217 Today: Peoria parents, administrators face uncertainty after end of private school scholarship program

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth is introducing a bill to preserve access to IVF treatments.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker says he doesn’t think Illinois should adopt California’s approach toward strict zero-emissions vehicle standards.
  • There’s troubling news about the monarch butterflies that migrate to Illinois each summer. Data from researchers in Mexico suggest the monarch population there is down by almost 60% compared with last winter.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the uncertainty parents and school administrators have faced since the Invest in Kids Act expired at the beginning of the year. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Linda Kenyon, Ryan Denham, Lauren Frost and Camryn Cutinello.

217 Today: Nadirah Shakoor talks Arrested Development, Jimmy Buffet and her musical career

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • The federal and state of Illinois environmental protection agencies signed a landmark agreement to overhaul the state’s permitting process around air pollution.
  • University of Illinois freshman Akul Dhawan died from hypothermia in January. His father is calling for an independent investigation into the campus police department for failing to find him in time.
  • As snowy weather moves through the Northwest, here in the Midwest, we’re getting a taste of spring.

Coming up, we’ll learn more about Nadirah Shakoor — a vocalist who’s worked with Arrested Development and Jimmy Buffet — ahead of her show at Krannert this week.

Reporting today contributed by Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Emily Hays, Norman Hall and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Most veterinarians are women, but they still face sexism in rural areas where they’re most needed

Monday, February 26, 2024 

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is proposing a new plan to fully fund the state’s pension systems.
  • A new report has found that 73% of Illinois’ rural hospitals no longer provide obstetric care.
  • Children and families from Champaign-Urbana gathered at the playground at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana on Saturday because it was their last chance to play on the wooden structure. 
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost on the road yesterday to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the need for women to step into large-animal practices in rural areas despite the many challenges.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Natalie Krebs, Elissa Eaton, Colin Hislope and Lilley Halloran.

217 Today: ‘The most devoted:’ Monmouth-Roseville educator named Illinois Bilingual Teacher of Year

Friday, February 23, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is under fire from Republicans for his plans for a popular state tax credit.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to spend $5 million next year to help convert temporary migrant shelters.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to spend millions of dollars to help decrease the number of Black women who die during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about this year’s Bilingual Teacher of the Year.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Alex Degman, Sarah Fentem and Jane Carlson.

217 Today: Music director of the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana previews the group’s upcoming concert

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveiled his nearly $53 billion spending plan during his State of the State address in Springfield yesterday.
  • This time next year, a trial is scheduled to start for the man accused of killing seven people in the 2022 Highland Park mass shooting.
  • The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus expressed its support for Governor J.B. Pritzker’s budget proposal after his State of the State address yesterday.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team lost on the road last night to the Penn State Nittany Lions.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with the director of the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana about their upcoming performance. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Michael Puente, Jade Marceau, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: After Illinois banned assault weapons, rural gun owners registered very few of them

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • University of Illinois freshman Akul Dhawan died from hypothermia. That’s the official cause of death, released by Champaign County Coroner Stephen Thuney.
  • Former President Donald Trump endorsed incumbent U.S. Representative Mike Bost.
  • White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf met with Illinois legislative leaders– in person – to request public financing for a new stadium.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a new Illinois law that allowed gun owners to keep assault-style weapons if they disclosed them by January first — and take a look at the registration rates across the state.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Will Bauer, Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal and Amy Qin.

217 Today: Illinois requires public schools to teach LGBTQ+, Asian American and pre-enslavement Black history. Are teachers ready?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Tuesday with some potential fireworks overspending on the horizon.
  • A new Illinois law allows gun owners to keep assault-style weapons if they disclosed them by January first. But state registration rates are low.
  • Champaign County officials are raising money to attract an airline willing to offer leisure-class passenger service out of Willard Airport.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how prepared Illinois teachers feel to teach students about racially inclusive history.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows, Alex Degman and Emily Hays

 

 

217 Today: One man’s re-entry charts a path for more formerly incarcerated people to buy homes

Monday, February 19, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Police have reclassified the shooting of Brandon Hardway as a homicide, following his death over the weekend.
  • The federal government has sent out letters to the governors of 44 states this month, including Illinois, calling for them to improve efficiency for food assistance applications.
  • Labor unions are targeting two far-right state lawmakers in southern Illinois by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars toward their primary opponents.
  • The number 14 overall Fighting Illini men’s basketball team defeated the Maryland Terrapins on the road Saturday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how one man’s journey to homeownership is helping a local re-entry group consider how they can help other clients purchase their own homes.

Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Natalie Krebs, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Farrah Anderson.

217 Today: Here’s what research shows about how couples can thrive despite political differences

Friday, February 16, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The state of Illinois and Cook County are partnering to spend another $250 million to care for migrants being sent to Chicago.
  • More than 150 people rallied with the Teamsters union outside of the Illinois Department of Transportation headquarters in Springfield.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker will give his State of the State Address next week… and the comptroller, who handles the state’s financial accounts, has a few budget requests.
  • Illinois U.S. Senators are urging the Biden administration to step up efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions on the road last night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how opposing political views can trigger conflict between people in romantic relationships.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Linda Kenyon, Colin Hislope and Elissa Eaton.

217 Today: Some Midwest states take power to ban wind and solar projects away from local communities

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • In celebration of Black History Month, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza honored 5 downstate Black leaders.
  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the Senate did the right thing by passing additional aid for Ukraine.
  • A proposal in Springfield would require any law enforcement agencies that are encrypting their police scanner transmissions to still make their live activity available to the media.
  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for a project aimed to restore aquatic vegetation in a portion of the Illinois River.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how two Midwestern states recently passed laws making it hard for local governments to say no to green projects.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Yvonne Boose and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: The U.S. hopes to build more pipelines for carbon capture. Landowners don’t want them

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A free online program from the University of Illinois wants to help couples strengthen their relationship – using evidence-based strategies.
  • Gun rights groups are — once again — asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Illinois’ ban on assault-style weapons.
  • Cities and towns would get more money from the state under a proposal in Springfield.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team won at home last night against the Michigan Wolverines.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn why some farmers and landowners are against new pipelines.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Nour Longi, Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Eric Schmid.

217 Today: How the U-46 school district is trying to help newcomer migrant students

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • The longtime chief of staff to ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
  • Dozens of parents and children packed the Champaign Unit 4 school board meeting Monday night based on rumors that a beloved principal might be fired.
  • An online petition to fire the Champaign Unit 4 Schools superintendent has gathered over 500 signatures.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how Northern Illinois school districts are trying to help its new migrant students.

Reporting today contributed by Tony Arnold, Emily Hays and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Over one-third of Illinois fourth graders don’t have basic reading skills. The state plans to change that

Monday, February 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Black health advocacy groups are calling on the state to properly fund Black-led HIV and AIDS treatment providers.
  • There’s an error on the Federal Application for Free Student Aid website that does not allow undocumented parents to create an account without a social security number.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team lost on the road yesterday to the Michigan State Spartans.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the Illinois State Board of Education’s new plan to bring up literacy rates.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Stephanie Mosqueda, Colin Hislope and Emily Hays.

