Sam Dunklau

Reporter

Sam is a general assignment reporter.  Previously, Sam was a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working at the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.

Since 2015, he's been floating around the radio airwaves as a reporter, disc jockey, and station manager.  A multimedia journalism degree from Augustana College now rests comfortably under his belt. 

Ways to Connect

WOSU Public Media / Flikr

College in Illinois is becoming more expensive on average, and fewer students are graduating from the state’s large public universities. That’s according to a decade’s-worth of federal education data.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois lawmakers say they’ve begun discussing a potential capital bill. It would fund construction and repair projects for the state’s infrastructure over the next several years.


BlueRoomStream.comn / via Twitter

Illinois state senators approved a measure Wednesday aimed at helping immigrants who are victims of criminal activity. It was vetoed earlier this year by Governor Bruce Rauner.


Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker now tops Donald Trump as the richest politician in America. Pritzker’s wealth has led to more questions about the role of money in politics, and led critics to question how much the Democrat’s personal wealth may have influenced his election win against Gov. Bruce Rauner.


J.B. Pritzker for Governor

Former and outgoing Illinois leaders offer suggestions for the man going to the mansion. 

DANIEL ACKER / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Illinois’ economic outlook is improving by one measure. According to two reports on the state's labor force, Illinois added nearly three thousand jobs in September, while unemployment across most regions has fallen or remains low.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin was in Springfield today (WED), casting his ballot in the 2018 Election. He says he's encouraged by early voting tallies in Illinois so far, and that immigration is now among the chief issues thanks to President Trump.


WSIU

Two Illinois PBS outlets say they’re merging. The new public television group would cover almost two-thirds of the state.


Cynthia Cochran Long / via Facebook

An Illinois bed and breakfast that refused to host a gay couple’s civil union ceremony is also refusing to a pay a court-ordered settlement. Illinois’ Attorney General is now intervening in the case.


Health care, trade, and the tax overhaul are three of the biggest issues in the race for the 13th Congressional District between incumbent Rodney Davis and challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Candidates in the race for Illinois’ 13th Congressional seat squared off in the first of four debates in Springfield on Monday. Recent polling has suggested the race could be close between Republican incumbent Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Vice President Mike Pence was in Springfield Friday, stumping for Congressman Rodney Davis. Pence has been crisscrossing the country to help GOP candidates maintain control of districts that could flip Democratic in the midterm election.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Archives

Voters this fall are choosing who will occupy the state’s two financial offices: treasurer and comptroller. Even during campaigns, these positions rarely get much attention. In fact, their very existence usually comes into question in proposals to merge the offices into one. Years ago, one person was in charge.

It all changed after a massive scandal filled with fast moves, fancy cars and fraud tarnished state government moneyhandling forever.


Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

An international panel on climate change this week warned greenhouse gas emissions will keep increasing if left unchecked and called for urgent action. According to one Illinois scientist, that means frequent heavy rain events and flooding could become the norm.


Aaron Paul / Wikimedia Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en

Illinois’ pollution regulator moved ahead Thursday with a proposal to change emissions rules for coal power plants, a move opponents say could be dangerous to public health.


Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

A new statewide poll shows Republican President Donald Trump may weigh down Illinois’ GOP candidates in the midterm election.

Southern Illinois University’s Simon Institute surveyed more than 700 Illinois voters. They were asked whether President Trump’s record in office would make them more or less likely to vote for Illinois Republicans in state and Congressional races.

Google StreetView

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is asking the Attorney General’s office to temporarily shut down a Chicago-area chemical plant. The agency says that plant is releasing an illegal amount of cancer-causing fumes into the air.

Illinois Farm Bureau

Food and drink vendors at this year’s Illinois State Fair say fewer people lined up for things like corn dogs and lemon shake-ups. That fits with an official report of declining overall attendance.

    

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois / https://www.dio.org/

NPR Illinois' Sam Dunklau sat down with Bishop Paprocki of Springfield this week. He says he regrets the child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy that happened in the past, and calls on the Church to heal together.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois government wants to keep kids from leaving the state for college. Its latest effort is a website and app that allows students and their parents to compare in-state schools.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a measure aimed at shortening wait times at driver services locations. The new law will give drivers the option to renew their license plates for multiple years.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Public health advocates and some state lawmakers spurned Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a bill that would have raised the legal tobacco age to 21.

Rauner axed the bill last Friday, though his own Department of Public Health supported it. While he called smoking “detrimental” in his veto message, the governor said Illinois couldn’t take the risk of losing tobacco sales tax revenue to neighboring states.

Construction sign at Broadway and Adams in Springfield
Sam Dunklau

Experts say billions in a multi-year plan won't go far enough to address infrastructure repairs and upkeep.

via Google Street

Illinois hospitals will soon receive money to treat millions of people who are covered through Medicaid. The federal government has approved state's latest hospital assessment program, which gives money to hospitals for treating its poorest individuals.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

While Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus labor case on Wednesday, his chief opponent on the campaign trail was quick to criticize. J.B. Pritzker took to the podium in Springfield to do just that.


Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, via Twitter

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. They're the latest in a string of products the state is offering to mark its bicentennial year.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a several months-long contest, challenging designers to capture Illinois’ history on a single coin face. Submissions poured in from far and wide, but they were eventually whittled down to five finalists, whose designs were then voted on by the public.

Senator Dick Durbin via Twitter

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is supporting President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next ambassador to Kenya: Illinois state Sen. Kyle McCarter. That’s despite the significant political differences between Durbin and McCarter.

Durbin says he met with McCarter this week in Washington, D.C. to discuss his Kenya nomination.

McCarter is quite conservative, and Durbin says his voting record poses “some issues.” But that isn’t stopping him from giving the Republican a thumbs up.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

As part of the new Illinois budget, thousands and thousands of state workers will get paid for salary increases they were supposed to get as far back as 2011.


Sam Dunklau / via Wikimedia Commons, Flikr

Illinois lawmakers have approved a plan that would let schools, churches, and workplaces take out restraining orders against someone considered dangerous.

Under current Illinois law, only an individual can take out a restraining order against another person. But after recent shootings at schools and churches, state lawmakers have been pushing for legislation to protect those places from future attacks.

via Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed a full year budget Thursday. It includes a few plans to cut down on the state’s massive pension debt.


Pages