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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
1:52 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Summer Reading Program Welcomes Lincoln Authors

Three authors will visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield this summer to shed new light on issues ranging from the Civil War, to morality and music. The authors will sign copies of their books and present lectures.

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Drugs & Crime
11:30 am
Mon July 15, 2013

IT's Bruce Rushton Explores 'Epidemic' Of Heroin Abuse

Credit Wikimedia/user: Hendrike

The number of heroin users and associated overdose deaths seems to have gone up in recent years. In Illinois the trend of increased heroin abuse is getting reactions from social service agencies and law enforcement. It's an issue that Bruce Rushton of the Illinois Times recently reported on - he brings us a closer look at his investigation in this interview:

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Health Desk
10:06 am
Mon July 15, 2013

10 Month Old's Fight Calls Attention To Bone Marrow Registry

Credit Photo: WUIS

Lauren and Aaron Smith of Springfield, pictured with their 10 month old son Gabriel, who has a rare form of anemia.  He's required to undergo regular blood transfusions.  Their is hope after a bone marrow donor match was discovered earlier this year.  A transplant is scheduled for this fall .   The couple is wanting to raise awareness of the Bone Marrow Registry and the need to donate blood.  

The next Third Thursday Art Show at Donnie's Homespun will benefit Gabriel.  See more details:

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2014 Election
6:52 am
Mon July 15, 2013

State Sen. Dillard Enters 2014 Race For Governor

State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Westont)
Credit dillard.senategop.org

State Sen. Kirk Dillard is officially announcing his gubernatorial bid for the 2014 election Monday, joining an already crowded field but contending he is the one Republican who can win the general election.

Dillard is the fourth GOP member to announce a challenge to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn since June, joining state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Sen. Bill Brady and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner.

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Harvest Desk
6:04 am
Mon July 15, 2013

My Farm Roots: A Lifelong Work Ethic

Amy Konishi has lived in Fort Collins, Colo., her entire life. In the 1980s, a local newspaper profiled her and her husband’s long connection to the area.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

My Farm Roots is a series from Harvest Public Media in which we hear Americans’ stories and memories of rural life. Because when you hail from farm country, roots run deep.
 

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Political Patronage Allegations
5:57 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Metra CEO Memo Reveals More Madigan Involvement

House Speaker Mike Madigan

A memo by the former CEO of the Metra commuter rail service contends that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan lobbied not only for a pay raise for an associate at the agency, but also sought employment for another person.

The memo by Alex Clifford was cited Thursday at a contentious legislative committee hearing on Clifford's resignation and a $718,000 separation agreement.

Clifford says in the memo that he was told before his ouster that he had damaged Metra and its future funding "by my refusal to accede to Speaker Madigan's requests."

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Arts
1:27 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

'Dreamgirls' At The Muni

Marisa Cook, Fania Bourn, & Kate VonDeBur

Springfield's Muni starts its run of Dreamgirls this weekend - the Broadway production was made especially famous by the movie starring Beyonce back in 2006. The local version features over twenty actors who are brand new to the Muni's stage. We recently spoke with cast members Fania Bourn, Kate VonDeBur, and Marisa Cook for this interview:

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Guns
8:28 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Ill. AG Objects To Call For Immediate Concealed Carry

The state of Illinois is asking a federal court to reject a push by gun-rights advocates to let the residents start publicly carrying handguns as soon as next week, rather than waiting months for implementation of a new concealed carry law.
 
Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office asked a judge Thursday to throw out the request filed in East St. Louis by Mary Shepard. Shepard filed the injunction a day after lawmakers lifted the last-in-the-nation ban.  The state argues Shepard needs to file a new complaint instead of a motion seeking an emergency hearing from a judge.

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Farm Bill
4:12 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

U.S. House Passes Version Of Farm Bill

Credit Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. House passed its version of farm bill legislation today. The revamped bill strips out funding for food aid and deals only with farm policy, exposing a hefty rift in decades-old alliances between urban and rural legislators and between food aid and farm policy interests.

