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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Business
10:48 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Business Report: Former Restaurant Near Statehouse Up For Auction; Downtown Springfield Inc. Update

The former Baur's Restaurant
Credit HansenandYoung.com

On this week's WUIS / State Journal-Register Business Report, we discuss a one-time statehouse hangout that is on the auction block.  The former Baur's Restaurant is just south of the capitol complex. 

SJ-R Business Editor Tim Landis tells us the fact the auction has no minimum bid says something about the change in habits during legislative sessions.

We also discuss a judge's order that forces demolition of the Knox Flats building in Springfield and a financial update on Downtown Springfield Inc.

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History
8:05 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series To Focus On "Lincoln's Funeral"

Credit UIS

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, it began a period of mourning that was emphasized in many communities as his funeral train made its way from Washington D.C. to Springfield.

The 17-hundred mile journey had an impact on the nation and certainly those who witnessed it.  But through various eyes, the passing of Abraham Lincoln was seen differently.  

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Statehouse
3:57 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

Kent Redfield: Curing Political Corruption One Candidate At A Time

The following is an op-ed written by University of Illinois Springfield Professor Kent Redfield for the U of I's Institute of Government and Public Affairs:

A former governor was convicted of public corruption a few weeks ago. What many Illinoisans probably found surprising wasn’t the verdict, but the fact that the governor was from Virginia. One wag tweeted, “That’s so Illinois!” When it comes to public corruption, Illinois is the punchline of every joke, even when the corruption is not our own. 

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Regional
9:04 am
Thu October 9, 2014

M.E.R.C.Y. Celebrates 15 Years Amid Financial Challenge

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities began helping homeless mothers and their children 15 years ago in Springfield. The work involved providing transitional and permanent housing, along with other services.

Fundraising and grants has helped cover costs.  But this year, word came that a federal HUD grant won't be renewed.   And unless that money is recouped, some services will be scaled back or eliminated.

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Archaeology
6:17 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

Golden Eagle Site Still Mostly A Mystery

Credit wikipedia/nyttend

An ancient site in present day Calhoun County is the source of intrigue among archaeologists.  Despite it's age and long known existence, little is known about the Golden Eagle site, near where the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers meet.   It features mounds with an earthen enclosure.  Some believe it was a trading center. But questions are plenty.

Jason King is Director of Research for the Center for American Archaeology in Kampsville. 

He's researching the site and will speak about that work at the Illinois State Museum's next Science Series lecture Wednesday night. 

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Health Desk
7:14 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Effort Underway To Gauge Sangamon County Health Needs

Credit rosmary/flickr

You have a chance to give your thoughts about public health in Sangamon County. 

Memorial Medical Center, St. John's Hospital and the Sangamon County Public Health Department are teaming up to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment.  Information is being gathered through five local forums starting this week and an online survey.

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Lincoln
1:46 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Mary Todd Lincoln And Spiritualism

Jean H. Baker
Credit Goucher.edu

In a nation devastated by the Civil War, spiritualism offered grieving families some hope of connecting with lost loved ones. It also gave women another outlet for their energy and influence in a society that sharply limited women’s roles.

Jean H. Baker, author of “Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography,” visits the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Sept. 30 to discuss spiritualism and attempts to contact the dead.

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Business
1:09 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Tim Landis: Bike Lanes, Medical Marijuana And Meat

Credit SJ-R.com

On this week's WUIS / State Journal-Register Business Report with Tim Landis, we discuss an effort by Magro's Meat Processing of Auburn to locate a store in Springfield.  Neighbors have rejected a plan for animal slaughtering in the area along Stevenson Drive.  Springfield's Planning and Zoning Board has also denied the request. 

Also, mixed reviews so far for bike lanes along a downtown street and a push to bring a medical marijuana dispensary to the city's downtown.

Read the latest stories from Tim Landis in the SJ-R.

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Op-Ed
3:47 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Chris Mooney: More Evidence-Based Policymaking Needed

Chris Mooney
Credit IGPA

Chris Mooney is Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.  The following is an article he authored:

Prisons vastly are overcrowded. College tuition is rising fast. Roads and bridges are crumbling. Public pensions are on the verge of disaster.

Why is Illinois state government so inept? While public problems are inherently difficult to solve, Illinois seems to be particularly adrift these days.

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Business
3:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Illinois Unemployment Falls Again

Credit flickr/Simon Cunningham

Illinois unemployment fell in August to 6.7 percent, the sixth straight monthly decrease in the state's jobless rate, according to figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  

The latest figure represents a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.7 was in July 2008, when it was 6.6 percent.  

There are 40,600 more jobs than one year ago, the department said.  

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Regional
6:39 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Teen Arrested For Threat Against Glenwood High School

A 17 year old was taken into custody this morning after school officials and Chatham police were alerted to a message posted on Twitter.

