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Lincoln
9:39 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Lincoln Tomb To Close For Repairs

Abraham Lincoln's final resting place will be off limits to visitors for a few months as repairs are made. 
The Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield houses the former President, his wife and three of their four children.  

The state is investing more than 600 thousand dollars to restore interior finishes that have deteriorated over the years.  That includes plaster molding, paint, wall panels and plaques.  

The project will begin December first and won't be complete until early March.  The tomb will be closed to the public during that time.  

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No Father/Son Prison Visit Yet
5:44 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Rev. Jesse Jackson On Junior

Though he was originally in Springfield to give the General Assembly's customary daily prayer, Rev. Jesse Jackson became part of an effort by African American legislators to denounce legislation that would require a mandatory minimum prison sentence for certain gun crimes.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he has not visited since his son reported to federal prison late last month.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is serving two-and-a-half years in a North Carolina penitentiary. He was convicted of corruption for spending $750,000 of his campaign fund on personal spoils.

"Well his health has been recovering and that has been, as father, the most important thing to me. He has been diligent in doing his work. And I have nothing further to say about that," Rev. Jackson said at the Capitol Thursday (11/7).

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Statehouse
5:43 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Governor To Sign Same Sex Marriage Measure Nov. 20

Credit flickr/fibonacci blue

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's planning to sign same-sex marriage legislation on Nov. 20 in Chicago.  
The governor announced Thursday that he will sign the bill at the University of Illinois at Chicago in a 3:30 p.m. ceremony. The Legislature passed the measure Tuesday.  

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Veto Session Wrap-Up
3:26 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Legislators Leave Capital, But They May Be Back

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois legislators wrapped up their two-week veto session this afternoon (Nov. 7), though they may be back in Springfield before the year's end.

The General Assembly knocked one, big item off its to-do list: same-sex marriage. After intense lobbying on both sides, lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor a measure that will allow gays and lesbians to marry.

The rest of the major issues on the General Assembly's agenda remain:

-a tax package crafted to ensure Archer Daniels Midland keeps its headquarters in Illinois is on hold

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Statehouse
2:44 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Lawmaker Says Son Would Be Proud Of Same Sex Marriage Vote

Rep. Naomi Jakobsson
Credit housedem.state.il.us

An Urbana lawmaker says her late son would be proud that she returned to the Capitol to vote for same-sex marriage in his last hours.   Garret Jakobsson, the 46-year-old son of Democratic state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, died Tuesday evening after suffering from Pick's Disease. He had been in hospice care.  
 

Jakobsson rushed back to Springfield Tuesday afternoon to vote for the same-sex marriage bill, which she had co-sponsored. It ultimately passed the House with one vote to spare.  
 

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DEMO Project Gallery
12:11 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

DEMO Gallery Hosts Installation That 'Branches Out'

Benjamin Gardner has a fitting last name. The Illinois native, Iowa art professor, and abstract artist is also an urban gardener who draws inspiration for his work from the natural world. On Friday, The DEMO Project gallery in Springfield (1732 N. 4th St.) will welcome Gardner for an opening and reception of his installation, Evensong 15 (caudex). Gardner recently joined us to talk about his work and inspirations:

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The Takeaway
9:53 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Advice for Returning Vets?

The Takeaway is teaming up with the Center for Investigative Reporting to collect advice from veterans, for veterans, and by veterans.

We want to hear from you: veterans, what advice do you have for those who have recently returned? What advice do you wish you’d been given after your service?

We also want to hear from vets who have recently returned: what questions do you have? What advice are you seeking?

Give us a call at 877-8-MY-TAKE or tweet us at @TheTakeaway using the hashtag #vetadvice.

Statehouse
8:52 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Tax Breaks For ADM, Office Depot Advancing in Senate

A Senate panel has approved legislation that would give tax incentives to two of Illinois biggest corporations — Office Depot and Archer Daniels Midland.

ADM says it's moving its head office from Decatur to a larger city.

Chicago is thought to top the list of alternatives, but the company has also checked out Minneapolis and Atlanta. That said, ADM executive Gregory Webb told senators the company would prefer to stay in Illinois.

"We have 17,000 North American employees, and 4,500 of them are in Decatur. So Illinois is a preference," Webb said.

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Regional
7:44 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Lipinski Wants Quarry Blast Investigated

Rep. Dan Lipinski

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski has asked for a federal investigation into a quarry blast this week in suburban Chicago.
 

Lipinski has asked the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to investigate the blast. It happened Monday at a company in McCook.  

The congressman says he was in his Western Springs kitchen when his house shook for five seconds.  
Lipinski says he wants to know if any laws or regulations were violated.  

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Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

DREAMing Beyond The Slaughterhouse

Binh Hua (left) and My Nguyen, both 18, work in the Garden City Community College chemistry lab. The two best friends graduated from high school in three years and after community college, plan to go on to universities.
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.

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Veto Session
4:52 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Plan To Hasten Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

Sponsors of the same-sex marriage bill - Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake), Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy ( (D-Chicago) - approved by the General Assembly on Tuesday hand-deliver it to Gov. Pat Quinn (far left) in his ceremonial office at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  Gay and lesbian couples may not have to wait until June to marry in Illinois. A lawmaker is moving to accelerate when same-sex marriage becomes legal.

Already, same-sex couples are hurrying to take advantage of the marriage legislation approved on Tuesday. That very night, Rep. Sam Yingling, a Lake County Democrat who's openly gay, got engaged. "Well, we don't have a date yet, but I will certainly let you know when we do," he said.

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Statehouse
2:14 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Madigan: Pensions Could Bring Lawmakers Back To Town

Michael Madigan

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's prepared to pass a ``meaningful'' pension reform bill, and he hopes it will happen before the end of the year.  

The Chicago Democrat says legislative leaders are waiting for actuaries to crunch numbers on some proposals they're considering. Once they have the information he hopes lawmakers can return to Springfield and approve a bill.  

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Statehouse
1:32 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Springfield's William Cellini Out of Prison

William Cellini
Credit WBEZ

Politically connected Illinois businessman William Cellini  has been released from federal prison.  
A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says the Republican insider snagged in the corruption scandal involving former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was released from the federal lockup in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 31. 

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Gay Legislator Proposes
12:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Governor: Will Sign Same-Sex Marriage "Pretty Soon"

The same-sex marriage legislation approved yesterday, Nov. 5, by the Illinois General Assembly will become law by the end of the month.

Gov. Pat Quinn hosted a party last night at the executive mansion in Springfield to celebrate. The festivities morphed into an engagement party when one of a handful of openly gay legislators, Rep. Sam Yingling, D - Grayslake, proposed to his partner.

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Tax Credits
6:46 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Legislators Set To Give Tax Breaks ... But Not Yet, ADM

Director of Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity testifies at the House revenue committee about tax incentive options offered to companies looking to locate to Illinois, or threatening to leave the state.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  State legislators are advancing a measure that attempts to lure chemical plant jobs to Illinois, but broader plans to offer companies like ADM incentives are not ready just yet. 

Archer Daniels Midland is the highest-profile case of a company looking for a tax break from the state, in exchange for creating jobs. In ADM's case, the company is looking to move its global headquarters from Decatur to ... maybe Chicago, maybe a city in another state.

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Harvest Desk
6:38 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Garden City: Tending To A Cultural Crossroads In Kansas

Sister Janice Thome at a local Garden City school. Thome teaches several classes, including a teen parenting class at the Garden City alternative high school.
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Thome puts 125,000 miles a year on this car, picking up boxes from the food pantry, finding a mattress for a newcomer, delivering a sick soul to a doctor’s appointment. All the while, she fields emergency calls on her flip phone, responding to her mission to serve the poor of Garden City, out on the plains of southwest Kansas.

This day, Thome is teaching her teen parenting class at the alternative high school.

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Statehouse
1:38 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Marriage Debate Hinges On 'Freedom'

Gov. Pat Quinn was on the floor of the Illinois House for the debate on same-sex marriage. The Chicago Democrat says he'll sign the marriage legislation.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Same-sex marriage will soon be legal in Illinois. The House narrowly approved legislation Tuesday, and Governor Pat Quinn says he'll sign it into law.

The vote came after months of intense lobbying, in which both sides claimed they were fighting for individual freedom.

It's been a busy year for people who care about same-sex marriage in Illinois. Supporters had an early victory on Valentine's Day, when the state Senate approved what backers call "marriage equality" legislation.

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Statehouse
6:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Obama Applauds Illinois Legislature

Credit BarackObama.com

President Barack Obama is praising the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in his home state of Illinois.   Obama, who served in the Illinois state Senate, released a statement saying he
was ``overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois.''
 
The president is commending members of the Legislature for approaching the
issue in an ``open and fair way.'' He says the nation's journey is not complete
until gay men and women are treated equally under the law.
 
Same-sex marriage legislation passed the state House on Tuesday, nearly nine

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Statehouse
5:17 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Cross, 2 Other Republicans Help Pass Same Sex Marriage In House

Rep. Tom Cross
Credit ilga.gov

Former House minority leader Tom Cross is among three House Republicans who voted in favor of legislation allowing same-sex marriage in Illinois.  

The Oswego Republican hadn't indicated how he'd vote prior to Tuesday when the House approved the bill 61-54. He currently is seeking higher office with a run for Illinois treasurer.  

He says in a statement he consulted several people before his decision, including his retired minister father. He says supporting same-sex marriage is consistent with his belief in individual freedom, equality and limited government.  

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Statehouse
3:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Lawmakers Send Same Sex Marriage Measure To Governor

Illinois is set to become the 15th state and largest in the heartland to allow same-sex couples to marry.  
State senators approved technical changes Tuesday to a measure legalizing gay weddings, shortly after a historic favorable vote in the state House. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he'll sign it into law.  
Illinois will start allowing same-sex marriages next summer.  
Fourteen states plus Washington D.C., currently allow same-sex marriage.  

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District 186
2:09 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Students Lacking Immunizations Out Of School For 3 Weeks & Counting

About five hundred Springfield students were forced out of the public schools last month for failing to have required physicals and immunizations. The number has since dropped to 87 kids missing classes. The deadline was October 15th. School board member Mike Zimmers says the policy should be changed for next year to have the deadline before school gets underway.

"Parents just need to plan, you know when they start thinking about ... we need to get school clothes or school supplies -- in your mindset just think, we need to get physicals, we need to get shots,” said Zimmers.

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Statehouse
9:32 am
Tue November 5, 2013

State's Mayors Want Pension Overhaul

Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg
Credit Loves Park City Website

The new head of the Illinois Municipal League wants lawmakers to remain committed to a pension overhaul. Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg was recently named president of the organization. Lindberg says the group has not put its support behind any one plan, but is paying attention to work being done by the bipartisan pension panel.

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Harvest Desk
6:40 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Noel, Mo.: Schools Build Safety Net For Immigrant Children

At the primary school in rural Noel, Mo., teachers and staff function as educators about as often as they do de facto social workers.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Noel, MO - It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

One student in a bright blue T-shirt – 9-year-old Isac Martinez – has not yet picked up his pencil. He’s clearly sick. When McPherson asks him what’s wrong, Isac’s small voice is barely audible in between coughs. He says he threw up four times last night but did not go to a doctor.

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Statehouse
6:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Activists Pushing For Graduated Income Tax

A group of activists are working to end Illinois' flat income tax. They say they've gathered more than 150-thousand signatures so far, and are making their case to Illinois lawmakers.

Income in Illinois is taxed at a uniform five percent, whether you're working at a drive-thru window or you're the CEO of a multi-national corporation.

The people pushing what they call a "fair tax" would have wealthy people pay more, while middle- and lower-income people would pay less. That's already how federal income taxes work.

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Statehouse
4:56 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Opposing Views Of Same Sex Marriage

Some of the volunteers making calls during the Macomb phone bank in support of same-sex marriage.
Credit Rich Egger

Whether or not House lawmakers in Illinois vote on same sex marriage this week, those on differing sides of the issue have been working to make their case.

Supporters

The group Illinois Unites for Marriage has organized phone banks to target state representatives who’ve not made up their mind or who have not announced how they will vote.

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Regional
3:39 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Shaking Was Quarry Blast, Not An Earthquake

Credit USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey says the shaking with a measured magnitude 3.2 in northern Illinois was a blast and not an earthquake.  

USGS geophysicist Don Blakeman also says it appears Monday afternoon's blast came from within a rock quarry but that the exact location of the blast had not yet been determined. He says that all indications so far leads experts to believe that the blast came from the quarry. That includes that the epicenter is in an area close to the quarry.  

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Statehouse
12:56 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Car Dealers Push To Change Leasing Tax

Credit Flickr user oldbrochures

The price of leasing a car in Illinois could be lowered under a proposal before the Illinois General Assembly. Automobile dealers say leasing in Illinois has lagged behind other states.

If you were to lease a car today, chances are you'd be charged for tax on the full value of the vehicle, just like if you were buying it.

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Harvest Desk
12:55 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Area Farmers Reflect On Summer Crop, Look Ahead

Springfield shoppers who connect with local growers each summer at the Old Capitol Farmer's Market have stocked up for the cold months ahead. 

In these Oct. 26 interviews, Peter Gray caught up with a few vendors at the last Saturday market downtown to hear their thoughts on the summer harvest.

INTERVIEWS from the Old Capitol Farmer's Market:

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Same-Sex Marriage Vote Possible
6:22 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Heavy Veto Session Agenda

Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, is a member of the conference committee tasked with negotiating a pension deal.
Credit ILGA.gov

  Illinois legislators are scheduled to finish out their veto session this week. Their back-loaded agenda ranges from dealing with budget matters to social issues.

The first week of the veto session late last month went by with little of substance accomplished.

But what the General Assembly didn't touch then is back now.

Like tax packages designed to keep companies, like Archer Daniels Midland, headquartered in Illinois.

It also appears the sponsor of stalled same-sex marriage legislation is leaning toward calling it for a vote in the House.

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Business
6:22 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Greg Baise: Illinois Has To Compete For Jobs

Greg Baise
Credit IMA

A key Illinois business leader says the state is facing tough competition when it comes to keeping jobs.  Greg Baise is President of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association.  He says controversial legislation in Illinois that would offer tax breaks to certain firms is an effort to keep pace.

Among the firms, agribusiness leader Archer Daniels Midland, which wants to move it's corporate headquarters from Decatur to a larger city.  Illinois and other states are wooing the company with promises of tax incentives.

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