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

Amtec Photos via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois’ September unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down by a tenth of a percent from August, and state officials are calling that a record low.


NASA on The Commons / via Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Illinoisans say lawmakers should make dealing with climate change a priority. That’s according to the latest results from an NPR Illinois — University of Illinois Springfield survey.

USGS via Wikimedia

In the wake of recent activity near the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Illinois’ Emergency Management Agency is urging participation in an earthquake drill scheduled for Thursday.


Rod Waddington via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois residents across the state, and across party lines, largely support more gun regulations. That’s according to the results of an NPR Illinois - University of Illinois Springfield survey. We took a look at the new data and explored what might be behind the numbers.


Christopher Bowns / via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The photos or videos you store in “the cloud” aren’t actually up in the air. They’re in computer systems housed in hundreds of vast buildings across the country.

Illinois is now providing tax breaks for companies that build those centers in the hopes of attracting more of them.


A growing number of Illinois church congregations are being forced to make a once-unthinkable decision: either change locations or disband altogether. But moving out doesn’t always mean the end.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Fire safety officials gathered in Springfield on Tuesday to warn against using smoke detectors with a removable battery. They also reminded Illinoisans about a law requiring newer detectors.


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After months of controversy over allegations of cancer-causing emissions, medical sterilization company Sterigenics says it will not reopen an Illinois plant.

via BlueRoomStream.com

Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is delaying a planned health insurance switch for children in its care, but the public guardian of the state’s largest county says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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

A new report raises questions about the future profitability of casino gambling, one of the first people to say #MeToo in the context of Illinois politics is still looking for work, and the Illinois State Fair's claim of record revenue is not the whole story.

watts_photos via Creative Commons / CC BY 2.0

Newly-released tax data from Illinois’ gambling businesses shows an industry in flux. 

Domas Mituzas / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Illinois brought in more tax money from gambling in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s just one of several highlights from a new report released Monday.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Fall enrollment numbers at the University of Illinois Springfield dipped more than six percent this year compared to last, despite a larger freshman class. Overall attendance has been declining for the last few years.


via BlueRoomStream.com

Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services plans to put all 16,000 children in its custody on Medicaid health insurance. But at a hearing Tuesday, state lawmakers expressed skepticism, saying they’re worried those kids may fall through the cracks.

jawa9000 via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A new survey of Illinois hospital nurses shows a large majority feel overworked, undervalued, and even unsafe.

via Google Streetview

Several people in the Chicago suburbs are suing two medical companies for allegedly releasing unsafe levels of a cancer-causing gas into their communities.


via Blueroomstream.com

State university officials were grilled by lawmakers Tuesday. At issue is a record of lucrative severance packages for outgoing administrators.


Illinois Central Management Services / IOCI

A package of bills signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker is aimed at helping newly-released Illinois prisoners find their way back into the democratic process.


Vaping360 via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The minimum salary a teacher can be paid in Illinois will soon increase. Governor J.B. Pritzker joined educators and activists to sign a wage increase plan into law Thursday.


landlordleaseforms via CC0 1.0

Immigrants to Illinois are now able to sue their landlords if they are evicted because of their citizenship status.


Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

In the wake of two high profile mass shootings this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is making gun violence prosecutions a priority. A leader of the Illinois House, meanwhile, said new gun legislation will be on the table during the next legislative session.

Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood addresses the party faithful at the Illinois Republican Party's annual State Fair rally on Aug. 15, 2019.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Republican Party’s top brass says it’s optimistic about its chances in 2020. Officials rallied the base Thursday at the Illinois State Fair.

Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois, used with permission

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs is among the first Illinois officials to endorse a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and he's backing Elizabeth Warren.


Ashley's Law
Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois’ medical marijuana program is getting a second wind. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a pair of bills on Monday expanding who can get a medical card, and when they can use it.


Lindsay Fox https://ecigarettereviewed.com/ / via Flickr CC BY 2.0

At least three young people in Illinois have been sent to the hospital in recent months after having used e-cigarettes, also known as “vapes.” That’s according to an investigation by the state’s Department of Public Health.


Tom Irwin Music

Artists of all kinds often struggle to find inspiration for their work, but sometimes it strikes in unexpected ways. For singer/songwriter and columnist Tom Irwin, inspiration came from a diary he found. It was written more than 125 years ago by a young man who lived in the same Pleasant Plains farmhouse that’s been in his family for generations.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Ahead of the start of the Illinois State Fair next week, organizers say they’re optimistic about attendance and attractions. But the fair’s success is an open question.


Ruin Raider / via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the wake of an increase in roadside injuries and deaths among Illinois state troopers, Governor J.B. Pritzker has approved harsher penalties for those who break what’s known as Scott’s Law.


Jaclyn Driscoll

An unprecedented number of Illinois State Police troopers have been injured or killed this year at the hands of drivers who don’t move over when directed to. That’s prompted state and federal lawmakers to get tougher and more changes could be coming.


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