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Hannah Meisel/WUIS

Eight Days, And Counting

Illinois' top political leaders remain divided. There are only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal. It's crunch time for the General Assembly. "It is critically important that we complete this task within the next eight days or it becomes much more difficult," Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said Monday. More difficult, because it takes a supermajority -- rather than a simple one -- to pass a budget after the end of this month. Gov. Bruce Rauner has gone out of his way...
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Rep. Butler Talks State Budget, AFSCME And State Museum

A Springfield State Representative says he's not overly optimistic a full budget deal can be agreed to before the scheduled end of the legislature's spring session May 31. Republican Tim Butler says 11 months into the budget impasse, some of the same obstacles remain.
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Illinois Issues

Illinois State Police

Illinois Issues: Focus On Heroin Leaves Little Attention On Meth

The state’s heroin crisis has captured headlines and the attention of lawmakers. But in the past few years, the number of methamphetamine lab busts has crept back up, and law enforcement officials say the drug is also coming into the state from Mexico.
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Election 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump has knocked out all of his rivals for the Republican nomination, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his campaign schedule.

The real estate developer is setting out on his biggest campaign swing since becoming the de facto nominee – and he's still focused on primary states. New Mexico, California, Montana aren't exactly general election battlegrounds, but they're all places where Trump is going this week.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Trending Stories

Rachel Otwell

Jubilee Farm: A Place For 'Spirituality & Ecology'

Right outside of Springfield, in New Berlin, is a rolling landscape of over 100 acres of farmland. The llamas and alpacas are some of the first things you'll see to know you've arrived at Jubilee Farm.
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump has knocked out all of his rivals for the Republican nomination, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his campaign schedule.

The real estate developer is setting out on his biggest campaign swing since becoming the de facto nominee – and he's still focused on primary states. New Mexico, California, Montana aren't exactly general election battlegrounds, but they're all places where Trump is going this week.

Blowing horns and chanting slogans, protesters gather outside a Caracas subway station. They plan to march to the National Electoral Council to demand that authorities hold a recall election.

But it's a sparse crowd. Shortly before the protest began, officials loyal to President Nicolás Maduro shut down subway stations in this part of the city. University student Daniel Barrios insists this was done to disrupt the march.

There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.

It's the topic of the book, "The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race." Author Anthony Ocampo spoke about the book with Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

Mosquito control is serious business in Harris County, Texas.

The county, which includes Houston, stretches across 1,777 square miles and is the third most populous county in the U.S. The area's warm, muggy climate and snaking system of bayous provide an ideal habitat for mosquitoes — and the diseases they carry.

The county began battling mosquitoes in earnest in 1965, after an outbreak of St. Louis encephalitis. Hundreds of people contracted the virus and 32 died.

On a drizzly spring day in rural East Anglia, north of London, Will Dickinson ducks into his centuries-old farmhouse to file some paperwork.

"The wet day has driven me inside to the office — where I hate to be!" says Dickinson. His home, Cross Farm, in Hertfordshire, has been in operation since at least the year 1086, when it was listed in the Doomsday Book, a land survey of England and Wales written that year in medieval Latin.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

In the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Tuesday, President Obama celebrated the dynamism of the fast-growing country.

He also met with dissidents and encouraged the government to improve its human rights record.

Like a growing number of American tourists, Obama seems to be enjoying himself in Vietnam.

The president snacked on noodles in Hanoi's Old Quarter Monday night but admits he didn't hazard a dash across the busy streets, buzzing with motorbikes.

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Featured

Trump To Campaign In Final Primary States, Raising Cash Along The Way

Donald Trump has knocked out all of his rivals for the Republican nomination, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his campaign schedule.The real estate developer is setting out on his biggest campaign swing since becoming the de facto nominee – and he's still focused on primary states. New Mexico, California, Montana aren't exactly general election battlegrounds, but they're all places where Trump is going this week."Obviously he's going to be the nominee anyway, but this keeps voter...
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Statehouse

State Week: Rauner Dismisses Labor Pains

Thousands of union members rallied against Gov. Bruce Rauner's pro-business, anti-union agenda, and the legislative leaders met with the governor. But is Illinois any closer to ending the historic budget standoff? (Spoiler alert: No.) Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler, Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackey, and guest Doug Finke, a reporter and columnist with The State Journal-Register in Springfield.
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Legislative Checklist

7 hours ago
Chamber
Flickr user: Matt Turner

As the regular spring legislative session nears an end, sponsors will be pushing to get their bills to the governor’s desk. You can keep track of proposals of note with the Legislative Checklist. 

capitol
Hannah Meisel/WUIS

Illinois' top political leaders remain divided. There are only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.

It's crunch time for the General Assembly. "It is critically important that we complete this task within the next eight days or it becomes much more difficult," Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said Monday.

More difficult, because it takes a supermajority -- rather than a simple one -- to pass a budget after the end of this month.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has gone out of his way to strike an optimistic tone that it can happen.

Amanda Vinicky

It's been a year since the state Supreme Court found Illinois' big pension law unconstitutional, and an attempt to get a new law passed is stalled.

