Sean Crawford

Managing Editor / Illinois Edition


Advisory Board Ex-Officio


Sean has led WUIS' news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so 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. 

Ways to Connect


State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis talks with us about the planned closures of a longtime tavern and a comedy club.   And we hear about changes coming to the MacArthur Park Apartments:

Illinois Times

If you are into power trips, you can’t find a better place than central Iowa.

US CPSC/flickr

A new law will require schools to install carbon monoxide detectors.  The law stems from an incident last year. 

About 150 students and staff became ill at the North Mac Intermediate School in Girard..  Turns out it was a problem with the heating system.  A faulty exhaust pipe.  

A carbon monoxide detector would have alerted those in the building.   While the detectors are required for many structures, schools were left out.  

City of Springfield

News release from City of Springfield issued Friday 9/4/15:

Springfield, Illinois – Mayor Jim Langfelder announced today Robert “Barry” Helmerichs as the new Chief for the Springfield Fire Department.

Helmerichs joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1991 and served as a firefighter, driver-engineer, captain, deputy chief of technical services, and division chief in addition to serving as a faculty member with the fire science program at Lincoln Land Community College.  He was appointed Fire Chief in 2010 under then-Mayor Tim Davlin.

Prometheus Books

Businesses strive to be more efficient.  Often, that comes at the expense of jobs.  But Peter Wenz sees a way all can benefit. 

In his book Functional Inefficiency, he examines how some of the most labor-intensive sectors also are inefficient.  But they employ people and, in turn, help the overall economy.

We talked more with the author, who is also a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield.


7 people have died from a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in western Illinois, the state announced Tuesday. 

The cases all involve residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.  The Department of Veteran's Affairs says all had underlying medical conditions.   

Despite the U.S. being reliant on China for exports, many Americans have a hard time understanding what is taking place with the world's largest economy. 

We figured it was a good time to bring in Roy Wehrle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Illinois Springfield. 


The Papers of Abraham Lincoln has received a $400,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will allow more documents about Lincoln’s congressional career to be placed online.

The new three-year grant is the largest the Papers of Abraham Lincoln has received from the NEH. It comes in the form of $100,000 in outright funds and $300,000 in matching funds.


It takes a lot to upstage Abraham Lincoln.  But if anyone could, it might have been Marilyn Monroe.

The actress visited the small east central Illinois town of Bement, in Piatt County, 60 years ago this week.  Bement is known for being the site where Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met to plan their famous debates.  But in 1955, it was Marilyn's town. 

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A panel of lawmakers will weigh in Wednesday on the planned closure of two state facilities.  But the final decision rests with the governor. 


A Chicago alderman has proposed a penny per ounce tax on sugary drinks in that city.  There is also an effort to make that happen statewide.

Christopher Z. Mooney

You may be asking: How did Illinois get to this point?

University of Illinois employees won't see pay raises, at least until a state budget is finalized. 

Nearly a month into the new fiscal year, the university is still waiting to see the impact of budget negotiations.

A state lawmaker who represents a large number of government workers says he remains against efforts to bring in an outsider to help negotiate a new union contract.  

Republican house member Tim Butler of Springfield says the matter should be decided in talks between the Rauner Administration and the union known as AFSCME.  He voted this spring against allowing an independent arbitrator to get involved:

commons/wikimedia/Public Domain

It was 100 years ago this week that one of Chicago's most tragic events occurred.  844 people died in a horrific scene along the Chicago River.And yet, most have never heard of the Eastland Disaster.

Grow Springfield

On July 19, there's a chance to learn more about community gardens and growing in an urban setting. It's the third annual Roots to Rooftop Tour in Springfield.  5 locations will be spotlighted, including a rooftop garden at Maldaner's Restaurant.  

"Community gardens are a great way for neighbors to come together, create community and grow healthy food," said Joe Eby of Grow Springfield.

Hermann Tourism Office

The town of Hermann, Missouri is located approximately 180 miles away from Springfield, Illinois. 

In our latest midwest travel segment, Mary Bohlen wrote about the town with strong German heritage for Illinois Times. 

She tells WUIS' Sean Crawford there is a lot to see and do, but it's not necessarily a family destination.


Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, talks about 3 downtown Springfield building projects.  Historic items were discovered during the work being performed by Rick Lawrence, whose ultimate plan is for apartments, offices, restaurants, etc.

Also, Magro Meats and Produce is looking to open this fall in the former Eagle grocery store along Stevenson Drive. 


Kenny Winslow will remain as the City of Springfield's Police Chief, Mayor Jim Langfelder announced Tuesday. 

Winslow has been in the role since his appointment in 2013. 

Hearings were held in all the city's wards as the new administration considered other applicants.

The following news release was sent from the Mayor's office:

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan says if creativity interests you, Oak Park should be on your destination list. 

The city just outside of Chicago boasts former homes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway and museums devoted to each. 

Her article in the Illinois Times showcases famous residents and their respective careers.  She also explains the best ways to get to Oak Park and visit the sites.

The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care.  96% report having health insurance.  That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.

Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.

Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks.  More also say the county has strong leadership.

So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?

Each week, State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis joins us to talk about area business news. 


As a nurse, Mindy Pearse has to call women undergoing cancer tests to relay the results.  Sometimes, she delivers bad news.

Pearse understands how those women feel.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago.

The fifth Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Scholarship at the University of Illinois Springfield will advance the concept of Counter-Emancipation following President Abraham Lincoln’s death, and its connections to racial inequality in the United States today.


Time flies when you're doing good things.  The Young Philanthropists in central Illinois Springfield is marking its 10th year.  

The Community Foundation For The Land Of Lincoln approached people who were interested in philanthropy, but had not started. That's according to the Foundation's Vice President of Programs Stacy Reed. 

"It's just a way for people to pool their resources," she said. "Everyone contributes $125 to an endowment fund."


None of us look forward to visiting the doctor.  But getting a regular checkup and telling your physician about any problems you are experiencing can save your life.

June is Men's Health Month.  Dr. Shaheen Allanee, Head of Urologic Oncology at SIU in Springfield, says men are notorious for putting off medical care.

Springfield aldermen turned down a plan to use tax increment financing to help develop a downtown student housing project.  The city council unanimously rejected the idea to give 700-thousand dollars.

Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register, joins WUIS' Sean Crawford to discuss who is interested in developing the YWCA block in downtown Springfield.  7 developers submitted letters to the city, although only one was local.

Ruler Foods, a discount brand of Kroger, is looking to make MacArthur Boulevard its second Springfield location.  There is already a story on Sangamon Avenue.  The company has a contract to purchase the former Esquire Theater,  but there is no construction schedule.

Amanda Vinicky headshot 2010 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

WUIS' Sean Crawford talks with Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky on where the state budget gridlock goes from here. 

Courtesy of Illinois State Museum

Archaeological investigations have revealed that ancient peoples in North America employed astronomical observations in order to determine the onset of various seasons as well as to understand the length of the year. Such information helped guide religious, social, and economic activities.