 

217 Today: A Dialogue with Urbana Police Chief Larry D. Boone

Friday, February 9, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A man is in critical condition after being shot in downtown Champaign.
  • Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin is in Washington, D.C. but remains focused on infrastructure issues back at home.
  • Illinois Republicans are hoping – again – that they’re not entirely shut out of this year’s state budget process.
  • A downstate Illinois funeral home director had his license revoked last year after a state investigation found that he had given dozens of families the wrong cremated ashes.
  • Head Illini football coach Bret Bielema announced yesterday that Justin Stepp is the new Wide Receivers coach pending University of Illinois Board of Trustees approval.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn why Urbana’s new police chief says tracking the flow of guns will help reduce youth violence in Black and Brown communities.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Linda Kenyon, Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: Victoria Vincent gets serious about her comedy

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Three Democratic lawmakers in Springfield are pushing to make fertility services more accessible.
  • Some Illinois lawmakers say this is the year they’ll approve a statewide child tax credit.
  • A judge is denying former President Donald Trump’s bid to stall an objection to his place on Illinois’ primary election ballot.
  • Community members gathered last night to commemorate Rantoul resident Azaan Lee’s life — and demand more action from the Rantoul Police Department.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with comedian Victoria Vincent about her success as a Black woman in comedy.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Dave McKinney, Farrah Anderson and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Former GOP candidate for governor Darren Bailey running to unseat Mike Bost in 12th District

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Abortion providers and advocates say they’re seeing more violence against their patients and workers.
  • Progressive lawmakers and activists are trying to make Illinois the 8th state to eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers.
  • The American Red Cross continues to face an emergency blood storage.
  •  A local stylist is heading to New York Fashion Week.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about Congressman Mike Bost and the challenge he faces in the March 19 primary.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Owen Henderson and Alex Degman. 

217 Today: Northern Illinois juvenile detention centers non-compliant in education and discipline

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • After taking a two-week break, Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Tuesday – with some unfinished business to attend to.
  • The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate approved a new master’s degree Monday in game development.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost in overtime Monday night against the Purdue Boilermakers, 77 to 72.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about juvenile detention centers in Northern Illinois that were labeled “non-compliant” by the state in education and discipline.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: After fatal shootings, Rantoul police recommended more training. They just sent one officer to a gun range

Monday, February 5, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is promoting federal legislation to crack down on social media companies that allow online abuse and mistreatment of children.
  • An Illinois nonprofit is getting $160 million from the National Science Foundation to study new, more efficient ways to remove “forever chemicals” from tap water.
  • The University of Illinois’ men’s basketball team pulled out a victory after blowing a double-digit lead late in regulation.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the Rantoul Police Department still hasn’t implemented any department-wide trainings after the village’s first-ever fatal shootings by police.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, David Schuster and Farrah Anderson.

217 Today: U of I Chancellor Robert Jones discusses the Call to Action Initiative

Friday, February 2, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Attorneys for people in Illinois prisons are decrying the state’s decision to award another contract to a controversial prison healthcare provider.
  • Chicago is now the largest city in the country to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • A Dallas pastor is succeeding Reverend Jesse Jackson as head of the Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
  • Last year, 11 people were injured and one died while working at the Archer Daniels Midland plant in Decatur. But the Decatur plant isn’t the only ADM facility to see such incidents.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones about an initiative he developed after the murder of George Floyd.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Patrick Smith, Mariah Woelfel, Mawa Iqbal, Madison Holcomb, Nour Longi and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: Illinois Public Media launches new radio station focused on amplifying Black voices and music

Thursday, February 1, 2024

​​​​​Today’s headlines:

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined local leaders yesterday in commemorating Black heritage and achievement.
  • The battle to keep Donald Trump off Illinois’ primary ballot has now made its way to state court.
  • University of Illinois police are sharing more information about the death of Akul Dhawan.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team won on the road last night against the Michigan Wolverines

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a new radio station that will amplify black voices and music.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Colin Hislope, Reginald Hardwick and Jill Clements.

217 Today: C-U’s Restaurant Week features cuisines from around the globe

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Board of Elections yesterday voted to keep Donald Trump on the state’s primary ballot in a case, officials say, is highly unusual.
  • Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton has launched the state’s first-ever “Healing-Centered Task Force.”
  • For the first time in over 200 years, two specific broods of cicadas will be emerging from the ground at the same time.
  • Advocacy groups are reporting a dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war started, as well as an overall rise in anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about two local restaurants that are part of this year’s eighth annual Restaurant Week in Champaign-Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Eric Stock, Owen Henderson and Elissa Eaton.

217 Today: Parents say student found dead on University of Illinois campus was a “happy-go-lucky kid”

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker won’t support a ceasefire in Gaza until all the hostages being held by Hamas are released.
  • The State of Illinois is partnering with Google to streamline access to children’s behavioral health services.
  • Officials organizing the Democratic National Convention in Chicago want an ambassador from each of the city’s 77 neighborhoods to help recruit volunteers.
  • The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is dangerously understaffed. That’s according to an attorney who says the agency has failed to meet hiring requirements.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why the parents of a University of Illinois student who was found dead on campus have filed a complaint against the campus police department.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jennifer King and Emily Hays.

217 Today: Champaign hired Police Chief Timothy Tyler despite disciplinary past

Monday, January 29, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • The parents of a University of Illinois student who was found dead outside in Urbana during sub-zero weather have filed a complaint against campus police for failing to find him.
  • Illinois Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski says lack of progress in Washington on the federal budget is also holding up work on a new Farm Bill.
  • The Champaign Urbana branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation hosted a protest in Champaign on Saturday calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new investigation that finds information about Champaign Police Chief Timothy Tyler’s track record was not disclosed to city council members before they recommended hiring him in 2022.

Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Jim Meadows, Nour Longi, Madison Holcomb, Farrah Anderson, Sam Stecklow and Isra Rahman.

217 Today: Branford Marsalis scales jazz back to the basics

Friday, January 26, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Senate President Don Harmon says he’s focused on getting a balanced budget passed during the spring legislative session.
  • Illinois public health officials are offering grants to help train more people to provide reproductive health care.
  • Illinois consumer advocates are applauding a new federal rule designed to reduce overdraft fees charged by banks.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost at home last night to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Grammy award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis about coming into his own as a renowned performer.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Jim Meadows, Katie O’Connell, Colin Hislope and Kimberly Schofield. 

217 Today: Army Corps plans $1 billion barricade to deter invasive carp at Illinois and Des Plaines

Thursday, January 25, 2025

Today’s headlines:

  • Champaign County is short of skilled nursing home beds, according to the local health district.
  • Domestic violence victims and their advocates are still pleading with Illinois lawmakers to pass Karina’s Bill.
  • Illinois officially adopted a plan to raise its literacy rates.
  • A Chicago-based group collecting data on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities has released a report highlighting health barriers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a plan to build a billion-dollar, high-tech barricade on the Des Plaines River to deter invasive carp.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Farrah Anderson, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Esther Yoon-Ji Kang and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: After caring for little ones, Illinois’ home-based child care providers often make minimum wage — or less

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois’ Secretary of State is behind an effort to ban certain food additives from products sold here.
  • A new campus in south suburban Blue Island will provide housing for dozens of women ages 17 to 21 who are aging out of the Illinois foster care system.
  • Gun violence in Champaign has been on a downward trajectory since 2021.
  • Experts say there are a few ways to combat feeling down when the weather is dreary.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about home-based daycare providers in Illinois – and their current contract negotiations with the state over retirement benefits and pay.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mae Antar, Claire Lane and Esther Yoon Ji-Kang.

