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. 

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.

flickr/pasa47

Bars are closed. Restaurants are prohibited from hosting dine-in patrons.  Many other businesses are considered non-essential and forced to shut down during the stay at home order. 

More than 40-percent of those downtown businesses responding said they have experienced a drop in revenue above 75-percent.

Governor's video feed

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday led off his daily briefing to the media and residents across the state with news the coronavirus showed up in his office.

State of Illinois video feed

Governor J.B. Pritzker focused Sunday on changes to make sure those who need child care can get it.    

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s statewide “Stay at Home” order has been extended until April 30th.  Hospital capacity is being increased, many businesses are struggling, and an unprecedented number of people have filed for unemployment in the past week.

On this episode, we hear from a man who has turned his fight with the coronavirus disease into an essay from his hospital room.  

We'll also hear how the state's manufacturers are switching gears to help with the COVID-19 response.  And when tipped workers lose their source of income, some turn to sex work, both in-person and digital.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Wednesday continued to point out how the state has too few health care workers as the system becomes stretched due to COVID-19.  

The governor indicated Illinois has received over 11-hundred applications from both former workers looking to “rejoin the fight” and from out-of-state professionals who want to help here. 

Daily feed

In the midst of a global pandemic that has shut down much of society, concerns remain about getting enough people tested. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday said Illinois is testing about 4-thousand people per day.  He expects that number will be at 10-thousand in the next ten days. 

Nonprofit organizations are being stretched thin during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and the United Way of Central Illinois are overseeing the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Greater Capital Region of Illinois.    

Mac.edu

A 174 year old educational institution in the area will soon close its doors permanently. 

The board of MacMurray College in Jacksonville voted unanimously Friday to shut down at the end of the spring semester in May.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Illinois increases, the state faces a growing medical, social, and economic crisis.  Governor J.B. Pritzker is urging people to abide by his "Stay at Home" order and calling on the federal government for more help.

A crisis can sometimes bring out the best in people.  And it can also lead them to rise above and find ways to keep going.

On this week's Statewide, we hear about volunteers working to help those on the front lines of health care, teachers working through obstacles to comntinue educating students and artists getting even more creative.  Those stories and more on this show.

Burke Family

Sarah Albracht got an early warning about the spread of the coronavirus.  The Springfield woman is the wife of a doctor at Springfield Clinic.

“As we were watching other countries, you start crunching numbers and realize we’re going to have some shortages and a crisis here as well,” she said.

Frankeleon/flickr

Illinois is extending its income tax filing period, days after the federal government did the same. 

Both Illinois and federal income taxes will have the same deadline – July 15.

Illinois Office of Communication and Information

Just a few weeks ago, Governor J-B Pritzker offered up a spending blueprint for Illinois.  But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic was on the radar. 

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