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, Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Carbondale – WSIU 91.9 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. and Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Mount Vernon - WVSI 88.9 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. and Sundays 6-7 a.m.)
  • Olney - WUSI 90.3 (Fridays 2-3 p.m. and 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., Sundays 6-7 a.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.)
University of Illinois Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield professor Jason Pierceson recently published an encyclopedia detailing LGBTQ politics. It includes profiles on candidates, officials and activists; a timeline of events;  government documents; speeches; and court cases. Pierceson recently talked about the two-volume work with reporter Maureen McKinney, as well as the Trump administration's handling of LGBTQ issues. 

As he marked a year in office, Gov. J.B. Pritzker talked with Brian Mackey about several issues facing the state, including his thoughts on marijuana.  

The minimum wage hike that just happened in Illinois also meant a pay boost for those under 18, but they will continue to be paid less than other minimum wage earners.  We have a report.

And Western Illinois University has struggled with enrollment, leading to financial problems.  But the interim President says he believes the dark clouds are lifting.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Illinois lawmakers did away with a requirement in 2019 that could have a big impact on those who want to be teachers.  We'll hear from one woman who says it has changed her life. 

With college debt skyrocketing, more high schools see the need to teach personal finance to students.  We'll visit one of those classrooms. 

And not many towns have a poet laureate.  We bring you a report from Aurora, a community that just named its first person to hold that title.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

On last week's episode, we looked back at some of the stories we covered in 2019.  But with the new year upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look forward.  We discuss some of the issues you'll be hearing more about this year.

On our final episode of the year, we remember some of the top reports and conversations from 2019.   

On this show we tried to give an example of the type of journalism we bring you each week: coverage of public affairs, examining problems and solutions, inspirational stories and the voices that make up the state we call home.  

Victims of domestic violence are told to seek help.  But what happens when a child is violent toward parents?  A central Illinois couple says there's not enough support available.  We'll have a report.

We also hear about special education students being shipped out of state.  There are questions about the schools where they are kept at taxpayer expense.

And we hear how some people handle a holiday tradition: the political argument among family members. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

This episode looks ahead to the new recreational marijuana law that will take effect the first of the year.  You might have questions and we will try to provide answers.  We'll also hear how marijuana growers are working to meet the expected demand.

A new biography tells the story of Lane Evans, the late Illinois congressman from the Quad Cities.  Evans died in 2014 from complications related to Parkinson's Disease.

And racism in a suburban school district has led to a concerted effort to rebuild trust.

That and more on the latest Statewide.

Rick Proctor / Upsplash

Buying and using marijuana will be legal in Illinois as of January 1. We asked top state experts what that does and doesn’t mean, and compiled their answers in this Q&A.

On this episode of Statewide, we learn why some colleges say there is too much emphasis on standardized tests in the admissions process.  There is a growing movement to drop the requirement or place less of a priority on scores. 

Is an historic home a good fit for you?  Many are bypassing newly built houses for ones that have more character.  But they can be a lot of work.  We'll find out more. 

And a new proposal threatens to end minor league baseball in some Midwest communities.   These stories and more on Statewide.   

Many Illinois colleges and universities are struggling to attract and keep students.  The problem, along with what some are doing about it, is outlined in the Illinois public radio series Enrollment Exodus. 

On this episode of Statewide, we re-cap the series from earlier this year and hear from journalists throughout Illinois.  

This week's lineup:

* Sean Crawford talks with Jenna Dooley of WNIJ, who served as coordinator for the series.  She gives an overview of the problem and what the reporting uncovered.

As recreational marijuana is set to become legal in Illinois January 1, some parents are worried it sends the wrong message to kids.   We'll hear from experts and young people about ways for parents to have a dialogue on the subject.

Not that long ago, southern Illinois was known as a place where geese would spend the winter during colder weather.  But recently, that trek to the area has stopped.   We'll hear some of the reasons why.

And, a reporter shares her personal account of adoption and the risk she took to reach out to her biological family.

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

This week, we hear about a community once known as a "sundown town" because African Americans were warned to be out of the city limits by nightfall.  It can be difficult for towns to shake that history.  We hear from a reporter who spent time in one to see if things have improved today. 

A northern Illinois man shares his story of getting to know German POW's who were kept in the state during World War II.  

