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Illinois Unemployment Down And Steady, Yet Still Lags

The latest data shows the number of unemployed Illinois residents is at its lowest since September of 2007. But officials with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration say Illinois is still lagging when it comes to job growth.
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Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

Voters in the general election will be asked to weigh in on a proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution that would protect money set aside for transportation projects. The plan is sometimes referred to as the transportation funding lockbox amendment. 

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Education Desk

The Great Recession technically ended in June of 2009, but many of America's schools are still feeling the pinch.

A new study of state budget documents and Census Bureau data finds that the lion's share of spending on schools in at least 23 states will be lower this school year than it was when the recession began nearly a decade ago.

This analysis looked specifically at what's called general formula funding, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of the money states spend in their K-12 schools.

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Health & Harvest Desk

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Arts & Life

Friday a 100th birthday bash is taking place for the Lincoln Square Theatre in Decatur. We hear about its storied past and plans for the future, in this spoooooky episode of The Scene. We also hear about a Halloween themed show at the Black Sheep venue in Springfield on Saturday, plus much more... Tune in!

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In this critical time it’s necessary to understand both the historical and present analysis of our oppression. It is connected to this country's long history of police brutality, as well as its flawed legal system and the evils of mass incarceration within. There is an overall framework of anti-blackness and white supremacy that has been imbedded in the US since the colonization of African people.

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Illinois Economy

The latest data shows the number of unemployed Illinois residents is at its lowest since September of 2007.

But officials with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration say Illinois is still lagging when it comes to job growth.

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Nightsounds Presents

Antje Duvekot in Concert

Live Sunday Evening (10/23)

Election 2016

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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Morning Edition Anchor/Reporter

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

Education Desk: What Medicaid Waiver Might Mean For Illinois

Illinois has applied to the federal government for a waiver that could bring Illinois not only a significant increase in Medicaid dollars, but also more flexibility for how those dollars are spent. We talked to two members of Gov. Bruce Rauner's cabinet -- Human Services Secretary James Dimas and George Sheldon, acting secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services -- about what this waiver would mean for the state.
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Illinois Issues

hourglass with dollar signs instead of sand filtering through
flickr/ Bill Brooks

Illinois Issues: The Budget Impasse Backstory

Before he ran for governor, Bruce Rauner described a plan to use funding for social services as a “wedge” issue to persuade Democrats to support anti-union proposals. The fact that lawmakers did nothing to address the rollback of the temporary income tax increase, which was passed in 2011, set the stage for him to try out his strategy.
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Public Domain

Illinois Issues: Transportation Lockbox Could Come With Unintended Consequences

A proposed amendment to the state’s constitution would protect money set aside for transportation projects. Supporters say the change is needed because money that's supposed to be earmarked for building roads has gone to other expenses over the years. But the amendment could allow some of those practices to continue, while endangering other popular programs.
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Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Thirty years ago this week, an unknown filmmaker walked into a club in Washington, D.C., with a videotape in his hand. It was one of those nights when anyone could screen their work ... but this was the first public screening of a short documentary that's gone on to become the very definition of a cult classic.

President Obama's two-year-old campaign against the Islamic State is clearly weakening the extremist group. But he's unlikely to finish the job during his final months, leaving it to his successor, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, to figure out how to keep ISIS on the run.

U.S.-backed Iraqi troops are on the march against the ISIS stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq. In neighboring Syria, ISIS recently lost the symbolically important town of Dabiq.

AT&T has agreed to terms with Time Warner to buy the media giant for more than $80 billion. The news comes a day after accounts emerged that the two corporations were close to a merger deal.

A source with knowledge of the matter tells NPR's David Folkenflik that both corporations' boards are meeting to approve the deal.

Details of the deal could emerge Saturday evening, when AT&T is expected to announce the final agreement.

More than 40 years after she became the first woman to climb the world's highest mountain, Junko Tabei has died at age 77, according to Japanese media. Tabei was just 4'9", but she was a giant in mountaineering, as the first woman to conquer the "Seven Summits" — the tallest peak on each continent.

Tabei "was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago but continued her mountaineering activities while undergoing treatment," Japanese broadcaster NHK reports, adding that she died Thursday in a hospital in Kawagoe City.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

For Film's Creators, 'Moonlight' Provided Space To Explore A Painful Past: Playwright Tarell McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins drew on their own childhood experiences in making Moonlight, a film about a boy growing up in a Miami housing project.


18 hours ago
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Mexico City's Plan To Fight Sexual Assault: Whistles On The Subway

Mexico City's Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera is handing out plastic whistles. A half-million of them. At three bucks a pop, he's hoping that women will use the whistles to scare off harassers on the packed public transportation system.When the plan was announced this summer, it received a flurry of scathing criticism and mocking memes on social media. But city officials are moving forward and have been handing out the whistles by the thousands at subway and bus stops.At the Zapata metro station...
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