News

Bryan Rives is Director of UIS Performing Arts Services at UIS Performing Arts Center at the University of Illinois Springfield. Bryan has over 30 years experience in event management as well as performing arts center management. He talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Democratic allies of House Speaker Mike Madigan on Monday ended an inquiry into whether the speaker did anything that should disqualify him from serving in the legislature.

Members of a “Special Investigative Committee” formed at the behest of Republicans deadlocked on whether to bring charges against Madigan related to a federal probe into a bribery scheme orchestrated by lobbyists for utility Commonwealth Edison to curry favor with the Speaker.

The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrived in Illinois at the state's Strategic National Stockpile on Monday, Dec. 14.
Screenshot from video provided by Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office

When Gov. JB Pritzker observes COVID-19 vaccines administered at a Peoria hospital on Tuesday morning, he’ll be witnessing among the first COVID-19 inoculations in Illinois after the state received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Karen Whitney is Interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois Springfield. She is the president emerita of Clarion University in Pennsylvania. She talks about what led her to higher education, her vision for UIS, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Amanda Vinicky is a political reporter on WTTW's Chicago Tonight. She previously covered Illinois politics and government for NPR Illinois. Amanda is a Public Affairs Reporting Program graduate. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Brian Mackey hosts the Illinois Public Radio program The21st. He previously reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois. Brian talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

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.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, Governor JB Pritzker ordered Illinois National Guard medical personnel to the state's four veterans' homes following a deadly outbreak in the LaSalle facility amid criticism from Republican lawmakers.  Also, Michael Madigan continued to resist calls for him to step down as Speaker of the House.

Capitol News Illinois' Jerry Nowicki joins the panel.

It was a foggy, rainy night December 13, 1977. The University of Evansville's men's basketball team boarded a planed, heading for an away game.  But soon after takeoff, the plane crashed killing all 29 people aboard.  We'll hear from those on the scene and a documentary about that tragic event. 

We'll also listen to a nurse, who explains the difficulty of doing her job in a pandemic. 

And Amanda Knox, who was exonerated after her wrongful conviction in a high profile murder case, talks with us about her experience and concerns about prosecutors, the court system and the media.    

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.  

Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs

Illinois National Guard medical staff have been sent to the LaSalle Veterans’ Homes to assist with COVID-19 testing and screening at the facility, and next week will arrive at the state-run veterans' homes in Manteno and Quincy.

David  and Mary Caroline Mitchell have been friends of the station for many years. They especially are big supporters of a program NPR Illinois is able to rebroadcast on Christmas Eve called,  A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge. David and Mary Caroline talk about traveling to see it live, holiday traditions, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles. 

Karen Witter is the chair of the NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board. She is also a freelance writer and community volunteer helping different organziations around Springfield, IL. Karen is a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles. 

Kenya is a college student from Springfield, IL. She was also a chosen essayist from the NPR Illinois This I Believe Essay Program 2020. Kenya talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Four GOP state House lawmakers on Wednesday voiced complaints from their central and southern Illinois constituents who say they have waited months after applying for new or renewed gun ownership licenses without an update from the Illinois State Police amid an unprecedented volume of applications this year.

Mary Hansen is a reporter for NPR Illinois. She is a graduate of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. Mary also has a BA in International Studies from American University. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Julie Staley is Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Spencer Films LLC. She is also President of the Spencer Theatre Company and The Staley Museum. Julie is a former television news anchor and reporter. She talks about new projects, her career, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles. 

Karen Penning and her late husband Matt Penning have been friends of the station for many years. Karen was born and raised in Springfield and is also a former teacher. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Courtesy of Amanda Knox

The Illinois Innocence Project will host Amanda Knox at a virtual fundraiser for the organization on Thursday evening in an event billed as “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Registration for the event closes at midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Find more information about the event at illinoisinnocenceproject.org.

Illinois State Capitol Dome in clouds
Brian Mackey / WUIS - Illinois Issues

A pair of Republican lawmakers are proposing changes to Illinois’ constitution that would expand voters’ ability to recall elections in Illinois — something currently reserved only for the governor.

Lisa Clemmons Stott is the Executive Director at Downtown Springfield Inc. She also is the former Director of Development for NPR Illinois (WUIS Public Radio). Lisa talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Sarah Beuning is General Counsel at Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Dr. John Martin is Associate Professor of Astronomy-Physics at the University of Illinois Springfield. They talk about their jobs, hobbies, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Jessica Markley is a college student originally from Springfield, IL. Jessica was a chosen essayist in the NPR Illinois This I Believe Essay Program 2019 and participated in NPR Illinois Stinkbug Night. Jessica talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on Monday fired the administrator of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, where 32 residents have been reported dead in the last month after a widespread COVID-19 outbreak at the facility in November.

UIS

The interim chancellor at the University of Illinois Springfield will stay in that role for a longer period.   

The university announced Monday that Karen Whitney will have her contract extended until June 2022. 

https://www.corporatekin.com/ / Corporate KIN

Raychel McBride is the Diversity Inclusion & Affirmative Action Manager at Growmark Inc. She is also the founder of Corporate KIN, a business she started to help non-profits, start-ups, and other businesses implement diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Raychel also is the host of a podcast called Freedom & Champagne and a member of the NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

https://www.npr.org/about-npr/516693433/nprs-embedded-returns-with-a-special-assignment / NPR

Kelly McEvers is a two-time Peabody Award-winning jounalist and host of the Embedded podcast. She is the former host of All Things Considered. Kelly was raised in Lincoln, IL and has a B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

A group of Illinois Republican lawmakers is demanding Gov. J.B. Pritzker call a special session of the General Assembly to deal with persistent state unemployment system issues.

Nearly 300,000 fraudulent unemployment claims have been made in Illinois this year.

Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

Former State Sen. Marty Sandoval (D-Chicago) died Saturday after a battle with COVID-19, nearly a year after resigning from the legislature amidst an ongoing federal corruption probe involving Democratic politicians and other power brokers from Chicago’s City Hall to Springfield.

https://thedeephollow.com/

The Deep Hollow is a trio from Sprinfield, IL that specialize in contemporary folk/Americana music. The trio consists of Micah Walk, Elizabeth Eckert, and Dave Littrell. Listen to the full interview intertwined with some of their music below. 

Pixabay (creative commons license)

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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