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UIS Events
4:49 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

UIS Hosts 36th International Fest Friday

Springfield-area residents have a chance to get a taste of all things international on Friday. UIS hosts its annual International Festival with food, booths from area groups, entertainment and more. Erica Suzuki and Sarah Jome with UIS's International Student Services joined us for this interview about it: 

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Health Desk
4:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Food Allergy Awareness Law

President Barack Obama has signed legislation giving financial incentives to states to stockpile emergency medications in schools that could save lives in the cases of allergic reactions.  
The deaths of two girls in Illinois and Virginia from severe food allergies helped spur efforts to get schools to stockpile epinephrine.  

Epinephrine is considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. The medication is administered by injection through preloaded EpiPens.  
The measure was co-sponsored by Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.  

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Higher Education
3:56 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Tenured Professor Removed At U Of I

Louis Wozniak
Credit University of Illinois

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees dismissed an engineering professor who had a 50-year career at the state's flagship school Thursday.  Administrators say it's the first time a tenure decision went to the board. 

Louis Wozniak was charged with harassing a student, improperly obtaining and publishing grades and sending an email to students that included a sexual reference. He apologized for that email the next day, though has claimed he did nothing wrong.

Wozniak was suspended with pay from his $85,000-a-year job in 2010 after the email. 

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Lincoln
2:38 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Newspaper Apologizes For Negative Review Of Gettysburg Address

Credit npr

A Pennsylvania newspaper says it's sorry it didn't recognize the greatness of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 150 years ago.  

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg on Thursday retracted a dismissive editorial penned by its Civil War-era predecessor, The Harrisburg Patriot & Union.  
The president's speech is now considered a triumph of American oratory. But the retraction notes the newspaper's November 1863 coverage said it amounted to ``silly remarks'' that deserved a ``veil of oblivion.''  

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Church and State
10:32 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Bishop To Hold 'Prayers of Exorcism' On Same-Sex Marriage

Bishop Thomas Paprocki
Credit Springfield Diocese

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield plans a special prayer service the day same-sex marriage is to be signed into law. He says it's "scandalous" that so many Catholic politicians supported the legislation.

Gov. Pat Quinn is planning a big public ceremony to sign the same-sex marriage bill next Wednesday (Nov. 20) in Chicago.

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Election 2014
9:48 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Candidates Still Staking Out Positions On Same-Sex Marriage

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford spoke with reporters Nov. 13, 2013, in the Press Room of the Illinois Capitol.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Although same-sex marriage will soon be law in Illinois, the issue could remain a factor in the 2014 elections.

For most Democrats — especially those in and around Chicago — same-sex marriage is a winning political issue with core voters.

It's a lot tricker for Republicans. A majority of conservatives are opposed to legal same-sex marriage, but in a Democratic-leaning state like Illinois, Republicans need to win votes from independents, too.

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Juvenile Justice
9:18 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Illinois Considering Independent Monitor For Youth Prisons

The Illinois General Assembly is weighing the creation of a "juvenile ombudsman," an independent official who can keep an eye on the state's juvenile prisons.

The push for an ombudsman comes in the wake of a report that ranks Illinois' juvenile prisons among the worst in the country for sexual abuse.

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Prison Closures
9:10 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Illinois Needs Comprehensive Plan For Facilities: Rutherford

Credit flickr/katerha

A Republican candidate for governor is once again calling for Illinois to change the way it manages major facilities, like prisons and developmental centers. That includes how the state closes such facilities.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says past attempts to close prisons and other big state institutions have been haphazard. He says this has been going on for years, back at least to the administrations of former governors Ryan and Blagojevich. But it's still happening, as with this year's closure of the women's prison in Dwight.

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Lincoln
8:45 am
Thu November 14, 2013

ALPLM Hosts Gettysburg Address Events

150 years ago next week, Abraham Lincoln delivered a 272 word speech that has become known as one of the greatest in history.  Tuesday, November 19, marks the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. 

On Monday, the day before, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will host events to honor the occasion. 

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Business
8:44 am
Thu November 14, 2013

IDNR: Fracking At Least A Year Away In Illinois

Credit WSIU

Illinois environmental officials say it will be at least a year until the start of hydraulic fracturing in the state.  
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1aG4YUf ) new state regulations for the practice are nearly complete.  

That's according to Marc Miller, the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  
But Miller says it will take months before permits are issued. That's because the state still needs to hold public hearings and collect comments.  

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Statehouse
4:45 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Lawmakers Told To Save The Date For Return To Capitol

A top aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan is telling Illinois lawmakers to be ready for a special session in Springfield in December.
 
Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes told Democrats in an email Wednesday that a ``possible'' session could begin Dec. 3. He told lawmakers to ``keep other days that week available.''  

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Statehouse
10:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Hawaii Jumps Ahead Of Illinois On Same Sex Marriage

Credit flickr/merfam

When lawmakers voted this month to approve gay marriage in Illinois, the state was set to become the 15th in the nation to legalize same-sex weddings.
 
Now Illinois may become the 16th state.
 
That's because Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign legislation
Wednesday legalizing gay marriage in that state. Same-sex marriages are set to
begin in the island state on Dec. 2.
 
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has said he'll sign his state's measure during a
special ceremony in Chicago on Nov. 20.  Gay marriages will begin in Illinois in

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Regional
9:34 am
Wed November 13, 2013

It's National Community Foundation Week

The week spotlights these groups that help connect philanthropists with various causes.  Locally, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln manages 126 funds with a total of $17 million in assets. 

John Stremsterfer, President and CEO, and Stacy Reed, Vice President of Programs, joined WUIS' Sean Crawford on Illinois Edition to talk more about the organization. 

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Election 2014
7:10 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Interview: Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon

Credit illinois.gov

Sheila Simon will wrap up her term as Lieutenant Governor in just over a year.   The Democrat and daughter of late U.S. Senator Paul Simon is taking on another challenge.  She's running for Illinois Comptroller. That means Simon faces incumbent Republican Judy Baar Topinka.  The attacks are already underway. 

Topinka questions Simon's interest in the job, saying she only chose to run for this office after earlier plans to try for Attorney General were scuttled when Lisa Madigan chose to stay put.

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Statehouse
6:37 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Prosecutors respond to Blagojevich Appeal

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich mug shot.
Credit wikipedia.org

Prosecutors have filed a response to Rod Blagojevich's corruption conviction appeal.  

The 169-page government filing submitted late Tuesday urges the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the imprisoned former governor's request for a new trial.  

Defense lawyers filed the appeal on the Illinois Democrat's behalf in July. It asks the Chicago-based appellate court to toss his convictions or at least reduce his 14-year prison sentence.  

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Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Illinois Pumpkins On Thanksgiving Tables

John Ackerman's family farm, just east of Morton, Ill.
Peter Gray/WUIS

This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.

Pumpkin patches are popular destinations for families seeking fall fun, and you’ll find roadside farm stands all over the country. But this is big business in Illinois, where farmers feed canning factories hungry for a special kind of pumpkin that looks nothing like those you see on Halloween.

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State Museum Science Series
8:39 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Did A Flood Finish Off The Prehistoric City Of Cahokia?

Credit flickr/emilydickinsonridesabmx

Cahokia Mounds in the metro east area was the site of a large and sophisticated Native American city a thousand years ago.  There's a lot of research being done there and Wednesday night you can hear more about it. 

The Illinois State Museum's Science Series lecture features Bill Iseminger, an assistant Site Manager at Cahokia mounds.  

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Election 2014
5:45 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Paul Vallas Says He's Fine With Lt. Gov. Role

Credit pbs

Former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas says he'll have no trouble playing ``second fiddle'' to Gov. Pat Quinn as his 2014 running mate.  

Vallas and Quinn appeared together Tuesday for the first time since the governor announced last week that Vallas was his pick for lieutenant governor.  
Vallas sought the 2002 Democratic nomination for Illinois governor but lost to now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  

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Statehouse
5:44 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Schock Blames Insurance Mandates For Premium Hikes

Congressman Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, gathered at an auto body shop in Springfield with businessmen and women upset about their health insurance premiums rising, which they blame on the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  After Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act did not work, Congressman Aaron Schock says lawmakers need to lift requirements on insurance policies. Today (Nov. 11) he toured his district, in an attempt to prove his point.

Congressman Aaron Schock, R - Peoria, says the Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health insurance more affordable, "and yet millions of Americans are seeing their health insurance do exactly the opposite -- and that is to go up."

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Innocence Project
11:49 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Woman Once Convicted Of Causing Shaken Baby Syndrome Visits UIS

Audrey Edmunds' case is one of the first of its kind taken on by the Innocence Project. Shaken Baby Syndrome affects infants who have been abused, though they often show no external injuries. Medical experts are becoming increasingly wary of the diagnosis - and some say thousands of cases have been misdiagnosed.

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Business
10:21 am
Tue November 12, 2013

WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Nov. 12, 2013

Credit SJ-R.com

WUIS' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis about major road projects in the Springfield area, Illinois' stake in ethanol amid questions about it's environmental impact and the fitness boom continues with the opening of another new fitness center in the capital city.

You can also read the latest stories Tim is working on at SJ-R.com

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Statehouse
7:54 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Kirk Won't Endorse In GOP Governor Primary

Mark Kirk at Ill. State Fair
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

(AP)-Republican Sen. Mark Kirk says he won't endorse any candidate in Illinois' GOP gubernatorial primary.  
However, Kirk gave some advice. He contends the only way Republicans will take control of the governor's mansion is to be moderate on social issues.  

Kirk said that includes accepting same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois. Kirk said he backs same-sex marriage and applauds the General Assembly for making it legal last week.  
Kirk made the assertion Monday, following a Veterans Day ceremony at Buffalo Grove High School outside Chicago.  

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Pension Plan Awaits Gov. Action
6:26 am
Tue November 12, 2013

A Possible Pension Legal Test

House Speaker Michael Madigan talks with reporters about pension prospects in May, at the end of the spring legislative session -- as the year nears an end, the General Assembly has yet to pass an overhaul of the state's retirement systems. A recent measure approved to cut a local pension system's costs could be a legal test case, though. It could also be a framework for Chicago's other underfunded retirement funds.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  Another legislative session has gone by without a solution in place to bring down the amount Illinois owes the state's retirement systems. Given the clamoring from the governor, business leaders and credit rating agencies for lawmakers to do something about it, legislators mentioned relatively little about pensions before adjourning from their fall veto session last week ... which may well be a sign that something is afoot; there's talk of legislators returning before the year's end to deal with pensions.

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Local Government
5:54 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Sheriffs Win Round In Court Over Salaries

Credit wikimedia commons

An Illinois appellate court has ruled for county sheriffs who seek to restore salary cuts imposed by state lawmakers.  

The Quad City Times reports (http://bit.ly/1eFaJcq) the 5th District Appellate Court overturned a Franklin County judge's dismissal of a complaint that Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly failed to budget the full amount of a state stipend.  

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Pensions
3:22 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Legislative Leaders Take The Reins On Pensions

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, of Lemont, says the General Assembly's two top Democrats and Republicans are meeting on pensions; she says it's easier to reach a consensus with fewer people at the table.
Credit ILGA.gov

 Overhauling Illinois' pension systems is no longer in the hands of the special committee of legislators that met all summer. How to reduce the state’s $100 billion of long-term pension debt is now in the hands of the General Assembly's four leaders.

All summer long, state employees and retirees concerned about their retirement benefits had their eyes on a bipartisan conference committee, but insiders say even the key panel members are no longer part of discussions.

The General Assembly's four leaders (who are really always in charge) are taking the reins.

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Harvest Desk
2:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Higher Beef Prices: Good For Producers; May Be Tough On Consumers

These cattle on Jeff Longnecker's farm in Story County, Iowa, are part of a herd he's hoping to grow.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Once again, the prognosticators are saying beef prices are on the rise. We’ve seen this before—last year, the drought and high feed prices were being blamed.

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Harvest Desk
10:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Report: Rural Illinois Continues Losing Jobs, Population

Credit USDA

Data collected between 2010 and 2012 indicate Illinois' nonmetro areas had the second highest losses of jobs in the nation.

The state of Arizona also saw a 1.8 percent decline in rural employment over the past two years, while losses were especially large in Arkansas - down 4.1 percent.  

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10:39 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Lead in text: 
WUIS Veteran's Day special airs at noon and 7 p.m.
Episode #1440 American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial This is the monument that changed how America remembers war. " This enormous veteran practically verbally pinned me at the apex and was just yelling at the top of his lungs ... and all I could think of is, it was working.
State Week
8:45 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Listen To State Week - November 8, 2013

Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

This week’s House debate on same-sex marriage & Governor Quinn selects Paul Vallas as his running mate. 

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Election 2014
6:19 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Paul Vallas: A Democrat ... Who Was A Republican?

Paul Vallas
Credit Bridgeport Public Schools (bridgeportedu.com)

Governor Pat Quinn has finally named his running mate. It's a once-notable Illinois politician who's been out-of-state for the past decade.

It was widely assumed that Quinn, like his Republican opponents, would choose a woman, a minority, or someone from downstate - to be his candidate for lieutenant governor. Conventional, political wisdom says that would have been his ticket to winning over a new voting bloc.

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