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Illinois Supreme Court
10:46 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Abortion Notice Law Finally Going Into Effect

The bench of the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a law that requires young women to notify their parents before getting an abortion. The decision ends a legal fight that goes all the way back to the 1990s.

For the first time since the law passed nearly two decades ago, women 17 and younger who want to have an abortion will have to get their parents' permission.

Illinois' parental-notification law was passed in 1995, during a brief period when Republicans won control of the Illinois House.

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Regional
8:08 am
Thu July 11, 2013

A Look Back At Disco Demolition Night

This week back in 1979, a baseball promotion got out of hand.  Known as Disco Demolition, it prompted

fans to bring disco records to the ball park to watch them blown up.  It wound up in what some called a riot. 

White Sox owner Bill Veeck was known for his wild promotions.  But this idea belonged to his son, Mike, a White Sox executive.  Since then,  Mike Veeck has built a long resume in baseball.  He has ownership in six minor league teams, including the one in Bloomington-Normal.  But his legacy will always include the disco fiasco…

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Lincoln Film Credited For Local Tourism Boost
7:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Economic Impact Of Springfield Area Tourism Up In 2012

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston talks up the benefits of tourism at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

According to the state's tourism office, 2012 was a "banner year" for those in the business of bringing visitors - and their billfolds - to Illinois.

On Wednesday the agency used the rotunda of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as its stage to announce the latest numbers on the industry's economic impact. 

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Changing Lands, Changing Hands
6:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

A Civics Lesson For Rural Towns

Pittsfield, Ill., is dealing with an aging population and what that means for the social fabric of the rural community.
Creative Commons

This week,  the WUIS Harvest Desk has been bringing you the series “Changing Lands, Changing Hands,” a series of stories examining the implications of an unrelenting trend: The American farmer is getting older. Our reporting team has been considering the nuances of this demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry.  The latest segment takes us to west central Illinois:

It’s hard not to use the phrase “quintessential small town” when you describe Pittsfield, Ill. 

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City Government
6:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Springfield City Clerk Rolls Out New Council Voting Tech

Updated voting screens in City Council chamber (image edited to reflect test vote)
Credit Peter Gray/WUIS

The electronic system Springfield aldermen use to record their votes is getting an upgrade the city clerk says will soon allow the public to follow along with City Council action in real-time on the web.

City Clerk Cecilia  Tumulty introduced aldermen to the new eVote system during their committee meeting Tuesday.  Tumulty says work will now begin to link the technology to her website.  She says the goal is to give the public a more "comprehensive snapshot" of Council action:

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Back In Court
2:25 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Gun Group Demands Concealed Carry By Next Week

Credit ammoland.com

Illinois lawmakers thought they were in the clear after meeting a federal court's deadline to pass a concealed carry law by Tuesday.  But the Illinois State Rifle Association says that's not good enough.

The Rifle Association believes lawmakers did not meet their deadline because the state's ban on carrying guns outside the home remains in effect.

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Illinois
1:38 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Same Sex Couples Ask Judge To Lift Marriage Ban

Attorneys representing 25 same-sex couples suing over the Illinois' gay marriage ban are asking a judge to rule quickly in their favor.
Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a motion for summary judgment Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
 
They say the judge could rule as soon as Aug. 6, when oral arguments are scheduled on a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was filed last
year by couples denied marriage licenses in Cook County.
 

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Guns
12:03 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

No Plans For Local Weapons Ban In Springfield

M4 semiautomatic carbine
Credit wikipedia

The new law regulating the concealed carry of handguns in Illinois will also revoke larger cities' power to enact new or updated bans on bigger weapons.

Cities with "home rule" authority have just 10 days to get an assault weapons ban on the books.  The mayor of Chicago is pushing to make the gun laws it has in place even tougher.

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Community
11:50 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Meeting To Discuss Potential Cooperative Grocery Store

Amy Bishop
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Amy Bishop is an artist and teacher from Springfield with a vision of a cooperative grocery store in her community. She's hosting a meeting tomorrow night at 6 at Donnie's Homespun in the Vinegar Hill Mall in Springfield to talk about that possibility, it's open to the public.

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The Pharmacy
11:05 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Springfield's Artist Co-Op Hosts Monthly Writer's Critique

Adam Nicholson
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Each month Springfield's artist co-op, The Pharmacy, hosts a writer's critique open to the public. Adam Nicholson helps organize that event, he joins WUIS to talk about the writing arm of the artist group, which meets tomorrow night at 7: 

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Pension Conference Committee
7:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Pension Deadline Missed, Quinn Warns Consequences

The Illinois House debates a gun control measure Tuesday, adjourning without a vote on a pension plan as the Governor had demanded.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

  Governor Pat Quinn had harsh criticism for a bipartisan panel of legislators assigned to draft a new plan to reduce the state's pension costs.  He wanted legislation passed Tuesday.  Lawmakers say they're close, but Quinn is not helping.  

