War Magic is a local folk band that you probably haven't heart of. The group's been called "dream-folk" and "neo-folk" - and they've only played a handful of shows in town. Alistair Reynolds and Mark Reynolds recently joined us to talk about their project and share some of their unique music:
Some of the best Illinois has to offer will be on display this weekend in Springfield. It's the annual Illinois Products Expo at the Orr Building on the state fairgrounds. More than 70 companies will be represented.
Jennifer Tyree, Bureau Chief of Marketing and Promotions with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says it's a variety of offerings.
I used to live right on the busiest street in the world. Maybe, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it seemed pretty busy to me. Cars zoomed up and down the street, traveling around the world, and I wasn’t allowed to go past my block on my own, which now seems to be very logical, but at the time it seemed like the most ridiculous rule. On hot summer weeks when I was cooped up to my huge lawn and vast house, my sole escape was Snow Cone Tuesday.
The Illinois House took a key first step in the state budgeting process Tuesday.
It adopted what's called a "revenue estimate" — how much money Illinois is expected to be able to spend in the next fiscal year.
The cap, of $34.495 billion, is significant in several ways: It's about a billion less than last year's number, which means lawmakers are going to have extend the tax increase or find other sources of money, or they'll have to make a lot of cuts. On the other hand, it's not as bad as some people had feared.
Most teenagers spend more time on the internet chatting with friends than reading books - let alone poetry. However, the art form has seen a recent resurgence, and in some circles is even considered "hip." In Springfield, 14 area high school students recently competed in the regional version of the Poetry Out Loud contest to recite a wide variety of poems from memory.
I believe that Sneetches are Sneetches. This probably sounds ridiculous to most people, but it is a belief that has greatly affected my outlook on life. In the children’s story “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss there is a very important lesson about people and their differences. In this story, there are Sneetches that live on the beach (or the beaches, as Dr. Seuss would say). Some of these Sneetches were born with big stars on their bellies while others hadn’t anything on theirs.
Illinois regulators have given the FutureGen Alliance the go-ahead for a 30-mile carbon dioxide pipeline.
The State Journal-Register reports the pipeline would be buried at least four feet underground in northeast Morgan County. It'd be even deeper under farmland.
The $1.68 billion project will refit a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia in western Illinois. Authorities want to remove carbon dioxide from the coal and store it underground. The greenhouse gas is linked to climate change.
The Illinois Senate is considering limits on the ways law enforcement can use electronic tracking information. Both privacy advocates and police are in favor of the change.
With the popularity of GPS-enabled smart phones, many of us are constantly broadcasting our location. And Illinois law doesn't have much to say about how that information can and can't be used against us in court.
Privacy advocates want restrictions. And even law enforcement can be left guessing as to what's legal.
Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.
Rebuilding the barn would have cost about $20,000. Then there were the costs of renovating a silo and paying for hired help since Davidson’s children won’t be taking over the business. It made financial sense to close the dairy, and grow crops and build a herd of beef cattle instead.
Illinois, like many states, suffered financially during the recession. But an economist says Illinois was in a weaker position to deal with the challenge.
David Merriman is with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. The Institute has developed what's called the Illinois Budget Policy Toolbox. Merriman says it will provide information on the state's finances and analysis of proposals that come up during an election year.
It is July 31st. I am standing in an airport far away from here. I turn around for the last time and see my parents and three sisters waving goodbye with tears running down their faces. I have not cried a single tear today. I think the tears are all gone. I cried enough yesterday. I am way too excited to cry anyway. Today it is finally going to happen. I have been waiting for this moment for almost two years. I believe that this year is going to be worth it.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is ramping up his re-election campaign.
Quinn's campaign announced over the weekend the Chicago Democrat has hired Illinois native Bill Hyers to serve as chief strategist.
Hyers most recently managed Bill de Blasio's successful campaign for mayor of New York. In 2012 he managed President Barack Obama's Pennsylvania campaign operation. He was Midwest director for Obama in 2008.
Quinn is seeking his second full term. He faces a lesser-known opponent, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman of Hillside, in the March 18 primary.
Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to crack down on universities giving a certain type of interest-free loan to faculty. Except it doesn’t seem to be happening in Illinois.
State Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marnego, says the legislation is meant to prevent universities from abusing their tax-exempt status.
“What we found was that tax-exempt universities were giving interest-free … loans, and also forgiving loans, for second homes for professors, at a time when students are taking on excessive debt," Franks says.
The days of record high corn prices are gone, at least for now, and they’re only going to continue their decline, according to projections released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (PDF)
You can pin part of the blame on the 2012 drought, when corn hit an all-time high of $8.31 per bushel. The dry conditions made corn a limited commodity.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford spent nearly $27,000 in taxpayer money on an investigation into allegations of political coercion and sexual harassment against him.
The Republican candidate for governor revealed the cost of the report under the Freedom of Information Act. But his lawyers have refused to disclose results of the investigation into the former employee's charges.
Edmund Michalowski claimed in a federal lawsuit Feb. 10 that Rutherford
City officials in Decatur say they are releasing large quantities of water out of Lake Decatur that could lead to flooding and other problems along the Sangamon River.
The city said in a news release Friday that water flowing down the river and snowmelt have led to high water in the lake. Lake Decatur sits on the eastern edge of the central Illinois town. The lake is fed by the Sangamon River. The river then flows out of the lake and eventually winds its way west toward Springfield.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln has confirmed at least 7 tornadoes developed in central and east central Illinois during the late afternoon hours of February 20th. Two reports of the confirmed tornadoes were in Sangamon County. An NWS Lincoln damage assessment team is still out doing surveys on the other tornadoes.
One Illinois same-sex couple has gotten married after a judge ruled ruled gay couples in the Chicago area don't have to wait until June to marry.
Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe were married Friday afternoon in downtown Chicago. They have been together 22 years and have three children. Clerk David Orr said he would start offering the licenses Friday after the federal judge's ruling. It applies only to Cook County.
A judge waived the 24-hour waiting period for Santos and Volpe because they were plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
I believe in Saturday mornings with my mother. Waking up in the morning, the sun just barely peeking in through my curtains. Struggling into last night’s jeans, eyes still glued shut with sleep. Bad TV dramas while both of us avoid our homework in the winter, but in the summer we skip breakfast and take bumpy car rides. We walk hand in hand past a pockmarked brick road and a green bar door, down and over one block from a parking meter left unpaid. A skip over the train tracks and we are at the Farmers’ Market. A right turn for home-made bread rolls and our favorite salad guys.
A court case decided in Arizona Thursday could have implications for Illinois' ongoing legal battle over pensions. The decision (pdf), by the Arizona Supreme Court, struck down an attempt to reduce Arizona officials' retirement benefits.
State lawmakers are considering legislation to prevent smoking in cars with children. Though the measure is aimed at protecting passengers' health, the proposal is raising questions about personal privacy.
The measure would make it illegal to smoke in a car with a minor, but a police officer couldn't pull over drivers just for lighting up.
Even so, Kathy Drea, of the American Lung Association, says putting a law on the books sends a message to smokers.
Drea compares the proposal to other laws pertaining to vehicles.