Sean Crawford

Content Director/ Editor/ Anchor/ Illinois Edition Host / Reporter

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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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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Health Desk
3:35 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Flu Cases Are Ahead Of Schedule In Illinois

Washing your hands is a good way to help prevent the spread of the flu.
Credit Peapod Labs/flickr

Illinois is reporting widespread flu activity earlier than most years.  Widespread means the flu is showing up statewide.  Illinois tracks people hospitalized for the flu. That number is above 200 with nearly half the cases in the week that ended December 13th. 

Of course, that fails to count those who have the symptoms but are recuperating at home.  

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Regional
1:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Midwest Travel: Chicago All Aglow For The Holidays

The Chicago Botanic Garden in suburban Glencoe is all lit up during its Wonderland Express celebration.
Credit Chicago Botanic Garden

It's the most wonderful time of the year.  And Chicago is one of the top locations to visit for the holidays. 

Mary Galligan wrote about some of the most festive attractions in the latest edition of Illinois Times. 

From the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden  to the Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, Navy Pier, Millenium Park and more.  Holiday light displays and events are sure to delight families.

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Education Desk
5:58 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

District 186 Reports Student Absences Up Due To Illness

Springfield public schools have seen higher than normal absences in the past week.  The district won't say if the absences are related to the flu, but local health officials say they are seeing more cases in the area.

District 186 reported last week, about 9 percent of students missed class.  The number was higher at Springfield High, where nearly 11 percent of students were out.  Lanphier had 14 percent absent.

Alternative programs in the district had the highest percentage of student absences.  

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Health Desk
7:25 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Soda Tax Idea Coming Back In Spring Session

Credit flickr/ Jannes Pockele

Americans' love affair with sweets is well known.  It also contributes to health problems like obesity, diabetes and even heart disease.  And where do most people get sugar in their diet?  From sweetened beverages, such as soda.  

That's led some health advocates to push for ways to reduce consumption.  In Illinois, a plan for a penny per ounce tax on the drinks came up last year.  However, it got a cool reception from lawmakers.  

 

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Business
4:11 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Springfield's Former Esquire Theater To Be Torn Down

The City of Springfield has reached a deal to have the former Esquire Theater demolished. 

The theater closed over a decade ago and the building has remained boarded up since then.  That's despite sitting along a busy stretch of MacArthur Boulevard near South Grand.   Alderman Joe McMenamin says the property's owner has agreed to tear down the building by spring.  The city's ordinance to begin fining vacant property owners was a factor.  He says the threat of fines also made potential buyers nervous:

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Statehouse
6:18 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Ill. Supreme Court Sets Schedule For Pension Case

Credit Il. Supreme Court website - state.il.us/court

The Illinois Supreme Court is allowing a speedy review of a state pension overhaul that a lower court has declared unconstitutional.
 
The court issued an order Wednesday granting the government's request for an
expedited appeal.
 
The court says the government must file its initial argument by Jan. 12. The
other side _ a group of state employees, retired teachers and others _ must
respond by Feb. 27.
 
The case involves the pension fix lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn adopted last

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Science
8:28 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Science Lecture: Past, Present And Future Of Illinois Freshwater Mussels

Credit Illinois State Museum

You might not realize it, but the lowly freshwater mussel can fill in some of the gaps of history.  Researchers are doing just that here in Illinois, seeing how mussel species have developed and in some cases, died off.  This type of research also shows the impact of changes in ecosystems.   

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Sports
2:53 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

UIS To Add New Sports Starting Next Fall

Credit UIS Athletics

The University of Illinois Springfield released the following news release on Tuesday, announcing the addition of men's and women's cross country and track and field programs:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – University of Illinois Springfield Director of Athletics Kim Pate has announced the addition of men’s & women’s cross country and men’s and women’s track & field as new intercollegiate sponsored sports for the Prairie Star athletic programs.

The teams are slated to begin competition in the fall of 2015.

