Illinois | WGLT


Headlines from around the state, curated by the WGLT newsroom. If you want more state news, listen to Illinois Public Radio's The 21st on Mondays-Thursdays at 11 a.m., and Statewide at 11 a.m. Fridays.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined tens of thousands in Illinois getting vaccinated.  But it happened on the same week COVID-19 cases are back on the rise, leading some to worry about a quick re-opening of the economy.  

The Governor also signed a major economic opportunity package from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.  He also appears poised to sign a healthcare initiative to help Black and brown communities. 

We discuss that and more on this episode of State Week.

Mike Miletich, Capitol Bureau Chief for Quincy Media, joins the panel.

Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford County health departments will open up COVID-19 vaccinations to all people 16 and older starting on April 5.

On this week’s episode of Out and About, William Butler joins Jenn Gordon to talk about the two current exhibits up at the Contemporary Art Center Guns in America and Making Faces at the World.

Of the 43 states recently reported by the Brennan Center for Justice to be facing a wave of new bills aimed at tightening voting rules, Illinois is not one of them.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, March 26, 2021. Our top story is about how with Peoria Stadium in need of major repairs, a multi-million-dollar effort is underway to modernize and revitalize the historic venue. And with a local election around the corner, you'll also hear how Peorians can rest assured that registering to vote and casting a ballot is easy because of Illinois' election laws.

COVID-19 numbers are heading the wrong way again in the Peoria area.

Many higher learning institutions, including community colleges, have seen a  drop in enrollment during the pandemic. While officials work to reverse that trend, some students say this has been an opportunity to re-think their future plans.  

And Illinois prisons began prohibiting in-person visits to slow the spread of COVID-19.  They have yet to change that policy.  

Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.

Our lineup:

Illinois could have a new state holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people were freed. A state senate committee Wednesday approved making June 19 Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, sponsored the bill, which would create a paid holiday for state employees. She said the day is a milestone for Black Americans that should be celebrated and used to educate youth.

The Tri-County area is now past 164,000 administered doses of COVID-19 vaccines and 65,000 fully vaccinated residents, while a Tazewell County man in his 70s became the Tri-County's latest victim linked to the pandemic.

Limestone Community High School in Bartonville has fallen behind in one aspect over the past decade, according to Superintendent Allan Gresham.

The Memphis Dives will be the first band in over a year to take the stage live for an in-person audience at Galesburg's Orpheum Theater when they perform Friday night.

Peoria-area farmers have reason to head into the 2021 planting season with a positive outlook.

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

Settlement Permits Release Of Up To 1,200 State Prisoners

Mar 25, 2021
 Logan Correctional Center
Seth Perlman / AP

The Illinois Department of Corrections and a number of elderly and medically vulnerable prisoners seeking early release from state prisons due to COVID-19 reached a settlement Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the inmates against the department.

With Election Day less than two weeks away, Peorians will soon be selecting their first new mayor in 16 years, and the two candidates vying for the office have different thoughts on the biggest issues facing the city.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, March 25, 2021. Our top story is about how the Pekin and Hollis school districts are touting Central Illinois' first electric buses.


Mar 24, 2021

We've got a bonus episode for our listeners this month! Just in time for Easter, Front Row Classics brings you Ben-Hur. Brandon and Eric break down the landmark biblical epic that won a record-setting 11 Oscars. The hosts discuss the mammoth production, including the legendary performance of Charlton Heston in the lead role. We also focus on the long and storied history of the production behind the film. A large portion of the episode is devoted to the chariot race, which remains one of the greatest action sequences in film history.  

Tri-County health officials on Wednesday reported 167 new COVID-19 cases in the past day, as the region surged past 18% of residents now fully vaccinated and Illinois topped the 5-million mark for administered doses.

If all goes according to plan, the first phase of demolition and new construction at the Taft Homes could start this summer.

Incidents of white supremacist propaganda being distributed in Illinois doubled in the last year, and hit its highest level nationally since it has been tracked.

That’s according to a report by Anti-Defamation League report released last week.

In Illinois, incidents climbed from 76 in 2019 to 152 in 2020, said David Goldenberg, who is Midwest regional director of the ADL. 

A new Caterpillar video may pay tribute to "American Ninja Warrior," but it also highlights the high demand for more Caterpillar service technicians at dealerships.

Building a new home in Peoria’s North Valley now comes with a 10-year property tax abatement.

Hate crimes directed toward Asian Americans have spiked sharply over the past year. After last week's shootings in Atlanta, the issue is under a magnifying glass.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Our top story is about how uncertainty over the ongoing redistricting process was a main topic at a Senate hearing focusing on West Central Illinois needs over the next ten years.

Two Peoria County women are the area’s latest COVID-19 fatalities, as the county stands on the brink of topping 90,000 administered vaccine doses and 40,000 fully vaccinated residents.

The Pekin and Hollis school districts now tout some of the state's first electric school buses.

Uncertainty over the ongoing redistricting process was a main topic at a Senate committee hearing Monday focused on West Central Illinois' needs over the next 10 years.


Mar 23, 2021

Front Row Flashbacks goes on a whirlwind adventure with the 1996 disaster hit, Twister. We dig into the technical aspects of a film that blew past the competition at the box office and inspired disaster movies for years to come. As one of the few blockbusters that takes place in rural America, this movie is near and dear to our Illinois-countryside hearts.


Front Row Flashbacks:


Instructional coaches and school interventionists were the hot topic at the Peoria Public Schools Board of Education meeting Monday night, and the Peoria Federation of Teachers was quick to bring the heat.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Our top story is about how last Friday was Match Day for fourth-year medical students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. Tim Shelley tells us how one student navigated this past year amidst the pandemic. You'll also hear how an Illinois state representative wants to ban violent video games.