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. 

IIS

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is worried the mass protests over police brutality happening across the country could spread the coronavirus. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Illinois enters Phase Three of "Restore Illinois", Governor Pritzker is responding to  criticism and lawsuits surrounding his re-opening plan.  Meanwhile, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its short special legislative session last weekend after passing a state budget. The panel also discusses a controversy over whether or not lawmakers will see their pay go up.

Capitol News Illinois’ Rebecca Anzel joins the panel.

This week, some employers are having difficulty reopening their businesses because many workers don't want to come back.  While there are health concerns, it also comes down to dollars and cents.  

Self-testing for COVID-19 could play a key role in fully reopening the economy.  But what are the concerns?  

Also, most rural hospitals have faced challenges preparing for the pandemic, even as they've seen fewer cases of the coronavirus disease. 

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

Mary Hansen/NPR Illinois

Reports across the country of retail workers being physically attacked for enforcing safety rules, like the wearing of face masks and social distancing, prompted Illinois lawmakers to take action.  A measure was passed getting tougher on those who commit such acts. 

Ted Schurter/SJ-R

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $40 billion state budget and a plan to address tax rates for a casino expansion during a whirlwind special session held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois legislature gathered in Springfield for the first time in weeks for a short special session.  Among the issues facing lawmakers are further responses to the pandemic, rules for voting this November, and the state budget.

On this episode of Statewide, a task force has been created to figure out the best way to get students back to college this fall.  We talk with a higher education leader about what's at stake and the challenges ahead.

And, high school seniors missed out on traditional graduation ceremonies.  For valedictorians, that meant not being able to stand in front of their classmates and deliver an address.  But they still have things to say and we'll listen to a few of them.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday announced bars and restaurants can serve customers outside once the state takes the next step in his Restore Illinois plan.

They will still have to follow certain guidelines aimed at protecting patrons and staff.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan to slowly re-open the state's economy is facing resistance from several quarters.  Meanwhile, the Illinois Legislature is preparing for an abbreviated session in Springfield next week.

Mark Maxwell, Capitol Bureau Chief for WCIA-TV, joins the panel.

Illinois is a big state with a lot of different viewpoints.  On this episode, we focus on southern Illinois to find out how residents are coping with restrictions and public health recommendations.  

We'll hear a community showed support for a nursing home with dozens of cases of COVID-19 and more than twenty deaths. 

And coaches and athletes prepare all year for a season to begin.  But this spring left them wondering what might have been.

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

NPR Illinois

The farmer’s market summer season begins Saturday May 16.  The event will again take place on Adams Street, but organizers advise there will be changes. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzer announced a plan to re-open the state in stages and by region, depending on continued progress in limiting the spread of the new coronavirus.  

Capitol News Illinois’ Rebecca Anzel and reporter Bill Wheelhouse join the panel.
 

On this episode of Statewide, we'll hear more about antibody testing, which has become more popular as people try to determine if they've been exposed to the coronavirus.  Critics say the tests are unreliable.

We listen back to an interview with the Crosses for Losses founder Greg Zanis, who died this week.  

And school nurses raise concerns about the inability to see students and what that could mean for health and safety.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker is extending his “Stay-at-Home” order for another month in the face of lawsuits and complaints that he has exceeded his authority.  Joining the panel this week is Greg Hinz, a columnist writing about government and politics for Crain’s Chicago Business.

The panel talks about the legal challenges to the governor's order, when and how the Illinois legislature might reconvene and a big borrowing package being pushed by the Pritzker Administration.

On this week's Statewide, a Decatur newspaper tells the view from within a senior living facility that has seen dozens of COVID-19 cases and several deaths.  

College journalists have left campuses, but they are still providing the student's perspective and publishing online.  Also, not everyone who gets sick with COVID-19 winds up in the hospital.  Many are getting help from health care workers while they recover at home. 

Those stories and more on the latest episode of Statewide. 

NPR Illinois was awarded first place in three categories of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards, announced Saturday.   

Illinois National Guard/Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he expects the coronavirus to peak soon.  While the state is far from out of the woods, there are indications the state's hospitals might be able to handle the caseload. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that he is amending and extending his Stay-at-Home directive through May 30th.  The Daily Line's Hannah Meisel joins the panel.

Twitter Jason Benetti

A typical spring for Jason Benetti would have him perched above a baseball field, broadcasting games for the Chicago White Sox.  Not this year.

Like others, he’s on the sidelines as the game has been called on account of the coronavirus. But Benetti has kept busy. 

On this episode, we chat with Chicago White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti.  The Illinois native tells us what he's doing to interact with fans while baseball is on hiatus.  

A couple on the front lines of battling COVID-19 talk about sacricfices they've made, including separation from their children.  

And if you are unsure how contact tracing works, we'll explain.  

BlueRoom Stream

With a week to go before Illinois' stay-at-home order is set to expire, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there are some areas the state needs to improve before lifting restrictions.

That includes testing, contact tracing, treating COVID-19 and personal protective equipment for health care workers.  

UIS

The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois Springfield has died.  Dr. Clarice Ford passed away at Memorial Medical Center after a brief illness, according to the university. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Budget Office released its estimates of Illinois’ budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic for this fiscal year and next fiscal year, and they’re in the billions of dollars.  Meanwhile, the state is considering how and when to reopen the economy.  From Chicago, WBEZ’s Dave McKinney joins the panel.

On this episode of Statewide, Governor J.B. Pritzker talks candidly about being in charge through a public health emergency and a near economic shutdown.  

We also find out more about restrictions on funerals during the pandemic. 

And an Illinois farmer tells us how agriculture is being affected. 

That and more on Statewide.

Macon Co. Facebook Live feed

UDPATE: Friday morning, Macon County health officials reported a 7th resident of Fair Havens Senior Living died after contracting COVID-19.  The victim was a woman in her 80's.  

Thursday report

Thursday morning, the Macon County Health Department announced a 6th resident of the Fair Havens Senior Living complex died. 

The latest victim was a female in her 90's, according to officials.  

The latest news comes a day after authorities held a news conference to report the 4th and 5th deaths of residents at the nursing home.  

Governor's daily briefing

On Sunday, Illinois surpassed the 20,000 mark in total cases.  The death toll now stands at 720 since the pandemic began.

While those numbers are grim, there might be a silver lining. 

Governor's daily briefing

Citing statistics showing blacks with COVID-19 are five times more likely to die than white patients, the state is taking steps to address the disproportionate impact. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Concerns over the Illinois state budget are growing with the increasing impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s economy. 

On this week's Statewide, a nurse talks about the the risk of being on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. 

"As a healthcare worker, I think we're resigning ourselves to the fact that we're probably going to get it and we hope it doesn't affect us," said Thomas McClure, who works for Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. 

We also learn about a project to document how Illinois residents are coping during COVID-19. 

And, a group of neighbors found a way to gather for a block party - while still keeping a safe distance from each other.   

Susan Collins

History is happening now.  The stay at home order that is keeping us from venturing out for work and school is a unique time.  The Illinois State Museum wants to show how residents are coping.

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