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Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake In Central Italy Kills Scores Of People

A powerful earthquake shook central Italy overnight, killing at least 73 people, according to Italy's civil protection agency, and destroying large swaths of several towns. Victims are still being pulled from the rubble, and the full extent of the devastation is not yet clear.The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the quake, which was centered about 100 miles northeast of Rome, had a magnitude of 6.2 and was shallow — at a depth of just over 6 miles.Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del...
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Election 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When Donald Trump started a national conversation about his regrets the other day, he notably neglected to say just what he regretted.

"Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it — and I do regret it — particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

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Who Will Sit On The Electoral College From Illinois

Illinois voters go to the polls on November 8, but they won't official cast the votes for the next President. Both state parties have decided the handful of people who will have that privilege.
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Illinois Issues

John Owens

Illinois Issues: Historic Dilemma

Efforts to preserve historic buildings in low-income and inner-city neighborhoods throughout the state face challenges — like the lack of access to financing and restoration projects taking a back seat to more pressing issues in the community.
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Canada's Mounties Say Female Officers Can Wear Hijabs

36 minutes ago

Canada's national police force says it is allowing women in its ranks to wear the hijab.

A spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known as the Mounties, recently approved the headscarf for its Muslim officers.

Beth Orton On World Cafe

48 minutes ago

When Beth Orton released her debut album, Trailer Park, in 1996, critics dubbed her music "folktronica" for its use of acoustic instruments, singer-songwriter vibe and electronic beats. Whatever it was called, the songwriting and performance were sensational. Orton has experimented with her music through the years, leaning in her recent albums toward the acoustic side — but her newest record, Kidsticks, finds her mostly abandoning acoustic instruments for electronic keyboards and loops.

Tropical Storm Colin ripped across the Gulf of Mexico in June and hit the coast of southwest Florida with 60-mile-an-hour winds. Before it arrived, a team from the U.S. Geological Survey used a new computer model to predict how far inland the waves would invade. When the storm hit, the USGS sent Joe Long out to film it.

Paul Sableman

After reports of unlivable conditions at public housing in Cairo, Illinois, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took over the Alexander County Housing Authority earlier this year.

Southern Illinoisan reporter Molly Parker has been following the story. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn checked in with her recently for an update. 

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Refilling my red feeder with sugar water, I chuckled to be reminded of the new parental stereotype in the blogosphere.  “Hummingbird Parents” are now on the scene.

Judgment has been heaped on “Helicopter Parents” recently—those parents who control and interfere. They’re afraid of allowing their children to fail, feeling such responsibility for their kids’ futures.  And they fear the judgment of a society that has come to be pretty hard on parents.

It's been three years since The Office wrapped, and actor John Krasinksi, who played Jim Halpert, is still feeling lucky. Landing a role on the NBC comedy series had been an unfathomably big break for the actor, whose previous work had been in a series of commercials and off-Broadway plays.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

A potentially habitable planet about the size of Earth is orbiting the star that is nearest our solar system, according to scientists who describe the find Wednesday in the journal Nature.

In Maine's North Woods, forests and rivers that used to feed paper mills will now be permanently protected as a national monument — thanks to a donation by the co-founder of Burt's Bees.

President Obama announced the creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Wednesday, just one day before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

George Clinton, the mastermind behind the bands Parliament and Funkadelic, is one of the foremost innovators of funk music.

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Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

The nation's first "soda tax" on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, Calif., last year, appears to be working.According to a new study, consumption of sugary drinks — at least in some neighborhoods — is down by a whopping 20 percent.That estimate results from what Kristine Madsen, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, calls a "perfect natural experiment." In the fall of 2014, voters in Berkeley and San Francisco, on...
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Statehouse

albatross
Michael Sale / Flickr.com/michaelsale (cc-by-nc)

State Week: Measuring Albatrosses

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for party meetings and rallies at the Illinois State Fair. Republicans mostly avoided mentioning presidential nominee Donald Trump, preferring to focus on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, were happy to embrace Madigan, and tried to tie Republicans into an embrace of Trump, too. Both parties are hoping the other side's top politicians will become an albatross around the necks of down-ballot candidates.
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Amanda Vinicky

  Jesse White’s days as the Illinois Secretary of State may be coming to a close.

albatross
Michael Sale / Flickr.com/michaelsale (cc-by-nc)

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for party meetings and rallies at the Illinois State Fair. Republicans mostly avoided mentioning presidential nominee Donald Trump, preferring to focus on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, were happy to embrace Madigan, and tried to tie Republicans into an embrace of Trump, too. Both parties are hoping the other side's top politicians will become an albatross around the necks of down-ballot candidates.

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Can Democrats convince voters to see Donald Trump as an albatross around the neck of Illinois Republicans?

Education Desk

Karen Bridges

Education Desk: Busing To 'Forge Friendships'

Forty years ago, during the summer of 1976, school officials in Illinois’ capital city were in federal court, arguing about how to desegregate Springfield schools. Roger Bridges was one of more than a hundred plaintiffs in the lawsuit, but he emerged as one of the architects of the desegregation plan ultimately chosen by Judge James Ackerman. The plan is still in use today. As families get set to send their kids back to school, we asked Bridges to remind us why some of our youngest students will be taking the bus.
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On a Saturday morning, a group of adults gather in a circle in an elementary school classroom on the campus of Gallaudet University. Each wears a name tag — and on that name tag is a common sexual term: "Ejaculation." "Orgasm." "Condom."

One by one they introduce themselves by the name on their tag. Not in spoken words, but in American Sign Language (ASL).

These are parents and caregivers who have — or work with — children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The moms and dads are bashful at first, but after signing for a few minutes, they're laughing at themselves.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arts & Culture

The Scene With Performance/Chat From Springfield Band Our Lady

This week Scott and Rachel are joined by Our Lady, one of the most well known and active bands out of Springfield. They are part of the Black Sheep scene and it brought them together. On Friday their new full-length comes out, a release show will go down at Black Sheep.
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It's been three years since The Office wrapped, and actor John Krasinksi, who played Jim Halpert, is still feeling lucky. Landing a role on the NBC comedy series had been an unfathomably big break for the actor, whose previous work had been in a series of commercials and off-Broadway plays.

There was perhaps no movie more buzzed-about coming out of the Sundance Film Festival in January than Nate Parker's directorial debut, The Birth of A Nation, a retelling of Nat Turner's 19th century rebellion of enslaved people in Virginia.

In 2008, the investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in American history. It took just hours for the catastrophic effects of the company's failure to become apparent to ordinary people all across the world, even ones who had never before heard terms like "subprime mortgage" and "collateralized debt obligation."

Equity

UIS Professor Studies Transgender Rights & The Law

Earlier this year Illinois Issues reported on the transgender community in Illinois and whether advocates say there are enough anti-discrimination and supportive policies in place. Illinois saw its own debate over whether transgender people should be able to use the bathroom they feel represents their true gender when a trans student in Palatine went to court over their desire to use the locker and bathrooms that matched their gender - not their biological sex as represented on their birth...
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Recently, on a hot summer morning with cumulus clouds towering overhead, black cattle grazed in South Florida fields, dotting the horizon along with clumps of palm trees. At the Big Cypress Reservation, Moses Jumper is a tribal elder and owner of nearly 300 head — and a fourth-generation cattleman.

One of the most surprising stories of the Olympics, which end on Sunday, was the unseeded Monica Puig's improbable march to the gold medal in women's singles tennis. Puig's win captured Puerto Rico's first-ever gold medal in the Olympics, and set off massive celebrations across the island. It was a big-ass deal.

Michelle Scott, 38, has been arrested at least five times from 2000 to 2007 in Florida, according to court records. Most of her charges stem from stealing cars or some other type of theft. Since her last arrest, Scott has struggled to pull her life together. The mom of a 12-year old boy and an adult daughter, Scott, who is black, struggles with depression, and currently lives in a homeless shelter working less than 20 hours a week as a housekeeper. Because of her criminal history, stable jobs and housing are hard to come by.

Illinois Economy

flickr/Phallnn Ool

Business Report: Springfield Health Care Jobs; Rail Work Grant; Lincoln Home Repainting

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.
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Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Assoc.

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

On this week's report:

* Enos Park Artist in Residence - Springfield Art Association and Enos Park Neighborhood Association have asked for more than $80,000 in Tax Increment Financing assistance to buy a home and launch the program with the goal of artists eventually going out on their own and opening shops, buying homes etc.

elevator down arrow
Eric Skiff

In 2008, the Great Recession helped to tip Illinois into a fiscal crisis it still hasn't recovered from. A new report from Standard & Poor's found that another even moderate recession would mean big trouble for the state's budget. ​

Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to talk about it. 

SJ-R

  Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Harvest Desk

Nestled among rolling hills and grazing cows, Elmore Mountain Bread in central Vermont is quintessentially pastoral. The setting is apropos, given the owners' recent decision to start grinding their own flour by stone — a veritable step back in time.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Just southwest of bustling Charleston, S.C., lies a lush and rural gem called Wadmalaw Island, one of the Sea Islands that dot the shoreline. This is the home of the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only large-scale commercial tea plantation in America.

Health Desk

c/o Amanda Walenga

Camden is an 8 year old who lives in Springfield. She just started 3rd grade, likes riding horses and eating tacos, and playing with her younger sister. For the most part, she’s a happy normal kid. But she also happens to be one who was born with health problems like cleft palate, a hole in her heart and scoliosis.

Vincent Van Gogh's paintings might not make it obvious that he was an artist troubled with depression and mania. But a computer algorithm might be able to figure that out. Computer programs are getting pretty good at discovering health information by studying heaps of social media data.

A computer script analyzed galleries of photos posted to Instagram and accurately predicted if the users had depression, according to a study posted this month to the public online repository arXiv.com.

The nation's first "soda tax" on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, Calif., last year, appears to be working.

According to a new study, consumption of sugary drinks — at least in some neighborhoods — is down by a whopping 20 percent.

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