The Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission wants you to leave the car at home next week. Instead, think about biking, walking, running or using the bus.
Curb Your Car Week begins Monday and several business are offering incentives. There is also a group ride from Washington Park on Wednesday morning, May 21. A night ride that goes through downtown is on Saturday May 24.
How much you'll pay in state taxes next year remains an open question, even as the Illinois House Thursday approved dozens of spending bills, that rely on a permanently higher tax rate. It sets the stage for a budget battle, just weeks before legislators are set to adjourn for the summer.
The Illinois House convened at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and spent most of a very long day on the budget. Lawmakers began with a debate on funding Illinois' public education system, giving schools a slight increase over this year.
Illinois' pension overhaul might be on hold, but credit ratings agencies say they're not concerned. A Sangamon County judge Wednesday ruled that reductions to public employees' retirement benefits will not go into effect next month, as planned.
The temporary income tax hike Illinois lawmakers are considering extending is costing the typical taxpayer about $1,100 more this year, according to calculations by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.
The 67 percent increase on individuals approved in 2011 is producing about $6.6 billion in additional revenue for the state this year. Democrats promised when they raised the individual rate from 3 percent to 5 percent that it would roll back to 3.75 percent in January 2015. Now Gov. Pat Quinn and legislative
Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Doug Whitley and the Illinois Manufacturers' Association's Mark Denzler, from left, testified against House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to change EDGE tax credits - changes Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Adam Pollet backs.
One of Illinois' main tools for attracting and retaining companies in the state would get a revamp under a plan unveiled yesterday by the Speaker of the Illinois House. It drew immediate criticism from business groups.
More than 700 companies have what are known as EDGE tax credits, given in exchange for keeping, or creating new, jobs.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says his aim in changing it is to "insure that he program is being run in a way that benefits both the recipients and the taxpayers of Illinois."
University of Illinois adjunct professor James Kilgore speaks to the U of I's Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday in Springfield. Kilgore's contract was not renewed after his criminal history came to light.
The teaching career of former radical James Kilgore remains in doubt. He says one of his contracts with the University of Illinois expires Thursday. But the Board of Trustees ended a meeting Wednesday without taking action on his case.
Kilgore was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a group best known for kidnapping Patty Hearst in 1974. He was convicted of murder for his role in a bank robbery the group carried out the next year.
Imagine a caffeinated concoction that, when ingested, resulted in bouts of vomiting. You might prefer to stick with your gourmet coffee.
But the "Black Drink" as it is known was part of a ritual. The vomiting was done for purity. It turns out, early societies imbibed. Even the Cahokia civilization about 1000 years ago. That's roughly 500 years earlier than records of consumption elsewhere. Research has found residue in ceremonial cups that confirm the Black Drink was used at Cahokia.
While Illinois lawmakers continue to debate whether to extend the income tax increase. But that's not the only source of money being considered. Backers of expanding gambling also project the state would get a windfall.
State Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) is once again taking a stab at gambling expansion.
He's got two options: Either authorizing a casino for Chicago, or a broader plan that would put casinos in Chicago, Danville, Rockford, Lake County and the south suburbs. Horse race tracks would also be permitted to have slot machines.
Dee Dee Duffy has been teaching in District 186 for 25 years. Monday she was honored as the 2014 Horace Mann Educator of the Year. Duffy is an Early Start Pre-Kindergarten teacher at the Early Learning Center.
Also, Nichole Heyen, principal of Lincoln Magnet Middle School, was named Administrator of the Year. She's been in District 186 for 14 years.
Both were honored at a luncheon ceremony.
The program has been in existence since 1998. An independent panel makes the selections.
Dozens of state jobs involved in a dispute over whether they should be free of politics were filled by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration with candidates who were politically connected or gave campaign money to the governor's party. That's according to an Associated Press review of state documents.
A Springfield culinary landmark has re-opened it's doors. The Dew Chilli parlor was established in 1909, but it closed about 20 years ago. Mark Roberts is the new owner and a longtime fan. Lee Strubinger went to the parlor's recent grand opening and he presents this audio postcard:
Earlier this month, the Springfield Police Department promoted two sergeants to the rank of lieutenant. One has already retired, able to earn a higher pension because of the promotion.
Under state law, retiring police officers are allowed to collect pension benefits based on rank for their last day of employment.
Springfield Alderman Joe McMenamin says a lieutenant retiring at a rank he never served is quote 'offensive.' He says the public doesn't appreciate a "revolving door of promotions right before retirement.”