217 Today: Pro-Palestinian students want universities to stop investing in companies with ties to Israel

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • A proposed tax cut for Illinois families would reduce child poverty by eight percent, according to research from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.
  • Yesterday marked 51 years since the U.S. Supreme Court granted nationwide abortion access with their decision in Roe v. Wade decision.
  • A Great Lakes advocacy organization is asking that fish companies commit to using up every part of each commercially caught fish by 2025. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how student demands for divestment are raising questions about where and how universities invest.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco and Lisa Kurian Philip.

217 Today: How a National Music Museum made its home in the Midwest

Monday, January 22, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • A federal judge has ruled in favor of Illini basketball star Terrence Shannon, Jr, who has been accused of rape in Kansas.
  • The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a 2019 law that consolidated more than 600 suburban and downstate police and fire pension funds.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team won at home yesterday against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why the National Music Museum — home to everything from the world’s oldest cello to Elvis’ guitars — is in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Elizabeth Rembert.

217 Today: FAFSA just changed a lot. What does it mean for Illinois students?

Friday, January 19, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voted not to raise tuition for in-state undergraduates who enroll for the first time in the fall.
  • Chicago teachers say they need more funding to help support newly arrived migrant children.
  • As the death toll in Gaza increases more people in Champaign County are looking to their local officials to take a stance.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what students and families can expect from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Emily Hays, Mae Antar, Michael Puente and Peter Medlin. 

217 Today: “Pride of the Illini” showcases LGBTQ+ stories and art at UIUC

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A working group dedicated to preserving and enhancing local news in Illinois is out with its recommendations.
  • The Illinois State Board of Elections is now reviewing objections to President Biden and former President Trump appearing on the state ballot.
  • In the first year of Illinois’ new early childhood initiative, the state enrolled more new preschoolers than anticipated.
  • Jewish community members say they feel unheard after a ceasefire in Gaza resolution was proposed to Urbana’s city council.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with “Pride of the Illini” creator Lindsay Peters.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mae Antar, Mawa Iqbal, Will Bauer, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson. 

217 Today: Service helps on MLK Day, but some say it’s not enough

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Police is one step closer to finalizing the enforcement rules for a controversial law that bans semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines.
  • Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman says it’s important for state laws to keep pace with the advancement of technology.
  • A state task force is in the early stages of creating a cohesive history of the Underground Railroad in Illinois.
  • Volunteers helping the city of Chicago’s newly-arrived migrant population are applauding the decision to delay shelter evictions amid freezing cold temperatures, but wonder what’s next.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn that many familiar with King’s life and work say one day of service does not do justice to his legacy.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jane Carlson, Mariah Woelfel and Esther-Yoon Ji Kang.

217 Today: Books Illinois students loved most in 2023

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers will try again Tuesday to approve the final rules governing the state’s assault weapons ban.
  • Illinois state Senator Adriane Johnson wants to expand what constitutes a hate crime in the state.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the books Illinois students loved the most in 2023 according to the Reader’s Choice Award winners from the Association of Illinois School Library Educators.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Trump did not sign Illinois’ loyalty oath that says he won’t advocate for overthrowing the government

Friday, January 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois is awarding a grant to help a cancer treatment center in southern Illinois expand.
  • There was a nearly 50% jump in the number of people from other states who came to Illinois for an abortion the year Roe v. Wade was overturned.
  • Agricultural officials want Congress to pass a farm bill as soon as possible.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team defeated the Michigan State Spartans at home last night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with reporter Dave McKinney about his recent coverage of Donald Trump’s candidacy for Illinois’ primary.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Alex Degman, Kristen Schorsch, Sheila Brummer, Colin Hislope and Dave McKinney.

217 Today: Harm reduction efforts in Illinois help keep people who use substances safe — and alive

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Meteorologists say you need to prepare now for bitterly cold temperatures over the weekend.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker is talking up the state’s economic achievements as the new year gets underway.
  • A new report released yesterday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation sheds light on children’s well-being in Illinois.
  • Original works by LGBTQ+ people at the University of Illinois comprise the recently published “Pride of the Illini” project.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the fentanyl crisis in Illinois and the harm reduction efforts.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Mawa Iqbal, Peter Medlin, Owen Henderson and Brian Mackey.

217 Today: What’s Happening in Champaign-Urbana Jan. 11– Jan. 14

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • As wet snow continues to fall drivers are being reminded to be cautious on the roads.
  • After two years of debate, the board of Urbana School District 116 has decided to unite its Spanish dual language programs under one roof.
  • A group of Chicago-area business leaders is “cautiously optimistic” about the region’s economy this year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the art and entertainment events coming to the Champaign-Urbana area this weekend.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Claudia Morell, Emily Hays, Kimberly Schofield and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: He used education to escape a violent childhood. Today, he wants to help kids in similar

Tuesday, January 9, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ Carbondale Health Center has been up and running for two weeks now… and staff there say they’ve already seen several out-of-state patients.
  • There is hardly any ice on Lake Michigan — with less than a fraction of one percent currently covering the lake.
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign say the use of Tylenol during pregnancy can cause language delays in children.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about one young man in Urbana who used education to escape a violent childhood. Today, he wants to turn his experiences into lessons for kids.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Anna Savchenko and Madison Holcomb.

217 Today: How the Jan. 6 insurrection could impact the next presidential election

Monday, January 8, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • For decades, Illinois political candidates have routinely signed a loyalty pledge not to overthrow the government. But Republican Donald Trump didn’t do that this year, and it’s becoming a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.
  • We will know for the first time this year how many people in Illinois prisons are taking college courses – and how many people are waiting for access.
  • COVID-19’s impact on the city of Urbana included its population count in the 2020 Census. Now, the city is getting a recount.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost at home Sunday to the Wisconsin Badgers. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what the three-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection could mean for the upcoming presidential election. 

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Emily Hays, Mae Antar, Colin Hislope and Mawa Iqbal.

 

 

 

 

217 Today: Deep-pocketed, self-funding candidates and dark money mar Illinois politics

Friday, January 5, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Former President Donald Trump’s status as a presidential candidate in Illinois is now being challenged.
  • Illinois will not reach an interim goal of reducing runoff pollution across the state’s waterways.
  • Illinois’ two U.S. Senators are warning Rivian and other non-union automakers not to interfere with unionizing efforts at their plants.
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted Wolf Carbon Solutions’ withdrawal from the pipeline application process without prejudice.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how big money is causing big problems for Illinois voters.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Eric Stock, Tim Shelley and Mary Dixon. 

217 Today: Illinois Public Media launches Illinois Soul — a new platform amplifying Black voices and music

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois’ troubled child welfare agency will have a new director next month.
  • Some suburban Chicago residents say they’re fed up with the way Governor J.B. Pritzker is managing the influx of asylum seekers sent here from Texas.
  • A federal judge is delaying the start of the corruption trial of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan by six months.
  • Illinois became the first state to effectively ban book bans.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about Illinois Public Media’s new station, Illinois Soul, and its focus on amplifying Black voices.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Dave McKinney, Mawa Iqbal and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Canning is the new, old-fashioned way home cooks are preserving food — and an American tradition

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Nearly 30,000 Illinois residents complied with a new state law requiring them to register assault-style weapons with the state by the end of the year, but there may be many gun owners who did not comply.
  • Illinois residents are now able to file lawsuits against those who spread digitally altered, sexual images of them online.
  • The application for federal and state grants and loans to attend college is open after a delay.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team won at home last night against the Northwestern Wildcats.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how canning evolved from the home to factories — and why people are returning to the practice.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Lisa Kurian, Colin Hislope and Lilley Halloran.

217 Today: Chicago-area teens attend COP28, return with ideas to fight climate change

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Men’s basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr remains suspended by the University of Illinois after being charged with rape for a September incident in Kansas.
  • South and central Illinois residents who rely on Ameren for gas and electricity may soon notice a change in their monthly bills. 
  • This new year, Illinois lawmakers are trying to improve the mental health of college students.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how a Chicago teenager is feeling after attending the UN Climate Summit to find solutions for climate change.

Reporting today contributed by Colin Hislope, Will Bauer, Emily Hays and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: 5-year-old boy dies, five others hospitalized after becoming ill at Pilsen migrant shelter

December 22, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • For students in Illinois who need help paying for college, this application season has been an especially anxious one because the federal financial aid application hasn’t opened yet.
  • There is a rise in demand for refined non-alcoholic drinks mixed at home during the holiday season.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team defeated the UTEP Miners yesterday in their second West Palm Beach Classic game.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the conditions in one of the temporary shelters for migrants in Chicago where one child died over the weekend.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Lisa Kurian, Colin Hislope and Michael Puente.

217 Today: Palestinian UIUC student reflects on the loss of her family in Gaza

December 21, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Many hourly workers across Illinois will see a bump in their paychecks in January.
  • The death of a boy living in a Chicago migrant shelter is drawing renewed scrutiny to shelter conditions.
  • The Transportation Security Administration says you might think twice before wrapping gifts ahead of time if you’re taking a flight this holiday season.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks yesterday in the West Palm Beach Classic. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with a young woman in Champaign as she reflects on the loss of her family in Gaza amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Tessa Weinberg, Colin Hislope and Nour Longi.

217 Today: Should the U.S. keep old trees around to store carbon or cut them down? It’s a heated debate

December 20, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • State officials are urging healthcare facilities to step up their efforts to curb the spread of respiratory viruses. 
  • Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson says new rules for buses transporting migrants were aimed at increasing collaboration between city and Texas officials.
  • Planned Parenthood of Illinois is opening a new health center in Carbondale, which becomes its southernmost clinic in the state.
  • Some Illinois Catholics say a recent declaration from the Vatican on LGBTQ couples doesn’t do enough to move the church forward.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how some conservationists argue federal forests should be left alone to soak up carbon emissions. But the Forest Service says older trees will absorb less carbon in the coming decades.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Jim Meadows, Owen Henderson, Mawa Iqbal and Rick Brewer. 

217 Today: Colleges hand out scholarships to attract top students — at the expense of kids in need

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • West suburban Oak Park has told migrants temporarily living in two locations that they must move out by the end of January.
  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is demanding that the Biden Administration kick in more funds to overhaul Chicago’s Union Station.
  • Applications are now being taken for farmers who want discounts on their crop insurance in exchange for planting cover crops to protect the soil over the winter.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why the number of Black students in Illinois enrolled in college has declined over the past decade.

Reporting today contributed by Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Claudia Morell, Jim Meadows and Lisa Kurian

217 Today: Western Illinois University getting outside perspective on addressing challenges

Monday, December 18, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The Chicago City Council blocked a resolution last week for voters to weigh in on the city’s sanctuary city designation.
  • The marching band at Western Illinois University is engaged in a heavy competition that could earn it new musical equipment.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team defeated the Colgate Raiders Sunday. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how a consulting firm will help Western Illinois University as the school tackles enrollment and financial challenges.

Reporting today contributed by Tessa Weinberg, Colin Hislope and Rich Egger.

217 Today: The harrowing journeys of migrants are revealed in the quiet spaces of Chicago

December 15, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court is again refusing to strike down Illinois’ ban on semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines.
  • The shell of a 30-foot-tall Minuteman missile stands along U.S. Route 45 in the Champaign County town of Rantoul, marking what was once the western entrance to the Chanute Air Force Base.
  • Four people found guilty of conspiring to bribe former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan want a federal judge to delay their January sentencing.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker celebrated another milestone in the Rebuild Illinois Program in Champaign yesterday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how support groups are popping up to help migrants who have made harrowing journeys to Chicago.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows, Dave McKinney, Mae Antar and Kristen Schorsch.

217 Today: Why do many states want to get rid of the eastern redcedar?

December 14, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Governor J.B. Pritzker has declared this week dog and cat adoption week in Illinois.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office says there are no plans to pay a private security firm for construction at a now-scrapped base camp to shelter migrants.
  • The Cook County Department of Public Health says now is the perfect time to get vaccinated for COVID-19 ahead of the winter holidays.
  • Bus driver shortages continue to plague the U-S transportation industry. That includes the Mass Transit District in Champaign-Urbana.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about an evergreen called the eastern redcedar that is taking increasing amounts of land throughout the Great Plains.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Katie O’Connell, Tessa Weinberg, Adora Namigadde, Piper Pascarella, Elissa Eaton and Graycen Wheeler.

217 Today: Lifted moratorium will allow Illinois to build new nuclear reactors

December 13, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois state attorney general’s office entered into an agreement to stop enforcement of the law that cracked down on so-called crisis pregnancy centers.
  • Illinois lawmakers are still hashing out permanent rules that will govern the state’s assault weapons ban, which goes into effect on Jan. 1.
  • The pressure of finding that perfect gift can make consumers susceptible to online fraud.
  • A new group for artists who identify as people of color is holding its first meeting tonight.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new law that will allow for a type of nuclear technology that proponents say is safer. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Owen Henderson and Elissa Eaton.

217 Today: Many families struggle to find in-patient mental health care for children

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois State Police are increasingly using “clear and present danger” reports to prevent people who may be a threat from having or getting firearms.
  • People being released from the Cook County jail will be able to get a key resource on their way out the door — a free state ID.
  • A $250,000 grant to help asylum seekers in Champaign County will be shared by three non-profits.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the struggle for kids to access in-patient mental health care in northern Illinois.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Stephanie Mosqueda and Peter Medlin.

 

217 Today: Children need mental health support more than ever. But services can be hard to find

Monday, December 11, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Chicago alderpersons continue to lay blame over the failed construction of a migrant base camp in Brighton Park.
  • A new group in Champaign has started to advocate for reparations for African Americans.
  • The Jewish festival of Hanukkah is underway. But, many at the University of Illinois are thinking about the Middle East as they try to celebrate.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the challenge of getting children access to the mental health support they need.

