Dept. of Natural Resources employees have discussed adding cougars to the list of protected species in Illinois.
But in a phone interview with WUIS, IDNR spokesman Tim Schweizer said currently "it’s up to the landowner” to decide whether a potentially threatening animal should be put down.
That's what transpired Wednesday near Morrison, Ill., when a woman and her husband reportedly spotted the large male cougar hiding under their corn crib and asked Conservation Police to dispatch the cat.
Illinois unions are planning an intensive lobbying push in opposition to a developing plan to deal with the state's $100 billion pension crisis.
The ``We are One Coalition'' represents the state's major employee unions. The group sent an email to members about ``emergency call-in days'' next week and Dec. 2-3.
Members are being asked to call and visit lawmakers' offices and urge them to vote against pension bills that don't have union support. Legislative leaders are meeting Thursday to firm up a plan that could save close to $150 million over 30 years.
Minutes after Gov. Pat Quinn made gay marriage legal in Illinois, the Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield began a prayer service in response. Tuesday's service was formally called a prayer of “exorcism.” But the ceremony was more subdued than that dramatic word might suggest.
What do Sangamon County employers see in the year ahead? The fall economic outlook survey shows they have a positive outlook about their individual business and sector, but not about the overall economy. As for jobs, nearly half expect employment rates to stay stagnant.
Illinois is now the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Wednesday in Chicago that makes the state the largest in the Midwest to legalize gay weddings. The law takes effect in June when county clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011, but it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama's home state.
State officials now say that at least 900 homes were either destroyed or badly damaged by Sunday's tornadoes. And that figure is likely to grow.
Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She says Wednesday the agency doesn't have anything close to a full count of the homes affected in Washington, which was hardest hit by the storms.
This has not been an easy week for the Washington, Illinois High School Football Team. Instead of just preparing for a playoff game this weekend, they have one of the largest distractions imaginable, an EF-4 tornado that hit their community.
The Washington Panthers are practicing at Illinois State University's Hancock Stadium in Normal getting ready for Saturday's Class Five-A Semifinal game in Springfield against Sacred Heart-Griffin. At least nine of the team lost their homes in Sunday's Tornado.
The bank JPMorgan Chase will pay Illinois' pension funds $100 million under a national settlement announced Tuesday. The payment is a result of the bank's misconduct leading up to the Great Recession.
Like a lot of investors in the last decade, Illinois' pension funds had a good chunk of change in mortgage-backed securities. Once the housing market collapsed and homeowners began defaulting, the value of those securities collapsed, too.
(AP) A fire chief says a blaze in a building that houses an Illinois state lawmaker's southwestern Illinois office is considered suspicious.
Edwardsville Fire Chief Rick Welle says no injuries resulted from Monday night's fire that damaged Rep. Dwight Kay's office.
The building also included an insurance site, consulting agencies and counseling services. Welle said it's unclear if any of the offices was specifically targeted, but that investigators haven't ruled out arson.
Illinois State Police and the state fire marshal's office are investigating.
Zach Baliva says it's become the norm for students to attend college with the help of hefty loans, and all that debt is becoming a serious obstacle for students and graduates. With the film 'Deferred' Baliva, a local documentarian, hopes to explore these issues. He recently joined us to talk about what inspired the movie and plans to get it off the ground:
(AP) _ Federal assessments of tornado-damaged property in Illinois are to begin Thursday.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says Federal Emergency Management Agency assessments are necessary so the state can request federal assistance.
Five teams will look at damage to homes and businesses in Champaign, Grundy, Massac, Pope, Tazewell and Will counties. Sunday's tornadoes destroyed hundreds of homes and left six people dead in the state.
The governor's office says federal and state emergency officials will meet with
District 186 says it's working hard to hire more minority teachers and administrators. Still, the percentage of minorities in those roles is only half of what it should be according to a decades old desegregation order. And the Springfield branch of the NAACP says it's preparing for a potential lawsuit.
The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by strong storms.
Mayor Gary Manier says that figure includes homes that were totally destroyed as well as properties that received minor damage. Officials still haven't said how many people in the community have been affected by Sunday's tornado. Washington has about 16,000 residents and is about 10 miles east of Peoria.
November tornadoes seem out of place in Illinois. But weather statistics show they're not uncommon. Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel studied the years 1950 to 2010 and found nearly 70 tornadoes occurred in November. That's more than October or December.
But what made Sunday different was the outbreak that occurred.
"All our other outbreaks tend to happen in the springtime," Angel said. "So the ones in November tend to be single events, but this is by far the biggest number that we've seen in November."
The University Of Illinois Springfield continues to kick around the idea of a new school mascot. The Chancellor's office paid for a consultant whose suggestions include the Springers, Sabers, Mammoths and the Stampede. Aaron Mulvey is the president of the Student Government Association at UIS. He says some students are confused by the Prairie Star nickname and the mascot, a masked boy named Cozmo. Others say they just don't like either.
State officials say victims of yesterday's (Nov. 17) storms should take extra care in documenting their material losses. Illinois learned the hard way why that can be important.
About two years ago, seven people died in the tornadoes that rocked Harrisburg, in deep southern Illinois. And yet the state was denied a request for federal assistance. That meant home and business owners could not get federal loans, grants and other aide.
Nightsounds was originally chartered in 1987 as a locally produced radio program that showcased artists loosely affiliated with New Age music, which became quite popular with the ascension of such labels as Windham Hill, Optimism, Higher Octave and Narada Records; all studios which featured artists loosely affiliated with acoustic and electronic instrumental music that did not pigeon hole into jazz or even soft record categories.
Illinois took another step Friday toward allowing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The state has published draft rules on the controversial oil and gas extraction process, and it's looking for comments from the public.
Back in the spring, lawmakers touted Illinois' fracking law as the toughest in the country. It was the product of long negotiations between environmentalists and business groups.
The director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is to resign after a cancer diagnosis. Gov. Pat Quinn announced Friday afternoon that Richard Calica would leave the post. Calica's chief of staff
Denise Gonzales is to serve as the agency's acting director.
Calica has held the post since December 2011. He said in a statement that working for the agency has been ``the most exciting and rewarding time of my career in child welfare.''