217 Today: Carle Foundation Hospital copes with children with RSV filling its hospital beds

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois State Police have adopted changes they say will help keep guns away from people who should not have them.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health has some tips to help prevent viruses like COVID, RSV and the flu from spreading this Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The new Champaign County executive says he’s ready to work collaboratively with the county board.
  • As the December holidays draw near, Illinois elected officials and advocates are warning families about recalled or potentially dangerous toys.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how Carle Hospital in Urbana is coping with the number of children with RSV filling the pediatric beds.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jim Meadows, Mawa Iqbal, and Emily Hays.

217 Today: Urban farmers struggle to buy vacant lots to turn into greenspace

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The nationwide shortage of a common antibiotic has hit local pharmacies.
  • As Thanksgiving approaches, rising food prices could make it harder to prepare a healthy meal that’s also not overly expensive.
  • The City of Urbana is offering a free leaf recycling program through the month of November.
  • The Illinois women’s basketball team improved to 5-0 on the season with an 84-55 win over Oakland University Monday night in Champaign.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how urban farms can take blighted vacant lots and turn them into green space that provides food for neighborhoods. But farmers often struggle to get the land they need.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Ryan Denham, Miranda Zanca, and Eva Tesfaye.

217 Today: Black Americans are less likely to receive palliative and hospice care than White Americans

Monday, November 21, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Some Illinois lawmakers are trying to close a loophole that allows pawn brokers to offer loans at triple-digit interest rates.
  • The electric automaker Rivian’s move to force arbitration in a sexual harassment case is raising eyebrows among advocates who worked on a new federal law banning that practice.
  • Illinois is channeling 25 percent of its cannabis taxes directly into communities harmed by past drug policy, including one in Decatur.
  • The deadly mass shooting at a Colorado nightclub over the weekend was on the minds of local churchgoers Sunday night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at reasons Black Americans don’t receive palliative and hospice care at the same level as white people.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Ryan Denham, Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick and Dan Gorenstein. 

217 Today: 3M manufacturing plant causes widespread drinking water contamination along the Mississippi River

Friday, November 18, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Local healthcare providers are dealing with a big surge in severe childhood respiratory infections.
  • Urbana High School students are learning remotely again Friday as part of a continued investigation into threats made against the school on Wednesday.
  • Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is still a fundraising force even while facing federal corruption charges.
  • The University of Illinois Pakistani Student Association is encouraging fellow students to donate to relief efforts in Pakistan, where flooding has put nearly one-third of the country underwater.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the widespread drinking water contamination caused by a 3M manufacturing plant along the Mississippi River.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Ariceli Gomez-Aldana, Emily Hays, Dave McKinney, Hannah Lonergan and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: U of I program helps Indigenous tribes take possession of human remains

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • In a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate this week, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois praised a University of Illinois student for standing up for abortion rights by casting her vote last week.
  • The Illinois House Republicans’ newly elected leader has ideas on how to win more races.
  • Illinois’ major rivers play a crucial role in transporting crops and other commodities. But right now, rivers across the state are facing a drought that is hampering barge traffic.
  • Carbon is the key to life on Earth. But too many carbon emissions have put our planet on the path to unprecedented heat and storms in human history.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a program at the University of Illinois that helps indigenous tribes take possession of human remains currently stored by the university.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Lillie Salas, Alex Degman, Luis Velazquez, Reginald Hardwick and Madison Holcomb.

217 Today: Percussionist Zakir Hussain discusses his musical influences ahead of Krannert concert

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Senator Tammy Duckworth said the suspected Russian missiles that killed two people in Poland on Tuesday appear to have been a misfire instead of a deliberate attack.
  • Illinois voters have passed an amendment codifying the right to collectively bargain in the state’s constitution.
  • A central Illinois attorney is helping parents who lost their children to state protective services based on false allegations.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from virtuoso tabla player Zakir Hussain, who is in concert Wednesday night at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Mawa Iqbal and Eric Stock.

217 Today: Tightening abortion laws prompt conversations about making the Child Tax Credit permanent

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • You might see some white on the ground as you head out Tuesday morning.
  • Illinois lawmakers are back under the Capitol dome in Springfield Tuesday for a six-day, fall legislative session.
  • A new study shows that suicidal thoughts among Illinois youths surged before the start of the pandemic.
  • The Fighting Illini basketball team won its third game in a row on Monday night against the Monmouth Hawks 103-65.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn why there’s a discussion of making last year’s temporary child tax credit permanent.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Andrew Pritchard, Mawa Iqbal, Michael Puente, Colin Hislope and Sydney Dauphinais.

217 Today: Expert says not all policies to erase medical debt are equally effective

Monday, November 14, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • We could see the first snow accumulation of the season starting tonight.
  • Last summer’s demolition of the Cannon school building in Danville destroyed a notable reminder of Joe Cannon, the longtime Danville congressman and House Speaker. Now there’s a campaign to name another Danville building after him.
  • The Fighting Illini football team lost to the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon 31-to-24.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team used the three-point shot to blow out Alcorn State 90-to-59 on Sunday in Champaign. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at healthcare debt and some different policies that aim to fight it.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Andrew Pritchard, Jim Meadows, Colin Hislope and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: Illinois Democrats sweep statewide races in midterm elections

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Fresh off his reelection win, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is still facing multiple questions about whether he’ll run for president.
  • With the election cycle drawing to a close, the Illinois General Assembly soon will consider more revisions to the state’s criminal justice reform law during the fall veto session.
  • Champaign-Urbana transit officials are making a plan to spend nearly $4 million in federal funding for electric buses.
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois said they’ve developed a new test that can check for the presence of three viruses causing concern this year: COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and the flu. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at Tuesday’s election results in Illinois with statehouse reporter Alex Degman. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Joe Deacon, Miranda Zanca, Emily Richie and Tim Shelley.

217 Today: Cybersecurity expert questions Champaign County’s claims of a cyberattack at voting polls

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has won another four-year term.
  • Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois recalled her poor childhood after she won reelection yesterday.
  • Illinois’ 13th congressional district became one of the hottest races in the state.
  • Chicago Democrat Alexi Giannoulias will be the next Illinois Secretary of State, replacing longtime incumbent Jesse White.
  • If Champaign County election tallies from late last night hold up, Democrats won every county office they ran for.
  • Election officials in Vermilion County say they believe this year’s voter turnout was higher than in previous midterm elections.
  • As expected, Republican Mary Miller won re-election to represent Illinois’ 15th Congressional District.
  • Illinois’ 17th Congressional District is the last one in the state to be officially decided.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about claims of a cyberattack on Champaign County election systems, plus election results from the county and across the state. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Dan Mihalopoulos, Mawa Iqbal, Harrison Malkin, Lillie Salas, Stephanie Wayda and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: A Supreme Court case from Indiana could prevent Americans from suing state agencies

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Urbana School District 116 canceled classes at its high school and middle school on Monday in response to a shooting threat. No one was hurt, according to district officials.
  • In Illinois, Election Day is a state holiday to give voters every opportunity to cast a ballot, and state officials said people should be able to do it safely.
  • The Champaign County Clerk’s office will have a full staff for Election Day after reaching an agreement with a county board member who had sought to keep an election worker off the job.
  • The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team won its season opener against Eastern Illinois on Monday night 87-57.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how millions of Americans could lose the right to sue when state agencies don’t provide services people are entitled to.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick, Colin Hislope and Farah Yousry.