Reporting today contributed by Tessa Weinberg, Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: After Dobbs, doctors say more people are turning to permanent contraception

December 8, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • The mother of one of the hostages still being held by Hamas says time is running out to get her 23 year old son and more than 130 other captives released.
  • Dozens of people enjoyed jelly donuts, music and the celebration of the Jewish faith on the University of Illinois campus.
  • There will soon be 100 community solar farms serving ComEd customers in northern Illinois.
  • This month the city of Champaign is offering two hours of free parking in the Hill Street parking deck.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how a growing number of people are seeking permanent contraception in states where abortion was restricted following the fall of Roe v. Wade.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Kate Grossman, Reginald Hardwick, Alex Degman, Mae Antar and Taylor Wizner.

217 Today: An in-depth look on the Black church’s impact on Black culture in Black America

December 7, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • It appears highly likely Illinois will miss its 2025 goals for decreasing nutrient pollution into state waterways.
  • Planners of next year’s Democratic National Convention are casting a wide net as they look for diverse vendors and contractors.
  • One Illinois researcher is helping preserve the akikiki bird species as it nears extinction.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take an inside look at an episode of The Black Church. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Tim Shelley, Alex Degman, Owen Henderson and Kimberlie Kranich.

217 Today: How Census data can address health disparities in Illinois

December 6, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Every child under the age of five in Illinois will soon be able to receive a free book every month in the mail thanks to a between the state and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker says Illinois has lots more Electric Vehicle business opportunities.
  • Several people walked out of the Urbana City Council meeting Monday night during a presentation by Urbana Police Chief Larry Boone. 
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team defeated the Florida Atlantic Owls last night at Madison Square Garden, 98 to 89.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Census Bureau Director Robert Santos about how census data can address health disparities in Illinois.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Adora Namigadde, Charlie Schlenker, Farrah Anderson, Colin Hislope and Melissa Ellin.

217 Today: Report finds Logan, Pontiac and Stateville prisons nearly inoperable

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The deadline has passed for Republican and Democratic candidates to submit nominating petitions to get on the ballot for next March’s primary.
  • The Governor’s office halted construction on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to shelter asylum seekers on a former industrial lot in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
  • An updated map from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests plants traditionally suited to warmer climates in decades past may now be able to grow in Central Illinois.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a new report commissioned by the state of Illinois that shows the state of its prisons.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Tim Shelley and Edith Brady-Lunny.

217 Today: Former Saturday Night Live cast member fuses comedy, music for Krannert performance

Monday, December 4, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois State Police launched an online portal that lets residents submit anonymous tips about local, county or state officials they suspect of wrongdoing.
  • A consultant’s report finds Illinois prisons at Pontiac, Logan County and Stateville at Joliet are nearly inoperable.
  • Rural schools in Illinois will soon have more of a voice in state decisions on education, thanks to a bill signed by the governor this year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a former Saturday Night Live cast member coming to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts this week.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Eric Stock, Emily Hays and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: Health care professionals grapple with a burnout crisis

December 1, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Opponents of Illinois’ ban on high-powered firearms want the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a temporary order blocking the law — but legal experts say the emergency appeal may be a long shot.
  • The Illinois Air National Guard will name its first Black general in the organization’s history this weekend.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to authorize subpoenas for two conservatives linked to the Supreme Court’s ethics scandals.
  • Union home care and childcare workers in Illinois are increasing pressure on the Pritzker Administration as they negotiate for a new contract.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how hospitals are trying to support workers who are feeling burned out.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Will Bauer, Linda Kenyon, Noah Jennings and Melissa Ellin.

217 Today: Mental health is an issue in the veterinary field. But misconceptions can cloud the narrative

November 30, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Meta’s newest data center officially came online yesterday.
  • Construction of the 24-mile Kickapoo Rail Trail in east central Illinois began seven years ago. Now, the project could be finished in the next two years, thanks to a state grant.
  • A one-woman show exploring four generations of the Japanese American experience in Illinois comes to the Spurlock Museum in Urbana this weekend.
  • Health workers in Illinois are performing an average of around 1,800 more abortions per month than before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the mental health stress veterinary professionals face and what may cause it.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Jim Meadows, Owen Henderson, Sarah Fentem and Anna Spidel.

217 Today: Wars can give rise to disease outbreaks. This poses potential risk to public health in the U.S. too

November 29, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Gun owners in Illinois have just a month left to register their semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines that are restricted under a new state law. But relatively few gun owners have complied thus far.
  • The state is adding 48 small businesses to the “Illinois Made” program.
  • State public health officials are urging Illinois lawmakers to declare that racism is a contributing factor to a public health crisis.
  • The number of COVID-19 infections is going up in some parts of Illinois.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how wars overseas can still impact public health locally.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Michael Puente and Farah Yousry. 

217 Today: Midwest weather experts want to talk about climate change, but they face pushback

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is commending the city of Chicago for handling what he calls an “unmanageable” influx of asylum seekers.
  • Candidates for next year’s elections lined up in Springfield Monday to turn in petitions to get on the 2024 ballot in Illinois. 
  • A new poll ranks the I-90/94 corridor through Chicago as the ninth “Most Loathed” adjoining interstate in the U.S.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the tough conditions facing climate science communicators.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal and Elizabeth Rembert.

217 Today: The University of Illinois SHIELD saliva test company is winding down

Monday, November 27, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • A new report from Northwestern University is documenting Illinois’ news deserts.
  • Even thousands of miles away from ongoing wars – experts say there’s evidence that children here are experiencing war-related trauma.
  • The Fighting Illini football team lost their final game of the season to the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, 45-to-43.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn what the team behind the COVID-19 saliva tests at the University of Illinois learned while it plans to close this winter.

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Clare Lane, Colin Hislope and Emily Hays.

217 Today: The rich history behind pumpkin and sweet potato pies

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Holiday shopping season is well underway, and child safety advocates are warning of the dangers of certain gifts.
  • Plans are in the works to construct a 2.3 mile rail trail in a rural area of Piatt County.
  • Benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, increased last month. 
  • The Urbana High School student council will host a Thanksgiving feast for people in Champaign-Urbana who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a Thanksgiving meal.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at the history and cultural ties that influence why Americans may prefer one Thanksgiving pie over another.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows, Stephanie Mosqueda, Piper Pascarella and Chad Davis.

217 Today: As Chicago struggles to shelter migrants, neighboring Oak Park steps in

Monday, November 20, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a more than $300 million dollar rate hike for Peoples Gas.
  • Not all Jewish people agree with the actions of the Israeli military amid Israel’s ongoing attack on Gaza.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball won last night against the Southern Jaguars, 88-to-60.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about a Western Chicago suburb trying to help with Chicago’s migrant crisis.

Reporting today contributed by Nour Longi, Colin Hislope and Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.

217 Today: Trans Americans are fleeing to Illinois. Here’s why

November 17, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Governor J.B. Pritzker is stepping in with new funding to help Chicago deal with its immigration crisis.
  • Even though it’s been unseasonably warm this week, Illinois Transportation officials say winter weather is coming and they want you to be ready.
  • The Urbana Police hired a consulting firm this year to evaluate the department. The firm is seeking input from Urbana residents on how — and if — officers should handle many types of calls for service.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team hosts the Valparaiso Beacons at State Farm Center tonight.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about Illinois’s efforts to protect trans rights.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Mawa Iqbal, Farrah Anderson, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson. 