The teen, whose identity is not being released, was arrested at his home for making an electronic threat and aggravated battery of a police officer.  Chatham Sgt. Scott Tarter said an officer was scratched when making the arrest.

Few other details are available as the case remains under investigation.  Tarter described the threat as "general" in regards to violence, "but definitely directed at the school."

Business
4:18 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

White Oaks Mall Owner Now Part Of Legacy Pointe Outlet Project

Credit LegacyPointe.net

A major retail development planned near the Scheel's store in Springfield will now involve the company that runs White Oaks Mall.

Simon Property Group has joined with Global Outlet Management to build 80 outlet stores at MacArthur Boulevard and I-72.

It's being called a 50/50 partnership.  David Ober, with Global Outlet Management out of Hershey, Pennsylvania, says the two companies teaming up means the development will be opening next year.

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Regional
12:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

The Future Of Downtown Springfield Inc. In Jeopardy

A scene from the Old Capitol Art Fair in downtown Springfield
Credit flickr/Katherine Johnson

Without some help, Downtown Springfield Incorporated could cease to exist in just over a month.  The organization that helps put on events like the downtown farmer's market, blue and bar-b-q and serves as an umbrella group for various businesses is on the ropes financially. 

Victoria Ringer, Executive Director, says a 2012 Taste of Downtown event suffered from extreme heat, which kept patrons away.  After making up part of that loss, this year's outdoor blues show also lost money because of heat.

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Education Desk
4:17 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Unloaded Gun Found At Southeast High

Credit District 186

An unloaded gun was discovered at Southeast High School today.   District officials say the gun was not found on a person, but suspects have been detained.   An investigation is continuing.  

The district also says the discovery came after a tip was given to the school.  That prompted what's known as a soft lock down as a precaution.  

Increased security is planned for tonight.  Southeast hosts Chatham Glenwood in a football game this evening.
   
It was just over two weeks ago that a Lanphier student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school.

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Statehouse
5:55 am
Thu September 11, 2014

WUIS Archives: 9/11 Update

Credit WUIS/Brian Mackey

Everyone remembers where they were 13 years ago today, September 11, 2001. 

WUIS' Sean Crawford was preparing for a typical day covering state government and politics at the capitol building.  But as word of the terrorist attacks in New York spread, Illinois authorities made the rare decision to close state offices. 

The day changed America and how the State of Illinois operated.  Security increased in the years after.  New focus was put on preparedness efforts. 

From our archives, here is Crawford giving an update on 9/11 to Illinois Public Radio's Tom Rogers.

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Higher Ed
2:43 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

UIS Enrollment Hits All-Time High

Credit UIS.edu

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield has surpassed 5,400 for the first time in the school's history.  300 more students are on campus this fall compared to a year ago.

The fall census of students eclipsed the previous record set four years ago with 5,431 students enrolled.  It also marks the fifth consecutive year that enrollment has topped 5,000.

 The number of international students increased more than 115 percent, to 827 this fall.  

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Business
1:15 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Residents Balk At Meat Processing; Uncertain Future Of Legacy Pointe

Credit SJ-R.com

The State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis explains residents are upset about a plan to open a meat market along Stevenson Drive in the old Eagle Supermarket building. The concern comes from a proposal to allow animal slaughtering on site.

Also, Legacy Pointe was supposed to have had outlet stores and a lot more by now.  The delay of development has led to questions about the project ever coming to fruition.  

And, Downtown Springfield Inc. could be running out of money as early as next month. What happened and will the city come to the rescue?

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Harvest Desk
9:03 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Heirloom Seeds Passed Down Through Generations

Steve Carlson handles some seeds of Trail of Tears corn. During the forced march in the 1830s from the southeastern U.S. to Oklahoma and Arkansas, Cherokee planted these seeds along the way. (Photo by Sarah Boden / Harvest Public Media)

Most vegetable seeds today are bred by seed companies to be hearty and easier to grow. They’re created by cross-breeding different varieties and selecting for specific characteristics. Heirloom seeds are different. Like your grandmother’s engagement ring, heirloom seeds have been passed down through generations. And today’s gardeners likely wouldn’t have access to For many of their favorite heirloom plants if it weren’t for the work of the Seed Savers Exchange.

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Science
12:30 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Science Lecture On Violent Past At Morton Village

Dr. Jodie O'Gorman at Morton Village
Credit http://mortonvillage.anthropology.msu.edu

The next Illinois State Museum Science Series lecture is this Wednesday night, Sept. 10. 

Dr. Jodie O'Gorman has been researching a 700 year old site in Fulton County called Morton Village.

It's where two groups met, lived and apparently fought.  While the site is a tranquil setting these days, evidence points to high rate of violent deaths.   Understanding how a migrant group called Oneota and local Mississippians got along, and sometimes didn't, is the focus of the work.

