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. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As Democrats and Republicans gear up for next year’s election, the parties rallied in Springfield this week with events timed to the Illinois State Fair.

Former Illinois congressman Paul Findley passed away this month.  He was 98.  Findley served 22 years in the U.S. House. We look back at his career - his successes and controversies. 

Also, this week we find out why some say a new requirement that students participate in active shooter drills could be doing more harm than good.  

And, a group of students in western Illinois are getting involved to get improvements made on a dangerous stretch of highway. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

As Illinois has lost more students to colleges elsewhere, certain schools have benefitted more from that change.  We'll look at why students are choosing to leave Illinois for their higher education.

Also, the Illinois River is a major shipping channel in the state.  But much of it will close next year while construction work takes place at locks and dams.  What will that mean for farmers? 

And, we'll introduce you to a clinic that helps pregnant women addicted to drugs.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

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It’s not uncommon for many Illinois farmers to ship much, or even all, of their commodities along the Illinois River.  So a plan to close the river in 2020 for lock and dam repairs could have a huge impact.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago announced Friday that state Sen. Tom Cullerton was under indictment for embezzeling from a local branch of the Teamsters union. He’s accused of collecting more than $274,000 in pay and benefits for “little or no work.” Cullerton denies the charges.

This week, we learn how thousands are kept in Illinois jails awaiting trial simply because they can't afford bail.  The Illinois Supreme Court is expected to make recommendations to improve the situation later this year.

Also, singer-songwriter Tom Irwin used an 1890's diary of a man who lived in central Illinois to develop his "Sangamon Songs" album.  Now, there's a play based on the man's life.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, two separate political social media posts provoked heavy criticism, a campaign volunteer for Republican U.S. Representative Rodney Davis was caught posing as a newspaper reporter, and Governor J.B. Pritzker received high marks from Governing Magazine.

Bernie Schoenburg of the Springfield State Journal-Register and Chris Mooney, Political Science Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago join the panel.

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A Springfield meteorologist who made headlines across the country after refusing to go along with his TV station’s promotion of Code Red severe weather alerts has a new job.

Starting Monday, Joe Crain will oversee the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s public events.   

The wet spring in Illinois is reflected in the latest crop numbers that show Illinois' corn and soybeans are behind their normal pace.  We'll discuss what challenges remain in the growing season and what it all means for consumers.

Also, in the summer of 1919 a deadly race riot in Chicago was one of several across the country.  We look back at that incident in what's known as "Red Summer."  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

Less than half the corn and soybean crops in Illinois are in good to excellent condition, according to the latest crop progress report from the U-S Department of Agriculture.

That's fewer crops than usual doing well at this point in the year, and is due primarily to the wet spring that delayed planting for many farmers across the state.

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The governor signed the measures in Chicago flanked by advocates who say the state must be a welcoming place for all.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republicans are lining up to try to reclaim the seats won by freshmen U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood, there are fights over a suburban business emitting a cancer-causing chemical, the feds are inching up on the speaker, and more.

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The President and CEO of Land of Lincoln Goodwill has resigned, just a day after reversing a controversial decision to lay off disabled workers.  

This Saturday, July 20, marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.   Thousands of individuals contributed to that moment in history.  That includes an airplane engineer from Illinois, John Houbolt.  An Audible original puts the spotlight on him.  We talk with the author. 

Also , Andrew Carnegie is known for gifts that helped create libraries and other education opportunities.  You might not realize that he is also responsible for thousands of pipe organs given across the world, and here in Illinois.  A concert organist is on a mission to track down how many remain. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.   

William Furry

Andrew Carnegie is remembered for his philanthropy.  The industrialist wound up giving away an estimated 90 percent of his fortune to causes like libraries and education. 

But less known was how he helped many churches and community centers obtain pipe organs. It exemplified his love of music and belief that musical expression uplifted the soul. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker canceled an upcoming performance by the band Confederate Railroad at the DuQuoin State Fair. 

Can the racial divide be overcome through a basketball tournament?  Al Klunick tells us he wants to try with a unique event where kids of different races play together on the same team.  It's one of the rules for the Community Unity tourney.  

This week marks 40 years since a baseball promotion in Chicago turned into chaos.  While some look back on Disco Demolition Night fondly (the team even celebrated the anniversary this season), others see darker motives.  We talk with the man who came up with the idea.    

And Gov. J.B. Pritzker stands by a decision to cancel a Du Quoin State Fair appearance by the band Confederate Railroad over concerns about the band's name and use of the Confederate flag in its logo.  What it could mean for the fair itself.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Confederate Railroad official website

The band Confederate Railroad will play southern Illinois after all.  Just not at the Du Quoin State Fair.  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants Illinois to help Chicago with its ballooning pension payments, which are squeezing other priorities in the state budget.

DNA testing in criminal cases goes to the Illinois State Police crime lab.  And in recent years, more evidence is being submitted.  That is helping add to a huge backlog that results in delays for victims, the accused and the justice system. 

Also, we find out what an Illinois survey on sexual harassment discosvered in the wake of the #MeToo movement.   

That and more on this week's Statewide.

On this episode, while President Donald Trump has rejected the scientific evidence of climate change, nearly half of his voters — many in Midwestern states — believe in global warming. This bucks stereotypes about a rural voting bloc that doesn’t care about the environment. However, don't expect all of them to use the term "climate change."

Also, a major warehouse fire is believed to have destroyed thousands of original master recordings, including many from the legendary Chicago rock and blues label Chess Records.   We find out why that matters.  

That and more more on this week's Statewide.

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When it comes to the battle against distracted driving, Illinois is taking it up a notch.   

Univ. of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Monday at the federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student who killed a visiting scholar from China after abducting her at a bus stop as she headed to sign an off-campus apartment lease.

Members of AFSCME Council 31 have a new  labor deal with the State of Illinois, according to the union. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois is investing $29 million to try to get an accurate count in the 2020 Census. On the line are two seats in Congress and the Electoral College.

Megadeth

The heavy metal band Megadeth announced today they are canceling most of their shows for the year following lead singer Dave Mustaine’s throat cancer diagnosis. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week signed a bill to make what he and activists say is the most progressive abortion-rights law in the country. But could Democrats risk a backlash by going too far? And what are they targeting next?

Our Education Reporter Dusty Rhodes examines what's wrong with the teacher pension system in Illinois and why it needs to be fixed soon.  

Also, gambling addicts are warning the state's gambling expansion will result in more compulsive bettors. And, the governor signs the most comprehensive abortion rights law in the country. That and more on this episode of Statewide.

American Alliance of Museums

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has been appointed to the position following a nationwide search.  

The heavy and frequent rains across the midwest has resulted in flooding here in Illinois and farmers being unable to get crops in the field.  But there has been another impact: bugs.  Specifically, flying insects like gnats and mosquitoes.  We talk with an entomologist about the swarms and how long they might last.

More casinos and legal sports wagering.  That's the result of a gambling package the General Assembly approved.  

And Steak n Shake, founded in Normal 85 years ago, is facing problems that put the future of the chain in doubt.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

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