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Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

DCFS Releases Report After 9-Month Delay, Lawmakers Demand Transparency

Lawmakers are urging the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services be more transparent with the public.

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Illinois Prison System's Budget, A 'Five-Alarm Fire'

The Illinois Department of Corrections says a major cash crunch has it struggling to keep its facilities running. The warning came Wednesday at a Senate budget hearing. But some Democratic lawmakers say that was the first time they were hearing the situation was so dire.

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Statehouse

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Illinois state legislators and advocates say state employees need more protection from a growing trend of workplace violence. But statehouse measures addressing that have gotten a mixed reception. 

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Education Desk

Courtesy of John Connor

As he got ready to pitch his legislation to the House education committee, State Rep. John Connor held up a snapshot.

 

"This is a picture of myself and my younger brother, Matt Connor, at his graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1994,” the lawmaker said. “What you can't see in this picture is the mole that's on his back. It was a very unusual mole. He was dating a girl who was in the nursing program. She told him to get it looked at. And he waited.”

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Health+Harvest Desk

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There are both federal and state laws requiring insurance providers cover not only physical health issues, but also mental health. Illinois has strict laws, but some argue they’re not properly enforced and those with mental health or addiction issues don’t always understand what’s covered with insurance. 

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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

russellstreet / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

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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The Springfield school board has four new members, they were seated last month. WUIS has brought you interviews with three of them, today we speak with the fourth – Chuck Flamini, who also is the new school board president. In this interview he tells us about his background with the district, the search for a new superintendent, the district budget, and more:

Peter Gray, WUIS

Illinois lawmakers have approved a measure to legalize and regulate the carrying of concealed handguns.

Governor Pat Quinn’s office says he’s now “carefully reviewing” the legislation.

Advocates on both sides of the gun debate say a provision requiring hands-on training is an important part of the bill now awaiting the Governor’s action.    

Peter Gray visited a central Illinois gun range to learn more about what will be required of people who want to carry a loaded weapon in public.

SOHO is in its 9th year of highlighting local bands with a downtown street festival. The festival begins tonight (Fri. 6/7) and goes through Saturday. There will be food and alcoholic beverages on site as well as a kids area on Saturday. Local art will be on display and for sale. The event benefits the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery in Springfield.

Here's the interview with Eric Welch who is the founder of and heads the music fest:

 

  Michigan native Marshall Crenshaw hasn’t stopped playing music since he rose to fame in the 1980s. It’s been a career that spans just over 30 years – he’s also been an author, actor, radio host, and music producer.

Rachel Otwell

  Country music seems to be a genre that’s either loved or hated. But even country-lovers don’t always agree on which type is the best. Country roots music is bit of an umbrella label, including honky-tonk, folk, and rockabilly. It’s gained a foothold across the nation with artists like Pokey LaFarge and the Old Crow Medicine Show providing alternatives to Top 40 contemporary country offerings.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

My Farm Roots,  a series from WUIS and Harvest Public Media, tells Americans’ stories and memories of rural life.  Because when you hail from farm country, roots run deep.
Times are good on the farm right now, but that hasn’t always been true. Many of today’s young farmers grew up in the shadow of the farm crisis on the 1980's and watched as rural areas were ripped apart by debt and foreclosures.
Those hard times will always stay with them.  Today, an Iowa farmer tells his story:


newphiladelphiail.org

A series of public lectures in west central Illinois begins tomorrow night at the Kinderhook Lodge in Barry.  The series will discuss the Underground Railroad, Civil War military service, emancipation and safe havens, like the nearby historic town of New Philadelphia.

Illinois' credit rating has suffered another downgrade.

It follows the General Assembly's adjournment Friday without any agreement on what to do about the state's pension systems.

 

A string of previous downgrades already left Illinois with the lowest bond rating in the nation.

None of those spurred legislators to reach a compromise - and there's no telling if this latest one will be any different.

Fitch lowered Illinois from an A to an A- rating, a status that means it may cost more when the state borrows money.

Dan Rutherford campaign sign
Brian Mackey/WUIS

The first candidate to formally announce he’s running for governor of Illinois has vowed to live in the Executive Mansion in Springfield. The refusal of recent governors to move to Springfield has become a sore spot with permanent residents of Illinois’ capital city.

Republican state Treasurer Dan Rutherford is making his long-anticipated campaign for governor official on a three-day tour of Illinois that began Sunday in — wait for it — Chicago.

Dan Rutherford greets supporters.
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Monday is day two of state Treasurer Dan Rutherford's three-day tour of Illinois. He's meeting with supporters to say he's officially running for governor. Rutherford has been laying the groundwork to run for years, making the formal announcement one of the least surprising events in Illinois politics. So we asked reporter Brian Mackey to find something about Rutherford's announcement that was surprising.

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NPR Newscaster Carl Kasell Dies At 84, After A Lifelong Career On-Air

Every weekday for more than three decades, his baritone steadied our mornings. Even in moments of chaos and crisis, Carl Kasell brought unflappable authority to the news. But behind that hid a lively sense of humor, revealed to listeners late in his career, when he became the beloved judge and official scorekeeper for Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! NPR's news quiz show. Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer's disease in Potomac, Md. He was 84. He started preparing for the role of...

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Featured

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At 92

Updated at 10:23 p.m. ET Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, according to a family spokesman. A statement issued on Sunday by the office of former President George H.W. Bush said that Bush had elected to receive "comfort care" over additional medical treatment after a series of hospitalizations. "It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for...

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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

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President Trump will not meet the federal deadline to file his 2017 tax return in April, the White House said.

"The president filed an extension for his 2017 tax return, as do many Americans with complex returns," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders said Trump will file his returns by Oct. 15, the deadline set by the IRS for taxpayers who ask for extensions.

Trump has bucked decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns to the public.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The X | 91.9-3 HD

Turning The Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (As Chosen By You)

The results are in for the first-ever NPR Turning the Tables readers' poll, and they send a strong message to anyone fancying themselves a cultural justice warrior in 2018. It is this: check your intervention . The original list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women , assembled by a committee of nearly 50 NPR-affiliated women, sought to correct a historic bias against putting women's stories, and their artistry, at the center of popular music history. Your votes and comments, which deeply...

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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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