President Trump Visits Granite City; Car Title Loans; Chicago Sports Update

July 26, 2018

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

On the 21st: We talked with a farmer, union leader and reporter about President Trump's visit to Granite City. Plus, people who take out car title loans often wind up having to pay back more than twice what they originally borrowed—and there's currently no state law to protect people against it. And, we caught up on Chicago sports with our favorite sports expert, WBEZ's Cheryl Raye Stout.

Today, President Trump visited Illinois for the first time since taking office a year and a half ago.

This morning ahead of his visit, we heard from different perspectives in southwestern Illinois, including Jason Fernandez, the leader of the local steelworkers union that has been hiring more workers since the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel. We also spoke with Ken Schafer, a farmer in Jersey County who’s been affected by the tariffs other countries have used to retaliate — and, we ended with Sheila Voss, Vice President of Action Metro East, who is helping organize protests against the president. And before we dove into that, we checked in with Joe Bustos, a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat. 

Plus—

Imagine taking out a loan where you have to pay a 300 percent interest rate. Sounds like that should be illegal, right? Actually - in Illinois, it isn’t. According to the Consumer Federation of America — Illinois is one of just 16 states that have triple-digit interest rates on car title loans.

There’s a type of loan you can take out on your car title. It’s something usually only by those who really have no other alternative. Last year, tens of thousands of people in Illinois took out these loans.

WBEZ Chicago’s Natalie Moore has been reporting on this issue. She was on the line with us now from their South Side bureau. And Natalie is how we met our next guest, Paul Gillespie, from Danville — who was featured in Natalie’s story. 

And—

Well I just got back from my own sports holiday to the UK where I got to feel Wimbledon and World Cup fever, but there’s plenty going on back here at home. Our favorite sports sage Cheryl Raye Stout was on the line to offer her opinions and predictions.