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Illinois Higher Education Board Looks to Move Past Budget Impasse, Restore Confidence

Illinois' public colleges and universities have weathered the two year budget impasse and are once again expecting routine state aid payments. As the schools look ahead, they're working to secure their financial footing and publicly rebound from the ordeal.

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Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois Issues: Cities Lose Out On Retail Tax As Online Shopping Booms

Buying shoes, a new computer or even toilet paper online can be convenient and cheap, but officials in cities across central Illinois say it’s taking a bite out of their budgets.

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Statehouse

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An Illinois lawmaker is calling on Facebook to ensure political ads are fundamentally factual, after learning the social media giant has no such guidelines.

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Education Desk

Illinois' public colleges and universities have weathered the two year budget impasse and are once again expecting routine state aid payments. As the schools look ahead, they're working to secure their financial footing and publicly rebound from the ordeal.

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Health+Harvest Desk

The Coliseo is the biggest concert hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But since Hurricane Maria devastated the island a month ago, it's become the center of a massive effort to feed tens of thousands left hungry by the storm — an effort led by celebrity chef José Andrés.

"We're about to reach the million and a half [meals] served — a vast majority of them hot meals," says Andrés, who is known for his upscale restaurants in Washington, D.C., and for canceling his plans to open one in Donald Trump's D.C. hotel.

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Arts & Life

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:

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Equity

The NFL's players are 70 percent black; its fans are 83 percent white and 64 percent male, according to online sports site The Real GM.

And when it comes to the controversy over the national anthem and players taking a knee, that statistic is playing a huge role.

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Illinois Economy

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Buying shoes, a new computer or even toilet paper online can be convenient and cheap, but officials in cities across central Illinois say it’s taking a bite out of their budgets.

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Rauner campaign/YouTube

Governor Bruce Rauner has made his long awaited announcement that he is seeking re-election.  

Illinois' public colleges and universities have weathered the two year budget impasse and are once again expecting routine state aid payments. As the schools look ahead, they're working to secure their financial footing and publicly rebound from the ordeal.

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:

On most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mary Grimes can be found pacing along a crowded street in Orlando, Fla., with clipboards in both hands.

"Can I have five minutes of your time?" the 58-year-old says to a parade of passers-by. Those who are in a rush, she quickly wishes well; the others, Grimes directs to a blue and yellow form, reciting her spiel and soliciting a signature from each.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The ongoing wildfires in Northern California have reminded many Americans of the courage — the heroism — of the men and women who fight fires in forests and wilderness.

A new film called Only The Brave is based on the true story of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who battled, and ultimately lost their lives, in Arizona's Yarnell Hill Fire during late June of 2013. Hotshots are the elite crews that attack and try to contain wildfires with chainsaws, shovels and flames of their own (to create firebreaks).

The world Philip Pullman created is back—in his hands, and now ours.

The His Dark Materials trilogy, which was introduced more than 20 years ago with a book called The Golden Compass, is set in a world ruled by theocratic overlords collectively known as the Magisterium, and in which children often disappear into the hands of people called the Gobblers. However, human souls — especially those of children — take shape outside their bodies as daemons: talking animal spirits who give humans aid, comfort and companionship.

A congressional candidate in Florida drew a little ridicule this week.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of the Republicans in the crowded field in Florida's 27th Congressional District, said in 2009 that she was taken aboard a spaceship when she was 7 years old.

She does not mean at Disney World.

"I went in," she says in a 2009 Spanish language interview that appeared on YouTube this week. "There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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After Donald Trump won the White House, Democrats said they wanted to reconnect with rural voters. But Virginia's Governor's race suggests the party is still having a hard time. Reporter Jessie Knadler has more.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - DeKalb

Watch the ninth Illinois Issues forum on the state budget and Illinois' financial future in DeKalb, Illinois. The forum is hosted by NPR Illinois and Northern Public Radio with support provided by AARP.

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Featured

Veterans, Survivors' Groups Try To Shift The Conversation On Condolences

Four American soldiers were killed in action in Niger this month. Their deaths made a few headlines at the time. But this week they are in the news again, with far more prominence, because of a bitter political debate over presidential condolence calls. The sudden prominence of the soldiers' deaths — but in a way that highlights political tension and factual disputes, rather than honoring of sacrifice — has left some military advocates struggling for words and striving to redirect attention...

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Illinois Issues

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office

Illinois Issues: Coming Up In The Veto Session

*Editor's Note: This piece was published prior to Gov. Bruce Rauner's announcement he signed House Bill 40, the abortion bill. Commentary: A capital bill; spending cuts; a veto of the abortion bill? A look at some pending questions for the fall legislative session. When Illinois lawmakers return for their fall session next month, they, and by extension, taxpayers, will face tantalizing questions.

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Illinois Issues Forums

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - DeKalb

Watch the ninth Illinois Issues forum on the state budget and Illinois' financial future in DeKalb, Illinois. The forum is hosted by NPR Illinois and Northern Public Radio with support provided by AARP.

Read More

Politics

Rauner campaign/YouTube

Governor Bruce Rauner has made his long awaited announcement that he is seeking re-election.  

On most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mary Grimes can be found pacing along a crowded street in Orlando, Fla., with clipboards in both hands.

"Can I have five minutes of your time?" the 58-year-old says to a parade of passers-by. Those who are in a rush, she quickly wishes well; the others, Grimes directs to a blue and yellow form, reciting her spiel and soliciting a signature from each.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A congressional candidate in Florida drew a little ridicule this week.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of the Republicans in the crowded field in Florida's 27th Congressional District, said in 2009 that she was taken aboard a spaceship when she was 7 years old.

She does not mean at Disney World.

"I went in," she says in a 2009 Spanish language interview that appeared on YouTube this week. "There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

After Donald Trump won the White House, Democrats said they wanted to reconnect with rural voters. But Virginia's Governor's race suggests the party is still having a hard time. Reporter Jessie Knadler has more.

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Continued Interest

BRENT LEVIN / CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

The Recreational Marijuana Legalization Debate In Illinois

Some lawmakers say legalizing recreational marijuana should be on the horizon for Illinois. But they admit there are still details to work out.

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The X | 91.9-3 HD

Review: Margo Price, 'All American Made'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page . When Margo Price released her knockout debut album, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, last year after a decade of personal hardship and industry rejection, country purists praised her outsider spirit and vintage tastes. Hailed a revivalist and a renegade, she earned instant comparisons to outlaw legends like Tammy Wynette, Emmylou...

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