Quinn was quick to criticize lawmakers' failure to pass pension legislation in time to meet his July 9 due date.

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Playing Hardball
6:47 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Governor Halts Lawmakers' Pay

Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to reporters after his concealed carry veto was overridden by the legislature.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Gov. Pat Quinn used his veto power Wednesday to eliminate salaries for Illinois legislators. Quinn says until lawmakers fix the state's pension problem, they shouldn't get paid.

On Illinois' $100-billion unfunded pension liability, Quinn has been setting deadlines for more than a year. Until now, there haven't been any direct consequences for lawmakers when they've blown each of those deadlines.

Quinn changed that in a big way.

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Harvest Desk
6:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Retiring To The Farm Anything But Quiet

Jim Schulte and his wife, Rita, bought their 450-acre farm near Columbia, Mo., in 1991, but didn’t start farming full time until Jim finished working in the mortgage business.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Farmers are getting older.

They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.

In 1978, the average age of the American farmer was just over 50. In 2007, it’s creeping toward 60, at just over 57-years-old. What does that mean for the agriculture industry? We went to answer that question by focusing on this massive demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry.

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Pensions
6:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Governor Says Lawmakers Let Down Taxpayers

Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers who didn't send him a pension overhaul bill have let down Illinois taxpayers.  
The Chicago Democrat set Tuesday as a deadline for a bipartisan pension panel to report back with a plan. That was even as members of the so-called conference committee formed last month called his deadline arbitrary and irresponsible.  
Quinn says there'll be consequences for lawmakers. He's declined to say exactly what he'd do.  

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Business
6:20 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

WUIS / SJ-R Business Report: July 9, 2013

Tim Landis
Credit SJ-R.com

The State Journal Register's Tim Landis talks with Sean Crawford about efforts to get a Schnucks' grocery store on Springfield's east side, a couple of bank mergers in the area and what might be Springfield's oldest fitness center is up for sale.

Read the latest business stories in the SJ-R

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New Gun Law On The Books
3:10 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ill. Passes Concealed Carry: Final State To Do So

Credit http://www.adamsguns.com

Illinois has become the final state in the nation to allow the public possession of concealed guns, just ahead of a federal appeals court's deadline. 

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Consumer Education
2:17 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Financial Study Results Are Cause For Concern

Credit flickr/borman18

The results of a national survey show most people have a long way to go when it comes to making sound financial decisions.  The FINRA Investor Education Foundation conducted the survey and broke down results state by state.  President Gerri Walsh says people are struggling to make ends meet and to plan ahead.

Take the survey yourself and see other data.

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Developing
11:52 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Ill. House Votes To Override Gov's Concealed Carry Changes

The Illinois House has rejected Gov. Pat Quinn's changes to legislation allowing the carrying of concealed guns on the deadline for action set by a federal court.

If the Senate approves it later today, Illinois would join the rest of the nation in allowing firearms to be carried in public.

The House voted 77-31 to override the Democratic governor's amendatory veto.  Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearm at a time.

Springfield-Sang. Co. Regional Planning
8:25 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Public Input Sought On Rural Bike And Pedestrian Plan

Public comments accepted through Mon. July 15
Credit SSCRPC

Residents of Springfield and surrounding towns have until July 15 to provide feedback on a plan designed to make rural Sangamon County more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Linda Wheeland of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission and Lynn Miller of the Springfield Bicycle Club joined Peter Gray on Illinois Edition to talk about mapping the area's transportation future:

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Changing Lands, Changing Hands
5:41 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Turmoil In Farm Transitions

Farm succession plans can strain family relationships. Devan Green rents his family’s farmland and has to answer to family shareholders.
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Part 2 of the Harvest Desk's series Changing Lands, Changing Hands travels to Iowa.  Driving out of the  town of Panora, in the western part of the state, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.

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Statehouse
7:18 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Pension Committee Won't Hit Gov's Deadline

Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago)
Credit ilga.gov

A bipartisan panel finished a third meeting about the state's $97 billion pension crisis as another deadline set by Gov. Pat Quinn is set to lapse without a solution.  
The group has now asked for reports of the cost-savings of a university-backed retirement funding proposal after meeting Monday in Springfield. Quinn gave the committee a Tuesday deadline to achieve pension reform.  
Lawmakers moved to form the committee after a compromise couldn't be reached last month.  

