Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. Pritzker Announces DCFS Overhaul

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare system. That comes after a report criticized the Department of Children and Family Services’ reluctance to remove children from their homes.

Read More

Trending Stories

Wikimedia Commons

School Nurse Breaks A Rule To Save A Life

Last year, a school nurse in East Moline faced a moral dilemma when a diabetic student lost consciousness in her office. Now she’s trying to make sure no other school nurse has to face the same tough choice. Low blood sugar can usually be cured with orange juice and a granola bar . But those snacks and glucose tabs weren’t helping the 7th grader sitting in Jennifer Jacobs’ office. “Her blood sugar kept falling, and we kept pushing the snacks,” Jacobs says.

Read More

Social Action - Thanks for Sharing!

Across Midwest Farm Fields, Pesticide Exposure Is Tracked Unevenly Or Not At All

On July 28, 2017, a central Iowa emergency dispatcher received a 911 call from a man in a corn field. “I had workers that were detasseling,” said the caller, referring to the job of manually pulling the tops off standing corn stalks. “Some may have gotten sprayed by a plane.”

Read More

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.

Read More

Community Voices

© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

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.

Read More

Janis Martin, 'The Female Elvis,' Returns

Sep 30, 2012

Janis Martin was just a teenager from Virginia when she was christened "The Female Elvis." In the mid-1950s, she sold 750,000 copies of a song called "Will You, Willyum." She played the Grand Ole Opry, American Bandstand and The Tonight Show. But her fame was short-lived. Martin got married and had a baby, which didn't sit so well with the people managing her career. Her label dropped her, and she fell off the musical map.

Nicolas Kendall
Randy Eccles / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Violinist Nicolas Kendall, of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and Time for Three, peforms at the WUIS Suggs Performance Studio previewing his guest role with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Rhett Barnwell
Randy Eccles / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Harpist Rhett Barnwell joined Karl Scroggin to discuss music therapy and the Chiara Center's harp retreat weekend.

The thought of a baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly is one that keeps parents awake at night, fearing the worst. For years, little was known about sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Babies would die in their sleep, and it was presumed that little could be done to prevent those deaths.

Several cities have "Hot Clubs" — bands that play so-called "Gypsy jazz" in the tradition of Django Reinhardt. There's the Hot Club of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Prairieland Voices
Randy Eccles / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Marion van der Loo directs this preview performance before their holiday performance this weekend.

Jason Vieaux & Lidia Kaminska
Randy Eccles / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A live performance by Jason Vieaux & Lidia Kaminska on Classics with Karl Scroggin from November 11, 2010.

As he was approaching 40, Bryan Echols realized he was almost half his father's age, and he became curious about the man who raised him.

"What were you like at 40?" Bryan asked his 80-year-old father, Lindberg Echols, at StoryCorps in Chicago.

"Well, I had seven kids," said Lindberg, who worked at a ceramics factory in Gilberts, Ill., to support his family, which included Bryan and his six siblings, plus two daughters from a different marriage. "And I guess I was pretty tough on the boys," he said.

"It was a relationship that got better," Bryan said.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

FBI agents arrested Gov. Rod Blagojevich at home this week. He's been charged with a variety of corrupt practices, including attempting to trade President-elect Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat for something of value.

In some families, a specific talent seems to be passed down through the generations. That could be the case for Ledo Lucietto and his daughter Anne, who share a passion for mechanical engineering.

The Luciettos owned a tool and die shop in Illinois for 50 years. Ledo's father was a mechanical engineer who emigrated from Italy. Their shop was called the Byron-Lambert Co.; they made wire forms and metal stampings.

And as a little girl, Anne was a regular in that shop, asking her grandfather, Luigi, what he was doing as he made parts.

Pages

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

Fridays 12:30-1 PM, 7:30-8 PM
Saturdays 6:30-7 AM

The 21st

21st century conversation for the 21st state.

Mondays-Thursdays
11 AM - Noon
11 PM - Midnight

Arts & Life

The hit TV show The Big Bang Theory is signing off after a 12 season run – and the show's writers and creators aren't quite ready to say goodbye. For more than a decade, the writers have pitched storylines and traded jabs from their creative space at Warner Bros. studios.

On their long conference table you'll find Star Wars toys, e-mail about the structure of DNA, and the collected work of physicist Richard Feynman. There are Star Trek screensavers on the TV monitors.

Read More Arts & Life Stories

Education Desk

Equality Illinois

Illinois' MAP grants — the monetary award program for low-income college students — would be available to more students if a bill approved by the legislature this month becomes law. MAP grants are currently unavailable students who don't qualify for federal financial aid. In Illinois, that includes about 1,200 students who immigrated to the US as children.

Read More Education Stories

Equity & Justice

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.

Read More Equity Stories

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.

Read More Health+Harvest Stories

Illinois Economy

Willy Lange: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr

As Illinois considers legalizing sports betting, state and national sports leagues are asking for a share of the money. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

Statehouse

Dana Vollmer / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced plans Wednesday to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare system. That comes after a report criticized the Department of Children and Family Services’ reluctance to remove children from their homes.

Read More Statehouse Stories

Politics

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump is set to unveil an immigration plan that would vastly change who is allowed into the United States.

Trump will present the plan in a speech from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

The new plan would focus on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment-skill-based immigration.

But overall, the number of green cards issued under this plan would not change, and there would be no reduction in net immigration.

A series of internal National Rifle Association documents leaked online over the weekend, detailing lavish six-figure spending on clothing and travel expenses for CEO Wayne LaPierre.

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

At a rally on Capitol Hill organized by black female leaders in support of Ilhan Omar, the embattled Democratic congresswoman addressed the crowd.

"They cannot stand that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she's equal to them," she said, referencing President Trump, members of the Republican Party and even members of her own party.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The House Intelligence Committee is embroiled in a fight with the Trump administration, and the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., has now agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

READ MORE POLITICS STORIES

Uber And Lyft Drivers Are Striking — And Call On Passengers To Boycott

Updated at 11:06 p.m. ET Ahead of Uber's initial public offering, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies went on strike Wednesday, turning off the apps as they flex their collective muscles to say: What about us? Drivers in 10 cities across the country took action Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security — and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, too. In San...

Read More

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

'A Song For Any Struggle': Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' Is An Anthem Of Resolve

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem . Editor's note: This story includes discussions of depression, addiction and suicide. Of all his many, many hit songs, the one that Tom Petty said had the most direct and powerful impact on his fans was " I Won't Back Down ." Well, I won't back down
No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down The...

Read More

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...

Read More