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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Election 2014
1:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Rodney Davis Says "Do Nothing Congress" Criticism Unfair

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville)
Credit RodneyDavis.house.gop

Congressman Rodney Davis says despite pundits calling attention to what might be an historic low for passing bills, this congress can point to some key accomplishments. 

"Just a few months ago, we were able to pass a long term farm bill that had been held up by political, partisan purposes," he said.    "That bill also saved taxpayers $23 billion in unnecessary spending, got rid of direct payments and made sure that those who need food assistance are going to get food assistance."

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Education Desk
9:09 am
Tue August 19, 2014

WUIS Education Desk: Springfield Mayoral Candidates Talk District 186

The mayor of Springfield has no authority over the public school district.  But with so many campaign promises dependent on growing the city's tax base and population, District 186's image is pertinent in the race.

Those who have announced a bid for mayor include the incumbent Mike Houston, Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasurer Jim Langfelder.

The WUIS Education Desk asked all three candidates about their views of the district, including how to deal with revenue problems.  

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Regional
3:29 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Rochester Body Identified

Skeletal remains discovered in Rochester last month have been positively identified as those of a Decatur woman.

The Sangamon County Coroner, Cinda Edwards, says DNA  testing confirmed the identity as 43 year old Tracy Trimby.   Relatives were notified a couple of weeks ago, but the name had been withheld from the public until now.  

The remains were found when someone was cleaning out the shed on July 19.  
Police say Trimby's name was not on any lists of missing people. Authorities believe her death was a homicide because items in the shed were stacked on her.

Election 2014
3:55 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Callis Says Plenty Of People Worried About Jobs, Economy

Ann Callis
Credit WUIS

Ann Callis says she has talked to people throughout the 13th congressional district during her campaign and one theme comes through loud and clear.

"It all comes down to jobs. People want good, livable wage jobs," she said.  The Democratic candidate stopped in Springfield Wednesday to attend party events in connection with the Illinois State Fair.  

"(People) worry about their future.  I hear from college students. They worry about student loans.  From people that have graduated, they worry about student loan debt."

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Regional
4:43 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Police Searches More Likely For Minority Drivers In Springfield

Credit flickr/JasonRojas

A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday.   It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are about 50 percent more likely to have contraband found during such a search. 

Springfield numbers are similar to the statewide findings. 

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Mayor's Race
4:47 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Langfelder Says Springfield Needs Better Jobs

Jim Langfelder

Economic growth in Springfield is expected to be a top issue in the race for mayor next year.   Jim Langfelder is among those running for the position.  The current city Treasurer says Springfield needs to find ways to bring in more high paying jobs to go along with retail expansion:

"It's great to see Scheels.  I think that was an anchor that helped spur development along MacArthur (Boulevard). I grew up in that area and went to school in that area.  So I have seen the deterioration from what it once was. What I would like to see are professional jobs being created," he said.

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Arts
11:11 am
Tue August 12, 2014

A Lifelong Love Affair With The Arts

Credit SAAC

Penny Wollan-Kriel will retire at the end of next month as Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Council.  But she won't give up her connection to the arts community. 

'I am definitely staying back.  I do not want to be someone looking over the shoulder of the new Executive Director," she said.  "I will continue my involvement in the arts and with children."

She is a Springfield native who grew up dancing. Her  connection to the arts goes back to her childhood. Wollan-Kriel has spent a combined 17 years with the arts council. 

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Regional
2:09 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Around For A Century Or More

Wrigley Field

This Saturday, the Illinois State Historical Society will honor several businesses, municipalities, libraries and non-profits that have been around for 100 years or more. 

It's am impressive list, ranging from Wrigley Field and the Great Lakes Naval Base to the Illinois School for the Deaf and the country's oldest Dodge dealership.

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Politics
8:34 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Candidate Interview: Paul Palazzolo Says Springfield Should Target Growth

Paul Palazzolo

It won't happen until 2015.  But the race for Springfield mayor is on.  So far, three candidates have announced they will seek the office.  Among them, the Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo.  He says if he's elected,  a major focus will be on growing the population. 

He says the city's medical district and other assets could help him reach his goal.  His target is to boost the number of residents from the current 117-thousand up to 124-thousand by the end of the decade.  

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Business
7:01 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Springfield Tourism: More Than Just Abe?

Cars on display at the Route 66 Mother Road Festival
Credit VisitSpringfieldIllinois.com

Historic sites. Abraham Lincoln. Food. Location. 

Whatever drives people to Springfield, the capital city is rebounding when it comes to tourism. 

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Statehouse
4:03 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Democratic Advisor Gene Callahan Dead At 80

Gene Callahan
Credit ALPLM

A longtime aide to top Democratic officials in Illinois has died.   Gene Callahan passed away Monday morning at the age of 80 at his Springfield home.   Callahan worked for Alan Dixon, Paul Simon and Sam Shapiro. 

In an interview with the Lincoln Presidential Library's Oral History Program in 2011, Callahan talked about he was most proud of during his time in government:

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Election 2014
3:54 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Callis Invites New VA Secretary To Tour Local Facilities

Robert McDoanld

13th District candidate for Congress Ann Callis has invited the new Veterans Affairs Secretary to visit VA facilities in the district.

Callis, a Democrat,  sent a letter to Robert McDonald this week.  In it, she specifically mentions facilities in Springfield and Decatur along with St. Louis' John Cochran Hospital. 

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Politics
1:16 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Jim Langfelder Announces Mayoral Bid

Jim Langfelder
Credit Langfelder campaign

Springfield City Treasurer Jim Langfelder has announced he will run for Springfield mayor next year.  The son of former mayor Ossie Langfelder says the theme of his campaign is simple:

"You should do what's best for the city.  That's what it's all about.  That's how I ran the treasurer's office, to do what's in the best interest, protecting city funds, putting in safeguards and changing the way we do business in the treasuer's office.  And if you do that, everything else takes care of itself," Langfelder said. 

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Harvest Desk
2:58 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

July Tied Record For Cool Weather

Credit flickr/jetsandzeppelins

If you thought last month was unseasonably mild in Illinois, you were correct.  In fact, it tied the record for the coolest July. 

State climatologist Jim Angel says this July matched the one in 2009 for cool temperatures.  
The statewide average was 70.3 degrees, a big departure from what is usually a hot and sticky time in the midwest.

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Sports
2:38 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

UIS Athletics Has A New Look

Credit UIS

University of Illinois Springfield Athletics unveiled a new logo and brand identity today.   It will be phased in over the next 3 years on athletic uniforms, beginning with the men's basketball and baseball teams. 
The tagline "Rise Here, Rise Now" was also introduced.

You'll begin seeing it more in marketing, including plans to hang a banner in the White Oaks Mall and a billboard along Sixth Street.

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Arts
5:15 am
Fri August 1, 2014

New Choir Brings A Level Of Expertise

Dr. Elizabeth Zobel
Credit glorianachamberchoir.org

A new professional vocal ensemble will hold its first concert Sunday in Springfield.  The Gloriana Chamber Choir features several who teach music and voice as well as others. 

The Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. Elizabeth W. Zobel of Blackburn College is the founder and she spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford about the endeavor. 

The choir performs at 4 p.m. Sunday August 3 at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield.  The performance will feature English music. 

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Arts
10:47 am
Wed July 23, 2014

"The Civil War" Becomes A Downtown Musical

Credit alplm

You may know the story of the war between the states.  But what is often overlooked is the emotional drama the period had on those who lived through it.

The musical "The Civil War" brings that part of the story to the stage in downtown Springfield starting Thursday night. 

"It's not a history lesson, although you learn a lot," Co-director Phil Funkenbusch said. "It's really a concert theatre piece."

"Instead of telling the story of the Civil War, it's really telling the stories about the people involved in the war."

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Sports
2:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Glenwood Grad Named New UIS Softball Coach

Shannon Nicholson
Credit UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield has announced Shannon Nicholson will be the school's new softball coach. 

Nicholson is from Chatham.  She spent the past six years at Illinois State, most recently as the pitching coach there.

“Being a head coach at such a great Institution is a true privilege and I can’t wait to get started," Nicholson said in a news release. 

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Arts
12:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Get "All Shook Up" At The Springfield Muni

If you love Elvis, get ready for the next Springfield Muni production.  All Shook Up begins a 3 week run Friday night.

We had a chance to speak with Jacob Deters, an SHG grad who plays "Dennis", Glenwood grad Sophie Lanser, who portrays "Natalie/Ed" and the director Anna Bussing.  It's her first time directing, but she's been part of the Muni family for years, first appearing as a kid on the lakeside stage. 

Deters and Lanser also give us a sample of the dialogue and perform a song.

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Arts
8:34 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Sangamon Auditorium Bringing In New Acts, Old Favorites

Roger McGuinn plays the Sangamon Auditorium May 14, 2015
Credit Roger McGuinn press photos

The 2014-2015 entertainment lineup at the Sangamon Auditorium is a mix of the old and new. 

From classic rock like the Moody Blues and classic comedy from Bill Cosby to lesser known performers with unique styles and Broadway shows.

Auditorium Director Bob Vaughn visited with WUIS' Sean Crawford on Illinois Edition to preview the upcoming season.  