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Education
2:41 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

School Safety An Ongoing Concern

A new Illinois law requires schools hold drills on what to do in the case of shooting.  More security measures could be on the way. 
The new law comes after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary last year put renewed focus on school security.  Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken says it will continue to be an issue and more legislation is expected:

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The Pharmacy
2:30 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Joshua Cox Featured In 6th Group Exhibition At 'The Pharmacy'

A shot from a previous work by Cox called "And the world formed itself around me."
Credit Johsua Cox

Joshua Cox is an artist and professor at Bradley University in Peoria. His works involve memories, especially related to his childhood growing up in central Illinois. He uses unique mediums to create alternate universes that transport his viewers utilizing life size, and temporary, artworks. Cox is the guest artist for The Pharmacy's Sixth Group Art Exhibition, where other area artists will also have their latest creations on display.

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Illinois Supreme Court
10:46 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Abortion Notice Law Finally Going Into Effect

The bench of the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a law that requires young women to notify their parents before getting an abortion. The decision ends a legal fight that goes all the way back to the 1990s.

For the first time since the law passed nearly two decades ago, women 17 and younger who want to have an abortion will have to get their parents' permission.

Illinois' parental-notification law was passed in 1995, during a brief period when Republicans won control of the Illinois House.

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Regional
8:08 am
Thu July 11, 2013

A Look Back At Disco Demolition Night

This week back in 1979, a baseball promotion got out of hand.  Known as Disco Demolition, it prompted

fans to bring disco records to the ball park to watch them blown up.  It wound up in what some called a riot. 

White Sox owner Bill Veeck was known for his wild promotions.  But this idea belonged to his son, Mike, a White Sox executive.  Since then,  Mike Veeck has built a long resume in baseball.  He has ownership in six minor league teams, including the one in Bloomington-Normal.  But his legacy will always include the disco fiasco…

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Lincoln Film Credited For Local Tourism Boost
7:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Economic Impact Of Springfield Area Tourism Up In 2012

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston talks up the benefits of tourism at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

According to the state's tourism office, 2012 was a "banner year" for those in the business of bringing visitors - and their billfolds - to Illinois.

On Wednesday the agency used the rotunda of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as its stage to announce the latest numbers on the industry's economic impact. 

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Changing Lands, Changing Hands
6:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

A Civics Lesson For Rural Towns

Pittsfield, Ill., is dealing with an aging population and what that means for the social fabric of the rural community.
Creative Commons

This week,  the WUIS Harvest Desk has been bringing you the series “Changing Lands, Changing Hands,” a series of stories examining the implications of an unrelenting trend: The American farmer is getting older. Our reporting team has been considering the nuances of this demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry.  The latest segment takes us to west central Illinois:

It’s hard not to use the phrase “quintessential small town” when you describe Pittsfield, Ill. 

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City Government
6:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Springfield City Clerk Rolls Out New Council Voting Tech

Updated voting screens in City Council chamber (image edited to reflect test vote)
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

The electronic system Springfield aldermen use to record their votes is getting an upgrade the city clerk says will soon allow the public to follow along with City Council action in real-time on the web.

City Clerk Cecilia  Tumulty introduced aldermen to the new eVote system during their committee meeting Tuesday.  Tumulty says work will now begin to link the technology to her website.  She says the goal is to give the public a more "comprehensive snapshot" of Council action:

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Back In Court
2:25 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Gun Group Demands Concealed Carry By Next Week

Credit ammoland.com

Illinois lawmakers thought they were in the clear after meeting a federal court's deadline to pass a concealed carry law by Tuesday.  But the Illinois State Rifle Association says that's not good enough.

The Rifle Association believes lawmakers did not meet their deadline because the state's ban on carrying guns outside the home remains in effect.

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Illinois
1:38 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Same Sex Couples Ask Judge To Lift Marriage Ban

Attorneys representing 25 same-sex couples suing over the Illinois' gay marriage ban are asking a judge to rule quickly in their favor.
Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a motion for summary judgment Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
 
They say the judge could rule as soon as Aug. 6, when oral arguments are scheduled on a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was filed last
year by couples denied marriage licenses in Cook County.
 

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Guns
12:03 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

No Plans For Local Weapons Ban In Springfield

M4 semiautomatic carbine
Credit wikipedia

The new law regulating the concealed carry of handguns in Illinois will also revoke larger cities' power to enact new or updated bans on bigger weapons.

Cities with "home rule" authority have just 10 days to get an assault weapons ban on the books.  The mayor of Chicago is pushing to make the gun laws it has in place even tougher.

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Community
11:50 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Meeting To Discuss Potential Cooperative Grocery Store

Amy Bishop
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Amy Bishop is an artist and teacher from Springfield with a vision of a cooperative grocery store in her community. She's hosting a meeting tomorrow night at 6 at Donnie's Homespun in the Vinegar Hill Mall in Springfield to talk about that possibility, it's open to the public.

