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Legal Weed: What You Need To Know

Buying and using marijuana will be legal in Illinois as of January 1. We asked top state experts what that does and doesn’t mean, and compiled their answers in this Q&A.

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Trending Stories

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Rural Illinois Prepares For 2020 Census

Illinois is in a precarious position when it comes to the 2020 census. The count determines congressional representation, and the state is at risk for losing up to two seats. Central and southern Illinois appear most vulnerable to losing a congressional seat, which is why it’s especially important to make sure everyone participates, according to Anita Banerji, director of the Democracy Initiative with Forefront Illinois. The Chicago-based civic engagement nonprofit has been working to ensure...

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Community Voices

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

CWLP Gets Specific On Coal Plant Closure, Urges Decision By January

Months after a report advising the City of Springfield to shutter three of its four coal-fired generators, utility officials urged city leaders to make a decision about the future of the plant by January.

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U of I Touts Sexual Harassment Reforms, Implementation Still Unclear

In the midst of #MeToo movement and several high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving its own faculty, the University of Illinois is announcing recently released recommendations that would change how the university handles cases of sexual harassment and misconduct. Recommendations include prohibiting confidentiality agreements that keep findings of misconduct secret, and a system for tracking and disclosing findings of misconduct on a "need-to-know" basis.

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John Fitisemanu woke up early Friday morning, got dressed and finally completed one of the tasks on a more than 20-year-old to-do list: He registered to vote.

For less than a day, Fitisemanu, who was born in American Samoa, was legally considered a full-fledged American citizen with voting rights and the ability to run for office or hold certain government jobs. But a judge in a Utah federal court has once again thrown his much longed-for status into question.

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Seven Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles. Now there's a chance that zero of them will show up. There's a labor dispute between food services workers and the contractor who employs them at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate. NPR political reporter Juana Summers is following the story and is here in the studio.

Hi, Juana.

JUANA SUMMERS, BYLINE: Hey there.

SHAPIRO: Start by explaining the labor dispute at the heart of this. What's going on?

It was almost dark when Shalom LeBaron reached the spot where her daughter, Rhonita Miller LeBaron, and four grandchildren were killed. LeBaron found the remains of her 10-year-old granddaughter in the back seat of a car that had been riddled with bullets and set on fire earlier that morning.

"Facedown, crunched up in fetal position because she was so afraid," LeBaron said through tears in an interview with NPR. "That's how her bones were found."

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Seven Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles. Now there's a chance that zero of them will show up. There's a labor dispute between food services workers and the contractor who employs them at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate. NPR political reporter Juana Summers is following the story and is here in the studio.

Hi, Juana.

JUANA SUMMERS, BYLINE: Hey there.

SHAPIRO: Start by explaining the labor dispute at the heart of this. What's going on?

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

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For the fourth time in history, a president of the United States is facing impeachment. Earlier this morning, after hours of heated debate that spanned across two days, the House Judiciary Committee voted on two articles of impeachment.

In the new Showtime comedy series Work in Progress, Abby McEnany joins a long tradition of comedians playing a version of themselves on TV.

She's playing a "45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke" who is depressed, anxious and self-conscious.

McEnany has spent decades in Chicago's improv comedy scene. She says she dealt with a long string of rejections and failed auditions. Then her pilot got picked up and greenlit for a full series.

She still can't quite believe it.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Seven Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles. Now there's a chance that zero of them will show up. There's a labor dispute between food services workers and the contractor who employs them at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate. NPR political reporter Juana Summers is following the story and is here in the studio.

Hi, Juana.

JUANA SUMMERS, BYLINE: Hey there.

SHAPIRO: Start by explaining the labor dispute at the heart of this. What's going on?

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Seven Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles. Now there's a chance that zero of them will show up. There's a labor dispute between food services workers and the contractor who employs them at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate. NPR political reporter Juana Summers is following the story and is here in the studio.

Hi, Juana.

JUANA SUMMERS, BYLINE: Hey there.

SHAPIRO: Start by explaining the labor dispute at the heart of this. What's going on?

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Seven Democratic presidential candidates qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles. Now there's a chance that zero of them will show up. There's a labor dispute between food services workers and the contractor who employs them at Loyola Marymount University, which is hosting the debate. NPR political reporter Juana Summers is following the story and is here in the studio.

Hi, Juana.

JUANA SUMMERS, BYLINE: Hey there.

