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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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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, met in Quincy Thursday for the third and final debate of the 2018 elections. Did voters learn anything about either man’s policy preferences?

Plus, Illinois Democrats are trying to pick up as many as four Republican-held seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. And a new report says Chicago’s racial divides are holding back the city’s economy.

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.

What We’re Hearing From Illinoisans In The Know

11 hours ago

Illinois Newsroom holds Listening Sessions across the state to hear what's top of mind for community members. Unlike a formal interview, listening sessions are prompted with open-ended questions and discussions are community member led. These meetings often occur for hours, building bonds between our team and communities and giving us direction for deeper-dive reporting series that have regional and statewide perspective.

So far, we've sat down with dozens of community members working in government, healthcare, education, criminal justice, environment, social services, and commerce, and we will continue to share our findings with you. 

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

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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.

AFSCME picket
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the AFSCME union continue to be at odds over raises owed to thousands of state workers.   

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Archives

Voters this fall are choosing who will occupy the state’s two financial offices: treasurer and comptroller. Even during campaigns, these positions rarely get much attention. In fact, their very existence usually comes into question in proposals to merge the offices into one. Years ago, one person was in charge.

It all changed after a massive scandal filled with fast moves, fancy cars and fraud tarnished state government moneyhandling forever.


Rachel Otwell

Athens is a town like many others in central Illinois. With a population of about 2,000, it’s rural, and encapsulated by fields of crops like corn and soybeans. Visitors driving into town off the interstate are ushered in by numerous American flags and a welcome sign listing several area churches.

Flick: Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

You might have seen social media posts saying Tuesday was the voter registration deadline in Illinois.

But don’t worry: Illinois residents can sign up to vote through Election Day.

Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

An international panel on climate change this week warned greenhouse gas emissions will keep increasing if left unchecked and called for urgent action. According to one Illinois scientist, that means frequent heavy rain events and flooding could become the norm.


It’s been five years since Illinois enacted the concealed carry law, and gun owners who got their permits when they first became available will soon need to renew.

Allen Allen / https://www.allenandallen.com/

Two competitive judicial races for circuit court are on the ballot in Champaign County this year, which doesn’t happen often. Illinois elects its circuit judges to six-year terms, after which they run unopposed to be retained and are rarely unseated.

As an Illinois Newsroom listener watched a recent debate between the candidates, she says the label of “Democrat” and “Republican” for the judicial candidates was confusing. She found herself agreeing with points made by candidates from both sides.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

In the wake of the #metoo movement and the spotlight on assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, more states — including Illinois — are rethinking how sex education should be taught in public schools.  

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

States like Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska have replaced Columbus Day with the designation of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day.' It's a trend that goes back decades, and in 2017 a law was signed that brought Illinois up to speed with that trend. Sort of.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, major-party candidates Governor Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker engaged in their second televised debate, which excluded the other two candidates on the ballot.

WBEZ Public Radio's Dave McKinney joins the panel.

flu shot
Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Last year brought a lot of flu activity across the state and this year health professionals are urging the public to roll up their sleeves and get flu shots early this year. 

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

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

Sam McCann is a man on a mission: to see Republican Governor Bruce Rauner end his reign in 2019. He's taking that head on, by running for the state's highest office himself, under the self-established Conservative Party banner.

Aaron Paul / Wikimedia Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en

Illinois’ pollution regulator moved ahead Thursday with a proposal to change emissions rules for coal power plants, a move opponents say could be dangerous to public health.


Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

A new statewide poll shows Republican President Donald Trump may weigh down Illinois’ GOP candidates in the midterm election.

Southern Illinois University’s Simon Institute surveyed more than 700 Illinois voters. They were asked whether President Trump’s record in office would make them more or less likely to vote for Illinois Republicans in state and Congressional races.

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

The major party candidates for Illinois governor met for the second of three debates Wednesday night, and both men stuck mostly to the same attacks they’ve making for months.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

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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The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is asking the Attorney General’s office to temporarily shut down a Chicago-area chemical plant. The agency says that plant is releasing an illegal amount of cancer-causing fumes into the air.

Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new poll shows Illinois Democrats are far more enthusiastic about voting in this fall’s election than Republicans.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Capitol breathed a sigh of relief this summer when Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled legislature agreed on a state budget. But most Illinois voters say they’re not sure the deal will solve the state’s $1.2 billion deficit and other fiscal woes. That’s according to a new survey of registered voters conducted by AARP Illinois.

Courtesy Pritzker Campaign / Illinois Information Service

Jeff Martin, a high school admission advisor for the Midwest Technical Institute, worries about the amount of college debt facing the students he talks to for a living. He should know because he was in their shoes once. Martin said he travels to high schools to talk to students about college and career choices.

And he said he worries about the financial futures of the students he meets because he said it’s “almost impossible” to pay for college out of pocket without the help of a lot of scholarships and financial aid.

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The next debate for Illinois nominees for governor is this Wednesday in Chicago. But two candidates are being left out this time around.

Meet Rachel Otwell

Sep 30, 2018

Tara McClellan McAndrew explores a past experience of NPR Illinois reporter Rachel Otwell.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The race for Illinois Governor is heading into the home stretch, and the #MeToo movement continues to impact politics nationwide and in Illinois.

Dave Dahl of WTAX joins the panel.

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