Sean Crawford

Director of Editorial / COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD, EX-OFFICIO

Chatham

Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

CFLL

When the pandemic hit this spring, there were immediate concerns over the basic needs of people and how to make sure those were being met. A joint effort between the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and United Way of Central Illinois came through in a big way.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Amid the pandemic, the state's ongoing budget woes received some attention this week, with uncertainty over federal aid to states and local governments.  Also, novel coronavirus positivity rates continue to slowly rise, prompting Governor J.B. Pritzker to issue new emergency guidelines for businesses, schools, and daycare centers.

WBEZ Public Radio's Tony Arnold and Capitol News Illinois' Peter Hancock join the panel.

Being admitted to a hospital can be traumatic any time.  But during a pandemic, hospitals are restricting visitors.  We'll hear about the effect it's having on patients and family members.

And are visitors to Chicago following the city's health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, a Taylorville Republican, announced Wednesday he has contracted the coronavirus disease.

NPR Illinois

The Hospital Sisters Health System has announced it is cutting about ten percent of its workforce in Illinois and Wisconsin.  The system operates St. John’s Hospital in Springfield and St. Mary’s in Decatur, along with other facilities.

Illinois Governor's Office

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said the five million dollar effort will use the slogan “It only works if you wear it.” 

Critics have said the system has been too punitive and too ineffective.  More than half of youth who are released end up getting in trouble again. 

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton said change is needed.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, there were more calls for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan to resign due to a long-term bribery scheme involving energy provider Commonwealth Edison.  Also, Governor Pritzker issued new guidelines for sports as Illinois' COVID-19 numbers have been rising.

John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel.

As we near the 75th anniversary of atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, we learn about the Manhattan Project and work that was done in Illinois to usher in the atomic age. 

We also find out how the controversy over a retired University of Illinois mascot continues to this day.

Join us for this episode of Statewide.

Illinois Information Service

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Monday stop in the county seat of Quincy was no social call.  Appearing at the Adams County Department of Public Health, he pointed out the numbers there are going in the wrong direction.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

While he denies any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any wrongdoing, Illinois Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan is alleged to have participated in a wide-ranging bribery scheme involving energy provider Commonwealth Edison.  Illinois Republicans are calling for swift action on new ethics legislation.  Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reacted to President Trump's declaration to send undercover federal agents to the city.

It was 105 years ago this week.  The S.S. Eastland was packed with passengers, and tied to a dock along the Chicago River, when things went horribly wrong.  The steamship tipped over on its side.  Hundreds died just feet from shore.  

It happened only three years after the Titanic, but even here in Illinois, many have never heard about the tragedy.  We talk with an author who has investigated what happened and why.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Illinois Information Service

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is giving more time to those behind on rent or mortgage payments.  He’s extending a ban on evictions through August 22.  A moratorium was set to expire at the end of this month. 

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With just a few weeks to go before some schools are set to begin their fall semester, the Illinois Federation of Teachers issued a recommendation on Monday that called for students to begin the academic year learning remotely.  It is part of a larger union statement on the new school year.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, the major electric utility ComEd agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into long-running bribery scheme that implicates Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.  Meanwhile, Governor J.B. Pritzker adjusted some aspects of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson joins the panel.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

The U.S. Attorney’s office says electric utility ComEd has agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into a long-running bribery scheme that implicates Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. 

Student athletes, coaches and parents are waiting to see if the games will take place when school begins.  We take a closer look on this episode of Statewide.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

After reversing course and prohibiting physical contact, the Illinois High School Association is now trying to determine if and how to allow fall athletic events. 

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The deadline to file state and federal income tax returns is this week.  The date was extended from April to July 15.  The change was made to help those having difficulties bacause of the pandemic. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Over the past week, Democratic Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth weathered Republican criticism at the same time her name is being put forward, among others, as Joe Biden's potential running mate.  Governor J.B. Pritzker called on the Trump administration for a nationwide mandate for wearing masks to combat the coronavirus, while still not issuing such a mandate in his own state.  More revelations are showing just who received federal PPP money.  And House Speaker Michael Madigan calls for the removal of statues at the State Capitol building.

On this week's episode, we examine the economic blow of students leaving college towns and the health risks associated with their planned return.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, a Clay County judge ruled that Governor J.B. Pritzker did not have the authority to issue executive orders to combat the spread of the new coronavirus after his initial order expired.   Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned the city that there would be conseqences for those who flout precautionary measures.  Also, it's the start of a new fiscal year and several new laws went into effect July 1st.

WTTW Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky joins the panel.

On last week's program, we discussed the often unknown history of slavery in Illinois.  Even more obscure are the personal stories of those enslaved in the state.  This week, we shed some light on who they were and what they went through.  

Also, the invasive Asian Carp has infiltrated and thrived in several midwest waterways.  A new plan to control and harvest the fish is getting underway.  

Those stories and more on this episdoe of Statewide.

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Wednesday authorities have yet to determine why an employee shot and killed three co-workers last week at a Springfield manufacturer.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This Friday marked Illinois moving to Phase 4 of Governor J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, along with guidelines for in-person school attendance in the Fall.  However, the governor says that the threat of COVID-19 remains and that restrictions could be tightened again if there is a resurgence of the disease.

Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business joins the panel.

A woman wounded in a workplace shooting in Springfield Friday died of her injuries, according to the Sangamon County Coroner.  Marsha Strumpher of Springfield, 54, had been hospitalized since the incident and died Saturday.  

As the state lifts more restrictions, moving to Phase Four of the Restore Illinois plan, there are worries about a spike in coronavirus cases.  Hear what some experts are saying.

A Bloomington nursing home was the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.  We learn more about what happened there.

And while Illinois lays claim to the Great Emancipator, its past also includes slavery. We'll get a history lesson.  That and more on Statewide.

IDNR

A black bear has been spotted several times this month in western Illinois.   And authorities are telling  the public to avoid getting too close or agitating the animal.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As the state gets closer to the Phase 4 stage of Governor Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, there are still concerns over the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases along with calls to speed up the process.  Also, the state is making it easier to vote by mail for the upcoming election.

Sam Dunklau/NPR Illinois

The University of Illinois plans to reopen campuses for students this fall.  With some caveats.

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