News

Pages

Federal Budget
9:12 am
Tue October 1, 2013

U.S. Attorney: Shutdown 'Quite Disruptive'

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, of the Central District of Illinois, is seen in this August 2013 file photo.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

The federal government shutdown means public servants across Illinois will be sent home today.

At times like these, National Parks are considered a luxury, so Springfield's Lincoln Home National Historic Site would be closed. But air traffic control and weather forecasting are considered critical, so they'd keep going.

Public safety jobs are supposed to be exempt, too. But U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, the top federal prosecutor for Central Illinois, says he'll have to send a quarter of his attorneys home and a majority of the support staff.

Read more
Regional
9:12 am
Tue October 1, 2013

There's Less Chance You'll Collide With A Deer

New figures released this week by State Farm say Illinois drivers are less likely to hit a deer in the next year.  The insurance company says drivers in the state have a 1 in 214 chance of hitting a deer in the next 12 months. That compares with a 1 in 162 chance last
year. Nationwide, the figure is 1 in 174.
 
Bloomington-based State Farm says Illinois drivers made 39,000 claims last year
for accidents involving deer. Nationwide, there were 1.2 million claims, down
about 3.5 percent.
 

Read more
Health Desk
8:58 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Health Law Could Reduce Incarceration Rates

Credit flickr/sideonecincy

Tuesday marks the launch of state health insurance exchanges, a major part of the Affordable Care Act. Among the many changes likely after the new health coverage takes effect: Fewer people behind bars.

During a recent expo put on by the Illinois Department of Corrections in Champaign, Jeff Rinderle of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District talked with parolees and former prison inmates transitioning into civilian life about the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
Concealed Carry Law
6:27 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Concealed Carry Instructor Guidelines Now Available Online

Credit concealcarry.org

The Illinois State Police has posted on its website a list of approved concealed carry firearms training curricula.

The list has all skills required by the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.  It includes firearm safety; basic principles of marksmanship; care, cleaning, loading and unloading of a concealable firearm; transportation of a firearm. It also includes instruction on the appropriate and lawful Interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.

Read more
Get Covered Illinois
5:22 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Insurance Plan Prices Under ACA Unveiled

  The most visible part of the Affordable Care Act has arrived. Today, Illinois residents without insurance will be able to go to the "Get Covered Illinois" website to begin shopping for healthcare plans.

Read more
Harvest Desk
2:45 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Farm Bill Expires; What's Next?

Without a farm bill in place, farmers all over country are left to guess at what federal policy will look like.
Credit Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

The farm bill expired at midnight on Monday, leaving farmers and ranchers across the country guessing at what federal farm policy will look like when they next put their crops in the ground.

Of course, they’re used to uncertainty, as this is the second straight year Congress has let the farm bill expire. Last year, farmers were set adrift for three months before lawmakers passed a nine-month extension of older policy in January.

Read more
Business
6:39 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Incentive Plan To Keep ADM Headquarters In Illinois

Credit ADM

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.  

Read more
Science
6:14 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Prehistoric Fish Gets Second Chance In Illinois

Credit discoveryblogspot

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.  

Read more
Statehouse
5:44 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Federal Shutdown Could Impact Some State Employees

Credit flickr

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.  

Read more
Statehouse
5:25 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Corrections Worker Headed To Prison For Stealing From Memorial Fund

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.  

Read more
Budget Fight
4:14 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Lincoln Home Would Be Closed By Federal Shutdown

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.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The historic home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield would be among the victims of a federal shutdown Monday night.

During a shutdown, the federal government makes all kinds of decisions about what's considered an essential government function.

Air traffic control and National Weather Service forecasts are essential. National parks are not. Which is why the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is on the block.

Read more
Health Desk
3:54 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Illinois To Launch Obamacare Ad Campaign

Credit GetCoveredIllinois

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.  

Read more
Harvest Desk
10:11 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Taking The SNAP Challenge Is Not Easy

Monica Eng prepared rice and beans with kale salad for dinner on the SNAP challenge.
Credit Monica Eng/WBEZ

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. 

Read more
Concealed Carry Law
7:19 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Gun Permit Numbers Update

Credit Source: http://www.adamsguns.com

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.

Read more
Today Is Sponsored by...
12:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

The Loving Family of Sherry Miner of Rochester, Congratulating Sherry on Her Retirement

Today is sponsored by the loving family of Sherry Miner of Rochester, Illinois, congratulating Sherry on her retirement.

Statehouse
3:36 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Reaction To Illinois Same Sex Marriage Ruling

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.  

Read more
Salary Veto
3:32 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Court Rejects Latest Quinn Effort To Withhold Lawmakers' Pay

Gov. Pat Quinn

A state appellate court has denied Gov. Pat Quinn's request to withhold lawmakers' pay while he appeals a ruling that his veto of legislative salaries was unconstitutional.
 
Quinn vetoed $13.1 million for lawmaker pay in July as a consequence of the Legislature not addressing Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension shortfall.
 
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying the veto was unconstitutional.
 

Read more
Regional
3:15 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

UIUC Student Killed Near Campus

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.

Read more
Springfield Art Association
2:41 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Springfield Art Association Celebrates 100 Years By Planning Updates

Edwards Place

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.

Read more
State Week
1:25 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Listen To State Week - September 27, 2013

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.

Read more
Statehouse
6:18 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Judge To Rule On Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

Circuit Judge Sophia Hall
Credit Powell Photography, Inc.

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.

Read more
Salary Veto
1:34 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Quinn Continues Fight To Block Pay

Gov. Pat Quinn
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

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.

Read more
Today Is Sponsored by...
12:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Lincoln Tomb, the Lincoln Home, Iles House, Edwards Place and the Illinois State Military Museum

  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.

Today Is Sponsored by...
12:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Mary Beaumont, Noting the AAUW’s Used Book Sale. Today & Tomorrow

  Today is sponsored by WUIS member Mary Beaumont, noting the American Association of University Women’s used book sale. Today from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and tomorrow 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield.

Read more
Education
6:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

American Graduate Day: Yesterday's Dropouts

Hosted by former WUIS reporter, Kavitha Cardoza, now with WAMU in Washington D.C.
Credit www.americangraduatedc.org

 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.

Read more
Education
5:30 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

American Graduate Day: Crossing the Stage

Credit http://www.prx.org/amgrad

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.

Read more
Breaking
3:02 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Judge: Gov. Quinn Must Pay Lawmakers

Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of lawmakers salaries has been ruled unconstitutional.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

A Cook County judge has ruled that Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmaker pay over the pension crisis is unconstitutional and has ordered Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to pay them immediately.

Judge Neil Cohen made the ruling Thursday.

He says the state Constitution makes it clear that lawmakers' pay can't be changed while serving they're serving their terms.

Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators' salaries from the state budget because they hadn't fixed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

Read more
Regional
10:53 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Plan To Keep Asian Carp Out Of Lake Decatur

Credit flickr/mlinksva

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.  

Read more
Regional
8:18 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Harris Bros. Trials Cost Nearly $1M

34-year-old Christopher Harris (mugshot following 2009 arrest)
Credit Logan County

The trials of two brothers charged in the 2009 deaths of a Logan County family cost the public roughly $935,000.  

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports the state initially paid defense bills for both Christopher and Jason Harris from the Capital Litigation Trust Fund - more than $500,ooo.

But expenses started going to Logan County taxpayers when the death penalty was abolished in March 2011.

Read more
Pension Overhaul
6:46 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Pension Conference Committee Progress Report

Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville (left) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, discuss estimated savings of a previous plan designed to cut the state's pension costs.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

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.
 

Read more

Pages