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. 

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.  

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.  

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