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Illinois is preparing to receive its first shipment of Coronavirus vaccines by mid-December, which will be given to hospital and healthcare workers in the 50 counties with the highest COVID-19 death rates per capita, plus the city of Chicago.

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Brian Mackey

This week, investigations began into the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the La Salle Veterans' Home investigation, while Michael Madigan continued to lose support for his role as House Speaker in his own caucus amid the ComEd bribery scandal.

Rachel Hinton of the Chicago Sun-Times joins the panel.

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The Illinois Senate Democrats will keep their new leader in the new year. Don Harmon of Oak Park became Senate President earlier this year when former President John Cullerton retired.

Harmon’s caucus supported him during a private meeting Thursday.  

The Senate Democrats saw a drawn-out internal battle to replace Cullerton, but ultimately Harmon was elected. Since then, however, the caucus seems to have united behind him. There has been more churn in other caucuses.

Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

An Illinois House committee will take the extraordinary step of launching an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home, which has killed 31 residents in the last few weeks." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">State Rep.

An analysis of COVID-19 data shows not-for-profit nursing homes in Illinois have done a better job at controlling coronavirus infections and deaths than other facilities. But when it comes to choosing one over the other, it's not so simple.  

We'll also get caught up on a political scandal that has shaken Illinois politics. 

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

This week's lineup:

Connie Locher-Bussard is a freelance dietitian. She is also on the Board of Directors of King's Daughters Organization. Listen to Connie talk about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Anna McFarland is a part of the marketing committee with The Springfield Muni. During the holiday season The Muni will be holding virtual meet and greets with Santa Claus. Anna talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Adam Porter is Professor of Religion at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. He also serves on the NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board. He talks about this and more with Community Voices co-hosts Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Nabih Elhajj is Executive Director of iVenturED and Lead Facilitator of Sangamon CEO. Nabih also is an adjunct instructor of entrepreneurship at The University of Illinois Springfield and serves on the NPR Illinois Advisory Board. He talks about this and more with Community Voices co-hosts Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Dr. Yona Stamatis is a professor in the music department at The University of Illinois Springfield. She is a enthomusicologist and uses her research to bring about social change. Yona also hosts and produces special arts coverage of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra on NPR Illinois. She talks about all this and more with Community Voices' Randy Eccles.

http://craigrusso.com/

Dr. Craig Russo is a neuroradioligst in Springfield, IL. He is also the leader of the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project, a group whose focus is Latin and Afro-Carribbean music. During the NPR Illinois Winter Drive, he talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

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As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain at record levels, hospitals that serve small towns and rural areas in Illinois are facing unique challenges.

The pandemic has forced more students and teachers to go online.  That hasn't been easy.  But it's also a challenge for parents, juggling work and making sure their kids keep up with their studies.  A reporter shares her story.

We also look back at an incident in Springfield involving President John F. Kennedy, one year before his assassination. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Hospital beds across the state continue to fill with COVID-19 patients, and an investigation has been announced to look into the deadly breakout in the LaSalle Veterans' Home.  Michael Madigan says he has no intention of stepping down as House Speaker, although he may not have the votes needed to keep that position the next time the Legislature meets.

WBEZ's Dave McKinney joins the panel this week.

Brian Mackey

Illinois will borrow $2 billion more from the Federal Reserve to pay bills associated with COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.

Betty Haynes is the Director of Communications at The Illinois Beef Association, a nonprofit organization that strives to make sure the beef industry is profitable and sustainable. Betty talks about the organization, farming, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic spikes again, how has central Illinois been doing in addressing the crisis? A panel of area doctors discuss what steps have been taken in the past year and where we are now.

Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

Twenty-seven residents of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home have died in the last few weeks since the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs reported a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility in early November.

Sangamon Reclaimed / https://www.sangamonreclaimed.com/

Brian Frieze is President and Founder of Sangamon Reclaimed. Their mission is to handcraft furniture from old barns, buildings, and other structures. Sangamon Reclaimed has repurposed and built tables, chairs, and more at many businesses' around Springfield. Brian talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

The James Project / http://www.thejamesproject127.com/our-ministries

Jan Williams is President and Founder of the James Project. The James Project recruits and supports foster parents in Springfield, Illinois through their different ministries such as The James Project Homes, Closet 1:27, and Call 1:27. Jan discusses their faith based mission and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Ending cash bail doesn't lead to an increase in crime, according to a new report from researchers at Loyola University Chicago. 

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Longtime Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) says has no intention of stepping down — even after a federal indictment this week nabbed four people alleged to have orchestrated a bribery scheme for Madigan’s benefit.

Sheila Walk

Charles Scott is Co-Founder and CEO of The Garvey Tubman Cultural Arts and Research Center. Sheila Walk is Interiem Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Center. Both organizations are heavily involved in the arts community. The Garvey Tubman Center had the opportunity to give music classes through funds provided by the Levitt Foundation Amp Grant which The Springfield Area Arts Council has been instrumental in helping to secure. Charles and Sheila talk about their organziations, the impact of the Levitt Foundation Amp Grant, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

This week, a Michael Madigan confidant and three others were indicted in an alleged bribery scheme that prosecutors say also involved the powerful House Speaker, known as Public Official A in federal documents. 

Madigan again denied he's done anything wrong and he's not been charged.  But more House Democrats have publicly pulled their support for him, making it seem less likely he can win another term in the leadership post in January.  There have also been calls for him to resign as the state's Democratic Party Chairman. 

Our panel discusses Madigan's future and whether his long tenure in politics is about to end.  

Sharon Reynolds, the administrator for The Villas Senior Care East, gives advice to leaders at other care facilities going through outbreaks after COVID-19 hit their facility in the spring.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Most of the new COVID-19 cases in Sangamon County are from what public health experts call community spread, at house parties, work, restaurants or other places within the community. But that wasn’t the case at the beginning of the pandemic, when most cases were in congregate settings, such as nursing homes.

In a divided country, it's easy to point fingers and throw around blame.  Those who work in government are often targets.  But a new award will recognize those who do the public good.  Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar joins us to talk about the award named after him and the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon.

And we'll learn about two middle-aged white women, who refer to themselves as vandals, for taking it upon themselves to change the name of a park that honored a former slaveholder.  

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

In a divided country, it's easy to point fingers and throw around blame.  Those who work in government are often targets.  But a new award will recognize those who do the public good.  Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar joins us to talk about the award named after him and the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon.

And we'll learn about two middle-aged white women, who refer to themselves as vandals, for taking it upon themselves to change the name of a park that honored a former slaveholder.  

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

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UIS.edu

Fall 2020 UIS Lunch & Learn Series - Streaming the Future:  Impact of Cable News Networks and Social Media

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday called on longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) to resign from his speakership if he could not explain his knowledge of or role in a years-long bribery scheme allegedly orchestrated by lobbyists and officials of electric giant Commonwealth Edison in an attempt to curry favor with Madigan.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

A longtime confidante of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) was charged along with two other former Commonwealth Edison lobbyists and the CEO of ComEd’s parent company in a nine-count indictment Wednesday, alleging the four conspired on a wide-ranging bribery scheme all designed to influence the powerful House Speaker.

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