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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

What's Really Behind Illinois' Population Loss?

Illinois is losing residents, according to recent census estimates, and common explanations include high taxes, unfriendly business policies or the state’s growing pension debt. An article from the watchdog group Better Government Association examines those claims. The BGA’s senior editor, Bob Secter, says they distract from a deeper look at demographic trends.

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Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, via Twitter

Illinois Bicentennial Coin Unveiled

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Marcus Butler of  Springfield has been unemployed since October of 2016.
Katie Buck / NPR IllINOIS

Black Unemployment In Illinois Tops Other States

Experts blame the long-standing problem on discrimination, especially the "inadequate, inequitable'' education funding system.

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Education Desk

Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number.

Some high school students think of applying to colleges as a full-time job. There are essays and tests, loads of financial documents to assemble and calculations to make. After all that, of course, comes a big decision — one of the biggest of their young lives.

For top students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult.

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Statehouse

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, via Twitter

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. They're the latest in a string of products the state is offering to mark its bicentennial year.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a several months-long contest, challenging designers to capture Illinois’ history on a single coin face. Submissions poured in from far and wide, but they were eventually whittled down to five finalists, whose designs were then voted on by the public.

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Health+Harvest Desk

Dese’Rae L. Stage for Live Through This

Amid the news of high profile celebrity taking their own lives, the Centers for Disease Control reports suicide rates have gone up across the United States.  Since 1999, Illinois has seen a 23-percent increase. 

Chicago author Kelley Clink tried to kill herself when she was 16, and several years later her younger brother, Matt, died by his own hand.

Reporter Maureen McKinney talked with Clink about the ways suicide has touched her life. Clink’s memoir, published in 2015, is called A Different Kind of Same.

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Arts & Life

The Pharmacy / Jeff Williams

Nearly a century ago, a book was published by Vachel Lindsay called The Golden Book of Springfield. In it, he imagines a utopian version of the city, where by 2018 - its citizens have had religious and social awakenings. The ultimate message is one of unity.

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Equity

Marcus Butler of  Springfield has been unemployed since October of 2016.
Katie Buck / NPR IllINOIS

Experts blame the long-standing problem on discrimination, especially the "inadequate, inequitable'' education funding system.

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Illinois Economy

Statehouse exit sign
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois is losing residents, according to recent census estimates, and common explanations include high taxes, unfriendly business policies or the state’s growing pension debt.

An article from the watchdog group Better Government Association examines those claims. The BGA’s senior editor, Bob Secter, says they distract from a deeper look at demographic trends.

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage

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For most of her childhood, growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly Zimmerman felt alone and anxious.

She despaired when her mother was depressed or working late shifts; when her parents fought nonstop; when her friends wanted to come over, and she felt too ashamed to let them see her home's buckling floor, the lack of running water.

Kelly tried to shut out those feelings, and when she was 18, a boyfriend offered her an opioid painkiller — Percocet.

Her anxiety dissolved, at least for a little while.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

State Week: AFSCME Contract; Abortion Court Fight; Former Madigan Staffer Responds To Accusations

AFSCME, Illinois biggest laobr union representing state government employees, was in the Fourth District Appellate Court this week. It's fighting a move by the Rauner administration to declare an impasse in contract negotiations, which are three years overdue.

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NPR Illinois Hiring - Sales AEs

NPR Illinois is hiring Sponsorship Account Executives . Seeking candidates with track records of success and the passion to innovate and sustain the public media mission. Sponsorship AEs will secure funding primarily from businesses, but also foundations and individuals to support the public journalism of NPR Illinois and the Illinois public radio network through sponsorships and acknowledgements in digital, broadcast and print media.

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Featured

U.S. Suicide Rates Are Rising Faster Among Women Than Men

The number of people dying by suicide in the United States has risen by about 30 percent in the past two decades. And while the majority of suicide-related deaths today are among boys and men, a study published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of girls and women taking their own lives is rising. "Typically there's between three and four times as many suicides among males as among females," says Dr. Holly Hedegaard , a medical epidemiologist at the...

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Illinois Issues

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Money Machines: How Big Donors Dominate Campaign Funding In Illinois

Illinois will host what could be the most expensive race for governor in U.S. history. The huge increase in campaign spending raises a lot of questions about the rise of big money in politics. Between now and the election, Illinois Issues will examine the impact in a series we're calling Money Machines.

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Politics

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders are reworking their "compromise" immigration bill to include a provision that modifies — but doesn't completely end — the "zero tolerance" policy being enforced now by the Trump administration.

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PodCamp

The X | 91.9-3 HD

This Year's World Cup Songs, Ranked

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V15BYnSr0P8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8d0-1dk8os https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ2vr7VUytM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6E9R9qv1No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9M_7zSa3s It's almost World Cup time — and there's a long, sometimes proud and often embarrassing history of international pop stars creating confections for the games. For every bit of surprising transcendence, like Youssou N'Dour and Axelle Red's collaboration for the 1998 tournament...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

Classical Music Captures A Young Wife's Anxiety In 'On Chesil Beach'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6DWDfMDlM The film On Chesil Beach opens with a cocksure Edward, played by Billy Howle, mansplaining the blues to his new wife, Florence, a classical violinist played by Saoirse Ronan . It's a snapshot of the young couple's relationship, which disintegrates throughout the course of the film due to mismatched expectations and fears of intimacy. Director Dominic Cooke, a veteran of theater making his feature film debut with this Ian McEwan novella adaption,...

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