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J.B. Pritzker and Daniel Biss
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or Not To Billionaire?

With roughly three months to go until Illinois' primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to be governor of Illinois. One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket? Brian Mackey explores the potential upsides — and downsides — of an ultra-wealthy candidate.

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Trending Stories

Andrew Gill/WBEZ

3 Years, 13 Legionnaires’ Deaths At Illinois Veterans’ Home

Since July 2015, 13 residents of a veterans’ home in west central Illinois have died from Legionnaires’ disease. Eleven families are suing the state for negligence.

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Statehouse

J.B. Pritzker and Daniel Biss
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

With roughly three months to go until Illinois' primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to be governor of Illinois.

One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket?

Brian Mackey explores the potential upsides — and downsides — of an ultra-wealthy candidate.

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Education Desk

With wildfires still raging across parts of Southern California, dozens of schools have been closed. Many will stay that way till the new year. That gives educators valuable time to think about what they can do, when school resumes, to help students who have been traumatized by these fires.

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Health+Harvest Desk

An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday aimed at a Trump administration they feel has let them down.

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Arts & Life

violin
Jose Zaragoza / flickr.com/jose_zaragoza

A preview of this weekend's Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra concert at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield.  UIS Professor of Ethnomusicology Yona Stamatis talks with Ken Lam, Conductor and Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

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Equity

Kelsey Greene Photography

In the midst of the national #metoo phenomenon, Illinois women wrestle with their own experiences.

He kissed her so hard she had bruises on her neck. Then, when they left the bar, he managed to pull her pants down in an alley. She talked him out of raping her that night in 2008. But Molly McLay was unable to stop a later attack by a different man. She had been so intoxicated that she blacked out and awoke to find the person she had been dating had had sex with her without her consent.

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Illinois Economy

SJ-R

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

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For a simple children's story about a pacifist bull in Spain who would rather smell the flowers than charge a matador, Munro Leaf's The Story of Ferdinand generated tremendous controversy, owing to its worldwide popularity and its date of publication, 1936, which found it caught in political crosswinds. It was banned in Franco's Spain. Hitler ordered it burned as "degenerate democratic propaganda" in Nazi Germany, though it was republished and distributed for free in the same country once the war was over, to teach children a message of peace. Gandhi was a fan. So was H.G. Wells.

Jared Moshe, the writer and director of The Ballad of Lefty Brown, is a fan of classic Westerns and he's made a movie that should please fellow aficionados. He offers one twist on the formula, but the plot, setting, and widescreen images are all as standard-issue as a Colt 45.

What is known for sure about American military scientist Frank Olson is that on November 28, 1953, the bacteriologist and father of three plunged to his death from the thirteenth floor of the Statler hotel in New York City, not long after he was secretly drugged with LSD on the orders of his CIA superior. Whether Olson was pushed, or jumped, or was nudged into committing suicide remains unclear.

Just how dark is Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, a trippy animated folktale from Spain about a bunch of talking animal adolescents searching for a better life?

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

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

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

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

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

A Look At The Man Who Started 21st Century Fox

40 minutes ago

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

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flu shot
Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Flu Activity Up, Effectiveness Of Flu Shot Questioned

Several areas throughout Illinois are experiencing heightened flu activity and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective.

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Featured

Chelsea Beck / NPR

WATCH: Trump Tax Plan Speech Annotated

After passing their respective tax overhaul bills, the U.S. House and Senate are trying to reconcile the differences in their legislation. While they do that, President Trump makes a renewed pitch to the American people about the importance of overhauling the tax code. Loading...

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Illinois Issues

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Campaign 2018: Rauner Vs. Madigan

Commentary: Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Madigan fixation may reflect how little the governor has to show for his first three years in office.

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A derivative of photo by Erik Hersman, licensed under CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

Third Party Candidates Want Rules Eased To Get On Ballot

Illinois Issues Forums

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Edwardsville

Watch the eleventh Illinois Issues forum on the state budget and Illinois' financial future in Edwardsville.

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Continued Interest

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Ken Bradbury: Playwright On The Prairie

For a true sense of the impact Ken Bradbury has had, his Caring Bridge website lends a clue. It's been visited more than 60,000 times and there are hundreds of comments from those whose lives he’s touched, many of them his former students.

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Politics

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

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

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

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, has announced he won't run for another term in 2018, following allegations that he harassed female staff members and created a poor environment in his office.

Farenthold had come under criticism when it was revealed taxpayers paid $84,000 to settle a harassment claim against him by a former aide in 2014, though he denies wrongdoing.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Trump, nearing the end of his first year in office, appears close to a big win in Congress. He is urging lawmakers to move quickly now that House and Senate Republicans say they have agreed on a tax plan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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The X | 91.9-3 HD

Smithereens Lead Singer Pat DiNizio Dies At Age 62

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwjD8z2mOg Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided. "Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate Pat DiNizio," said DiNizio's fellow Smithereens Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros, in a Facebook posting that echoed one on Diken's account. The Smithereens and DiNizio had a string of hit songs...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

After Assault Allegations, Classical Institutions Rush To Distance From James Levine

Updated , Dec. 8, 8:20 a.m. ET with a subsequent statement from James Levine and James Lestock. New allegations of sexual assault have been made against James Levine, the music director emeritus of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and its conductor for over forty years. Levine was suspended from his position over the weekend, and now, with more allegations made public, repercussions for the lauded musician are continuing to pile up. The first public allegation was made when a police report...

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