and colleges what might be done with public media. "It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a "chicken in every pot." We in America have an appetite for excellence, too. While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man's spirit. That is the purpose of this act." President Lyndon Johnson's remarks up signing the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967

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Analysis & commentary on the events that made news this past week in Illinois state government & politics.

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Reporting and analysis taking you beyond the daily news and providing a deeper understanding of our state. 

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Arts & Life

Lindy West did not set out to make an after school special. The new Hulu show Shrill, based on her 2016 memoir about being feminist and body positive, is not "all about the message," she says.

"The reality of being a fat person isn't that every moment of your life is about being fat," she says. "It's that you're trying to live the same kind of complicated, exciting, fun, beautiful, difficult life as everyone else."

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Education Desk

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

A survey released this week suggests Illinois’ teacher shortage is getting worse, not better. Eighty-five percent of superintendents who responded said they’re having a tough time finding qualified teachers to fill vacancies. That’s up from 78 percent in 2017.

Lawmakers have been scrambling to figure out how to recruit more teachers. State Rep. Sue Scherer, a Decatur Democrat, is holding a hearing Wednesday afternoon, focused on changing licensure standards for teachers.

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Equity & Justice

Illinois House Democratic Caucus

Illinois could become the most progressive state in the nation on abortion rights if a proposed bill is approved this year.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Reproductive-rights groups are fighting the new changes to the federal family planning program known as Title X. The new rule prohibits health providers under Title X funding to give information about abortions or refer patients to those who perform abortions. 

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Illinois Economy

Flickr user: TaxCredits.net

Stores in Illinois keep a portion of what you pay in sales tax. Think of it like a collection fee, though in state government shorthand it’s called a retail discount.

The amount is based on a percentage of what they collect. So the more they sell, the more they keep.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to cap that amount to $1,000 per month for each retailer. It’s one of several proposals aimed at addressing a $3.2 billion deficit in next year’s budget.

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Statehouse

Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker
still image from video / ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV)

Last year’s election was historic by several measures: the amount of money spent, the surge in turnout, and the Democratic sweep of Illinois government.

Every four years, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale analyzes the election, looking at everything from spending patterns to changes in voter behavior.

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Politics

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The University of Southern California finds itself at the center of the massive college admissions scam revealed earlier this week. Of the 32 parents named by the FBI, over half were accused of trying to bribe their way into USC. This is the latest in a string of scandals causing turmoil at one of California's most prestigious schools. David Weinberg of member station KCRW reports.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

After months of speculation - will he, or won't he? - former Texas Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke says he will run for president. O'Rourke made the announcement in a video released early this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

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

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Students across the U.S. plan to skip school Friday as a protest to call for more action to address climate change. Organizers have dubbed the event the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike."

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

The Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution to terminate President Trump's national emergency declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting Congress on a path to its first veto confrontation with the Trump administration.

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All Songs Considered's 'Wow' Moments From SXSW 2019

Each year, the buzz in Austin, Texas, at the South By Southwest music festival can reach a deafening pitch. Our NPR Music team is here to help you cut through the noise. Every evening, we'll gather to roundup and recap the best discoveries of the day. Keep up with our coverage of SXSW 2019 by subscribing to All Songs Considered. We'll be sharing 'Wow' moments every morning and updating our SXSW 2019 playlist with the best-of-the-fest tunes from the bands that we couldn't get enough of....

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NPR Illinois Classic - STREAM ONLY UNTIL NEW TRANSMITTER COMPLETE

NPR Music's Best Classical Albums Of 2018

Narrowing a list to just 10 is always a painful game. This year, amid a multitude of albums, I found favorite musicians ( Víkingur Ólafsson ), newcomers (the young Aizuri Quartet) and familiar players in compelling collaborations ( Brooklyn Rider and Magos Herrera ), all offering fascinating performances of music from the baroque to the freshly minted. Think of the albums on this list as portals. They'll take you to Tsarist Russia, the New Mexico desert, 18th-century Spain, the austere...

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