Move over turkey. Step aside stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year and it’s as popular as ever.

Rep. Lou Lang
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A federal lawsuit is seeking to overturn Illinois’ ban on campaign contributions from medical marijuana companies.

  The case was brought last week by two Libertarian Party political candidates: Claire Ball of Addison, who says she's running for comptroller, and Scott Schluter of Marion, who says he's running for state representative. They say they favor legalization of drugs, and that companies that agree with them should be able to support their campaigns.


Illinois could see its already worst-in-the-nation credit rating sink further -- all the way down to "junk" status. Moody's Vice President Ted Hampton says investors have asked the ratings agency if that's even possible.

The Scene Gets Thankful

Nov 25, 2015
photo: Brian Mackey, clip art: RO

Scott and  Rachel are nearing a year of bringing you The Scene on air and in podcast form. Every week we stop to take a look around the scene so we can tell you about some of the fun and fascinating things coming up. 

Alex Wroblewski

Chicago writer Jamie Kalven focuses on patterns of police abuse and impunity in Chicago. He heard about an attempted cover up of the details in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old wielding a  knife.

After the Mississippi River flooded four years ago, state and federal authorities offered buyouts to affected homeowners. Now the state budget impasse has left some of those deals in limbo.

Midwest Travel: Bishop Hill For The Holidays

Nov 25, 2015
Bishop Hill Heritage Association

When Swedish religious-freedom seekers spent their first winter huddled in shelters dug into a ravine in what is now Bishop Hill, few probably guessed that, 169 years later, their settlement would host heart-warming winter holiday celebrations.

You've likely noticed something different on-air, recently.  Or seen it here at WUIS.ORG.  A new way of referring to WUIS... NPR Illinois.  That's the shorthand for NPR | Illinois Public Radio | 91.9 UIS.

Lilong Dolrani

When the state finally has a budget, who will be left out?

Mike Berners-Lee may not be an expert on the American Thanksgiving. A native of the UK, he’s never actually had the pleasure of experiencing one. But as one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration will find a new director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum instead of hiring an outside search firm. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It'll soon hit its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what Illinois' future should look like. Rauner wants to rein in unions; Democrats say that's akin to bolstering business tycoons at the expense of the middle class.

How long can it go on?

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary. State Sen.Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, has confirmed he will not run.

You could say the Democratic primary race for comptroller is over before it ever began; only today can candidates begin filing paperwork to run.

Christmas lights are up at the Illinois capitol, despite a brief period where it had appeared the state budget impasse would keep the dome dark. That interlude led to another outcome, appropriate during the season for giving.

The lights are on, thanks to a trio of unions that have offered to pay the state's Christmas lights electric bill.

But before that'd been finalized, Kristina Rasmussen had tried another method.

Housing Action Illinois

Estimates of the homeless populations in the state and the nation were released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pointing to an 11 percent drop nationally and a slight decline in Illinois.

I talked with Bob Palmer, policy director at Illinois Housing Action, to find out more about those numbers.

Washington University in St. Louis

There are actions governors can take about their concerns over Syrian refugees, but keeping them out of their states — even temporarily — is not one.  So says the emeritus professor whose textbook on immigration is used by about 185 law schools in the country.

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner said he wants to prevent Syrian refugees from entering Illinois, the state Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a Chicago pension law, and a citizens' initiative to end gerrymandering gained momentum.   Kurt Erickson of Lee Enterprises joins the panel.

Sangamon County Republicans have named Sara Wojcicki Jimenez to represent the 99th State House District. She'll replace former State Rep. Raymond Poe, who was recently appointed the new Illinois Department of Agriculture Director.

Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell from the Turkish border by Aleppo

Human rights groups in Illinois say they'll continue programs for Syrian refugees. That’s despite the governor's calls to suspend accepting them - a threat he made on the heels of the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. 

A new trade deal aimed at cutting thousands of taxes and opening markets with 11 Pacific Rim nations has drawn heavy lobbying from some of America’s largest agribusinesses.

The deal – known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership – was reached in early October. It is designed to ease the flow of goods between partner nations by lowering restrictive trade policies and regulations.

Wikimedia Commons

A task force created by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to figure out how to reduce the number of local governments in the state. That group Thursday voted to recommend restrictions on organized labor. Members listening in via conference call heard an unexpected interlude.

Lloyd Karmeier
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Ideology has long been at the heart of high-profile judicial battles, whether the judges are elected or appointed. But is it different when the fight puts a specific case on the line?

Claudia Quigg headshot / WUIS / Illinois Issues

We offer thanks for our abundance on the fourth Thursday in November each year.  Living in the United States, where food is plentiful and we are mostly free to live our lives in peace, there is much for which to give thanks on this truly American holiday. 

Jose Zaragoza /

UIS Ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis brings us a preview of this weekend's "Holiday Pops in the Heartland" concert, featuring festive music and traditional songs with the Illinois State University Concert Choir, Bloomington-Normal and Sangamon Valley Youth Symphonies, Twin Cities and  Springfield Ballet Companies, and the Springfield Youth Performance Group.

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders were supposed to meet this week for the first time since the end of the spring legislative session. Instead that meeting was postponed until December 1.

In this week's installment of Past Due, Sean Crawford sat down with Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn for an update on the budget impasse and how the delayed meeting could affect negotiations.


Valerie Everett

The first installment in a series on homelessness looks at a campaign to get the city and public schools to target the needs of homeless Chicago students.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Another set of unions have reached contract deals with Gov. Bruce Rauner. Amanda Vinicky looks at whether it's really a sign the Republican isn't quite as anti-union as his critics allege.

A press release from Rauner's office proclaims he's agreed to terms on new collective bargaining agreements with electrical workers, boilermakers, bricklayers and painters, covering some 500 employees.

The agreements include a "new performance incentive program," overtime earnings beyond a 40-hour work week, and a program "to address minority underutilization in state government."

Tune in and hear from Lisa Higgs, the president of the Vachel Lindsay Association which organizes community and poetry-related events in Springfield. Plus find out about the holiday farmer's market, a performance from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and much more:

In The Fields, A Search For Monarch Butterflies

Nov 18, 2015

The population of monarch butterflies has declined so dramatically in recent years that the iconic insect is being considered for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list. In Nebraska and across the other areas of the Midwest, a stop on the monarch migration route, efforts are underway to determine the scope of the decline.

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College in Normal is bracing for a potential faculty strike but the school's president intends to hold classes whether it happens or not.