Illinois schools and school districts get report cards Thursday. Many will appear to have suffered a significant drop in student achievement. But state officials say that’s just because they’ve changed how students are evaluated.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; during the fall veto session, doctors traveled to Springfield to show state legislators how 3D mammography (the scientific term is tomosynthesis) works, and its benefits.
A man about to be sent to prison for aggravated battery has escaped from the Macon County Jail in Decatur.
The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports (http://bit.ly/1aISpvu ) that 25-year-old Schuyler McCoy escaped Wednesday and police have begun a search.
Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider tells the newspaper that McCoy escaped around 1:30 p.m. after identifying himself to correctional officers as a different inmate who was in the process of being released on bond.
"A fairly recent one from the old Milton School house in Alton, photo taken by Danielle Spain, she felt something behind her and a cold chill, put camera over her shoulder and captured this dark shadow figure. " -Carl Jones
"From a home just outside of Spfld, where a little girl had been seen, and she liked to put her finger to her mouth and shush people. It looks like perhaps a little girl appearing at the end of the hallway (?). " - Carl Jones
You may be queuing up some scary movies on Netflix to get into the spirit of Halloween this week. But for some, interests in ghosts lasts all year 'round. Carl Jones started the Prairieland Paranormal Consortium and teaches classes at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield about the paranormal.
The Springfield-area is home to numerous ghost-hunting groups that investigate hauntings year round. As you might imagine, after going on hundreds of paranormal explorations - investigators start to acquire a few scary stories. WUIS recently caught up with two area paranormal investigators who were on site at one of Springfield's most notoriously haunted locations. If the evidence captured from that night doesn't scare you, perhaps their tales of their own run-ins with ghosts will.
Two state senators say partisan bickering over the state's budget should be set aside for the sake of Illinois residents.
Park Ridge Democrat Dan Kotowski and McHenry Republican Pam Althoff touted the results of a survey of Illinois residents at a Tuesday news conference in Chicago.
Kotowski says both Democrats and Republicans want many of the same things out of the state's budget. That includes more of the state's budget being put toward growing businesses, ensuring public safety and improving infrastructure.
Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. said today that its third-quarter earnings more than doubled partly on increased profit margins on ethanol. But the Decatur-based company says its results fell short of last year when adjusted to exclude an inventory credit.
Revenue fell 2 percent but beat analysts' forecasts. Net income was $476 million, or 72 cents per share, up from $182 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.
Few people these days can tell you much about former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner other than he spent time in prison. But there was more to the man who oversaw state government from 1961 to 1968. This Saturday, an all day conference in Springfield will focus on Kerner, looking at his professional accomplishments, his trial and conviction and his private life.
The event, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, will include journalists, politicians and even members of Kerner's family.
Credit Darrell Hoemann/ Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting
The future of SNAP, the program which funds what are commonly referred to as food stamps, is up for debate as Congress attempts to authorize a new Farm Bill. An increase passed by Congress in 2009 to food stamps expires at the end of the month.
Food pantries and homeless shelters say they're beginning to notice repercussions of a reduction in food stamps that will take effect Fri., Nov. 1. A temporary hike in benefits that kicked as a result of the recession expires this week.
Individuals enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could see their benefits cut by $11 a month. A family of four could see a decrease of $36.
Credit DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox
Daniel Day-Lewis, center, portrays the title character in "Lincoln." One of his costumes and the cabinet room set are among the items from the film to be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
A piece of Hollywood is coming to Illinois. Director Steven Spielberg is sending props and sets from the movie “Lincoln” to be part of a new exhibit at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
The museum will get two big sets: the Lincoln bedroom, and the cabinet room in which the president — played by Daniel Day-Lewis — argued for passage of a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.
Union workers are still fighting for raises they were owed starting in 2011, but have never been paid. A court has ruled in their favor, but the Illinois legislature is still debating whether to make good.
To finally settle the pay raise issue, lawmakers would have to come up with about $100 million.
The Rally Squirrel hasn't retired, he's just caught up in litigation. When a squirrel bounded through the batter's box during the St. Louis Cardinals' 2011 postseason, an array of Rally Squirrel merchandise quickly sprang up.
The rodent and all that he wrought is barely a memory now, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a trademark dispute lingers at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Stella Cole and Kevin Purcell join us to talk about a play that runs this weekend at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Called 'The Little Years' it explores the trials of a female math prodigy. Following her over the course of over 40 years, from the time she was a teen during the 1950s, the Canadian play explores what happens when a brilliant young mind goes to relative waste:
Though he supported Illinois' income tax hike in the past, Governor Pat Quinn is so far unwilling to take a stance on whether it should expire.
This fiscal year, Illinois is putting $6.8 billion toward pensions. An amount that's more than covered by how much money the state took in from a higher income tax rate -- the increase alone is projected to pull in almost $8 billion this year.
But that raises the question: how will Illinois function when the income tax revenues begin to decrease?
You've probably heard of Black Friday - but what about "Green Saturday"? No? Well that's a day the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and genHkids, non-profits aimed at promoting agriculture, nutrition and the buy-local movement, have recently come up with. And this Saturday marks the kick-off - with the group urging Illinois residents to support the state's farmers by purchasing their produce.
The following is from the Central Illinois Foodbank:
The Springfield Rotary Club is working toward a goal of 2,000 pounds of citrus to be donated to Central Illinois Foodbank. The club currently is about half way to their goal and hopes the community will help them double their current total.
The fall is a time when farmers prepare to harvest the year's crop. Half a year's worth of preparation, planting and waiting all comes down to the moment when they bring in their paycheck. But there are several farmers and business people who have a different idea in mind:
At the downtown farmer's market this Saturday, visitors can see display designs created by several architects. They offer their vision of what downtown properties could become, with a focus on residential opportunities.
Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday heard from supporters and opponents of allowing more casinos in Illinois. But they're no closer to making a deal.
Gambling was a big issue earlier this year, but negotiations fell apart in May, at the end of the spring legislative session. Since then, attention has moved to other issues, like the state's underfunded pension systems.
On the table are five new casinos — in Chicago and its north and south suburbs, in Rockford, and in Danville. The plan would also allow slot machines at horse racetracks.
Illinois legislators were supposed to meet this week for three days as part of the fall veto session; instead they left Springfield after only two.
Little was accomplished during that time. Despite competing rallies, the Illinois House did not vote on legalizing same-sex marriage, whether state agencies, including the state police, will receive additional money remains unsettled, and there was no action on Illinois' pensions, which are the worst-funded in the nation.
It can give the impression that legislators are not doing their jobs.
You might not know it, but Springfield is home to a cultural center specializing in Africa. Run by a man known for his permanent smile, Roosevelt Pratt has unrelenting enthusiasm for his mission - to teach those in the Springfield-area about different aspects of African culture - from food, to language, to music... and more. But his path to Springfield was not an easy one, and he still struggles to do what he loves most, educate:
Dr. Russell Dohner of Rushville is among the latest inductees to the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior Hall of Fame.
The 88-year-old physician has treated patients in west central Illinois since 1955. He still makes house calls, patient rounds at the local hospital and nursing home, and is known to charge patients only $5.00 for the entire cost of visits. Dohner served as the 2013 Illinois State Fair Parade Grand Marshal.
A day after supporters of same-sex marriage rallied at the Illinois Capitol, opponents had their turn. Thousands gathered at the statehouse Wednesday, Oct. 23, urging the Illinois House to uphold traditional marriage.
The event started with a prayer led by Monsignor Carl Kemme, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield.
A search firm hired by district 186 to help in the hunt for a new Springfield public schools superintendent recently shared its findings after turning to parents, teachers, and the community at large for feedback. Board member Scott McFarland joins us to discuss some of the findings, and talk about the profile of qualities being sought after in a superintendent candidate: