The answer lies within the Russian nesting doll structure of our government and law enforcement jurisdictions. The City of Urbana sits within Champaign County which sits within the State of Illinois which sits within the United States of America. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal agency that  enforces federal immigration laws, and its [...]

In a community with as many resources as Champaign-Urbana, why does gun violence persist? That’s the question Donte’ Lotts, a community liaison for CU Fresh Start — an initiative created in 2015 to mitigate gun violence — asked a group of about 50 Champaign-Urbana residents, social service providers, university employees and other community leaders on [...]

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are increasingly looking to medical cannabis as a solution. Lawmakers in several states…

A measure awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature would expand protections in the Human Rights Act to cover workers at businesses with 15 or fewer…

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed Illinois’ budget into law.

State Senator Chapin Rose had what he thought was a no-brainer bill . All he wanted to do was help public universities connect with promising high…

There’s a new strategy when it comes to combating the smells and air quality concerns that arise from large-scale animal feeding operations: Blame the…

Jenn Glaser lie in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin–an infection from injecting drugs. After six years of heroin addiction, Glaser had had many of these but always managed to take care of them on her own. She avoided [...]

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy. But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits. And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t [...]

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016. He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois. At least 100 people [...]

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against — with few resources. Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, [...]

Listening About Guns

What I heard at both events: safety concerns, frustration with legislators and calls for action around gun laws. Hope for children, love for community and citizens flexing their civic muscles. In my role as Illinois Newsroom Engagement Strategist, I attended two events related to the debate over guns. At March 24th’s “March for Our Lives” [...]

Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year. After last year’s drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it’s an open question about how things will go this year. [...]

Thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims carried signs and marched across Illinois in the cold, snow and sleet on Saturday as part of the nationwide March for Our Lives against gun violence. The marches were largely led by students, many of them moved to action after last month’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. [...]

Illinois primary voters have spoken. This year’s race for governor will be a battle between two of the wealthiest men in the state. But this outcome almost didn’t come to pass. Democrat J.B. Pritzker won easily, but incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner barely escaped a humiliating defeat.   Four years ago, political novice Bruce Rauner [...]