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217 Today: Galena poet laureate will commission the community to write

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Cunningham Township says this fiscal year has been a record year for rental assistance.
  • After a two-year experiment allowing the shot clock, the Illinois High School Association says it will adopt it for all boys and girls games starting in the 2026-27 school year.
  • Three Ogle County Sheriff’s Deputies were shot Wednesday as they confronted a man in his barricaded home northeast of Dixon, Illinois.
  • Two more Midwestern states are seeing bird flu infections in dairy cattle.
  • Gas prices are once again on the decline across the U.S.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the city of Galena’s first poet laureate.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Charlie Schlenker, Rachel Cramer, Reginald Hardwick and Yvonne Boose.

217 Today: Cicadas were mostly quiet in Chicago, but a real buzzkill for a few city residents

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Although Juneteenth falls on Wednesday of next week, many central Illinois communities will celebrate the historical moment this weekend.
  • The woman accusing Terrence Shannon Jr. of rape took the stand in his trial yesterday.
  • Jacqueline Teague is the new principal of Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade almost two years ago and Planned Parenthood of Illinois has since seen a nearly 50% uptick in abortions provided at their clinics.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how people in various areas of Chicago are coping with the overwhelming number of cicadas.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Anulika Ochuba, Reginald Hardwick, Emily Hays, Mawa Iqbal and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: ‘Precision Ag’ promised a farming revolution. What’s taking so long?

Tuesday, June 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The rape trial of Terrence Shannon Jr. begins later today.
  • The Champaign Unit 4 school board swore in two new members yesterday.
  • Illinois lawmakers just hit the brakes on the state’s burgeoning carbon capture and storage industry.
  • Politicians and advocates are once again urging Congress to expand work permits for all immigrants.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why the promise of precision agriculture to revolutionize farming is still years away.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Emily Hays, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Adriana Cardona Maguigad and Eric Schmid.

217 Today: Most teenage overdose deaths happen at home, CDC data shows. Here’s what parents need to know

Monday, June 10, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Prentice Women’s Hospital at Northwestern in Chicago is so busy it’s cutting back on letting patients schedule when to be induced for labor.
  • The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Leader believes Illinois lawmakers will pass a bill giving the tribe title to a 1,500-acre park in DeKalb County – but it may take a few more months.
  • It’s been an extremely active year for tornadoes and other severe storms in the middle of the U.S.
  • Former Fighting Illini Volleyball player Jordyn Poulter was named to the US Olympic team

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about what parents and young people need to know to prevent an overdose death.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Kristen Schorsch, Skyler Rossi, Colin Hislope and  Farah Yousry. 

217 Today: Bird flu continues to spread. Scientists worry states aren’t testing enough to know the extent of it

Friday, June 7, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The long overdue Farm Bill is finally making its way through Congress after the House Agriculture Committee recently advanced a proposal.
  • Green Party presidential hopeful Jill Stein visited Champaign-Urbana to stump with a local Congressional candidate.
  • One effort to change how the Illinois Prisoner Review Board handles medical release hearings made it through the Illinois House, but it didn’t pass the Senate before adjournment in May.
  • Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced that Illinois will be awarding $2 million to underserved Illinois public libraries, including in Danville and Decatur.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the bird flu continuing to spread is worrying scientists that states are not testing enough to know about it. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Elizabeth Rembert, Jade Marceau and Benjamin Thorp. 

217 Today: Why the number of Illinois high school grads earning ‘college and career pathway endorsements’ is skyrocketing

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker eliminated the statewide, 1% grocery tax when he signed off on the state budget.
  • The Illinois Maternal Health Task Force met to reflect on four years of efforts to reduce maternal health inequities in Illinois.
  • Western Illinois University is in the market for a new president. But the search won’t begin anytime soon.
  • Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker is signing a new state budget that he says is balanced.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what college and career pathway endorsements are and what they mean for students.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Jade Marceau, Rich Egger, Dave McKinney and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: For a third time, Illinois lawmakers fail to pass Karina’s Bill aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The University of Illinois Flash Index of the state’s economy fell slightly from April to May, to 102.6.
  • 2022 statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have shown a decrease in crime across Illinois, but the Chief of Police says that is not the case for Urbana anymore.
  • The Center for Performing Arts at Western Illinois University will be named after one of Western’s former presidents.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why Illinois lawmakers have failed to pass Karina’s Bill aimed at protecting domestic violence victims. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Rich Egger and Mawa Iqbal. 

217 Today: Solar farming is taking land once used to grow food. Researchers are looking for ways to do both

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A popular state tax credit used by millions of Illinoisans will be going up for the 2024 tax year.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker joined Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey for a press conference yesterday to express their support for the Right to Contraception Act.
  • A Sangamon County judge heard arguments Monday on a Republican request to block a state ban on election slating.
  • Dozens more former youth inmates are suing over alleged sexual abuse they endured at Illinois detention centers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a growing field of study searching for ways to get calories and kilowatts off the same land.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Jade Marceau and Frank Morris.

217 Today: After challenging journeys, migrants in Chicago adjust to life in their new city

Monday, June 3, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A meeting between veterans and representative Nikki Budzinski turned from public to private over the weekend after demonstrators made an appearance. 
  • U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says he’s not concerned about the impact on the November election of the guilty verdict in former President Donald Trump’s trial.
  • Children in foster care will now have a say in how they choose to wear their hair, thanks to a new bill.
  • The state budget approved by Illinois lawmakers would give more funding to quantum computing research and study.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how newly arrived asylum seekers are adapting to life in Chicago.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Ryan Denham, Anna Savchenko, Jade Marceau and Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

217 Today: New entertainment district opens in downtown Champaign

Friday, May 31, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • In Central Illinois, there are mixed reactions to former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker says justice has been served by the guilty verdict on all counts in Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial.
  • Illinois missed its chance to regulate delta-8 this spring.
  • Earlier this week the Illinois legislature passed a permanent state child tax credit.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new entertainment district coming to downtown Champaign that will allow adults to listen to music, support local businesses, and establish a sense of community.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Jim Meadows, Emily Hays, Mawa Iqbal and Kimberly Schofield. 

217 Today: Professor blends nature and music with the sounds of cicadas in Illinois

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois lawmakers have ended their legislative session – though one proposed reform remains in limbo.
  • The University of Illinois will host a new national center of research on railroads.
  • Illinois lawmakers failed to advance a measure that would have strictly regulated the state’s hemp industry.
  • Protesters from the Champaign-Urbana Muslim Action Committee, UC Jews for Ceasefire and others picketed outside the offices of Illinois Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a professor who is making music with the sounds of cicadas.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Alex Degman and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: ‘Junk patents’ by big pharma lead to soaring drugs prices, FTC says

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois House approved a $53 billion state budget early this morning – but passing the revenue package to help pay for it was difficult.
  • Urbana is considering whether to expand its police force, based on a public safety study it commissioned.
  • State lawmakers have approved a measure to pause the development of carbon dioxide pipelines in Illinois.  
  • The Illini men’s basketball team saw Lithuanian guard Kasparas Jakucionis commit to play for the team this upcoming season.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Health Reporter Elizabeth Gabriel about why it’s difficult to lower drug costs.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Elizabeth Gabriel.

217 Today: ‘Can you cut?’ – Female barbers show off their skills in recent competition

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Local pro-Palestinian activists are demanding action from politicians after Israeli airstrikes killed dozens in a refugee camp in Rafah.
  • The Illinois House heads back to Springfield today to put the finishing touches on the next fiscal year’s state budget.
  • The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is one step closer to reclaiming nearly 1,500 acres of their land.
  • Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the sighting of a controversial flag outside of a Supreme Court Justice’s vacation home is deeply concerning.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a Midwest organization that uplifts beauty professionals who came together for a competition to highlight female barbers.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Anna Savchenko and Yvonne Boose.

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

Friday, May 24, 2024

Today’s headlines:

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

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

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

217 Today: Rushville’s newly restored Wurlitzer organ is ‘such a gift from the donor’

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • There have been several measures aimed at protecting workers’ rights that have come before Illinois state lawmakers this Spring.
  • The Champaign County Board may censure its own county auditor tonight.
  • Former Texas Longhorn Defensive Back Terrance Brooks joined the Illinois football team earlier this week.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a world-class musician going to a small western Illinois community to debut on a newly restored Wurlitzer pipe organ that dates back nearly a century.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Mae Antar, Colin Hislope and Rich Egger.

217 Today: Grass lawns are a landscape staple, but an environmental reckoning may change that

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • State police closed some interstate highways in central Illinois on Tuesday as gusty winds and dry soil combined to create dust storms.
  • About 25 people came to Champaign’s city council meeting last night to urge city council members to divest from institutions involved in the war in Gaza.
  • Some employees at the Illinois capitol are turning up the heat as they try to unionize.
  • Illinois lawmakers have passed some updates to the state’s child labor laws.
  • Illinoisans could soon be allowed to carry an electronic driver’s license or state ID in addition to a physical card.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how lawns became the default in American communities and the ongoing debate over the traditional turfgrass yard in the United States.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Jim Meadows, Alex Degman and Teresa Homsi. 

217 Today: Coal ash is polluting Illinois rivers. Environmentalists want the state to move faster to stop it

Monday, May 20, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Credit monitoring agencies wouldn’t have access to some medical debt information under a bill Illinois lawmakers just approved.
  • Illinois Republicans in Springfield are urging the state Senate to pass legislation aimed at authority figures in schools who sexually abuse students.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says while people should expect protests at the Democratic National Convention, they should also expect a strong security presence.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn that some environmentalists want the state to move faster to stop coal ash from polluting Illinois rivers. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jade Marceau and Madison Holcomb. 

217 Today: Scientists find success deterring invasive carp with underwater acoustics

Friday, May 17, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The public can now view and comment on three proposed boundary maps for Urbana’s seven City Council wards at the city’s website.
  • Illinois’ rules against hazing could get a little stronger.
  • State lawmakers across the U.S. including Illinois gathered this week to advocate for work permits for all immigrants.
  • The Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman has been named the new chair of the NCAA Division 1 Council.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how scientists have been successful in using underwater acoustic systems to deter invasive carp.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Alex Degman, Adriana Cardona Maguigad, Colin Hislope and Eleanor Lindenmayer.

217 Today: A Chicago woman who helps migrants fights for a chance to stay in the United States

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois families living under the federal poverty line can get extra help feeding their kids during summer vacation.
  • Planned Parenthood wants to expand access to abortion in Illinois by not requiring patients to see a doctor.
  • Downstate Illinois lawmakers are furious after Chicago-area House Democrats passed a measure banning hunting contests that target fur-bearing mammals.
  • ​​2024 Illinois Mr. Basketball and incoming freshman Morez Johnson Jr. was selected to compete at the U18 USA Basketball training camp for a roster spot.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a Chicago woman who was one of the first advocates to help migrants and how she is having a hard time finding a path to stay in the United States. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Kristen Schorsch, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

217 Today: Drought lingers in parts of the Midwest and Great Plains. ‘You have to have some hope’

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Republicans are glad the state is getting sued over a new law that changes how candidates are selected for elections.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office is patting itself on the back for keeping people enrolled in Medicaid coverage.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how some farmers in the Midwest are adapting as they enter a third year of drought.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman and Graint Winterer.

217 Today: New reservation in DeKalb County draws optimism and uncertainty

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A NASA program launched to help U.S. farmers marked its first anniversary this spring.
  • At least two incidents of servals on the loose in Illinois have prompted lawmakers to introduce a bill that would ban the ownership of servals and other wild animals.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker continues to distance himself from budget strategies of the past.
  • The Fighting Illini football team named Corey Parker the new defensive backs coach yesterday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how the recent designation of a new reservation in Illinois has drawn optimism and uncertainty in the community surrounding the new nation.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Alex Degman, Elissa Eaton, Colin Hislope and Maria Gardner Lara.

217 Today: Their first baby came with medical debt. These Illinois parents won’t have another.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • State Senator Chapin Rose says the University of Illinois is not being fair to its flagship campus when it distributes state funds.
  • Proponents of a measure to let terminal patients end their own lives are increasing pressure on state lawmakers as two weeks remain in the spring legislative session.
  • A new study hopes to help Black women in labor across Illinois be more seen and heard by their doctors.
  • The Illinois Department of Corrections is getting pushback on their plans to demolish and rebuild two prisons.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how medical debt has become another cost of having children in America.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Alex Degman, Kristen Schorsch, Mawa Iqbal and Noam Levey. 

217 Today: What you need to know about bird flu, your food and risk to humans

Friday, May 10, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois families are once again pushing for the state legislature to pass a permanent child tax credit this spring.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office is warning state department directors that they’ll have to cut their budgets if lawmakers don’t agree to revenue increases.
  • A western Illinois woman convicted of reckless homicide in the deaths of two construction workers will serve 90 days in the Henderson County jail.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the bird flu’s transmission, its risks and the impact it may have on our food.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Jane Carlson and Ben Throp.

217 Today: Native American educators build resources for new Illinois education curriculum

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois agency that oversees licensing is still struggling to fix technology problems.
  • Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul is suing an online publisher for posting sensitive personal information about Illinois voters.
  • An Illinois lawmaker is calling for comprehensive changes to the state department of juvenile justice in light of a recent lawsuit.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how all Illinois students will be required to learn about the state’s Native American history and present.

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

217 Today: Bishop Hill’s Colony Church named a ‘most endangered’ historic place

Thursday, May 8, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The federal deadline to get a REAL ID card is officially one year away – and the Illinois Secretary of State’s office is urging people to make the switch.
  • Some people who produce and sell hemp-derived products in Illinois are asking state lawmakers to tax and regulate them.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health says the state has given out more than 100,000 free gun locks over the past year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a tiny historic village in western Illinois that has a big problem.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Jade Marceau, Alex Degman and Jane Carlson.

217 Today: The new FAFSA rollout has been a mess. Here’s how many Illinois high school students are doing

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A new lawsuit says that child sexual abuse at Illinois juvenile detention centers was pervasive and systemic for decades.
  • Three lawmakers in Illinois’ Jewish Caucus visited the University of Illinois yesterday to express support for Jewish students.
  • Promise Healthcare and the Champaign Unit 4 School District are working together to launch a new school-based health center.
  • Tomislav Ivisic from Croatia signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Illinois on Monday. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how high school counselors are trying to help students through errors and delays to the Federal Student Aid form.

Reporting today contributed by Lisa Dwyer, Emily Hays, Stephanie Mosqueda, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Palestinian NIU graduate student adds voice to call for ceasefire in war in Gaza

Monday, May 6, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • A coalition of organizations is suing the City of Chicago for denying a permit to march downtown during this summer’s Democratic National Convention.
  • The Illinois Department of Human Services is proposing a 14 billion dollar budget for this upcoming fiscal year. 
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois are exploring a new device they say could be like a “fit bit” for alcohol.
  • Fighting Illini men’s golfer Jackson Buchanan won the Big Ten Conference Golfer of the Year award. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from a Northern Illinois University graduate student from Palestine who’s lending his voice to the students’ demand for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Reporting today contributed by Michael Puente, Mawa Iqbal, John Shay, Colin Hislope and Maria Gardner Lara. 

217 Today: Wool prices are so low, Midwest sheep producers have to find new uses – or raise sheep without it

Friday, May 3, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • About 100 people joined a labor rally at the Illini Union in Urbana on Thursday.
  • It’s an annual Springfield ceremony no one looks forward to – memorializing police officers who died in the line of duty.
  • Between 2018 and 2022, Tyson Foods released more than 370 million pounds of pollution.
  • Illinois voters could be asked about in vitro fertilization and a millionaire’s tax on this November’s ballot.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how some sheep producers are pivoting as wool prices drop.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Alex Degman Eric Schmid and Rachel Cramer.

217 Today: Curbs can be a physical and social barrier for wheelchair users. One program teaches kids to roll past them

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • One of the two protesters arrested during last Friday’s Pro-Palestine rally at the University of Illinois was arraigned in the Champaign County Court on Wednesday. 
  • Wednesday marked the 16th annual Illinois Muslim Action Day, or IMAD, at the Illinois Statehouse.
  • A top obesity doctor in Illinois says the state should provide expensive injectable weight-loss drugs to poor and disabled residents.
  • Soon a trillion cicadas will emerge in the area. Gardeners have advice to keep them from hurting trees, and it involves something ballerinas wear.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team added former Evansville Forward Ben Humrichous from the transfer portal.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a program called Skills on Wheels that helps students navigate challenges they might face when using their wheelchairs.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Jade Marceau, Dave McKinney, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Colin Hislope and Elizabeth Gabriel.

