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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: The Cost Of Health Care During COVID-19


On this episode, the pandemic has sent many people to the hospital. Some wound up in intensive care on a ventilator. Others have faced long recoveries. That's resulted in higher costs for health care. And everyone will end up paying more for it.

We also speak with a doctor from western Illinois, where vaccination rates are below average. And we hear from farmers who have found making a profit off of hemp crops to be challenging.

Our lineup:

* Eric Schmid finds out how Illinois is still falling short on its promises to use recreational marijuana proceeds to help underserved communities.

* WNIJ's Peter Medlin examines school safety data in Rockford amid the debate over school resource officers.

* Dana Vollmer looks into the cost of the pandemic. For some, it's immeasurable.

* Rich Egger with TriStates Public Radio speaks with the Chief Medical Officer at McDonough District.

* Yvonne Boose speaks with a northern Illinois psychology professor about the mixed messages from health leaders regarding mask wearing.

* Christine Herman interviews a language development expert regarding the impact the pandemic has had on children learning to speak.

* Harvest Public Media's Brian Grimmett explores the difficulties some farmers are having growing hemp.

* Natalie Krebs of Side Effects Public Media looks at a new mental health system in Iowa that some say is falling short at a bad time.

* Peter Medlin tells us about a pandemic idea that has been successful: a summer food program for school kids.

* Tim Shelley visits with Betty DeFord, an organizer of the Redneck Fishing Tournament in the Mason county town of Bath. It's back after being cancelled the past two years.