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WUIS

With still no agreement on a state budget for the fiscal year, questions remain over even a temporary spending plan for the next month.  However, state workers are still receiving paychecks while awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court.  Ed Cross, Capitol Reporter for WAND-TV joins the panel.

Our next-door-neighbor state has legally ended its relationship with the curriculum associated with Common Core. 

http://themissouritimes.com/19496/state-abandons-common-core-testing/

#thingsthathappenedwhileiwasonvacation

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Take a listen to this week's episode of THE SCENE. Scott & I are joined by Adam Nicholson, a local fixture in the arts world, especially when it comes to lit. He has an endeavor underway called Sala where he hopes to help artists network and get their art heard and seen by art-lovers and potential clients. (Click here for more about that initiative.) Here it is:

Events discussed this week include:

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / WUIS / Illinois Issues

My attorney husband says that no matter how thin the pancake, it always has two sides.

This notion guides me in my work with families as I’m forced to admit that each influence on the family system can have both a positive and a negative effect.

Case in point: the use of technological communication in the home.

I often rail against the dangers of overuse of digital devices by both parents and children. I worry that this practice is reducing parent-child interaction and rewiring children's brains at a cost to their social and emotional development.

cityofchicago.org

Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talks with University of Illinois Chicago political science professor Dick Simpson about Chicago's budget situation and why it matters even if you don't live there.

Illinois now has an official state vegetable: corn.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed it into law today without fanfare.

However, he's scheduled to attend an annual sweet corn festival this evening in Chatham, a suburb of Springfield. Local elementary school students had promoted making sweet corn the state vegetable as a class project.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Athens resident, Lisa Cannon, was only in her 20s when she first learned she had breast cancer.  At the time, she had everything going for her - she was a wife and mom, and was finding success as a photographer and graphic designer with her own business. After under-going treatment she went into remission. Two years later though, the cancer was back - in her spine and liver. She learned she had stage IV metastatic cancer.

EIU.EDU

Budget cuts at Eastern Illinois University now include furlough days for 222 employees.  

The Mattoon Journal-Gazette and (Charleston) Times-Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1gCETAy ) that EIU President David Glassman sent a letter to the university community on Wednesday detailing the furloughs.

Last month Glassman sent an email letting employees know that layoffs were possible in July.  

flickr/xlibber

Happy hour drink specials will make a comeback in Illinois under legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.  The discounted drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s over concerns about excessive drinking and impaired driving.  

The measure signed Wednesday allows drink specials up to four hours each day and up to 15 hours a week. But it doesn't allow volume specials like two drinks for the price of one or mega drinks. It also prohibits deals after 10 p.m.  

Picture of Zylinska family
Magdelina Zylinska

Nearly half of Illinois children in households headed by single women live in poverty — compared with just over a quarter of children in households headed by single men.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Springfield has a great deal of Mexican and Asian restaurants - but it is lacking when it comes to some other ethnic foods. A relatively new African restaurant is bridging some of those gaps for local foodies with adventurous palates. Listen to the report:

public domain

Not so long ago, prior to 1999, Illinois considered bobcats a threatened species. Come winter, hunters will be able to harvest the cats.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is an avid hunter -- of birds. No word on if that hobby contributed to his decision to sign a new law, authorizing bobcat hunting.

His office sent word of his signature without comment.

Bee Hotels Give Native Species A Place To Call Home

Jul 14, 2015

A patchwork of bamboo and paper tubes, with diameters no bigger than a nickel, are stacked artfully inside a 4-by-4 wooden frame near the edge of a public hiking trail in Lawrence, Kan.

Organized by size, each hollow tube is about 8 inches long, designed as nests for Kansas’ wild bees. This structure is called a bee hotel.

Grow Springfield

On July 19, there's a chance to learn more about community gardens and growing in an urban setting. It's the third annual Roots to Rooftop Tour in Springfield.  5 locations will be spotlighted, including a rooftop garden at Maldaner's Restaurant.  

"Community gardens are a great way for neighbors to come together, create community and grow healthy food," said Joe Eby of Grow Springfield.

Illinois State Museum in Springfield
Lisa Ryan / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Supporters of the Illinois State Museum told state legislators Monday a slew of reasons why it should remain open, but it doesn't appear like anyone who will make the decision on its future was there to hear much of it.


Lisa Ryan/WUIS

The SJ-R's Tim Landis talks about the Logan County wind farm proposal, gives us an update on demolition around Springfield and a Springfield based company is growing.

Jason and Jamie Parrott

The mayor of Quincy says his city will remain under a state of emergency for the time being after it was struck by a strong thunderstorm.  

Mayor Kyle Moore said Tuesday that the main streets in Quincy are blocked with fallen trees and live wires. He says those streets should be passable by Wednesday morning and neighborhood streets later in the week.  

A powerful thunderstorm with winds as high as 70 mph tore through the Quincy area Monday night damaging homes and knocking out power to tens of thousands in Adams County.  

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois' high court has been asked to decide once and for all whether Illinois can pay government workers when there's no state budget.

Illinois Comptroller website

Despite uncertainty bred from dueling court rulings ... Illinois' Comptroller is issuing paychecks to state employees.  It's a continued issue, as Illinois has been without a spending plan since the start of the month.

Hermann Tourism Office

The town of Hermann, Missouri is located approximately 180 miles away from Springfield, Illinois. 

In our latest midwest travel segment, Mary Bohlen wrote about the town with strong German heritage for Illinois Times. 

She tells WUIS' Sean Crawford there is a lot to see and do, but it's not necessarily a family destination.

Box truck with petitions from front to back
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner pushes for legislators to authorize a new way of drawing the state’s political map, a citizen-driven initiative is underway

Illinois Comptroller website

Illinois officials say they have begun processing paychecks for state workers even though there's no budget for the fiscal year.  

Bradley Hahn is chief of staff to Comptroller Leslie Munger. He told The Associated Press on Friday the office is writing checks and they should be delivered Wednesday to 6,800 workers.  

The fiscal year began July 1 and there's no budget agreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.  

State records show 64,460 workers are paid through the comptroller's office.  

The stalemate on a state budget agreement continues.  The Associated Press' John O'Connor joins the panel this week.

As the fight over Illinois’ budget drags on, an addiction treatment program for juveniles and an anti-violence program, which both saw their state funding cut off earlier this year, still wait for a lifeline.

amazon.com

Come along for the next episode of The Scene ... where Scott Faingold and I discuss Springfield's newest festival, Springfield's newest counter-festival to the new festival, one of our favorite cartoonists/artists - and much, much more!

Amanda Vinicky

There's no clear path forward on a long-term budget solution for Illinois, and temporary solutions are murky too. As the stalemate in Springfield persists, Democrats are moving forward with an emergency spending plan, that would cover "essential" services through July. It would also keep state workers' paychecks coming for the next month.

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

The highly-touted 25-year-old program that boasts it's more selective than Harvard comes under criticism from its own alums in a new book edited by T. Jameson Brewer.

commons.wikimedia.org/ParentingPatch

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, and the insurance marketplace in Illinois - more contraceptives are available at no cost to women who are covered under the plans. But there is still confusion when it comes to just what methods are included. 

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / WUIS / Illinois Issues

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared The War on Poverty. The following year, a panel of experts designed Project Head Start, aimed at helping break the cycle of poverty by providing low-income preschoolers a comprehensive program of education.

Head Start was based on the recognition that middle-income kids were entering school light years ahead of their low-income counterparts.  The theory was that, if disadvantaged children could get some of the benefits of better-resourced kids, they would be better prepared for school success.

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