Illinois Edition

Weekdays Noon-1 PM, rebroadcast 7-8 PM

The news in Illinois that affects you is delivered daily on Illinois Edition.  Politics, education, the arts and life -- it's Illinois.  Explained.  The newsmakers and people of Illinois that are making waves make the airwaves daily.

Listen to broadcasts on:

  • NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS, Springfield (central Illinois)
  • NPR Illinois | 89.3 IPA, Pittsfield (west central Illinois)
  • 580 WILL-AM, Urbana (east central Illinois)

Special segments air weekly:

Thursdays

  • The Scene, which explores the arts across Illinois; from cultural happenings to the artists and musicians.

Fridays

  • State Week, where the panel dissects the past week in Illinois politics and updates listeners with insider information from the state capital in Springfield.

Illinois Edition began airing on a daily basis in 2012.

kids in gymnasium
The Outlet

The Outlet in Springfield is a non-profit organization that mentors fatherless male youth ages 8 thru 22 and helps them make responsible decisions and explore their talents. It also hosts events meant to bridge the gap between police and the community at large.

The Scene Gets Literary

Jan 5, 2017

This week we hear an appearance on This American Life by author Roxane Gay. Perhaps most well known for her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, Gay recently released a collection of short fiction stories called Difficult Women. We preview that, and Scott pays homage to one of his favorite poets, Steven Jesse Bernstein. Tune in!

 A doctor handed Melissa Morris her first opioid prescription when she was 20 years-old. She had a cesarean section to deliver her daughter, and to relieve post-surgical pain her doctor sent her home with Percocet. On an empty stomach, she took one pill and laid down on her bed.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god. Is this legal? How can this feel so good?’” Morris recalls.

President-elect Donald Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and House Speaker Michael Madigan
Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr, Rauner and Madigan by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2017, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another tough year in Illinois government and politics. We heard Republicans struggling to reckon with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, Democrats and Republicans engaging in another year of war over the soul of Illinois policy, and a growing list of everyday people being crushed by the budget standoff. Here now are some of the voices that made news in 2016.

Illinois Issues: New Laws In 2017

Dec 29, 2016
General Assembly chamber
Matt Turner / flickr

Nearly 200 new laws go into effect in Illinois on January 1.   

The state still doesn’t have a budget. A stopgap spending plan, which was approved over the summer, will end on January 1, leaving social service agencies, institutions of higher education and others in the lurch.

But, in the past year, legislators did approve hundreds of pieces of legislation, which the governor signed. Nearly 200 laws will go into effect at the start of the new year — close to the number that went into effect at the start of each of the past three years.

Given the breadth of the output of work -- (21 episodes!) it seems impossible it's been just a year since The Studio Show premiered. The goal originally was to create a program for public access. Instead it's become a web-based showcase of Springfield talent including short films, musical performances, a mini-series and much more. The crew now has a new vision, as we hear on this episode.

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

There’s still no budget for Illinois, but some big changes to education policy kicked in this year. As the contentious presidential election played out, several national issues affected the lives of citizens here.

flickr/EricHunsaker

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

headshot: Patti Sullivan-Howd

Marc Nelson is a junior high art teacher in Kewanee, Illinois. His own art has largely focused on war, he's been awarded for his paintings of scenes from the Holocaust. The current crisis in Syria however has been his latest war of focus. It's led to numerous pieces depicting atrocities happening there.

You say you’re tired of the neighbors’ inflatable Santas, pushy crowds at the mall and The Chipmunk Song on the radio? Time to pack up the family or friends and head southwest to historic St. Charles, Mo., for a slice of old-fashioned holiday cheer.

J.B. Pritzker headshot
JBPritzker.com

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.  

Illinois Issues: Frackonomics

Dec 16, 2016
Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

A few years ago, Illinois adopted regulations for high-volume horizontal fracking, but it was slow to get the permitting process up and running.

Those in southern Illinois who were hoping for an economic boom have since seen the promise of fracking go bust. 

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.  