217 Today: Weight-loss drug coverage for Illinois state workers could cost hundreds of millions of dollars

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is now home to a document that historians say helped start the Civil War.
  • Environmental advocacy groups lobbied Illinois lawmakers at the first-ever Conservation Day at the Statehouse.
  • Two major labor unions are skeptical of a proposal out of Springfield to consolidate the CTA, Metra and Pace into one transportation agency.
  • Vegan month just ended for restaurants all over Champaign. Urbana public schools offer vegan lunches all year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is defending his administration’s decision to expand an expensive program they hope will help overweight state workers become healthier.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jade Marceau, Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays and Dave McKinney.

217 Today: 15 migrant couples got married in Chicago: See the prep, ceremony and wedding party

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • A protester arrested at pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of Illinois was released Monday after about 60 hours in the Champaign County jail.
  • Some Jewish students at the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus are commemorating Passover while camping out for Palestine.
  • The Illinois Department of Corrections is proposing moving the Logan women’s prison onto the same site as the Stateville men’s prison.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about fifteen migrant couples getting married in Chicago during a non-traditional wedding ceremony.

Reporting today contributed by Mae Antar, Emily Hays and Adriana Cardona Maguiga. 

217 Today: Pro-Palestine groups reconstruct encampment, dispute UIUC officials’ account of protest negotiations

Monday, April 29, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators camped out overnight at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They’re back to demand the campus divest from companies with ties to Israel’s military.
  • A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found working-age rural residents die from natural causes at a higher rate than their urban counterparts.
  • Researchers say since cash bail was eliminated in Illinois, almost no one charged with domestic violence is being held in jail while awaiting trial.
  • Former Illinois football players Johnny Newton, Isaiah Adams, Tip Reiman, and Casey Washington were selected in the 2024 NFL Draft.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the University of Illinois officials and police have been responding to encampments on campus in support of Palestine this weekend.

Reporting today contributed by Farrah Anderson, Mawa Iqbal, Anna Pope, Colin Hislope, Nour Longi and Emily Hays.

217 Today: Supreme Court appears skeptical of blanket immunity for a former president

Friday, April 26, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The annual Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend is underway
  • There’s an effort underway in Illinois to decriminalize paid, consensual sex work between adults.
  • A new report finds Black people in Illinois are nearly eight times more likely to experience homelessness than white people.
  • President Joe Biden signed legislation that forces Tiktok’s China-based parent company to sell the app within one year or face a ban in the United States.

In today’s deep dive — the Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday about whether a president enjoys broad immunity from criminal prosecution after leaving office.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Jade Marceau, Alex Degman, Mae Antar and Nina Totenburg.

217 Today: What’s Happening in Champaign-Urbana Apr. 25 – Apr. 28

Thursday, April 25, 2025

Today’s headlines:

  • Republicans in the Illinois House introduced a new bill that could increase the penalty for people who protest on some busy roadways.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and other elected officials say they’re skeptical about the Chicago Bears’ plans for a new lakefront stadium.
  • Illinois sophomore golfer Ryan Voois won Big Ten Conference Golfer of the Week.

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

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Jade Marceau, Mawa Iqbal, Colin Hislope, Mae Antar, Kimberly Schofield and Adelyn Mui.

217 Today: Gambling addiction on the rise as access to betting options expands

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Champaign County African American Heritage Trail unveiled two new signs on Monday honoring Black University of Illinois students.
  • Local Palestinians aren’t happy after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution last week declaring a common chant antisemitic.
  • Police officers will return to Champaign Unit 4 schools in the fall.
  • School counselors, psychologists and nurses in Illinois say there aren’t enough of them and things are getting worse.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the cause and growing trend of gambling addictions.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by David Pierce, Mae Antar, Emily Hays, Alex Degman and Joe Deacon.

217 Today: Freeport High School students help fill in the gaps in local news

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • For the first time since the 19th century, a Native American tribe has sovereign authority over land in the state of Illinois.
  • The U.S. Senate is poised to consider aid for both Israel and Ukraine this week.
  • Illinois state officials are working to reduce disparities that make Black women more likely to die during pregnancy than white women.
  • Former Illini men’s basketball assistant coach Orlando Antigua is back with the Illini as associate head coach.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how high school students are trying to help fill in the gaps in local news coverage in Illinois.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jim Meadows, Mawa Iqbal, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: The ancient farming practice that’s getting a new life — and reducing emissions

Monday, April 22, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois is, once again, home to a federally recognized tribal nation.
  • Young adults incarcerated in Illinois prisons could soon have access to educational opportunities and mental health services.
  • On Saturday, Crystal Lake Park in Urbana was filled with people learning about ecology ahead of Earth Day. 
  • The Fighting Illini football team played in their annual Orange and Blue Spring Game Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about an ancient farming practice that’s getting a new life — and reducing emissions.

Reporting today contributed by Peter Medlin, Mawa Iqbal, Mae Antar, Colin Hislope and Kate Grumke. 

217 Today: A new voice is hitting the airwaves for Illinois Public Media’s “Dialogue”

Friday, April 19, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Patient advocates are backing an effort led by Governor J.B. Pritzker to ban junk insurance plans in Illinois.
  • Some Illinois mayors are pushing back against Governor J.B. Pritzker’s idea to cut the state’s one percent grocery tax.
  • The Illinois Senate passed legislation this week aimed at supporting local media in the state.
  • A new facility that raises fly larvae for animal feed has been built in Decatur.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Kennedy Vincent — the new host of IPM’s “Dialogue.” 

