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Reporting from in and around Illinois.

Listen to Statewide on WNIJ Saturdays 6-7 a.m. and Sundays 6-7 p.m.

  • Illinois and other states got a windfall with federal pandemic aid. But new research looks at how the money is being spent and raises the possibility of problems down the road.
  • It was the fall of 2020 and COVID was surging again. An outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans' Home resulted in the deaths of 36 residents. Gov. J.B. Pritzker made changes in leadership at the home and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. But a new state audit questions the Illinois Department of Public Health's response when the problem became apparent. We'll discuss the audit and reaction on this episode.
  • On this week's episode, we speak with a person conducting seminars to help understand the way racism is built into our society. We also hear about a Ukrainian couple who fled their country and now live in the Midwest. And, the early history of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, who was born in Illinois and spent time in Peoria. Those stories and more on Statewide.
  • Many in the U.S. feel helpless as they watch the war in Ukraine. But we'll take you to a small gift shop in Illinois, which has become a place to show support and find a sense of belonging. Also, Russian immigrants in the state explain their thoughts watching the war unfold. Those stories and more on this episode of Statewide.
  • The first U.S. town founded by a Black person was in Illinois. Free Frank McWorter was formerly enslaved. He settled New Philadelphia in Pike County in the 1830s and both whites and Blacks lived there. It is now being considered for National Park status. McWorter's great-great grandson and his wife have written a book about the community and we hear from them. And we learn about how contracts for deed are used to help some individuals obtain home ownership. But things don't always work out. Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.
  • For some teachers, the return to the classroom has been rocky. Experts are saying there is a mental health crisis among young people and many are acting out. All of this comes as districts consider changes to discipline policies. We have a report. Also, why are some nursing home resident leaving their jobs only to return to the exact same work? Listen to this week's Statewide.
  • Chester Weger was paroled after nearly six decades in prison for the killing of three women at the state park. He has maintained his innocence. We talk with his attorney. That story and more on this episode of Statewide.
  • Marcus Belin is the first Black principal at a suburban high school, where the student body is primarily white. He's using his experiences to help students connect history with recent events. Also, we discuss the indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and a Ukrainian college student in Illinois tells us how she's feeling about what's happening in her home country.
  • A new book examines how former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan rose to power and how he used it to remain in control for decades. The author, an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, delves into major moments in Madigan's career and the scandals that led to his exit. And a western Illinois sailor killed in 1941 is finally coming home. Those stories and more on Statewide.
  • Illinois senators have approved a plan to help survivors of Department of Children and Family Services caseworkers who die in the line of duty.