The first year of teaching is a little bit like jumping into the ocean. You can practice in a swimming pool and pretend you’re in the ocean. You can sit on a boat and watch other people dive in. But until you do it yourself, there’s no way to know how the waves are going to feel or how you’ll fend off the jellyfish and sharks. Jeniece Baines is one of those brand new teachers.

She teaches reading and writing to 7th graders at Franklin Middle School in Champaign.

The Scene Plays 'Santa Is Real'

Dec 15, 2016

This week Scott previews his feature story for the Illinois Times on the "state of the (visual) arts" in Springfield. Read it here.

illinoistimes.com

Jennifer Watkins has been in the news since 2008, when her ex-husband Steven was shot to death while attempting to pick up their daughter from a home Jennifer lived in with her family in Ashland, Illinois. Jennifer's grandmother claimed she shot Steven in self-defense and is in prison for the crime.

U of I

An effort based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign connects the past and the present in order to better understand the global history of genocide. It's called the "Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies" initiative and brings together experts from a variety of fields who research "history, literature, memory, and artistic representation of genocide and trauma."

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

For college students, December means cramming for final exams. Some schools try to help students keep studying by serving midnight breakfast in the dining halls. But at the University of Illinois, one student group puts their own twist on that tradition.

Universities Differ On "Sanctuary Campus" Issue

Dec 12, 2016
Vince Smith/Flickr

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen recently declined to make any of the university’s three campuses so-called “sanctuary campuses” for undocumented students, citing the need to uphold state and federal laws. 

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.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Students struggling to learn English have traditionally been regarded as a bit of a challenge in your standard public school. But in Urbana, these kids are valued for their ability to help their English-speaking peers learn a second language.

It’s done using mixed classrooms where the teachers speak only Spanish for as much as 90 percent of the day. That percentage ramps down as the kids get older. In the earliest grades, the English-speaking students may not even realize that they’re soaking up a new language.

Rachel Otwell

This week Rachel and Scott head to Springfield's oldest home, Edwards Place. It's on the Springfield Art Association's campus in the Enos Park Neighborhood. They hear from the organization's director, Betsy Dollar, for a year-in-review interview.

Illinois Issues: Great American Divide

Dec 8, 2016
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/darronb/23678720834/in/album-72157663272187471/">Darron Birgenheier</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>) / Michael Davidson - <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillaryclinton/albums">Hillary for America</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>) (derrivative composite)

The presidential election highlighted a divide that is so deep, citizens in Illinois and across the country can’t even agree on the same set of facts.

Rachel Otwell

A group of nuns in Springfield is participating in a long-term medical study. For those involved, it’s another way to serve others.

IGPA

Those who work for Illinois organizations that provide services to survivors of domestic violence say the fact that there’s no funding for them in the soon-to-expire state spending plan was an unfortunate surprise.

Dave Heninzel

Patrick Dolan played a major role in shaping the relationship between public school teachers unions and administrators in school districts across the nation, and especially in Illinois. But if you’ve never heard of Patrick Dolan, don’t feel bad. Dolan did his work mainly behind the scenes, in meetings with teachers unions and school administrators. What made him remarkable was that he created peace between these often adversarial parties.

flickr/NASA

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?

Rachel Otwell

A forum hosted at University of Illinois Springfield Tuesday will focus on combating hate that's spread online by neo-Nazis and other terrorist groups. The discussion is titled “Protecting Ourselves from the Lure of Online Violent Hate Ideologies” and will be in Brookens Auditorium from 7 to 8pm, and is free and open to the public.

visitgalena,com

One of the most scenic towns in Illinois, Galena is especially picturesque in the winter. The historic town’s snow-covered hills, valleys and charming 19th century architecture make it a perfect winter wonderland. Instead of traveling south before or after the holidays, you’ll find real winter fun in northwestern Illinois.

Rachel Otwell

This week Rachel and Scott take a trip to corner of 11th and South Grand in Springfield where a block or so known as Southtown contains an in-door skate park, skateboard shop, music venue, soon-to-be-rehabbed recording studio and Dumb Records.

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