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

217 Today: Music, physics and theater professors at UIUC are launching a new art and science collective

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Board of Education is asking state lawmakers for billions of dollars for the next school year and a chunk of that would go for migrant students.
  • Madison County voters in the Metro East are one step closer to taking a symbolic vote on seceding from Illinois. 
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team has seen many changes over the past couple of days.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new project led by three professors at the University of Illinois that aims to inspire work between artists and scientists.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Will Bauer, Colin Hislope and Stephanie Mosqueda.

217 Today: Lawmakers in some states say they want to protect IVF services. But how can they do that effectively?

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Unofficially, Republican incumbent Adam Niemerg won his write-in campaign for the 102nd district race for the Illinois House Representatives.
  • Illinois Jewish leaders are concerned about a major increase in antisemitic incidents.
  • Congress took time to honor Urbana native and educator William Patterson.
  • University of Illinois students, alumni, and staff traveled to Springfield to make the case to lawmakers for more money for the school system.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how lawmakers in some states want to protect IVF services. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mae Antar, Alex Degman, Reginald Hardwick, Jade Marceau and Morgan Watkins.

217 Today: Citing the mental health crisis, some hope to see Illinois legalize psilocybin

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • The U.S. Supreme Court seems ready to narrow a federal bribery law used in some big Chicago corruption cases.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker is promoting his plan to eliminate medical debt for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans.
  • Urbana School District 116 is set to vote Tuesday on which elementary school will become fully dual language.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team has had three commits from the transfer portal so far this offseason.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about efforts to legalize a psychedelic drug in Illinois to treat mental health disorders.

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Colin Hislope and Elissa Eaton.

 

217 Today: Newspapers in rural areas are folding, leaving vast news deserts. But there are bright spots

Monday, April 15, 2024 

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois lawmakers are moving to update the state’s biometric privacy law. 
  • The major theme for a service celebrating the life of local educator Dr. William Patterson was, “It don’t stop.”
  • A shooting in a Chicago neighborhood killed a 7-year-old girl and left nearly a dozen others injured.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how newspapers are experimenting with different strategies to keep local news alive.

Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Mae Antar, Jackie Quinn, and Jim Meadows.

 

217 Today: Hospitalized seniors are at risk of a dangerous downward spiral. Some programs are trying to help

Friday, April 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A bill headed for the Illinois House could give library employees enhanced legal protections.
  • The principal of Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign is resigning.
  • Illinois lawmakers are trying to regulate an industry that could be taking customers out of cannabis dispensaries.
  • A referendum about abortion pills on campus got overwhelming support but the Health Center director says the campus will not be making the pills available.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about some programs trying to help keep seniors in their homes longer after being hospitalized. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Tim Shelley, Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Adelyn Mui and Natalie Krebs.

217 Today: UIUC’s Black Chorus pays tribute in annual Mom’s Day concert

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Biden administration announced plans this week to provide student debt relief to more than 30 million borrowers.
  • The federal government is cracking down on toxic “forever chemicals” with new drinking water standards.
  • Local efforts are helping people redistribute eclipse glasses.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with Dr. Ollie Watts Davis about those being honored at The University of Illinois Black Chorus’s annual Mom’s Day concert. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Lisa Kurian Philip, Teresa Homsi, Anulika Ochuba and Kimberly Schofield.

217 Today: Student journalists at UIUC and Fourah Bay College team up to cover period poverty in Sierra Leone

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois Secretary of State knows the DMV can be confusing, and he’s trying a new model to fix that.
  • A national consulting firm released the first part of its report about staffing at the Urbana Police Department.
  • Some Champaign-Urbana residents are struggling to afford groceries because grocery prices around the country have risen more than 25% since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • Voters in Urbana will see a ballot question in November, asking them if they support an end to federal military aid to Israel.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll more about a team of University of Illinois journalists who recently traveled to Sierra Leone to report on the issue of period poverty.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Farrah Anderson, John Shay and Jim Meadows. 

217 Today: People travel to southern Illinois and Missouri from across the U.S. to view solar eclipse

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • For a few minutes in the middle of the day, millions around Illinois experienced darkness as part of a total solar eclipse on Monday.
  • More than 300 University of Illinois Chicago faculty, students and alumni are sounding the alarm about an effort to rein in campus speech.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the people who traveled to Southern Illinois and Missouri to view Monday’s solar eclipse.

Reporting today contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Lisa Kurian Phillip, Sarah Fentem, Kate Grumke and Brian Munoz.

217 Today: Heart screenings can detect teens’ abnormalities. But what about their problems?

Monday, April 8, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  •  Southern Illinois towns along the line of totality are holding events and celebrations for Monday’s solar eclipse.
  • Thousands of eclipse chasers are descending on southern Illinois and Missouri hoping for a chance to see Monday’s celestial spectacle.
  • There’s a statewide advisory board that meets four times a year to figure out ways to address Illinois’ opioid crisis.
  • A first-year gymnast for the University of Illinois was one of 4 gymnasts to take home titles at the State Farm Center on Saturday night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why medical experts are debating if heart screenings that can detect abnormalities and prevent complications should be mandated.

Reporting today contributed by Madison Holcomb, Brian Munoz, Mawa Iqbal, Mae Antar and Elizabeth Gabriel.

