Dr. Donald Graham, an infectious disease specialist at Springfield Clinic, urges the public to follow health recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Region Is ‘Strikingly Close’ To More COVID-19 Restrictions, Say Sangamon County Health Experts

Sangamon County is nearing 4,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began – about 2% of its population. Local public health officials gathered at a news conference Sunday to sound the alarm about the surge, warning the area is “strikingly close” to having additional restrictions imposed by the state.

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Trending Stories

The Legacy Ptoject

New Curriculum Brings LGBTQ History Into The Light

The kids called Grayson Alexander "dyke" and "faggot." The bullying got worse when he came out as transgender the summer between eighth grade and high school. Now a senior at Loyola University in Chicago, the Springfield native says attending school was “not fun.”

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Community Voices

SIU School of Medicine

CV - Mary Aiello & SIU School of Medicine’s Standardized Patient Program

Mary Aiello is the Director of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Standardized Patient Program. The Standardized Patient Program employs community members as standardized patients to help with the training and professional development of medical students. Mary Aiello sits down with Community Voices' Bea Bonner to discuss the history of the program and where it is now.

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Springfield State Rep. Tests Positive For COVID

Local State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, he announced on social media. Butler said he was quarantining in the basement at his Springfield home and was unsure where he contracted the virus.

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Editor's note: This story includes details some readers may find disturbing.

An unprecedented trial is underway this month at the Vatican, the result of a whistleblower going public.

A young priest is charged with sexually abusing an altar boy over a five-year period inside Vatican City walls. An older priest is charged with covering up the abuse.

It's the first criminal trial for sexual abuse to take place in the Vatican court.

Six of the state’s 11 coronavirus mitigation regions will be under escalated restrictions as of Wednesday as hospitalizations for COVID-19 show a quickening rate of increase.

As of Sunday night, there were 2,638 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 589 in intensive care unit beds and 238 on ventilators – all were once again highs not seen since early to mid-June.

With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew.

Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

It started as a ripple: anger over higher subway prices. But a growing wave of protests followed, and now people in Chile have voted overwhelmingly to throw out their country's Pinochet-era constitution and create a new document under which to live. Nearly 80% of the voters chose to form a new constitution.

The result threw Chile into a huge celebration. One year after Santiago's streets were jammed by protesters, they were filled Sunday with revelers, ecstatic over the results of a national plebiscite. There were music and fireworks. Signs declared "Renace Chile" — Chile Reborn.

To make ends meet, Martha Tapia works 64 hours a week at two Orange County, Calif., nursing homes. She is one of thousands of certified nursing assistants who perform the intimate and physical work of bathing, dressing and feeding the nation's fragile elderly.

"We do everything for them. Everything you do for yourself, you have to do for the residents," Tapia says.

One week after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam opened an investigation into systemic racism at the Virginia Military Institute, the college's superintendent has submitted his resignation.

A former Uber driver in San Diego sued the ride-hailing company on Monday for racial discrimination in how it uses passengers' reviews to evaluate drivers.

The company relies on a star rating system, which the lawsuit says disproportionately leads to the firing of people who are not white or who speak with accents.

NASA has confirmed the presence of water on the moon's sunlit surface, a breakthrough that suggests the chemical compound that is vital to life on Earth could be distributed across more parts of the lunar surface than the ice that has previously been found in dark and cold areas.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Waukegan, Ill., Officer Who Killed Black Man Has Been Fired; City To Release Video

A police officer who shot and killed a young Black man and injured the man's girlfriend during a traffic stop last week in Waukegan, Ill., has been fired. City officials are expected to release police video of the encounter, which could come as soon as this week. State and local officials attended a vigil Sunday in Waukegan, where attendees paid tribute to the deceased, Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and Tafara Williams, who is recovering from injuries sustained last week. Waukegan Mayor Sam...

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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


It's been nearly five years since Adele released her blockbuster Grammy-festooned album 25 — so you'd

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Education Desk

The Legacy Ptoject

The kids called Grayson Alexander "dyke" and "faggot." The bullying got worse when he came out  as transgender the summer between eighth grade and high school. 

Now a senior at Loyola University in Chicago, the Springfield native says attending school was “not fun.”

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Equity & Justice

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State Sen. Ram Villivalam says he plans to offer a proposal to create paid family leave in Illinois.

Villivalam, a Chicago Democrat, says the idea would be to allow workers to take leave with pay for themselves or to care for a new baby or other family member.

“There are people that are working, living paycheck to paycheck, without access to pay leave, and they're faced with the impossible choice: Do I care for my child or loved one in need? Or do I try to put food on the table?" he said. "Paid family leave eliminates this dilemma."

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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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Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Seven months after Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package in the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, local governments in Illinois are still fighting Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration over approximately $150 million meant for municipalities. 

The Illinois Municipal League, which lobbies on behalf of cities and towns in Illinois, already won a fight with Pritzker’s administration this summer over whether municipalities would be able to spend their share of CARES Act money on small grants for businesses in their communities. 

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

How The Pandemic May Be Influencing Voters

3 hours ago

A Senate race may be a toss-up in Arizona, a coronavirus hot spot. Latino and retired voters — groups the virus hit disproportionately hard — explain how their experience is informing their votes.

Police arrested 11 people Sunday in New York City after fights erupted in Times Square as a large Jews for Trump convoy rolled through. Skirmishes broke out after some counterdemonstrators yanked flags off vehicles – and some drivers and passengers got out of their cars.

The clashes were caught on video and posted to social media, showing frequent outbursts of violence as people shouted threats at each other. At least one car had red paint thrown on it.

Nov. 3 promises to be an Election Day unlike any other, and public safety entities say they're preparing for tensions and the possibility of violence.

Poll workers are usually the first line of defense in case of disputes between voters, though they may be backed up by private security guards. Some local election authorities say they'll be adding guards, and Washington state's King County says it will post guards to ballot drop boxes that in other years have been unattended.

President Trump is closing out his campaign for reelection way behind in fundraising and trailing in the polls, both nationally and key swing states. Nearly 60 million people have already voted and time is running out before Nov. 3, Election Day.


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

What Bruce Springsteen Lost And Found

Bruce Springsteen, who writes so often of people who lost something — a job, a family, hope — was recently inspired by a loss of his own. The death of George Theiss, his last surviving bandmate from his first group, sent Springsteen back into his recording archives and into his memory. The result is Letter to You, an album with an accompanying film. In them, Springsteen reflects on being "the last man standing." We spoke with Springsteen via video link in these pandemic times. He chose an...

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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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