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Reporting from in and around Illinois.Listen to Statewide on WNIJ Saturdays 6-7 a.m. and Sundays 6-7 p.m.

Statewide: Unemployment Fraud In Illinois; The Cottage Food Industry Seeks A Boost


On this episode, we learn more about an investigation into rampant unemployment fraud during the pandemic. Could Illinois have been more prepared?

A proposal awaiting the governor's signature is being hailed by home bakers and other cottage food entrepreneurs. It would give them more options to sell their goods.

And how did a piano wind up on a state park hiking trail? Those stories and more on Statewide.

* Sean Crawford talks with Chicago Tribune Investigative Reporter Joe Mahr on what he learned about the state's problems with unemployment fraud.

* Mary Hansen interviews Diana Knaebe, President of Memorial Behavioral Health in Springfield, about efforts to build a new mental health crisis response system.

* WBEZ's Natalie Moore finds out how legislation could help home cooks find new markets for their products.

* Edith Brady Lunny talks with John Hanlon, who is retiring as director of the Illinois Innocence Project based at the University of Illinois Springfield.

* Susie An visits a summer school to find out why this year is even more important for the students.

* WNIJ's Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco explains how an environmental enthusiast is working to decipher air quality data after the ChemTool fire in Rockton.

* Evie Hemphill follows along as a piano company brings a 700 pound upright to Pere Marquette State Park. The effort was part of a day devoted to celebrating music.