Scott Pruitt has been confirmed by the Senate to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
February 17, 2017

Scott Pruitt Confirmed To Lead Environmental Protection Agency

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote on Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.


In this photo taken Oct. 29, 2013, former House Minority Leader Bob Michel speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
February 17, 2017

Former House Minority Leader Bob Michel Dies at 93

The longest-serving US House minority leader has died. Peoria native and former House Republican Leader Bob Michel died at an Arlington, Virginia Hospital of pneumonia Friday. He was 93. The Illinois lawmaker was first elected in 1956 and spent 38 years in Congress. His skill at seeking compromise with the Democrats was critical in helping Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush pursue their agendas during their presidential terms.


President Trump addressed a variety of topics Thursday during a news conference announcing Alexander Acosta as the new labor secretary nominee in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
February 16, 2017

Trump’s Thursday News Conference, Annotated

President Trump began his press conference Thursday afternoon naming his new nominee for labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. He also announced his decision to issue a new executive action while his travel ban is held up in court. Journalists across NPR have annotated his remarks.


child with violin
Flickr/dominique cappronnier
February 16, 2017

Kids & Music Classes; Lack of Volunteer Firefighters In Illinois; Budget Address Follow-Up

On the 21st: We visit a music class at Leal elementary school and learn about a new research study exploring the factors that influence children's pursuit of music lessons. We also discussed how the lack of volunteers enlisting in local fire departments in recent years is affecting communities in Illinois, and checked in with social service agencies following Governor Rauner's budget address.


Beekeepers Glen Andresen and Tim Wessels are trying to breed a honey bee that is more resilient to colder climates.
Kathryn Boyd-Batstone/Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 16, 2017

Crop-Protecting Fungicides May Be Hurting The Honey Bees

"The long-standing assumption is that fungicides won't be toxic to insects," says May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. But Berenbaum and her colleagues found, in a study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that fungicides can harm bees by making it harder for them to metabolize their food.


Rev. Evelyn Burnett Underwood, Incument Mayor Laurel Prussing, and Alderwoman Diane Marlin debated at Urbana's Riggs Brewery Wednesday.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
February 16, 2017

Mayoral Candidates Look Downtown In Second Debate

In their second debate, the three women seeking the Democratic nomination for Urbana mayor weighed in on downtown and 'family friendly' events, but also had a chance to highlight what set them apart, each answering questions direct specifically about them. An audience of about 100 attended the event at Riggs Brewery, hosted by the Champaign County Young Democrats, Chambana Moms, and Smile Politely.


Dr. Susan Zola, who was announced as Champaign Unit 4 Schools next superintendent Wednesday.
Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media
February 15, 2017

Unit 4 Hires Susan Zola As Next Superintendent

Champaign Unit 4 has promoted from within for its next superintendent. The school board announced Wednesday night that Susan Zola, currently serving as the District's Assistant Superintendent for Achievement, Curriculum, and Instruction at the District's 12 elementary schools will take over for the retiring Judy Wiegand on July 1. Zola was chosen from three candidates after a national search was conducted.


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