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Past Due: State Fairs Still On Despite Lack Of Budget

The state fair in Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fair are scheduled to begin in August. But if there is no state budget in place, it's unclear how entertainment and vendors would be paid.
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Pension Case May Not Be Done: Signals It Could Go To U.S. Supreme Court

Illinois may not be done with the 2013 law reducing state employees’ pensions after all. The Attorney General appears to be readying to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Farm Kids' Big Life Lesson

25 minutes ago

Farm dog? Check.

Barn cats? Check.

Muddy work books lined up at the back door? Five checks.

We kick off our fourth season of “My Farm Roots” with the Renyer Family, five farm kids I had the pleasure of meeting last week.

Driving onto the Renyer farm, out in Nemaha County, Kan., I was struck by the many classic examples of a farm family. After being met by the family dog, a very sweet boy named Salty, I watched as the barn cats scattered and I met Leah coming out the back door, where the knee-high work boots were standing guard.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, by surface area, and it has something the other Great Lakes do not: stable populations of mostly native fish species.

But scientists say a key fish in Superior's food web is now in trouble because of mild winters and an appetite for caviar in Europe.

There wasn't much demand for lake herring 10 years ago. It used to be fed to mink and used as fertilizer, according to Craig Hoopman, a commercial fisherman in Wisconsin who fishes around Lake Superior's Apostle Islands.

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The dramatic failure of a test flight by Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket last October cost the co-pilot his life and left the pilot severely injured. New data from investigators suggest that the pilot survived in part because the craft essentially came apart around him.

For most of us, debt is a big part of life. According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, 80 percent of Americans have some form of debt — from student loans to credit card balances.

There are many among the so-called silent generation, those born before World War II, who are still paying off mortgages and credit cards.

The drought in California has gone on so long, and is so severe, that it's beginning to change the way people are designing residential communities — in unexpected ways, and unexpected places.

Planning is under way, for instance, for one of the first eco-friendly communities in California's predominantly agricultural Central Valley.

The site is in the town of Reedley, 30 miles southeast of Fresno.

There were a number of factors that distinguished Reedley, says Curt Johansen, the San Francisco developer who's spearheading the project.

Iran has the potential to be a boom market for American tech companies. The majority of the population is under 30 and well educated, and over half the country has access to the Internet.

Many businesses have to wait until more sanctions are lifted, but certain tech companies can already go into Iran legally because the U.S. has lifted sanctions on various communication technology. They just aren't sure they want to.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit


State Week


State Week: More Talk, No Action

More political posturing this week, but there seems to be little or no progress on resolving the state budget impasse as Illinois still has no legal spending plan in place.
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No Pay Increase For U Of I Employees Until Budget Deal

University of Illinois employees won't see pay raises, at least until a state budget is finalized. Nearly a month into the new fiscal year, the university is still waiting to see the impact of budget negotiations.
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Illinois Edition at Noon and 7 PM

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Urban Flooding A Big Problem In Illinois

A new report details urban flooding problems in Illinois. The report from the Department of Natural Resources says damage from urban flooding (flooding on higher ground outside a flood plain) cause more than $2 billion worth of damage between 2007-2014 in Illinois.
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With 'Paper Towns,' Author John Green Reopens Search For Agloe, N.Y.

Agloe, N.Y., is a place suspended between fiction and reality.The town started showing up on maps in the 1930s, but it's actually a "paper town," or a fake town created by cartographers to catch those who might copy their work. Mapmakers Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers came up with the name by rearranging their initials.They plotted their creation "at the intersection of two dirt roads in the Catskill Mountains," says John Green, author of the novel, Paper Towns, which features a journey...
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Editor’s Note: Illinois Issues Goes Digital Only

It has been a big year for Illinois Issues. Last spring, the magazine merged with Springfield NPR affiliate WUIS. The combination brought with it several opportunities.
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Illinois Issues

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois Issues: The Governor's Money

Technically, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s election victory on November 4, 2014, marked the end of his first political campaign. But in some ways that campaign has never stopped.
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'Almost Another Dead Black Male': Remembering A Traffic Stop That Got Ugly

Alex Landau, who is black, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn't matter. But when Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world — and nearly lost his life.In an animation by our friends over at StoryCorps, Landau recalls how police officers responded to his request for a warrant: with blows to the face that took 45 stitches to close up, and a gun held to his head.Landau, who was a college...
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