217 Today: New law may lower prescription drug prices for seniors

Monday, November 7, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A lawsuit filed Friday by a Republican Champaign County board member temporarily sidelined a top county election official just days before the November election.
  • Illinois’ economy is growing at an increasingly slower rate.
  • The Illinois Film Office is offering free trainings in seven locations across the state.
  • The Fighting Illini football team lost to the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday afternoon 23-15.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at a change to Medicare that could help seniors facing high drug prices.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Yvonne Boose, Jim Meadows, Colin Hislope and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: Music director of the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana previews their upcoming concert

Friday, November 4, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • U.S. Senator Dick Durbin warns of increased conflict between Russia, Ukraine and members of NATO.
  • When immigrants arrive in Urbana-Champaign, local organizations ensure those without resources receive beds, baby clothes and diapers.
  • Many Central Illinois residents found political ads that look like newspapers in their mailboxes this week.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from the music director of the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, Sarah Riskind, about the choir’s upcoming concert this Sunday. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Lyndsey Jones, Luis Velazquez and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: Educators find new ways to teach reading amid a statewide decline in reading scores

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A recent report from two environmental justice groups found most Illinois coal-fired plants are not complying with a federal rule to curb groundwater contamination.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker says the state will be able to afford his plan to make college free for low and middle-income students.
  • On Tuesday, Champaign-Urbana celebrated the memories of those who have passed away for the Day of the Dead.
  • Spurlock Museum in Urbana is highlighting the Hispanic tradition of the Quinceanera, a celebration of a girl’s coming of age on her 15 birthday.  

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how educators are working to raise reading scores for schoolchildren in Illinois.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Ryan Denham, Luis Velazquez, Jacqueline Barba and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Pregnant immigrants struggle to find prenatal care amid restrictive federal laws

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A long legal battle between inmates and the Illinois Department of Corrections over mental health care has taken another turn.
  • Carle Health in Urbana will take over management of several hospitals in central Illinois from UnityPoint Health.
  • The Village of Savoy voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend the Champaign Unit 4 school district reinstate neighborhood schools.
  • Local interpreter Mateo Sebastian has been awarded the Immigrant Leadership Award by the city of Champaign.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how pregnant immigrants in some states are barred from public assistance if they’ve been in the U.S. less than five years, which leaves them with few options for affordable prenatal care.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Eric Stock, Tim Shelley, Emily Hays, Jacqueline Barba and Natalie Krebs.

217 Today: Changing demographics and political power in one rural Douglas County town

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinoisans have so far requested far fewer mail-in ballots for the Nov. 8 general election than they did in 2020.
  • The company that owns the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant says it wants to keep the generating station open for another 20 years.
  • An old virus is getting young children sick and filling hospital beds.
  • Carle Health and Aetna have reached a tentative agreement on a preferred provider contract covering Medicare patients, effective Jan. 1.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take you south from Champaign-Urbana to the Douglas County town of Arcola, where Latinos are increasing in population and in power

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Charlie Schlenker, Emily Hays, Kimberly Schofield and Luis Velazquez.

217 Today: Career advancement opportunities may solve shortage of long-term care workers

Monday, October 31, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A lawsuit that seeks to stop mail-in ballot counting after Election Day in Illinois is still pending even though the election is less than two weeks away.
  • New legislation will provide a financial boost to Illinois Agritourism businesses.
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois said patients with neurological ailments could get a faster diagnosis thanks to new technology.
  • The Illinois football team is up to number 14 in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll released Sunday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at whether career advancement opportunities could help with the shortage of long-term care workers.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Colin Schopp, Luis Velazquez and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: 3 Secretary of State candidates campaign to replace retiring Democrat Jesse White

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Two of those candidates for Illinois Secretary of State are split on how involved the office should be in elections.
  • Faith leaders from across the St. Louis region are asking to be included in the community response to the fatal shootings this week at a south Saint Louis high school.
  • Public health officials say another Champaign County resident has died from COVID-19. He was a man in his 60s. This marks the 308 death from COVID-19 in the county.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at the Illinois Secretary of State race, where three candidates are vying to replace retiring Democrat Jesse White.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Brian Munoz, Emily Hays and Eric Stock.

217 Today: John Deere’s plans to create an autonomous tractor evoke mixed reactions from farmers

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • An Illinois lawmaker wants to considerably streamline how cannabis is controlled in the state, but he’s running out of time.
  • Candidates running for Illinois Attorney General met in a debate last night on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
  • In the 13th congressional district, Republicans said Democratic candidate Nikki Budzinski earned thousands of dollars as a consultant.
  • Planned Parenthood said its expanded health center in Champaign will allow it to provide in-clinic abortions at the site for the first time in years. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about farmers’ mixed reactions to John Deere’s plans to have an autonomous tractor widely available by the end of the decade.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Rob Wildeboer, Harrison Malkin, Jim Meadows and Jonathan Ahl.

217 Today: Democrat Paul Lange talks gun control and abortion rights in campaign against incumbent Republican Mary Miller

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • St. Louis Police have identified a suspect in Monday’s shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School that left two people dead and seven others injured.
  • As Election Day draws near, spending on political ads on TV, the web and other media has hit an all-time high nationwide, and some of that big spending is in Illinois.
  • The Champaign Unit 4 school district has heard parent feedback and is working on less disruptive ways to desegregate schools.
  • The city of Champaign is stepping up its support of a local YMCA to help kids and decrease gun violence.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Paul Lange, a Democrat running against incumbent Republican Mary Miller in the 15th congressional district.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Eric Schmid, Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Hannah Lonergan and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Victims of Highland Park shooting file a set of lawsuits in an effort to end mass shootings

Monday, October 24, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Congressman Sean Casten hosted a roundtable Friday on protecting abortion access.
  • Speaker Chris Welch said it’s likely the Illinois House will be sent and vote on proposed changes to the SAFE-T Act during the fall veto session regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.
  • One prominent, local chef said he thinks wine can bring people of different political stripes together.
  • The former president of AT&T Illinois has pleaded not guilty to corruption charges.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how dozens of victims of the Highland Park shooting have signed onto a set of lawsuits, fueled by a desire to end mass shootings. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Ryan Denham, Harrison Malkin, Katie O’Connell and Anna Savchenko.

217 Today: The pandemic has reignited turf wars among health professions

Friday, October 22, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois lawmakers in Washington are renewing calls on Congress to pass protections for Afghan refugees before the end of this year.
  • The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is helping nearby counties strengthen their relationships with refugee, immigrant and migrant service providers.
  • The University of Illinois student government is working with other student organizations to increase the number of students who vote.
  • A 12-year-old boy is in grave condition at a St. Louis hospital after being shot in the neck in Champaign Wednesday night.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how the pandemic reignited long-standing turf wars in the healthcare field.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Luis Velazquez, Ariyelle Williams and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: C-U Folk and Roots Festival headliner Don Flemons discusses his move to the Chicago area

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • With only three weeks before the November election, Illinois Democrats in several statewide races are out-raising their Republican opponents.
  • Student test scores in Illinois on state reading and math exams plummeted last year during the pandemic and are rebounding slowly.
  • Both congressional candidates in Illinois’ 13th district say they support lowering prescription prices and capping the cost of insulin. But they disagree on a new federal law meant to achieve those goals.
  • Champaign-Urbana’s latest queer publication, The Lavender Newsletter, released its first edition this month.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Don Flemons, who is one of the headline performers at this year’s C-U Folk and Roots Festival.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Kate Grossman, Harrison Malkin and Sydney Wood.

217 Today: Metro East abortion clinics struggle to serve increasing number of patients

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The two major candidates for Illinois governor met for their last public debate before the November 8th election.
  • A native of Central Illinois will launch a live call-in talk show on nearly 500 public radio stations Wednesday night.
  • Two open houses at Champaign Unit 4 schools this week yielded the same message – parents don’t want their children to change elementary schools next year.
  • Flu season has begun, and health officials say this year’s strain could be especially bad.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the surge in patients to the St. Louis Metro East from states with new abortion bans.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Reginald Hardwick, Emily Hays, Miranda Zanca and Sarah Fentem.

217 Today: Congresswoman Robin Kelly discusses gun violence, Green New Deal in campaign for re-election

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The two major party candidates for Illinois governor debate one more time tonight.
  • A committee of Urbana parents, teachers and administrators is proposing District 116 combine Spanish dual language programs from two different schools into just one school – Leal Elementary.
  • The Attorney General race in Illinois could have a big impact on abortion access for people across the Midwest.
  • Nearly 100 people voiced their concerns yesterday about proposed changes to the Champaign Unit 4 elementary school selection process at an open house listening session at Carrie Busey Elementary School in Savoy.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Congresswoman Robin Kelly who is up for re-election in Illinois’ 2nd congressional district. She’s running against Republican challenger Thomas Lynch.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Shannon Heffernan and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Democrat Tammy Duckworth seeks second term in Illinois Senate race against Republican challenger Kathy Salvi

Monday, October 17, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Democratic Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has a commanding lead over Republican Darren Bailey in a new WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times poll.
  • Despite county clerks being swamped with Freedom of Information requests about election security, no one from the public showed up to a Q&A and voting machine demo over the weekend in Bloomington.
  • The fall harvest continues in Illinois, but the USDA is preparing for smaller crops because of drought.
  • The Fighting Illini football team defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday afternoon 26-14.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at the race for U.S. Senate in Illinois, where Democrat Tammy Duckworth is seeking a second term against Republican challenger Kathy Salvi.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Colleen Reynolds, Harrison Malkin, Colin Hislope and Dan Mihalopoulos.

217 Today: Susannah Scaroni discusses winning the Chicago Marathon after recovering from a car accident

Friday, October 14, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Attorneys for farm industry groups and the state of California presented oral arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court this week on Tuesday.
  • A Champaign-based leasing company is revitalizing apartments with a new arts initiative.
  • On Thursday, the University of Illinois announced a new training center for its wrestling program.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Susannah Scaroni, a University of Illinois graduate student who won the Women’s Wheelchair race at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Katie Peikes, Luis Velazquez and Colin Hislope.

217 Today: Incumbent Democrat Kwame Raoul faces Republican challenger Tom DeVore in IL Attorney General race

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger is endorsing Democrats in several major races across the country.
  • The head of a major business lobbying group in Illinois says the Workers’ Rights Amendment is a political ploy by Democrats to get the unions to vote on election day.
  • Organizations and events that support the LGBTQ community in Illinois have been targets of hatred and harassment.
  • According to the Illinois Association of Superintendents, 90 percent of schools in our state are experiencing staff shortages. Three area superintendents say it’s a problem for their districts as well. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at the race for Illinois Attorney General, where incumbent Democrat Kwame Raoul faces Republican challenger Tom DeVore.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Eric Stock, Luis Velazquez, Reginald Hardwick and Shannon Heffernan.

217 Today: Illinois Treasurer candidates discuss taxes and the potential merger of the treasurer and comptroller offices

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • An advocate for the effort to end cash bail in Illinois says the lawsuits filed to overturn the SAFE-T Act in Vermilion County and other communities are political, not legal, in nature.
  • Urbana School District 116 is considering raising substitute teacher pay again this year to at least $150 a day.
  • The Champaign County Board has rejected a request by owners of the former county nursing home for permission to sell the facility to new owners who would run it as a drug treatment center.
  • As part of its annual Islam awareness week, the Muslim Student Association at the University of Illinois held its yearly “Wear a Hijab Day” on Monday. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from both candidates running for Illinois Treasurer: incumbent Democrat Mike Frerichs and his challenger, Republican state representative Tom Demmer.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Tim Shelley, Emily Hays, Jim Meadows, Nour Longi and Jerry Nowicki.

217 Today: 2nd District Republican candidate Thomas Lynch talks gun control and abortion ahead of the midterm election

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Conservative mega-donor Richard Uihlien has thrown another $13.9 million into the Illinois governor’s race.
  • COVID-19 is spreading in Illinois at its lowest rate in months. But state public health officials are preparing for a possible surge in cases this fall and winter.
  • Parents rallied at a Unit 4 Board of Education meeting in Champaign on Monday to oppose changes in the elementary school selection process.
  • Last week, OSF Healthcare employees and religious leaders celebrated the Heart of Mary Medical Center’s 100-year anniversary.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Republican Thomas Lynch, who is attempting to unseat incumbent Democrat Robin Kelly in Illinois’ second congressional district.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Jim Meadows, Emily Hays, Nour Longi and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Pandemic learning places a greater strain on students with disabilities

Monday, October 10, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • University of Illinois researchers published a new database last week on police use of force across the state.
  • The University of Illinois and Champaign Police Departments have made changes regarding who responds to calls in Campustown and the greater Champaign area.
  • Defense again led the way for the Illinois football team as they edged Iowa 9-6 Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
  • Some wheelchair athletes with University of Illinois ties did well at Sunday’s Chicago Marathon.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed learning for students, especially those with disabilities who need accommodations.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Emily Richie, Jim Meadows and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Jupiter String Quartet prepares for their first performance of the academic year

Friday, October 7, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The first televised debate for the 2022 Illinois governor’s race took place last night.
  • Education was one of many topics that the 13th Congressional District candidates disagreed on during last night’s debate.
  • An ongoing study done by University of Illinois faculty has found a new and improved COVID-19 test that detects the virus faster.
  • Next Monday, the Allerton Park and Retreat Center will host an informational session for anyone who would like to become a tour guide at the park near Monticello.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from violinist Nelson Lee from the Jupiter String Quartet. The group’s first performance this academic year is tomorrow night at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Reginald Hardwick, Luis Velazquez and Ariyelle Edwards.

217 Today: Changing landscape for abortion services leads to confusion among Midwest providers and patients

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The two major party candidates for Illinois governor face off in front of a live audience tonight.
  • Local homeless shelter C-U at Home has rejected an offer from the City of Champaign Township to buy its building near downtown Champaign.
  • According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 500 mass shootings so far this year.
  • Urbana resident John Patterson’s JA Patt Sauces and Rubs started as part of his restaurant. But after it closed, he began selling his seasonings on their own.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about the ever-changing landscape of abortion access in the Midwest.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Sydney Wood, Harrison Malkin, Jacqueline Barba and Aprile Rickert.

217 Today: Illinois voters will decide whether to enshrine workers’ right to collectively bargain in the state constitution

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Board of Education is taking suggestions from the public as it puts together a budget plan for the next school year.
  • The Champaign group “Party for Socialism and Liberation” held a rally last Tuesday night to protest a regional pregnancy center they say pressures people not to get abortions.
  • Families are beginning to weigh in on plans from the Champaign Unit 4 School District to change how it assigns students to elementary schools next year.
  • A group of defectors from North Korea shared their stories over the weekend on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the Workers’ Rights Amendment voters will weigh in on this November.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Susie An, Hannah Lonergan, Emily Hays, Madison Holcomb and Alex Degman.

217 Today: Democrat candidate Nikki Budzinski discusses labor activism and uniting the 13th congressional district

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Planned Parenthood is launching its first mobile abortion clinic in the country, and it will start in southern Illinois.
  • Governor JB Pritzker says he’s open to changes to the SAFE-T Act, which will end cash bail in the state.
  • Over the weekend, local advocacy group Uniting Pride threw its first-ever queer homecoming dance for adults.
  • Last week, Spurlock Museum in Urbana held a panel about Indigenous people’s diverse identities, including their sex, gender, religion and culture.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Democrat Nikki Budzinski, who is running for the newly drawn 13th congressional district seat this fall.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Nour Longi, Jacqueline Barba and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Because of low wages, some SNAP-Ed workers require those programs themselves

Monday, October 3, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Old State Capitol in Springfield is now part of the National Underground Railroad Network of Freedom, which recognizes sites as “significant” to helping African Americans escape slavery.
  • Uniting Pride held its annual pride parade and vendors fair this past weekend in downtown Urbana.
  • In a few months, the Unit 4 school board will vote on a new way to assign students to Champaign elementary schools.
  • The Fighting Illini football team improved to 4-1 on the season with a decisive 34-10 win at Wisconsin on Saturday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about how people who work to help others access programs addressing food insecurity also need those programs themselves because of low wages.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Sydney Wood, Emily Hays and Dana Cronin.

