News

From The Scene: Happy Halloween, 2015

Oct 29, 2015
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Halloween is this Saturday, and as such there is a plethora of events in the area to help you celebrate. The Scene is here to tell you about the stand-outs:

Image Credt: www.planetofsuccess.com/blog

The constitutional requirement for a balanced budget is not as strict as you might think.

Days after an Illinois high school student died from football injuries, a Cook County judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging the sports' governing body didn't do enough to protect athletes.

Bruce Rauner
WUIS

Did the voters know what they were getting?

siumed.edu

Dr. Jerry Kruse has been affiliated with the SIU School of Medicine for over 30 years.  Most recently he has served as executive associate dean and CEO of SIU Healthcare. 

In January, he'll tackle a new role.  He'll become the dean and provost for the school.

Amanda Vinicky WUIS

A former state lawmaker from western Illinois wants back in the general assembly. 

Jil Tracy launched her campaign for state Senate in a Quincy park Monday.  She lives in the town and represented the area in the Illinois House for about a decade. 

Illinois has hit a cash flow problem and will not be ably to make its monthly pension payment in November and possibly December. The state's inability to cover its expenses has some asking the question: will Illinois run out of money?

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In recent years, there has been a push at the statehouse to revive and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. It'd be a symbolic gesture, since the measure failed in the 1970s, and never did get enough support from states to pass federally. It was meant to include in the Constitution that women shall be afforded the same rights as men and not discriminated against due to gender.

Krispy Kreme

Bill and Tim show they are good journalists by talking about Doughnuts, microbrew and meat.

Known for their calm temperaments and soft fleece, alpacas were at one time the next hot thing to backyard farmers. A decade ago, the market was frenetic, with some top of the line animals selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the bubble burst, leaving thousands of alpaca breeders with near-worthless herds. Today, craigslist posts across the country advertise “herd liquidations” and going-out-of-business deals on alpacas, some selling for as little as a dollar.

Education Group Says It Has Budget Impasse Antidote

Oct 27, 2015
(flickr/Daniel X. O'Neil)

There’s no end in sight to the political gridlock in Springfield.

But one group says it has an education plan it’s convinced both Republicans and Democrats could support.

That plan is a new twist on an old idea: corporations paying money into a special fund.

They’d get tax breaks. And parents would get cash to use for the school of their choice.

SEIU TV ad
SEIU Healthcare Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently reached an agreement with a trio of unions -- representing some 300 plumbers, machinists and engineers and operators. But he's still at odds with unions representing the bulk of state employees: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU represents home care workers -- people who help the disabled and elderly care for themselves. Denise Gaines, legislative director of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, says now, these workers get paid to take important training.

Wikimedia Commons / User: Husky

Learning standards for the arts are changing in the state. It's been about two decades since the guidelines have been updated. Teachers and administrators around Illinois have been meeting regularly since new federal arts standards were released last year. Those guidelines separate the arts into five categories: music, theater, dance, visual art and media arts.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In northern Illinois, a new space is open for kids to complete a variety of unique creative projects. I took a visit, here’s the report:

Brass rail outside the Governor's office
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Mark your calendars. A date has been set. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called a meeting with the legislature's leaders to talk about the budget impasse for Nov. 18.

The Young Philanthropists in Sangamon County has hit the decade mark.  

Illinois still has no budget plan and no progress on an agreement is in sight.  The state is spending far more than it's taking in, higher education and social services have largely been left out to dry, and Illinois' credit rating continues to be downgraded.  Meanwhile, Governor Rauner is beginning to face criticism from within his own party.  Kurt Erickson of Lee Enterprises joins the panel discussion this week.

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

Five-year old Thomas learned to ride a bike over the past few weeks. Watching him initially stagger and fall was painful for me, and the resulting bruises and abrasions were painful for him. 

Alas, there are no shortcuts to learning—a truth my own skinned knees have taught me well. Instead, there are predictable stages of learning for every new skill we seek to attain.

Psychologists describe the four stages of competence, or the "conscious competence" learning model involved as we progress from incompetence to competence in any skill.

WUIS

Illinois has twice seen its credit rating take a hit this week.

Get Spooky With The Scene

Oct 22, 2015
blacksheepspringfield.com

On the week's episode of The Scene, Rachel and Scott talk about Halloween festivities, preview a multi-sensory art show, and talk about a local museum most area-residents haven't heard of. Take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

Hannah Meisel/WUIS

 On the state's 113th day without a budget, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday sloughed off critical comments made by his a pair of his predecessors.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar's still a popular figure within the Illinois GOP, which is why the harsh nature of his recent remarks garnered a lot of attention. Edgar scolded Rauner for putting his pro-business agenda ahead of the budget.

Then another Republican Governor from the past - James Thompson -- also said that Illinois' is in the worst position it's ever been.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

News Analysis — On September 18, 2012, the year before Bruce Rauner declared his candidacy for governor, he shared his vision for a crisis that could help reshape state government.

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Illinois State Board of Education


Members of Illinois' House Government Administration Committee hoped to grill Superintendent Tony Smith about expensive perks he gets on top of his $225,000 salary. But the invitation was declined by Board Chair James Meeks, who sent a letter to the committee saying he wanted to discuss the request with the school board. A day later at the state board’s meeting, Smith referred reporters to Meeks.

SIU Healthcare Expands Services In Decatur

Oct 21, 2015
Decatur Memorial Hospital

An expanded healthcare collaboration will save more Decatur residents from having to travel out of town to get specialized care.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

The former mayor of Springfield, Ossie Langfelder, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 89.

Bill Wheelhouse talks with long time State Journal Register political columnist Bernie Schoenburg about Langfelder.   

Also some oral history audio of Langfelder.

Check out Ossie Langfelder discussing his life.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Timothy Killeen, president of the University of Illinois, joined top executives from eight other public colleges making the rounds of legislative leaders' offices at the statehouse yesterday in an effort to remind lawmakers that their campuses are hurting without state funds. Killeen said they were simply making the case for the future of Illinois.

 

ilga.gov

Top officials of the state board of education declined to appear before a House committee yesterday to answer questions about costly perks being paid to the board’s superintendent, Tony Smith. Smith was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, and receives a stipend on top of his $225,000 salary. 

WUIS

Illinois lawmakers' one-day session Tuesday yielded no budget breakthroughs. The state's been without a spending plan for what'll soon reach five months.

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