Statewide: A Divided State; The R. Kelly Saga; Why School Consolidation Is Hard

Apr 11, 2019

Illinois is a long state.  Those in southern Illinois are closer to Tennessee than Chicago.  And the political leanings can be just as far apart.  We talk with a state lawmaker who has signed on to a plan calling for Chicago to be separated from the rest of Illinois.  He adds he joined the effort because it's time to start a conversation over policy.  

Coming together can be difficult - even more so when we talk about consolidating school districts.  It might save money, but that's just one consideration.  

Also, R. Kelly made a visit to Springfield in the past week, meeting with fans at a nightclub.  The R and B singer's career is reeling from legal trouble. 

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

Our lineup for this week:

* Sean Crawford talks with Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, a Jacksonville Republican, about the proposal calling for Chicago and the rest of Illinois to be divided into two separate states.  What's his goal?

* Mary Leonard with St. Louis Public Radio travels to Washington, Missouri to tour a corn cob pipe manufacturing plant that has been turning out the items for 150 years.

* Sarah Jesmer of Northern Public Radio recaps what has been a difficult year for Illinois State Police.

* Dusty Rhodes tackles the issue of school consolidation and why those efforts often fail to materialize.

* Lee Gaines of Illinois Newsroom examines student homelessness and how schools can help.

* Krista Bowers Sharpe shares a commentary on libraries - courtesy of Tri States Public Radio. 

* Daisy Contreras interviews Kathy Chaney,  Deputy Managing Editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, about R. Kelly.

* Kate McGee with WBEZ tells us about research at Northwestern University that can help art conservationists dealing with paint acne.

Statewide, which brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois, is a production of NPR Illinois with help from other Illinois public radio stations.  Find all our episodes online at 

Listen to Statewide across Illinois: 

  • Bloomington/Normal – WGLT 89.1 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon)
  • Carbondale – WSIU 91.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Mount Vernon - WVSI 88.9 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Olney - WUSI 90.3 (Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Rockford/DeKalb – WNIJ 89.5 (Saturdays 6-7 a.m., Sundays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Springfield/Decatur - WUIS 91.9 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 11 p.m. - Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Peoria – WCBU 89.9 (Fridays 6-7 p.m.)
  • Pittsfield - WIPA 89.3 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 11 p.m. - Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.)
  • Urbana/Champaign – WILL 580 (Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 7-8 p.m.)