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Regional
7:46 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Side Trips Along The Mother Road: Rt. 66 Signs And Statues To Spotlight Towns

Credit Illinois Rt. 66 Scenic Byway

Traveling along Route 66 in Illinois, you pass a lot of small communities.  And when you pass them by, you are missing out on history. 

A new project will showcase some points of interest. A series of interpretive signs and two-dimensional iron statues are being placed in 9 areas. 

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Historic Preservation
6:47 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Landscaping Changes Aim To Bring More Visitors To Old State Capitol

It's been the town square of Springfield since it was built.  But the Old State Capitol grounds has taken on a varied look through the years. 

And an effort is underway to do something different and better.

A lawn party is being held this Saturday afternoon from 5 to 7 at the site to raise money for beautifying the grounds.   

While the location is teeming with history, from it's role as the home of state government, to it's ties to Lincoln and later, Obama, something is still missing.

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Springfield Mayor's Race
11:16 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Alderman Is 4th Candidate To Announce For Springfield Mayor

Gail Simpson
Credit Alderman Gail Simpson Facebook page

    A member of Springfield's city council says she is running for mayor.  Alderman Gail Simpson, who is African American, says the community is too segregated, and she is better equipped than the other candidates to fix that problem. 

“I have a concern with a total part of this city – it’s not just the east side, because there are residents on the south, east, and north side that don’t have a voice. You know – they’re two cities,” Simpson said. 

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Education Desk
4:27 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Statewide School Webinar Planned For Next Week

Credit SethSawyers/Flickr

An internet event next week is aimed at reaching out to parents in the state. 
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA have teamed up to offer their first Back To School webinar on Tuesday September 9.   It will feature the state superintendent and others giving parents more details about changes in schools.  That includes new learning standards and tests.

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Science
6:26 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Look At The Stars: Research And Parties At UIS

Eta Carinae nebula
Credit Marc VanNorden/flickr

The popular star parties resume this Friday night on the University of Illinois Springfield campus, weather permitting.  They are hosted by Dr. John Martin, Associate Professor of Astronomy/Physics. 

Visitors are asked to arrive between 8-10 p.m. at the UIS Observatory on the roof of the Brookens Library. 

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Regional
8:14 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Jimmy Carter To Speak At Illinois College Next Month

Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter is coming to Jacksonville next month.    Carter will speak on the campus of Illinois College October 14.  

The visit is part of the Phi Alpha lecture series.    The college's spokesman Todd Spann says more details will be released later.

President Carter will turn 90 years old next month.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for human rights work.  He served one term as president from 1977-1981.

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Business
12:43 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Casey's Expansion; Parsons In Court; Farmland Prices Fall

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

This week, State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis tells us about the growth of Casey's General Stores and the company's plans for the future. 

We'll also get an update on the case against THR and Associates founder Jeff Parsons and the decline in farmland prices.

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Business
10:56 am
Tue August 26, 2014

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Ameren Gas Upgrades; Carpenter St. Underpass; Pease's Design Change

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

Ameren has begun a huge upgrade of gas lines that could take a decade to complete. 

The State Journal-Register's Tim Landis tell us while the company says it's needed, consumers will be paying for the work. 

The start of construction on an underpass along Carpenter Street is part of Springfield's rail relocation.  A groundbreaking was held for that project in the past week. 

Also, Pease's Candy is known for the pink box it's had since the 1930's.  But the packaging is getting a bit of a facelift.  

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Statehouse
6:17 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Rep. Poe To Undergo Stem Cell Transplant

Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Sherman)
Credit ilga.gov

An area lawmaker says his prognosis is good as he battles a blood disease.

Republican House member Raymond Poe of Sherman will go to Texas for a three week treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS.   He'll have a stem cell transplant to replace bone marrow. That's the same procedure Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts underwent.

"They said there's an 80 percent chance.  They're very successful," he said. "They do more than 200 a year.  And so that's what we're gonna go do.  And the nice thing is it's a cure, it's not just a treatment."  

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Education Desk
5:53 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Next U Of I President To Make More Money

Credit flickr/creative commons I love butter

An employee of the firm helping the University of Illinois search for a new president says the school should expect to pay a salary in line with its status as a top university.

Data that Laurie Wilder of Parker Executive Search presented Wednesday to members of the university's search committee made clear that will likely mean paying more than current President Bob Easter earns.  

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Business
7:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: The Future Of The Esquire Theatre; Slowing Downtown Spfld. Traffic

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

On this week's WUIS/State Journal-Register Business Report, Sean Crawford talks with the SJ-R's Tim Landis about efforts to re-develop property along MacArthur Boulevard that was the home to the Esquire Theatre.  One developer has pulled out and nearby residents have their ideas on what should happen there.

The discussion also centers on downtown Springfield traffic.  It's on the minds of businesses and residents in that area.  There's a plan to slow things down and make it more pedestrian friendly.   

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