News

Illinoisroute66.org

Tim and Bill chat about a big Route 66 memorabilia auction this weekend & a car dealership next to White Oaks Mall.

Commonwealth Edison's CEO says the utility is continuing to push for changes that failed to win legislative approval in the spring.

Throughout the cropland of the Midwest, farmers use chemicals on their fields to nourish the plants and the soil. But excess nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients can wash off the fields and into streams, rivers and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

New tools can help farmers monitor their soil and water so they can become part of the solution to this widespread problem.

ArtsAlliance.org

Hundreds of artists and administrators met last week to discuss the state of the arts in Illinois.

Politics dominated the discussion, with a focus on ever-shrinking budgets for many arts groups, including the Illinois Arts Council Agency - the state department that oversees government spending on the arts.
Funding for the council has diminished from about $20 million dollars in 2007 to less than $9 million in 2012.

Ra Joy heads Arts Alliance Illinois - the state's largest such advocacy and membership group:

Illinois has surpassed the 90-day mark of going without a budget. The governor on Friday signaled that number will keep rising.

Illinois' budget impasse means public universities have gone three months without any state funding. The State Museum has closed. Therapists that worked with disabled infants quit, because they weren't getting paid. The Secretary of State's office isn't going to mail out reminders about expiring license plate registration, because it can't afford the postage.

Lisa Ryan

As Illinois enters a second quarter without a budget in place, Gov. Bruce Rauner put the blame on legislators.  He made the remark Friday after a manufacturing event in Effingham.

Rauner, a Republican, says his administration will keep essential services going as the impasse continues, and warned that it could last awhile longer.

Illinois government continues limping through its partial shutdown.  This week, the Illinois State Museum was shuttered, the secretary of state announced he won’t be reminding you when to renew your license plates, and at least one state facility has had the water shut off.  Could a revolt among rank-and-file legislators break the stalemate?  Brian Mackey talks about that and more with Amanda Vinicky, Jamey Dunn of Illinois Issues, and Natasha Korecki of the Politico Illinois Playbook.

Sean Burns spoke to Dave Alvin from the road about his and brother Phil's new record, their musical influences and their upcoming appearance in Springfield as part of the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Illinois students may have more schools to choose from in the near future.

AlastairWillis.com

UIS Ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis talks with Alastair Willis, Conductor and Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. 

They discuss the upcoming season and this weekend's concert - "Resounding Russians" - performances of Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, Prokofiev's vibrant Third Piano Concerto featuring world-renowned piano virtuoso Alexander Toradze, and Tchaikovsky's fateful Symphony No. 4.

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.  

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