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The Pharmacy
11:05 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Springfield's Artist Co-Op Hosts Monthly Writer's Critique

Adam Nicholson
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Each month Springfield's artist co-op, The Pharmacy, hosts a writer's critique open to the public. Adam Nicholson helps organize that event, he joins WUIS to talk about the writing arm of the artist group, which meets tomorrow night at 7: 

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Pension Conference Committee
7:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Pension Deadline Missed, Quinn Warns Consequences

The Illinois House debates a gun control measure Tuesday, adjourning without a vote on a pension plan as the Governor had demanded.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  Governor Pat Quinn had harsh criticism for a bipartisan panel of legislators assigned to draft a new plan to reduce the state's pension costs.  He wanted legislation passed Tuesday.  Lawmakers say they're close, but Quinn is not helping.  

Quinn was quick to criticize lawmakers' failure to pass pension legislation in time to meet his July 9 due date.

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Playing Hardball
6:47 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Governor Halts Lawmakers' Pay

Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to reporters after his concealed carry veto was overridden by the legislature.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Gov. Pat Quinn used his veto power Wednesday to eliminate salaries for Illinois legislators. Quinn says until lawmakers fix the state's pension problem, they shouldn't get paid.

On Illinois' $100-billion unfunded pension liability, Quinn has been setting deadlines for more than a year. Until now, there haven't been any direct consequences for lawmakers when they've blown each of those deadlines.

Quinn changed that in a big way.

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Harvest Desk
6:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Retiring To The Farm Anything But Quiet

Jim Schulte and his wife, Rita, bought their 450-acre farm near Columbia, Mo., in 1991, but didn’t start farming full time until Jim finished working in the mortgage business.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Farmers are getting older.

They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.

In 1978, the average age of the American farmer was just over 50. In 2007, it’s creeping toward 60, at just over 57-years-old. What does that mean for the agriculture industry? We went to answer that question by focusing on this massive demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry.

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Pensions
6:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Governor Says Lawmakers Let Down Taxpayers

Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers who didn't send him a pension overhaul bill have let down Illinois taxpayers.  
The Chicago Democrat set Tuesday as a deadline for a bipartisan pension panel to report back with a plan. That was even as members of the so-called conference committee formed last month called his deadline arbitrary and irresponsible.  
Quinn says there'll be consequences for lawmakers. He's declined to say exactly what he'd do.  

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Business
6:20 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

WUIS / SJ-R Business Report: July 9, 2013

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

The State Journal Register's Tim Landis talks with Sean Crawford about efforts to get a Schnucks' grocery store on Springfield's east side, a couple of bank mergers in the area and what might be Springfield's oldest fitness center is up for sale.

Read the latest business stories in the SJ-R

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New Gun Law On The Books
3:10 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ill. Passes Concealed Carry: Final State To Do So

Credit http://www.adamsguns.com

Illinois has become the final state in the nation to allow the public possession of concealed guns, just ahead of a federal appeals court's deadline. 

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Consumer Education
2:17 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Financial Study Results Are Cause For Concern

Credit flickr/borman18

The results of a national survey show most people have a long way to go when it comes to making sound financial decisions.  The FINRA Investor Education Foundation conducted the survey and broke down results state by state.  President Gerri Walsh says people are struggling to make ends meet and to plan ahead.

Take the survey yourself and see other data.

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Developing
11:52 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Ill. House Votes To Override Gov's Concealed Carry Changes

The Illinois House has rejected Gov. Pat Quinn's changes to legislation allowing the carrying of concealed guns on the deadline for action set by a federal court.

If the Senate approves it later today, Illinois would join the rest of the nation in allowing firearms to be carried in public.

The House voted 77-31 to override the Democratic governor's amendatory veto.  Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearm at a time.

Springfield-Sang. Co. Regional Planning
8:25 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Public Input Sought On Rural Bike And Pedestrian Plan

Public comments accepted through Mon. July 15
Credit SSCRPC

Residents of Springfield and surrounding towns have until July 15 to provide feedback on a plan designed to make rural Sangamon County more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Linda Wheeland of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission and Lynn Miller of the Springfield Bicycle Club joined Peter Gray on Illinois Edition to talk about mapping the area's transportation future:

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