217 Today: A new California program expands Medicaid beyond traditional healthcare

Friday, September 30, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Election officials across Illinois are getting flooded with letters from conspiracy theorists who say the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
  • Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar is endorsing Republican candidate Dan Brady for Secretary of State.
  • Sept. 30 is the last day the public has the chance to provide input on Illinois’ state water plan.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health and the University of Illinois are starting a new pilot program to monitor COVID-19 in schools through wastewater testing.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about California’s efforts to push Medicaid coverage beyond the four walls of traditional health care.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dan Mihalopoulos, Mawa Iqbal, Dana Cronin and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: Former WILL meteorologist reflects on his two decades at the station

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Volunteers from Illinois are on the ground in southwest Florida, with more on the way, after Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday.
  • Illinois Democrats are signaling they’re willing to work more on the SAFE-T Act.
  • Victims of the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park have filed a set of lawsuits against gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, for deceptively marketing their assault rifles.
  • This election season, voters in Illinois will vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution, dubbed Amendment 1 or the Workers’ Rights Amendment.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Ed Keiser, the longtime staff meteorologist at WILL radio and TV.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Anna Savchenko, Harrison Malkin and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: Champaign Police say automated license plate readers are a tool to help officers’ investigations

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The state of Illinois is chipping away at its unemployment insurance debt.
  • Immigrant advocates in Champaign-Urbana are preparing to receive migrants from Texas. 
  • A University of Illinois student group committed to selling donated clothes to students at low prices has had its first thrift event of the school year.
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland has opened a new Science and Technology Center at the University of Illinois Research Park. It’s an expansion of a more specialized center that the food processing company opened 15 years earlier.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear an update on the automated license plate readers being installed in the City of Champaign.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Luis Velazquez, Miranda Zanca, Madison Holcomb and Sydney Wood.

217 Today: Republican candidate Regan Deering explains why she joined the competitive 13th congressional district race

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • An Illinois Republican lawmaker is trying to make bribery and intimidation by a public official a detainable offense.
  • People spent 60 percent more on sports wagers last year in Illinois than the year prior, but the state’s chief fiscal officer says it’s not a budget fix.
  • A coalition working to prevent gun violence in Champaign County officially launched this past weekend.
  • More than one hundred students marched across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus on Sept. 23 to demand the university stop investing in companies that profit from fossil fuel production.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Regan Deering, a Republican candidate in Illinois’ 13th congressional district.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Madison Holcomb and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: WILL’s first development director discusses origins of the station’s fundraising

Monday, September 26, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois will sell $2.6 billion worth of corn and soybeans to Taiwan over the course of two years.
  • The University of Illinois on Friday unveiled plans for a $250 million academic and research facility in the South Loop of Chicago.
  • A team of researchers at the University of Illinois is receiving a $1.85 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • As of last Friday, there were just under 200 active COVID-19 cases in Champaign County – down from more than 1,500 three weeks earlier. Eleven of those cases were hospitalized, down from 18 during the same period.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Debbie Day, the first-ever development director at WILL. She’ll talk about the origins of the station’s fundraising.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Dana Cronin and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: Pygmalion performer Michael Mwenso talks childhood, musical background

Friday, September 23, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is calling for the resignation of two Democratic state senators embroiled in controversy.
  • Illinois Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill in response to the fentanyl epidemic.
  • A University of Illinois-based language justice collaborative is helping preserve Indigenous Mayan languages.
  • The Fighting Illini football team dominated every aspect of the game against Chattanooga on Thursday night in a 31-0 win.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Michael Mwenso of Mwenso and the Shakes, one of the performers at this weekend’s Pygmalion Festival.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Luis Velazquez and Colin Hislope.

217 Today: Champaign County’s League of Women Voters calls for the end of the county executive position

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Former President Trump’s downtown Chicago skyscraper is part of a sweeping fraud lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general.
  • A central Illinois mayor says Chicago is reaching out to other cities across Illinois for help as it deals with immigrants bused in by red-state Governors.
  • We fact check claims from the Illinois GOP about the SAFE-T Act, which goes into law on January 1, 2023.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll find out why the Champaign County League of Women Voters wants to eliminate the office of county executive after just four years.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Eric Stock and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: David Palmer helps former political opponent as November election draws closer

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Another Illinois lawmaker is facing federal bribery charges.
  • The Illinois Audubon Society named Joanne Fesset as its new executive director on Tuesday.
  • A business incubator focused on disadvantaged neighborhoods in Champaign is expanding its chess program.
  • Negotiations resumed on Tuesday between the Mahomet-Seymour school district and its teachers and support staff.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from David Palmer, who his helping former political opponent Nikki Budzinski on the campaign trail.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Indi Khera, Emily Hays and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: New online resource aims to help people vote in November midterm election

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Voting by mail in Illinois jumped in popularity during the height of the pandemic, and that trend may continue for the November election.
  • The Illinois State Fair is reporting record-breaking attendance this year.
  • The Planned Parenthood clinic located in Champaign is now providing in-patient, surgical abortions.
  • Champaign health experts are recommending residents get the new COVID-19 bivalent booster.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a new online resource to help people vote in the November midterm election.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Madison Holcomb and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Researchers say some cities are spending COVID relief money on traditional policing, despite reporting otherwise

Monday, September 19, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Safe-T act introduces a wide range of reforms to Illinois’ criminal justice system. This includes the controversial elimination of cash bail in January 2023.
  • Several states that have completed federal consent decrees may offer ways Illinois could improve its child welfare system.
  • On Sept. 28, the White House will hold its first hunger, nutrition and health conference in more than 50 years.
  • Severe storms early Monday brought hail, heavy rain and high winds through central Illinois.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at how cities have been spending money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Eric Stock, Tim Shelley, Dana Cronin and Emily Hays.

217 Today: Sinfonia da Camera prepares for season-opening concert

Friday, September 16, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Democratic Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is condemning Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent proposal for a nationwide abortion ban.
  • The Champaign County League of Women Voters is recommending the county do away with its elected executive just four years after its first county executive was elected.
  • After three months of planning, two local groups hope to create a space today for Latinos to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about Sinfonia da Camera’s season-opening concert on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal and Luis Velazquez.

217 Today: Host reflects on ‘Classically Black’ series that featured classical music by people of color

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • For the first time, Planned Parenthood’s Champaign clinic will provide surgical abortions.
  • Governor JB Pritzker has signed a disaster proclamation to address the flow of migrant buses from Texas.
  • In Illinois Newsroom’s first “truth test,” reporter Harrison Malkin fact-checked claims made in the Champaign county clerk race.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from longtime “Classically Black” host Roger Cooper about how the series came about as part of our 100th anniversary.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Harrison Malkin and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: Survivors of gun violence struggle with long-term physical and emotional health issues

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Republican Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey supports an ad that shows a woman getting attacked in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
  • The state’s utility watchdog is rolling out a new guide to help buyers considering an electric vehicle.
  • Seven community colleges in Illinois have won a total of $5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • For nearly a decade, the University of Illinois student newspaper “The Daily Illini” has provided a database showing salaries for all university employees.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how survivors of gun violence deal with physical and emotional health consequences that can last for years.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Emily Hays, Chris Evans and Farah Yousry.

217 Today: Redistricting puts some Vermilion County voters in the same congressional district with part of Chicago

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke will retire from the bench later this year, court officials announced today.
  • Millions of Illinoisans will see money show up in the mail or in their bank accounts over the next six to eight weeks.
  • Faculty unions at five public Illinois universities held coordinated rallies last week to push for higher wages and small faculty-student ratios.
  • Urbana Middle and High Schools were on “soft lockdown” for a short period late yesterday after a traffic stop went wrong.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at new congressional districts in Vermilion County.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Alex Degman, Emily Hays and Harrison Malkin.