217 Today: Celebration of William Patterson’s life planned for Krannert Performing Arts Center on April 14

Friday, April 5, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is investigating a large fish kill near the McLean-Livingston county line that could be linked to a nearby hazardous material spill.
  • Hundreds of officers from across the region joined DeKalb community members in honoring Sheriff’s Deputy Christina Musil during services at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center.
  • Quaker Oats stopped operations at its plant in Danville Wednesday, laying off some 510 workers. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the life and impact of Dr. William Patterson.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Ryan Denham, Jim Meadows and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: UIUC graduate to become first Black professor teaching manga in the US

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Members of Illinois’ hospitality industry are rallying hard against an effort to eliminate the state’s tip credit for tipped workers.
  • The Democratic National Convention will be in Chicago later this summer. Planners say they want the event to be considerate of the environment.
  • The not-for-profit parent of WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times announced layoffs at both news organizations.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team won the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament against the Villanova Wildcats.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with manga artist Kofi Bazzell Smith about his latest and final exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco, Dave McKinney Colin Hislope and Kennedy Vincent.

217 Today: Are my eclipse glasses legit? How do I protect my eyes? And what symptoms to look out for?

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • About 54 Urbana Middle School teachers called in sick on Monday to protest student misbehavior after a Special Education student got a severe neck injury at school.
  • The Champaign Urbana community is mourning the death of an educator who worked tirelessly to bring STEM education to Black neighborhoods.
  • Illinois lawmakers have questions about the governor’s proposed new agency focusing on young children. 
  • Evergreen Counseling and Coaching is concerned they may have to close down office locations.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn some important health information and tips to see the solar eclipse safely.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick, Alex Degman, Mae Antar, and Darian Benson.

217 Today: Interest in agriculture is growing — but equipment and land costs make becoming a farmer hard

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says the state’s Prisoner Review Board needs to change how it approaches some cases.
  • An Illinois wildlife rescuer is encouraging hunters to consider alternatives to lead ammunition to protect bald eagles.
  • The total eclipse of the sun happening April 8 is set to bring many visitors to Midwestern towns in its path, including one in southern Illinois. These communities are eager to see the economist boost.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team is headed to the women’s basketball invitation tournament championship.
  • Families from Booker T. Washington STEM Academy have been organizing protests at Champaign school board meetings focused solely on the possible firing or transfer of their principal and assistant principal. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the number of farms in the U.S. is shrinking and we’ll look at what all this means for the future of farming.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Eric Schmid and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Misconceptions about older adults’ sexuality can cause ageist beliefs. Here’s what one study found

Monday, April 1, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team lost to UConn in Saturday’s NCAA Elite 8 matchup.
  • It is not uncommon for Black women to look to Facebook to find good hairstylists at affordable prices. But people should be aware of scammers who create fake accounts.
  • LGBTQ advocates are celebrating a new gender designation on Illinois state IDs and driver’s licenses.
  • A huge percentage of Illinoisans surveyed in a new poll want the state to suspend lucrative state pensions for corrupt lawmakers a lot earlier.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a ​​recent study that explores how misconceptions about sex and aging can complicate the acceptance of older adults’ sex lives.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Madison Holcomb, Anulika Ochuba, Mawa Iqbal, Dave McKinney and Adelyn Mui.

217 Today: ‘Art changes the world’ – a UIUC initiative aims to embed the arts into all aspects of campus life

Friday, March 29, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Religious leaders gathered the community yesterday to pray and grieve for the victims in Wednesday’s stabbing spree in Rockford that left four dead.
  • Reproductive and digital rights groups are calling on Walgreens and CVS to protect patients’ health data.
  • The conversation around giving struggling families cash, with no strings attached — is headed to the state.
  • According to the Champaign County Clerk’s office, hundreds voted “non-committed” during the March 19 primary election.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new initiative at the University of Illinois that aims to embed arts into all aspects of research and campus life.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Maria Gardner Lara, Mawa Iqbal, Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Mae Antar and Stephanie Mosqueda.

217 Today: What’s Happening in Champaign-Urbana Mar. 28 – Mar. 31

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Police say four people are dead and seven others wounded after a man went on a stabbing rampage in Rockford.
  • A firm specializing in hemp and cannabis forecasting is predicting big things for Illinois.
  • As the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether they should limit access to a widely used abortion medication – abortion rights activists in Champaign-Urbana are trying to spread awareness.
  • A dance professor at the University of Illinois wants the arts to have an amplified role across the Urbana campus.

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

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

217 Today: A unique tree-climbing fox is on the decline in the Midwest. Researchers want to know why

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A soil scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana campus is reaching out to landowners and farmers, as he pares to take soil samples at locations where samples were taken years ago.
  • A report draws attention to the treatment of pregnant detainees inside Illinois county jails.
  • A self-made billionaire from St. Louis is sharing business advice with central Illinoisans.
  • Anti-abortion groups gathered outside of the Walgreens headquarters in Deerfield to rally against mifepristone.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how researchers in several states are working to find out what’s behind the decline of the gray fox.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Alex Keefe, Mawa Iqbal and Rachel Cramer.

