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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: With Students Returning, Teachers Feel The Uneasiness Of The New School Year

Students are heading back to classrooms. For many teachers, that brings mixed emotions. We'll hear how some educators are gearing up for the new school year.

Health care professionals have had a difficult time with the pandemic. Now, with another COVID surge underway, we'll find out how they're holding up.

And a small town plans to create a museum to honor the first Black man to cast a vote in Illinois. Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

This week:

* WNIJ's Peter Medlin explains a new state law to require the teaching of media literacy in schools.

* WBEZ's Adriana Cardona Maguigad visits with teachers as they prepare for the uncertain school year.

* Yvonne Boose tells us about a group of Girl Scouts detailing how the pandemic has affected them.

* Illinois Newsroom's Christine Herman reports on how farmers and ranchers who understand the science behind vaccines could be perfectly positioned to convince hesitant neighbors to get COVID shots. But are they taking on that challenge?

* Harvest Public Media's Christina Stella has the story of how hot nighttime temperatures can interfere with crops. That's expected to become more of a problem in coming years.

* Tim Shelley brings us details on an effort to honor the first Black man to cast a vote in the state following the ratification of the 15th amendment.

* The Acting state Epidemiologist Sarah Patrick discusses the COVID-19 Delta variant and others showing up in the state.

* WGLT's Eric Stock talks with two nurses in Normal about the strain the pandemic has placed on them and their colleagues.

* A respiratory care practitioner gives us her view of the latest COVID surge and why the pandemic has been unlike anything she's seen in her 30 year career.