Lawmakers' goal is to reduce the state's expenses for its vastly underfunded pensions.

The court says it's illegal to do it by reducing an employees' retirement benefits.

Senate President John Cullerton and Governor Bruce Rauner think they have a way around that.

Education Desk

Shannon O'Brien / University of Illinois at Springfield

Education Desk: U of I Student Trustee Doesn't Like "Diversity"

It’s not often that students get to shape university policy, but that’s just what happened today at a meeting of the University of Illinois' Board of Trustees. Thanks to a change in the university’s strategic plan proposed by a student member of the U-I Board of Trustees, University of Illinois officials are being encouraged to think about race in a new way.
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The commencement speech season is underway and grads are soaking up advice and wisdom all over the country.

And since it's an election year, it's hard for speakers to resist stepping onto the soapbox.

Last weekend, President Obama spoke at Rutgers University in New Jersey, one of the nation's oldest higher ed institutions. He appeared to take a jab at Donald Trump — though he didn't call him out by name.

Arts & Culture

Rachel Otwell

Heartland Ep 3: Finding fulfillment in community & nature

This episode, Keil and Rachel head to Jubilee Farm, just outside of Springfield in New Berlin. They meet with the Catholic Dominican Sisters who operate the site which focuses on ecology and spirituality. It's over 100 acres and is home to llamas, alpacas and gardens.
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There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.

It's the topic of the book, "The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race." Author Anthony Ocampo spoke about the book with Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

At London's annual Chelsea Flower Show, the flora is fit for a queen: shaped in her likeness and crafted in honor of her 90th birthday. The new princess has her own chrysanthemum too.

But this year's event, which opens Tuesday, kicks off with a warning from the Royal Horticultural Society: Britain has a "lost generation of gardeners."

Susan Silverman, the older sister of the irreverent comic Sarah Silverman, grew up with a crippling fear of losing people she loved. Her fear wasn't completely unfounded: When she was 2, her infant brother Jeffrey died inexplicably in his crib.

Equity

U of I News Bureau

Book Interview: "Not Straight, Not White" A History On Black Gay Men

Traditional accounts of American history are sorely missing first-person narratives and retellings of stories belonging to gay, black men. So says Kevin Mumford, director of graduate studies and professor of history at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign.
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Last week, there was a big development in the long-running, bitter, complicated battle over a 9,000-year-old set of bones known variously as "Kennewick Man" or "The Ancient One," depending on whom you ask.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that the ancient bearer of the bones is genetically linked to modern-day Native Americans. Now, under federal law, a group of tribes that has been fighting to rebury him will almost certainly get to do so.

On Tuesday, our colleagues over at NPR's Hidden Brain talked about the role race plays in the sharing economy — specifically, the online peer-to-peer apartment rental service Airbnb. They spoke with one African-American woman about her persistent difficulties booking rooms through AirBnb, and who had a feeling it was due to her race.

The lines were stark outside the courthouse.

A bustling street in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., separated two groups. Each was fenced in by stone-faced police officers and steel barricades: an Asian-American community divided by Tuesday's sentencing of 28-year-old Peter Liang, the son of Chinese immigrants.

Illinois Economy

Daniel X. Nell/flickr

Business Report: Coal Jobs Disappearing; Longtime Internet Provider Getting Out Of The Business

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis:
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Credit flickr/pasa47

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register:

SJ-R.com

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

flickr/WattPublishing

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Harvest Desk

5,000-Year-Old Chinese Beer Recipe Revealed

15 hours ago

A 5,000-year-old brewery has been unearthed in China.

Archaeologists uncovered ancient "beer-making tool kits" in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. Discovered at a dig site in the Central Plain of China, the kits included funnels, pots and specialized jugs. The shapes of the objects suggest they could be used for brewing, filtration and storage.

It's the oldest beer-making facility ever discovered in China — and the evidence indicates that these early brewers were already using specialized tools and advanced beer-making techniques.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Health Desk

Mosquito control is serious business in Harris County, Texas.

The county, which includes Houston, stretches across 1,777 square miles and is the third most populous county in the U.S. The area's warm, muggy climate and snaking system of bayous provide an ideal habitat for mosquitoes — and the diseases they carry.

The county began battling mosquitoes in earnest in 1965, after an outbreak of St. Louis encephalitis. Hundreds of people contracted the virus and 32 died.

Khaled Ali Hassanin opens his silver minivan and pulls into Cairo's busy traffic. He is a freelance driver. He used to ferry foreign tourists all around Egypt as a staff member of a tour company. It was a great job.

"There was so much work. I never worried about money. If I spent one [Egyptian] pound, I'd get two back. We had more work than we could handle," he says.

The head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, came out swinging at the opening ceremony of the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday. The meeting of health officials from nearly 200 countries is usually a low-key, bureaucratic affair. Chan, however, opened the assembly by basically saying that the world is facing unprecedented global health challenges right now and is ill-equipped to deal with future threats.

"For infectious diseases, you cannot trust the past when planning for the future," she warned.

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