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Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield is the latest state school to see an enrollment decline, part a recent    trend for the campus.  

Technology changing access and outcomes in abortion debate

President Donald Trump has stood strongly behind the anti-abortion movement, and his Supreme Court picks have some questioning the future of abortion access. However, technology could be key to access, too -- for both sides of the abortion debate.  

The room looks like an office. There are tables, chairs, a laptop and a cash register -- though that register isn’t for money.

The space is used for telemedicine abortions in Planned Parenthood’s Iowa City clinic.

Illinois Farm Bureau

Food and drink vendors at this year’s Illinois State Fair say fewer people lined up for things like corn dogs and lemon shake-ups. That fits with an official report of declining overall attendance.

    

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Corn and soybean fields as far as the eye can see are the typical sights of summer throughout rural areas of Illinois. But next year, 'fields of green' will take on an entirely different meaning as farmers will soon be allowed to grow industrial hemp. 

Data Show Opioid Prescriptions Declining In IL

Sep 11, 2018
Steve Buissinne CC0 Creative Commons

There is some good news in the fight against opioid abuse in Illinois. Doctors prescribed fewer opioids to patients in 2017 than 2016, according to numbers from the statewide prescription monitoring program. The database can’t track illegal narcotic use, but the drop in prescriptions is still widely seen as a good sign as the majority of heroin users say their first experience with opioids came from a prescription drug.

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A big surprise this week - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he's dropping out of the upcoming election.  Amanda Vinicky of Chicago's WTTW and A.D. Quig of The Daily Line join the panel.

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois / https://www.dio.org/

NPR Illinois' Sam Dunklau sat down with Bishop Paprocki of Springfield this week. He says he regrets the child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy that happened in the past, and calls on the Church to heal together.

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

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois government wants to keep kids from leaving the state for college. Its latest effort is a website and app that allows students and their parents to compare in-state schools.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CANDIDATES' CAMPAIGNS

Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to not seek re-election after over 15 years in office drew a plethora of candidates to the ballot. The last three standing, Republican nominee Erika Harold, Democratic candidate Kwame Raoul and Libertarian Bubba Harsy, continue to battle it out with just nine weeks until the general election.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Gary Smith has worked at the grain elevator at Okaw Farmer’s Co-op in Lovington, Illinois, for forty years. On his desk sit two computer screens, where he tracks corn and soybean prices online at the Chicago Board of Trade.

As he explains, trade moves fast: “Just bam bam bam, and within a few seconds it could change a nickel or a dime against your favor.”

Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court (via uis.edu)

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is again pressing Catholic church officials on the issue of abuse.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Illinois State Board of Education reports that the number of homeless students has climbed over the last few years.

 

There were  53,733 homeless students counted throughout the state in fiscal year 2016. That number grew by 56,881 by the end of this fiscal year.

 

Julie Dworkin, director of policy for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, says it’s hard to tell why the increase occurred .

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a measure aimed at shortening wait times at driver services locations. The new law will give drivers the option to renew their license plates for multiple years.


Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is recently renovated and has re-opened for tourists, who tend to go for the historical significance. There’s also a new reason for art enthusiasts to check it out.

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began Tuesday morning. 

Illinois Trophy Bow Hunters

As summer comes to a close, Illinois residents are getting closer to deer hunting season and a new law recently signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner is intended to improve safety by adding a new color to hunters' wardrobes.

What is the lasting impact of the budget impasse on higher education? 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Texting and driving could cost you, quite literally, with a new law raising fines on motorists caught using cellphones.

University of Illinois officials before the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

During the past week, you probably caught a brief news story or two about the Illinois Innovation Network, or maybe Discovery Partners Institute. It’s worth your attention: In the current state budget, these two projects are slated to receive half a billion dollars.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed several bills in the past week. One would have raised the cap on how much money people wronged by state government can recover — Illinois’ relatively low cap of $100,000 came to light after the deaths of more than a dozen residents of the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

Other vetoed bills would have raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, sought to improve relations between immigrant communities and the police, and set a minimum salary of $40,000 per year for new teachers.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Farm towns in Illinois could get access to high-speed internet with the help of new federal funding.

Nine companies are getting nearly $100 million from the Federal Communications Commission to bring internet access to small towns in the state.

The commission this week announced the subsidies, which are funded from a service fee on most internet and phone bills.

Wisper ISP, based in Mascoutah, Illinois, was awarded the largest grant, $35 million, to connect nearly 9,000 homes and businesses in southern Illinois.

Each week, Statewide brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.

Southern Illinoisan

This fall marks 35 years since Air Illinois Flight 710 crashed.   The commuter service flew to many smaller airports and provided a quick way for travelers to venture across the state.

That is until October 11, 1983.   The plane took off from Springfield, quickly ran into trouble and a half hour later went down in a southern Illinois farm field near Pinckneyville,  killing all 10 aboard.

A booth at the farmers market
The Land Connection

Organic product sales totaled around $50 billion and now account for more than five percent of total food sales in the United States, according to an industry survey. As the demand in Illinois grows, advocates are pushing for more support for organic farmers in the 2018 farm bill. 

Glenwood High School

Students at Glenwood High School in Chatham were evacuated after a threatening message was found written on a bathroom wall around 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Russell Hurst

Earlier this month, we reported on the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield and what's being done to remember and reconcile 110 years after the violence broke out. As part of that reporting, we spoke with Kelly Wickham Hurst, CEO and founder of the advocacy organization Being Black at School.

shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

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

Joanne Johnson / Flickr

lllinois is in the grips of a severe teacher shortage, but late last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation to raise their wages. The bill would’ve ramped up the minimum salary to $40,000 by the year 2022. In a message explaining his veto, Rauner called that an “unfunded mandate.”

But State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who sponsored the legislation, says he hasn’t given up on the effort.

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