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Business
9:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Hearings This Week On Grain Belt Express Transmission Line

Credit grainbeltexpresscleanline.com

A series of public meetings is underway in the area regarding a high voltage transmission line project.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is the name of a project that will transport electricity generated by wind power in Kansas to Illinois and other states.  It would run through west central Illinois, starting in Pike County and east into Macoupin, Christian and Shelby counties among others....then on to Indiana.

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Taxes
3:17 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

Gas Tax Fails To Keep Pace With Infrastructure Needs

Credit flickr/MikeMozart

Don Fullerton is associate director of IGPA for Urbana-Champaign and a member of the IGPA faculty. He is an expert on tax policy, energy and environmental policy issues. Julian Reif is an expert in health economics and policy.

They wrote the following op-ed.

Last year, the Panzier Lane bridge in Jefferson County collapsed while a truck was driving over it. The driver was unharmed, but as reconstruction began last month, officials estimated it will cost more than half a million dollars to repair.

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Education Desk
1:10 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes

Jamie Stout
Credit WUIS

Community Colleges do more than simply of for-credit classes.  They are a place where personal enrichment can be discovered. 

Jamie Stout is the Community Education Director for Lincoln Land Community College. She joined WUIS' Sean Crawford to talk more about some of the offerings, ranging from culinary classes to ghost hunting. 

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History
11:33 am
Wed November 26, 2014

New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"

Credit ALPLM

Visitors to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will have a rare opportunity to see some important historical documents and others items pertaining to the 16th president. 

"Undying Words - Lincoln 1858-1865" is a new exhibit that showcases the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the Gettysburg Address and more. 

"We wanted to focus on what was critical in Lincoln's life and in the nation's life.  And that comes down to his last 7 years," said James Cornelius, Curator of the Lincoln Collection.

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Business
3:13 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail

Credit Jeff Turner/flickr

WUIS' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register, on our weekly business report. 

This week, we hear about foreclosure sales returning to normal levels in the Springfield area.  We also discuss a study of the Heritage River Trail from Petersburg to Decatur and what improvements could be made to help tourism and recreation. 

Also, a court-ordered deadline is fast approaching to clean up the former CIPS Icehouse at 918 E. Edwards St.

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Regional
3:51 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Midwest Travel: Starved Rock In The Winter

LaSalle Canyon in Starved Rock State Park
Credit flickr/Curtis Albert

If you are in the mood to travel, you might think about far away distances.  But there are plenty of things to see right here in Illinois and the midwest.  That's the focus of a new segment on Illinois Edition on WUIS. 

Mary Bohlen and Mary Galligan write travel articles for the Illinois Times.  Their trips are within a day's drive.  They look for affordable, family friendly destinations.  From state parks to small towns to big city amenities.

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Education Desk
4:57 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

U Of I To Name Next President On Wednesday

Credit UIS.edu

The next president of the University of Illinois will be announced Wednesday.   The announcement will be made on all three campuses.  

Board chair Christopher Kennedy and other university officials will introduce the schools' choice to head the U of I.  A news release did not mention the choice.

President Robert Easter will retire next summer.  He has served in that role for 3 years after being on the faculty and serving as an administrator at the Urbana Champaign campus.   

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Business
2:25 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Transmission Line Meetings Planned; More Space For Senior Living

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

On this week's WUIS/State Journal-Register Business Report, Tim Landis tells us about the Grain Belt Express transmission line project across central Illinois, efforts to save another historic building in Springfield and expansion of a senior living complex. 

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Statehouse
9:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Race Affects Opinion Of Police In Illinois

Credit flickr/Matty Ring

A newly released survey shows a majority of Illinois residents are satisfied with the performance of their local police department.  But the numbers also show differences of opinion along racial lines. 

The statewide survey shows overall, 7 of 10 people in Illinois give police good marks.  But African Americans are more split, with only about half giving a commendable rating.

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