217 Today: Rural veterinarians struggle to pay off medical school debt

Monday, September 12, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Two Illinois lawmakers are pushing legislation that would create a wind farm off the shores of Lake Michigan.
  • University of Illinois officials reported 317 new COVID-19 cases on the Urbana campus last week. That’s much lower than the week before when there were more than one thousand new cases.
  • Latino students are expected to particularly benefit from President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
  • Defense was the story on Saturday as the Illinois football team shut down Virginia 24-3.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how rural veterinarians are in short supply, and the heavy debt load many carry from medical school isn’t helping.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Luis Velazquez and Xcaret Nuñez.

217 Today: A new report reveals the number of Illinoisians who signed up for a far-right militia group

Friday, September 9, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois’ Republican gubernatorial candidate now has a positive TV ad running statewide, but it didn’t come until nearly two months before the general election.
  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said his staff has been unable to coordinate with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s staff as groups of migrants have appeared in Chicago by bus.
  • This Sunday marks 21 years since the September 11 attacks that killed thousands of Americans.
  • The longest-serving current member of the Champaign City Council says he won’t seek re-election next April.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at a new report from the Anti-Defamation League, which reveals how many Illinoisans – and elected officials – signed up with the far-right group, the Oath Keepers.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Dana Cronin and Tim Shelley.

217 Today: Champaign invests COVID-19 relief in grassroots program to deter gun violence

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A cannabis advocacy group is warning the state’s recreational marijuana program has a lot of problems that need immediate attention.
  • Bringing more diversity into the green economy is one of the central goals of Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act signed into law last September.
  • Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis traveled across four areas of Illinois this week to announce federal Community Project Funding, or CPF.
  • Enrollment at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus has hit a new record high.  

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how Champaign is investing COVID-19 relief in a grassroots program with the goal of using talent development to prevent gun violence.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Eric Schmid, Harrison Malkin and Emily Hays.

217 Today: Volunteer groups work to test rivers and lakes for toxic algae blooms

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey continues to blame Governor J.B. Pritzker for crime in the state, but Bailey says he can fix it.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker made a stop in Decatur yesterday to announce state funding for electric vehicle manufacturing.
  • Undergraduates at the University of Illinois tested positive for COVID-19 in record numbers last week.
  • According to the CDC, Champaign, Vermilion, Ford, Douglas and about 25 other Illinois counties are rated at a high risk for COVID-19.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about volunteer groups testing rivers and lakes for toxic algae blooms.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Emily Hays and Eva Tesfaye.

217 Today: How Biden’s student loan forgiveness helps some Illinois grads move forward

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • On Monday, Governor J.B. Pritzker told Rock Island County Democrats that Illinois is “the most pro-labor state in the country, and it will remain that way” during the Democrats’ annual Salute to Labor in East Moline.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act revived the national conversation around insulin prices. 
  • A kinesiology professor at the University of Illinois recently explored how Latin Dance can benefit the memory of older Latinos.
  • On Tuesday, Students will return to class on the University of Illinois Urbana campus after the holiday weekend amid high COVID case numbers.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about the impact of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on the economy and everyday people with student debt.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Herb Trix, Mitch Legan, Luis Velazquez and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Midwestern states promote unexpected activities to attract tourism

Friday, September 2, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois says they’re working hard to keep abortion care legal in the state.
  • Illinois lawmakers working to pass gun laws say it will take some time before they reach a consensus.
  • The University of Illinois is under attack by one gubernatorial challenger for its number of out-of-state students.
  • COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb on the University of Illinois Urbana campus at the start of the fall semester.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how some Midwestern states are getting creative with their tourism marketing.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Ariceli Gomez-Aldana, Mawa Iqbal, Harrison Malkin and Elizabeth Rembert.

217 Today: New report from C-U Citizen Access highlights causes of local gun violence

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A group of Illinois lawmakers tasked with expanding abortion rights is hoping to pass legislation before the end of the year.
  • Clinical trials show the antiviral Paxlovid can reduce the risk of COVID-related hospitalization and death by 89 percent, but a new report shows it’s being underutilized. 
  • Illinois’ 13th district congressional race is heating up as November approaches, and the Republican candidate scored an important endorsement this week.
  • COVID-19 continues to spread quickly on the University of Illinois Urbana campus at the start of the fall semester.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about a C-U Citizen Access report that looks at the causes of gun violence in Champaign.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Harrison Malkin and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: Illinois Republicans look to gain control of the state Supreme Court this election

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey’s campaign fund got a major boost from Republican mega-donor Richard Uihlein.
  • Republican Esther Joy King is making her second run to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.
  • Illinois schools are unable to fill one out of every one-hundred teaching positions.
  • The University of Illinois reported Tuesday that 388 people have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s the most cases discovered in a single day of testing since the university first rolled out saliva tests in the fall of 2020.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at races on the November ballot in Illinois that could have a big impact on the state.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Emily Hays and Dave McKinney.

217 Today: Lack of data on sickle cell disease creates consequences for patients

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Many Central Illinois communities are cleaning up after severe storms Monday night.
  • Members of the University of Illinois Graduate Employees Organization say the University’s proposed contract doesn’t give them the pay and benefits they deserve.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now strongly recommending students and staff wear masks in classrooms.
  • University of Illinois students say they’re not rattled by Chancellor Robert Jones’ suggestion to begin wearing masks again while in the classroom.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the lack of data on sickle cell disease and the subsequent consequences for patients.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Nour Longi, Emily Hays, Madison Holcomb, Farah Yousry.

217 Today: Invasive species threaten the Mississippi River Basin

Monday, August 29, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Multiple reports of gun violence kept Central Illinois police busy over the weekend.
  • At a kickoff for the Jelani Day Foundation over the weekend in Normal, his mother Carmen Bolden Day was again critical of the police agencies working the case.
  • The University of Illinois is recommending – but not requiring – that everyone on the Urbana campus wear face coverings in classrooms when class is in session, starting Monday.
  • Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown picked up where he left off last season when he ran for a thousand yards, with a strong performance in Illinois’ 38-6 win over Wyoming on Saturday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about the threat of invasive species to the Mississippi River Basin.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Reginald Hardwick, Colleen Reynolds, Jim Meadows and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: Education researcher says school staffing issues are more than just a ‘teacher shortage’

Friday, August 26, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Governor JB Pritzker says the Biden administration’s decision to cancel some student debt is a good first step.
  • President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan has brought relief to many but also left unanswered questions.
  • Union members representing graduate student employees at the University of Illinois rallied outside the Illini Union on Thursday ahead of their first in-person bargaining session of the year.
  • The Fighting Illini football team kicks off its season on Saturday against the Wyoming Cowboys of the Mountain West Conference.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at the teacher shortage in the state of Illinois.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Mark LeBien, Nour Longi and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Hall of Fame wide receiver returns to central Illinois to attend season opener, hold golf tournament

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • More than a million Illinois residents saddled with federal student loan debt may be eligible for some relief under a new executive order from President Joe Biden.
  • The mother of Illinois State University grad student Jelani Day said she’s had no time to find closure in the year since her son went missing and was later found dead in the Illinois River.
  • Illinois’ candidates for governor said renewable energy is part of the state’s future, but they disagree on when and how much.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing millions of dollars in helping what it calls “underserved producers.” The announcement comes on the heels of Congress repealing a promise of $4 billion in debt relief for farmers of color.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from former Illinois Hall of Fame wide receiver David Williams about this year’s team and his charity golf tournament.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Claudia Morrell, Eric Stock, Alex Degman, Dana Cronin and Reginald Hardwick.

