State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis talks with us about the planned closures of a longtime tavern and a comedy club.   And we hear about changes coming to the MacArthur Park Apartments:

Illinois Times

If you are into power trips, you can’t find a better place than central Iowa.


Illinois' transportation chief has delivered a tough review of the state's capacity to solve problems, saying it's planning ``for yesterday's transportation system.''  

Randy Blankenhorn has served as the secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation for seven months.  

He gave a speech in Chicago Wednesday that cited traffic congestion and sluggish movement of freight as examples of Illinois being too focused on the condition of state roads and bridges. He said the state is failing to look at the bigger picture.  

US CPSC/flickr

A new law will require schools to install carbon monoxide detectors.  The law stems from an incident last year. 

About 150 students and staff became ill at the North Mac Intermediate School in Girard..  Turns out it was a problem with the heating system.  A faulty exhaust pipe.  

A carbon monoxide detector would have alerted those in the building.   While the detectors are required for many structures, schools were left out.  

Despite House Speaker Michael Madigan's confidence that Democrats had enough votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of union contract arbitration legislation, he was one vote short.  The Governor and legislative leaders apparently haven't met in weeks and Illinois is no closer to any kind of agreement on a budget.  Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is talking about raising property taxes.  Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz joins the panel.

City of Springfield

News release from City of Springfield issued Friday 9/4/15:

Springfield, Illinois – Mayor Jim Langfelder announced today Robert “Barry” Helmerichs as the new Chief for the Springfield Fire Department.

Helmerichs joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1991 and served as a firefighter, driver-engineer, captain, deputy chief of technical services, and division chief in addition to serving as a faculty member with the fire science program at Lincoln Land Community College.  He was appointed Fire Chief in 2010 under then-Mayor Tim Davlin.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / WUIS

You might think that with the state of Illinois’ finances in flames, the top legislative leaders would be in constant meetings with the governor. You might think they were working around the clock to hammer out a compromise. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a new commander of the Illinois Air National Guard.  

Brig. Gen. Ronald E. Paul of Springfield will serve as assistant adjutant general upon the retirement of Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro.

The post commands about 3,000 members of the Air National Guard under Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Hayes.  

Rauner says Paul has led airmen for 27 years in operations around the world. He says he has shown leadership ability and skill in building partnerships.  

Illinois State Musem

It's been a contentious topic whether or not to close the Illinois State Museum. The governor has called for closing all the facilities in the state's museum system as a way to save money for a state budget that's very much in the red.

Meanwhile, many say that plan is short-sighted. The museum houses a variety of objects and artifacts that tell the story of our state. It also contains an expanse of fine art that has been donated over the years.

Claudia Quigg headshot / WUIS / Illinois Issues

As a young professional, I taught kindergarten during the time when the phrase "school readiness" came into being.  Educators enthusiastically jumped on the bandwagon of giving kids a good school start.

While I appreciate the thinking behind such a concept, I have to admit that it always makes me somewhat uncomfortable.  It implies that the purpose of the years prior to kindergarten is simply to enable children to succeed in our educational system. It feels somehow egocentric, limited in scope, and even wrong.

Stateline, a news service from the Pew Charitable Trusts, has an interesting interview with outgoing Illinois Auditor General William Holland.

This week, The Scene decided to get out on the scene. We hit up Dumb Records (1107 S. Grand Ave.) Scott Faingold and I have been working on an audio-doc about Black Sheep as it gears up for its 10-year anniversary later this month. Dumb is an example of one of the efforts that has spawned from a culture of youth who love music, and have created an environment to make it thrive.

Photograph by Yoshiko Dart / Access Living

Twenty-five years after the landmark federal law, people with disabilities in Illinois still have trouble getting hired.

Access Living

In July, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill calling for language that would create respectful references to people with disabilities throughout state law.

Illinois House floor
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Gov.Bruce Rauner declared victory Wednesday in a key battle against government labor unions and the Democratic Party.

AFSCME and other state employee unions have had a rough time in contract negotiations with the Rauner administration. So they backed legislation that would let an arbitrator decide the contract if the union and governor couldn't come to an agreement.

The governor vetoed that legislation, and Democrats in the House tried — and failed — to override him.

Rep. Lou Lang
Brian Mackey / WUIS

The Illinois House has overruled Governor Bruce Rauner over how to address heroin addiction in the state.

Lawmakers spent more than a year working on a big anti-heroin initiative. It passed with both Democratic and Republican support, but Rauner vetoed a provision to expand treatment for low-income addicts.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was among the bipartisan group of lawmakers who voted to overrule the governor's changes.

Dru! /

Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon has written a paper on what's often regarded as one of the least important offices in Illinois politics. "A Warm Bucket of What? Assessing the Role of Lieutenant Governor in Illinois" was published by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

History buffs in Hancock County hope to increase awareness of six area cemeteries where more than two dozen relatives of Abraham Lincoln are buried.  

At least 29 relatives are buried at the Majorville, Webster, Calvary, LaHarpe, Giddings Mound and St. Simon cemeteries in Hancock County. Many of them are cousins of the nation's 16th president.

Pana, Illinois used to be known for its flowers . It was called the City of Roses , and at one point there were over 100 greenhouses there. Things have changed over the decades, though. In the city of 5,500 - about a third of people live below the poverty level. The town that was a mecca style for florists and had a bustling down-town has gone through the changes many small towns in the Midwest have seen - businesses have closed and drug-use has escalated.

Prometheus Books

Businesses strive to be more efficient.  Often, that comes at the expense of jobs.  But Peter Wenz sees a way all can benefit. 

In his book Functional Inefficiency, he examines how some of the most labor-intensive sectors also are inefficient.  But they employ people and, in turn, help the overall economy.

We talked more with the author, who is also a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A government labor union says it's “positive” the Illinois House will side with it over Gov. Bruce Rauner. A key vote on on whether to override Rauner's veto of a union-backed bill is expected Wednesday.

Univ. of Illinois

A former University of Illinois graduate student is suing the school's board of trustees and others, claiming administrators retaliated against her after she accused a visiting researcher of sexual harassment. 


7 people have died from a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in western Illinois, the state announced Tuesday. 

The cases all involve residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.  The Department of Veteran's Affairs says all had underlying medical conditions.   

Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner
Illinois Public Broadcasting

The Governor filed  a police report on his predecessor over a military sketch display.    The bad blood between Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn continued past the election.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald about a state police investigation into a missing tribute to vets.

The University of Illinois is grappling with a requirement of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 2016.

Effective January 1st, the university will have to offer health insurance to ALL employees working 30 hours a week or more.  That will include some 23-hundred so-called contingent or temporary employees who don’t qualify for the healthcare that other state workers receive.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS / Illinois Issues

A credit analyst with Moody's says Illinois' bond rating will remain unchanged, despite the state entering its third month without a budget. But the chances of a downgrade increase the longer gridlock continues.

Illinois has the nations' lowest credit rating -- a grade that symbolizes its fiscal troubles, and adds to them; a lower score makes it costlier to borrow.

But the rating won't drop any further just yet.

Midwest Travel: Religion And History Meet In Nauvoo

Aug 31, 2015
Matt Turner/Flickr

A covered wagon pulled by a yoke of oxen appeared on the path in front of us. Nearby several young children walked by on stilts, a brass band tuned up for an outdoor concert and the Mississippi River rolled along, glittering in the sunshine. That’s when my husband and I knew that our visit to historic Nauvoo was a trip back in time.

Lisa Ryan

If you've been meaning to visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archeological site, or museum shops in Lockport and Chicago, you have one month left to do it.

Despite the U.S. being reliant on China for exports, many Americans have a hard time understanding what is taking place with the world's largest economy. 

We figured it was a good time to bring in Roy Wehrle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Illinois Springfield.