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. 

Pages

Health Desk
9:04 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Tackling Heart Disease And Strokes One Step At A TIme

Credit IL Heart Assoc.

The 2015 Springfield Heart & Stroke Walk is a family-friendly fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Participants build teams of walkers who raise funds on behalf of their workplace or a loved one who suffered from heart disease or the effects of a stroke. The Executive Leadership Team has a goal of raising $100,000 for the American Heart Association; walkers who raise at least $100 will receive a t-shirt and are eligible for other prizes.

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Regional
7:38 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Midwest Travel: Rockford Mixes Fun With Learning

After years of preparation, Jane, the world's most complete and best preserved juvenile T. rex, is on display as the centerpiece of a captivating exhibit at Burpee Museum, Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur. Come discover what happened during the 66 million years she lay buried, visit the expedition's Montana base camp, and view Jane's fully restored 21-foot skeleton.
Credit Burpee Museum of Natural History

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan's latest article in the Illinois Times focuses on Rockford and the museums based there. 

She visited the Rockford Discovery Center Museum, considered one of the top children's museums in the country. 

The Burpee Museum of Natural History has an impressive display of dinosaur exhibits. 

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Regional
1:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

UIS To Mark Earth Week With Events

Megan Styles and Dathan Powell
Credit WUIS

The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Earth Week (April 20-24, 2015) with a variety of events designed to educate students, faculty, staff, and the community about the environment.

All of the events listed below are free and open to the public.

Monday, April 20 

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Regional
6:09 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Flooded Basement? There Are Some Possible Solutions

Credit flickr/JeffCovey

Heavy rains in the spring often lead to complaints in Springfield over water in basements.  This mostly happens in older areas of the community.

"Most of the system was never designed to be able to transport or convey 50 year storms.  it was more designed on a 5 or 10 year storm. That being said, there are places in the city that don't perform on a 5 or 10 year system either," said Sewer Engineer John Higginbotham with Springfield Public Works.

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Local History
7:22 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Author Recounts Local Man's WWI Experience Through Letters

Can you really know someone you've never met?  Chris McDonald developed a bond with a man who lived a century ago through reading letters he had written, many from the front lines of World War I. 

McDonald worked with the family of Kent Dunlap Hagler to publish the works, which are far more literary than most teenagers could accomplish, now or then.  The book "Three Lying Or Four Sitting - From The Front In A Ford" takes its title from Hagler's time with a military ambulance unit.  It's references how many could be transported at a time.  

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Regional
6:28 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Langfelder Wins Springfield Mayoral Race

Credit Langfelder campaign

Springfield's next mayor will be Jim Langfelder.

Langfelder defeated Paul Palazzolo 55-45 percent. Langfelder, who has served as City Treasurer, will replace Mike Houston.  Only about one third of registered voters turned out in Springfield. 

Frank Lesko topped Rianne Hawkins for City Clerk.  

Misty Buscher, a banker, won for Springfield Treasurer.  She beat city alderman Frank Edwards. 

Springfield councilman Sam Cahnman lost his bid for re-election in Ward 5 to Andrew Proctor.  

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Science
5:44 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Smarter Than You Think: 'Neandertal' Not An Insult

Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neandertal_adam_ve_kad%C4%B1n_modeli,_Almanya.png

The debate over the role of Neandertals in the ancestry of modern people is the longest running controversy in human evolutionary studies and one of the oldest in science.

By the first decade of the current century, analyses of morphology, behavior, neuroanatomy, and genetics strongly supported a model indicating that Neandertals were a separate biological species from modern humans and represented our cousins but not our ancestors. Neandertal genomic data have changed this picture. 

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Higher Education
9:34 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Chancellor: Positive Changes Coming To UIS

Credit UIS.EDU

Despite concerns over state funding, there is reason for optimism at the University of Illinois Springfield.  In the first part of our interview, Chancellor Susan Koch told us about planning that is underway for a likely reduction in funding.

But there's also a bright side at UIS.   The campus has all time high enrollment and many other positive changes are coming.  A new nursing program will launch this fall and ground will soon be broken on a Student Union.   

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Regional
8:26 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Takin' It To The Streets: Lincoln Half Marathon This Saturday

Credit Lincoln Half Marathon

Springfield motorists traveling across town Saturday morning, April 4 should be aware of likely traffic delays between 7:30 am and 11 am.  About 2,000 participants from more than 30 states will be on Springfield roads that morning running along a 13.1 mile route that starts and finishes downtown, goes past Lincoln sites and through the Washington and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. 

The course can be viewed on an interactive map at http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=538358.