And we learn about a camp for kids with type 1 diabetes.  That and more on this episode of Statewide.

This week, we hear how the legal system can have a disproportionate impact on low income individuals.  Fines and fees can pile up and experts say that can keep people in a cycle of poverty.  We'll learn what other states are doing to improve the situation.

East St. Louis has a rich cultural history, but even many of its residents are unaware.  A new effort is underway to show the town's contributions.

And speaking of history, Illinois has plenty to brag about when it comes to homegrown musical artists.  We'll learn about plans for the Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66.

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

We sit down with a woman who spent years in prison for the murder of her 3-year old son.  She was later exonerated.  But in our conversation with Kristine Bunch, she talks about her time behind bars, her struggle with forgiveness and why returning to her friends and family has been challenging.   

The amazing scenery of the Shawnee National Forest makes it a tourist destination.  But some of its most popular sites might soon begin charging admission.  We find out what's behind the change. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide. 

This week on Statewide, the new Illinois law that will make recreational marijuana legal will create a need for people to work in the industry.  We'll explain how some are getting training through a college program. 

We'll go to Stateville Correctional Center to learn about inmates making the best of their situation.  

And the kudzu vine is a scourge in the southern U.S.  Now, it's showing up here in Illinois.  But there are  individuals who are finding uses for the invasive plant. 

That and more on this episode.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's approval rating is strong in the latest Illinois Issues survey, conducted last month involving registered voters from across the state.  While more people see the state making progress, a majority of those responding still say the state is going in the wrong direction.  We'll break down the findings.

Also, a national marijuana advocacy group sees Illinois' recreational cannabis law as a big win - not just for the cause in Illinois, but across the country. 

And, a new report has recommendations for keeping teachers of color in the classroom.

This week, we hear from a Champaign-Urbana rap group whose members make their experiences with violence part of their music. 

We learn about a public service announcement depicting school shootings that is grabbing attention.  And that's the point.  Also,  we visit a small Illinois community that is the hometown of a world famous sculptor. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Many Illinois colleges and universities are struggling to attract and keep students.  The problem, along with what some are doing about it, is outlined in the Illinois public radio series Enrollment Exodus. 

On this episode of Statewide, we hear those reports from journalists throughout Illinois.  

Illinois has several sleepy, small towns that travelers bypass as they motor along highways.  Only a few of these have figured a way to not only get people to stop, but to make their community a destination.  Casey, in eastern Illinois, was struggling like most others just a few years ago.  Then, Casey leaders started thinking BIG.  This week, we hear about the transformation and get some advice for other towns. 

In 2016, Illinois' voting system was hacked and personal information for tens of thousands of voters compromised. As we prepare for another presidential election, we find out what has been done to make the system more secure.

That and more on this week's Statewide.

On this episode of Statewide, many communities have seen the value of keeping and restoring their older theatres.  We take a trip to one town where the theatre is making new memories.  

We chat with Charlie Wheeler, the longtime journalist and professor who recently retired, for his views on statehouse reporting. 

And we learn why some women are turning to truck driving as a career.   That and more this week. 

66 year old Julie Bartolome bid a tearful farewell to her loved ones in the Chicago area as she was sent back to her native Phillipines last month.  Our reporter was there when the matriarch of the family lost her battle with immigration authorities after more than 30 years in the United States. "Stay healthy, eat well," her husband Edgardo said she told him. "Don't cry." 

Also, we learn about tax increment financing and the development tool widely used and sometimes abused.

And, a discussion on the historic Old Slave House in southern Illinois. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

This week, we recap an ongoing NPR Illinois/ProPublica investigation into complaints of sexual harassment on the University of Illinois' flagship campus.  Reporter Rachel Otwell details the findings.

After a deadly outbreak at the Quincy Veterans' Home, Illinois is taking steps to address Legionnaire's Disease.  But is the state on the right track?  An expert will join us.

And indications are that more mosquitoes could be in our future.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

A project based at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library seeks out documents written by the 16th president.  Discovering the items is only part of the work being done.  The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is in the process of making all of the finds available online.  We talk with the director.

Also, a new gambling expansion law will allow horse tracks to look more like casinos, with slot machines and other games being offered.  Is it enough to boost the sagging industry? 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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