Nathan Irwin

Program Director

Nathan Irwin has been WCBU’ s Program Director since 2001. Prior to that, he was a talk-show producer and announcer for New Hampshire Public Radio. His first radio job was KFJM-FM in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He grew up in upstate New York, Wisconsin and Karachi, Pakistan. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in political science.

Outside the studios, Nathan spends most of his time as an actor and singer. He has performed with Corn Stock Theatre, Peoria Players and the Bradley Community Chorus.

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Government
3:43 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Superintendant says IL needs new school funding rules

The superintendent of Illinois schools says the state should re-do how it funds school districts.

Critics of the plan have said a new formula would create so-called “winner” and “loser” districts - meaning schools may lose or gain state money based on the income of the area.

Superintendent Tony Smith today addressed that criticism on WBEZ’s Morning Shift.

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State News
3:36 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

LGBT advocates celebrate Supreme Court decision on marriage

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Illinois for a year.

L-B-G-T advocates are celebrating today's Supreme Court ruling that says those unions must be recognized nationwide.

Bernard Cherkasov heads the advocacy group Equality Illinois. He says he remembers crying when other states passed laws banning the recognition of same-sex marriage.

"And so now to see this come full circle, and the Supreme Court recognize the constitutional right of gay and lesbian couples to marriage, it feels so great. I can't tell you just how happy I feel."

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Out and About
12:15 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Peoria Symphony presents Quartetto Gelato

Credit Peoria Symphony Orchestra

George Stelutto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, talks about tonight's concert by the ensemble Quartetto Gelato. The quartet is known for its embrace of multiple musical genres -- classical, jazz, folk and world music. All of those influences will be on display in tonight's program. Stelutto talks about some of the works we can expect to hear, about the quartet's repertoire, and about the unique musical environment of Paris in in the early 20th century.

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State News
4:12 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

IL residents can keep ACA health subsidies

More than two thirds of Illinois residents who bought health insurance under the affordable care act will get to keep tax credits that cut the cost of their plans. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that these subsidies could be given out in states that did not build their own online marketplaces, known as exchanges. Illinois is among those states.  

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Theatre Reviews
11:59 am
Wed June 24, 2015

"Dixie Swim Club" explores relationships among five college friends

Credit Corn Stock Theatre

The relationships that form among five women in college form the basis of the play “The Dixie Swim Club.” Stan Strickler has this review of a production at Corn Stock Theatre, for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

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Government
4:44 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

IL Democrats debate Rauner administration salaries

As Illinois' budget stalemate continues, Democrats continue to dispute whether the governor's office is spending too much on staff. Just how much Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is costing taxpayers was supposed to be the subject of a hearing, called by House Revenue Chairman John Bradley.

"Is there anyone from the governor's office here to testify?"

Why the silence? No one from the governor's office showed. That's a breach of legislative decorum that's virtually unheard of.

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Government
3:30 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Lawmakers vote down pension help for Chicago schools

Illinois state lawmakers have rejected a plan to give Chicago Public Schools a short-term reprieve from a big pension payment.

 

Chicago Public Schools has to ask Illinois lawmakers in Springfield for permission to delay paying 634 million dollars for teacher pensions. It’s due at the end of this month.

Jesse Ruiz is the interim head of Chicago Public Schools - and wanted to put the payment off for 40 days to find a “permanent solution.”

 

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Government
3:22 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

IL House votes to privatize state commerce agency

The Illinois House has approved a plan to partially privatizate Illinois' commerce agency.

It's one of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's ideas for economic development. But the version sponsored by Democrats would only authorize the partnership for three years.

Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says having a deadline helps ensure the new board's members aren't cooking the books for their own benefit.

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Government
3:36 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Former Rep. Jackson heads home

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is back home in Washington today for the first time in almost two years.

Jackson will serve the remaining three months of his federal prison sentence at home, followed by three years of supervised release.

The former South Side congressman was sent to prison in 2013 for spending campaign money on lavish personal items. Jackson spent about a year-and-a-half in an Alabama federal prison, and another three months in a Baltimore halfway house.

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Government
3:18 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

General Assembly looks at minimum wage

Remember last year's election? There was a non-binding referendum to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $10 an hour. A majority of voters said they wanted it to happen.

But the General Assembly hasn't been able to get it done.

"I am planning on not allowing the minimum issue (to) fall by the wayside. It's a critical component to the development of the middle class."

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