Violent Tornadoes Cause Catastrophic Damage In Missouri, Killing At Least 3

A devastating series of storms late Wednesday spawned multiple tornadoes that caused extensive damage to several buildings and led to at least three deaths in Missouri. The National Weather Service confirmed that Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, was hit by a "violent tornado." The tornado prompted an unrelenting stream of 911 calls, with some reporting serious injuries. At least three people were killed earlier outside Joplin, in the southwest of the state. In Jefferson City, multiple...

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State Fair Offering Cheaper Admission This Summer

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Should Illinois Gun Owners Be Fingerprinted?

Trending Stories

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

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

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

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

There comes a moment in almost any performance by vibraphonist Joel Ross when he seems to slip free of standard cognitive functions and into a bodacious flow state. Invariably, he's in the midst of a heated improvisation. Maybe he's bouncing on his heels, or bobbing like a marionette. His mallets form a blur, in contrast to the clarity of the notes they produce. The deft precision of his hammering inspires a visual comparison to some tournament-level version of Whac-A-Mole.

Brittany Smith grew up mostly in Detroit, earning a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan. But when she and her then-boyfriend, Sam, began their careers, they ran into roadblocks. It was 2013, and Detroit was still struggling from the effects of the Great Recession. Sam Smith couldn't find full-time work. His job as a college career counselor wrapped when the campus where he worked shut down.

They began looking for an out.

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

NPR's Noel King talks to Mireille Paquet, professor of political science at Concordia University in Montreal, about how effective merit-based immigration has been on Canada's immigration system.

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

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

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

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Reporting and analysis taking you beyond the daily news and providing a deeper understanding of our state. 

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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.

Read More Education Stories

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

6 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.

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Politics

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

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

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

The promotion of religious freedom in America, a cause that not long ago had near unanimous support on Capitol Hill, has fallen victim to the culture wars.

A high point came in 1993, when Congress overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, meant to overturn a Supreme Court decision that limited Americans' right to exercise their religion freely.

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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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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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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