News

Prisoner Review Board
Brian Mackey / WUIS

One of the longest-serving inmates in an Illinois prison was granted parole Thursday. Joseph Bigsby was a teenager in 1973 when he shot and killed a Chicago police officer.

https://www.facebook.com/AJWFp

It's time for your weekly dose in local arts and culture. Scott Faingold and I are at it once again, this week with quite the array of happenings and cultural picks... Please, have a listen, we insist:

   Events discussed this week include:

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Illinois is without a spending plan, with less than a week until the new fiscal year begins. Democrats in the General Assembly approved one, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed nearly the whole thing Thursday.


Overhead view of CWLP and the Dallman Station.
Google Maps

Local conservationists have long been concerned with various issues surrounding the utility City, Water, Light, And Power and the effect it has on Lake Springfield and the environment. Illinois is one of the most coal-producing states, but even the Springfield mayor is pushing for changes.

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

Helpful advice has been offered to parents in every generation.  In 1916, the author of The Mother and Her Child advised parents they should be careful to “handle the baby as little as possible.  Turn it occasionally from side to side, feed it, change it, keep it warm and let it alone; crying is absolutely essential to the development of good strong lungs.”

The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care.  96% report having health insurance.  That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.

Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.

Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks.  More also say the county has strong leadership.

So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?

Kevin Wong/flickr

Illinois schools will be able to open on time this fall, despite an ongoing budget stalemate at the statehouse.

Schools not having the money to operate had been a worry, given Gov. Bruce Rauner's condemnation of the spending plan passed by Democratic legislators.

It isn't anymore.

Courtesy of Funding Illinois Future


Governor Bruce Rauner has approved the portion of the state budget earmarked for public schools. His move yesterday ensures schools will be able to open on time.

The legislation even increases funding for education by more than $200 million dollars over the previous year. But the new money has strings attached.

Rod Blagojevich mug shot
U.S. Government

Here we are, rapidly approaching the Fourth of July, and we are still talking about legislative battles, a governor picking a fight with the speaker, and Illinois heading toward a new fiscal year without a budget in place. Sound familiar?

California Drought Not A Windfall For Midwest Farmers

Jun 24, 2015
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

California grows almost half the fruits and vegetables in the U.S. It’s also deep in drought and some farms are short on water. That may sound like a chance for Midwestern farmers to churn out more peppers and broccoli, but it’s not that simple.

Significant budget cuts are being made at WUIS / Illinois Issues to best steward us through the uncertain state budget process.  WUIS is ending our affiliation with Public Radio International (PRI).  Unfortunately, this means the following programs will not be broadcast by WUIS come July: 

University of Illinois Chicago

Springfield residents wanting the city to create "quiet zones" along the Third Street rail corridor want to see some action soon.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with the leader of a petition effort to get changes made on Third Street in order for trains to cut back on whistle blowing.

WBEZ

Preliminary surveys by the National Weather Service have confirmed at least nine tornadoes touched down in northern Illinois late Monday.  

A weather service report says assessments are continuing, and the number of confirmed tornadoes will likely increase.  

The report says the tornadoes were caused by one long-tracked supercell thunderstorm.  

The heaviest damage was in Coal City and nearby Braidwood, caused by an EF-3 twister, and at a campground in Sublette, caused by an EF-2 tornado.  

WUIS

Legislators' return to Springfield Wednesday failed to result in real movement toward a state budget agreement, with just one week remaining before the state loses its spending authority.

To hear House Speaker Michael Madigan tell it, Democrats are trying.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has given five conditions that must be met before he'll consider a tax hike that could balance the budget. 

 Democrats are accusing Governor Bruce Rauner of "dodging" questions about how much his top staff are making. Just how much Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is costing taxpayers was supposed to be the subject of a hearing, called by House Revenue Chairman John Bradley.

But when he asked repeatedly "is there anyone from the governor's office here to testify?" there was silence.

No one from the governor's office showed. That's a breach of legislative decorum that's virtually unheard of.

SJ-R.com

Each week, State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis joins us to talk about area business news. 

WUIS

As a nurse, Mindy Pearse has to call women undergoing cancer tests to relay the results.  Sometimes, she delivers bad news.

Pearse understands how those women feel.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago.

11:30 a.m. CDT  
 Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants a thorough search of a northern Illinois campground that was hit by a possible tornado on Monday night.  
 Rauner said at a news conference Tuesday that people who aren't from the Sublette area may be trapped or hurt in the Woodhaven Lakes campground and may not be reported missing. He's sent in a state search-and-rescue team to help.  

The finished product uses shades of green, blue, rose and peach that match the marble throughout the Capitol.
Bethany Carson / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Illinois General Assembly doesn't typically meet during the summer. But legislators are back for another one-day session today.

A Springfield native is the subject of not one, but two, proposed House resolutions. Both seek to honor basketball star Andre Iguodala, who helped the Golden State Warriors win the championship title.

Giorgio Niro / UIS Alumni magazine

Every day brings news about the Middle East, and its complex political, religious and economic systems.

Nicholas Hartlep headshot
Illinois State University

With titles like “We Can’t Breathe” and “Grey Hoodies, Baggy Jeans, and Brown Skin,” a newly released book of essays stood out from much of the information that comes across the Equity blog radar. So we looked up co-editor Nicholas Hartlep, a professor in educational foundations at Illinois State University.  The book, published by Rowman and Littlefield, features 57 essays.  Hartlep, an author of several works on the topic of race, talked with Maureen Foertsch McKinney, who acts as co-curator of WUIS/Illinois’ Equity blog. 

Sen. Dick Durbin
Hannah Meisel / WUIS

With Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic legislative leaders unable to agree on a spending plan for Illinois, the odds of a government shutdown are increasing. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says that sort of crisis would be bad for business.

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been released from a halfway house in Baltimore, where he'd been living since his release from an Alabama federal prison in March. 

news.uis.edu

The fifth Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Scholarship at the University of Illinois Springfield will advance the concept of Counter-Emancipation following President Abraham Lincoln’s death, and its connections to racial inequality in the United States today.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Governor Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Governor Bruce Rauner launches a long-anticipated fusillade of TV ads targeting House Speaker Michael Madigan.  Mike Riopell of the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald joins the panel this week.

US CPSC/flickr

A bill awaiting Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature would require Illinois schools to install carbon monoxide detectors.

One Monday morning last fall, some students and teachers at North Mac Middle School in Girard weren’t feeling well. The health teacher, Alan Love, who also happens to be a registered nurse, told superintendent Marica Cullen the school might have a gas leak.

ilga.gov

A long serving state senator from western Illinois says he won't run for re-election next year. 

Democrat John Sullivan of Rushville was first elected in 2001.  He says he still enjoys the job, but after talking it over with his wife, Joan, they decided it was time to move on. 

"I’ve actually been in jobs where it wasn’t fun anymore. And it shows in your attitude. It shows in your work. And I did not want to get to that point," he said.

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

Morgan is a typical teenager in many respects.  He has a passion for sports, a wicked sense of humor, and the usual teenage angst when it comes to matters of dealing with girls.

But in one regard he’s different from many teens.  Morgan’s mom, formerly a high-energy mover like her son, has spent the last year crippled by pain.  Her time has been spent in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and lying on the couch trying to cope with the unrelenting discomfort she faces.

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