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. 

A project based at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library seeks out documents written by the 16th president.  Discovering the items is only part of the work being done.  The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is in the process of making all of the finds available online.  We talk with the director.

Also, a new gambling expansion law will allow horse tracks to look more like casinos, with slot machines and other games being offered.  Is it enough to boost the sagging industry? 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

It’s estimated 1 in 5 Illinois households don’t use banks, mainly because they can’t meet the requirements of start-up costs and minimum deposits.   So they turn to payday loan operations, even for basic services like cashing a paycheck.  

Former Illinois congressman Paul Findley passed away this month.  He was 98.  Findley served 22 years in the U.S. House. We look back at his career - his successes and controversies. 

Also, this week we find out why some say a new requirement that students participate in active shooter drills could be doing more harm than good.  

And, a group of students in western Illinois are getting involved to get improvements made on a dangerous stretch of highway. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

As Illinois has lost more students to colleges elsewhere, certain schools have benefitted more from that change.  We'll look at why students are choosing to leave Illinois for their higher education.

Also, the Illinois River is a major shipping channel in the state.  But much of it will close next year while construction work takes place at locks and dams.  What will that mean for farmers? 

And, we'll introduce you to a clinic that helps pregnant women addicted to drugs.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

This week, we learn how thousands are kept in Illinois jails awaiting trial simply because they can't afford bail.  The Illinois Supreme Court is expected to make recommendations to improve the situation later this year.

Also, singer-songwriter Tom Irwin used an 1890's diary of a man who lived in central Illinois to develop his "Sangamon Songs" album.  Now, there's a play based on the man's life.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

A Springfield meteorologist who made headlines across the country after refusing to go along with his TV station’s promotion of Code Red severe weather alerts has a new job.

Starting Monday, Joe Crain will oversee the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s public events.   

The wet spring in Illinois is reflected in the latest crop numbers that show Illinois' corn and soybeans are behind their normal pace.  We'll discuss what challenges remain in the growing season and what it all means for consumers.

Also, in the summer of 1919 a deadly race riot in Chicago was one of several across the country.  We look back at that incident in what's known as "Red Summer."  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

This Saturday, July 20, marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.   Thousands of individuals contributed to that moment in history.  That includes an airplane engineer from Illinois, John Houbolt.  An Audible original puts the spotlight on him.  We talk with the author. 

Also , Andrew Carnegie is known for gifts that helped create libraries and other education opportunities.  You might not realize that he is also responsible for thousands of pipe organs given across the world, and here in Illinois.  A concert organist is on a mission to track down how many remain. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.   

The President and CEO of Land of Lincoln Goodwill has resigned, just a day after reversing a controversial decision to lay off disabled workers.  

Can the racial divide be overcome through a basketball tournament?  Al Klunick tells us he wants to try with a unique event where kids of different races play together on the same team.  It's one of the rules for the Community Unity tourney.  

This week marks 40 years since a baseball promotion in Chicago turned into chaos.  While some look back on Disco Demolition Night fondly (the team even celebrated the anniversary this season), others see darker motives.  We talk with the man who came up with the idea.    

And Gov. J.B. Pritzker stands by a decision to cancel a Du Quoin State Fair appearance by the band Confederate Railroad over concerns about the band's name and use of the Confederate flag in its logo.  What it could mean for the fair itself.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

DNA testing in criminal cases goes to the Illinois State Police crime lab.  And in recent years, more evidence is being submitted.  That is helping add to a huge backlog that results in delays for victims, the accused and the justice system. 

Also, we find out what an Illinois survey on sexual harassment discosvered in the wake of the #MeToo movement.   

That and more on this week's Statewide.

On this episode, while President Donald Trump has rejected the scientific evidence of climate change, nearly half of his voters — many in Midwestern states — believe in global warming. This bucks stereotypes about a rural voting bloc that doesn’t care about the environment. However, don't expect all of them to use the term "climate change."

Also, a major warehouse fire is believed to have destroyed thousands of original master recordings, including many from the legendary Chicago rock and blues label Chess Records.   We find out why that matters.  

That and more more on this week's Statewide.

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Monday at the federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student who killed a visiting scholar from China after abducting her at a bus stop as she headed to sign an off-campus apartment lease.

Members of AFSCME Council 31 have a new  labor deal with the State of Illinois, according to the union. 

Officials with Western Illinois Unviersity will be looking for a new president after Jack Thomas announced his resignation.  Thomas' tenure was rocky at the school that has campuses in Macomb and the Quad Cities.  His replacement will deal with an institution still trying to rebound from a state budget impasse and enrollment declines. The WIU Board Chair gives his view of the situation.

We also check in on a new law requiring cursive writing be taught in schools. But just because kids are shown how to do it, will they use it once classes are over?   

That and more on this week's Statewide. 

Our Education Reporter Dusty Rhodes examines what's wrong with the teacher pension system in Illinois and why it needs to be fixed soon.  

Also, gambling addicts are warning the state's gambling expansion will result in more compulsive bettors. And, the governor signs the most comprehensive abortion rights law in the country. That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has been appointed to the position following a nationwide search.  

The heavy and frequent rains across the midwest has resulted in flooding here in Illinois and farmers being unable to get crops in the field.  But there has been another impact: bugs.  Specifically, flying insects like gnats and mosquitoes.  We talk with an entomologist about the swarms and how long they might last.

More casinos and legal sports wagering.  That's the result of a gambling package the General Assembly approved.  

And Steak n Shake, founded in Normal 85 years ago, is facing problems that put the future of the chain in doubt.  That and more on this week's Statewide.

Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling in more reinforcements to help fight flooding.    

A key argument against a graduated income tax, where those who earn more pay a higher percentage, is that individuals who have the resources will leave the state to relocate somewhere cheaper.  But the same was said when Illinois bumped up its tax rates under the flat tax system earlier this decade.  An analysis finds the number of higher income taxpayers actually went up.  

And, the invasive Asian carp have taken over several waterways in the midwest, threatening native species and throwing off the delicate ecological balance.  Could an industry based all the way on the east coast be at least part of a solution? 

We'll tackle that and more on this week's Statewide.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has called up roughly 200 guard soldiers as near record crests are predicted along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.   The soldiers are being deployed to perform duties like sandbagging, levee reinforcement and potential rescue efforts.  

Six individuals were recently awarded the Order of Lincoln, a prestigious honor in Illinois to recognize contributions and achievements.  Among those singled out was columnist George Will.  We listen to his remarks.  

And 1919 was so violent, it was given the nickname "The Summer of Red."  An Illinois author joins us to look back on an Illinois race riot that year.

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Families of those who died at the Quincy Veterans’ Home during a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak are still upset.  Those deaths happened on the Rauner Administration’s watch.  But now they are questioning if the new governor is doing enough.  

Four women who are friends -- and also state lawmakers -- talk about how working on a key piece of legislation has brought them closer together.

And in southern Illinois, one of the oldest homes still standing is state-owned.  But there appears to be no plan for what's known as the Old Slave House. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Imagine being put in a postion where you could lose your job and face legal repercussions for helping save the life of a young student.  That was the predicament an Illinois school nurse found herself in when a crisis happened.  She tells her story, which may lead to a rule change.

We look back at the dangerous derecho, which some say resembled an inland hurricane, that struck southern Illinois in May of 2009.  What happened and what lessons were learned.

That and more on this week's Statewide.

With Illinois lawmakers negotiating over a plan to make recreational marijuana use legal, public radio stations throughout the state focused on the issue.  Reporters delved into various angles and points of view.  The result was the series The State of Cannabis, which aired throughout Illinois this past week.

On this special episode of Statewide, we highlight that reporting.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's budget proposal would allow the state to spend more on pressing needs.  But that investment would come at a cost: shorting the state's already underfunded public pension systems.  We talk with the author of an analysis about what impact that would have for the future. 

And, with the state's teacher shortage worsening, what can be done to get people who aspire to be teachers into those classrooms?  In many cases, those individuals are already working at schools as paraprofessionals.  We'll meet one.    

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Technology means we are no longer disconnected.  Being able to receive good news anywhere, and sharing it with others, can be a thrill.  But what about bad news, like a college rejection notice?  It's happening for many through email and some believe that puts more stress on today's students.  We have a report.

And this week marked 154 years since the death of Abraham Lincoln.  We hear from a researcher who found out how the average American at the time dealt with the tragedy.  Not all of them mourned the 16th president.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide:

Illinois is a long state.  Those in southern Illinois are closer to Tennessee than Chicago.  And the political leanings can be just as far apart.  We talk with a state lawmaker who has signed on to a plan calling for Chicago to be separated from the rest of Illinois.  He adds he joined the effort because it's time to start a conversation over policy.  

Coming together can be difficult - even more so when we talk about consolidating school districts.  It might save money, but that's just one consideration.  

Also, R. Kelly made a visit to Springfield in the past week, meeting with fans at a nightclub.  The R and B singer's career is reeling from legal trouble. 

Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.

Two proposals to raise Illinois' tax on gasoline have surfaced as a way to help pay for a public works program.  Lawmakers and the governor are pushing to get a plan in place during this legislative session, which ends in May.

And, a cancer survivor and author explains how finding perspective can help all of us during our darkest times. That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Despite all the focus on solving the state's teacher shortage, a new survey finds the problem is getting worse. That has sparked more discussion on how to recruit more teachers.  We'll hear why some want to change teacher licensing standards. 

We also get a recap of the 2018 governor's race, which saw spending at record-setting levels.  And we learn how one community is coping with a rise in gun violence.  

That and more on this week's Statewide:

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