Sean Crawford

Content Director/ Illinois Edition

217-206-6408

Sean has been News Director for WUIS since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to hold that title in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for WUIS 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. 

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Sports
3:15 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

UIS Saying Goodbye To Cozmo

Cozmo at a UIS sporting event
Credit UIS Athletics

The University of Illinois Springfield will have a different look on the sidelines. 

The school's athletic department has announced it will retire the mascot, known as Cozmo.   UIS plans to find a new mascot for next season. 

A news release says "Now it is time to move forward with a new mascot that reflects the proud legacy of Prairie Stars, brings new energy to our games and builds a loyal student and alumni following."

Cozmo first appeared in 2010 and replaced what was known as "Angry Star."  An earlier mascot was a Prairie Dog. 

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Statehouse
11:12 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Butler Sworn In As 87th District Representative

Tim Butler is sworn in Tuesday in the Illinois House chambers.
Credit Illinois House Republicans

Republican Tim Butler is being sworn in today as the new state representative in the 87th district.  That includes portions of Sangamon, Logan, Menard and Tazewell counties.  

Butler, who lives in Springfield, says he understands it will be a contentious session regarding the state's budget.  He admits he's still learning the issues.  But he says he'll listen to all sides.

"I have friends on both sides of the aisle.  I have conservative friends and liberal friends. I have friends in the governor's office.  I am going to have an open door and an open mind," he said.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Butler Named New 87th District Rep

Republican County Leaders Saturday selected Tim Butler as a replacement in the Illinois 87th House District.  He'll fill the seat Rich Brauer held until he resigned to take a job with the Rauner Administration.
Butler has served as an aide to Congressman Rodney Davis, as his District Chief of Staff. Previously, he worked for Congressman Ray LaHood.
 GOP Leaders from four counties that make up the district (Sangamon, Logan, Menard and Tazewell) accepted applications over the past week before unanimously selecting Butler.

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Business
11:20 am
Tue February 24, 2015

WUIS / SJ-R Business Report - Sprucing Up Springfield; Karpman Furs Closing

Credit wikipedia

The State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis joins us to talk about a sprucing up of Springfield in advance of the Abraham Lincoln re-enactment this spring.

We also discuss Springfield picking up the pace of demolishing abandoned properties and a long time business, Max Karpman Furs, is about to close for good.  

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Politics
10:04 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Applications Being Accepted To Succeed Rep. Rich Brauer

Rich Brauer
Credit ilga.gov

A process has been announced to find a replacement to serve in the 87th Illinois House District.  Longtime Republican Representative Rich Brauer left the job last week to take a position with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration.

That move leaves a vacancy and GOP leaders in the district are seeking applications for those interested in the role. They've set up a website.

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Regional
11:13 am
Wed February 18, 2015

UPDATE: Attempted Child Abduction Turns Out To Be False

Springfield police say a report of an attempted child abduction Tuesday afternoon turned out to be false.

Ball Chatham school officials sent a note to parents earlier today urging caution and asking for the public's help in the case.  An elementary school student said he was approached by a man as he left his school bus at his home.  The student indicated he ran from the man.  

Police say the person identified by the student  was interviewed.  They say the incident did NOT occur as originally reported and that was no contact with the child. 

Higher Ed
4:01 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

UIS Faculty Votes To Unionize

Credit uis.edu

Faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield will be unionized for the first time in two decades. 

The campus last had a faculty union when it was known as Sangamon State University.  But that was disbanded when it became part of the University of Illinois in the mid 90's.  

137 faculty members voted in favor of a new union which will negotiate issues from wages and benefits to shared governance.  A final vote total was unavailable.

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Business
10:56 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Tim Landis: Restaurant News And A Longer Wait For State Tax Refunds

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R

SJ-R Business Editor Tim Landis talks with WUIS' Sean Crawford about potential changes in the local restaurant scene. a delay in state tax return processing, a status update on home sales and a postscript for the Bel Aire Motel.

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Courts
7:56 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Illinois Innocence Project Chalks Up Another Exoneration

(L-R) Faith Hook, Larry Golden, Bob Gibbons
Credit WUIS

Chris Abernathy walked out of an Illinois prison last week for the first time in nearly 30 years. 

The 48 year old had been serving time for the rape and murder of a 15 year old, Kristina Hickey. 

Abernathy's freedom came with the help of a group based at the University of Illinois Springfield.   The Illinois Innocence Project provided DNA testing that helped convince authorities to release Abernathy.

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Lincoln
12:28 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

WUIS Archive: Bush, Obama Speak In Springfield To Honor Lincoln

Today, on Lincoln's birthday, we look back at an important moment in Springfield history. 

The date was April 19, 2005.  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum opened, six months after the Library began operation.  President George W. Bush spoke at the ceremony.  

