Purvines Ancestors Barn
12:27 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Barn At Clayville Site To Become Pioneer Agriculture Museum

Purvines Ancestors Barn
Credit Pleasant Plains Historical Society

Volunteers who help at the Clayville Historic Site outside of Springfield have a new use for an old barn that's been preserved by a family with strong ties to Sangamon County.

They're inviting the public to Clayville Sunday to learn more about the effort to put together a Pioneer Agriculture Museum in the Purvines Ancestors Barn. 

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Political Patronage Allegations
10:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Metra Could Hire Former Federal Prosecutor For Buyout Probe

Patrick Collins
Credit perkinscoie.com

Metra is considering hiring a former assistant U.S. attorney to investigate allegations that prominent politicians pressured staff in personnel and contract decisions.

The public agency's board of directors will vote Monday on whether to approve hiring Patrick Collins, who prosecuted the case that sent former Gov. George Ryan to prison for corruption.

The allegations involving Metra emerged during inquiries into a lucrative buyout for former CEO Alex Clifford.

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2009 Beason Slayings
9:58 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Christopher Harris Sentenced To Life In Prison

Christopher Harris

An Illinois man convicted of fatally beating five members of his ex-wife's family in 2009 has been sentenced to life in prison.  
 A judge sentenced Christopher Harris to five consecutive life sentences on Friday.  
 The 34-year-old Harris faced a mandatory life sentence after he was convicted in May on five counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and other charges.  

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Concealed Carry Legislation
9:30 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Some Municipalities Race To Pass Gun Bans As Deadline Looms

Credit www.sxc.hu

It could be months before law-abiding gun owners can get a permit to carry a handgun in public.  But a separate provision of Illinois’ new concealed carry law has already taken effect. 

Beginning July 19, communities lose the ability to enact local restrictions on firearms.  Those ordinances that are already in place will remain valid, while any future controls would have to be approved by the legislature.

WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky gives the local gun control issue some historical context in this report:

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Ben Bradford is a city kid, who came to Charlotte from San Francisco by way of New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Prior to his career in journalism, Ben spent time as an actor, stuntman, viral marketer, and press secretary for a Member of Congress. He graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in theater and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2012. As a reporter, his work has been featured on NPR, WNYC, the BBC, and Public Radio International.

Environment
1:33 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Fracking Divides Environmentalists In Ill.

Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Across the world, the drilling process referred to as "fracking" has caused controversy. Some say it brings heavy profits with the oil and natural gas it extracts from far underground. Others say it's caused pollution, contaminated water... and even initiated earthquakes. It's an issue Illinois residents have been largely untouched by - until now, as fracking has recently begun in the southern part of the state.

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Community
1:21 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Interview: Illinois Prairie Pastel Society President

"Off Crockrell Lane" - by George King
Credit Illinois Prairie Pastel Society

The Illinois Prairie Pastel Society aims to promote and foster creative use of the medium. It was established a few years ago, and what started with a handful of members has grown since then. The group has artwork on display at the Chatham Area Public Library. President of the group, George King, joins us now to talk about that exhibit and why the pastel society was formed in the first place.  

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Charles Mahtesian is Politics Editor for Digital News.

Prior to coming to NPR, Mahtesian spent five years as Politico's national politics editor, where he directed its political and campaign coverage and authored a blog on the American political landscape.

He joined Politico after five years as the editor of the National Journal's Almanac of American Politics, the biennial book often referred to as "the bible of American politics."

Before that, he spent eight years as a national correspondent for Governing magazine, where he covered state legislatures, governors and urban politics.

Let's Talk Kids
11:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

A Matter of Life and Death

“Don’t sweat this deadline,” commented the longsuffering contractor.  “It’s not a matter of life and death.”

Reflecting on his words, I was thinking about how we use that phrase—“a matter of life and death”—to denote the singularly most essential issues in our lives.  Our very language respects the importance of the experiences of life and death, but this honor dims in the reality of our expectations sometimes.

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Ben de la Cruz is an award-winning documentary video producer and multimedia journalist. He joined NPR as the multimedia editor for the Science Desk in June 2012. In this role, he serves as the visual architect for NPR's coverage of health, science, environment, energy, food and agriculture.

De la Cruz began his career as a multimedia journalist at washingtonpost.com in January 2000. During his 12-year career there, he helped create the newspaper industry's groundbreaking multimedia site, Camera Works. Along the way, he managed the dozen-person multimedia and documentary video departments, overseeing feature and news reporting.

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