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Should Illinois Gun Owners Be Fingerprinted?

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to overhaul the application process for Firearm Owner’s Identification cards.

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Illinois State Fair crowd
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State Fair Offering Cheaper Admission This Summer

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The X Factor: Should Illinois Nix Algebra Requirement?

Pleasant Plains is a small but prosperous town about 15 minutes northwest of Springfield. Its schools are all rated “commendable,” and their test results outshine state averages in every subject. And yet, in March, the high school principal, Luke Brooks, asked Illinois lawmakers to stop requiring algebra.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

CWLP Workers Worry About Jobs, As City Considers Move Away From Coal

Most of the electricity used in Springfield comes from the coal-fired power plant on Lake Springfield. The city's public utility, City Water, Light and Power, is considering a recommendation to shut down a large part of that plant and move to wind or solar. Some CWLP workers are worried about their jobs in light of the study. Meanwhile, environmentalists who support the move away from fossil fuels have said the city can limit the impact on workers with retraining and other job opportunities....

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State of Cannabis

Small Illinois Towns Hope Legalized Marijuana Bring More Jobs

Behind a tall security fence and countless coded keypads, the future of the Delavan economy is growing under bright lights.

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Community Voices

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PodCamp and Podcast Academy 2019

PodCamp and Podcast Academy 2019 Click to register for NPR Illinois PodCamp or for NPR Illinois Podcast Academy NPR Illinois is hosting two podcast programs in summer 2019, one aimed at middle school students and the other at high school students. These two programs are uniquely designed by NPR Illinois and Ann Strahle, associate professor in communication at UIS. Ann and NPR Illinois staff members will instruct the programs with support from college students and other public media professionals.

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One Week Left And Miles To Go

2 hours ago
NPR Illinois

Recreational pot, construction projects and more — here’s what we know.

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced his freshman budget this winter, he proposed a range of new or increased taxes. It was intended to let Illinois government hobble through next year’s budget on its way to a graduated income tax.

The southern and western regions of the United States continued to have the nation's fastest-growing cities between 2017 and 2018, according to new population estimates for cities and towns released Thursday.

New York still leads all American cities with 8.4 million residents.

But as NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports, cities in Arizona, Texas, Washington and North Carolina top the list of rapidly growing municipalities.

Bearded and bedraggled, John Walker Lindh became a focal point of American anger when the then-20-year-old from Northern California was found among the ranks of Taliban soldiers captured in Afghanistan less than three months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

He's still known as the "American Taliban," and some called him a traitor who deserved the death penalty. But Lindh, now 38, is scheduled to be released from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., on Thursday after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence.

The Alabama Historical Commission says a wrecked ship off the Gulf Coast is the Clotilda, the last known vessel to bring people from Africa to the United States and into bondage.

At the Robert Hope Community Center in Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday, researchers unveiled their discovery to descendants of that fateful voyage. "They had been waiting for this for a long time," Alabama Historical Commission Chairman Walter Givhan, a retired major general, told NPR. "They were jubilant."

Kenneth Feinberg has been called on to tackle the emotionally grueling job of figuring out the monetary value of victims' lives following a slew of tragedies. And now, a federal judge in California has appointed the prominent attorney to do it again.

This time, Feinberg will serve as mediator for court-mandated settlement talks between Bayer and people who say the company's glysophate-based weedkiller, Roundup, gave them cancer, The Associated Press reports.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Dreamtime

9 hours ago

Settle into an hour of soothing voices and soaring instrumentals that all go to prove this roots music business needn't always be high-energy. Featured in this episode are Davy Spillane, William Jackson, Maire Brennan and Dougie MacLean.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

Saudi siblings Lina and Walid Alhathloul check their phones constantly for any mention of their sister on social media. They have already done four interviews on the day of the PEN awards and sit down for a fifth, because, they say, this is the only way to help their sister, 29-year-old jailed Saudi activist Loujain Alhathloul.

