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NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

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An advisory board voted Monday to make a number of additional health conditions eligible for Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program. But Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has previously rejected the board's recommendations.

Amanda Vinicky

As the state budget impasse has entered an eleventh month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he's hopeful a "grand bargain" can be worked out by the end of May; but he's leaving the bargaining to others.

Alex McCray was in the news a lot last week — he was on TV, in the newspaper, and here on NPR Illinois -- because he had reached a settlement with the Williamsville School District expanding services for transgender students.

 

Here's a more extensive talk with McCray, and with David Root, superintendent of schools for the Williamsville-Sherman school district.

We've put together a roster of moms, and a dad or two, who will join us on Illinois Edition to take on issues that matter to those trying to successfully raise children in these hectic modern times. Rachel Otwell, NPR Illinois reporter and the mother of a toddler, hosts the rotating panel.

After a dearth of redistricting opportunities, there's a chance Illinois voters could be faced with several options in the November election.

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The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is already a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site. Now, there's an effort to elevate the status of an area running through Collinsville Illinois to a National Monument.

For a couple of years, the National Park Service has surveyed the St. Louis area Cahokia Mounds.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's mission of modernizing Illinois government continues. At issue this time is a hearings process he says is outdated and overburdened.

The state gets roughly 100, 000 requests for administrative hearings each year.

"Administrative law is the body of law that regulates the operation and procedure of government agencies," says Sadzi Olivia, the chief administrative law judge for the Dept. of Children and Family Services.

If it sounds bureaucratic, that's because it is.

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  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is set to get a new leader in July.

When it opened in 2004, the presidential museum was touted as a world-class complex, and a tourist-luring gem for Springfield.

Rachel Otwell

Welcome to our second episode! We have an interview with science editor for The Guardian, James Kingsland. His new book is called: Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment. He also has a blog about neuroscience and Buddhist psychology, called Plastic Brain

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in a hush-money scandal and admitted to molesting children; Governor Bruce Rauner said he hopes for a 2-year budget deal with legislative leaders by the end of May; and the governor insists contact negotiations with AFSCME are at an impass.  Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald joins the panel.

The Scene With Photographer David Brodsky

Apr 28, 2016
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This week The Scene is joined by guest host David Brodsky, who often takes pictures of unwitting subjects. You can find a profile piece about him here. A collaborative show will include his work, it's called Translations and opens on Friday night. Take a listen to learn more:

Illinois Supreme Court
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A youthful mistake could be a burden for life, according to a study released Thursday by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

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The advent of warmer weather coincides with the release of yet one more bit of evidence about the positive impact of outdoor play.

While teachers have observed more young children wearing eyeglasses, no real research offered much  explanation for this phenomenon.  Some theorized that children spend more time indoors looking at screens, missing out on using their eyes for much long-distance viewing.

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UIS ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis speaks with Maestro Alastair Willis and featured musicians Wu Tong and Mike Block about this weekend's Illinois Symphony Orchestra Concert - Musical Pictures of the Silk Road.

The concert will present Borodin’s "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and Zhao Lin’s "Duo for Sheng & Cello" featuring Chinese rock star Wu Tong on sheng and Silk Road Ensemble cellist Mike Block.  Mussorgsky’s epic "Pictures at an Exhibition" brings Alastair Willis’s tenure as Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra to a brilliant close.

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We're more than halfway through Earth Week. At the University of Illinois Springfield, there are still events planned. 

Recently, Illinois Issues looked at the issue of whether the Pregnancy Fairness Law, which was enacted last year, has been effective. This is a story about a woman for whom the law came too late.

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Looking beyond our state’s borders and into Illinois’ past for a playbook to end the current budget standoff. 

Illinois business leaders say the state could significantly grow jobs related to math and science if it can develop the workforce needed to do those jobs.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said he's hopeful he and Democratic lawmakers can reach a two-year budget deal by the end of next month. The state's already gone 10 months without a budget and that's crippled higher education and human services.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Auburn High School this morning. Rauner told students the main reason he was in their gymnasium was to thank their teachers for doing the most important job in the America. But he also promoted his plan to increase school funding statewide by about $50 million.

 

That plan would end up costing some needy districts millions of dollars, while adding funds to wealthier areas, because the money would be funneled through a formula widely described as the most inequitable in the nation.

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A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison in a hush-money case that centered on accusations that the former U.S. House speaker sexually abused at least four students when he was a high school wrestling coach.  

Ed Yohnka

The bathroom Alex McCray used during his sophomore year at Williamsville High School was small, dark, subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, and inconveniently located. Near the end of his junior year, he asked school administrators to allow him to use the boys' bathroom. McCray, who was born female, has identified as male for several years.

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Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is stepping before a judge to learn his punishment in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, chairs the Asian-American caucus.
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Members of a tax policy group based in Washington D.C., came to Springfield Tuesday to oppose two pieces of legislation that would change Illinois' income tax from a flat rate to rates based on how much a taxpayer earns. The change would depend on lawmakers passing a proposed amendment to the state's constitution and voters approving it in the fall.

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NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis:

Courtesy of Shannon Bumann

When a member of the military is laid to rest, the funeral traditionally concludes with three volley shots and the playing of "Taps" -- a bugle call that dates back to the Civil War. But finding a musician available to perform on short notice can be a challenge.

A  student in Woodhull, Illinois, about 20 miles north of Galesburg, inspired legislation that could make it easier. 

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Jacksonville High School sports teams will likely continue seeing red.

An advisory committee found little interest in changing the teams' "Crimsons" nickname.

But the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports  the group suggests developing a standardized "J'' on jerseys and clothing.

Committee chairman Craig Albers says no one suggested dropping "Crimsons" but modifying it with "Knights" or other mascot-suitable character.

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Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

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Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism.  Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.

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