Harvest Desk
9:54 am
Wed January 28, 2015

How Much Does Farming Feed The Carbon Cycle?

Crops in the Midwest take in and give off so much carbon that the impact can be seen across the northern hemisphere. (Courtesy USDA NRCS South Dakota)

Scientists have noticed a change in the atmosphere. Plants are taking in more carbon dioxide during the growing season and giving off more carbon in the fall and winter. Recent research shows the massive corn crop in the Corn Belt may be contributing to that deeper breath.

It comes down to the Carbon Cycle. Over the winter when corn fields lay dormant, corn stalks and roots break down, sending CO2 into the air. Then in the summer when a new crop is growing, it takes up carbon from the atmosphere.

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economy
7:29 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Keep An Eye On That Service Tax

The so called "right-to-work" discussion from Governor Bruce Rauner drew a lot of the attention this week, not only of media types, but also labor union types.    

It is sure to be a hot item in the negotiating mix.   But creating a tax on services whether it be a car repair, your tax preparation or hair cut is where Rauner continues to put PART of the focus of his budget efforts.   He has a big power point slide that says  ""Raising Taxes Alone Won't Work". Of course he's stressing budget cuts and fixing structural budget problems but raising taxes is in the mix.  

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Higher Education
6:56 am
Wed January 28, 2015

College Board To Vote Again On Buy-Out To Departing President

Trustees of the College of DuPage are expected to take another vote on a $762,000 buyout package for the school's president.  

The board of trustees last week voted 6-1 to accept the severance deal for President Robert Breuder. The deal will pay Breuder nearly three times his base salary when he retires in March 2016, three years before his current contract expires. He's been the college's president since January 2009.  

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
4:56 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Rauner Raises Unions' Ire With Right-To-Work Plan

Gov. Bruce Rauner says there's a "corrupt bargain" between unions and politicians; he singles out Gov. Pat Quinn for getting campaign contributions from labor, then working out deals that Rauner says advantaged unions. One labor leader called the "corrupt bargain" notion illegal, and questioned if Rauner's beholden to the businessmen who've put millions of dollars into his campaign fund.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

Gov. Bruce Rauner amped up his anti-union rhetoric Tuesday at a speech in Decatur, a city with deep labor roots.  The Republican bemoaned prevailing wage  requirements on public projects for costing the state extra, said Project Labor Agreements are synonymous with "uncompetitive bidding" and introduced a plan to create local right-to-work zones.  

Unions are on edge about what Rauner has in store for them. He has railed against “government union bosses,” and names Indiana's former Gov. Mitch Daniels as a political role model. It's Daniels who made Indiana a right-to-work state.

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Statehouse
1:14 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Could Be Official State Pie

Credit United States Department of Agriculture

There are many ways to add pumpkin to recipes, but one lawmaker wants to make it a permanent ingredient on the list of state symbols.

You can find pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream, and even pumpkin chili at the pumpkin festival in Morton. Representative Keith Sommer, a Republican who's from Morton, wants to bring even more attention to the state's star squash.

Sommer is a sponsor of legislation to make pumpkin pie the official state pie of Illinois. He says it is a way to recognize something good from Illinois.

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Cheryl Waters hosts The Midday Show on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at KEXP.org. As the On-Air Events Coordinator, Waters also books the artists that perform at the KEXP live in-studio performances, live remote broadcasts and KEXP events.

Waters has been a DJ at KEXP since 1994. Her knowledge of and passion for music, both new and old, is evident in her diverse shows. She was the music critic for Seattle NPR station KUOW for more than 10 years. In addition to music, Waters is passionate about books and film.

economy
12:17 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Illinois Construction Picture Improves

An industry trade group says that Illinois added 20,200 construction jobs from December, 2013 to December, 2014.  While people would like to attribute it to an improving job climate, it's probably just a better climate this time around.  Weather was a major factor in the job growth.  While attributing much of the the growth this winter over last year's exceptionally harsh winter,  the Associated General Contractors of America reports  the job growth came in 40 states and shows that construction firms are also more optimistic.

Business
11:37 am
Tue January 27, 2015

More People Flying Out Of Springfield & Bacon To Bring Them In WUIS-SJR Business Report

The number of passengers flying out of Springfield is on the upswing, pork belly related festival for downtown Springfield and opposition develops to transmission line project.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Tim Landis on this weeks Business Report:

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Harvest Desk
7:51 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Poultry Industry Warily Watches Bird Flu Outbreak

The turkeys in this barn on Noel Thompson’s farm in central Iowa are tested routinely for disease, including avian influenza. No bird flu has been found in the commercial poultry industry in this country. (Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

Update: Avian influenza was found in a Foster Farms turkey flock in Stanislaus County, Calif., the company announced Monday. The outbreak is thought to be the first infection of this type of bird flu in a commercial flock in the U.S. In a previous version of this post, the location of the outbreak was incorrectly identified.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
7:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Political Football With Sports Facilities Agency

Gov. Bruce Rauner has picked a campaign supporter, attorney Sanchez, as chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.
Credit Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP

An ally of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will chair the state agency that owns the Chicago White Sox stadium and oversaw the renovations of Soldier Field, but one of former Governor Pat Quinn's closest confidants will still retain his high-paying post.

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has been home base for all sorts of political wins and losses over the years. And there's a whole roster of players.

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