WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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. 

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

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.

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.   

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

A black bear has been spotted several times this month in western Illinois.   And authorities are telling  the public to avoid getting too close or agitating the animal.  

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.

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. 

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $40 billion state budget and a plan to address tax rates for a casino expansion during a whirlwind special session held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

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 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. 

Citing statistics showing blacks with COVID-19 are five times more likely to die than white patients, the state is taking steps to address the disproportionate impact. 

Governor J.B. Pritzker focused Sunday on changes to make sure those who need child care can get it.    

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 174 year old educational institution in the area will soon close its doors permanently. 

The board of MacMurray College in Jacksonville voted unanimously Friday to shut down at the end of the spring semester in May.

Authorities have now officially confirmed the identities of three people who died when a twin engine plane crashed in Sangamon County Tuesday afternoon.  The county sheriff's office Wednesday morning released a statement confirming the crash killed former Springfield Mayor Frank Edwards and his wife Cinda, the Sangamon County Coroner, along with John Evans of Glenarm.  A dog on board also died.  

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.  

This baseball season marks 100 years since what may be the darkest moment in the history of our national pastime.

Some members of the Chicago White Sox, including the great Shoeless Joe Jackson, threw the World Series.  The story has become well known through a book, and later a movie titled “Eight Men Out”, named for the number of players later banned from baseball for their roles in the gambling scheme. 

But does that story match reality?  New research sheds light on what took place -- and what didn’t. 

When it comes to Illinois state government over the past half century, James Nowlan has been both a watcher and participant. 

A national survey this past year showed how in the dark many people are when it comes to understanding who runs their state government and what they’re up to.

The University of Illinois Springfield is the latest state school to see an enrollment decline, part a recent    trend for the campus.  

Twenty five years ago, one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history took place. The Great Flood of 1993 resulted in major flooding along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. 

But it also showed the best in people who came to the aid of those in need.  

Watch the first Illinois Issues Forum from Springfield.  Our 2018 election coverage starts discussing the fiscal health of Illinois. 

Last year NPR Illinois toured the state in partnership with NPR member stations to hear how the two-year state budget impasse impacted communities in Illinois. The adoption of a budget provided some clarity for those affected but many challenges remain. 

This year, we aim to seek solutions to many of the fiscal problems that persist and discuss the prominent issues in the 2018 elections. 

2018 Budget Address

Governor Bruce Rauner has made his long awaited announcement that he is seeking re-election.  

Pages