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History
6:22 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Re-enactment Of Mormon Leader's Illinois Court Case

Joseph Smith
Credit wikipedia

The founder of the Mormon Church and efforts to extradite him in the 1800's will again provide courtroom drama as a series of events will be held later this year.  
Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Hearings were held regarding Missouri's attempt to extradite him from Illinois for charges that included treason.    Smith exercised his right of habeas corpus, requiring hearings to determine if they were being lawfully held in custody.   

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Statehouse
5:43 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Quinn Plans Concealed Carry "Showdown"

Credit ammoland.com

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready for a ``showdown'' in Springfield over concealed carry legislation.  
The Chicago Democrat has spent days making appearances talking up his sweeping changes to a bill that'd make Illinois the last state to allow concealed weapons.  
But lawmakers are expected to override Quinn's changes when they meet Tuesday in Springfield. The bill's sponsor, among others, says the original measure came out of months of negotiations.  
Quinn wouldn't say if he has the votes, but says he's working on it. He says the bill was influenced heavily by the National Rifle Association. 

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Regional
5:25 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Christopher Harris Wants New Trial

Christopher Harris
Credit Logan County

A central Illinois man convicted in May of beating to death five members of his ex-wife's family in their home wants a new trial.  
Attorneys Daniel Fultz and Peter Naylor mailed a motion asking for a new trial for Christopher Harris last Friday. A spokeswoman for the Logan County Circuit Clerk's Office said Monday that it hasn't yet arrived.  
The attorneys argue Judge Scott Drazewski denied 34-year-old Harris a fair trial by refusing to let jurors visit the home in Beason where Rick and Ruth Gee and their children died in 2009.  

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History
3:49 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

New Philadelphia During The Civil War

Credit http://www.newphiladelphiail.org

New Philadelphia was a Pike County town, founded by a former slave in 1836.  But there is another side to the story... What happened in New Philadelphia when the civil war broke out?   

Claire Fuller Martin, a research associate at the Illinois State Museum, will discuss that period during the next museum science series lecture. 


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Retirement? Not On The Farm
8:57 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Harvest Desk Series: "Changing Lands, Changing Hands"

Bob Hawthorn on his Iowa farm
Credit Ray Meints, NET News

The aging of the American farmer is reshaping the rural economy.  Reporter Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media and NET News in Nebraska begins the series "Changing Lands, Changing Hands" by checking in on the fastest growing group of farmers in the U.S. - those age 65 and older.

Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.

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Harvest Desk
7:29 am
Mon July 8, 2013

My Farm Roots: Wings

Kelly Hagler left her family’s farm in northwest Missouri for the bright lights of Chicago, but her family and the farm are never far from her thoughts.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

This is the fifth installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Kelly Hagler, 25, is among the millions of young people who have left rural communities for the bright lights of the city, in this case Chicago.

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Pensions
6:57 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Quinn, Deadlines And Legislative Deadlock

Gov. Pat Quinn set his latest deadline for pension legislation — July 9 — in a Capitol news conference on June 19, 2013.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Tuesday is the latest deadline Governor Pat Quinn has set for overhauling Illinois' pension systems.

It's part of what's become an ongoing pattern: Quinn sets a deadline, the General Assembly fails to meet it, Quinn sets another deadline, et cetera. 

We asked Brian Mackey to take a look at the phenomenon, and try to figure out what — if anything — it says about the governor.

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Statehouse
5:12 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Father-In-Law Reflects On Blagojevich

Credit WBEZ

Retiring Chicago Alderman Dick Mell says his falling out with son-in-law Rod Blagojevich and the former Illinois governor's imprisonment for corruption continue to weigh heavily on him.  
Mell spoke with reporters Friday about his nearly 40 years as a City Council member.  
The 75-year-old says the events surrounding his son-in-law and his wife's death were two painful episodes in his life. He says they ``put a damper'' on what he otherwise regards as a lucky and fulfilling life.  
Mell says it was difficult to say what he really feels about Blagojevich, but he hopes Blagojevich gets an appeal and that his 14-year sentence could be reduced.  
Mell aided Blagojevich's rise to governor, but says he now wished he had ``done things differently.''

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Concealed Carry
4:17 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Quinn Goes To Wrigley Field To Sell Concealed Carry Stance

Governor Pat Quinn took his anti-gun message to the streets Friday. He spoke with reporters outside Wrigley Field in Chicago.
People come to Wrigleyville to watch the Chicago Cubs. Many of them also come to drink.
The neighborhood is home to many bars, and Quinn used that to highlight a change he's demanding in concealed-carry legislation.
As originally passed by the House and Senate, guns would only be banned at businesses that get more than half their revenue from selling alcohol -- basically, that means bars.

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