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Higher Education
9:37 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

UIS Chancellor: Higher Ed "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" Financially

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch says if a proposed 31% state budget cut to higher education occurs, it would hamper the school's ability to carry out its mission. 

"It would be severely damaging," Koch said.  She added she is hopeful the eventual budget won't hit UIS so hard.  But she also expects less state support in the coming year.

"The reality is at this point we don't know where things will end up."

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Politics
3:47 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Jil Tracy Won't Try For Congressional Seat

Jil Tracy

A former State Representative and Lieutenant Governor candidate from Quincy says she won't seek an open congressional seat. 

Jil Tracy issued a statement today that says she won't try for the Republican nomination in the 18th congressional district.   

Tracy left her position in the Illinois House to team up with Kirk Dillard as he ran unsuccessfully for Governor last year.    

Tracy indicated she talked with her family about a political bid to replace Aaron Schock and decided against it.  

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Regional
7:23 am
Mon March 30, 2015

APL Takes Aim At Stray And Feral Cats

Credit APL

Spring is here... and love is in the air.

But that's not necessarily a good thing when it comes to stray and feral cats.  This is the time of the year when unwanted litters wind up at the Animal Protective League in Springfield.  Last year, about 1,000 animals were brought to APL.  Only about half are adopted.  The no-kill shelter has launched an effort to help the situation.

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Regional
9:26 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

"Save The Mill" Effort Turns To Crowdfunding

The Mill
Credit Savethemill.org

For decades, the Mill restaurant was a mainstay along Route 66 in Lincoln.  Known for its fried schnitzel, as well as its architecture resembling a small Dutch windmill, the Mill remained open until 1996. 

It sat vacant for a decade, but was saved from demolition. Fundraising led to repairs.  But more work is needed.

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Regional
2:47 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Local Speaker Series Connects Central Illinois To The World

Credit Wikimedia Commons/Aivazovsky

If you want to learn about something, you need to listen to people that know about it.  And if what's going on in the world piques your interest, a good place to start is the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois.   

Weekly sessions on various topics get underway Tuesday, March 24 as part of the Great Decisions series. 

Frank Kopecky is on the board member and a retired UIS faculty member. He spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford:

The weekly series takes place at the Laurel Methodist Church at Walnut and South Grand in Springfield.  Here is the full list:

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Arts and Culture
11:28 am
Thu March 19, 2015

"Mostly Mozart" Includes A World Premiere Friday Night

Alistair Willis
Credit AlistairWillis.com/Tabitha Blair Photography

The Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra will give you a bit of Mozart and more during performances at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield Friday night.  The shows begin at 6 and 8 p.m. and feature the Overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No. 35 "Haffner". 

Music Director Alistair Willis talks about the challenges of conducting classic compositions like those and new works. 

The Chamber Orchestra will perform a world premiere piece by the acclaimed Uzbekistani composer Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky, who has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. 

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Regional
12:59 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Midwest Travel: 4 Times The Fun In The Quad Cities

The History Channel's popular "American Pickers" show has its home base in LeClaire, Iowa, just outside of the Quad Cities. At a shop labeled Antique Archaeology, travelers can view some of the treasure hunters' finds and pick up souvenirs.
Credit Brent Bohlen

In our most recent Midwest Travel segment, Mary Bohlen visited the Quad Cities and tells us about some of the interesting and fun sites to see. 

You can read her latest article in the Illinois Times.

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Politics
3:40 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Interview With Mayoral Candidate Jim Langfelder

Jim Langfelder

Springfield candidate for mayor Jim Langfelder, the current City Treasurer, visited the WUIS studios for a conversation about the issues.  Langfelder talked about his vision for Springfield, including CWLP.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Springfield Mayoral Debate - March 12, 2015

Credit IAR

Candidates Paul Palazzolo and Jim Langfelder debated the issues on the evening of March 12. 

The debate was sponsored by the Illinois Association of Realtors, the Capitol Area Realtors and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

WUIS' Amanda Vinicky and the SJ-R's Bernie Schoenburg were moderators.

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Politics
11:45 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Interview With Mayoral Candidate Paul Palazzolo

Paul Palazzolo

Springfield mayoral hopeful Paul Palazzolo says a full time neighborhood coordinator will help current residents and make the city more attractive to those wanting to re-locate.  

Speaking on WUIS' Illinois Edition, Palazzolo says it will be based an approach taken in Peoria.  The coordinator would listen to concerns about issues from snow removal to fly dumping and then work with the various city departments to resolve the problem.  

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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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