217 Today: School districts across Illinois attempt to increase diversity in Advanced Placement classes

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Illinois on Tuesday to meet with Senator Tammy Duckworth to announce a new investment in biofuels.
  • More Mexican laborers who helped prepare Rivian’s electric vehicle plant Normal for production will finally get the overtime pay that they were owed but never received.
  • Nineteen Illinois counties are suing companies with pharmacies over what they say have been the companies’ roles in the opioid epidemic.
  • A new report says you’re more likely to have a Muslim neighbor in Illinois than in any other state.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about efforts to increase diversity in Advanced Placement classes at high schools across the state. In most cases, those courses didn’t reflect the racial diversity of the school. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Ryan Denham, Alex Degman, Reginald Hardwick and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Marketplace plans deny in-network claims more than you might think

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes can lower the severity of COVID-19, according to a new study from Northwestern University.
  • Students at the University of Illinois returned to campus on Monday for the first day of classes.
  • Ten University of Illinois students have signed up to be the first cohort of the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative.
  • Macon County is reporting its first case of Monkeypox.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how having health insurance doesn’t always mean the care people need will be covered, even if that care is provided in-network.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Madison Holcomb, Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick and Christine Herman.

217 Today: Illinois Legislative Inspector General says his role is to serve as a watchdog, not prosecutor

Monday, August 22, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Peoria City Council may ask state lawmakers next year to permit the usage of red-light cameras in Peoria County.
  • Farmers in Illinois now have a place to turn when they have extra fruits and vegetables they can’t sell.
  • An annual survey shows U.S. commercial beekeepers have lost 39 percent of their honeybee colonies this year.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from Illinois legislative inspector general Mike McCuskey six months into his new position.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Tim Shelley, Dana Cronin, Xcaret Nunez and Eric Stock.

217 Today: Ukrainian students visit sister city of Rockford for respite from war

Friday, August 19, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Republicans hammered high taxes, executive overreach, and even the city of Chicago as they rallied their base at the Illinois State Fair Thursday. 
  • The Workforce Equity Initiative at 18 Illinois community colleges will receive nearly $19 million in funding for a third year of programming. 
  • Thursday was the first day of school for most Champaign Unit 4 students. 
  • A new deal between the Big Ten Conference and three TV networks is expected to bring huge profits and exposure to the Illinois athletic department. 

In today’s deep dive, a group of Ukrainian students is taking a much-needed reprieve from war in their town’s American sister city of Rockford. 

217 Today: Long COVID patients join a chronic illness community seeking answers

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Republicans get their day in the sun Thursday at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. 
  • Illinois Senate President Don Harmon says lawmakers have not reached a consensus on the bills they would propose in a possible special legislative session. 
  • A conservative Christian group held a meeting in Decatur Tuesday, targeting the city’s public school system. 
  • Police in Pakistan have arrested a University of Illinois professor and charged him with treason. 

In today’s deep dive, chronic illness patients hope the money being poured into studying long COVID will have a wider benefit. 

217 Today: A conversation with the Illinois Department of Agriculture Director, Jerry Costello II

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A recent study places Illinois in an “extreme heat belt” in the next 30 years. 
  • Some Illinois families may need to re-apply for free and reduced cost meals heading into the new school year. 
  • The University of Illinois Police Department says it’s hired seven new officers needed to help Champaign Police patrol the Campustown area. 
  • The Champaign Unit 4 School District is relaxing some COVID-19 requirements for the new school year. 

In today’s deep dive, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II talks about how inflation and climate change are affecting farmers. 

217 Today: State Farm faces more race discrimination lawsuits in Texas and Georgia

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Naperville City Council could ban most sales of assault rifles at its meeting Tuesday night.
  • A new collaborative workforce training program in the Metro East will include an expansion of the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
  • As undergraduates return to Champaign-Urbana, the University of Illinois is preparing for the potential spread of monkeypox this fall.

In today’s deep dive, we hear from a University of Illinois discrimination law expert on recent racial discrimination lawsuits filed against State Farm Insurance. 

217 Today: infectious disease experts keep a close eye on pediatric cases of monkeypox

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Department of Children and Family Services and the Residential Simulation Lab at the University of Illinois’ Springfield campus are at odds over why a contract that helped the lab train new investigators has ended.
  • Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi recently returned from a trip to Taiwan where he talked about semiconductor chips.
  • The massive Inflation Reduction Act includes tax dollars for Black, brown and other farmers traditionally discriminated against by the federal government.
  • The Champaign City Council will vote Tuesday night on a proposal to name University Group as the developer of record for a half-acre lot at the corner of Third and Stoughton in Campustown. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how doctors are keeping an eye on pediatric monkeypox cases as kids head back to school.

217 Today is produced by Farrah Anderson. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Mawa Iqbal, Dana Cronin and Farah Yousry.

217 Today: U.S. trip to Taiwan may further strain relationship between U.S. and China

Friday, August 12, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker is re-upping his call for an apology from Republican rival Darren Bailey for once comparing abortion to the Holocaust.
  • The electric automaker Rivian plans to add a second shift at its Normal manufacturing plant by the end of next month, creating a need for even more hiring.
  • While gas prices are dipping as the summer comes to a close, it’s still a concern for Illinoisans.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature placed the iconic Monarch Butterfly on its Red List of Endangered species in July.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from a U.S. Representative from Illinois who was part of the delegation that recently visited Taiwan.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Ryan Denham, Harrison Malkin, Jordan Mead and Mawa Iqbal.

217 Today: Federal judge holds Illinois Department of Corrections accountable for poor prison conditions

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Fair kicks off on Thursday in Springfield.
  • Leaders of a new clinic opening next month in Carbondale hope they can fill a need for residents in the region and in surrounding states.
  • Circuit judge elections don’t receive much attention, but they touch many lives. We look at the election for sixth circuit judge. 
  • The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said there have been no additional cases of monkeypox connected to an infected worker reported last week at a Rantoul daycare facility.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how a federal judge in Chicago has entered an order of contempt against the Illinois Department of Corrections for its failures to provide healthcare for incarcerated people.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Jennifer Fuller, Harrison Malkin, Jim Meadows and Melba Lara.

217 Today: Providing free rides could help people in addiction recovery

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The FBI’s seizure of material from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home is becoming an issue in the Illinois governor’s race.
  • Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, says he was “stunned” by Monday’s news that federal agents had raided the home of former President Donald Trump.
  • Just a few days after issuing an apology for a 2017 video where he compared abortion with the Holocaust, Republican nominee for governor Darren Bailey is doubling down on those remarks.
  • Last weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas, Congresswoman Mary Miller reiterated her support for the “Safety and Opportunity for Girls Act,” a bill she introduced in February of 2021.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll look at the transportation challenges that people in addiction recovery face, along with efforts to mitigate these issues by providing free rides.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Hannah Meisel, Harrison Malkin and Darian Benson.

217 Today: Antagonism toward conservation efforts increases after Biden’s latest proposal

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Indiana recently joined other states bordering Illinois in banning most abortions – a move that Planned Parenthood of Illinois saw coming.
  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is rolling out the welcome mat to companies seeking to flee Indiana after the state’s near ban on abortions.
  • A judge has ruled in favor of six Illinois sheriffs in a lawsuit over the delayed transfer of inmates not fit for trial.
  • On Tuesday, the Champaign City Council will discuss a proposal from the Unit 4 School District to allow a high school varsity football game to be played at McKinley Field.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn why a new conservation proposal from the Biden administration has drawn ire in the agricultural community.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Dave McKinney, Eric Stock and Elizabeth Rembert.

217 Today: One school district is training current educators to fill special education openings

Monday, August 8, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Most abortions are now banned in the state of Indiana.
  • Only 22% of registered voters cast ballots in the June primary election, according to an Illinois State Board of Elections official.
  • A new study says even with less fertilizer, farmers can still maintain high crop yields.
  • The City of Danville and its firefighters finally have a new contract after more than a year of negotiations.  

