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.

Flickr user spDuchamp / Creative Commons

A report says the outlook for the Illinois economy is bleak.

Geoff Leathers & Ellyn Thorson perform at NPR Illinois
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

During our 2016 Thank You Fest at the station, we were joined by two young, emerging musicians.

KENT KRIEGSHAUSER / GALESBURG REGISTER-MAIL

Who has been hurt the most by shifts in the Illinois economy?

Down Times In Farm Country, But Not Yet A Crisis

Jan 24, 2017
HPM

Farmers across the Midwest are trying to figure out how to get by at a time when expected prices for commodities from corn, to wheat, to cattle, to hogs mean they’ll be struggling just to break even.

Woman shopping produce at Farmer's Market
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Lindsay Record has been Executive Director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance for more than a decade.  Her tenure witnessed a renewed interest on local food and sustainability.  And one of the places that was most visible was at farmer’s markets.

But the crowds have begun to taper off, at markets in Springfield and other locations in the state. 

violin
Jose Zaragoza / flickr.com/jose_zaragoza

UIS' Yona Stamatis brings us a preview of this weekend's Illinois Symphony Orchestra concert and a conversation with guest conductor Aram Demirjian.  The "American Voices" concert will feature the music of Copland, Barber, and Gershwin and will also feature soprano Julia Bullock.

Saturday, January 21st, 7:30pm at Sangamon Auditorium.

ilsymphony.org

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing is among those attending the US Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. She says a common idea being heard is that municipalities are crucial in providing innovation and fiscal stability. In Illinois she says that's particularly true given the nearly 2-year impasse preventing a state budget.

The Scene On "ArtLiterations" & Roots Tunes

Jan 19, 2017
courtesy

This week Rachel and Scott talk about the Bedrock 66 show at Bar None Friday night featuring Suitcase Junket. We also hear about the latest ArtLiteration event, Thursday night (those happen monthly.) Plus lots more! Tune in:

John Cabello

A state representative, who co-chaired Donald Trump's campaign in Illinois, is going to Washington to see Donald Trump sworn in as president.

Meg Evans Lazare, Debbie Bandy & Keri Tate
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The result of the presidential election has caused many people to get more involved politically. On January 21st, the day after president-elect Donald Trump is to be officially sworn in as commander-in-chief, thousands of activists are expected to gather in Washington DC for what's being called the "Women's March on Washington."  

Midwest Travel: Explore The Titanic In Peoria

Jan 16, 2017

Ever since Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet stood on the bow in that blockbuster movie, crowds have flocked to exhibits dedicated to all things Titanic. Swinging a trip to museums in Southampton, England, or Halifax, Nova Scotia, would be a stretch, but your heart can go on with a day visit to Peoria. 

The Scene Visits 'Heathers: The Musical'

Jan 12, 2017
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week Rachel and Scott visit The Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield during a rehearsal for Heathers: The Musical, which opens this weekend and is for three days only. It's based on the movie, a cult hit from the eighties, which stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. 

Jamey Dunn headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

 Jamey Dunn is leaving the position of Illinois Issues editor. In this week’s Illinois Issues report, she reflects on her time working here and covering state government. 

Maryam Moustofi / St. Francis of Assisi Church
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

We visit a historic Springfield location, the St. Francis of Assisi Church. It was built after nuns decided to create a sanitarium to treat tuberculosis patients out in the country side -  it now includes a healing center of a different sort, The Chiara Center. We learn what that is, plus we talk with Maryam Mostoufi, the new president of the local interfaith organization. She was also the first  female Muslim to be inducted into the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Wikimedia / Damonsacks

Health reporter for The State Journal-Register, Dean Olsen, has been looking at the hurdles in place when it comes to healthcare access, many as a result of the state's budget problems. 

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.

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