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

Illinois Department of Corrections

Before leaving office, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner granted a pardon to a man wrongly convicted of attempted murder. What makes this clemency unique is that man, Grover Thompson, is now deceased.


The Illinois General Assembly began a new legislative session Wednesday—with both new and familiar faces. Though the legislative leaders remain the same, making what was old “new” again,  Democrats have expanded their veto-proof majority, known as a “supermajority".

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The new Illinois House of Representatives was sworn in Wednesday at a ceremony in Springfield, and longtime Speaker of the House Michael Madigan was elected to his 18th term in that post. But, one of the 74 newly sworn-in Democrats did not vote for Madigan.


Lee Milner

The Illinois House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure to remove the members of the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

An Illinois politician is going to Africa, after the U-S Senate approved an ambassadorship for outgoing state Senator Kyle McCarter. The Senate also confirmed a former State’s Attorney to be the next US Attorney for Central Illinois.


via WI State Representative Joel Kleefisch / Facebook

Illinois hunters will soon be able to swap their orange hunting gear with pink if they wish, thanks to a new state law taking effect in January.


Mitch Barrie / Flickr

The ongoing series of mass shootings across the country prompted Illinois lawmakers to pass a number of measures in 2018 aimed at preventing such tragedies. One of those is taking effect on January 1st.

Claire Harbage / NPR

Amid talk of possibly legalizing marijuana in Illinois in the near future, farmers will soon be able to grow another type of cannabis plant thanks to a new state law.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In the wake of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Catholic Church investigation, a victim’s advocacy group is accusing the Catholic Diocese of Springfield of intentionally leaving the names of two predator priests off its public list. They say those names are part of the group of 500 Madigan uncovered.


via Annie Thompson / Office of The Attorney General of Illinois

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinois six Roman Catholic dioceses failed to disclose at least 500 sexual abuse cases involving priests. That’s one of the first findings the office has released so far in its ongoing investigation of the dioceses.


Jimmy Baikovicius via Flikr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is continuing her investigation of the state’s six Roman Catholic dioceses, and now says criminal prosecution is a potential.


via Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Hundreds of Chicago murder cases from as far back as 2014 have DNA evidence from the crime scene: it just hasn’t been processed yet by Illinois’ Forensic Science Lab. State senators met in Chicago on Monday to find out why.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois legislature has approved the so-called Voices Act, overriding a veto from Governor Bruce Rauner. It's aimed at helping certain immigrants obtain special visas.


The Illinois Innocence Project / via https://www.uis.edu/illinoisinnocenceproject/teshome-campbell-case/

Illinois lawmakers approved tighter restrictions on the use of jailhouse informants, overturning Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto. The legislation is meant to keep innocent people out of jail.


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.

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