217 Today: Feeding migrants in Chicago involves balancing nutrition, cost and taste

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Two members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board – including its chair – have resigned after a convicted felon released on parole allegedly murdered a child hours after his release.
  • The Champaign Unit 4 school board ended its meeting early last night when two of five remaining members walked out.
  • As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide the case of medical abortion, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says he believes the pending case is a political play.
  • A local animal shelter is teaming up with an online platform to help animals avoid shelters entirely.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how Chicago has been figuring out how to feed thousands of migrants over the last year and a half.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Jade Marceau, Emily Hays, John Shay and Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

 

217 Today: The IKIDS study is uncovering how prenatal exposure to chemicals can affect a child’s development

Monday, March 25, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Democratic lawmakers want to update the state’s decades-old child labor laws.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker is touting Illinois as the best place in the nation to make and distribute cleaner fuel for airplanes.
  • Advocates for children with severe disabilities are at odds over how Illinois should fund special education day schools.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team defeated Stony Brook in the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how chemicals used in food packaging may be harming brain development in babies and children.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Colin Hislope and Madison Holcomb.

217 Today: She called the number on her syllabus offering counseling. No one picked up.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A West Point Graduate who won the Republican primary in the 13th congressional district is looking forward to challenging Democratic congresswoman Nikki Budzinski in November.
  • The Illinois Supreme Court held oral arguments at Northern Illinois University on Thursday
  • Illinois’ child welfare agency is asking for a larger budget next year – and state lawmakers are asking what it will be used for.
  • The Illini beat Morehead State University at the NCAA tournament opener Thursday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how challenging it can be for college students to get the mental and emotional help they need.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by David Pierce, Alex Degman, Peter Medlin, Anulika Ochuba and Lisa Kurian Philip.

217 Today: Long-delayed ‘Falsettos’ production explores family, Jewish identity, LGBTQ+ history

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois primary saw some of the lowest voter turnout statewide in decades.
  • Illinois’ longest-serving Black lawmaker has lost her primary race to a well-funded newcomer backed by Democratic leadership.
  • Nikki Budzinski will advance to campaign for a second term representing the 13th congressional district in Illinois.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the musical “Falsettos” coming to the Station Theatre in Urbana.

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

217 Today: Chicago slowly starts evicting migrants from shelters

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump are big winners in Illinois’ presidential primaries. But each showed signs of possible weakness within their parties.
  • Democrat Laurie Brauer has emerged as the party’s pick for Champaign County coroner.
  • The ballots are still being counted from Tuesday’s primary to determine the Republican candidate in Illinois’ 13th congressional district race.
  • Across the country, primary voters protested President Biden’s actions during the war in Gaza by voting “non-committed.”

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how migrants are starting to get evicted from a handful of migrant shelters run by the city of Chicago.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Emily Hays, Mae Antar, David Pierce and Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

217 Today: Chicago slowly starts evicting migrants from shelters

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Tuesday is primary election day across Illinois, and voters in the Chicago area have choices to make for president, Cook County state’s attorney and a city tax referendum.
  • Two Democrats and one Republican are vying for the job of coroner in Champaign County during Tuesday’s primary election.
  • Two Republican candidates are running for the 102nd district seat in Illinois House of Representatives – but their names won’t be on the ballot. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the city of Chicago’s evictions of migrants living in shelters throughout the city.

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Emily Hays, Mae Antar and Adriana Cardona Maguigad.

217 Today: Raising roosters is big business. Now a push to ease penalties for cockfighting is ruffling feathers

Monday, March 18, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A proposal in Springfield would ban the sale and distribution of some products made with so-called “forever chemicals” starting next year.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office announced plans to demolish and rebuild two rundown prisons.
  • The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began. A Palestinian activist in Champaign says this year feels different as Israel’s war in Gaza continues.
  • The Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball team is back in Champaign-Urbana with a win and a tournament title. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn what people from game fowl and animal rights groups are doing about Oklahoma’s recent efforts to lower the penalties for cockfighting.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by David Schuster, Mawa Iqbal, Jade Marceau, Kennedy Vincent and Anna Pope. 

217 Today: School substance use prevention efforts are crucial. The question is how to do it

Friday, March 15, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois lawmakers want to create a new state agency focused on early childhood care.
  • An Illinois High School Association official says the rapid growth of girls wrestling is very encouraging as they prepare to add girls flag football as the next official sport.
  • An American man has been convicted by a German court and sentenced to life for the murder, rape and attempted murder of two Illinois women in Bavaria last June.
  • The Champaign Park District invites residents to gather for food and live music at the Springer Cultural Center in downtown Champaign.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how substance use and overdose deaths continue to be a problem for young people. 

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Ryan Denham, Lauren Warnecke, Elissa Eaton and Alex Li. 

217 Today: U of I dean Ruby Mendenhall is preparing to share a lifetime of writing as Urbana’s poet laureate

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Disability rights advocates are protesting an Illinois measure that would allow patients to take medication to end their lives.
  • The next director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is telling state Senators why she’s right for the job.
  • Illinois’ Senate Democratic Caucus has introduced several proposals to help with food accessibility across the state, especially in schools and food deserts.
  • Illinois lawmakers are considering rules to govern how carbon emissions are captured and stored.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear a conversation with Urbana’s new poet laureate Ruby Mendenhall about her life and poetry.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Jade Marceau and Reginald Hardwick. 

217 Today: What would Bost and Bailey work on for Illinois’ 12th District if elected?

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Capitol building was under lockdown yesterday as police investigated a threat.
  • Thousands of people stand to lose health insurance in a few weeks as the state of Illinois continues to rein in spending.
  • Illinois state lawmakers created a fund to help witnesses to violent crime. Two years later, the state is finally doling that money out.
  • The Illinois Education Association released the results of its annual “State of Education” survey.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the two candidates in the GOP primary race to represent southern Illinois in Congress — what they want to do for the 12th congressional district.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal, Peter Medlin and Will Bauer. 

