Theyâ€™re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what theyâ€™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, itâ€™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.
Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers who didn't send him a pension overhaul bill have let down Illinois taxpayers. Â 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. Â Quinn says there'll be consequences for lawmakers. He's declined to say exactly what he'd do. Â
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.
The results of a national survey show most people have a long way to go when it comes to making sound financial decisions.Â The FINRA Investor Education Foundation conducted the survey and broke down results state by state.Â President Gerri Walsh says people are struggling to make ends meet and to plan ahead.
The Illinois House has rejected Gov. Pat Quinn'sÂ changes to legislation allowing the carrying of concealed guns on the deadlineÂ for action set by a federal court.
If the Senate approves it later today, Illinois would join the rest of theÂ nation in allowing firearms to be carried in public.
The House voted 77-31 to override the Democratic governor's amendatory veto. Â Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes such as prohibiting guns inÂ restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearmÂ at a time.
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:
Part 2 of the Harvest Desk's series Changing Lands, Changing Hands travels to Iowa.Â Driving out of theÂ 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.
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. Â 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. Â Lawmakers moved to form the committee after a compromise couldn't be reached last month. Â
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. Â Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Â Hearings were held regarding Missouri's attempt to extradite him from Illinois for charges that included treason.Â Â Â Smith exercised his right of habeas corpus, requiring hearings to determine if they were being lawfully held in custody.Â Â
Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready for a ``showdown'' in Springfield over concealed carry legislation. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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.Â
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. Â 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. Â 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. Â
The aging of the American farmer is reshaping the rural economy.Â 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.
This is the fifth installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Mediaâ€™s series chronicling Americansâ€™ 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.
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. Â Mell spoke with reporters Friday about his nearly 40 years as a City Council member. Â 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. Â 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. Â Mell aided Blagojevich's rise to governor, but says he now wished he had ``done things differently.''
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.
This week, a new Illinois Supreme Court rule took effect that's intended to make it easier for spouses of military personnel to get a law license.
Angela Allen practices law in Chicago and, with a husband in the Illinois National Guard, she's one of about 800 members of the Military Spouse J.D. Network.
Allen says the job market for lawyers is tough enough as it is, but with the frequent transfers that are a part of military life, she says the time and expense of getting a new state law license made it even harder on the lawyer-spouses.
Carly Shank joins usÂ to talk about the play 'The Crucible', written by Arthur Miller. The final performances are Thursday through Sunday at The Theatre in the Park in New Salem. Carly Shank is the director of that production:
CLICK HERE for more information about the production and to purchase tickets.
Illinois' lieutenant governor is seeking clemency for Illinois abolitionists convicted for fighting slavery. Â The Carbondale Democrat's office is working with historians and experts to identify men and women around Illinois who were convicted of violating slavery laws. Â Slavery was abolished in Illinois in 1824, but laws prohibited people from harboring or helping slaves. Â
Illinois officials say the one-year delay in a central requirement of President Barack Obama's health care law will have no direct impact on the new online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can shop for coverage. Â A spokesman for Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is on track to begin enrollment on Oct. 1. Mike Claffey says consumers can expect a range of affordable health care options. Â
A cheerful, joking George Ryan has spoken outside his home after the former Illinois governor was released from home confinement. Â Â Ryan spoke Wednesday afternoon in Kankakee, saying he felt good, physically and mentally. Â Â Wednesday ended more than five years in federal custody for corruption. In January, he was released from an Indiana prison and moved to confinement at his home. Â Â Ryan says he feels ``wonderful'' and that ``freedom's a great thing.'' Â Â Ryan says he's writing a book but didn't elaborate. Â
Doug Whitley, President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says the state's underfunded pension systems are wreaking havoc in other areas.Â He says the growing cost of pension payments is forcing Illinois government to spend less on areas like education and infrastructure.Â
Developers who've been planning for years to build a shopping center and gas station at a busy intersection on Springfield's northwest side say they could break ground on the project next month.
The Jefferson Crossing redevelopment plan got final approval from aldermen Tuesday night.Â The City Council agreed to set aside $9.2 million dollars in future tax revenues to reimburse builders.Â The funds will come from a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District set up in 2007 specifically for the project.
DeLoyce McMurray served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He and more than 19,000 other African Americans became known as "Montford Point Marines" â€” named for the location of their segregated boot camp.
Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was in Springfield Tuesday, presiding over a ceremony to honor a World War II veteran.
Four days after DeLoyce McMurray graduated from high school, he joined the Marines. But instead of training at Parris Island, McMurray was sent to Montford Point. That's where the segregated Marine Corps trained its African-American recruits.
With a week to go before a deadline requiring Illinois allow people to carry guns in public, Gov. Pat Quinn today vetoed the legislation that would have authorized concealed carry.Â The Democrat claims he's concerned about public safety, but he's already under fire by critics who say it's a political stunt. The measure's sponsor has already filed paperwork to override Quinn's changes.
Illinois is the only state in the nation without some form of concealed carry.
District 186 has chosen a search firm to find the next permanent superintendent. Walter Milton left earlier this year and Robert Leming has temporarily taken his place. The search firm School Exec ConnectÂ plans to accept applications until October, provided an ideal candidate is not found before then, says Springfield public school board president Chuck Flamini. He says the next step the search firm plans is organizing focus groups that will meet publicly:
Lawmakers are being called back to Springfield to consider Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed changes on a concealed carry bill. House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown said Tuesday the House will convene in regular session July 9. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says senators will join them.Â That's the day Illinois must meet a court-mandated deadline to legalize concealed carry. Quinn used his amendatory veto power Tuesday to make significant changes. But the bill's sponsor intends to call for an override. Â