"We want to raise awareness," says Lina Alhathloul, a lawyer living in exile in Belgium.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

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Arts & Life

Some music is so ingrained in our collective minds that it's easy to forget how game-changing it was. In the late 1960s, a marriage of rock and folk took place and much of the popular music from that union was being made in a single place — Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.

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Education Desk

Courtesy of repmmurphy.com

Pleasant Plains is a small but prosperous town about 15 minutes northwest of Springfield. Its schools are all rated “commendable,” and their test results outshine state averages in every subject.

And yet, in March, the high school principal, Luke Brooks, asked Illinois lawmakers to stop requiring algebra.

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Equity & Justice

Maureen McKinney / NPR Illinois

The Alabama legislature approved some of the most restrictive abortion rules in the country this week. A group of lawmakers wants to make Illinois the most progressive state.

Seventy-five women dressed in long red robes and white bonnets gathered at the capitol Wednesday. They represent characters from the dystopian Margaret Atwood novel and recent television series The Handmaid’s Tale.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Madelyn Beck

Floodwaters on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers may be going down, but rain has continued to soak farmland around much of the state. More rain could be on the way later this month.

Wet fields make it hard to plant because farmers use large, heavy machinery in the fields. Even if a field is dry enough for equipment not to get stuck, too much pressure on wet soil makes it hard for seedlings to develop solid root systems.

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Illinois Economy

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Most of the electricity used in Springfield comes from the coal-fired power plant on Lake Springfield. The city's public utility, City Water, Light and Power, is considering a recommendation to shut down a large part of that plant and move to wind or solar.

Some CWLP workers are worried about their jobs in light of the study. Meanwhile, environmentalists who support the move away from fossil fuels have said the city can limit the impact on workers with retraining and other job opportunities.

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

Statehouse

One Week Left And Miles To Go

2 hours ago
NPR Illinois

Recreational pot, construction projects and more — here’s what we know.

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced his freshman budget this winter, he proposed a range of new or increased taxes. It was intended to let Illinois government hobble through next year’s budget on its way to a graduated income tax.

Read More Statehouse Stories

Politics

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

Remember the planned redesign of the $20 bill that was going to include the first African American woman to appear on U.S. currency?

Well, don't expect to see Harriett Tubman on your $20 any time soon.

Copyright 2019 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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Deported After Living In The U.S. For 26 Years, He Navigates A New Life In Mexico

When 29-year-old Gilberto Olivas-Bejarano first returned to his birth country of Mexico, he didn't speak the native language. "I barely speak Spanish now," he says. He arrived in León alone, and today, nearly two years since his deportation, Olivas-Bejarano has still not seen his parents or siblings in person. Sitting in his small apartment, furnished with hand-me-downs, he pores over a homemade photo album of pictures printed off Facebook. It's filled with memories from his former life in...

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The X from NPR Illinois - “stream-only” until new transmitter complete

Rescued From The Vault: Nat Turner Rebellion

Fifty years ago, the band Nat Turner Rebellion made a funky album in Philadelphia that could have been a total classic. The band had a record deal, fans and, according to founder Joe Jefferson the members were "crowd killers." But then, it all fell apart and the album has been pretty much buried in audio archives — until now. Nat Turner Rebellion's debut, Laugh to Keep from Crying, was recently released for the first time. We heard the story of Nat Turner Rebellion on WHYY , our fellow public...

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NPR Illinois Classic - “STREAM-ONLY” UNTIL NEW TRANSMITTER COMPLETE

From A Piano Virtuoso, An Album For Beginners

No composition seems too difficult for pianist Lang Lang . But on his latest solo record, Piano Book , the 36-year-old known for his finger-twisting virtuosity is exploring something simpler: Beethoven's "Fur Elise," Debussy's "Clair de Lune" and other pieces that accompanied him in the first few years of a lifelong love-affair with the instrument. YouTube "I think every piano student started with this piece," Lang Lang says of "Fur Elise." "But actually, this is not just a ringtone. This...

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