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. 

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said the five million dollar effort will use the slogan “It only works if you wear it.” 

Critics have said the system has been too punitive and too ineffective.  More than half of youth who are released end up getting in trouble again. 

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton said change is needed.

As we near the 75th anniversary of atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, we learn about the Manhattan Project and work that was done in Illinois to usher in the atomic age. 

We also find out how the controversy over a retired University of Illinois mascot continues to this day.

Join us for this episode of Statewide.

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Monday stop in the county seat of Quincy was no social call.  Appearing at the Adams County Department of Public Health, he pointed out the numbers there are going in the wrong direction.

It was 105 years ago this week.  The S.S. Eastland was packed with passengers, and tied to a dock along the Chicago River, when things went horribly wrong.  The steamship tipped over on its side.  Hundreds died just feet from shore.  

It happened only three years after the Titanic, but even here in Illinois, many have never heard about the tragedy.  We talk with an author who has investigated what happened and why.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is giving more time to those behind on rent or mortgage payments.  He’s extending a ban on evictions through August 22.  A moratorium was set to expire at the end of this month. 

With just a few weeks to go before some schools are set to begin their fall semester, the Illinois Federation of Teachers issued a recommendation on Monday that called for students to begin the academic year learning remotely.  It is part of a larger union statement on the new school year.  

The U.S. Attorney’s office says electric utility ComEd has agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into a long-running bribery scheme that implicates Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. 

Student athletes, coaches and parents are waiting to see if the games will take place when school begins.  We take a closer look on this episode of Statewide.

After reversing course and prohibiting physical contact, the Illinois High School Association is now trying to determine if and how to allow fall athletic events. 

The deadline to file state and federal income tax returns is this week.  The date was extended from April to July 15.  The change was made to help those having difficulties bacause of the pandemic. 

On this week's episode, we examine the economic blow of students leaving college towns and the health risks associated with their planned return.  

On last week's program, we discussed the often unknown history of slavery in Illinois.  Even more obscure are the personal stories of those enslaved in the state.  This week, we shed some light on who they were and what they went through.  

Also, the invasive Asian Carp has infiltrated and thrived in several midwest waterways.  A new plan to control and harvest the fish is getting underway.  

Those stories and more on this episdoe of Statewide.

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Wednesday authorities have yet to determine why an employee shot and killed three co-workers last week at a Springfield manufacturer.

A woman wounded in a workplace shooting in Springfield Friday died of her injuries, according to the Sangamon County Coroner.  Marsha Strumpher of Springfield, 54, had been hospitalized since the incident and died Saturday.  

 As the state lifts more restrictions, moving to Phase Four of the Restore Illinois plan, there are worries about a spike in coronavirus cases.  Hear what some experts are saying,

A Bloomington nursing home was the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.  We learn more about what happened there.

And while Illinois lays claim to the Great Emancipator, its past also includes slavery. We'll get a history lesson.  That and more on Statewide.

 

This week's lineup:

As the economy continues to reopen, there remains concerns over another wave of COVID-19. But what metrics will be used to make that determination?  We discuss what health officials will be watching in the weeks ahead.

Juneteenth is gaining more acceptance as a paid holiday.  In the past, it has mostly been recognized among African Americans.  The recent focus on racial justice has brought it widespread attention. 

And the pandemic that has kept so many of us apart may be putting some children at risk. Those stories and more on Statewide.

A list of health and safety guidelines for getting students back in classrooms is scheduled to be released before the end of the month. It will provide rules and recommendations for more than 850 school districts resuming classes this fall.

The recent marches and rallies for racial justice have taken place in major cities like Chicago and St. Louis. 

But they've also happened in communities notorious for lacking tolerance, including former "sundown towns" that put restrictions on African Americans.

We'll hear how one of those locations - Anna, Illinois - gained that reputation and how recent events have given reasons for optimism. 

It has been an emotional and turbulent week in Illinois and across the country. 

While many have made their voices heard about issues like police brutality and systemic racism, others are picking up the pieces after vandalism and looting, often in communities of color. 

And the biggest question still looming is what happens next?  On this week's Statewide, we hear from those who say people and policies need to change.   

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is worried the mass protests over police brutality happening across the country could spread the coronavirus. 

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.  

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