217 Today: This farmer’s livelihood was ruined by PFAS-contaminated fertilizer that few Midwest states test for

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Many Illinois residents have had their federal student loans canceled under a new repayment plan.
  • The state of Illinois is finally making available $18.5 million to assist and protect witnesses of violent crime.
  • This year’s daylight saving time started this weekend when Illinois residents moved their clocks forward one hour. But a new proposal in the Illinois House would set a permanent standard time across the state. 
  • Two local groups are working with artists to create murals honoring the lives and contributions of African Americans in the Champaign County area.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how farms across the Midwest use biosolids—a type of byproduct from wastewater treatment plants—to fertilize their land.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Lisa Kurian, Mawa Iqbal, Jade Marceau, Stephanie Mosqueda and Teresa Homsi.

217 Today: More than an afterschool program, DREAAM provides mentorship and lasting relationships

Monday, March 11, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Proposed legislation in Springfield could help Illinois Medicaid patients with serious mental health diagnoses get treatment more quickly.
  • Illinois programs providing healthcare coverage to undocumented and – for now – some documented residents are shrinking.
  • The University of Illinois is not renewing their contract with the school’s first associate vice chancellor for Native affairs.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team finished the regular season yesterday with a road win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the local nonprofit DREAAM is making a lasting impact on kids and their families in Champaign County.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Jade Marceau, Will Bauer, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Colin Hislope and Madison Holcomb. 

217 Today: How a small Illinois college became a women’s wrestling powerhouse

Friday, March 8, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth followed a theme last night by bringing an infertility specialist as her guest to President Biden’s State of the Union.
  • There’s a Democrat-backed effort in Springfield to legalize psilocybin or psychedelic mushrooms.
  • Food and industrial ingredient processor Primient announced more than a half-billion dollars in capital investment today — with the largest share going to its Decatur facility.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament to the Maryland Terrapins.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a small liberal arts school in Illinois that has become one of the premier women’s wrestling programs in the country.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jim Meadows, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin. 

217 Today: Bruce Hornsby’s new collaboration

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Both Champaign and Urbana have an open seat on their school boards.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker says a new state-wide grant program will address food insecurity across Illinois while also assisting socially disadvantaged farmers.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker stands by his call to eliminate the state’s 1% tax permanently as mayors across Illinois raise concerns.
  • Illinois legislators are introducing legislation to restore protections to the state’s wetlands after the United States Supreme Court stripped some last year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll listen to a conversation with the 21st show host, Brian Mackey, and singer-songwriter, Bruce Hornsby about Hornsby’s latest musical collaboration and upcoming performance in Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Emily Hays, Joe Deacon and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: Illinois commission releases recommendations on how to make higher-ed funding more equitable

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A former Democratic Illinois governor is teaming up with a Republican on ethics reform for politicians.
  • A proposal in Springfield would ban small toiletry containers from Illinois hotels – with the goal of reducing plastic waste.
  • Now’s the time many families start signing kids up for summer camp. For working parents, this child care is essential. There are some financial aid options that aim to help.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team lost their final home regular season game last night to the Purdue Boilermakers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the Illinois Commission on Equitable Public University Funding recommendations on how Illinois could more equitably fund public universities.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Alex Degman, Jade Marceau, John Shay, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: University of Illinois student journalists travel to Sierra Leone to document ‘period poverty’

Monday, March 5, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • The U.S. Supreme Court is putting an end to an Illinois challenge to knock Donald Trump off the ballot.
  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin continues to push for a ceasefire in Gaza as conditions there worsen.
  • The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing tech Hub applied to receive $70 million from the Federal Economic Development Administration.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about why several University of Illinois journalism students are boarding planes to Sierre Leone this week.

Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Alex Degman, Mae Antar and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: How Peoria’s used bookstores thrive in the digital age and build community

Monday, March 4, 2024

Today’s headlines: 

  • Reproductive rights advocates and Illinois lawmakers say a recent ruling from Alabama’s high court is an opportunity for the state to eliminate financial barriers to fertility treatments.
  • Western Illinois University is in the market for a new president.
  • Protesters gathered at Champaign’s West Side Park this weekend for a march against the war in Gaza.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team won their final regular season game yesterday at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how some local bookstore owners are adapting and thriving after the pandemic and the impact of Amazon.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Rich Egger, Anulika Ochuba, Colin Hislope and Collin Schopp.

217 Today: NIU faculty piloting AI tool

Friday, March 1, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • A Cook County judge who booted Donald Trump from the ballot is agreeing to put her order on hold as his appeal plays out.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke at a symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, which directs funding toward low-income Americans who need help with civil legal matters.
  • The Genomics for Faith workshop series brings together scientists and people of faith.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team lost on the road last night to the Michigan State Spartans.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how Northern Illinois University faculty are experimenting with an Artificial Intelligence tool built to assist them with routine tasks.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Adelyn Mui, Colin Hislope and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Deer hunting ‘a cycle of life.’ But fewer people are hunting in Illinois

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Three film production studios received a total of $10 million in funding through the Illinois Soundstage Program.
  • The state pension for the now-convicted aide to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is being suspended.
  • Every year, the Champaign-based Education Justice Project distributes thousands of re-entry guides to people in Illinois prisons. This year’s guide includes a new chapter on the unique challenges LGBTQ+ people face.
  • DNA testing can be expensive. One Illinois lawmaker wants to make it more accessible to Black residents who want to learn about their ancestral roots.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about deer hunting — and how it is not as popular as it once was.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting contributed by Dave McKinney, Farrah Anderson, Anulika Ochuba and Rich Egger.

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.