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. 

Pages

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.

Read more
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.  

Read more
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.  

 

Read more
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:

Read more
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

Read more
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.   

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

.

Read more
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.   

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
Harvest Desk
8:07 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Reducing Pollution From Farm Fields Through Education

Credit flickr/United Soybean Board

Agricultural runoff is a problem in Illinois and many other farm states.  Nitrogen, phosphorous and chemicals help with yields, but too much winds up in the water supply.   That creates problems like algae growth that robs the water of oxygen, killing off aquatic life. 

Jean Payne represents fertilizer and chemical dealers in the state.  She says a training program will launch this winter in an effort to get farmers better educated on how to apply nutrients to their crops, including the best time for application and proper amounts. 

Read more
Regional
7:50 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

It's Community Foundation Week

John Stremsterfer
Credit CFLL

It was 100 years ago that community foundations began.  It was in Ohio.

"It was actually a banker from Cleveland who thought,there's all these charitable trusts being formed.  If we consolidated these it could be more efficient for philanthropy," said John Stremsterfer, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.  

Based in Springfield, it serves Sangamon, Cass, Christian, Logan, Menard, Morgan, and Montgomery counties. The organization helps match donors with specific causes. 

Read more
Harvest Desk
3:39 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Sangamon, Pike Among Top 10 Counties For Deer-Vehicle Accidents

Credit flickr/JoeShlabotnik

Deer can be more than a nuisance. They can be dangerous when they venture on to roads.  

Illinois saw a one percent drop in the number of crashes in 2013,but there were still over 15-thousand accidents.  There was also a slight increase in injuries from those collisions and six people died.

Madison and Cook County led the way in the number of deer-vehicle accidents with well over 400 each.

Read more
Science
5:36 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Lecture On Late Victorian East St. Louis

Dr. Claire Dappert

A recent Mississippi River Bridge project at St. Louis has given the opportunity to take a look back in time.  Excavations took place near I-70 and the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge.

The research uncovered  information about a prehistoric civilization at the site.  But Dr. Claire Dappert, Historic Archaeologist at the Illinois State Archaeological Survey of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, says a lesser publicized part of the project involves residential neighborhoods that existed about 100 years ago around the St. Louis National Stockyards.

Read more
Harvest Desk
10:16 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Sangamon, Menard, Logan, Christian, Mason Counties Added To Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

Emerald ash borerCredit U.S Department of AgricultureEdit | Remove

Twelve counties have been added to Illinois' emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantine, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

The new additions to the boundaries include seven counties where the tree-killing beetle was identified for the first time this year and five that are considered to be at risk of infestation.

Read more
Politics
9:31 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

U-S Senate Candidates Differ On Ebola Response And More

Jim Oberweis (left) and Dick Durbin
Credit WTTW

Ebola has not just dominated the news recently, it has become a point of discussion in campaigns.  It came up in last night's U-S Senate debate, held as part of the public t-v program "Chicago Tonight."

U-S Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, says he favors close monitoring of passengers and quarantining those at high risk of exposure.

But he disagreed with his Republican challenger Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, on the need for a travel ban from certain countries.  

Read more
Arts
1:30 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

What's New With The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony? Quite A Lot

Gene Power
Credit SVYS

Music Director Gene Power says he's received a positive response to his plan for a first ever Chamber Music Program. 

"We had about 27 kids who were interested in being in chamber ensembles," he said.  A coach was hired to work with the students after regular practices. 

Power says it's part of a larger effort to bring more visibility to the organization which provides music opportunities for kids at the elementary and secondary school levels. 

The ensembles could also perform at events where live music might be proper, like a holiday party.

Read more
Regional
7:38 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Young Philanthropists Keep Giving Back

Stacy Reed (left) and Sarah Buening
Credit WUIS

Sarah Beuning calls it the "snowball" effect. 

"Young Philanthropists is a giving circle at the Community Foundation for people who want to get involved in philanthropy at kind of an early level," she said.  "The more people who get together, the bigger impact we can have."

Every member gives $125 and the money is pooled and grants are awardedThe next round will be going out soon. A deadline of Nov. 3 is coming fast for those who work with children and want to apply. 

Read more
Regional
4:51 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Making Buildings Healthier From The Inside Out

Credit flickr/JoshuaRothhaas

What chemicals wind up in building materials?   And do they impact your health?   

Those are questions Jeffrey Saad has been asking.   He's deciphering the "recipes" that are used in construction.  The Chicago based architect with Perkins+Will says of the more than 82,000 chemicals registered in the U.S., only about 200 have been analyzed for their potential threats.  And only 5 are banned.

Read more
Education Desk
7:55 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Group Has A Goal Of Improving Access To Preschool In Macon County

Credit flickr: EdenJanineJim

Getting more kids into pre-school might not solve all the problems, but there is mounting evidence that it can help ensure a child gets off to a good start. 

However, some communities struggle to get more youngsters into early learning.  

The Education Coalition of Macon County has studied the issue there and found some pressing needs when it comes to early childhood education. 

Sarah Bjelland is the group's Research and Data Manager.

Read more
Politics
2:27 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Stocks-Smith Says She's Staying Out Of Mayor's Race

Credit Stocks-Smith Campaign for Mayor 2011

The runner up in the 2011 Springfield mayor's contest issued a statement today saying she won't run for the office next year.  

Sheila Stocks-Smith indicated it's not the right time for her to make a bid.  Stocks-Smith finished second to Mayor Mike Houston in the last election. 

Her statement:

"After carefully thought, I have decided that this is not the right time for me to run for Mayor. Instead, I will continue to serve my community and influence positive change in Springfield through my social policy and program work and community activism.” 

Read more
Election 2014
11:36 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate

Democrat Ann Callis (left) and Republican Rodney Davis in a WUIS/AARP debate at UIS Tuesday, October 21.
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Illinois' declining manufacturing sector led to one candidate for congress calling for repeal of a controversial free trade deal.  The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been praised by those who see it as key to opening up new export markets.  But others say it has led to more outsourcing of jobs to other countries.  

Democrat Ann Callis of Edwardsville, who is seeking the 13th Congressional District seat, commented in a Tuesday debate in Springfield that she would support repealing NAFTA. 

Afterward, she walked back those comments:

Read more
Education Desk
3:56 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Decatur Schools Say Employee Who Visited Africa Poses No Ebola Threat

Decatur Public Schools issued a statement today saying a staff member at MacArthur High, who traveled to Africa, has been cleared by a doctor.   The announcement came after concerns from parents over potential exposure to Ebola.  

The district says the individual was in South Africa, outside of the region where Ebola has been concentrated.  

The statement released says the staff member was deemed not to be at risk and after seeing their personal physician, was cleared to return to work. 

The district's statement follows:

Read more
Sports
6:57 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Knights Of Another Sort...

Brad Schaive in full battle gear
Credit Brad Schaive

Brad Schaive wants to make a few things clear about full contact armored fighting.  It's a sport and it's dangerous.   

Schaive would know.  He's a competitor.  He's traveled overseas to go up against some of the best in the world.  But now, the best are coming here. 

Battle of the Nations International Tournament of Chivalry will bring participants from the U.S. and five other countries to Springfield.  The event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Livestock Center is from 12-3 Saturday. 

Read more

Pages