SHAPIRO: Start by explaining the labor dispute at the heart of this. What's going on?

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Trump Signs Order Against Anti-Semitism At Colleges, Worrying Free Speech Advocates

Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act apply to anti-Semitic acts. The order is generating concern that it will stifle free speech by those who oppose Israel's policy toward the Palestinians. The executive order takes indirect aim at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that has generated intense controversy on college campuses. Title VI bans discrimination based on race, color or national...

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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

In the new Showtime comedy series Work in Progress, Abby McEnany joins a long tradition of comedians playing a version of themselves on TV.

She's playing a "45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke" who is depressed, anxious and self-conscious.

McEnany has spent decades in Chicago's improv comedy scene. She says she dealt with a long string of rejections and failed auditions. Then her pilot got picked up and greenlit for a full series.

She still can't quite believe it.

Read More Arts & Life Stories

Education Desk

Illinois State Board of Education

The Illinois State Board of Education today amended emergency rules that had banned the use of certain physical restraints in schools. Those rules had been enacted two weeks ago in response to an investigation published by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica documenting thousands of incidents where children with special needs were put into seclusion rooms at school.

 

The board had reacted to that report by banning not only seclusion rooms, but also the use of prone and supine physical restraints, which can make it difficult for children to breathe or communicate normally. 

 

Kevin Rubenstein, president of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, says those new rules had ripple effects.

Read More Education Stories

Equity & Justice

Nathan Forget / Flickr (BY-CC 2.0)

Likely more than 100,000 Illinoisans will lose food stamps under a rule change finalized by President Donald’s Trump administration this week. 

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Health+Harvest Desk

Government of Prince Edward Island via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Flu season has begun once again in Illinois, and public health officials are urging residents to practice good hygiene and vaccinate against the virus.

Read More Health+Harvest Stories

Illinois Economy

BigThingsInASmallTown

The eastern Illinois community of Casey has followed the lead of roadside novelties promising tourists a chance to see the world's largest (fill in the blank).

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

Statehouse

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx personally filed paperwork that led to vacating and expunging the marijuana convictions of more than 1,000 people.

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Politics

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

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For the fourth time in history, a president of the United States is facing impeachment. Earlier this morning, after hours of heated debate that spanned across two days, the House Judiciary Committee voted on two articles of impeachment.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court said late Friday that it will review three lower court decisions upholding congressional and grand jury subpoenas for financial records from President Trump's longtime personal accountants and from banks he did business with.

The high court's order sets the stage for a constitutional battle over the limits of presidential power.

The sixth Democratic primary debate has shaped up to be the smallest — and least diverse — so far of the 2020 campaign.

Just seven candidates have qualified per Democratic National Committee requirements: former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; billionaire businessman Tom Steyer; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and nonprofit executive Andrew Yang.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

Amid a labor dispute at the site of next week's presidential primary debate, all seven Democratic candidates who made the stage are siding with unions and threatening not to participate in the event.

Candidates are scheduled to meet for the Democratic presidential debate on the Loyola Marymount University campus in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin departed the governor's mansion three days ago, but the reverberations of some of his final actions are still being felt across the state.

Bevin, a Republican who narrowly lost a bid for a second term last month, issued pardons to hundreds of people, including convicted rapists, murderers and drug offenders.

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The X from NPR Illinois - LISTEN ON 91.9-3 HD OR STREAM

The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde Goes For Jazz Karaoke On 'Valve Bone Woe' Covers

Chrissie Hynde has wanted to release her latest album, Valve Bone Woe , for a very long time. It all started about 20 years ago, when she teamed up with film composer and music producer Marius de Vries to work on music for the movie Eye Of The Beholder . Chrissie and Marius wanted to work together again, but you know how life goes — you get busy, it's hard to sync up schedules — and it ended up taking a couple decades to finish the album. But it's here now, and it's very different from the...

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NPR Illinois Classic - LISTEN ON 91.9-2 HD OR STREAM

Opera Star Vittorio Grigolo Fired By Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera

One of opera's leading men, Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, was dismissed Thursday by two of the world's most prestigious houses: the Royal Opera in London and New York's Metropolitan Opera. His firing comes after an investigation by the Royal Opera [RO], which determined that he had demonstrated "inappropriate and aggressive behavior" during an RO tour of Japan in September. What exactly occurred in Tokyo, where Grigolo was singing Charles Gounod's opera Faust on Sept. 18, remains unclear....

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