Illinois state parks are starting to see money from a $2 surcharge on Illinois license plate renewals. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports (http://bit.ly/1czFIoL) that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is using the money to reduce a $750 million maintenance backlog. Motorists had to start paying the surcharge this year after last year's DNR Sustainability Bill was approved.
The state fair got its start Thursday night with the Twilight parade through the north end of the capital city. It's an annual tradition. But indications are that another tradition -- a Democratic party rally -- will not continue this year.
There were cheerleaders, bands, children scrambling for candy, and of course, a parade of politicians.
The Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller, Lieutenant Governor were all there.
First in that line: Governor Pat Quinn and an army of supporters and staffers, wearing his trademark kelly green campaign t-shirts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the nation’s farmers will deliver a record 3.42 billion bushels of soybeans this year. The USDA is also forecasting that this year for the first time Brazil will overtake the United States as the world’s leading producer of soybeans. That means the pressure is on American soybean farmers like Brian Flatt, 41, to eke out even more soybeans from his fields.
Authorities say a onetime chief of staff to the former head of the Illinois Department of Public Health took $433,000 in kickbacks for steering grant and contract money to certain groups. An indictment released Thursday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield says Quinshaunta R. Golden faces one count of bribery and theft involving federal funds. The accusations largely relate to the time Golden was chief of staff to Eric E. Whitaker in the 2000s.
Chief Judge Dan Flannell says he submitted an application to the Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday. The state's high court has the final say on whether the circuit will be included in the pilot program that was approved about 18 months ago.
The band Head East grew out of central and southern Illinois and made it's way to a major label. In 1974, Head East recorded Flat As A Pancake at Golden Voice Studios in South Pekin. They released it on their own label, sold it at shows and the notoriety that followed got them a record deal. From the highs of playing sold out arenas in the 70's to the end of the original lineup, Head East has remained.
Is the way that you speak to a business associate different than how you catch up with a friend? Do you talk to the opposite sex differently? How do you address people of other races? NPR has launched a new effort examining the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.
Medical marijuana may be legal in his home state, but the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate says that shouldn't be a national policy.
It'll be awhile before patients with certain diseases will actually be able to use pot to ease their symptoms - the Illinois law doesn't take effect until January, and state regulators have to put rules in place.
Even so, clinics - including one in Chicago - are already beginning to open.
Of course, it defies federal law.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he's not ready for the feds to change course.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's disappointed a judge has delayed ruling on the legislator salary lawsuit. Gov. Pat Quinn used veto powers last month to suspend pay because of inaction on pensions. Then Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, claiming a misuse of power. A Cook County judge will hear arguments Sept. 18, meaning lawmakers could miss another paycheck. Madigan told reporters Wednesday before a closed-door speech that voting to override Quinn is still a possibility. That's according to Chicago's WLS-TV.
Medical marijuana may be legal in his home state, but the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate says that shouldn't be a national policy. It will be awhile before patients with certain diseases will actually be able to use pot to ease their symptoms - the Illinois law doesn't take effect until January, and state regulators have to put rules in place. Even so ... clinics ... including one in Chicago ... are already beginning to open. Of course, it defies federal law. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he's not ready for the feds to change course.
What do an aging folk singer, a Michael Jackson impersonator, and an improv comedy group from Chicago have in common? Well, they'll all be making their way to Decatur in coming months. The Kirkland Fine Arts Center recently announced the lineup for its 2013/2014 performing arts series. We recently spoke with director of the center, Jan Traughber, about it:
CLICK HERE for more information on the coming lineup at the performance venue on the Millikin University campus in Decatur.
The State Journal-Register's Tim Landis talks about efforts to expand the downtown Springfield Historic District, a new prototype store for Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries and a look at agriculture, a year after the drought.
A Cook County judge won't decide until late September on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's same sex marriage ban.
Circuit Judge Sophia Hall listened to nearly two hours of arguments on Tuesday. She then said she'll rule on Sept. 27. The lawsuit involves 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied.
However, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has refused to defend the state's ban, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. She says it violates the state constitution.
Archer Daniels Midland says its net income fell 22 percent in the second quarter as expenses climbed. The agribusiness company also says it more than doubled its provision for a possible settlement of an overseas bribery probe that's being conducted by the federal government.
The search continues for a new superintendent for district 186. So far eight people have applied for the position to head Springfield public schools. The district is currently planning a two day summit later in the month consisting of meetings among the search firm leading the effort, teachers, parents, and other community members. Board member Scott McFarland is helping plan the meetings. He says the search firm hopes to garner more applicants and then narrow down the options based on feedback from the board and the community:
Gov. Pat Quinn predicts that a lawsuit over his decision to suspend lawmaker pay for failing to act on the state pension crisis will be a ``landmark'' case. Quinn attended a court hearing Tuesday involving a lawsuit filed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton force Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue paychecks. A Cook County Circuit Court judge set oral arguments for Sept. 18.
Attorneys for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will be in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday to try and force Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to issue legislators' paychecks.
Last month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks in the state budget. He'd threatened consequences if lawmakers failed to act on addressing the pension problem. When a bipartisan pension failed to meet a deadline, Quinn cut their salaries.
Illinois has a trio of new laws that officials say will make the roads safer. But the governor has yet to act on other measures that could have a significant impact on drivers.
Two of the new laws apply to people who've already had traffic troubles, like one named after 15-year-old Kelsey Little, who was seriously hurt in 2011 when she was hit by a teen just learning how to drive.
Illinois is reporting one new case of a rare stomach illness, bringing the total number in the state to five. The Illinois Department of Public Health says officials are still investigating the source of the illness caused by a parasite, but have been unable to link it to any food source.
Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a measure that makes Illinois the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. But how long until it actually goes into effect? And what sort of restrictions will there be for patients hopeful to gain a prescription to the drug? WUIS's statehouse reporter Brian Mackey recently discussed the news with us:
The 2013 Illinois State Fair in Springfield runs August 8th through the 18th.
Peter Gray joined Rachel Otwell on Illinois Edition with a few highlights of the fair this year, including the grandstand's new VIP section for fans who want to avoid long lines but want to be as close to the stage as possible: