Associated Press http://wuis.org en IDOT Cuts Positions Following Hiring Questions http://wuis.org/post/idot-cuts-positions-following-hiring-questions <p></p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:56:46 +0000 Associated Press 31810 at http://wuis.org IDOT Cuts Positions Following Hiring Questions Watchdog Applauds Investigation of Electric Supplier http://wuis.org/post/watchdog-applauds-investigation-electric-supplier <p></p><p><br />&nbsp;An Illinois watchdog group is celebrating a decision by regulators to launch an investigation of an Orangeburg, New York-based alternative electric supplier. &nbsp;</p><p>The Citizens Utility Board said Wednesday it's pleased the Illinois Commerce Commission adopted a recommendation to investigate Major Energy. &nbsp;</p><p>Consumers have complained about misleading marketing by Major Energy. CUB says the company's rates are the worst it's seen in the Illinois competitive power market. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:39:00 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31749 at http://wuis.org Watchdog Applauds Investigation of Electric Supplier Illinois Sees Slight Gains On ACT Scores http://wuis.org/post/illinois-sees-slight-gains-act-scores <p>The Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois' high school graduating class of 2014 earned a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT. &nbsp;</p><p>The score on the four-subject test is slightly higher than the class of 2013's score of 20.6. The national average is 21. &nbsp;</p><p>Board officials say Illinois had the second-highest composite score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of graduates, next to Utah. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:26:41 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31690 at http://wuis.org Illinois Sees Slight Gains On ACT Scores Making It Easier To Complain About Nursing Homes http://wuis.org/post/making-it-easier-complain-about-nursing-homes <p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed two pieces of legislation giving seniors and the disabled greater access to people who can address complaints about their care or their living conditions. &nbsp;</p><p>One of the measures allows people with complaints about nursing homes to submit them electronically to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That takes effect immediately.</p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:27:46 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31620 at http://wuis.org Making It Easier To Complain About Nursing Homes Brita Recalling Children's Watter Bottles http://wuis.org/post/brita-recalling-childrens-watter-bottles <p>Brita is recalling approximately 242,500 children's water filter bottles due to a possible laceration hazard.</p><p>The company said Tuesday that the lid of the hard-sided bottles can break into pieces with sharp points.</p><p>Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking. No injuries have been reported.</p><p>The recalled bottles include a violet bottle with Dora the Explorer, a pink bottle with Hello Kitty, a blue bottle with SpongeBob Square Pants and a green bottle with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Each bottle has a Brita logo and white lid.</p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:47:46 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31618 at http://wuis.org Brita Recalling Children's Watter Bottles Audit: Illinois Overdrew Federal Medicaid Dollars http://wuis.org/post/audit-illinois-overdrew-federal-medicaid-dollars <p></p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:43:39 +0000 Associated Press 31585 at http://wuis.org Audit: Illinois Overdrew Federal Medicaid Dollars Illinois Increases Penalties For Drug Crimes http://wuis.org/post/illinois-increases-penalties-drug-crimes <p>Illinois has increased the penalties for some drug offenses. &nbsp;</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn signed three drug-related pieces of legislation Saturday. They take effect Jan. 1. &nbsp;</p><p>Manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. It was previously considered a Class 1 felony. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:44:28 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31557 at http://wuis.org Illinois Increases Penalties For Drug Crimes Illinois Colleges To Be Smoke Free http://wuis.org/post/illinois-colleges-be-smoke-free <p>Illinois' public colleges are going smoke-free _ indoors and out _ starting next summer. &nbsp;</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn says he's signed a law that bans indoor and outdoor smoking at all state-supported colleges and universities. &nbsp;</p><p>The bill makes exceptions for smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus and some activities under the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act.&nbsp; A companion bill signed by Quinn also allows smoking on campus inside parked, non-state-owned vehicles. