Illinois Issues: A Crash Course In Economics

I freelanced this story for Illinois Issues Magazine/Illinois Public Radio to air the week before classes resumed at Illinois' major public universities. The story highlighted the economic struggle that has spread to the state's regional economies that depend on these universities in the wake of Illinois' budget crisis. To date, this is the longest audio story I've done. Read the rest on

Waiting for Obama in Springfield

I freelanced this "scene setter" story to begin Illinois Public Radio's live coverage of Obama in Springfield, Ill. on Feb 10, 2016. The president came to Illinois' capitol to speak on "building a better politics" -- right as the General Assembly and Governor are deadlocked in a months-long partisan battle over the state's budget. I wrote and produced this story in the hours leading up to the president's speech. 



Champaign Police Officer Remains On Patrol, Despite Lawsuits & Attempt To Dismiss Him

Champaign Police Officer Matt Rush is back on patrol after three separate use of force cases against him. The department had tried to fire Rush, but documents show his job was saved by a police union arbitrator. Warning: Story includes violent dashcam audio of altercation between Rush and citizen. Read the full story on


Released Emails Show Path To Phyllis Wise’s Resignation

When Phyllis Wise abruptly stepped down as chancellor of the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus, she cited "external issues" that have “distracted us from the important tasks at hand.” The day after Wise resigned, the U of I released hundreds of emails in response to Freedom of Information requests. Many of the emails were sent to and from Wise's personal email accounts. They revealed that she also encouraged others to use their private emails, in an effort to skirt FOIA law. The messages paint a picture of some of the "external issues" Wise was referring to, beginning in early 2014. Read the rest of the story on

Rauner’s Money Could Change Illinois Political Landscape

In Illinois' race for governor, one thing both sides can agree on is this: Republican Bruce Rauner has a lot of money. Though the money has been flowing through the race at the top of the ticket, it's races down the ballot that stand to gain from the governor's battle. And the effect of that money in this campaign might be felt in Illinois politics for a very long time. Read the full story and explore an interactive map at

Senior Voting Bloc Hugely Important To Quinn, Rauner

The debate over state retiree pensions has been a consistent backdrop for the Illinois gubernatorial election, bringing older voters to the forefront of many debates. It's this senior voting bloc that could make all the difference this election. Read the rest on

Ex-Offenders Get Job-Ready At DOC Opportunity Expo

In Illinois, 25,000 men and women are released from state prisons each year. Ideally, that means 25,000 people entering the job market. But Illinois already has higher-than-average unemployment, and a criminal record can make it even harder to find work. That's why the Illinois Department of Corrections is trying to lend a hand to ex-offenders through a series of specialized events. Read the rest on