A proposed incentive package created to persuade Archer Daniels Midland Company to keep its global headquarters in Illinois is sparking debate among lawmakers. The proposal would give ADM a 10 percent break on utility taxes for up to 30 years and an income-tax credit. It's expected to be discussed at an Illinois House committee meeting Tuesday. ADM announced last week it plans to move its global headquarters out of Decatur.
A fearsome fish whose roots date back 120 million years is getting a second chance in Illinois waterways. The alligator gar had been found as far north as Beardstown within the past century. But the last known catch was in 1966 in Cairo and Illinois officials declared in 1994 that it no longer swam state rivers. The (Springfield) State Journal Register reports Sunday that's changed in recent years with efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce the predator that has inhabited the Mississippi River for three million years.
A budget director for Gov. Pat Quinn says if the federal government shutdown proceeds, Illinois employees paid by federal funds could face temporary layoffs as early as Wednesday. The budget office had no estimates Monday for how many employees would be affected. Abdon Pallasch is Quinn's assistant budget director. In a statement, he says that the timing of the layoffs would depend on existing resources and individual agencies. Agencies that could be affected include Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs.
A former Illinois Department of Corrections accounting employee will serve 21 months in federal prison after admitting to embezzling more than $50,000 from a fund meant to benefit prison workers killed in the line of duty. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough sentenced 47-year-old Mary Ann Bohlen on Monday. Myerscough also ordered the Edinburg resident to pay nearly $24,000 to the Illinois Correctional Employees Memorial Association and $27,000 to the state corrections agency.
The Lincoln Home in Springfield would be closed if the federal government shuts down Monday night. The majority of National Park Service employees have been deemed non-essential, meaning they’d be sent home without pay.
Illinois will launch an advertising campaign Tuesday to inform Illinois residents about the health insurance marketplace opening that day that will connect people with new benefits under President Barack Obama's health care law. Marketplace spokeswoman Kelly Sullivan provided copies of the ads to The Associated Press. She says the Get Covered Illinois campaign will begin with newspaper ads in 50 state markets. Radio and TV ads are planned for later this fall.
How well would you do living off $4.80 a day for food?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is often the way some families get food. The SNAP Challenge is designed to illustrate what it's like to live off the allotment given to those who receive what are commonly called food stamps.
The Illinois State Police continues to struggle with a backlog of applications for gun ownership. So it remains to be seen how they can handle an influx of requests for permits to carry concealed weapons.
The department has 49,000 applications for Firearm Owners Identification cards awaiting approval.
Attorneys for both sides are reacting to an Illinois judge's decision that a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage can continue.
Camilla Taylor is an attorney with Lambda Legal, representing 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied. Taylor said after Friday's ruling in Chicago that it will be ``a very bad day for the defendants'' when the case is decided.
Police in Urbana say a University of Illinois student has been killed in her apartment a few blocks north of the campus.
Lt. Bryant Seraphin tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that officers were called shortly after 11 a.m. to the apartment complex. The university police issued alerts to students and faculty, but the campus was not locked down.
Seraphin says the victim's roommate was in the apartment during the killing and had been bound. He says she broke free and ran into the building's courtyard where she met officers.
The Springfield Art Association, located in the Enos Park neighborhood, turns a century old this year, and is using the milestone to publicly outline plans for updates and renovations. The organization, which boasts an art gallery, learning and teaching center, and Edwards Place - a historic home once visited by the Lincolns, is marking its century anniversary this year.
This week's topics include a court decision preventing Governor Quinn from blocking Illinois lawmakers' pay, the Illinois Democratic Party's official endorsement of Pat Quinn in the next gubernatorial race, and new reports indicating that conditions in the state's juvenile detention facilities are not improving.
An Illinois judge promises to rule on the future of a lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
The lawsuit was filed last year by 25 gay and lesbian couples who want the right to marry.
Cook County Judge Sophia Hall is expected to rule Friday on a motion to dismiss the case.