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:02:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31554 at http://wuis.org Illinois Colleges To Be Smoke Free Feds Deny Permit To Store PCB's in Clinton Landfill UPDATE http://wuis.org/post/feds-deny-permit-store-pcbs-clinton-landfill-update <p><em>AP ADDS CLARIFICATION TO FOLLOWING STORY.</em></p><p><strong>In a story Aug. 13 about a toxic waste permit, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a permit requested by an Illinois landfill to store PCBs. The EPA decided not to consider the request, meaning the landfill won't be able to store the chemicals.&nbsp; </strong></p><p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided against giving a chemical waste permit to a central Illinois landfill that would allow it to store PCB. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:00:59 +0000 Associated Press 31307 at http://wuis.org Feds Deny Permit To Store PCB's in Clinton Landfill UPDATE Police Searches More Likely For Minority Drivers In Springfield http://wuis.org/post/police-searches-more-likely-minority-drivers-springfield <p>A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday. &nbsp; It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are about 50 percent more likely to have contraband found during such a search.&nbsp;</p><p>Springfield numbers are similar to the statewide findings.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:43:00 +0000 Sean Crawford & Associated Press 31262 at http://wuis.org Police Searches More Likely For Minority Drivers In Springfield Record Corn, Soybean Harvest Expected http://wuis.org/post/record-corn-soybean-harvest-expected <p></p><p>Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year's corn harvest to 14 billion bushels. &nbsp;<br />That exceeds last year's 13.9 billion bushel record. &nbsp;</p><p>Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:13:25 +0000 Associated Press 31215 at http://wuis.org Record Corn, Soybean Harvest Expected Papers of Lincoln Adds Two New Documents http://wuis.org/post/papers-lincoln-adds-two-new-documents <p></p><p>A documentary project about Abraham Lincoln has scanned two previously unknown papers from the former president for its collection. &nbsp;</p><p>The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a project dedicated to identifying and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime. It's administered through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and co-sponsored by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield and the Abraham Lincoln Association. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:26:28 +0000 Associated Press 31166 at http://wuis.org Papers of Lincoln Adds Two New Documents Monday Harness Races Postponed http://wuis.org/post/monday-harness-races-postponed <p>The Illinois State Fair has postponed Monday's harness races because of unfavorable track conditions. &nbsp;<br />The races will now be run Wednesday starting at noon. &nbsp;</p><p>Nearly three dozen horses were quarantined briefly over the weekend because of concerns they may have been exposed to a virus. &nbsp;<br />The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that officials lifted the quarantine Saturday, after the animals were cleared of having the equine herpes virus.</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:53:09 +0000 Associated Press 31131 at http://wuis.org Monday Harness Races Postponed Illinois Concealed Carry Process Getting Easier http://wuis.org/post/illinois-concealed-carry-process-getting-easier <p></p><p>There are signs that the initial rush of applications for permits to carry concealed weapons in Illinois is slowing down and the process is getting a bit easier to navigate. &nbsp;</p><p>The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that observers say technology issues and other problems that applicants experienced when the process started in January have been largely remedied. &nbsp;</p><p>Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says some people are getting their permits within 35 days of when they submitted their applications to police. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:46:09 +0000 Associated Press 31130 at http://wuis.org Illinois Concealed Carry Process Getting Easier Former Illinois Lawmaker Dies at 48 http://wuis.org/post/former-illinois-lawmaker-dies-48 <p> Services are pending for former west-central Illinois state lawmaker Mike Smith. &nbsp;</p><p>Oak-Hines Funeral Home in Smith's hometown of Canton says the 48-year-old Democrat died Saturday morning at his home of a suspected heart attack. &nbsp;</p><p>The (Peoria) Journal Star&nbsp; reports Smith served 16 years in the state Legislature before losing his 2010 re-election bid. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:54:16 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 31087 at http://wuis.org Former Illinois Lawmaker Dies at 48 Illinois Posts Marijuana Patient Application Forms http://wuis.org/post/illinois-posts-marijuana-patient-application-forms <p>Illinois posted applications for patients and caregivers in the new medical marijuana program, but doesn't want any submitted until Sept. 2. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 21:14:10 +0000 Associated Press 30984 at http://wuis.org Illinois Posts Marijuana Patient Application Forms UIC Official Demoted Over Plagiarism Allegations http://wuis.org/post/uic-official-demoted-over-plagiarism-allegations <p>A University of Illinois at Chicago official has lost his<br />position following a lawsuit alleging the official violated federal law by publicly discussing a dissertation and accusations of plagiarism.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1ovfpkj) Lon Kaufman was demoted<br />from his provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs positions to tenured professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;Chicago State University interim provost and senior vice president Angela Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:13:43 +0000 Associated Press 30936 at http://wuis.org UIC Official Demoted Over Plagiarism Allegations Lincoln's Handwriting Found On Book http://wuis.org/post/lincolns-handwriting-found-book <p>Historical experts say they've found Abraham Lincoln's handwriting inside a tattered book justifying racism that he may have read to better understand his opponents' thinking on slavery. &nbsp;</p><p>``Types of Mankind'' was published in 1854 and circulated for decades by the Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton. Director Joan Rhoades brought the 700-page book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in May to determine whether an inscription inside was made by the former president who worked to free the country's slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:26:50 +0000 Associated Press 30769 at http://wuis.org Lincoln's Handwriting Found On Book SIU-C Owes Workers Back Pay http://wuis.org/post/siu-c-owes-workers-back-pay <p></p><p>An administrative law judge says Southern Illinois University officials in Carbondale bargained in bad faith with unions and owes 1,500 current and former employees $1.9 million in back pay.</p><p>WSIU Radio (http://bit.ly/1no1Bba ) reports the university says it respectfully disagrees with Colleen Harvey's ruling and is weighing its legal options. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:13:18 +0000 Associated Press 30733 at http://wuis.org SIU-C Owes Workers Back Pay Several Area Historic Sites Reducing Hours http://wuis.org/post/several-area-historic-sites-reducing-hours <p>The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day. &nbsp;</p><p>The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four. &nbsp;<br />The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:43:54 +0000 Associated Press 30703 at http://wuis.org Several Area Historic Sites Reducing Hours Report: Rauner Funneled Money Into Caribbean http://wuis.org/post/report-rauner-funneled-money-caribbean <p></p><p>Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says money channeled through the Cayman Islands and connected to his business dealings had no impact on his personal tax rate. &nbsp;</p><p>Rauner spoke to reporters Sunday, the day a published report detailed how three of his five holdings in the Caribbean were tied to GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm he helped found. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 10:39:14 +0000 Associated Press 30649 at http://wuis.org Report: Rauner Funneled Money Into Caribbean Rauner Critical Of Quinn's Choice For Ag Director http://wuis.org/post/rauner-critical-quinns-choice-ag-director <p>Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is criticizing Gov. Pat Quinn's agriculture director.<br />&nbsp;<br />Lee Enterprises Newspapers' Springfield bureau reports that Rauner did not mention Bob Flider by name in outlining his agriculture plans. But he said the agency's director must ``have first-hand farming<br />experience.''<br />&nbsp;<br />Flider was named director of agriculture after he lost a 2010 re-election race<br />for the Illinois House. He then voted for Quinn's 67 percent income-tax increase<br />after earlier opposing it.<br />&nbsp; Sun, 03 Aug 2014 04:31:00 +0000 Associated Press 30579 at http://wuis.org Rauner Critical Of Quinn's Choice For Ag Director Illinois Medicaid Restricts Use of Hepatitis Drug http://wuis.org/post/illinois-medicaid-restricts-use-hepatitis-drug <p></p><p>Illinois is placing tight restrictions on a new hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 per pill. Medicaid patients must meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government health care program will pay for Sovaldi.</p><p>The drug can stop the liver-damaging virus, but it comes with a budget-straining price tag. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:27:31 +0000 Associated Press 30392 at http://wuis.org Illinois Medicaid Restricts Use of Hepatitis Drug Christian Co. Shooting Leaves Man Dead, Officer Wounded http://wuis.org/post/christian-co-shooting-leaves-man-dead-officer-wounded <p></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:17:17 +0000 Associated Press 30294 at http://wuis.org Christian Co. Shooting Leaves Man Dead, Officer Wounded Excavation Finds Courthouse Where Lincoln Worked http://wuis.org/post/excavation-finds-courthouse-where-lincoln-worked <p>Archaeologists excavating near the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington have unearthed part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where experts said Abraham Lincoln worked as an attorney.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;The discovery happened Monday on the first day of two to three weeks of archaeological work before construction starts on a new entrance into a planned<br />tourism center on the lower level of the history museum. Museum executive director Greg Koos says the find represents ``physical remains of an incredibly historical episode in McLean County.''<br />&nbsp; Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:57:39 +0000 Associated Press 30250 at http://wuis.org Excavation Finds Courthouse Where Lincoln Worked Illinois Farmers Market Prices Survey http://wuis.org/post/illinois-farmers-market-prices-survey <p>The University of Illinois Extension Service is now regularly surveying prices at farmers markets around the state.</p><p></p><p>According to The News-Gazette in Champaign the surveys of 11 farmers markets around Illinois are being conducted as part of a three-state effort that includes Kentucky and Tennessee.</p><p>The weekly price surveys are being published on the University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification's website. &nbsp;</p><p>The idea is to give produce farmers an idea of what prices look like across the region. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:25:31 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 30158 at http://wuis.org Illinois Farmers Market Prices Survey Feds' Immigrant Numbers For Illinois May Not Tell Whole Story http://wuis.org/post/feds-immigrant-numbers-illinois-may-not-tell-whole-story <p></p><p>Federal officials say 305 unaccompanied children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border were placed with Illinois sponsors this year, but officials say hundreds more could be at shelters. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:45:39 +0000 Associated Press 30046 at http://wuis.org Feds' Immigrant Numbers For Illinois May Not Tell Whole Story Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55 http://wuis.org/post/man-robbed-fake-police-i-55 <p></p><p>Illinois State Police say a driver was robbed on Interstate 55 near Litchfield by men who impersonated police officers. &nbsp;</p><p>According to the Belleville News-Democrat the man told police he was pulled over around 10 p.m. Tuesday by a sports utility vehicle with a flashing red light on its dashboard. &nbsp;</p><p>The man said that when he stopped, three men wearing ski masks held him at gunpoint as they robbed him of more than $5,000 in cash. The robbers then tied him up with duct tape and left him in his car along the highway. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:39:48 +0000 Associated Press 29987 at http://wuis.org Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55 Court OKs FutureGen Financing Plan http://wuis.org/post/court-oks-futuregen-financing-plan <p>A court says state regulators can force Illinois electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6-billion FutureGen project.</p><p>The 2-1 decision Tuesday by the Illinois Appellate Court OKs a state plan to charge an estimated $1 to $1.40 a month to help pay for the long-delayed project. &nbsp;</p><p>Ken Humphreys is CEO of the FutureGen Alliance. The group of coal companies is working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the project. Humphreys says the court decision will keep the project moving. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:18:58 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29845 at http://wuis.org Court OKs FutureGen Financing Plan Fire Closes State Building Today http://wuis.org/post/fire-closes-state-building-today <p>The Illinois Secretary of State's office has closed its Howlett Building in Springfield for the day because of a small fire.</p><p>Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker says the fire happened about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in a mechanical room at the building, which is part of the Illinois State Capitol complex. &nbsp;</p><p>He says firefighters quickly put out the blaze but the air conditioning in the building isn't working and crews need to work on mechanical issues. &nbsp;</p><p>Druker says the agency hopes to reopen the office building on Wednesday. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:53:05 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29760 at http://wuis.org Fire Closes State Building Today