217 Today: Alana Banks made history as the first Black, transgender woman on a school board in the United States. How is she doing now?

November 16, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Rising seas, hotter summers, and more rain are all on the way—and in some cases are already here. The Biden Administration’s National Climate Assessment is out and the findings for the Midwest aren’t all dire.
  • A new project called PrEP for Teens is looking to increase the number of teenagers taking the medicine that can prevent HIV through a social media campaign.
  • An earthquake with a 3.6 magnitude originated from Putnam County yesterday morning. Shakes were reported by people as far away as Milwaukee and Dubuque, Iowa.
  • The Fighting Illini football team travels to Iowa City this Saturday to play the number 16 overall Iowa Hawkeyes. Colin Hislope has more.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about Alana Banks, the first Black and transgender woman elected to a school board in the country two years ago.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Tim Shelley, Colin Hislope and Emily Hays. 

217 Today: Many students are dealing with issues with leasing companies and landlords. Here are some resources

November 15, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Some Chicago police officers would get better pension benefits under a bill passed by state lawmakers last week if it’s signed by the governor.
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin says the Supreme Court’s newly-announced ethics code “falls short” of what the standard should be.
  • Bradley University students and faculty on Tuesday morning protested the administration’s recommendations for program cuts as they seek to close a $13 million operational deficit.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team will host the Saint Peter’s Peacocks on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how college students can avoid common pitfalls when signing a lease.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Charlie Schlenker, Tim Shelley, Colin Hislope and Elissa Eaton. 

217 Today: One trans Catholic reckons with his faith as the church shifts

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The Cook County Health Department is teaming up with a statewide healthcare non-profit group to improve access to reproductive care.
  • Bradley University president Stephen Standifird denies issues with banks or loans are the driving force behind looming academic cuts.
  • The Fighting Illini host the number four overall Marquette Golden Eagles Tuesday at State Farm Center.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from a trans man in Champaign without a church he can truly call home.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson. 

217 Today: How does Illinois compare to other states on transgender rights?

Monday, November 13, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers have approved a measure to give the people who transport cannabis from growers to sellers some breathing room.
  • New laws passed this year in Illinois have enhanced the state’s status as a leader in protecting trans rights.
  • The Fighting Illini football team defeated the Indiana Hoosiers Saturday in overtime, 48-to-45.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from those on the front lines of the fight for trans rights in our series “Flights and Freedoms.”

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Colin Hislope and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Local veteran shares her experience of serving in Iraq

November 10, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • President Joe Biden made a stop in the northern Illinois city of Belvidere yesterday to meet with workers who are celebrating the re-opening of an idled assembly plant.
  • Illinois lawmakers have passed a measure that they hope will sharply reduce delays in getting licenses for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  •  Rantoul Police have shot and killed two people this year in separate incidents. New documents show an internal investigation cleared the officers who pulled the trigger in both incidents.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team plays tonight at home against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from a local veteran about how her military service and the injuries she got while serving in Iraq affected her and her family.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Peter Medlin, Alex Degman, Farrah Anderson, Colin Hislope and Kimberlie Kranich. 

217 Today: New hospital safety report gives Carle Foundation a ‘C’ and OSF Heart of Mary a ‘B’

November 9, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • President Joe Biden is speaking to United Auto Workers members in Belvidere today.
  • Veterans Day is this weekend, and the state of Illinois is looking to honor veterans at home.
  • Illinois state lawmakers are split over how to elect members to Chicago’s school board.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Leapfrog’s Director of Health Care Ratings to learn more about the findings from the nonprofit’s new report.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Peter Medlin, Mawa Iqbal, Noah Jennings and Madison Holcomb.

217 Today: Insects hold our planet together — but they’re disappearing. A national study aims to learn more

November 8, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois lawmakers are demanding to know how the Department of Employment Security will recoup money paid out through fraudulent unemployment claims.
  • With just days left in the fall legislative session, Republican lawmakers are urging their Democratic colleagues to preserve the Invest in Kids Act.
  • Illinois lawmakers ordered an audit of the state-run healthcare programs covering undocumented residents.
  • University of Illinois Police have requested almost a million dollars in federal funding to open a Real Time Crime Center.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new study that aims to understand insect trends across North America.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Farrah Anderson and Teresa Homsi.

217 Today: Small school districts want to offer their students as much as possible. To do that, many have to share

November 7, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers head back to Springfield this week to finish up their fall veto session with several big issues still on the table.
  • A Bishop Hill non-profit organization says there are major concerns about the condition of state-owned historic buildings at the western Illinois site.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team won their season opener against the Eastern Illinois Panthers Monday night, 80-to-52.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about class sharing that happens more frequently at smaller, often rural, schools.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jane Carlson, Colin Hislope, and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Federal bill aims to enhance school bus safety, but local districts worry about costs

Monday, November 6, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois Democrats are applauding yesterday’s federal appeals court ruling… upholding a state law banning assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines.
  • After the Dennis Lab School in Decatur closed because of structural issues, one parent decided to study whether the neighborhood wanted a new school.
  • The Champaign County Environmental Stewards hosted its annual Pumpkin Smash event Saturday at the Landscape Recycling Center in Urbana to put pumpkin waste to good use. 
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team starts their season Monday against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about whether a measure that could require Illinois school buses to install seat belts could have adverse effects because of the high costs.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Nour Longi, Colin Hislope and Piper Pascarella

217 Today: Nitrate levels in water are often higher in the rural Midwest. How does this affect health?

November 3, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office says he had “positive” and “productive” conversations in Washington D.C. yesterday about the ongoing migrant crisis.
  • The window to register high-powered, semi-automatic firearms with the state is soon closing but many Illinois gun owners say they’ll refuse to comply.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is celebrating the completion of a big infrastructure project in the northern suburbs.
  • Community blood center ImpactLife is introducing mixed reality technology that may help put anxious donors at ease when they give blood.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how a growing number of studies suggest lower nitrate levels could still be tied to serious health issues for people in the rural Midwest. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Michael Puente, Eric Stock and Natalie Krebs.

217 Today: 1920s roar to life in Lippa musical’s ‘wild, wild party’ at Krannert Center

November 2, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Many Venezuelan migrants are seeing snow for the first time while sheltering in or outside Chicago police stations.
  • Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood supports a House Republican proposal to provide an additional fourteen billion dollars in aid for Israel.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says the state legislature won’t be sending any more money this year to Chicago to help feed, clothe and house the many migrants arriving daily.
  • Decatur residents can weigh in on proposed changes to garbage and recycling service at a public hearing on Thursday. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with directors Danny Yoerges and Rachel Rizzuto about the musical “The Wild Party” that is coming soon to Krannert Center for Performing Arts.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Michael Puente, Tim Shelley, Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: Urbana wins $2.9 million award against Stark Excavating of Bloomington over roadwork issues

November 1, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • A couple of Illinois lawmakers are hoping to combat digital threats as the use of Artificial Intelligence grows.
  • A Dutch Electric Vehicle parts company is launching a new line of fast EV chargers that are built entirely in Illinois.
  • “Uncle Joe Cannon” is a new student-created documentary that takes another look at an influential Illinois politician of the 19th century.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the Champaign County jury has ruled in favor of the City of Urbana against a Bloomington-based firm over faulty road construction.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Owen Henderson and Charlie Schlenker.