This coming April will mark the 10th anniversary of museum, which has become one of Illinois' top tourist attractions as well as a place for people to learn more about the man whose name is on the building.  

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Legal
6:22 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

No Charges In Springfield Police File Shredding Case

Credit flickr/RobertKuykendall

Criminal charges won't be filed involving the shredding of internal Springfield police documents.  But the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor called the conduct in the case "embarrassingly incompetent."

The special prosecutor took the case on in 2013. A news release issued Wednesday stated "The reality of this case is that once charges are filed, the prosecutor must be able to prove all elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt."

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
5:55 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Hear Our Broadcast Of Gov. Rauner's State Of The State Address

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Governor spoke to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on February 4, 2015. 

Jak Tichenor hosts the broadcast, with analysis from Rich Miller of Capitol Fax and WUIS' Amanda Vinicky.

Reaction from Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican Leaders Rep. Jim Durkin and Sen. Christine Radogno.

As Prepared for Delivery

 

Good Afternoon.

President Cullerton

Speaker Madigan

Leader Radogno

Leader Durkin

Lieutenant Governor Sanguinetti

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Statehouse
5:41 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Madigan Open To "Fiscal Austerity"

Michael Madigan
Credit ilga.gov

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is likely to have disagreements with the new Governor Bruce Rauner.  Madigan is a Democrat and Rauner a Republican.

But following the Governor's State of the State Address, the Speaker says he and Rauner are on the same page when it comes to limits on spending:

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Statehouse
12:13 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Text Of Gov. Bruce Rauner's State Of The State Address

As Prepared for Delivery

Also included: Policy Agenda and Conflict of Interest Timeline

 

Good Afternoon.

President Cullerton

Speaker Madigan

Leader Radogno

Leader Durkin

Lieutenant Governor Sanguinetti

Attorney General Madigan

Secretary White

Comptroller Munger

Treasurer Frerichs,

Members of the General Assembly,

Thank you for your service.

To our distinguished guests and to the media, thank you for attending today.

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Weather
12:47 pm
Sat January 31, 2015

Latest Update: Springfield Area Expecting 3-6 Inches

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 PM CST SUNDAY... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 PM CST SUNDAY. * TIMING...RAIN THIS EVENING WILL BECOME MIXED WITH SNOW OVERNIGHT...THEN CHANGE OVER TO ALL SNOW SUNDAY MORNING...WITH AREAS SOUTH OF I-72 TAKING THE LONGEST TO FULLY BECOME ALL SNOW. THE SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING. * ACCUMULATIONS...TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE BY SUNDAY NIGHT...WITH THE HIGHER AMOUNTS NORTH OF THE I-72 CORRIDOR.

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Statehouse
5:28 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Springfield Attorney Picked To Chair Illinois Gaming Board

Gov. Bruce Rauner has selected 54 year old Don Tracy, a Springfield attorney and businessman, to become Chair of the state's Gaming Board.   He would replace Aaron Jaffe.

A statement from the administration says Tracy has the background and experience to lead the board "dealing with an important industry in Illinois."

Tracy is a partner in the firm Brown, Hay and Stephens LLP.  He is also general outside counsel and part owner along with his siblings of DOT Foods, the nation's largest food re-distributor.

Regional
3:41 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Up To 8 Inches Of Snow Forecast For Springfield Area

Credit NWS

A winter storm will bring accumulating snow to the area Saturday night through Sunday evening. 

Current indications are for 7 to  9 inches of snow north of a Rushville to Danville line. 

Springfield could see 6 to 8 inches. 

Some blowing and drifting of snow will be possible Sunday afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service points out the forecast for accumulation could change as new computer models track the storm.

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Transportation
7:40 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Springfield Airport Will Make Another Attempt To Add Gambling

Credit flickr/brownpau

After being turned down for a video gambling license last year, the Springfield airport will try its luck again.

The Director of the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Mark Hanna, says adding the gambling machines is an opportunity that needs to be explored.

"Just like any other non-aeronautical revenue opportunity, we feel we are doing the responsible thing in actually looking at all available sources of revenue that are out there to offset our expenses and tax burden," Hanna said.

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Illinois Issues - The Scene
1:28 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Hoogland Show Brings Irving Berlin To The Stage

The Land of Lincoln Chorus perform "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."
Credit Land of Lincoln Chorus

Things went so well with a December performance that the Land of Lincoln Chorus will return with "An Evening With Irving Berlin" this Friday night.  The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. 

Along with the music, Bob Grant will portray Berlin on stage.

"(Berlin) is quite a fascinating character," Grant said. "Even George Gershwin said that he was the greatest American composer."

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Education Desk
10:54 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Ball-Chatham Superintendent Stepping Down For New Job

Carrie Hruby
Credit chathamschools.org

The Ball-Chatham School District's superintendent is leaving to take a new job.   Carrie Hruby has been in the role since 2012. 

