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In July, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill calling for language that would create respectful references to people with disabilities throughout state law.

Illinois House floor
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Gov.Bruce Rauner declared victory Wednesday in a key battle against government labor unions and the Democratic Party.

AFSCME and other state employee unions have had a rough time in contract negotiations with the Rauner administration. So they backed legislation that would let an arbitrator decide the contract if the union and governor couldn't come to an agreement.

The governor vetoed that legislation, and Democrats in the House tried — and failed — to override him.

Rep. Lou Lang
Brian Mackey / WUIS

The Illinois House has overruled Governor Bruce Rauner over how to address heroin addiction in the state.

Lawmakers spent more than a year working on a big anti-heroin initiative. It passed with both Democratic and Republican support, but Rauner vetoed a provision to expand treatment for low-income addicts.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was among the bipartisan group of lawmakers who voted to overrule the governor's changes.

bucket
Dru! / flickr.com/druclimbs

Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon has written a paper on what's often regarded as one of the least important offices in Illinois politics. "A Warm Bucket of What? Assessing the Role of Lieutenant Governor in Illinois" was published by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

History buffs in Hancock County hope to increase awareness of six area cemeteries where more than two dozen relatives of Abraham Lincoln are buried.  

At least 29 relatives are buried at the Majorville, Webster, Calvary, LaHarpe, Giddings Mound and St. Simon cemeteries in Hancock County. Many of them are cousins of the nation's 16th president.  

http://www.infouas.com/la-policia-de-california-dispuesta-a-emplear-drones/
rosecityunderground.org

Pana, Illinois used to be known for its flowers . It was called the City of Roses , and at one point there were over 100 greenhouses there. Things have changed over the decades, though. In the city of 5,500 - about a third of people live below the poverty level. The town that was a mecca style for florists and had a bustling down-town has gone through the changes many small towns in the Midwest have seen - businesses have closed and drug-use has escalated.

Prometheus Books

Businesses strive to be more efficient.  Often, that comes at the expense of jobs.  But Peter Wenz sees a way all can benefit. 

In his book Functional Inefficiency, he examines how some of the most labor-intensive sectors also are inefficient.  But they employ people and, in turn, help the overall economy.

We talked more with the author, who is also a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A government labor union says it's “positive” the Illinois House will side with it over Gov. Bruce Rauner. A key vote on on whether to override Rauner's veto of a union-backed bill is expected Wednesday.

Univ. of Illinois

A former University of Illinois graduate student is suing the school's board of trustees and others, claiming administrators retaliated against her after she accused a visiting researcher of sexual harassment. 

IDVA

7 people have died from a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in western Illinois, the state announced Tuesday. 

The cases all involve residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.  The Department of Veteran's Affairs says all had underlying medical conditions.   

Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner
Illinois Public Broadcasting

The Governor filed  a police report on his predecessor over a military sketch display.    The bad blood between Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn continued past the election.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald about a state police investigation into a missing tribute to vets.

uillinois.edu

The University of Illinois is grappling with a requirement of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 2016.

Effective January 1st, the university will have to offer health insurance to ALL employees working 30 hours a week or more.  That will include some 23-hundred so-called contingent or temporary employees who don’t qualify for the healthcare that other state workers receive.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS / Illinois Issues

A credit analyst with Moody's says Illinois' bond rating will remain unchanged, despite the state entering its third month without a budget. But the chances of a downgrade increase the longer gridlock continues.

Illinois has the nations' lowest credit rating -- a grade that symbolizes its fiscal troubles, and adds to them; a lower score makes it costlier to borrow.

But the rating won't drop any further just yet.

Midwest Travel: Religion And History Meet In Nauvoo

Aug 31, 2015
Matt Turner/Flickr

A covered wagon pulled by a yoke of oxen appeared on the path in front of us. Nearby several young children walked by on stilts, a brass band tuned up for an outdoor concert and the Mississippi River rolled along, glittering in the sunshine. That’s when my husband and I knew that our visit to historic Nauvoo was a trip back in time.

Lisa Ryan

If you've been meaning to visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archeological site, or museum shops in Lockport and Chicago, you have one month left to do it.

Despite the U.S. being reliant on China for exports, many Americans have a hard time understanding what is taking place with the world's largest economy. 

We figured it was a good time to bring in Roy Wehrle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A key vote in the standoff between Gov. Bruce Rauner and labor is expected in the Illinois House this week, as early as Wednesday.

Rauner has been trying to convince legislators to let him keep his power to negotiate with the AFSCME union, even if it results in a lockout or strike (though Rauner has vowed he won't call for the former). At the same time, AFSCME leaders are asking state representatives to stick with them.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

  The Fraternal Order of Police is urging legislators to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto that could have major ramifications on state employees' next contract. The Republican's administration is negotiating a new contract with the AFSCME union, and both sides have said they're far from an agreement.

University of Illinois

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman one week before the start of the season, citing preliminary results of an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment and inappropriate behavior.  

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Friday that the timing is unfortunate, but ``it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released.'' He says that could happen during the season.  

This week, debate over whether Illinois municipalities should have the option to declare bankruptcy, mandatory state spending continues despite no agreement on a budget, and some odd numbers from this year's state fair.  The Chicago Tribune's Monique Garcia joins the panel.

peoriapublicradio

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will generate a lot of attention this week. But, 15 years earlier another storm directly affected Northeast Illinois. This Friday will be 25 years since the Plainfield tornado that killed 29 people and devastated the Will County community. College of DuPage Meteorology 
professor Paul Sirvatka still studies the storm.

Bud Worley

The following interview aired Aug. 20, and provides background and context for our series, Black & White.

I’m Sean Crawford, I’m the News Director here at WUIS, and our Education Desk reporter, Dusty Rhodes, has spent much of her time this summer researching racial disparity in school discipline. Starting next week, we’ll be airing a series of reports -- it begins on Monday. I asked Dusty to give us a preview of what we’ll hear.

So what got you interested in this topic?

legionellaprevent.com

Illinois authorities say eight residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy have confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease.  

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the cases Thursday, adding that there have been no known deaths related to the outbreak.  

The agencies say test results are currently pending for other residents.  
 They say they're working closely with the Adams County Health Department to identify and mitigate possible sources of the Legionella bacteria.  

All it takes is four simple notes and a snap of the fingers to bring to mind the vision of the Addams family. The family was created as the opposite of the American ideal, with their obsession of all things weird and morbid. And yet, they are a lovable group of weirdos. The family is honored as the stars of a modern musical, and it's being performed at The Hoogland in Springfield. It opens on Friday and runs next weekend too. (More info here.)

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

The mother gazed lovingly at her 17-year old son, lamenting that he would be leaving for college in a year.  Fast forward 12 months and she could hardly wait to see him gone. It seems her son’s done a good job of getting his mom ready for him to leave home.

The separation of young adults and their parents is a major shift in the life of a family.  Kids and parents share their home and daily lives for nearly a score of years, and then suddenly, children uproot themselves to head out to new places for college or career.

A marijuana advocacy group is urging Illinois lawmakers to accept Governor Bruce Rauner's changes to a marijuana decriminalization plan. 

handshake
www.flazingo.com

Columnist Charlie Wheeler proposes a way out of the current stalemate in state government.

 A last-minute appointment former Governor Pat Quinn made after losing last year's election has spurred a new law.

Lou Bertuca was a political operative, a key player in Quinn's ultimately failed campaign.

Shortly before Quinn left the governor's mansion, he helped make sure Bertuca had his next job locked up.

Quinn appointed Bertuca, then 30 years old, to a multi-year contract with an annual salary of $160,000 as CEO of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

courtesy of Gus Gordon

Join us for this week's version of The Scene - we'll talk with the head of The Hoogland Center for the Arts, Gus Gordan. And he'll be joined by Julie Staley (Morticia) and Vanessa Ferguson (Grandma) who are in the cast of The Addams Family musical, which opens on Friday and runs through next weekend. (More info/tickets here.)

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Other events discussed this week included:

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