You can find a list of all the performers and ticket information here.

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Regional
5:45 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Record Month For Home Sales In Area

Credit flickr/justinshearer

The number of home sales in the Springfield area set a record last month.  The average price per home was also an all time high.

The real estate market continues to recover, coming out of the recession.  The Capital Area Association of Realtors says June numbers show a nearly 30 percent jump in homes being sold, compared to the same period a year ago.  And it's a good time be a seller.  The median home sale price was above $136,000.  Both are all time marks.  

It's possible the severe winter resulted in pent up demand.     

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Science
1:26 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Unearthing A French-Canadian Mystery

Lindenwood students work at the Blanchette site in St. Charles, Mo.
Credit Lindenwood University

Archaeological research has turned up some interesting finds in St. Charles, Missouri. 

Old living floors for two buildings have been identified and one of the buildings is believed to be associated with the town's founder, Louis Blanchette. The site dates back to around 1770.

Dr. Steve Dasovich, Director of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Lindenwood University, his students and volunteers have been doing the research. 

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Transportation
12:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Flashing Yellow Arrows Coming To Wabash Ave.

Credit udot.utah.gov

Traffic signals designed to prevent accidents are being installed on Springfield's west side.

Flashing yellow arrows will display at several intersections along Wabash Avenue, including at the White Oaks mall entrances.
The state Department of Transportation says the arrows have resulted in significant reductions in crashes where they are in place in other areas.  Statistics show intersections account for more than 30 percent of accidents.  

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Business
10:56 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Tim Landis: Video Gambling; Workforce Job Shifts; Parsons Ordered To Court

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

On this week's WUIS/State Journal-Register Business Report, the SJ-R's Tim Landis talks about efforts to slow the growth of video gambling in Springfield.

We also hear how one company is adding jobs at the same location another firm has been making layoffs and THR and Associates founder Jeff Parsons is told to report to court:

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Regional
6:11 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Springfield Man Created Child Safety Program

Credit Operation Kidsafe

Mark Bott had the idea for Operation Kidsafe 11 years ago.  Since then, more than 1 million children have participated.

The program is free.  It allows kids to be photographed and fingerprinted and lets parents obtain other safety information.  The parents are handed a document that can be updated.   No personal information is given and there is no databasing.

"So you will always have a document that's ready to hand to law enforcement," Bott said.  Of course, no one wants to ever see the information needed.

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Education Desk
7:43 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Macon County Student Finishes 13th In National Spelling Bee

Yasir Hasnain
Credit WUIS

Today is officially "Yasir Hasnain Day" in the village of Forsyth.  It's in honor of the incoming freshman student's 13th place finish in the recent Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

It was Yasir's fourth time in the competition and his highest finish.   The soon to be freshman student said he had fun and, despite being in competition with one another, friendships were made.

"When I made it to the semifinals... when they had commercial breaks, we would talk about random stuff like the (NBA) Heat and the Pacers games," he said.

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Sports
12:12 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Stephen Bardo Tells All In "Flyin' Illini"

Credit StephenBardo.com

It's hard to believe 25 years has passed since the University of Illinois men's basketball Final Four team was on the court.  The team known as the Flyin' Illini.  

That's also the name of a book by the former point guard of the team Stephen Bardo, who works now as a Big Ten Network analyst.  And it has ruffled feathers, with criticisms of some players and coaches.

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Science
1:55 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Kincaid Mounds Still Holding Secrets

Credit KincaidMounds.com

Archaeological work at site that straddles Massac and Pope counties in deep southern Illinois has been a decades-long project. albeit on an intermittent basis.   Kincaid Mounds is the location where Native Americans that were part of the  Mississippian culture lived and worked starting around 1000 years ago. 

Dr. Brian Butler, Past Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations and Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will discuss some of the more recent discoveries this week. 

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Arts
10:34 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Ringing In The 53rd International Carillon Festival This Week

Credit Carillon-Rees.org/SCVB

Springfield will play host to a world class music event starting Wednesday.   The International Carillon Festival brings some of the best on the instrument to Washington Park.  

Springfield Park District Carillonneur Robin Austin will be among the performers, along with Christian McWhirter, who researched music to be performed Wednesday night, a program titled "Lincoln and the Music He Loved."

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Business
5:25 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Ill. Coal Industry: EPA Emission Regulations "Unfair"

Credit flickr/oatsy40

The head of an Illinois coal industry trade group is panning President Barack Obama's plans for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the proposed regulations on Monday in an effort to cut power-plant carbon dioxide emissions. The Illinois Coal Association's Phil Gonet calls them ``unfair.'' He says the rules could squeeze the supply of U.S. electricity, raising rates.

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