Associated Press http://wuis.org en Rutherford: Dismiss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit http://wuis.org/post/rutherford-dismiss-sexual-harassment-lawsuit <p>Lawyers for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by an ex-employee alleging sexual harassment and forced political work on state time. &nbsp;</p><p>The motion in U.S. District Court in Chicago seeks to end the lawsuit by Edmund Michalowski.<br />Michalowski worked for the former Republican candidate for governor for three years before leaving in January and filing the lawsuit. &nbsp;</p><p>The document contends Michalowski's claims that he was disciplined for not doing campaign work on state time are not plausible. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:37:45 +0000 Associated Press 23088 at http://wuis.org Rutherford: Dismiss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Steely Dan To Play State Fair Grandstand http://wuis.org/post/steely-dan-play-state-fair-grandstand <p>Grammy Award-winning rock band Steely Dan will play this year's Illinois State Fair. &nbsp;</p><p>State officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon. They say the band will play its ``Jamalot Ever After'' tour at the fair on Aug. 15. Steely Dan had a string of hits during the 1970's. They won a Grammy in 2000 for Album of the Year. &nbsp;</p><p>Tickets will go on sale for the show May 3.</p><p>The fair runs from Aug. 7 to 17 in Springfield. Other acts this year include country singers Jake Owen and Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line and Boston.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:11:12 +0000 Associated Press 23010 at http://wuis.org Steely Dan To Play State Fair Grandstand Quinn, Rauner Make First Joint Appearance http://wuis.org/post/quinn-rauner-make-first-joint-appearance <p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have attacked one another for their record and positions on education.&nbsp;&nbsp; Quinn and Rauner met for the first time Friday in the 2014 campaign for<br />Illinois governor. They discussing education policy before members of the<br />Illinois Education Association in Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Quinn is a Chicago Democrat seeking his second full term as governor. He says<br />Rauner is ``the biggest threat to public education in the state of Illinois.''<br />&nbsp; Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:16:59 +0000 Associated Press 22858 at http://wuis.org Quinn, Rauner Make First Joint Appearance Church Agrees To Find Successor For Chicago Cardinal George http://wuis.org/post/church-agrees-find-successor-chicago-cardinal-george <p>Chicago's archbishop says the Roman Catholic Church has told him it will begin searching for his successor because of his ``uncertain'' health as<br />he undergoes chemotherapy.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;Cardinal Francis George spoke Friday about upcoming canonizations of two popes<br />and his health, almost a month after being hospitalized for flu-like symptoms and dehydration.<br />&nbsp;<br />He says lengthy, formal process has not begun, but will start soon.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:13:04 +0000 Associated Press 22857 at http://wuis.org Church Agrees To Find Successor For Chicago Cardinal George Illinois Considering East-West Amtrak Route http://wuis.org/post/illinois-considering-east-west-amtrak-route-0 <p>State lawmakers are backing the creation of an east-west passenger rail corridor across Illinois. &nbsp;<br />The Illinois House unanimously approved a non-binding resolution Monday endorsing a possible Amtrak route from the Quad Cities in the west to Danville in the east. &nbsp;</p><p>The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that the route would include stops in Galesburg, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana. &nbsp;<br />No cost estimate was discussed. &nbsp;<br />Republican state Rep. Don Moffitt of Gilson is sponsoring the proposal. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:42:57 +0000 Associated Press 22572 at http://wuis.org Illinois Considering East-West Amtrak Route State Manager Fined; Had Employees Do His Homework http://wuis.org/post/state-manager-fined-had-employees-do-his-homework <p>A former Illinois Department of Employment Security manager has been fined for directing his co-workers to do his college homework on taxpayer time. &nbsp;</p><p>An April 3 report by Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza&nbsp; says 63-year-old Clyde Redfield was fined $2,500. He resigned from his $71,000 job in 2012 after the allegations surfaced. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:55:03 +0000 Associated Press 22334 at http://wuis.org State Manager Fined; Had Employees Do His Homework Schools Consider New Test Fee Amid Budget Worries http://wuis.org/post/schools-consider-new-test-fee-amid-budget-worries <p>State education officials are considering retaining a<br />traditional college-readiness test for high school juniors but passing the cost along to school districts and possibly the students' families.<br />&nbsp;<br />The move is one cost-cutting possibility after Illinois schools have seen close to $1 billion in cuts since 2009. Educators warn of more drastic cuts if<br />lawmakers decide not to extend a temporary income tax hike set to expire at the end of 2014.<br />&nbsp;<br />State board officials estimate it will cost $14 million for all high school Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:50:07 +0000 Associated Press 22326 at http://wuis.org Schools Consider New Test Fee Amid Budget Worries NTSB Report On Taylorville Plane Crash Nearly Done http://wuis.org/post/ntsb-report-taylorville-plane-crash-nearly-done <p>A detailed report on a fatal central Illinois plane crash could be ready soon, more than 18 months after a dozen skydivers jumped from the aircraft just before it went down.<br />&nbsp;<br />The August 2012 crash in Taylorville killed pilot Brandon Sparrow, who stayed<br />at the controls when the twin-engine plane stalled and began to roll. It took a<br />steep dive and crashed just yards from an occupied home.<br />&nbsp;<br />Tom Latson is an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. He Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:43:53 +0000 Associated Press 22325 at http://wuis.org NTSB Report On Taylorville Plane Crash Nearly Done Former Illiopolis Plant Nearly Demolished http://wuis.org/post/former-illiopolis-plant-nearly-demolished <p>State environmental regulators say a former plastics plant in central Illinois where a 2004 explosion killed five people is now all but demolished and cleaned up.<br />&nbsp;<br />The explosion at the Formosa Plastics plant in Illiopolis happened on April 23,<br />2004. Federal safety officials ruled a worker mistakenly opened a valve on a<br />high-temperature reactor. The small town is 25 miles east of Springfield.<br />&nbsp;<br />Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Kim Biggs tells The State Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:01:21 +0000 Associated Press 22236 at http://wuis.org Former Illiopolis Plant Nearly Demolished Alert Lifted At Illinois Nuclear Plant http://wuis.org/post/alert-lifted-illinois-nuclear-plant <p>An alert imposed after smoke was spotted at the Quad Cities Generating Station in western Illinois was lifted after eight hours. &nbsp;</p><p>Exelon Generation officials say the smoke was spotted Wednesday after a pipe released water onto an electrical system. &nbsp;<br />Spokesman William Stoermer says Quad Cities Unit 2 had been removed from service Monday so workers could replace a valve. The unit was in being restarted when smoke was detected around 1:40 p.m. The alert was lifted around 9:30 p.m. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 15:21:53 +0000 Associated Press 22228 at http://wuis.org Alert Lifted At Illinois Nuclear Plant Political Map Question Could Be On Fall Ballot http://wuis.org/post/political-map-question-could-be-fall-ballot <p></p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 22:56:23 +0000 Associated Press 22189 at http://wuis.org Political Map Question Could Be On Fall Ballot Manar Introduces Bill Changing School Funding http://wuis.org/post/manar-introduces-bill-changing-school-funding <p>A group of Democratic lawmakers Wednesday introduced a long-awaited piece of legislation that would dramatically change the way schools are funded in Illinois for the first time since 1997. The sponsors call the measure the most comprehensive way to ensure equity across the state but say there's still work to do in gaining broad support on the regionally divisive issue.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:29:35 +0000 Associated Press 22184 at http://wuis.org Manar Introduces Bill Changing School Funding Bus Accident In NE Missouri Injures Students http://wuis.org/post/bus-accident-ne-missouri-injures-students <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Authorities in northeast Missouri say a school bus accident has injured nearly two dozen students. &nbsp;</p><p>The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday north of Ewing in Lewis County. &nbsp;<br />Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Anderson says the bus rolled over into a ditch. Anderson says 18 students suffered minor injuries and five were more seriously hurt. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:24:38 +0000 Associated Press 22114 at http://wuis.org Bus Accident In NE Missouri Injures Students EPA Seeks Public Input on FutureGen in West Central Ill. http://wuis.org/post/epa-seeks-public-input-futuregen-west-central-ill <p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on a plan to inject carbon dioxide beneath west central Illinois.</p><p>FutureGen Industrial Alliance wants to capture carbon dioxide from a coal-burning power plant in the Morgan County village of Meredosia, then inject it into underground wells near Jacksonville, about 20 miles to the east. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:17:53 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 22040 at http://wuis.org EPA Seeks Public Input on FutureGen in West Central Ill. Regulators: Illinois Sunday Car Sales Ban Bad For Competition http://wuis.org/post/regulators-illinois-sunday-car-sales-ban-bad-competition <p>Federal regulators say Illinois' longstanding ban on Sunday automobile sales isn't good for competition and can be harmful to the marketplace. &nbsp;</p><p>The Federal Trade Commission says the prohibition on Sunday automobile sales also makes it more difficult for drivers to shop around for the best deal. &nbsp;</p><p>The agency issued the statement late last week in response to a measure introduced by state Sen. Jim</p><p>Oberweis, who wants to repeal the law that went into effect in 1983.&nbsp; Oberweis asked the FTC to weigh in. Violators can face a $1,500 fine. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:24:08 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 21969 at http://wuis.org Regulators: Illinois Sunday Car Sales Ban Bad For Competition Madigan To Call For Tax Vote In Spring Session http://wuis.org/post/madigan-call-tax-vote-spring-session <p>Following an announcement by Governor Pat Quinn in his budget speech Wednesday, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he plans to call a vote on making the state's tax increase permanent.</p><p>Madigan is chairman of the state Democratic party and has served as speaker for nearly 30 years.</p><p>He made the comments during an interview with Illinois Public Television following Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address in Springfield on Wednesday.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:34:44 +0000 Associated Press 21696 at http://wuis.org Madigan To Call For Tax Vote In Spring Session College Athletes Can Unionize, Federal Agency Says http://wuis.org/post/college-athletes-can-unionize-federal-agency-says <p>In a ruling that could revolutionize college sports, a federal agency has given football players at Northwestern University the green light to unionize.</p><p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:34:27 +0000 Associated Press 21693 at http://wuis.org College Athletes Can Unionize, Federal Agency Says Sen. Kirk Won't Campaign Against Durbin http://wuis.org/post/sen-kirk-wont-campaign-against-durbin <p></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:40:25 +0000 Associated Press 21552 at http://wuis.org Sen. Kirk Won't Campaign Against Durbin ISU President Out After Eight Months-Gets $480,000 Severance http://wuis.org/post/isu-president-out-after-eight-months-gets-480000-severance <p>Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan has resigned after eight months on the job.</p><p>Flanagan is being investigated by ISU police after a former campus employee accused him of assault. &nbsp;</p><p>He stepped down during a special Board of Trustees meeting Saturday. The resignation took effect immediately. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:25:41 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 21494 at http://wuis.org ISU President Out After Eight Months-Gets $480,000 Severance Feds Were Searching For Child Porn On Lawmaker's Computers http://wuis.org/post/feds-were-searching-child-porn-lawmakers-computers <blockquote style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-left: 0px; font-family: verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 16.899999618530273px; vertical-align: baseline;"><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Federal agents were searching for child pornography when they seized computers from former state Rep.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 19:36:09 +0000 Associated Press 21427 at http://wuis.org Feds Were Searching For Child Porn On Lawmaker's Computers A Low Profile For Dan Rutherford http://wuis.org/post/low-profile-dan-rutherford <p>Treasurer Dan Rutherford is remaining quiet in the final hours of his campaign for Governor.&nbsp; He also plans on the unusual move of keeping the Election night party for his Illinois gubernatorial bid closed to reporters. &nbsp;</p><p>Spokesman Brian Sterling says Rutherford will issue a statement Tuesday at a Pontiac location separate from his party.&nbsp; Sterling declined to comment further on Sunday. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:21:11 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 21012 at http://wuis.org A Low Profile For Dan Rutherford Three of Four GOP Candidates Campaign Today http://wuis.org/post/three-four-gop-candidates-campaign-today <p></p><p>Most Republican candidates running for Illinois governor are spending the last day before the primary election day traveling around the state.&nbsp;</p><p>State Sen. Kirk Dillard plans to be in East Alton, Marion, Champaign and suburban Chicago on Monday. State Sen. Bill Brady's schedule includes stops in Springfield, Peoria, Urbana, Marion and Chicago. Businessman Bruce Rauner is wrapping up a three-day statewide tour and has a get out the vote rally Monday evening in Hickory Hills. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:51:56 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 21009 at http://wuis.org Three of Four GOP Candidates Campaign Today Search Warrants Issued For Lawmaker's Home, Office http://wuis.org/post/search-warrants-issued-lawmakers-home-office <p>Authorities say federal search warrants have been executed at the Elgin home and office of state Rep. Keith Farnham. &nbsp;</p><p>Randall Samborn is a spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago. He says search warrants were executed Thursday by agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 18:28:03 +0000 Associated Press 20869 at http://wuis.org Search Warrants Issued For Lawmaker's Home, Office Gay Rights Group To Help Some Republican Candidates http://wuis.org/post/gay-rights-group-help-some-republican-candidates <p>An advocacy group supporting gay and lesbian causes in Illinois is bolstering the campaign funds of two Republican lawmakers.<br />&nbsp;<br />Equality Illinois' political action committee says it plans to put $150,000 into the campaigns of candidates that support same-sex marriage before Tuesday's primary.<br />&nbsp;<br />That includes state Reps. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and Ed Sullivan of Mundelein _ two of three GOP members of the House to vote to legalize same-sex marriage last fall. The third, state Rep. Tom Cross, is making a bid for state treasurer.<br />&nbsp; Thu, 13 Mar 2014 22:53:00 +0000 Associated Press 20829 at http://wuis.org Gay Rights Group To Help Some Republican Candidates GOP Candidates Face University of Illinois Admissions Question http://wuis.org/post/gop-candidates-face-university-illinois-admissions-question <p>The Republican contenders for governor are facing questions about their roles in a five-year-old admissions scandal at the University of Illinois. &nbsp;</p><p>The scandal involved some politicians using clout to get students enrolled. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sen. Kirk Dillard have acknowledged their names are on the list the University of Illinois maintained of lawmakers who called to check on applications. They were asked about it at a televised debate last week. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:13:21 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 20684 at http://wuis.org GOP Candidates Face University of Illinois Admissions Question Court: Unplayed Blagojevich Tapes To Stay Sealed http://wuis.org/post/court-unplayed-blagojevich-tapes-stay-sealed <p></p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:40:58 +0000 Associated Press 20649 at http://wuis.org Court: Unplayed Blagojevich Tapes To Stay Sealed School Officials Call Potential Cuts 'Devastating' http://wuis.org/post/school-officials-call-potential-cuts-devastating <p>As the state legislature threatens additional cuts to local schools, education officials are firing back. Some say taking more money away from students would be morally reprehensible.</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 19:36:52 +0000 Rachel Otwell & Associated Press 20635 at http://wuis.org School Officials Call Potential Cuts 'Devastating' Audit Of Quinn Program Sent To Authorities http://wuis.org/post/audit-quinn-program-sent-authorities <p>A scathing audit of an anti-violence program launched by Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010 has been sent to law enforcement authorities. &nbsp;</p><p>Republican lawmakers released a letter Friday from Auditor General William Holland. It indicated the audit of Quinn's $55 million ``Neighborhood Recovery Initiative'' went to James Lewis, U.S. attorney for the central district of Illinois, and Ricardo Meza, the state's executive inspector general. The legislators had asked Holland to forward his findings. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 23:41:45 +0000 Associated Press 20415 at http://wuis.org Audit Of Quinn Program Sent To Authorities U of I Plans Presidential Search Panel http://wuis.org/post/u-i-plans-presidential-search-panel <p></p><p>The University of Illinois hopes to have a new president selected by January. &nbsp;</p><p>The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports a 19-member search committee will be appointed in May to recruit and review candidates to replace President Robert Easter. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:44:44 +0000 Associated Press 20393 at http://wuis.org U of I Plans Presidential Search Panel Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law http://wuis.org/post/fifth-lawsuit-filed-against-illinois-pension-law <p>A fifth lawsuit has been filed by state employees challenging Illinois' new pension law. &nbsp;<br />The lawsuit from current and former employees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Parkland Community College was filed in Champaign County Circuit Court Thursday. &nbsp;</p><p>It says the legislation passed by the General Assembly in December violates several provisions of the state constitution, which says retirement benefits should not be diminished or impaired and private property should not be ``taken or damaged for public use.'' &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:04:49 +0000 Associated Press 20335 at http://wuis.org Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law