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WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

217 Today: Trees are spreading across the Great Plains. They’re actually making climate change worse

Eastern red cedars emerge from a grassland.
Eastern red cedars are taking over grasslands in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. In most temperate grasslands around the world, gaining a tree canopy won't help cool the planet.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Champaign County Board voted to censure County Auditor George Danos on Thursday for unprofessional conduct and failure to do his job as a watchdog.  
  • Democratic lawmakers in Springfield are hoping to expand protections for patients seeking abortion services in Illinois.
  • Public special education day schools in Illinois could soon see more funding opportunities.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is not a fan of a symbolic referendum in Madison County that will ask voters if they should explore separating from the Chicago area.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn why trees pose a threat to grasslands and ranchers.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Mawa Iqbal, Will Bauer and Celia Llopis-Jepsen.

Picture of Stephanie Mosqueda

Stephanie Mosqueda

More Stories From Illinois Public Media

Central Illinois radar image

Severe storms possible Thursday evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.