In today’s deep dive, we’ll find out how one of the largest school districts in Illinois is filling its special education teacher shortage.

Reporting today contributed by Michael Puente, Dana Cronin and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: As the new school year draws closer, the IHSA sees a shortage of referees for high school athletics

Friday, August 5, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • The Illinois State Fair in Springfield is less than a week away, and fair organizers aim to make this year’s event bigger and better.
  • A temporary sales tax reduction begins on August 5 in Illinois.
  • Central Illinois is expected to see more heat and humidity this weekend. How will that affect the power grid? 
  • The author of a new biography of Buckminster Fuller says the architect and futurist experienced a transformative moment as a young man in Chicago in the 1920s.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how high school football and volleyball seasons will get underway later this month, but the Illinois High School Association is seeing a shortage of athletic officials.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Sydney Wood, Harrison Malkin and Jane Carlson.

217 Today: As fentanyl devastates the nation, efforts to reduce its harm are met with resistance

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A federal measure that would expand healthcare benefits for veterans is now headed to the President’s desk.
  • The amount of water in the Illinois and upper Mississippi rivers is increasing.
  • University of Illinois-owned Willard Airport won a grant from the Department of Transportation.
  • A biology professor at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington discovered a new species of lizard on a recent trip to Peru.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about efforts to save lives from overdoses on the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Harrison Malkin, Eric Stock and Mitch Legan.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood.

217 Today: Biden administration to block conservative states from charging monthly premiums for Medicaid

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Parts of southern Illinois are recovering after a sudden storm dropped about ten inches of rain and hail in less than 24 hours.
  • Meteorologists say we should expect dangerous heat and strong storms in Central Illinois on August 3.
  • Comparisons between the Holocaust and abortion are putting Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey on the defensive.
  • The mayor of Champaign is thanking police and prosecutors for the arrest of a man who allegedly emailed her with threats of a mass shooting.  

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how a new Biden administration policy could put Medicaid expansion in some conservative states at risk.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Reginald Hardwick, Dave McKinney, Jim Meadows and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey struggles to unite his party

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Governor J-B Pritzker has declared monkeypox a public health emergency, and Illinois is a disaster area regarding the virus.
  • Updated COVID booster shots will be available in early September around the start of cold and flu season.
  • A group of therapists focused on healing those involved in gun violence in Champaign County has money to expand.
  • The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is cutting back on certain COVID-19 services due to an end in money earmarked for those programs.
  • Thunderstorms and heavy rain caused flooding to our south on Tuesday morning.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how Republican candidate for Governor Darren Bailey is having trouble getting endorsements and money from key figures in his party.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mark LeBien, Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays and Dave McKinney.

217 Today: Indiana House to debate a bill that would heavily restrict abortions

Monday, August 1, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • An unusually tense process to select the next Democratic Party of Illinois chair ended Friday when its current chair withdrew her name from consideration.
  • The Democratic Party of Illinois has a new leader after an internal power battle settled this weekend.
  • Illinois’ share of a national opioid settlement with four pharmaceutical giants is $760 million.
  • The livelihood of Illinois’ state insect —the monarch butterfly —is under threat.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about efforts to severely restrict abortion in Indiana. 

217 Today is produced by Farrah Anderson. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Hannah Meisel, Mawa Iqbal, Harrison Malkin and Michael Puente

217 Today: University of Illinois’ Summer Piano Institute returns for the first time since 2019

Friday, July 29, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois state lawmakers met on Thursday to discuss closing a loophole that allows people with revoked gun permits to still buy ammunition.
  • The developers of a multistate carbon capture pipeline this week submitted an application to build the Illinois portion.
  • A weekend-long effort to combat local gun violence starts on Friday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about the Summer Piano Institute, which is back at the University of Illinois for the first time since 2019.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Harrison Malkin and Jim Meadows.

217 Today: Donations and demand are increasing for groups that help pay for abortions

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Google is expanding In Chicago – it’s taking over the Thompson Center.
  • The state’s largest solar project could be up and running in Fulton County by 2025.
  • Illinois Congresswoman Mary Miller met in April with the head of a group called Iranian Americans for Liberty.
  • The second probable case of monkeypox has been reported in Champaign County, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how groups that help pay for abortion services are playing a bigger role than ever after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Harrison Malkin and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: A growing movement among Native American tribes promotes controlling where and how they get their food

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey is still refusing to answer questions related to last year’s Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
  • At least one person is dead following the historic rainfall across the St. Louis region on the night of July 25.
  • The University of Illinois has announced it will keep COVID-19 vaccine requirements this fall at all of its campuses. This comes two weeks after Governor JB Pritzker lifted his vaccine mandate for higher education.
  • Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren says the conference will be bold and aggressive as college sports goes through sweeping change.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the effort across Native American tribes and communities for “food sovereignty,” or people having the right to control where and how they get food. 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Eric Schmid, Emily Hays, Mark LeBien and Lauren Hines.

217 Today: States cracking down on abortion have high maternal mortality rates and gaps in rural care

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is out of COVID-19 isolation after testing negative, he said in a tweet on Sunday.
  • The state of Illinois earned $445 million in tax revenue from legal marijuana sales last fiscal year.
  • A new coalition of small nonprofits aims to tackle gun violence in Champaign County.
  • The Champaign County Fair opened its gates Friday evening, welcoming its 169th anniversary after being canceled two years ago due to the pandemic. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how some physicians are sounding the alarm about the consequences of abortion restrictions on pregnant people in rural areas.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Sydney Wood and Aprile Rickert.

217 Today: Bus driver shortage leaves parents worried for upcoming school year

Monday, July 25, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling on the federal government to provide more vaccines for the monkeypox virus.
  • The World Health Organization — on Saturday — declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.
  • Congressman Rodney Davis has championed the Social Security Fairness Act since 2013. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand benefits for many Americans.
  • Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says the United States needs immigration reforms to make it easier to bring more skilled laborers into the country.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about uncertainty surrounding school bus routes for the upcoming school year.

217 Today is produced by Farrah Anderson. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Farah Yousry, Harrison Malkin, Tim Shelley and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Collegiate esports programs grow across the country, including at Northern Illinois University

Friday, July 22, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois members of Congress were vocal supporters of the Right to Contraception Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
  • The Peoria-to-Chicago passenger rail route now has an initial price tag: $2.5 billion.
  • The Champaign County Association of Realtors says home sales declined by nearly 16 percent from June of last year, according to the association’s monthly report released this week.
  • Kids are back in the classroom at one Vermilion County school.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about what’s fueling the growth of collegiate esports programs at colleges like Northern Illinois University.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Mawa Iqbal, Tim Shelley, Harrison Malkin, Tinisha Spain and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Although a drug discount program aims to help low-income patients, its misuse creates controversy

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Three Republicans from the Illinois Congressional Delegation voted against a measure to codify same-sex and interracial marriages.
  • Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said it’s time for a nationwide ban on assault-style weapons.
  • The University of Illinois leads the largest health study of box turtles in the world.
  • The Champaign County Fair kicks off tomorrow morning, starting with a horse show from the 4-H youth development program.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how a little-known drug discount program is critical to helping hospitals care for uninsured patients, but it’s been the center of controversy for years.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Eric Stock, Alex Degman, Harrison Malkin, Sydney Wood and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: New clinics aim to help patients suffering from long-term COVID-19 symptoms

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Another county resident – a man in his 70s – has died from COVID-19.  This is the fifth COVID-19-related death in July and brings the countywide death toll to 301.
  • Governor JB Pritzker ended COVID-19 vaccine mandates for higher education institutions, leaving the decision up to individual schools.
  • The CEO of the state’s economic development public-private partnership said he’s working to market the Central Illinois region to the site selectors who make decisions on where new businesses locate.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how new clinics are attempting to aid patients who continue to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms for weeks or months after their initial infection has passed.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Emily Hays, Tim Shelley and Steph Whiteside.

