Susan Walsh/AP
March 12, 2018

Tariffs, The Steel Industry And Farmers; ‘The Brain Scoop’; Angel Sides; State Politics Update

On The 21st: How are tariffs on steel affecting both the steel industry and farmers in Illinois? Plus, we speak to scientist and creator of The Brain Scoop Emily Graslie about a new butterfly species that has been named after her. Also, we hear from 13th Congressional District candidate Angel Sides. But first, we get our Illinois politics update from Natasha Korecki and Mark Maxwell. 

Campaign photos
March 12, 2018

Meet The Democrats Hoping To Unseat Rep. Rodney Davis In The 13th District

Illinois' 13th Congressional district—which includes all or part of 14 counties stretching from central to southwestern Illinois, including Champaign, Springfield, and Bloomington—is currently represented by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis. He's not facing a primary challenger, but there are five Democrats hoping to unseat him in November. But first, they need to get the most votes in the March 20 primary. 

March 08, 2018

The Strike At The University Of Illinois; Spring Training; IL-13 Candidates Ebel And Londrigan

On the 21st: To talk about the graduate student strike taking place at the U of I, we were joined by Graduate Employment Organization (GEO) co-president Marilia Correa and the University's Vice Provost Bill Bernhard. We also talked to WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout about spring training for the Cubs and White Sox. Then, we continued our 13th Congressional District candidate interviews with Jon Ebel and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. 

Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Nirav Shah answers questions from the House and Senate's Committees on Veterans Affairs March 5, 2018 during a legislative hearing about Legionnaires' disease at Quincy Veterans Home.
Erin Brown/Sun-Times via AP
March 07, 2018

Illinois Public Health Director Defends Response To Legionnaires’ Outbreak

At least two Illinois lawmakers have called for the director of the state’s public health department to step down, following the deaths of 13 residents from Legionnaires’ disease at a veterans’ home in Quincy since 2015. Speaking on "The 21st" on Wednesday, Dr. Nirav Shah said he thinks he still has the public’s trust and intends to continue in his role. Here are some of the highlights from Shah’s discussion with host Niala Boodhoo.

Obama Library
Nam Y. Huh/AP
March 06, 2018

Obama Center; Group Home Updates; Brain-Boosting Methods; IL-13 Candidates Erik Jones and David Gill

On the 21st: Chicago Tribune Reporter Michael Berens joined us to talk about changes to group homes for disabled adults. Plus, we talked about brain-boosting methods with Chicago Magazine senior editor Lauren Williamson and U of I Professor Elizabeth Stine-Morrow. Then, we talked to reporter Lolly Bowean about former president Barack Obama's new center in Jackson Park. We also had our first two interviews with 13th Congressional District candidates, Erik Jones and David Gill. 

John J. Kim/AP
March 05, 2018

The Latest In The Governor’s Race; Tax Revenue From Airbnb; ‘IlliNoise’ Podcast

On The 21st: Airbnb has collected $9.3 million in taxes on behalf of hosts in the state of Illinois. What's going on with these taxes? Plus, we talk to Chicago journalist Ellen Mayer about her podcast IlliNoise. But first, a new story from the Chicago Sun-Times shows that nearly a quarter of the money contributed to political campaigns in the state came from four men. What's going on in Illinois politics this week?

Pictures of the six Democrats and one Republican running to unseat incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner
Pritzker campaign/Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
March 05, 2018

Our Interviews With Seven Of The Candidates For Illinois Governor

The 21st interviewed seven of the candidates running for Illinois governor ahead of the primary on March 20: Democratic candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Sen. Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, and Dr. Robert Marshall, along with Gov. Rauner's Republican challenger, Rep. Jeanne Ives. The governor's office did not respond to our repeated requests for an interview.

March 03, 2018

The Democratic And Republican Candidates For Attorney General

Eight Democrats and two Republicans are hoping to succeed current Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is not running for re-election. The 21st recorded conversations with all ten of them ahead of the primary, which is on March 20.

The Joffrey Studio Company and Academy Trainees in the 8th Annual Winning Works program. Photo by Cheryl Mann
March 02, 2018

Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Winning Works’ Showcase; Oscars Preview; Flooding In Freeport

On The 21st: The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago is showcasing work from choreographers at their 8th Annual 'Winning Works' competition. Plus, what to expect at this Sunday's Academy Awards. But first, we check in with the town of Freeport, which has been dealing with severe flooding over the past week. 

Libertarian Party/Green Party Of Illinois
March 01, 2018

Beyond Red And Blue: Third Parties In Illinois Politics

Pick any election in America, and it’s usually Democrats vs. Republicans. But there are also smaller parties like the Greens and the Libertarians, and every year they’re trying to both get their messages out and get their candidates on the ballot. Illinois is a particularly difficult state for third parties, and we spoke about all this and more with representatives from the Libertarian Party of Illinois and the Green Party of Illinois.

Christine Herman/WILL
March 01, 2018

Illinois House Passes Gun Control Bills; Third Parties In Illinois; Remembering Billy Graham

On the 21st: The Illinois House passed several bills aimed at strengthening gun control. Plus, it's an election year, but what if you've decided the two major parties aren't for you? We had a conversation with Illinois Libertarian Party Chair Lex Green and Illinois Green Party Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage, along with University of Illinois Professor Brian Gaines. Plus, we remember the legacy of Billy Graham, who died at age 99.

Nam Y. Huh/AP
February 28, 2018

How McDonald’s Is Changing; Political Parties In McLean County; Employees’ Health & Wellness

On The 21st: We talk about the politics of McLean County in Central Illinois. How are party leaders struggling with defining party labels and values? Also, we hear about a wellness study and the University of Illinois. But first, mega fast-food chain McDonald's is making some big changes to their brand, including partnering with Disney to provide toys for happy meals, 10 years after the companies parted ways. 

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WILL Highlights


Fighting Illini Baseball Manager of Analytics Charlie Young joins the gang

Nathan Gunn Interview

Talks about his directorial debut and return to the Krannert stage with John Frayne