Some Democratic Illinois lawmakers want to adopt more comprehensive sex education standards for K-12 schools to ensure students have a firm understanding of the importance of consent, the consequences of sharing underage sexually explicit material, and knowing when an action is considered sexual abuse.

On this episode, we discuss Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who becomes the new Illinois Democratic Party Chair, replacing Michael Madigan.  Gov. J.B. Pritzker supported her opponent and some view Kelly's ascension as a defeat for the governor.  

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has been outspoken about his own party.  It appears he'll face a primary challenge.  We discuss his political future.  

And Illinois continues to fall behind when it comes to its pension obligations.  We discuss it all on State Week. 

Provided by the ALPLM

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has a new executive director – Christina Shutt.

The Springfield museum and library’s board of trustees announced Friday the selection of its first Black leader. Shutt, 34, comes from Arkansas, where she served as executive director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. She holds master’s degrees in both history and library science.

The vaccine rollout has been a difficult and confusing experience for many elderly residents.  But a 13-year old from Evanston has found a way to help people learn where to sign up.  He created a website.

Also, while restaurants are reopening, many employees remain unvaccinated and worried. 

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide. 

The Next 10 logo

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln produced this Next 10 Extra panel to discuss investing in the arts to develop Springfield's economy.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) has replaced former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan as chair of the state’s Democratic Party, marking a shift away from Madigan’s two-decade control of the party.

Briana Rodriguez, who works at Ascend Springfield, talks about the effort to unionize.
UFCW Local 881's Facebook page

Employees at a cannabis dispensary in Springfield are voting on whether to unionize.

Workers at Ascend Springfield’s downtown location said Wednesday that lax COVID-19 precautions and a lack of guaranteed sick time during the pandemic pushed them towards organizing.

Originally aired February 26, 2021.

The Chatham Area Public Library eliminated all fines on overdue materials for its library cardholders and registered reciprocal borrowers. Along with going fine free, the library has taken other steps to continue their service through the pandemic. Library Director Amy Byers and Community Engagement Librarian Megan Freeman discuss this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

Robert Smith headshot

Originally aired February 24, 2021.

Dr. Robert Smith is the Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield.  

Originally aired January 15, 2021.

Gemma Long is the CEO of Gem PR & Media. This company specializes in public relations, digital, and social media consultancy. The company is based in Springfield but has clients across the United States and Europe. Gemma and husband Chris Long credit "community over competition" as a mantra they live by. A large part of their business is to foster relationships and collaboration with local business owners. Gemma talks about small businesses in Springfield, embarking on a new venture, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

City of Springfield

The Springfield City Council rejected the mayor’s nominee to fill the Ward 3 vacancy on the council, despite support from faith and community leaders.

npr illinois

Illinois has long held the record for the most units of local government in any state — 8,923 local taxing bodies to be exact, according to a recent report by the Chicago-based Civic Federation.

Originally aired February 23, 2021.

José Gobbo, Jr. is a UIS music professor and a jazz guitarist. 

Orignally aired January 21, 2021.

Lynn Saputo is Director of Recreation & Marketing and Interim Zoo Director  for the Springfield Park District. Lynn came on as Interim Director of the zoo in February 2020. The Henson Robinson Zoo has over 80 different species of native and exotic animals. They plan to open to the public in March along with some new experiences for guests. Lynn talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

Cherell Wilson's business Soaps by Rell

Originally aired October 7, 2020.

Cherell Wilson is a recent University of Illinois Springfield gradaute. During the pandemic she was inspired to create her own business Soaps by Rell.

Originally aired January 21, 2021.

Patricia Dulin is a conference speaker, licensed minster, and author. She is a member of Abundant Faith Christian Center. Patricia also co-founded Just As You Are Ministries with her husband Shawn Dulin. Her book 'Crickets... and Then She Cried' is now available. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

City of Springfield

Springfield’s mayor has nominated a community organizer to fill the vacancy on the city council. Roy Williams, Jr., was selected to take over for State Sen. Doris Turner, who has left the Ward 3 seat after being appointed to the Illinois legislature earlier this month.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's legislative district seat saw not just one, but two replacements within a week.  And Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a large reform package dealing with crime and policing.

The Chicago Sun-Times' Rachel Hinton joins the panel.

On this episode, when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Black residents are less likely to get the shots than whites. We'll look at some of the reasons why and some possible solutions.

And Congressman Adam Kinzinger has become a regular on national talk shows for speaking out against his own party.  Kinzinger grew up in central Illinois and we'll hear what those who've known him the longest have to say about the Republican.      

This I Believe: I Believe in Car Stereos

Feb 26, 2021
Madeline Sievers midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

I believe in car stereos. The stereo may be seen as a flashy accessory for an otherwise necessary means of transportation. But I believe a car stereo is the most important feature of the car. It is the heart of all socialization. Whether a touch-screen or good old-fashioned buttons, this modern music box is something of a magic trick. 


Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday announced $11 million in new infrastructure funding aimed at spurring economic development in underserved areas.

Panelist Headshots

As part of Black History Month, this UIS ECCE panel discussion encourages learning about the societal issues that inform and led to the formation and evolution of the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s vacated 22nd District House seat has a new occupant — the second replacement in four days — after Madigan asked his first choice to step down this week in an embarrassment to the normally fastidious Democratic boss.

This I Believe: I Believe the Cookie Monster Had it Right

Feb 25, 2021
Elizabeth Scherschel midshot
Beatrice Bonner / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Chocolate chip. Pizzelle. Oatmeal raisin. Jan hagel. Shortbread. Camachile. Gingerbread. Stroopwafel. Coconut. Peanut butter. Nearly everyone likes a cookie, regardless of background, identity, or politics; thus, cookies can help bridge the gaps we’ve created in our communities. I believe cookies can bring us together.

U of I Sued Over Handling Of Sexual Misconduct Claims

Feb 25, 2021
Travis Stansel / Illinois Public Media

Two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students are suing the University of Illinois for failing to protect them from a professor they say was violent and exploitative. The lawsuit, filed last month in the Illinois Court of Claims, alleges the university focused on generating income from Chinese students at the cost of protecting students.

Dozens of tables with equipment for COVID-19 vaccinations sit in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois has given more than two million vaccinations. But Black residents are less likely to get the shots than their white peers, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data. As of Feb. 22, 4% of Sangamon County’s vaccine doses have gone to Black residents, who make up 13% of the county’s population, according to census numbers.

Illinois residents who live in the 217 area code now need to dial a full 10-digit number when making local calls. The area code encompasses Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, and Quincy, and other parts of Central Illinois.

The change in dialing requirements corresponds with a new 447 area code being overlaid in the region on March 27.

City of Springfield Seal

The Illinois State Police have arrested Springfield Police Officer Taylor Staff after a criminal investigation following allegations of misconduct.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

The Springfield City Council Tuesday night approved a $130 million budget for the fiscal year that starts next week.

To achieve a balanced budget, Springfield will dip into city reserves for $2.2 million and direct the fire department to reduce spending by $1.4 million.

Originally aired February 5, 2021.

Chad Graue is a virtual consultant and online trainer who works with farms and other businesses sell food online and grow their customer base. His first book Five Star Follow-up is coming out soon. Chad talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.