AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Interviewing Migrant Children; The Toxic Work Culture At Speaker Madigan’s Office; Child Care Assistance Program; ‘The Most Fun We Ever Had’ Novel

On the heels of the Trump administration's plans to potentially detain migrant children indefinitely, we hear from an Illinois Wesleyan professor who interviewed migrant children at the border and saw their living conditions firsthand. Plus, a new report describes a toxic work environment at the office of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. We also hear about changes to the Child Care Assistance Program, and talk with author and Oak Park native Claire Lombardo.

Courtesy of the Education Justice Project

August 19, 2019 - The 21st Show

Why Books Were Removed From A Danville Prison; IL Judicial Elections; Confronting White Nationalism in Schools; Cahokia National Park?

We learn why the warden of the Danville Correctional Center ordered the removal of more than 200 books from a prison education program library. And, when you hear 2020 you’re probably not thinking about the state Supreme Court. But what happens in that election will have big consequences for Illinois. Plus, educators have been seeing more white nationalist propaganda in their communities, and they’ve come up with strategies to push back. Also, why advocates and some lawmakers want to make Cahokia Mounds in southern Illinois into a national park.


Soil Carbon Cowboys

August 15, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: ‘Soil Carbon Cowboys’ Documentary; Seafood From The Midwest; Forgotten Desserts

Cattle are a big source of greenhouse gas emissions. But if you graze them differently, it’s possible that all these cows could actually help the environment. Plus, when you think about Midwest food, there’s cheese, corn, soy... but what about shrimp? Scientists and farmers have been exploring raising saltwater fish in states like Illinois. And, recipes can be a way to remember our family, our friends and even our roots. We talk to food writer Niki Davis about sweets that may not be trendy, but taste like classics.


Medical marijuana crap

August 14, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: Cooking With Cannabis; Midwest Food Road Trips; Writing About Black Food in Chicago

Recreational marijuana will become legal in Illinois on January 1st. But there’s already a whole world of edibles that includes chefs, writers, and manufacturers. Plus, have you gone on that summer road trip yet? Because there are great food destinations that aren’t too far from Illinois. And, during the month of June, the Chicago Tribune put the spotlight on Black food and culture on the city’s South Side.


Urvashi Pitre/Two Sleevers

August 13, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: Urvashi Pitre And The Instant Pot; Which Pizza Ranks Supreme?

If pressure cookers scare you, good news - cookbook author Urvashi Pitre says they’re nothing to fear. We revisit our conversation with her about cooking her famous butter chicken and more. Plus, whether it’s pan pizza, Detroit style or Chicago deep dish, everyone has a favorite pizza place in their town. Steve Dolinsky joins us with some of his favorite places.


Visitors view the Illinois State Fair Butter Cow designed by Sarah Pratt after the Twilight Parade at the Illinois State Fair Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Springfield, Ill.

Seth Perlman/AP

August 08, 2019 - The 21st Show

Making A Butter Cow; History of State Fair Politics; George Will On Conservatism And Illinois; Using Business Apps At Home

If you go to the Illinois State Fair every year, there's no way you've missed the butter cow. Today we'll talk to its sculptor about how it's created. And speaking of the state fair, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is showing up there next week, but she's not the first politician to make an appearance. Plus, George Will is a conservative writer who’s been in the national spotlight for decades. He’s also a native of Champaign. We’ll talk with him about Illinois politics and his latest book, The Conservative Sensibility. Also, do you use an app like Slack or Trello in your office? It turns out some families have co-opted office apps to help them organize things in their personal lives too.


Edith Brady-Lunny with the cover of her book, The Unforgiven

Courtesy of Edith Brady-Lunny

August 07, 2019 - The 21st Show

The Tragedy At Clinton Lake Revisited; Beardstown Braces For The Census

Almost 16 years ago, three young children died after they were trapped in a car that went into Clinton Lake. Edith Brady-Lunny has been covering the story since that first night. We’ll speak with her about her new book, The Unforgiven. Also, local communities play a big part in the census. But this time, there’s a lot of fear about being counted. Today, we’ll focus on what this looks like in the central Illinois community of Beardstown.


A patient visits Salveo Health and Wellness, a licensed medical cannabis dispensary, in Canton, Ill.

Seth Perlman/AP

August 06, 2019 - The 21st Show

Local Governments Opt Out Of Cannabis Sales; Campaigning With Childcare; A Social Media Feed Without ‘Likes’

Recreational cannabis will be legal in Illinois on January 1st. But it won’t be legal to sell everywhere, because some cities have voted to ban marijuana businesses in their communities. Plus, candidates running for federal office are now allowed to spend campaign money on childcare. We’ll look at how the culture around running for office and taking care of kids is changing. And Instagram is testing a feed that hides the number of likes on the posts you see. It’s an idea that Illinois artist Ben Grosser has worked on for years. We’ll speak to him about quality over quantity on social media.


A student fills out a college enrollment application at Roosevelt High School in Washington.

Susan Walsh/AP

August 05, 2019 - The 21st Show

Parents Trading Custody For Financial Aid; Sen. Tom Cullerton Indictment; Will It Play In Peoria?

More than forty well-off families in the Chicago suburbs got extra financial aid from the University of Illinois by strategically giving up custody of their kids, sometimes months before their child turned 18. Plus, Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton has been charged by federal prosecutors. He’s accused of being on a union payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though he did almost no work for them. And you’ve likely heard the phrase “Will it play in Peoria?”. But its meaning has evolved over the years to adapt to the city’s surprising history. 


Police officers run after a photographer trying to reach a better view of a crime scene where a police officer was killed in Rosarito, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008.

Guillermo Arias/AP

July 31, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: Protecting Journalists Around The World; Author Kwame Anthony Appiah

Last year, 54 journalists were killed while doing their jobs. Hundreds more are in jail. And press freedom is being threatened, even in democracies. We’ll speak with the director of the Committee To Protect Journalists, Joel Simon. Plus, whether it’s color, class, creed or ideology, a lot goes into how we form our identities. But what’s the difference between identity and a label? We’re revisiting our conversation with author Kwame Anthony Appiah. 


A woman jumps into the shallow water of Lake Michigan as her companion takes her picture at Chicago's Oak Street Beach, Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Amr Alfiky/AP

July 30, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: Lake Michigan Warming; Writer Parker Palmer

The Great Lakes are warming. Although it might make for better swimming, higher temperatures could have a disastrous effect on Lake Michigan’s game fish, like trout and salmon, which depend on cold water. Plus, we revisit a conversation with writer and educator Parker Palmer. His most recent book is called On The Brink Of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old.


Chibundu Onuzo

July 29, 2019 - The 21st Show

ENCORE: Author Chibundu Onuzo; ‘The Wildlands’

Chibundu Onuzo is a Nigerian author from one of the world’s largest and most vibrant cities. It’s the subject of her first novel, Welcome to Lagos. Plus, Chicago writer Abby Geni has always been in love with the outdoors. But her second novel, The Wildlands, is about nature’s darker side and one Oklahoma family’s struggle to survive.


Sunset over Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Ill.

moon shot/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

July 25, 2019 - The 21st Show

The Best Of The Midwest; New SNAP Benefits Program

What does it mean to be Midwestern, and what makes this state and this region so special? We talk to some of our favorite Midwesterners about all things Illinois and the Midwest including the food, the history, the culture and the landscape around us. Plus, Gov. Pritzker recently signed a bill which creates a Restaurant Meals Program for SNAP recipients. We learn why its proponents think it can help fix the issue of food deserts and make people healthier.


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