Lawyers for five downstate county clerks who are defending the ban want the case tossed. Plaintiffs' attorneys want the judge to let the lawsuit stand - then rule immediately that they won the lawsuit and that the ban is illegal.
A judge says Governor Pat Quinn went too far this summer when he blocked paychecks for Illinois lawmakers.
Members of the General Assembly have missed two paydays so far, and it's not clear when they'll get their money. The governor stands by his actions, saying it's his best option for cajoling the General Assembly into overhauling the state's pension systems. Quinn says he plans to appeal.
Today is sponsored by the Lincoln Tomb, the Lincoln Home, Iles House, Edwards Place and the Illinois State Military Museum-- the sites on the candlelight tour, “The Fiery Trial: Civil War Stories by Candlelight,” The theme is the Emancipation Proclamation. Tomorrow from 5 to 9.
Former WUIS Reporter, Kavitha Cardoza Hosts "Yesterday's Dropouts"
Approximately 30 million adults in the U.S. are at the low end of the literacy spectrum. They struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule. About 46 million find it challenging to do the most basic math. And for millions of adults, there’s the added challenge of not being able to speak English.
Tune in for this American Graduate Day special program Saturday, September 28th at 2:00 pm.
Hosted by Dick Gordon, this program talks about what’s happening with the drop-out rate in the country. More kids are staying in school but those numbers might be misleading. We’ll hear about some of the new thinking – ways to make school more appealing or more meaningful so students want to stay in high school, and we’ll get a sobering take on the GED, long thought to be a reasonable alternative to a high school diploma.
Tune in for this American Graduate Day special program Saturday, September 28th at 3:00 pm.
The latest round of work on the Lake Decatur dam is underway and will include a barrier aimed at keeping invasive Asian carp at bay. The $4 million project is set to be finished by fall 2014. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports (http://bit.ly/1beo5M0 ) the first phase of the project was completed in 2011. The latest round of work includes fixing concrete and repairing erosion damage. Meanwhile, crews will also remove a failed tailwater dam, which was built more than a century ago. Keith Alexander is director of water management in Decatur.
It is approaching four months since the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session. Lawmakers have missed two paychecks since the governor decided to punish them for not passing a pension overhaul. And a special committee has been negotiating over how to solve the pension problem for more than 12 weeks. Amanda Vinicky checks in with members of that committee for a progress report.
The city of Dixon will recoup about $40 million of the $53 million in public money stolen by former comptroller Rita Crundwell. Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said Wednesday that the city has settled a lawsuit with auditors and a bank in connection with Crundwell's thefts. Crundwell is serving nearly 20 years in federal prison. Authorities say she stole the money over more than 20 years, spending it on a lavish lifestyle and horse-breeding operation.
Willie Nelson has been forced to pull out of the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival and three other shows due to a shoulder injury. Nelson's publicist said Wednesday that the 80-year-old country music star is under a doctor's orders to rest his shoulder for a week, meaning he'll miss shows in Carmel, Ind., Charlotte, Mich., Springfield, Ill., and Saturday's appearance at the festival hosted by Zac Brown in Nashville, Tenn. The individual dates have or will be rescheduled.
A new local non-profit is using art, music, and comedy to help raise funds for local students. The Illinois Independent Arts Association hosts what's called a 'Springfield Renaissance' show this Saturday at Donnie's Homespun restaurant and venue in Springfield. Local musicians include Carrie Jo Stucki aka CJ Thunder Stucki, and band Lowder featuring Josie Loweder. Proceeds will benefit the band program at Washington Middle School. Rachel Otwell recently spoke with Eric Heyen and Jaimie Kelly of the group about it:
A bill to legalize gay marriage in Illinois will be waiting for lawmakers when they head back to Springfield next month. The bill already passed the State Senate - but is stuck in the House. Now, proponents are in the midst of a lobbying campaign targeted at an unlikely group of lawmakers: House Republicans. But as WBEZ’s Alex Keefe reports, there are big hurdles to getting GOP representatives to vote yes: