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Disco Demolition 40 Years Later; Racial Unity And Basketball; Du Quoin Fair Controversy

Can the racial divide be overcome through a basketball tournament?  Al Klunick tells us he wants to try with a unique event where kids of different races play together on the same team.  It's one of the rules for the Community Unity tourney.  

This week marks 40 years since a baseball promotion in Chicago turned into chaos.  While some look back on Disco Demolition Night fondly (the team even celebrated the anniversary this season), others see darker motives.  We talk with the man who came up with the idea.    

And Gov. J.B. Pritzker stands by a decision to cancel a Du Quoin State Fair appearance by the band Confederate Railroad over concerns about the band's name and use of the Confederate flag in its logo.  What it could mean for the fair itself.  

That and more on this week's Statewide.

* Brian Mackey reports the Illinois prison population is on the decline.  But who gets credit for the drop?

* Sean Crawford talks with reporter Gabriel Neely-Streit of the Southern Illinoisanabout the controversy surrounding the Du Quoin State Fair.  The Pritzker Administration canceled a contract with music act Confederate Railroad and some are now calling for a fair boycott.  We'll also hear Gov. Pritzker explain his reasoning for the decision.  

* Sean Crawford talks with former Chicago White Sox executive Mike Veeck(in an interview recorded in 2013) about the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park.  It happened 40 years ago this week.

A trade show at the State Armory in 1964.
Credit Sam Dunklau
A trade show at the State Armory in 1964.

* Dusty Rhodes brings us the storyof a special basketball tournament designed to get kids of different races playing together on the same team and building friendships.

* Sam Dunklau looks at the past, present and possible futurefor the Illinois State Armory in Springfield.  The state has put money aside for renovations.

* Chase Cavanaugh examinesthe potential economic impact of a Rockford casino.  A new law provides the city, and 5 other locations, with new gambling opportunities.

Statewide for the week of July 12, 2019Statewide, which brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois, is a production of NPR Illinois with help from other Illinois public radio stations.  Find all our episodes online at Statewideshow.com.  Drop us a line at Scraw1@uis.edu

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Copyright 2021 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009.