Brian Mackey

Illinois Turns To More Federal Borrowing To Help With COVID Costs

Illinois will borrow $2 billion more from the Federal Reserve to pay bills associated with COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.

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Sharon Reynolds, the administrator for The Villas Senior Care East, gives advice to leaders at other care facilities going through outbreaks after COVID-19 hit their facility in the spring.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

'Dark Days': Looking Back At The COVID-19 Outbreak At The Villas East Senior Care

Most of the new COVID-19 cases in Sangamon County are from what public health experts call community spread, at house parties, work, restaurants or other places within the community. But that wasn’t the case at the beginning of the pandemic, when most cases were in congregate settings, such as nursing homes.

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Community Voices

CV - Local Physicians at the Frontlines of COVID: Nine Months of the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic spikes again, how has central Illinois been doing in addressing the crisis? A panel of area doctors discuss what steps have been taken in the past year and where we are now.

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Illinois Theatres, Casinos, Museums To Close Friday Under New COVID-19 Restrictions

As Illinois sees its 12th day of new reported COVID-19 cases over 10,000, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced new statewide restrictions on businesses, including shuttering casinos, movie theatres, banquet halls and museums across Illinois, and limiting retail store capacity.

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Bad Bunny closed his second album, YHLQMDLG, with a promise to return in nine months (so right about now) with another, which he also claimed would be his last.

President Trump this week acknowledged that the transition for President-elect Joe Biden to take office is going ahead. But on Thursday, he made clear he's in no mood to concede the election, even after the Electoral College formally votes this month.

"It's going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud," Trump said, without evidence, complaining that the U.S. election was "like a Third World country."

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Hollywood's had a complicated year, and that has made looking ahead complicated, too. NPR's Bob Mondello usually does a year-end movie preview for Thanksgiving weekend. This year, he's expanding his focus a bit.

Play It Forward: Thanksgiving Edition, Pt.1

13 hours ago

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Every musician hopes their art touches someone else. Maybe it'll inspire someone, console them, make them feel less alone. Well, every Thanksgiving Day on this show for six years running, we've turned that idea into a musical chain of gratitude.

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Right now, three missions from Earth are headed to the planet Mars. But some planetary scientists say the time has come to look at another of Earth's neighbors - Venus. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel has more on why Venus is getting attention.

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Every year, summer turns to autumn, and leaves of gold and orange and red litter the ground. But why do leaves fall at all?

CONSTANTIN ZOHNER: They fall because it's getting cold, and they need to be protected against that.

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President-Elect Joe Biden Hits 80 Million Votes In Year Of Record Turnout

More votes were cast in the 2020 presidential election than in any other U.S. election in history, and the turnout rate was the highest in more than a century. President-elect Joe Biden has now earned 80 million votes, and ballots are still being counted. That is by far the most votes cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history. President Trump holds the distinction, however, of earning the second-most votes all time. About 74 million Americans voted for him. Biden's total shatters...

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

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Arts & Life

After 28 years of hosting late-night shows, O'Brien is moving to HBO. He spoke to Fresh Air in 2019 about getting his start and how late-night TV has changed over the years.

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Education Desk

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High school basketball in Illinois — along with hockey and wrestling — won't take place as scheduled as the state struggles against a resurgence of COVID-19.

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Equity & Justice

Ending cash bail doesn't lead to an increase in crime, according to a new report from researchers at Loyola University Chicago. 

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Illinois Economy

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Illinois has awarded the first round of emergency funding to small businesses to help them during the pandemic.  

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Hospital beds across the state continue to fill with COVID-19 patients, and an investigation has been announced to look into the deadly breakout in the LaSalle Veterans' Home.  Michael Madigan says he has no intention of stepping down as House Speaker, although he may not have the votes needed to keep that position the next time the Legislature meets.

WBEZ's Dave McKinney joins the panel this week.

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Politics

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And let's continue this discussion with Kim Wehle, who is a law professor at the University of Baltimore and author of the book "How To Read The Constitution--And Why." Ms. Wehle, welcome back.

KIM WEHLE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: The president has said under the Constitution, his pardoning power is absolute. Is he right about that?

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How many more people might President Trump pardon before he leaves office January 20?

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President-elect Joe Biden is doubling down on his calls for unity and healing, reminding Americans, "We are at war with the virus not with each other." In his Thanksgiving address this week, Biden reiterated the appeal he's been making since his first speech as president-elect, when he implored everyone to "put away the harsh rhetoric," "give each other a chance," and end what he calls "this grim era of demonization in America." But the notion is proving a hard sell to many, including Biden's own supporters.

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On 'Up In The Clouds,' Sarah Jarosz Adjusts To Staying Still

The Morning Edition Song Project , in which musicians compose an original song about the COVID-19 era, returns this week with singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz , Americana artist and one-third of the band I'm with Her. Jarosz had big plans for 2020. She'd recorded her first solo album in four years, World on the Ground (now nominated for a Grammy). She had a new band and a big tour in the works. Naturally, it was tough when the pandemic shut everything down. "I made this record that I just...

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Met Opera Says It Won't Return Until Fall 2021

New York's famed Metropolitan Opera announced on Wednesday that the house will remain closed until September 2021. In a press release, the Met said that it had made its decision to cancel the rest of the 2020-21 season based on the advice of "health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center," and keeping in mind the hundreds of performers and staff members required for rehearsals and performances as well as its audiences. The Met added that it will not be able to resume performances ...

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