Hruby will become superintendent in O'Fallon's district starting this summer.  She made the announcement today in a letter to staff and parents.

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Statehouse
11:32 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Concealed Carry Permits In Illinois Top 91,000

Credit Ratha Grimes from Sarasota, FL, United States - Flickr

More than 2,000 concealed carry permits have been issued in Sangamon County the past year.   Illinois allowed the carrying of concealed weapons a year ago.

The state was the last in the nation to adopt the change.  

Nearly 30 applications have been denied in Sangamon County and 8 permits revoked.  

Overall in Illinois, more than 91 thousand people have been given permits.

Elsewhere in the area, there are more than 13-hundred permits in Macon County and about 350 in Morgan County. 

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Transportation
6:24 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Springfield Airport Sees Increase In Passengers

Credit flyspi.com

In an ever changing industry, Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is keeping pace.  More travelers are taking flights in to and out of the facility.

Mark Hanna, Executive Director of the Springfield Airport Authority, said the most recent numbers show strong support for flights to Dallas and Florida. 

"We've had numerous conversations with Allegiant," Hanna said. He adds some of discussions have centered on potentially adding flights to Phoenix and Las Vegas, but it's too soon to say what will happen.

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Statehouse
6:46 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Rep. Poe Takes Oath In Texas

Rep. Raymond Poe
Credit ilga.gov

Rep. Raymond Poe is battling a blood disease and is undergoing a bone marrow treatment in Texas. 

That meant he was unable to attend the Springfield inauguration ceremonies Wednesday, when the 99th General Assembly was sworn in. 

Instead, he took his oath at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. A news release says the oath was administered by Judge Michael Landrum of Texas’ 113th District Court in Houston.

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Statehouse
2:24 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Hear The Full WUIS 2015 Inauguration Broadcast

Federal District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, left, administers the oath of office to Gov. Bruce Rauner at the Illinois Inaugural Ceremony on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 in Springfield. First Lady Diana Rauner holds the Bible.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

  WUIS' Amanda Vinicky and Bill Wheelhouse hosted the broadcast from the Prairie Capital Convention Center Monday. 

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Science
3:19 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Science Lecture: Rare Finds At Gray Fossil Site

Credit Ill. State Museum

Near the small town of Gray, Tennessee in the northeast part of that state, some amazing discoveries have taken place.  Most of it in recent years.  Elephants, rhinoceros, red pandas, saber-toothed cats.  Fossils for all have been discovered at the Gray Fossil Site.  They date back around 5 million years.

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Regional
6:28 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Midwest Travel - St. Louis Museums Provide A Winter Break

A sister plane to Charles Lindbergh's famous Spirit of St. Louis hangs in the main hallway of the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. Filmmakers used the plane in a 1957 movie about the aviator's successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The origi
Brent Bohlen

Freelance travel writer Mary Bohlen tells us about three indoor museums in St. Louis' Forest Park. 

The Missouri History Museum provides an up close look at several unique and important items with a 1904 World's Fair exhibit now underway.

The St. Louis Art Museum includes a modern art collection and works by Degas and Monet.

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Arts and Culture
7:47 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Millikin University Choir To Perform In Springfield

Credit Millkin University Choir facebook page

Due to an illness, this event has been canceled 

Springfield gets a chance to see a wonderful choral performance Wednesday. 

The Millkin University Choir is starting its winter tour through several states and, once again, the first stop will be at the Central Baptist Church at 501 South Fourth Street. 

Various works will be performed, including material from the recent Vespers shows in the holiday season.
 

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Education Desk
5:55 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Illinois School Construction Will Require Storm Shelters

Credit flickr/Frank Juarez

Illinois now requires new school construction to include storm shelters.

You can't predict when or where a tornado will strike, but supporters of the new law say schools should be more prepared. 

The law orders districts that take on new construction or remodeling to include a safe place for students to go in the event of a severe storm.  Not everyone agreed with the change.  

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Business
3:52 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

New Law Requires Home Sellers Disclose Door, Window Problems

A "sale pending" sign is pictured on a house. (Dan Moyle/Flickr)

Starting this year, home sellers in Illinois need to provide more information to potential buyers. 
Illinois already requires disclosure of problems like asbestos, radon, lead paint... and even if a home was used as a meth lab.  Add to that list... issues with doors and windows.

Some may be warped or leak... and lead to bigger concerns.  

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Regional
12:15 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

West Central Ill. Men Given Posthumous Pardons For Underground Railroad Work

Dr. Richard Eells House in Quincy
Credit The Friends of Dr. Richard Eells House

Illinois' Governor has posthumously pardoned three men for their work with the Underground Railroad. 

The men all lived in west central Illinois and were convicted more than 170 years ago based on laws that prohibited helping runaway slaves.  Those laws remained in place even after Illinois abolished slavery in 1824.  

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