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Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House

The Illinois House failed to pass legislation related to the Affordable Care Act on Friday. It would have locked in certain health insurance benefits.

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Illinois State Board of Elections

Illinois Lawmakers Urge Redistricting Re-Do Ahead of Midterm Election

As the midterm election draws near, some state lawmakers want to change the way Illinois’ political districts are drawn. They want to do that by giving voters a chance to change the constitution.

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Statehouse

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

The Illinois House failed to pass legislation related to the Affordable Care Act on Friday. It would have locked in certain health insurance benefits.  

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Education Desk

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Health+Harvest Desk

Pamplet on concussions
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

A contentious proposal that sought to ban youth tackle football in Illinois is dead, for now. 

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Arts & Life

NPR Illinois will host a letter-writing station throughout the month of April, which will lead to this reception. The public is asked to contribute "survivor love letters" - anonymously written and addressed in support of those who have survived sexual assault. This will result in a community art exhibition of the letters at the gallery in the NPR Illinois station.

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Equity

LGBTQ rights advocates have been pushing a measure they say would amend school code in a way that would be beneficial when it comes to noting the community's role in state and national history. Last week those representing groups like Equality Illinois urged lawmakers to pass the proposal, which has yet to reach a vote outside of committee.

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Illinois Economy

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Illinois needs more money to cover its deteriorating transportation systems, but the federal government’s new infrastructure plan doesn’t offer much. 

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Violent anti-government protests in Nicaragua continue for a fifth day, and show no signs of slowing down. A local human rights group, the Nicaraguan Human Rights Office (Cenidh), says more than 20 people have been killed. President Daniel Ortega's forces are accused of using live rounds to quell the demonstrations.

The protests were triggered Wednesday by a sweeping pension reform package that increases contributions for workers and employer, but lowers overall benefits.

Naked Gunman Kills 4 In Waffle House Shooting

2 hours ago

Nashville Police are warning residents to keep their doors locked and their eyes open for a partially nude man following a shooting early Sunday morning that left four people dead.

A man wearing only a green jacket shot three people dead at a Waffle House. One person later died at a hospital where two others are being treated for injuries. Police say the suspect fled on foot, and is still on the loose. Eye witnesses tell police he stripped his jacket off near the restaurant, went back to his nearby apartment and put on a pair of pants. He was last seen wearing only black pants.

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We're crazy in love with all the education news — from Coachella to new findings on screen time.

Beyoncé brings HBCU pride to Coachella performance

Ten years ago today — on April 22, 2008 — NPR Music published our first Tiny Desk concert. Laura Gibson was the inspiration, and the event that sparked the idea of concerts at my desk came from NPR Music's Stephen Thompson. He and I were at the SXSW Music Festival, at one of those lousy shows where the audience chatter was louder than the performer.

Updated 12:58 pm EDT

In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber has killed at least 57 people registering to vote at a center in Kabul, according to a Public Health Ministry spokesperson. More than 100 others have been injured. Afghan police say 22 women and eight children are among the dead.

Zoologist Lucy Cooke says humans have got it all wrong about sloths. "People think that because the animal is slow that it's somehow useless and redundant," she says. But in fact, "they are incredibly successful creatures."

Cooke is the founder of the Sloth Appreciation Society and the author of a new book called The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife. The book aims to set the record straight on some long-held misconceptions about the animal world.

When The Exorcist, based on the novel by William Blatty, came to theaters in 1973, it captured the public imagination. Or more accurately, the public's nightmares.

Exorcisms aren't just the stuff of horror movies — hundreds of thousands of Italian Catholics reportedly request them each year. But when William Friedkin directed the movie, he'd never actually seen an exorcism. It would be four more decades before he actually witnessed one.

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State Senator Announces Bid For Illinois Governor

Another candidate is complicating Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s reelection campaign. State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Plainview) announced a third-party bid for the state’s top office on Thursday.

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Featured

A Debt Crisis Seems To Have Come Out Of Nowhere

It's a problem that has come seemingly out of nowhere. Over the last five years a worrisome number of low-income countries have racked up so much debt they are now at high risk of being unable to pay it back — with potentially devastating consequences not just for their economies but for their citizens, many of whom are already living in extreme poverty. That's the sobering finding of a report by the IMF . And it's got some prominent experts calling for urgent action. Among them is Masood...

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Illinois Issues

Illustrator Pat Byrnes​

Illinois Takes On Sexual Harassment

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

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Politics

Last year, when neo-Nazis and members of the so called alt-right demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va., many Americans evinced shock that such a thing could happen: A demonstration of the white power movement, in 2017. But it's only the latest in a history of social activism that goes back decades — and, as Kathleen Belew argues in her new book, Bring the War Home, we ignore that history at our peril.

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Liuba Grechen Shirley has a son who's almost two and a daughter who's almost four. And until recently, the stay-at-home mom and freelance consultant had her childcare routine down.

"The bulk of the child care during the day was up to me," she said. And when she had work to do, she'd get help with watching the kids — but it was free.

"My mother is a teacher. She comes home at 3:30 every afternoon, and she would watch my children from 3:30 on, and that's when I'd start consulting," Grechen Shirley said.

Many political campaign workers spend long hours at low pay, living off of pizza and coffee, all in the hope of seeing their candidate win.

Now, labor organizers are setting their sights on bringing those workers into the labor movement at a time when the percentage of U.S. workers who belong to a union is falling steadily.

The newly formed Campaign Workers Guild claims to have helped organize at least a dozen Democratic campaigns and one political consulting firm.

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NPR Illinois Hiring

NPR Illinois is hiring a Membership and Engagement Coordinator (Development Officer). Work with listeners to financially support our mission of informing the public, explaining Illinois, and exploring how to improve our lives here. Does this sound like you?

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PodCamp

The X | 91.9-3 HD

After The Vinyl Revival, The Vinyl-Playing Jukebox Is Back

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFiOajH3RTw In Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Perry Rosen walks over to a 1967 Rock-Ola Imperial jukebox, punches in a letter and a number and smiles as the song "Spooky" by Dennis Yost and the Classics IV starts spinning. Jukeboxes have fascinated Rosen since childhood. But unlike other kids whose eyes were drawn to the bubbles rising up through the colorful tubes, Rosen says he was always looking through the cracks in the front door or the dome glass, trying to...

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NPR Illinois Classic | 91.9-2 HD

Vespers Or Vision Quest? Soulful Music For A Violin In Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN6P8m9w8bA Vespers, the traditional late afternoon prayer service, gets an enigmatic twist in a new video by director James Darrah, premiered here, with music from Missy Mazzoli , performed by the spirited violinist Olivia De Prato. The track is from her new album, Streya . The narrative, shot in slow-motion, opens with dancer Sam Shapiro's character, heavy with sleep, stirring on a sun-drenched morning. It mysteriously unfolds as a kind of barefoot vision...

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