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Illinois Issues: The Budget That Wasn't

The governor describes the stopgap budget as a bridge to reform. But it could also be called an excavator — digging the state’s fiscal hole deeper.
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Trending Stories

Durbin with reporters at the DNC in Philadelphia
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Who Will Take On Bruce Rauner? Democrats' Search Begins at DNC

Illinois Democrats joined fellow party members in Philadelphia Monday for the Democratic National Convention. But state politics, not the national scene, was the focus of the delegation’s first official day of business.
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Election 2016

A day after shocking the political and foreign policy establishments on both sides of the aisle with a call for Russia to hack into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's email, Republican nominee Donald Trump now says he was being "sarcastic."

Less than 24 hours earlier, Trump said he would welcome Russian hackers releasing any emails they could "find" from the private email server Clinton used while serving as secretary of state.

America's first image of Chelsea Clinton was as a curly-haired preteen girl with braces who shied away from the public stage while her father was president in the 1990s.

More than two decades later, the now 36-year-old mother of two will voluntarily step into the spotlight to introduce her own mother as her family seeks a return to the White House.

The third night of the 2016 Democratic convention scaled several major peaks: President Obama gave, perhaps, the best-written oration of his career. Vice President Joe Biden gave, perhaps, his last national convention address, and his prospective successor, Tim Kaine, gave his first.

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The Scene Previews The Nantucket Boys + Downhome Fest

This week Scott and Rachel are joined by the co-stars (John Love & Jim Yale) and the writer (Ken Bradbury) of a new musical called 'The Boys From Nantucket' - which you can see this weekend.
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Illinois Issues

Black Lives Matter Champaign-Urbana

Illinois Issues: Black Lives Matter — More Than A Hashtag

Black Lives Matter is one of the largest activist movements since the civil rights era of the 1960s. The organization has garnered more attention in recent weeks due to protests over the fatal police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Meanwhile, attacks on police and the presidential election have shifted the conversation since Black Lives Matter got its start in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin.
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A day after shocking the political and foreign policy establishments on both sides of the aisle with a call for Russia to hack into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's email, Republican nominee Donald Trump now says he was being "sarcastic."

Less than 24 hours earlier, Trump said he would welcome Russian hackers releasing any emails they could "find" from the private email server Clinton used while serving as secretary of state.

Maybe it was a meteor? Or space junk? People on the West Coast weren't sure what the bright object was that streaked across the sky last night, but they knew it was spectacular. Now comes word that the object — which separated into bright fragments — was a stage of China's large new rocket.

The insanity ruling that sent President Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr., to a government psychiatric hospital rather than prison was handed down 34 years ago, but its repercussions still affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people who commit a crime and also have mental illness.

From the moment Netflix announced that it would be bringing back Gilmore Girls for four 90-minute episodes making up a sort of mini-season called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, fans have wondered how long they'd have to wait and in what shape they'd find Lorelai and Rory Gilmore after years away. On Wednesday, Netflix announced an arrival date of Nov. 25 and showed critics the first two minutes of the first episode, "Winter."

The latest project from hip-hop icon Nas is ambitious even by his standards. Queens' finest is the executive producer of the new feature film The Land and its star-studded original soundtrack.

A group of nano-scientists has discovered a way to arrange individual atoms to store and rewrite data 500 times more efficiently than the best hard drives in the market.

Amid two troubling investigations at the University of Louisville, school President James Ramsey resigned Wednesday. The university is facing scrutiny over separate scandals that involve allegations of financial misdeeds and sex parties for athletes.

The term "coming of age" typically applies to a teenager's passage into adulthood; to the heady stretch of months and years when a child becomes something resembling a fully formed person, with all the growth and responsibility that entails. But there are inherent faults to the premise, starting with the fact that we never really stop coming of age, at least as long as we remain notionally open to our own evolution. We learn from our mistakes, or at least we hope to, and sometimes we backslide as our priorities, dreams and desires shift and settle.

'You Will Know Me' Says No, You Won't

4 hours ago

Megan Abbott's novel You Will Know Me, like her other books, thrums with the edge and energy of teenage girlhood; the wild want, the wild daring, the wild selfishness that — as one of the girls' moms says — you're only really allowed when you're young. "Remember that kind of wanting? That kind that's just for yourself? And you don't even have to feel guilty about it? You wouldn't know to."

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Featured

Philadelphia Gun Range Owner And Activist Say 'Black Guns Matter'

There was one shooting every six hours on average last year in Philadelphia. In the past 10 years, more than 14,500 shootings occurred, with at least 2,600 killed by guns many of whom were black residents.While some see the numbers as a reason to increase gun control, others see things differently.Yuri Zalzman of North Philadelphia’s The Gun Range and Maj Toure of the activist group Black Guns Matter have come together to try to find solutions.Both teach inner-city residents how to properly...
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Statehouse

Trump and Rauner
Trump by Michael Vadon / Flickr, Rauner by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

State Week: Rauner *Really* Doesn't Want To Talk About Trump

Gov. Bruce Rauner may be done with the presidential campaign, but the presidential campaign isn’t done with Gov. Rauner.
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flickr/ Pal-Kristian Hamre

The governor describes the stopgap budget as a bridge to reform. But it could also be called an excavator — digging the state’s fiscal hole deeper.

Labor unions are attacking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for several vetoes issues late last week. The Republican governor rejected measures that would have raised wages for state contractors that take care of the elderly and disabled.

Trump and Rauner
Trump by Michael Vadon / Flickr, Rauner by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner may be done with the presidential campaign, but the presidential campaign isn’t done with Gov. Rauner.

Education Desk

Is There A Better Way To Pay For America's Schools?

The Kansas Supreme Court gave state lawmakers an ultimatum:Make school funding more equitable by June 30, or it will consider shutting down the state's public schools.Since then, things have gotten ugly.Lawmakers followed up with a plan — to make it easier to impeach Supreme Court judges who attempt to "usurp the power" of the Legislature or governor.Then came a plan to address the court's concerns over school funding: Send a little more money to roughly two-dozen of the state's poorest...
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Amid two troubling investigations at the University of Louisville, school President James Ramsey resigned Wednesday. The university is facing scrutiny over separate scandals that involve allegations of financial misdeeds and sex parties for athletes.

There's a new book out about the student loan crisis, or what author Sandy Baum suggests is a "bogus crisis." Baum, a financial aid expert and senior fellow at the Urban Institute, claims it has been manufactured by the media in search of a spicy story and fueled by politicians pushing "debt free college" proposals.

We had a few questions for Baum about the book, Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education.

It's summer, and whether you're 5 years old or 105 it's time to play.

To inspire you, the NPR Ed Team called up leaders and designers at 10 of the nation's best children's museums and asked them one simple question:

What's the one thing under your roof (or maybe out back) that kids and their grown-ups love to do/see/touch/play the most?

Here are their answers, our summer "playlist."

1. Adventure Expeditions — Port Discovery Children's Museum, Baltimore.

Arts & Culture

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The Scene Is Visited By Sean Burns Of Bedrock 66

This week Scott and Rachel talk with Sean Burns. He's been booking roots and Americana music in the area for nearly 20 years and founded the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series which has been sponsored by NPR Illinois. He tells us about the very first Bedrock music festival happening this weekend in conjunction with DSI's Downtown Bacon Throwdown in downtown Springfield.
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From the moment Netflix announced that it would be bringing back Gilmore Girls for four 90-minute episodes making up a sort of mini-season called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, fans have wondered how long they'd have to wait and in what shape they'd find Lorelai and Rory Gilmore after years away. On Wednesday, Netflix announced an arrival date of Nov. 25 and showed critics the first two minutes of the first episode, "Winter."

'You Will Know Me' Says No, You Won't

4 hours ago

Megan Abbott's novel You Will Know Me, like her other books, thrums with the edge and energy of teenage girlhood; the wild want, the wild daring, the wild selfishness that — as one of the girls' moms says — you're only really allowed when you're young. "Remember that kind of wanting? That kind that's just for yourself? And you don't even have to feel guilty about it? You wouldn't know to."

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

Equity

The Code Switch Podcast, Episode 9: Black And Blue

After more than a week of violence and racial tension sparked by the deaths of black men at the hands of police and the shooting deaths of five officers in Dallas, we're getting more perspective from African-American law enforcement officials. We wanted to know how black officers, folks who find themselves right in the middle of heated conversations about race and policing, are processing everything that happened.Gregory A. Thomas, who leads the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement...
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In the Facebook Live video streamed earlier this month by Diamond Reynolds after her fiance, Philando Castile, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minnesota suburb, Reynolds identified the man who shot Castile as "Chinese" as she narrated the scene.

In her speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Michelle Obama said she wakes up "every morning in a house that was built by slaves." She spoke about the feeling of watching her daughters, "two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn."

Charles Kinsey, a Florida health worker, was swept into the national debate about police and African-Americans after video of police shooting him went viral.

Illinois Economy

wikimedia.commons

Survey Shows Sangamon County Businesses Worried About State Finances

The Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has released the Spring 2016 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey.
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SJ-R.com

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

flickr/KatherineJohnson

  NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

SJ-R

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis.

Harvest Desk

Times are tough for Chesapeake oysters.

For one thing, they used to be bigger. "If you look at what people were saying back in the 1600s and 1700s about oysters, people had to cut them in half before they could even eat them," says Denise Breitburg, an ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Presidents And Food?

22 hours ago

It's convention season, which means the presidential election is in full swing.

There has always been a lot to divide politicians, but we at The Salt are interested in what brings them together: They all have to eat.

So we paged through our archives for stories about U.S. presidents and their predilections for — and embarrassing mishaps with — certain foods. How much do you know about presidents and food? Take our quiz to test your credentials.

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

Health Desk

The insanity ruling that sent President Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr., to a government psychiatric hospital rather than prison was handed down 34 years ago, but its repercussions still affect hundreds, if not thousands, of people who commit a crime and also have mental illness.

What Women Need In A Checkup: Test Less, Talk More

6 hours ago

Healthy young women can be forgiven for being confused about how often they're supposed to be getting into see their primary care doctor.

As he takes the stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is firmly in Hillary Clinton's camp — and his party's — on the big health care issues. Now a U.S. senator from Virginia, Kaine supports the Affordable Care Act and pushed its Medicaid expansion. He also worked to overhaul the mental health system when he was governor of Virginia.

Here are highlights and a few flashpoints of controversy from Kaine's health policy record:

Mental health

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