217 Today: At this 124-year-old livestock show, kids steal the spotlight with their prize animals

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The state’s annual public school report card shows students have largely caught up to where they were before the pandemic in reading, but are still struggling in math.
  • Black students across Illinois grew their reading skills last year faster than any other group.
  • Illinois taxpayers have been spending up to $49,000 per month to pay a single contractor at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
  • The Fighting Illini football team is on the road this week to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what it’s like for kids and teenagers who show livestock at one of the largest competitions in the U.S.

Reporting today contributed by Sarah Karp, Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Eva Tesfaye.

217 Today: Rockford Art Gallery Showcases African American Women’s History

Monday, October 30, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • A sheriff in northwest Illinois is defending a cop who joined an anti-government extremist group.
  • A consortium of businesses, local governments and colleges has until the end of February to turn in an application that could bring tens of millions of federal dollars to central Illinois.
  • Two student groups at the University of Illinois organized a protest in support of Palestine over the weekend.
  • Despite drought conditions in parts of the country, pumpkin farmers have been bringing in their harvest in time for Halloween.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a performance honoring African-American women’s history.

Reporting today contributed by Dan Mihalopoulos, Jim Meadows, Nour Longi and Yvonne Boose.

217 Today: Teachers talk about the art of relationship-building in the classroom

October 27, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Some people with developmental disabilities protested at the Illinois capitol this week as part of their push to be paid the same as everyone else.
  • Substance use disorder — mainly overdosing on fentanyl — was a leading cause of death for pregnant people in Illinois in recent years.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team will host their second and final exhibition game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday.
  • Staff with the Illinois Commerce Commission are recommending the denial of a construction permit for the Wolf Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how teachers from different grade levels and with various levels of experience build trust with their students.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Kristen Schorsch, Tim Shelley, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin. 

217 Today: Celebrating ’90s Hip-Hop on stage in Urbana – a deep dive with director Aaron Muñoz

October 26, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • A measure to let Illinois legislative employees unionize has cleared the state House and is on its way to the Senate.
  • Illinois lawmakers won’t be overriding Governor J.B. Pritzker’s veto of an energy bill.
  • The final piece of property from the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul is now in civilian hands.
  • A celebration of the national “I Stand With Immigrants Day of Action” was held last night at the University YMCA in Champaign.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a theatrical production focusing on nineties hip-hop culture set to be staged this November in Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows, Stephanie Mosqueda and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Illinois is looking to overhaul how kids learn to read

October 25, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • A measure that would allow Illinois legislative employees to unionize is moving forward at the statehouse.
  • More pregnant people in Illinois are dying and most deaths may be preventable, according to a new report from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Chicago Public Schools is transitioning to an elected school board. Lawmakers in Springfield are pushing a measure during this week’s legislative session to get board members paid.
  • A play described as a combination of children’s writer Judy Blume and the movie Rambo opens at the Station Theatre in Urbana tomorrow night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Tinaya York about her experience writing the first draft of a new Illinois literacy plan.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Kristen Schorsch, Mawa Iqbal, Owen Henderson and Mary Dixon.

217 Today: St. Louis groups seek to resettle Chicago migrants to boost workforce and population

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers are heading back to Springfield Tuesday to address the governor’s vetoes.
  • Lawmakers in Washington D.C. have a little more than two months to pass the 2023 farm bill.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker is with Arab American and Muslim groups to condemn what they say is a sharp increase in anti-Arab, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how one neighboring Midwestern state wants to help relocate migrants in Chicago.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Sarah Kellogg, Mawa Iqbal and Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.

217 Today: Native American tribe fights for clean drinking water

Monday, October 23, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • One Republican from Illinois’ congressional delegation is frustrated at his party’s inability to elect a new House speaker.
  • Some Illinois lawmakers accepted campaign donations from red light camera companies even though they had just passed a bill to prohibit those contributions.
  • A new facility at Parkland College in Champaign will train students to become service technicians for farm equipment made by AGCO.
  • The Fighting Illini football team lost their Homecoming game to the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday, 25-to-21.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the barriers to clean water in tribal communities and the fight for infrastructure funding on one Nebraska reservation.

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Jim Meadows, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Brian Beach.

217 Today: Efforts to tag monarchs carry into a third decade — tracking the butterfly’s ‘amazing migration’

October 20, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • There’s a new deadline coming up for undocumented residents 65 or older who want health insurance through the state of Illinois.
  • With just five months to go until the 2024 Presidential primaries, Illinois election authorities are tightening up security at the polls and online.
  • Cook County leaders want to expand opioid treatment for people who are pregnant or on the waitlist at the county jail.
  • The last living eyewitness to Emmett Till’s kidnapping told his story to a Southern Illinois University equity symposium Thursday in Collinsville.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the non-profit group Monarch Watch and how volunteers help scientists learn more about monarch butterflies’ migration to Mexico.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Kristen Schorsch, Will Bauer and Sheila Brummer.

217 Today: Comedian Carmen Christopher brings his stand-up comedy to Urbana

October 19, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • The FBI is investigating whether last weekend’s murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy in suburban Plainfield is a federal hate crime.
  • Illinois teachers want to make sure they get the support they need as the state revises a blueprint for how children are taught to read in school.
  • Congress is considering whether to impose national standards to pay college athletes.
  • The quest to elect a new Speaker of the House has hit another setback.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Carmen Christopher about his work as he tours around the U.S.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Michael Puente, Linda Kenyon and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: What was the impact of COVID on the Illinois teacher workforce? A new report examines what really happened

October 18, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Hundreds of students gathered outside JSM Living in Campustown on Tuesday.
  • Some Cook County Board members are hoping to allocate an extra $5 million to services for domestic violence victims.
  • Illinois now requires every public elementary and high school to teach about Black, Asian American and LGBTQ history

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with Robin Steans about a new report from Advance Illinois.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Elissa Eaton, Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: How the Israel-Hamas war affected one University of Illinois student

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The killing of the 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy in the Southwest suburbs is sparking widespread condemnation among elected officials across Illinois.
  • The FBI is reporting a recent rise in hate-crime incidents in the Chicago area and is opening a hate-crime investigation into the weekend stabbings of a suburban Muslim boy and his mother.
  • The Piatt County Board approved a wind farm for the county on Friday, with several members saying a new Illinois law gave them no real choice in the matter.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team plays their first exhibition game of the season Friday at State Farm Center against the Ottawa Braves.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the war in the Middle East is affecting students at the University of Illinois. 

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Dave McKinney, Jim Meadows, Colin Hislope and Liv Barwinska.

217 Today: Schools invest in security and technology in case of shootings

Monday, October 16, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The state of Illinois is investing an additional $10 million in Israeli government Bonds.
  • New legislation in Springfield could change how cannabis gets from grow facilities to dispensaries.
  • The Fighting Illini football team defeated the Maryland Terrapins 27-to-24 Saturday.
  • More than 250 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students were placed in temporary housing due to a housing shortage. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how schools are using new safety technology and training to prepare for shootings.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Elissa Eaton, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Plans for carbon dioxide pipelines raise safety concerns for small town responders in the Midwest

October 13, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • A rally was held at the University of Illinois last night to show support for Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel
  • There’s a new push for a law that would require police to remove guns from the homes of accused domestic abusers.
  • The Illinois House Speaker says it’s unlikely that state lawmakers will use the fall veto session to send more money to Chicago to support migrants.
  • ​​The Fighting Illini football team is on the road to face the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about three companies that are seeking approval for pipelines to transport carbon dioxide captured from Midwestern ethanol plants and how rural emergency officials are worried about the process.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Nour Longi, Colin Hislope and Grant Gerlock.

217 Today: Mary Chapin Carpenter brings her best with latest music

October 12, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • The University of Illinois is condemning the “unspeakable brutality of the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens.”
  • The University of Illinois’ Homecoming race may close streets around Champaign-Urbana on Sunday morning.
  • A traveling exhibit on the history of the Holocaust begins a month-long run at the Vermilion County Museum.
  • Recently retired judge Joe McGraw of Rockford is seeking the Republican nomination in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with musician Mary Chapin Carpenter about her career and upcoming performance at Foellinger Great Hall.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Emily Hays, Owen Henderson, Reginald Hardwick, Tim Shelley and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Farm-based activities can support mental wellness. Why aren’t there more care farms in the U.S.?

October 11, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois political leaders are reiterating their support for Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks last weekend that killed more than a thousand people.
  • A new report shows Illinois’ population has remained steady over the last decade while gaining more higher-paid and foreign-born residents.
  • The company that has proposed building a carbon capture pipeline across portions of central and western Illinois has withdrawn its application before the Illinois Commerce Commission.
  • The scene-stealing principal from the TV show Abbott Elementary is visiting Decatur on Saturday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the benefits of care farms and how a new national network hopes to expand them in the U.S.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Rich Egger, Emily Hays and Elizabeth Gabriel.

 

217 Today: Illinois colleges are reforming developmental education

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Some Illinois state lawmakers are calling for a de-escalation in the war happening in the Middle East.
  • The Urbana school board plans to hire an outside company Tuesday to redistrict its schools.
  • More than a hundred people gathered Monday at the University of Illinois’ Main Quad to show support for Israel — following the attacks by the militant group Hamas on Saturday.
  • Police asked people to stay away from Champaign’s Campustown for nearly an hour Monday night after shots were fired.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why Illinois colleges have to reform “Developmental Education.”

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Madison Holcomb, Reginald Hardwick and Peter Medlin.

 

217 Today: Champaign Police investigate ‘agency culture’ of not following domestic violence reporting laws

Monday, October 9, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • House Republicans are threatening to deny further aid to Ukraine, and Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin warns that could put other countries at risk.
  • Illinois Democrats are criticizing the Biden administration for its plans to expand the Southern border wall.
  • Fighting Illini Hall of fame linebacker Dick Butkus was remembered and honored after his passing earlier this week at Friday’s Illinois football game against Nebraska.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the impact when police officers fail to properly respond to domestic violence calls from a joint investigation between Illinois Public Media and the Invisible Institute. 

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Colin Hislope and Farrah Anderson

217 Today: CU Folk & Roots Festival returns with a focus on expanding the genre

October 6, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • There’s a new biomedical research hub in Chicago.
  • Illinois state senator Mike Simmons is trying to expand on a recently passed state law prohibiting public libraries from banning books.
  • A new report seeks to get a better handle on the racial equity efforts happening at nonprofits around the state.
  • Illinois football and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus passed away at 80 years old Thursday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with Scott Dosset from the C-U Folk and Roots Festival’s steering committee about what to expect from next week’s line-up.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: During building renovations, a new recording lets the Altgeld Chimes ring on

October 5, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Federal lawmakers from Illinois are looking to see what Republicans in the U.S. House do next now that they don’t have a Speaker.
  • As the director of DCFS resigns, an advocate for foster children says the next head of Illinois’ child welfare agency must put its two-billion dollar budget to better use.
  • Champaign City Council voted this week to approve the next step of construction for a project that will improve drainage infrastructure in Garden Hills.
  • More than a few friends and family visited Danville yesterday to plant a tree in memory of the late state senator Scott Bennett.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how the renovation project for Altgeld Hall has silenced the Altgeld Chimes for at least a couple of years. But there’ll soon be another way to hear them.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Elissa Eaton, Mae Antar and Jim Meadows. 

217 Today: How some Chicago migrants struggling to leave shelters are getting help

October 4, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Social services have been strained over the past couple of years – but a new state grant may be able to ease some of it in Champaign County.
  • A majority-black elementary school in Urbana is closing permanently.
  • The US House of Representatives has made history by voting to remove the Speaker of the House.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how a trust fund is helping landlords provide rental assistance to the influx of migrants who have been bussed to Chicago.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Kristen Schorsch, Emily Hays, Linda Kenyon and Tessa Weinberg.

217 Today: The loss of Champaign-Urbana’s last gay bar leaves a gap for the queer community

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • The City of Chicago is receiving about $30 million from the Illinois state government to help support asylum seekers.
  • Illinois residents can now register their assault-style weapons as required by law.
  • A new University of Illinois study says women feel like they are on trial when trying to convince healthcare professionals of their needs.
  • The Fighting Illini football team will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers Friday at Memorial Stadium.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what the loss of Champaign-Urbana’s last gay bar meant to the queer community.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mae Antar, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: Champaign Urbana queer community seeks specific spaces

Monday, October 2, 2023

Today’s headlines: 

  • Decatur Public Schools is breaking ground on a new school building that’s being named after one of Illinois’ Tuskegee Airmen.
  • Large crowds gathered in downtown Urbana during Champaign-Urbana’s annual pride parade on Saturday.
  • The Champaign County Community Coalition hosted the first Black Mental Health and Wellness Conference at Parkland College on Saturday.
  • The Fighting Illini football team lost to the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday night 44 to 19.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how some members of the LGBTQ community in Champaign-Urbana are trying to revive the community’s lost queer spaces.

Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Piper Pascarella, Stephanie Mosqueda, Colin Hislope and Owen Henderson.

217 Today: Black drivers ‘stay ready,’ navigating low-level traffic stops

September 29, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia says with only two days left to pass a spending plan, a federal government shutdown is highly likely.
  • As migrants continue arriving in Chicago, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the state has already – and will continue – to help.
  • The University of Illinois Police recently reported three incidents of sexual extortion affecting students. The scams occurred this month over three consecutive days.
  • As temperatures continue to climb year after year – engineers and architects are seeing flaws in our building codes.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how often Black drivers are racially profiled during traffic stops – and what is being done to prevent this in Illinois.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Elissa Eaton, Mae Antar and Michael Liptrot. 

217 Today: CETACEAN comes to the Stock Pavilion this weekend

September 28, 2023

Today’s headlines:

  • Some healthcare professionals trying to get licensed in Illinois have been delayed more than half a year.
  • A coalition of pro-abortion rights groups is planning to protest outside of a fundraising event in Chicago for crisis pregnancy centers.
  • The end of cash bail in Illinois means those who are waiting on a trial can avoid jail time – unless – they pose a danger to society. People are lining up on both sides of the new law.
  • Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest started last Saturday and will continue through Sunday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation about a performance piece coming to the Stock Pavilion on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Mae Antar, Owen Henderson and Kimberly Schofield.