217 Today: ‘Living room’ approach aims to plug gaps in mental health services

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois State Police will start keeping clear and present danger reports to prevent some people from obtaining a Firearm Owners’ ID.
  • The Catholic healthcare provider OSF HealthCare will only cover fertility treatments for its married, opposite-sex workers.
  • The Urbana City Council is considering whether to allow a second plasma collection center to settle in the city at a former Save-a-Lot grocery store.
  • Last week, the Urbana and Champaign fire departments worked together to complete their bi-annual high-rise training session at Sherman Hall in Champaign.

 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about the “living room” approach – a potential solution to fill the need for more in-person mental health crisis services.

 

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Kristen Schorsch, Harrison Malkin, Sydney Wood and Emily Hays. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Emily Hays, Sydney Wood and Carter Barrett.

217 Today: Agriculture companies are paying farmers to capture carbon. Is it enough to fight climate change?

Monday, July 18, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger is previewing another public January 6th committee hearing for this week.
  • Season allergies have been getting worse. 
  • Jumping worms have made their way to pretty much every state in the Midwest in the last ten years, including Illinois.
  • An argument between two men from Urbana turned deadly in Champaign’s Campustown area over the weekend.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about carbon markets in the agriculture community and if they’re really helping the fight against climate change.

217 Today is produced by Farrah Anderson. Reporting today contributed by Shawn Allee, Dana Cronin, Eva Tesfaye, Reginald Hardwick and Dana Cronin.

217 Today: Some in Illinois still waiting for redress from cannabis industry

Friday, July 15, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Many doctors from Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin are now working out of a health center across the Illinois border.
  • In the aftermath of the Highland Park mass shooting over the Fourth of July weekend, Illinois politicians are sparring over gun legislation.
  • If your bicycle is parked at a University of Illinois bike rack, make sure to remove any bright orange stickers attached to it.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how the state of Illinois is giving out 200 new recreational cannabis licenses in an effort to make amends for racial discrimination in marijuana arrests.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Kristen Schorsch, Harrison Malkin, Sydney Wood and Emily Hays.

217 Today: In rural communities, LGBTQ farmers are becoming more visible

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois college students and people who work in higher education in the state will no longer face COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
  • Last week, Judge Lisa Holder White was sworn in as the first Black woman justice on the Illinois Supreme Court. She said her time as both a prosecutor and public defender has informed her philosophy.
  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is taking his political show on the road once again.
  • Federal money will be used to help improve access to food for people in Illinois. The Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University will receive $200,000 to address rural and urban “food deserts” across the state.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear about how LGBTQ farmers and the difference they’re making in rural communities.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Harrison Malkin, Dave McKinney, Herb Trix and Catherine Wheeler.

217 Today: A new law limits disposal of long-lasting chemicals in Illinois, but there are still challenges

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has appointed a new director of the state’s public health department.
  • Dr. Colleen McNicholas testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday on what her clinic has experienced since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
  • Black facilities workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have taken a major step in their legal efforts to end racial harassment on the job.
  • On Tuesday, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reported its first probable case of monkeypox.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed a new law limiting the ways so-called “forever” chemicals can be disposed of in the state, but the sheer volume of these chemicals continues to present significant challenges.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Kristen Schorsch, Mawa Iqbal, Emily Hays, Harrison Malkin and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.

217 Today: As many states move to restrict or ban abortions, an economic fallout and may be inevitable

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • President Joe Biden is praising Highland Park’s mayor and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker for their responses to last week’s July 4th mass shooting.
  • On Monday, the Urbana City Council voted to allow new jail construction within city limits.
  • The Dobbs ruling that reversed Roe v. Wade may also limit transgender people’s access to healthcare in the future.
  • Carle Hospital in Urbana, which serves several counties, reports that 46 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Four people are in the ICU.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn about a study that looks at the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on abortion rights.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Emily Hays, Sydney Wood and Dan Gorenstein.

217 Today: When children with sickle cell disease grow up, they face a system not designed for them

Monday, July 11, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • An Illinois lawmaker wants to prevent minors who have hurt themselves or others — or tried to — from legally buying guns.
  • Illinois is receiving nearly five thousand doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine from the national stockpile.
  • A new coal mine planned for southeast Champaign County is no longer moving forward.
  • Two more Champaign County residents have died due to COVID-19. Both victims were females in their 70’s.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll take a closer look at the challenges facing people with sickle cell disease as they move into adulthood.

217 Today is produced by Farrah Anderson. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Sonal Soni, Dana Cronin and Farah Yousry.

217 Today: Wheat prices are up this year, but farmers could lose money this harvest season

Friday, July 8, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois’ Republican candidate for governor blames the state for letting the alleged Highland Park shooter buy his guns.
  • The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is hiking financial support to foster parents and caregivers to offset the impacts of rising costs.
  • A week after the first Black woman was sworn in on the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois’ own high court welcomed its first Black female justice on Thursday.
  •  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin toured the Meta Data Center in DeKalb this week. Meta is the parent company of Facebook.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how wheat prices have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine, but because of drought, wheat farmers might not benefit.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Hannah Meisel, Jenna Dooley and Elizabeth Rembert.

217 Today: What state reforms could look like for community college students in no-credit developmental courses

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A Lake County Judge is denying bail to Robert Crimo III while he awaits trial on charges that he killed seven people in a mass shooting in Highland Park on the Fourth of July.
  • Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey wants to scrap the state’s decades-old gun-permitting system.
  • The head of the Illinois State Police said there wasn’t enough evidence to stop the alleged Highland Park shooter from getting a Firearm Owners ID Card, or a FOID card.
  • The longest-serving justice on the Illinois Supreme Court will retire on Thursday.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how many students in Illinois colleges are placed in “developmental” or remedial courses. A new law looks to change that.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Alex Degman, Harrison Malkin and Peter Medlin.

217 Today: Why was the Independence Day gunman allowed to own firearms after a previous run-in with police?

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • A survivor talks about his experience at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park on July 4 that killed seven people and hospitalized two dozen more.
  • Alleged Highland Park gunman Robert Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
  • After hearing gunshots at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, people fled to nearby stores for safety.
  • Another Champaign County resident has died of COVID-19 for the first time since a month ago. He was a man in his 80s. The coronavirus death toll in the county is now 297.

In today’s deep dive, a closer look at the shooter and gun allegedly at the center of Monday’s mass shooting in Highland Park.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Mawa Iqbal and Patrick Smith.

217 Today: Young women in Indiana are leading the fight to protect reproductive rights in the red state

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • One witness to Monday’s Highland Park parade shooting was marching in the event when she heard what she thought might be fireworks.
  • Governor JB Pritzker is calling gun violence a “uniquely American plague” after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park that killed six people and wounded dozens more.
  • In a campaign video immediately after the Highland Park shooting, Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey urged people to pray and then “move on” and celebrate the Fourth of July.
  • Custodians, assistant teachers and other support staff in the Champaign Unit 4 school district are all making at least $15 dollars an hour, starting this month.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear how young women are leading the charge to keep reproductive rights alive in the neighboring state of Indiana.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Michael LeBien, Ryan Denham, Emily Hays and Michael Puente.

217 Today: Illinois chefs get creative with ‘Copi cakes’

Friday, July 1, 2022

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinoisans can expect some moderate tax relief starting Friday.
  • Environmental advocates are decrying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision made Thursday that curtailed the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions.
  • Republican candidates in Illinois who support former President Trump fared very well in this week’s primary election. That may not continue this fall.
  • The Big Ten Conference will soon reach from coast to coast.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn how some restaurants are serving up Copi – known formerly as “Asian Carp” – as part of Illinois officials’ efforts to make the invasive fish more appealing to eat.

217 Today is produced by Sydney Wood. Reporting today contributed by Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, The 21st Show and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco.