Sean Crawford

Chatham

Community Advisory Board, Ex-Officio

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. 

Reports across the country of retail workers being physically attacked for enforcing safety rules, like the wearing of face masks and social distancing, prompted Illinois lawmakers to take action.  A measure was passed getting tougher on those who commit such acts. 

On this episode of Statewide, a task force has been created to figure out the best way to get students back to college this fall.  We talk with a higher education leader about what's at stake and the challenges ahead.

And, high school seniors missed out on traditional graduation ceremonies.  For valedictorians, that meant not being able to stand in front of their classmates and deliver an address.  But they still have things to say and we'll listen to a few of them.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday announced bars and restaurants can serve customers outside once the state takes the next step in his Restore Illinois plan.

They will still have to follow certain guidelines aimed at protecting patrons and staff.  

 

Illinois is a big state with a lot of different viewpoints.  On this episode, we focus on southern Illinois to find out how residents are coping with restrictions and public health recommendations.  

We'll hear a community showed support for a nursing home with dozens of cases of COVID-19 and more than twenty deaths. 

And coaches and athletes prepare all year for a season to begin.  But this spring left them wondering what might have been.

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Our lineup:

On this episode of Statewide, we'll hear more about antibody testing, which has become more popular as people try to determine if they've been exposed to the coronavirus.  Critics say the tests are unreliable.

We listen back to an interview with the Crosses for Losses founder Greg Zanis, who died this week.  

And school nurses raise concerns about the inability to see students and what that could mean for health and safety.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

On this week's Statewide, a Decatur newspaper tells the view from within a senior living facility that has seen dozens of COVID-19 cases and several deaths.  

College journalists have left campuses, but they are still providing the student's perspective and publishing online.  Also, not everyone who gets sick with COVID-19 winds up in the hospital.  Many are getting help from health care workers while they recover at home. 

Those stories and more on the latest episode of Statewide. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he expects the coronavirus to peak soon.  While the state is far from out of the woods, there are indications the state's hospitals might be able to handle the caseload. 

On this episode, we chat with Chicago White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti.  The Illinois native tells us what he's doing to interact with fans while baseball is on hiatus.  

A couple on the front lines of battling COVID-19 talk about sacricfices they've made, including separation from their children.  

And if you are unsure how contact tracing works, we'll explain.  

With a week to go before Illinois' stay-at-home order is set to expire, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there are some areas the state needs to improve before lifting restrictions.

That includes testing, contact tracing, treating COVID-19 and personal protective equipment for health care workers.  

On this episode of Statewide, Governor J.B. Pritzker talks candidly about being in charge through a public health emergency and a near economic shutdown.  

We also find out more about restrictions on funerals during the pandemic. 

And an Illinois farmer tells us how agriculture is being affected. 

That and more on Statewide.

On Sunday, Illinois surpassed the 20,000 mark in total cases.  The death toll now stands at 720 since the pandemic began.

While those numbers are grim, there might be a silver lining. 

On this week's Statewide, a nurse talks about the the risk of being on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. 

"As a healthcare worker, I think we're resigning ourselves to the fact that we're probably going to get it and we hope it doesn't affect us," said Thomas McClure, who works for Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. 

We also learn about a project to document how Illinois residents are coping during COVID-19. 

And, a group of neighbors found a way to gather for a block party - while still keeping a safe distance from each other.   

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday led off his daily briefing to the media and residents across the state with news the coronavirus showed up in his office.

Governor J.B. Pritzker focused Sunday on changes to make sure those who need child care can get it.    

  On this episode, we hear from a man who has turned his fight with the coronavirus disease into an essay from his hospital room.  

We'll also hear how the state's manufacturers are switching gears to help with the COVID-19 response.  And when tipped workers lose their source of income, some turn to sex work, both in-person and digital.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Our lineup:

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Wednesday continued to point out how the state has too few health care workers as the system becomes stretched due to COVID-19.  

The governor indicated Illinois has received over 11-hundred applications from both former workers looking to “rejoin the fight” and from out-of-state professionals who want to help here. 

In the midst of a global pandemic that has shut down much of society, concerns remain about getting enough people tested. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday said Illinois is testing about 4-thousand people per day.  He expects that number will be at 10-thousand in the next ten days. 

A crisis can sometimes bring out the best in people.  And it can also lead them to rise above and find ways to keep going.

On this week's Statewide, we hear about volunteers working to help those on the front lines of health care, teachers working through obstacles to comntinue educating students and artists getting even more creative.  Those stories and more on this show.

Illinois is extending its income tax filing period, days after the federal government did the same. 

Both Illinois and federal income taxes will have the same deadline – July 15.

ILLINOIS OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION

 

Just a few weeks ago, Governor J-B Pritzker offered up a spending blueprint for Illinois.  But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic was on the radar. 

 

Since then, Pritzker's focus has been a day-by-day watch as the number of cases mounts and medical resources become scarce.  In other words, it's hard to look ahead when the state’s current situation is pressing.  

After days of blasting President Donald Trump over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the two spoke by phone Monday.

Pritzker has been especially critical regarding the lack of supplies going to states.  But he said in their conversation, the president was “very responsive.”

This week's program focuses on the changes we're seeing as a result of the coronavirus.  From how schools operate to customers panic buying at grocery stores.   

We're all feeling stressed during this time and we'll hear some ideas on how to cope with anxiety.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Nearly every week you see announcements of blood drives at businesses, churches, schools and other locations.  But with the current guidelines to stay home and close many of these locations, blood drives are being canceled at an unprecedented rate.  

That creates a big problem for the blood supply.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says the work of Illinois government will continue during the COVID-19 outbreak.  But changes are coming for many state employees.  

Following the confirmation of more COVID-19 cases in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker is ordering bars and restaurants closed to customers.

At the end of business Monday March 16, all establishments will be prohibited from having customers inside through March 30th.  

On this episode of Statewide, the spread of the coronavirus is dominating the headlines and causing numerous cancellations and other changes.  We'll learn about some of those.  Also, does wearing a mask help?  We'll hear from experts.

And an author of a new book on Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address talks about the importance of that speech and those who were in attendance that day in 1865.  Those stories and more on Statewide.

 

On this episode of Statewide, we hear how one Illinois town has fared since a major employer left.  Galesburg lost more than 1500 jobs in 2004 when a Maytag plant closed.  

We learn about a service broadcasting sports events specifically for the blind.

And the number of people leaving the state has local governments working to find ways to reverse the trend.  That and more on Statewide.

This week's lineup:

On the latest episode of Statewide, a new report examines the past and present of corruption in both Chicago and the State of Illinois.  It also ranks them compared to other governments throughout the country.  Spoiler alert: it's not a pretty picture. 

How are college students viewing this election season and what questions do they have for candidates?

And despite the same pressures faced by the newspaper industry as a whole, some individuals are making an effort to keep student papers keep printing.  

That and more on Statewide.

Cities are finding a way to improve high crime areas is to have police develop ties with residents.  In Peoria, a program where officers live in the neighborhoods has proven successful and is expanding.  We have a report.  

And we learn what Governor J.B. Pritzker said during his budget address.  Pritzker used the opportunity to also push for a graduated income tax. 

That and more on Statewide.

As the northern Illinois community of Aurora marks the one year anniversary of a deadly workplace shooting at the Henry Pratt Company, we find out how the city is remembering the lives lost that day.  

The gunman in that shooting had his firearm license revoked years earlier, but his weapons were never confiscated.  That has put more focus on getting guns away from individuals who are prohibited from having them.  We have a report.

And we hear the perspectives of two law enforcement officials, from much different communities.  That and more on this episode of Statewide.

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