Bill Wheelhouse http://wuis.org en Clout On The Business Side of Medical Marijuana http://wuis.org/post/clout-business-side-medical-marijuana <p></p><p>Illinois has set its regulations for medical marijuana in the state.&nbsp;&nbsp; While, those who may benefit medically are looking forward to the substance becoming available, those who are interested in making money growing it and selling it are getting there ducks in a row.&nbsp; Kurt Erickson, Springfield Bureau Chief for Lee Enterprises newspapers has been covering the issue he joined a roundtable discussion with Bill Wheelhouse, Amanda Vinicky &amp; Brian Mackey.</p><p></p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:39:36 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 30166 at http://wuis.org Clout On The Business Side of Medical Marijuana 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 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 Houston Says District 186 Needs To Build Credibility Before Asking For Tax Hike http://wuis.org/post/houston-says-district-186-needs-build-credibility-asking-tax-hike <p></p><p>WUIS is asking the candidates for Springfield mayor to talk about education issues facing the community. Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says he's concerned that most new single family homes in the area are in suburban school districts.&nbsp;&nbsp; He says an increase in funding for District 186 is probably needed, but says the school board needs to build credibility first.</p><p></p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:47:20 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29688 at http://wuis.org Houston Says District 186 Needs To Build Credibility Before Asking For Tax Hike Illinois Among The Highest Risk For Earthquakes http://wuis.org/post/illinois-among-highest-risk-earthquakes <p>Illinois and Missouri are on the list of states with the highest risk for earthquakes.</p><p>A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth of the nation. &nbsp;</p><p>The U.S. Geological Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:23:40 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29527 at http://wuis.org Illinois Among The Highest Risk For Earthquakes Quinn Signs Law Designed To Add Accountability To Grants http://wuis.org/post/quinn-signs-law-designed-add-accountability-grants <p></p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation overhauling the state's grant oversight and accountability process. &nbsp;</p><p>Quinn's office said Wednesday that he has signed the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. The governor says it will give Illinois a comprehensive set of uniform rules for grant applications and make those who receive grants more accountable to taxpayers.</p><p>The signing comes on the same day as legislative hearings are to begin on a controversial Quinn program.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:16:50 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29383 at http://wuis.org Quinn Signs Law Designed To Add Accountability To Grants Wabash Avenue Work & A Chili Parlor Back In The Family http://wuis.org/post/wabash-avenue-work-chili-parlor-back-family <p></p><p>The WUIS State Journal Register Business Report.&nbsp; This week&nbsp; Wabash Avenue, Jeff Parsons in coourt and a Route 66 landmark to re-open.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:16:56 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29317 at http://wuis.org Wabash Avenue Work & A Chili Parlor Back In The Family Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term http://wuis.org/post/springfields-mayor-wants-another-term <p></p><p>Springfield mayor Mike Houston will seek another term.&nbsp; Houston made the announcement earlier this morning.&nbsp; He says he has righted the ship when it comes to city finances.<br /><br />Houston is expected to face opposition.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasuer Jim Langfielder have indicated they will run for the office as well.<br /><br />Houston admits he broke a pledge to only serve one term.&nbsp; He made that during the last campaign.&nbsp; But he says some of his projects have taken longer than anticipated to accomplish.<br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:42:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29239 at http://wuis.org Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term Houston Likely To Seek Re-election http://wuis.org/post/houston-likely-seek-re-election <p></p><p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will make a campaign announcement Monday morning.&nbsp; While his release did not say specifically that he will run for another term, the release included this quote, "With so many evolving projects, there's too high of an investment to get off course or to go backwards. Springfield can't afford to make the mistakes again I've worked so hard to correct."&nbsp; His announcement is at 10:30 a.m.