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. 

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.

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.    

This week saw the virtual Democratic National Convention, the decision to remove some controversial statues from the State Capitol grounds, and the death of former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson joins the panel this week.

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.  

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

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.

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.  

This week, the major electric utility ComEd agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into long-running bribery scheme that implicates Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.  Meanwhile, Governor J.B. Pritzker adjusted some aspects of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson joins the panel.

The deadline to file state and federal income tax returns is this week.  The date was extended from April to July 15.  The change was made to help those having difficulties bacause of the pandemic. 

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.

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.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is worried the mass protests over police brutality happening across the country could spread the coronavirus. 

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. 

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 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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