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Sean Crawford


Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

  • A Department of Children and Family Services caseworker was attacked and killed while on a welfare check this month. It's happened before and that's making state lawmakers take notice of the dangers with the job. We talk with a former investigator who now trains those entering a career in child protection. That story and more on Statewide.
  • On this week's episode, we speak with Toi Hutchinson, a former state senator who also oversaw the start of recreational marijuana legalization in Illinois. She has now taken a job as CEO of the national Marijuana Policy Project. She talks about what she sees ahead for cannabis laws at the federal level. January is a time when many struggled with seasonal depression and anxiety. A psychologist tells us it's worse during the pandemic. Those stories and more on Statewide.
  • A Thayer man faces a murder charge. The caseworker was found dead after responding to a report of a child in danger.
  • Faculty, staff and students at all campuses will need to comply when they are eligible for the additional shot.
  • This week, we ride along with a school bus driver to find out how a difficult job is even harder to do amid a shortage of those willing to transport kids.
  • What is the future of journalism amid a challenging time for many news outlets?
  • The primary is still half a year away, but the 2022 Illinois governor's contest is starting to heat up. There were reports this week that Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is considering a bid. The Republican field already has four candidates who have announced, but there is speculation Irvin would gain financial backing from billionaire Ken Griffin.
  • Experts are seeing a spike in young people threatening to harm themselves and others. Some struggle with severe developmental disabilities. The problem has worsened during the pandemic with treatment facilities at capacity and short on staff. We have a report. And we examine the history of religious exemptions to vaccines. Those stores and more on this episode of Statewide.
  • As AIDS cases first began showing up in Illinois, the disease was a mystery. As part of our series AIDS At 40, we look back to the beginning, the fear and the stigma. Several communities in the Midwest are trying to pump up their economies by offering incentives to get people to move there. We'll find out how that's working. And with the eviction moratorium expired, many are at risk of being displaced. We get an update from one county. Those stories and more on Statewide.
  • An investigation by Harvest Public Media and Investigate Midwest delves into the influence of corporations on public universities across the Midwest. We'll hear more reporting on the subject.