</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:47:25 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29214 at http://wuis.org Houston Likely To Seek Re-election Ameren Gets Eminent Domain WUIS SJR Business Report http://wuis.org/post/ameren-gets-eminent-domain-wuis-sjr-business-report <p>On this week's WUIS-SJR Business Report Tim Landis discusses Ameren's efforts to acquire land for the Illinois Rivers Transmission Line. Also the status of the Taylorville Energy Center land and a Chik Fil A coming back to Springfield.</p><p></p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:16:36 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Tim Landis 28829 at http://wuis.org Ameren Gets Eminent Domain WUIS SJR Business Report Editor Of Dixon Memoir Remembers The Late Senator http://wuis.org/post/editor-dixon-memoir-remembers-late-senator <p style="margin-bottom: 13px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22.5px;" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:apcm="http://ap.org/schemas/03/2005/apcm" xmlns:apnm="http://ap.org/schemas/03/2005/apnm" xmlns:o="http://w3.org/ns/odrl/2/"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 14.44444465637207px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon of Illinois has&nbsp;died.</p> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 18:13:47 +0000 Associated Press & Bill Wheelhouse 28709 at http://wuis.org Editor Of Dixon Memoir Remembers The Late Senator Another Coal Mine Discovered Under Springfield http://wuis.org/post/another-coal-mine-discovered-under-springfield <p>There was more coal mining under the city of Springfield than previously thought.</p><p>Some cases of mine subsidence in the south part of Springfield last year led to a discovery that more ground under Springfield had been mined for coal.</p><p>Scott Elrick with the State Geological Survey says they found an area between MacArthur and Fifth and&nbsp; between Ash and Laurel that had been mined in the 1800's.</p><p>Elrick compares the finding to a new discovery when doing family genealogy.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:00:17 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 27578 at http://wuis.org Another Coal Mine Discovered Under Springfield Mother Jones Monument In Central Illinois To Be Restored http://wuis.org/post/mother-jones-monument-central-illinois-be-restored <p>An Illinois monument to famed labor crusader Mother Jones in the graveyard where she's buried is getting a makeover, thanks to donors from 17 states.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The (Alton) Telegraph&nbsp; reports the restoration of the 22-foot granite obelisk was announced Tuesday in the union-owned Mount Olive cemetery where Mary Harris Jones is buried. &nbsp;</p><p>A symbolic check for $61,000 was presented during the ceremony, representing donations ranging in size from $5 to $5,000 from 107 union organizations. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:13:05 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27488 at http://wuis.org Mother Jones Monument In Central Illinois To Be Restored Consumer Group Wants Regulators To Look Into Price Spike http://wuis.org/post/consumer-group-wants-regulators-look-price-spike <p>Consumers who buy their electricity from alternative energy providers have been seeing some price hikes lately.&nbsp; A consumer group is asking state regulators to look into it.</p><p>The Citizens Utility Board says the rate spikes are a recent trend in the four years of open competition in Illinois. CUB Executive Director David Kolata says he thinks the companies are unnecessarily trying to pass their extra costs from the harsh winter onto the customer.</p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:32:39 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 27346 at http://wuis.org Consumer Group Wants Regulators To Look Into Price Spike Decatur Zoo Gets Grant To Build Bird Exhibit http://wuis.org/post/decatur-zoo-gets-grant-build-bird-exhibit <p></p><p>The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is getting nearly a half-million dollars in state grants to build a walk-through bird exhibit.&nbsp;&nbsp; The money is part of a state grant program that will give out $20 million dollars in capital funds for facility improvements and added exhibits at museums operated by local governments and cities.</p><p>Scovill is also getting the funding for a crowned-crane exhibit, pavilion, ADA walkway and a generator.</p><p>Major attractions receiving money include the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium.</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:54:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27330 at http://wuis.org Decatur Zoo Gets Grant To Build Bird Exhibit Pike County Gets A New Prosecutor http://wuis.org/post/pike-county-gets-new-prosecutor <p></p><p>Pike County has a new state's attorney to replace the former top prosecutor who accused the county sheriff of misconduct. &nbsp;</p><p>The Quincy Herald-Whig reports&nbsp; that the Pike County Board held a special meeting Thursday night to accept former Pike County State's Attorney Carrie Boyd's resignation. Board members also named Matt Goetten as her replacement to serve through Nov. 30. That's when voters will elect someone to serve the remaining two years of Boyd's term. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:44:33 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27163 at http://wuis.org Pike County Gets A New Prosecutor Legendary Musician Hardly A Household Name http://wuis.org/post/legendary-musician-hardly-household-name <p></p><p>Austin based musician Alejandro Escovedo appears in Springfield Saturday night as part of Bedrock 66 Live. While he could be described as legendary in the music community, he is not a household name. Saturday's show is at Donnie's Homespun.&nbsp; Tickets at Bedrock66.com</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:56:49 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 27021 at http://wuis.org Legendary Musician Hardly A Household Name Illinois Lawmaker Convicted Of Bribery http://wuis.org/post/illinois-lawmaker-convicted-bribery <p>A federal jury in Chicago has convicted Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith of bribery for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator.</p><p>Jurors returned with their verdict Tuesday after deliberating about four hours over two days. &nbsp;</p><p>At trial, prosecutors played secret recordings of the 50-year-old Chicago Democrat allegedly accepting 70 $100 bills in exchange for a letter supporting a state grant. But it was all part of an FBI sting. &nbsp;</p><p>The recordings of Smith were made by a campaign worker-turned-informant. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:47:02 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 26942 at http://wuis.org Illinois Lawmaker Convicted Of Bribery Three Locals Among Those Charged With Medicaid Fraud http://wuis.org/post/three-locals-among-those-charged-medicaid-fraud <p></p><p>Three area residents are among more than two dozen Illinois residents who have been charged with health care fraud stemming from federal investigations.</p><p>Federal prosecutors Thursday announced charges against 29 people who allegedly abused a health care program funded by Medicaid.&nbsp;</p><p>The program pays for personal assistants to help Medicaid recipients stay in their homes.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Feds says the defendants allegedly submitted false claims for hours worked when they had other full time jobs, were in jail or the client was hospitalized.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:56:02 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 26716 at http://wuis.org Three Locals Among Those Charged With Medicaid Fraud St. John's Hospital To Lay Off 43 Managers http://wuis.org/post/st-johns-hospital-lay-43-managers <p></p><p></p><p>St. John's Hospital in Springfield has announced it will lay off 43 managers over the next few months. &nbsp;</p><p>President and Chief Executive Charles Lucore&nbsp; says cutting management costs will help preserve the quality of patient care. &nbsp;</p><p>The (Springfield) State Journal-Register quotes him as saying the decision was driven by financial pressures from the Affordable Care Act as well as the lower reimbursements. &nbsp;</p><p>The 43 positions represent about 1 percent of the hospital's workforce. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 21:57:53 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 26688 at http://wuis.org St. John's Hospital To Lay Off 43 Managers Juvenile Sex Trafficking Happening Here http://wuis.org/post/juvenile-sex-trafficking-happening-here <p>When you hear about sex trafficking, often times what comes to mind is international smuggling of women. That may be happening, but there is also a problem of local teenagers getting used in sex trafficking within Illinois.</p><p>"Our Children Are Not For Sale" is the name of an awareness campaign to make people aware of what could be happening to homeless and runaway youth.&nbsp;&nbsp; Bill Wheelhouse spoke with Stacy Sloan, Human Trafficking program manager at the Department of Children and Family Services.&nbsp; She sheds some light on the issue.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 26480 at http://wuis.org Juvenile Sex Trafficking Happening Here Pike County State's Attorney Abruptly Resigns http://wuis.org/post/pike-county-states-attorney-abruptly-resigns <p>The Pike County State's Attorney abruptly resigned yesterday, prior to a hearing regarding criminal charges against the Pike County Sheriff.</p><p>Media reports say that State's Attorney Carrie Boyd left a voice mail for the Pike County Board Chairman resigning. Boyd reportedly cited family and personal issues.<br /><br />She had filed the charges against Sheriff Paul Petty.&nbsp;&nbsp; Petty is charged with felony misconduct for allegedly ordering a body to be embalmed before a toxicology test could be performed in a 2012 heroin death.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 11:22:26 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 26479 at http://wuis.org Pike County State's Attorney Abruptly Resigns Legislative Recap: What Lawmakers Did & Didn't Do http://wuis.org/post/legislative-recap-what-lawmakers-did-didnt-do <p>The Illinois Legislature adjourned its spring session having passed a new state budget and other key measures, but leaving some business undone. Here's a look at what passed and what didn't: &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; BILLS SENT TO GOV. PAT QUINN: &nbsp;<br />Budget: A roughly $35.7 billion budget for 2015 keeps funding flat for schools and most state agencies. Majority Democrats acknowledged the budget is ``incomplete'' because it postpones tough votes about whether to slash spending or find new revenue until after November's election. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 11:56:15 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 26409 at http://wuis.org Legislative Recap: What Lawmakers Did & Didn't Do Amy LaVere at Bedrock 66 Friday Night http://wuis.org/post/amy-lavere-bedrock-66-friday-night <p>After making a name for herself in Memphis,&nbsp; Texas native Amy LaVere comes to the WUIS Bedrock Stage this Friday Night.&nbsp;&nbsp; She is appearing jointly with John Paul Keith and presenting their side project "Motel Mirrors".&nbsp;&nbsp; From K-U-T in Austin.. David Brown talked with LaVere.</p><p>Amy LaVere along with John Paul Keith at Friday night's Bedrock show at Donnie's Homespun on Cook Street in Springfield.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The show starts at eight. Tickets available at bedrock66.com.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Tickets are $12 dollars.</p> Wed, 21 May 2014 16:09:54 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 25599 at http://wuis.org Amy LaVere at Bedrock 66 Friday Night School Funding Discussion WUIS Education Desk http://wuis.org/post/school-funding-discussion-wuis-education-desk <p>The way schools are funded in Illinois has been getting a lot of attention lately.&nbsp; The WUIS Education Desk presents a discussion entitled "Transforming Our Schools:&nbsp; A Panel On Education Funding" held recently in Decatur.&nbsp;&nbsp; The panel includes State Senator Andy Manar, Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Kristen Kendrick, Decatur Public Schools Director of Business Affairs Todd Covault, Center for Tax &amp; Budget Accountability Director Ralph Martire and moderators Brian Byers of WSOY &amp; Bill Wheelhouse, WUIS. Wed, 21 May 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 25518 at http://wuis.org School Funding Discussion WUIS Education Desk Pike County Sheriff Enters NOT Guilty Plea http://wuis.org/post/pike-county-sheriff-enters-not-guilty-plea <p></p><p>The Pike County sheriff has pleaded not guilty to a felony misconduct charge after prosecutors say he botched the 2012 death investigation of a woman who overdosed on heroin.</p><p>The Belleville News-Democrat reports Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty's attorney filed a motion Monday to dismiss the case or appoint a special state's attorney.</p> Wed, 21 May 2014 11:18:27 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 25582 at http://wuis.org Pike County Sheriff Enters NOT Guilty Plea Pike County Sheriff Charged With Misconduct http://wuis.org/post/pike-county-sheriff-charged-misconduct <p>The Pike County sheriff is facing a felony misconduct charge for a 2012 death investigation of a woman who overdosed on heroin. &nbsp;</p><p>Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty is also the county's coroner. He was charged after prosecutors say he didn't follow procedures for embalming the body of 47-year-old Shanda Lopez. &nbsp;</p><p>Two other men were charged in connection with Lopez's death, including one who's accused of drug-induced homicide.</p><p>Authorities say Petty didn't draw blood for a toxicology screening before Lopez's body was embalmed. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 13:41:40 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 25423 at http://wuis.org Pike County Sheriff Charged With Misconduct Illinois Groups Want Expanded Trade With Cuba http://wuis.org/post/illinois-groups-want-expanded-trade-cuba <p>Back in 1999, then Governor George Ryan led a delegation to the island nation of Cuba.&nbsp;&nbsp; Since that time, a number of Illinois Agriculture groups have been working to ease trade restrictions to the small nation.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Illinois Cuba Working Group recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama hoping to expand trade opportunities between the nations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 08 May 2014 12:45:57 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 24655 at http://wuis.org Illinois Groups Want Expanded Trade With Cuba Schnucks Recalling Deli Item http://wuis.org/post/schnucks-recalling-deli-item <p>Schnucks is recalling chicken salad because of possible listeria contamination. &nbsp;</p><p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Saturday that Schnucks Kitchen of O'Fallon is recalling about 130 pounds of curry white meat chicken salad with walnuts due to possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes. &nbsp;</p><p>The USDA says the product came in sealed three-pound bags and was produced April 24 before being shipped to Schnucks stores for deli distribution in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 05 May 2014 12:17:59 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 24435 at http://wuis.org Schnucks Recalling Deli Item