Illinois State Police Director On Diversity, Delays And FOID Cards

The Illinois State Police say they’re working to improve diversity at the agency and expand capacity, but this comes after years of criticism over a huge backlog in DNA evidence and the slow processing of firearm licenses. The 21st was joined by Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly to talk about it. GUEST Brendan Kelly Director, Illinois State Police Today, Illinois […]

Pandemic Exacerbates Lack of Mental And Emotional Support For Teachers

URBANA – Since March 2020, when regular classroom teaching was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have been juggling transitions between remote, hybrid, and in-person learning; changing class schedules; students with a wide variety of technical needs; and their own mental and physical health. Some Champaign-Urbana teachers say trying to help their students through […]

BIPOC Teens Learn About All Aspects Of Theater In New Workshop

Editor’s Note: A prior version of this story, Jones was identified using the incorrect pronouns. The story has been updated to reflect their gender identity. We regret the error. URBANA — This summer, Champaign-Urbana teens who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are getting free weekly training in all aspects of theater […]

Theaters Are Reopening But Some Aren’t Sure What Comes Next

MONTICELLO — Theater companies around central Illinois are gearing up for summer shows and new seasons, but some directors say they aren’t sure what they’ll do after their summer shows as Illinois reopens.  Paul Strain is president of the board of DLO Musical Theatre in Danville. He says his company is producing their youth and […]

Allerton Concert Series Returns With A Few Adjustments

MONTICELLO — Live music is coming back to the University of Illinois’ Allerton Park and Retreat Center outside Monticello for the center’s annual concert series. But this year’s concerts are a little different than the ones guests might have experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic, says Allerton Event Coordinator Ashley Sims.  The series began in 2013, […]

Blood Donation Shortage Leads To Extra Incentives

CHAMPAIGN — A  shortage in blood donations locally has prompted a local blood bank to start offering rewards to try to encourage donations.   ImpactLife—a blood donation organization that provides blood to hospitals around Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin—said in a press release that it has only been collecting about 85% of the blood that hospitals […]

Illinoisans Advised to Watch Out For Toxic Algae

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health are warning residents to be on the lookout for toxic blue-green algae for those planning summer activities in Illinois’ lakes and streams. The algae has already been detected in the Illinois River at the Starved Rock Lock & Dam.   According to the press release, summer […]

Boneyard Arts Festival Opens In C-U, More In-Person Art Events To Come

URBANA — The Boneyard Arts Festival came back for an in-person showcase of local artists’ work at more than 50 venues in Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding area this weekend.  Before the pandemic, art exhibitions would be displayed in over 100 venues around the county in April, but after a virtual showcase in 2020, organizers decided […]