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University of Illinois Public Affairs

Illinois' elementary and high schools are operating as normal; funding for education was the only spending spared from Governor Bruce Rauner's veto pen. But universities are another story. They haven't gotten a dollar from the state since July.

Collectively, Illinois' public universities educate some 200,000 students a year. Now, the campuses are "on the brink of serious operational damage."

Sean Crawford/WUIS

An effort is underway to repair one of the few railroad depots remaining in Sangamon County. 

The State Journal-Register reports the newly formed Chatham Railroad Museum Association is raising money to fix the roof and make other improvements to the Chatham Railroad Depot. 

The Village of Chatham owns the structure, which was built in 1902.  But it doesn't have enough money to pay for the estimated $10,00o in needed repairs.

A hospital room
Bill McChesney

Many Illinois nurses are nearing retirement. Baby Boomers in the state are also aging and may need more care. Will there be enough nurses to meet the demand?

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to close state museums and a sport-shooting complex to the public because of the budget crisis, even though most staff will still report to work. 

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' racing board is taking a gamble in an attempt to save the beleaguered industry. Two historic Illinois tracks will hold no races next year, a decision that could lead to their permanent closure.

Founder's Residence Hall
uis.edu

Two men have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s stabbing on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

Guy Sternberg

In the 1800s, Illinois’ oak forests once accounted for 60 percent of the state’s tree population. Today, they comprise only 5 percent and are being supplanted by native maple trees and several invasive species.

Paul Kehrer via Flickr

The owners of Illinois' horse race tracks say the industry is struggling to survive, but key players diverge on how to salvage the industry. Decisions by a state board Tuesday afternoon could determine tracks' fate. The Illinois Racing Board is set to decide during a meeting in Chicago which Illinois tracks can hold horse meets, and when --- a decision that's key to the tracks' profitability.

"We look at this meeting today as probably one of the most important ones that we have ever been to," said Dick Duchoissois, chairman and owner of the Arlington Park track.

KatherineJohnson/flickr

It's perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the Illinois State Fair.  And due to the state budget gridlock, no payment has been made to the sculptor.

NicolasHenderson/flickr

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is pledging that police will be out in full force near Busch Stadium as the Cardinals enter the postseason, after a fan was shot and possibly paralyzed following a game.  

The shooting has generated concern about safety in what has been a violent year in St. Louis.  

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says his office will suspend mailing reminder notices on renewing motor vehicle registrations because there's still no state budget. 

Amanda Vinicky

Critics say Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is too liberal, but he's gaining in polls against presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. On Monday, he took his campaign to Illinois.

In 1964, Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago in a ceremony at the on-campus Rockefeller chapel. Now as a U.S. Senator from Vermont, Sanders returned to students packing the pews to hear him speak.

ARW

This week, WUIS is airing four American RadioWorks hour-long radio documentaries focused on K-12 and higher education.

Founder's Residence Hall
uis.edu

Two people are recovering from stab wounds following an incident on the University of Illinois Springfield campus Sunday afternoon.

Illinois is about to enter its fourth month without a budget. One of the state's top Democrats says the problem could be resolved within days, if the governor moved off his insistence that other laws pass first.

Illinois' budget situation remains much the same as it has been for months - no agreement between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders, court orders maintain much of state spending, many social services are going belly-up, and the future is uncertain.  In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still pushing for a property tax increase in Cook County to help solve the city's own budget woes.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

Illinois continues to meander through a partial government shutdown. Even so, legislators are taking a break from Springfield.

A former Illinois state representative sentenced to five months in prison for pocketing a $7,000 bribe is asking for a delay in his surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  

Derrick Smith, a 51-year-old Chicago Democrat, was sentenced in April after jurors convicted him last year of bribery and attempted extortion for accepting a bribe for supporting a day care center's application for a $50,000 state grant. The facility was fictitious and part of an FBI sting.  

Credit Flickr/aka_kath

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has accepted the resignation of the state's Agriculture Department director and the director of the state fair.  

The resignations of Phil Nelson and Patrick Buchen were announced late Thursday. The reasons for their resignations were not given. 

Caterpillar

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says he expects the city and region to absorb a sizable hit as manufacturer Caterpillar plans to reduce its workforce by as many as 10,000 people.  

Ardis told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has not shared specifics about the local impact of what could amount to an 8 percent reduction to its global workforce of 126,800 by 2018. Half of those cuts are expected by the end of next year.  

Amanda Vinicky

A recent agreement means that despite the budget impasse, Illinois will fund services for disabled babies. But therapists and children who rallied at the Statehouse Thursday say their worries aren't over.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / N

There was a bit of commotion in the Illinois Capitol Thursday when an activist hijacked a committee hearing to call for the impeachment of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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

Recently, I heard about a family who’s adopted a weekly family meeting. They celebrate victories and roll up their sleeves for shared challenges.  Even the toddler helps chart the family’s course.

Family meetings hold the promise of less stress, better communication and greater productivity.  They provide for decision making in times of calm rather than in chaos.  And because everyone participates, each family member is more invested in plans that emerge.

IPR

There is a lot of repetition going on at the state capitol these days.  And it has a political purpose.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

By now, most people probably have a sense that things at the Illinois Statehouse have gotten downright nasty, even if it’s not completely clear what all the fighting is about—or, how it’s playing out behind the scenes.

To reveal the parts of the fighting that the public doesn’t get to see—the squabbling and cynical gamesmanship—we wanted to pull back the curtain.

Income tax space on a Monopoly game board
StockMonkeys.com

Commentary — Let’s be blunt: Illinois needs higher taxes.

That statement might come as a shock to citizens under the illusion that all would be well, if state leaders would just cut all the wasteful spending out of the state budget. 

Luis Arroyo
Brian Mackey/WUIS

For the first time in three weeks, state representatives will convene in Springfield Thursday.

Not much has changed in those three weeks. There's still no agreement between Democratic legislators and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on a state budget.

But representatives are back anyway, and they do have some budget measures on the table.

For one, they're set to discuss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to exempt some middle-class homeowners from paying higher property taxes.

labor event
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Labor unions are going on the road to make their case against Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda. The latest in a series of events took place Wednesday morning in Springfield.

As the third month Illinois has gone without a state budget nears its end, some programs have recently gotten funding. Many other are still waiting and starting to feel the pinch. 

Rachel Otwell // WUIS

Time for a very special edition of The Scene. Jeff Williams started the band N.I.L.8 30 years ago while a high-schooler at Lanphier here in Springfield.  He joins us and talks about his art show coming up this weekend at The Pharmacy, plus his personal take on the local punk scene and how it's changed over the past three decades.

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