Sean Crawford

Director of Editorial / COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD, EX-OFFICIO

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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. 

State of Illinois

More than three weeks after a region of the state was forced to stop indoor bar and restaurant service, those restrictions are being lifted.   Governor J.B. Pritzker says Region 7 has seen its coronavirus positivity rate drop and will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker told state government agencies to prepare for across the board budget cuts.  The Big Ten sports conference declared that they will hold games this fall, putting pressure on Governor Pritzker to allow all Illinois students to play.

WBEZ's Kate McGee and WSIU's Jennifer Fuller join the panel.

This week on Statewide, we take a look at the growing problem of food insecurity.  It's an issue in big cities and small towns and the economic hardships created this year have made it worse.  We'll learn about some efforts being made to help.

And, with many schools going remote, that's left working parents in a bind when it comes to finding child care and being able to afford it.  

That and more on this episode.

NPR Illinois

Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, a special Illinois House committee began investigating House Speaker Madigan’s alleged role in a decade-long bribery scheme involving Commonwealth Edison.  Meanwhile, Senate President Don Harmon's office was subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney.  And billionaire Ken Griffin is spending money to fight the proposed graduated income tax amendment.

The Chicago Tribune's Jaime Munks and Professor of State Politics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Chris Mooney join the panel.

Officials have announced two confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

On this episode, we recall Chicago's own Steve Goodman, the songwriter who died 36 years ago this month.  He left behind a catalog of work, but is probably best known for the song played after a Chicago Cubs home victory - "Go Cubs Go."  

Also, we find out how misinformation about the coronavirus can spread so rapidly.  And, a southern Illinois couple tells their account of growing up amid segregation.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

Despite a global health threat and concerns of students taking a gap year, enrollment on the University of Illinois Springfield campus saw only a slight decline.  That gives hope the school might be able to weather the disruption brought on by the pandemic.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have spiked on university campuses throughout the state.  Meanwhile, many kids are beginning the new school year with virtual, remote learning only.  And the Illinois House has created a committee to look into possible wrongdoing by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Illinois Newsroom's Lee Gaines, WNIJ's Peter Medlin, and WGLT's Dana Vollmer join the panel.

The coronavirus disease can lead to physical problems. But emotional ones as well. On this episode, we hear from those who have contracted COVID-19 and what they've experienced.

Learning more about Emmett Till, from his cousin who grew up around him.

And beer that tastes like southern Illinois.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

Illinois unemployment offices have been closed to public access since the stay at home order was put in effect earlier this year. 

But Governor J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday there was another safety reason for keeping the doors locked.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, rising COVID-19 positivity rates prompted Governor J.B. Pritzker to once again shut down indoor service for restaurants and bars in Will and Kankakee counties, and warned that the same might soon happen for the Metro East counties.  Local governments are becoming more worried about declining tax revenues due to the pandemic.  And energy company Exelon announced that it may have to close two of its nuclear plants.  

Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois and Kelsey Landis of the Belleville News-Democrat join the panel.

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Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators.

On this week's Statewide, a Black police officer talks about his feelings of having to do his job amid recent protests over racial justice. 

Students are moving back to college campuses, but are facing a lot of new rules designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.   And we bring you a report from the portion of Chicago with the highest rate of coronavirus deaths.  

Those stories and more on this episode.

Illinois was among the states helping re-nominate President Trump Monday as the Republican National Convention began in Charlotte, N.C.    

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The cancellation of the Illinois State Fair means nonprofits, who count on annual parking revenue during the ten day event, are missing out.

The Springfield Animal Protective League, adjacent to the fairgrounds, estimates a loss of as much as $30-thousand. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week saw the virtual Democratic National Convention, the decision to remove some controversial statues from the State Capitol grounds, and the death of former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson joins the panel this week.

More schools are planning to start fall classes remotely.  We'll find out what might be different from the spring when there was an abrupt shift to online learning.

The college experience this year won't be what many students expected. We'll talk with some incoming freshmen. 

And we remember former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

The site of a deadly race riot in Springfield has been added to the national African American Civil Rights Network.  Only 30 locations have received recognition. 

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Statues of two former Illinois leaders with ties to slavery will be removed from outside the state capitol building in Springfield.

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Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun had the honor of casting Illinois’ votes during the traditional roll call Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, helping nominate Joe Biden for president.   

The state has placed tighter rules on a portion of southwest Illinois after seeing more community spread of the coronavirus disease.  But Gov. J.B. Pritzker admits it might not be enough to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

The longest serving governor in Illinois history died Friday.  James R. Thompson was 84  Known as Big Jim for his stature (he stood 6'6"), he had a personality to match.  

Charlie Wheeler was already a veteran of the statehouse press corps when Thompson took office in 1977.  He would continue to cover Illinois government through Thompson's fourteen year tenure.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved Governor Pritzker's intent to fine business owners who don't enforce the state's COVID-19 mitigation orders.  Also, state Senator Terry Link has been charged with tax fraud.

Amanda Vinicky of WTTW's Chicago Tonight joins the panel.

This week on Statewide, many small colleges and universities were struggling before COVID-19.  Will the pandemic deal a final blow to more institutions?  

We also hear about the rise of home schooling.  And we look back to a time of lawlessness in southern Illinois, when prohibition era gangs went to war with each other and the Ku Klux Klan. 

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Illinois has awarded the first round of emergency funding to small businesses to help them during the pandemic.  

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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.

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