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Roberta Lynch
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

AFSCME Members Authorize Potential Strike

Members of AFSCME, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, have taken a big step toward a possible strike.

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Statehouse

Roberta Lynch
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Members of AFSCME, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, have taken a big step toward a possible strike.

Read More Statehouse Stories

Education Desk

Courtesy of newsstand.clemson.edu

A.D. Carson grew up in Decatur, graduated from Millikin University, and earned a master's degree here at the University of Illinois Springfield. He’s now a Ph.D candidate at Clemson University, where today he’s defending his dissertation -- a hip-hop project that’s gone viral.

One word of warning: The music in this story contains a racial term some listeners might find offensive, but it’s part of Carson’s scholarly work.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Among the rolling hills of ancient Africa, sometime around 8000 B.C., a dusty traveler was making gastronomic history, quite by accident.

Thirsty from a long, hot journey, the weary herdsman reached for the sheepskin bag of milk knotted to the back of his pack animal. But as he tilted his head to pour the warm liquid into his mouth, he was astonished to find that the sheep's milk had curdled. The rough terrain and constant joggling of the milk had transformed it into butter --- and bewilderingly, it tasted heavenly.

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Arts & Life

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This week we're joined by Allison Lacher & Jeff Robinson - two instrumental forces in bringing contemporary and provocative artwork to the central Illinois region. 

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Equity

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Champaign-Urbana is the only city in Illinois, other than Chicago, to have an official chapter of the Black Lives Matter organization. Evelyn Reynolds has been heading it.

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When the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed at a Malaysian airport last week, poisoning was instantly suspected. But on Friday, Malaysian authorities revealed that an autopsy had turned up not just any poison, but a rare nerve agent known as VX.

The 2017 Academy Awards Cheatsheet

1 hour ago

With guest host Ray Suarez.

The Oscars this weekend. “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight,” “La La Land?” We’ll look at this year’s showdown.

Courtesy of newsstand.clemson.edu

A.D. Carson grew up in Decatur, graduated from Millikin University, and earned a master's degree here at the University of Illinois Springfield. He’s now a Ph.D candidate at Clemson University, where today he’s defending his dissertation -- a hip-hop project that’s gone viral.

One word of warning: The music in this story contains a racial term some listeners might find offensive, but it’s part of Carson’s scholarly work.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has been tapped to give the Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday night.

The announcement was made by the party's top congressional officials, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

They said the 72-year-old Beshear was chosen for his record extending access to affordable health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, "one of the biggest improvements in the nation."

There are 10 films nominated for Best Picture at this Sunday's Academy Awards. Only one is a musical — and it has a good chance of winning. If La La Land does take home the honors, Justin Hurwitz, who wrote the music that is so central to the film, will probably take to the stage alongside director Damien Chazelle, his friend since their college days at Harvard. (Hurwitz is also nominated for three Oscars himself: for Best Original Score and twice for Best Original Song.)

Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, the temperature in Buffalo, N.Y., hit 71 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, in the latest sign of the mild, even warm, winter that much of the eastern U.S. is experiencing.

By midday, Boston had also hit 71 — also a record. Both temperatures equal or set new benchmarks for record highs in the month of February.

Sixty-seven-year-old William Forsythe doesn’t look like a ballet superstar — he’s slightly built and he wears glasses. But the former dancer is completely at home in Boston Ballet’s rehearsal studio, wearing socks as he shows the dancers how to move.

He is known for deconstructing a dance tradition that goes back five centuries. There are times when he gets very theoretical about it. Describing ballet movements, he’ll say, “You have to vector it into space with very differentiated dynamics.” Other times he sounds very down to earth, saying, “It’s theater, we’re in show biz!”

President Trump signed an executive action on Friday aimed at reducing red tape. It directs each federal agency to set up a task force to identify costly regulations that could be scaled back.

"Every regulation should have to pass a simple test," Trump said. "Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it — and getting rid of it quickly."

17 and (Not) Pregnant

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280 Days of Severe Morning Sickness

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This I Believe Illinois

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This I Believe: The American Dream

This is the story of a couple of people who were not lucky enough to be born in the land of the free. Instead of accepting their fate, these two people, along with their families, accomplished a goal they never thought possible.

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The First 100 Days

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has been tapped to give the Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday night.

The announcement was made by the party's top congressional officials, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

They said the 72-year-old Beshear was chosen for his record extending access to affordable health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, "one of the biggest improvements in the nation."

President Trump signed an executive action on Friday aimed at reducing red tape. It directs each federal agency to set up a task force to identify costly regulations that could be scaled back.

"Every regulation should have to pass a simple test," Trump said. "Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it — and getting rid of it quickly."

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Illinois Edition: Weekdays Noon-1 PM and 7-8 PM

Rachel Otwell

A Talk With Springfield Activists Who 'Resist' Trump

Across the country, activists who say they stand in opposition to many of the Trump administration's goals are organizing. Many call themselves the ' Resistance ', a nod to terminology previously used by those living under authoritarian regimes. They've been key players in the Women's March on Washington (and in other cities), which has been called one of the largest demonstrations in the U.S.

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Illinois Issues

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Illinois Issues: Civil Asset Forfeiture Critics Complain Innocent People Pay

Disparate entities say laws in this area need to change at the state and national levels.

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Featured

Indiana's Claims About Its Medicaid Experiment Don't All Check Out

Indiana expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, with a few extra conditions that were designed to appeal to the conservative leadership in the state. The Federal government approved the experiment, called the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0 , and it is now is up for another three-year renewal. But a close reading of the state's renewal application shows misleading and inaccurate information is being used to justify extending HIP 2.0. This is important because the initial...

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