News

Illinois Lottery

With Illinois Lottery suing the state over unpaid prizes, Democrats in the Illinois Senate have a plan to address the problem. 

Amanda Vinicky

The U.S. Supreme Court will not get the last word on Illinois’ attempts to cut government pension costs; a 2013 pension law is dead, for good. There'd been a slim possibility the law would have another big day in court.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois' unpaid bills backlog could potentially jump past $8 billion by next year without a state budget. 

It's that time again. Can you believe it!? Well you better... Because it is... Here we go:  

flickr

Illinois’ lack of budget is threatening rape crisis services,  program that helps women get screened for cervical cancer and the public health network. Senators meeting at the capitol Wednesday heard details of these and other woes. 

There's been a mumps outbreak at the University of Illinois, and measles are back, too.

“The reemergence of STDs – HIV.  The globalization of travel certainly puts these once-thought eradicated diseases back on our doorstep," says administrator of McLean County’s health department Walter Howe. 

WUIS/Rachel Otwell

Marriage for same-sex couples is now the law of the land. While it took effect in Illinois in 2014, the United States Supreme Court made it available across the country earlier this year. So what's next in the push for rights in the LGBT community? That's a question I posed at a recent conference in Springfield:

Farmers and agriculture officials are gearing up for another round of bird flu this fall, an outbreak they fear could be worse than the devastating spring crisis that hit turkeys and egg-laying hens in the Midwest, wiped out entire farms and sent egg prices sky-high.

The potential target of the highly pathogenic avian flu this fall could be broilers, or meat chickens, as the outbreaks have been triggered and carried by wild birds, which will be flying south in great numbers this fall through several U.S. flyways.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Just under 2 million people a year are fed by food banks in Illinois, according to the 2015 report of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, which released its annual analysis last week.

Andrew Conneen

 

There's good news for high school students taking advanced placement courses: Thanks to a new law, they'll get more credit for passing AP tests than before.

Back in June of this year - a young white man walked into an historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a fixture in the local civil rights movement there. The man proceeded to take part in a bible study, and then shoot 9 people dead.  The event has added to the national dialogue concerning race and violence in this country. 

uis.edu

University of Illinois-Springfield fall enrollment numbers have been released.

SJ-R

State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis talks with us about the planned closures of a longtime tavern and a comedy club.   And we hear about changes coming to the MacArthur Park Apartments:

Illinois Times

If you are into power trips, you can’t find a better place than central Iowa.

IDOT

Illinois' transportation chief has delivered a tough review of the state's capacity to solve problems, saying it's planning ``for yesterday's transportation system.''  

Randy Blankenhorn has served as the secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation for seven months.  

He gave a speech in Chicago Wednesday that cited traffic congestion and sluggish movement of freight as examples of Illinois being too focused on the condition of state roads and bridges. He said the state is failing to look at the bigger picture.  

US CPSC/flickr

A new law will require schools to install carbon monoxide detectors.  The law stems from an incident last year. 

About 150 students and staff became ill at the North Mac Intermediate School in Girard..  Turns out it was a problem with the heating system.  A faulty exhaust pipe.  

A carbon monoxide detector would have alerted those in the building.   While the detectors are required for many structures, schools were left out.  

Despite House Speaker Michael Madigan's confidence that Democrats had enough votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of union contract arbitration legislation, he was one vote short.  The Governor and legislative leaders apparently haven't met in weeks and Illinois is no closer to any kind of agreement on a budget.  Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is talking about raising property taxes.  Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz joins the panel.

City of Springfield

News release from City of Springfield issued Friday 9/4/15:

Springfield, Illinois – Mayor Jim Langfelder announced today Robert “Barry” Helmerichs as the new Chief for the Springfield Fire Department.

Helmerichs joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1991 and served as a firefighter, driver-engineer, captain, deputy chief of technical services, and division chief in addition to serving as a faculty member with the fire science program at Lincoln Land Community College.  He was appointed Fire Chief in 2010 under then-Mayor Tim Davlin.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / WUIS

You might think that with the state of Illinois’ finances in flames, the top legislative leaders would be in constant meetings with the governor. You might think they were working around the clock to hammer out a compromise. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil

Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a new commander of the Illinois Air National Guard.  

Brig. Gen. Ronald E. Paul of Springfield will serve as assistant adjutant general upon the retirement of Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro.

The post commands about 3,000 members of the Air National Guard under Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Hayes.  

Rauner says Paul has led airmen for 27 years in operations around the world. He says he has shown leadership ability and skill in building partnerships.  

Illinois State Musem

It's been a contentious topic whether or not to close the Illinois State Museum. The governor has called for closing all the facilities in the state's museum system as a way to save money for a state budget that's very much in the red.

Meanwhile, many say that plan is short-sighted. The museum houses a variety of objects and artifacts that tell the story of our state. It also contains an expanse of fine art that has been donated over the years.

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

As a young professional, I taught kindergarten during the time when the phrase "school readiness" came into being.  Educators enthusiastically jumped on the bandwagon of giving kids a good school start.

While I appreciate the thinking behind such a concept, I have to admit that it always makes me somewhat uncomfortable.  It implies that the purpose of the years prior to kindergarten is simply to enable children to succeed in our educational system. It feels somehow egocentric, limited in scope, and even wrong.

Stateline, a news service from the Pew Charitable Trusts, has an interesting interview with outgoing Illinois Auditor General William Holland. 

http://dumbrecords.tumblr.com

This week, The Scene decided to get out on the scene. We hit up Dumb Records (1107 S. Grand Ave.) Scott Faingold and I have been working on an audio-doc about Black Sheep as it gears up for its 10-year anniversary later this month. Dumb is an example of one of the efforts that has spawned from a culture of youth who love music, and have created an environment to make it thrive.

Photograph by Yoshiko Dart / Access Living

Twenty-five years after the landmark federal law, people with disabilities in Illinois still have trouble getting hired.

Access Living

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/

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