Statewide

Fridays 11 a.m. - Noon, 11 p.m. - Midnight, Saturdays 9-10 a.m.

Reporting from in and around Illinois.

Listen to Statewide across Illinois in:

  • 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.)

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.   

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.

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.

Officials with Western Illinois Unviersity will be looking for a new president after Jack Thomas announced his resignation.  Thomas' tenure was rocky at the school that has campuses in Macomb and the Quad Cities.  His replacement will deal with an institution still trying to rebound from a state budget impasse and enrollment declines. The WIU Board Chair gives his view of the situation.

We also check in on a new law requiring cursive writing be taught in schools. But just because kids are shown how to do it, will they use it once classes are over?   

That and more on this week's Statewide. 

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.

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.

A key argument against a graduated income tax, where those who earn more pay a higher percentage, is that individuals who have the resources will leave the state to relocate somewhere cheaper.  But the same was said when Illinois bumped up its tax rates under the flat tax system earlier this decade.  An analysis finds the number of higher income taxpayers actually went up.  

And, the invasive Asian carp have taken over several waterways in the midwest, threatening native species and throwing off the delicate ecological balance.  Could an industry based all the way on the east coast be at least part of a solution? 

We'll tackle that and more on this week's Statewide.

Six individuals were recently awarded the Order of Lincoln, a prestigious honor in Illinois to recognize contributions and achievements.  Among those singled out was columnist George Will.  We listen to his remarks.  

And 1919 was so violent, it was given the nickname "The Summer of Red."  An Illinois author joins us to look back on an Illinois race riot that year.

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Families of those who died at the Quincy Veterans’ Home during a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak are still upset.  Those deaths happened on the Rauner Administration’s watch.  But now they are questioning if the new governor is doing enough.  

Four women who are friends -- and also state lawmakers -- talk about how working on a key piece of legislation has brought them closer together.

And in southern Illinois, one of the oldest homes still standing is state-owned.  But there appears to be no plan for what's known as the Old Slave House. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Imagine being put in a postion where you could lose your job and face legal repercussions for helping save the life of a young student.  That was the predicament an Illinois school nurse found herself in when a crisis happened.  She tells her story, which may lead to a rule change.

We look back at the dangerous derecho, which some say resembled an inland hurricane, that struck southern Illinois in May of 2009.  What happened and what lessons were learned.

That and more on this week's Statewide.

With Illinois lawmakers negotiating over a plan to make recreational marijuana use legal, public radio stations throughout the state focused on the issue.  Reporters delved into various angles and points of view.  The result was the series The State of Cannabis, which aired throughout Illinois this past week.

On this special episode of Statewide, we highlight that reporting.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's budget proposal would allow the state to spend more on pressing needs.  But that investment would come at a cost: shorting the state's already underfunded public pension systems.  We talk with the author of an analysis about what impact that would have for the future. 

And, with the state's teacher shortage worsening, what can be done to get people who aspire to be teachers into those classrooms?  In many cases, those individuals are already working at schools as paraprofessionals.  We'll meet one.    

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Technology means we are no longer disconnected.  Being able to receive good news anywhere, and sharing it with others, can be a thrill.  But what about bad news, like a college rejection notice?  It's happening for many through email and some believe that puts more stress on today's students.  We have a report.

And this week marked 154 years since the death of Abraham Lincoln.  We hear from a researcher who found out how the average American at the time dealt with the tragedy.  Not all of them mourned the 16th president.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide:

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.

Two proposals to raise Illinois' tax on gasoline have surfaced as a way to help pay for a public works program.  Lawmakers and the governor are pushing to get a plan in place during this legislative session, which ends in May.

And, a cancer survivor and author explains how finding perspective can help all of us during our darkest times. That and more on this episode of Statewide.

This baseball season marks a century since the infamous Black Sox scandal.  Ballplayers and gamblers colluded to throw the World Series.   It's recounted in the book and movie titled "Eight Men Out."  But new research sheds light on the story we thought we knew.  

