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, while we are in the midst of election season, more newspapers are choosing to forego the traditional political endorsement process.  There are different reasons for the decision, We'll hear from an Illinois editor about why her paper has followed this trend.   

Billed as an improvisational comedy enterprise, Second City has launched careers of some of the biggest comedians in recent decades.  Now, it's up for sale.  We'll have a report from Chicago. 

And have you noticed more stinkbugs in recent years?  The invasive pest can be damaging to crops and they want to spend the winter in your home.  Those stories and more on Statewide.

On this episode of Statewide, we examine the worries over how COVID-19 could impact homeless shelters as the weather turns colder.  Also, after more than six months in a pandemic, COVID fatigue has set in for many.  We'll get some tips for how to deal with the stress.

We'll learn about equine therapy helping veterans facing emotional trouble. And an update on a courthouse, slated for demolition, but mired in a court battle. Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

On this episode of Statewide, outdoor dining has allowed many restaurants to survive during the pandemic.  But what will happen as the temperature drops?  We'll have a report.

Former Gov. George Ryan explains how he came to the decision to put a hold on the death penalty in Illinois.  And, we'll tell you about a grassroots movement to shed more light on police work.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

This week on Statewide, we take a look at the growing problem of food insecurity.  It's an issue in big cities and small towns and the economic hardships created this year have made it worse.  We'll learn about some efforts being made to help.

And, with many schools going remote, that's left working parents in a bind when it comes to finding child care and being able to afford it.  

That and more on this episode.

Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

This week, a special Illinois House committee began investigating House Speaker Madigan’s alleged role in a decade-long bribery scheme involving Commonwealth Edison.  Meanwhile, Senate President Don Harmon's office was subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney.  And billionaire Ken Griffin is spending money to fight the proposed graduated income tax amendment.

The Chicago Tribune's Jaime Munks and Professor of State Politics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Chris Mooney join the panel.

On this episode, we recall Chicago's own Steve Goodman, the songwriter who died 36 years ago this month.  He left behind a catalog of work, but is probably best known for the song played after a Chicago Cubs home victory - "Go Cubs Go."  

Also, we find out how misinformation about the coronavirus can spread so rapidly.  And, a southern Illinois couple tells their account of growing up amid segregation.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

This week, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have spiked on university campuses throughout the state.  Meanwhile, many kids are beginning the new school year with virtual, remote learning only.  And the Illinois House has created a committee to look into possible wrongdoing by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Illinois Newsroom's Lee Gaines, WNIJ's Peter Medlin, and WGLT's Dana Vollmer join the panel.

The coronavirus disease can lead to physical problems. But emotional ones as well. On this episode, we hear from those who have contracted COVID-19 and what they've experienced.

Learning more about Emmett Till, from his cousin who grew up around him.

And beer that tastes like southern Illinois.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

 On this week's Statewide, a Black police officer talks about his feelings of having to do his job amid recent protests over racial justice. 

Students are moving back to college campuses, but are facing a lot of new rules designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.   And we bring you a report from the portion of Chicago with the highest rate of coronavirus deaths.  

Those stories and more on this episode.

 

Our lineup:

Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators.

Illinois was among the states helping re-nominate President Trump Monday as the Republican National Convention began in Charlotte, N.C.    

More schools are planning to start fall classes remotely.  We'll find out what might be different from the spring when there was an abrupt shift to online learning.

The college experience this year won't be what many students expected. We'll talk with some incoming freshmen. 

And we remember former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

The site of a deadly race riot in Springfield has been added to the national African American Civil Rights Network.  Only 30 locations have received recognition. 

Statues of two former Illinois leaders with ties to slavery will be removed from outside the state capitol building in Springfield.

Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun had the honor of casting Illinois’ votes during the traditional roll call Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, helping nominate Joe Biden for president.   

The state has placed tighter rules on a portion of southwest Illinois after seeing more community spread of the coronavirus disease.  But Gov. J.B. Pritzker admits it might not be enough to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

The longest serving governor in Illinois history died Friday.  James R. Thompson was 84  Known as Big Jim for his stature (he stood 6'6"), he had a personality to match.  

Charlie Wheeler was already a veteran of the statehouse press corps when Thompson took office in 1977.  He would continue to cover Illinois government through Thompson's fourteen year tenure.

 

This week on Statewide, many small colleges and universities were struggling before COVID-19.  Will the pandemic deal a final blow to more institutions?  

We also hear about the rise of home schooling.  And we look back to a time of lawlessness in southern Illinois, when prohibition era gangs went to war with each other and the Ku Klux Klan. 

 

Our lineup: 

Illinois has awarded the first round of emergency funding to small businesses to help them during the pandemic.  

Being admitted to a hospital can be traumatic any time.  But during a pandemic, hospitals are restricting visitors.  We'll hear about the effect it's having on patients and family members.

And are visitors to Chicago following the city's health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Our lineup:

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.

Pages