News

A car in a Black Lives Matter parade passes in front of Springfield Police Department headquarters on Monroe Street.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield faith and community activist groups called for commitments from the mayor and police chief to work with them to strengthen the police oversight commission and reinstate a requirement for police officers to live in the city.

Gov. JB Pritzker touts the state's COVID-19 testing capacity at a news conference in Springfield.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

After weekend protests against postponing many fall high school sports, Gov. JB Pritzker again defended the decision.

Illinois House Democrats on Monday accused State Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) of making racist and homophobic statements during a phone call with a purported GOP donor.

The phone call, which was recorded, included instances of Grant mentioning her opponent Ken Mejia-Beal's race and sexuality. Mejia Beal, of Lisle, is Black and openly gay. 

State of Illinois

More than three weeks after a region of the state was forced to stop indoor bar and restaurant service, those restrictions are being lifted.   Governor J.B. Pritzker says Region 7 has seen its coronavirus positivity rate drop and will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Mike Smith / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

On Tuesday nights Jennifer Moore and her children pile into their van and make a stop at a church doing a grocery give-away. They then drop the bags off to people who respond that they need food in the Springfield Families Helping Families group on Facebook.

KRISTIN WALTERS / IL NEWSROOM

Illinois is starting to award grants to renters to help them catch up on late payments. But the need far outpaces the funding available and more than 50,000 applicants won't get help.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker told state government agencies to prepare for across the board budget cuts.  The Big Ten sports conference declared that they will hold games this fall, putting pressure on Governor Pritzker to allow all Illinois students to play.

WBEZ's Kate McGee and WSIU's Jennifer Fuller join the panel.

This week on Statewide, we take a look at the growing problem of food insecurity.  It's an issue in big cities and small towns and the economic hardships created this year have made it worse.  We'll learn about some efforts being made to help.

And, with many schools going remote, that's left working parents in a bind when it comes to finding child care and being able to afford it.  

That and more on this episode.

Ald. Shawn Gregory speaks at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in May.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

After a summer of anti-police brutality demonstrations, two Springfield city council members are proposing a bigger role for the police oversight commission and spelling out use-of-force rules, among other changes.

NPR Illinois

Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

HSHS Medical Group is offering COVID-19 testing in Springfield and Decatur.
HSHS Medical Group

HSHS Medical Group is offering COVID-19 testing in Springfield and Decatur. The medical group is using federal funds from the first coronavirus aid package to set up the drive-through sites.

Illinois State Board of Education

The COVID-19 crisis has placed many school districts and families on the wrong side of the digital divide. State Superintendent Carmen Ayala says creativity is  helping to bridge the gap.

Ayala says the state board has allocated $80 million toward purchase of computer devices and connectivity hotspots to help with remote learning. Forty two percent of schools have both remote and in-person learning and a third are remote only.

Hannah Meisel

‘A Bed Is Not A Bed Is Not A Bed’: Building Up Child Welfare System To Deal With Looming Crisis Not A Simple Task

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, a special Illinois House committee began investigating House Speaker Madigan’s alleged role in a decade-long bribery scheme involving Commonwealth Edison.  Meanwhile, Senate President Don Harmon's office was subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney.  And billionaire Ken Griffin is spending money to fight the proposed graduated income tax amendment.

The Chicago Tribune's Jaime Munks and Professor of State Politics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Chris Mooney join the panel.

Three smoke stacks from Springfield's City Water, Light and Power sit on the lake.
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

City Water, Light and Power is encouraging customers with past due bills to contact its customer service department to get on a payment plan. They can call 217-789-2030 or visit CWLP’s website.

On this episode, we recall Chicago's own Steve Goodman, the songwriter who died 36 years ago this month.  He left behind a catalog of work, but is probably best known for the song played after a Chicago Cubs home victory - "Go Cubs Go."  

Also, we find out how misinformation about the coronavirus can spread so rapidly.  And, a southern Illinois couple tells their account of growing up amid segregation.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Report and manage other reporters and students covering Illinois government in Springfield. Report for public media throughout Illinois.

Sangamon County Circuit Clerk Office sign
Brandon Smith / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Voters in Sangamon County will be able to submit their mail-in ballots for the November election in two drop boxes instead of sending back through the postal service.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

Despite a global health threat and concerns of students taking a gap year, enrollment on the University of Illinois Springfield campus saw only a slight decline.  That gives hope the school might be able to weather the disruption brought on by the pandemic.

School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/

Eighteen young people tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County during the week of August 23.

The weekly number of new cases among those less than 20 years old in each county is one of four metrics the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing late last month to assist local schools and health departments in making decisions about in-person learning.

A COVID-19 testing site outside of Sangamon County Health Department.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Friday is the last day SIU Medicine offered COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have spiked on university campuses throughout the state.  Meanwhile, many kids are beginning the new school year with virtual, remote learning only.  And the Illinois House has created a committee to look into possible wrongdoing by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Illinois Newsroom's Lee Gaines, WNIJ's Peter Medlin, and WGLT's Dana Vollmer join the panel.

Signs outside a store in downtown Springfield encourage handwashing and the use of face masks.
Mary Hanse / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a new peak in new COVID-19 cases at 5,368. But department officials say the spike is due to a backlog of data.

Campus entry signage
University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois’ COVID-19 testing program – SHIELD – plans to put a lab on the Springfield campus, an official with the program confirmed Thursday.

UIS

The following is a commentary from Dr. Robert Smith, Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield.  

Donnie Nunley / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A researcher at the University of Illinois recently showed how child care providers have been hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Elizabeth Powers is an economist at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. She says measures put in place to slow COVID-19 reduced revenues for childcare centers and  restricted the number of slots that were available to families.

A hand puts  a vile of saliva for a COVID-19 test into a biohazard bag.
University of Illinois Springfield

A couple hundred students, staff and faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield waited more than 48 hours for results from their saliva-based COVID-19 tests taken last week. Initial university instructions said results should be sent within a day or two.

The coronavirus disease can lead to physical problems. But emotional ones as well. On this episode, we hear from those who have contracted COVID-19 and what they've experienced.

Learning more about Emmett Till, from his cousin who grew up around him.

And beer that tastes like southern Illinois.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

URBANA – About a thousand students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have tested positive for COVID-19 since twice-a-week coronavirus testing became mandatory for all students on Aug. 16.

West Cook 40

Illinois had about 4,000 unfilled school jobs open last fall, and that shortage is expected to be greater this year because of the pandemic. 

The information comes from a survey of school superintendents conducted in 2019. School staff in that count include teachers and paraprofessionals, such as aides,  and administrators. Data for a new survey will be collected in September said Mark Klaisner, the President of the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents.

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