Also, some believe one way to solve the teacher shortage is to reduce test requirements for teachers.  We look at the proposals under considertion.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

 When does freedom of speech and academic freedom go too far? The argument is playing out on college campuses across the country, including right here in Illinois.  In some cases, it's pitting students against professors and universities.

Also, we've been hearing about the decline of the bee population for years.  An Illinois graduate student wants to find out what beekeepers are seeing and build a database. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Despite all the focus on solving the state's teacher shortage, a new survey finds the problem is getting worse. That has sparked more discussion on how to recruit more teachers.  We'll hear why some want to change teacher licensing standards. 

We also get a recap of the 2018 governor's race, which saw spending at record-setting levels.  And we learn how one community is coping with a rise in gun violence.  

That and more on this week's Statewide:

Video gambling has exploded across much of Illinois.  The machines are available at corner bars, neighborhood restaurants and more.  That means they are easily accessible to the people who are addicted to gambling.  Is the state doing enough to help those individuals?  We have a report.  

And Governor J.B. Pritzker has ideas to raise more money for the state.  More gambling is one of his proposals. We look at that and a few of his other plans.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Less than two years removed from a state budget impasse, social service agencies are still trying to rebound.  That includes mental health providers who say the state needs to put more money into the system.  

Also, about 40 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is turned into ethanol.  But with electric vehicles becoming more popular, the switch has repercussions in Illinois and the rest of the Corn Belt.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

In Illinois, Democrats control the General Assembly and have for years.  The rest of the country is now following suit, with one party control in all but one legislature.  We discuss the "all or none" phenomenon and if it's here to stay. 

We also recap Gov. J.B. Pritzker's first budget address and an historic discovery that provides a view of St. Louis' baseball past.

That and more on this episode of Statewide: 

Illinois' public school system is considered among the most inequitable in the country.  So, should top students at the poorest schools be penalized when it comes to college admissions?  A state lawmaker weighs in with his plan.

Also, infant mortality rates are much higher for black women.  We look at some of the reasons why.  That and more this week on Statewide.

Despite cold weather, dozens of volunteers bundle up and head out in Chicago neighborhoods to find young girls who are being trafficked for sex.  They are there to provide help for those who are looking for a way out.  Natalie Moore went along on a recent night in the Roseland neighborhood.  We'll hear what she learned.

Also, giving assistance to the homeless can go beyond food and shelter.  Mary Hansen focuses on a program that provides trauma therapy, which can get to the root problems that helpclead to homelessness. That and more this week.

NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker tabbed a former lawmaker from western Illinois to lead the state's agriculture department.  We sit down with John Sullivan to get his thoughts on the ag economy and challenges facing farmers.  He also talks about the potential for industrial hemp and his agency's possible role if Illinois legalizes recreational marijuana use.

Perry Cline was addicted to drugs, served time in prison and was homeless.  But he turned things around and graduated from college.  We'll bring you his story and more on this week's Statewide.

Segregation can be found all across the country.  But few might realize the level that exists in communities right here in Illinois.  An investigation finds many of Illinois' mid-sized cities rank among the most divided nationally. 

And there's a new podcast that tells the story of impeached governor Rod Blagojevich, from the point of view of those who were part of the story:  his wife Patti, federal agents, those who worked closely with him and more.  The first episode is already available with more to come.

This week on Statewide, we take a look at government now and in the past. 

The new governor, J.B. Pritzker, talks about some of the issues facing the state like criminal justice, higher education, taxes and ethics.   

Pritzker is from Chicago.  Most of the state's top leaders make that area their home.  But there was a time when some downstate politicians carried significant weight in the legislature.   We'll talk about that bygone era of downstate dealmakers.

A new Illinois governor will be sworn in Monday.  When Democrat J.B. Pritzker assumes the role, his party will be in charge of the state in a way not seen in decades.   Democrats gained more seats in the General Assembly during the fall election and Republicans are mired in the super-minority in both chambers.  

Our first show of 2019 brings you more reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.

Statewide began in August of 2018.  As we wrap up the year, this episode looks back at some of the reports and conversations we brought you.  

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