'This Has Rocked Us To Our Knees:' Christchurch Mourns After Shooting

Residents of Christchurch, New Zealand, are trying to recover and heal following Friday's attack on two mosques, which claimed the lives of 50 people and left more than 30 others in the hospital. Police say the shooter — a 28-year-old Australian man who live-streamed the attack on Facebook and who is now in custody — likely acted alone. In the wake of the horrific attack, he left a community in pain. Inside a crisis center for families of the victims, hundreds of family members and dozens of...

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Perspective: Government Debt? Blame The Poor

10 hours ago
Linus Bohman / CC by 2.0

“It’s like they don’t want us to get ahead.” An African-American friend said that to me recently as I gave her and her son a ride so they did not have to stand in the cold March chill waiting for a bus.

As a single mother with two children she struggles to keep food on their table. Her teenage daughter found a $9 an hour part-time job trying to save a little for college, and then the household was hit with a cut in benefits.

A common story with those who struggle to get above the poverty line if they try to get ahead a little only to get pushed back down.

Despite all the focus on solving the state's teacher shortage, a new survey finds the problem is getting worse. That has sparked more discussion on how to recruit more teachers.  We'll hear why some want to change teacher licensing standards. 

We also get a recap of the 2018 governor's race, which saw spending at record-setting levels.  And we learn how one community is coping with a rise in gun violence.  

That and more on this week's Statewide:

Susan Stephens

While politicians debate the merits of legalizing recreational cannabis, many Illinois farmers are more interested in its biological cousin, hemp. Last year, Illinois lawmakers made it legal to grow hemp. Now the race is on for the state to put rules in place in time for the planting season. In this week's Friday Forum, WNIJ's Susan Stephens talks with some of the people pushing to get the hemp industry off the ground.

Sarah Jesmer

Lily Chavez's parents moved from Mexico to Winnebago County before she was born. Chavez shared the story of her family's immigration at a recent panel in Rockford hosted by Engaging Lent. The forum aimed to dispel myths and address immigration fears stoked nationally and reflected locally.

"People need to realize that they're not talking about numbers. They're not talking about statistics," she said. "They're talking about people."

Perspective: Hindsight Isn't Always 20/20

Mar 15, 2019

Sometimes, the world seems so predictable. Have you ever lost a job or had fun plans cancelled? Did you say, “I knew this would happen!” Or maybe the roulette ball bounced around your chosen number and then landed on it! You just knew it was going to hit, right?


Katie Belle & The Belle Rangers perform live at Uptown Grill in LaSalle, IL.

Illinois could become the most progressive state in the nation on abortion rights if a proposed bill is approved this year.

It's not the first time some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to end the so-called gender pay gap. The House of Representatives approved a measure Wednesday that could be a first step. 

Guy Stephens

This weekend, families in Freeport will have the opportunity to share their American story at the Freeport Art Museum. It's part of a collaboration that includes the Freeport Public Library and the museum's current show, "I Am American."

Standing in a gallery at the Freeport Art Museum, guest curator Sergio Gomez talked about one of the striking displays in the exhibit – a row of decorated animal skulls, each set against, and covered by, a bullseye. They're by Mexican-born Chicago artist Salvador Jimenez-Flores.

Perspective: Status Symbols And Higher Education

Mar 14, 2019
Pixabay, edited

When I was a young teen, what I wanted more than anything was a pair of Levi’s jeans. In my mind, Levi’s would make the difference between acceptance and rejection by my high school peers. I can still hear my mother’s refrain to my plaintive pleas, “Levi’s won’t make you popular. It’s who you are, not what you wear, that really matters.”


News From NPR

Preet Bharara was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York until he was fired by President Trump in 2017. His new book, Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law, hitting shelves Tuesday, explores the justice system through his experiences.

In parts of the Midwest, floodwaters are starting to abate. But elsewhere, they're still rising.

In Iowa and Nebraska, hundreds of homes are flooded. There are lakes where fields and roads should be. Local police departments are sending out motorboats instead of squad cars.

MySpace Says It Lost Years Of User-Uploaded Music

2 hours ago

MySpace — the once-dominant social media platform that was largely subsumed by Facebook — may have lost a decade's worth of music uploaded by users, the company says.

MySpace started in 2003 and quickly gained traction as a platform for uploading and sharing music, particularly for new bands trying to find an audience.

Now the company says millions of music files uploaded to the site may have disappeared.

Alan Krueger, who chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers under former President Barack Obama, has died. He was 58.

The death was announced Monday by Princeton University, where Krueger was a professor.

"Alan was recognized as a true leader in his field, known and admired for both his research and teaching," the school said in a statement.

Update From Netherlands Tram Shooting

4 hours ago

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