Sean Crawford



Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

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While Hillary Clinton won the presidential race in the State of Illinois, a lot of voters chose "none of the above."  

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois' stopgap spending plan expires December 31st and there is still no sign of a budget agreement.  State workers continue to be paid, but social service agencies, colleges, and universities are bracing for a chilly new year.

Bernie Schoenburg of The State Journal-Register  joins the panel.

The Springfield Police Department has received reports that some local residents have been targets of a “virtual kidnapping” scam.  The callers claim to have kidnapped the victim’s loved one and are holding them for ransom.  


A Chicago Tribune investigation found pharmacists often miss potentially dangerous interactions that could occur when mixing prescription drugs.

J.B. Pritzker headshot

There seems to be no shortage of names being floated as possible Democratic contenders for governor in 2018.  One of the wealthiest men in America is among them.  

As Gov. Bruce Rauner continues attacking Democrats, it's looking increasingly likely that Illinois will enter 2017 without a budget. Meanwhile, former Congressman Aaron Schock pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

Matt Penning

Our Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky is leaving public radio to begin a new journalism job with public television station WTTW in Chicago and their program Chicago Tonight.  


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

Krista Cole

You head out this holiday season, hoping to get that perfect photo of your child sitting on Santa's lap. It will be a sweet, lasting memory of a wonderful Christmas moment.  Well, don't count on it.

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


The Paris Climate Accord was hailed a year ago as a serious effort to curb global warming.  So where are we now when it comes to implementing what it called for?

Nuclear plant workers in Clinton and Quad Cities — not to mention Exelon and ComEd shareholders — got a helping hand from Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly. But there was no such luck for the many social service providers, university students and countless others hoping for Illinois' first full budget in a year-and-a-half.

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Springfield's downtown may be closer to losing a longtime fixture.  The City Council could take action soon on demolishing the YWCA Building to make way for new development. 

Amtrak train passes Capitol
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

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


This cold and flu season, there's a good chance your kids will come down with something.  You'll probably head over to the medicine cabinet.  

Exelon says without a special deal from Illinois lawmakers, the company will close nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities. And with just one more week of veto session, what are the prospects for a full budget deal before the end of the year — or 2019?

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Teenagers are texting while behind the wheel, despite the law prohibiting it.  And that's not all they're doing. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

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

We're talking philanthropy as the season of giving approaches.  One way to give is through a community foundation.  Charitable funds are established, allowing individuals to make sure their gifts follow their wishes.

To give you an idea on how to get started, John Stremsterfer joined us for an interview.  He's the President and CEO of the Community Foundation For The Land of Lincoln:

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NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Dwayne Andreas, whose company Archer Daniels Midland helped transform agriculture into big business but was rocked by a price-fixing scandal in the 1990s, has died. He was 98.

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

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If you missed it last month, the state marked an anniversary.  4 years since the launch of video gambling.  The machines you see in bars, restaurants, truck stops and other places have permeated the landscape since that time.  Springfield leads the state with the most machines, Decatur is also near the top. 

Overall, Illinois now has more video gambling terminals than Nevada.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Republicans made gains in the Illinois House and Senate, but Democrats cleaned up in statewide races. Meanwhile, Illinois government is still without a balanced budget — does the election change anything?

A lot of military memorials honor service abroad.  But one being planned in Illinois will recognize those whose battle continued when they came home. 


Hillary Clinton won big in Illinois last night, along with Tammy Duckworth in her race for the U.S. Senate. 

But Sangamon County voters showed their preference for Republicans.  

Donald Trump defeated Clinton in the county by a 50-41 percent margin. 

Republican Mark Kirk also topped Duckworth 53-41 percent. 

Leslie Munger, who lost her bid for Illinois Comptroller, also beat her opponent, Susana Mendoza, in Sangamon County.

An election season of unprecedented spending on negative advertising is coming to an end. How does it rank? And what does it mean for the future?

NPR Illinois

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

Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth participated in their first televised presidential debate this week. Kirk made a comment about his opponent's ethnic heritage for which he later felt compelled to apologize. We'll ask Charlie Wheeler why voters should care about the special election for Illinois comptroller. And Sen. Dick Durbin might mean it when he says he isn't interested in taking on Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018.


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