Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration will find a new director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum instead of hiring an outside search firm. 

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College in Normal is bracing for a potential faculty strike but the school's president intends to hold classes whether it happens or not.  

Imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his corruption convictions that included his bid to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.


The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board of directors has dismissed the director and appointed its general counsel to hold the post on an interim basis. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has released parts of his 2014 state and federal tax returns that show he and his wife, Diana, made $58.3 million last year.


The director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has resigned following years of disagreements with the head of the state agency that oversees the museum.

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is calling for legislation that would keep convicts from being labeled as felons for the remainder of their lives.

Sean Crawford/WUIS

An effort is underway to repair one of the few railroad depots remaining in Sangamon County. 

The State Journal-Register reports the newly formed Chatham Railroad Museum Association is raising money to fix the roof and make other improvements to the Chatham Railroad Depot. 

The Village of Chatham owns the structure, which was built in 1902.  But it doesn't have enough money to pay for the estimated $10,00o in needed repairs.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to close state museums and a sport-shooting complex to the public because of the budget crisis, even though most staff will still report to work. 


St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is pledging that police will be out in full force near Busch Stadium as the Cardinals enter the postseason, after a fan was shot and possibly paralyzed following a game.  

The shooting has generated concern about safety in what has been a violent year in St. Louis.  

A former Illinois state representative sentenced to five months in prison for pocketing a $7,000 bribe is asking for a delay in his surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  

Derrick Smith, a 51-year-old Chicago Democrat, was sentenced in April after jurors convicted him last year of bribery and attempted extortion for accepting a bribe for supporting a day care center's application for a $50,000 state grant. The facility was fictitious and part of an FBI sting.  

Credit Flickr/aka_kath

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has accepted the resignation of the state's Agriculture Department director and the director of the state fair.  

The resignations of Phil Nelson and Patrick Buchen were announced late Thursday. The reasons for their resignations were not given. 


Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says he expects the city and region to absorb a sizable hit as manufacturer Caterpillar plans to reduce its workforce by as many as 10,000 people.  

Ardis told The Associated Press Thursday that the company has not shared specifics about the local impact of what could amount to an 8 percent reduction to its global workforce of 126,800 by 2018. Half of those cuts are expected by the end of next year.  

Jason Parrott

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants a federal review of the state's response to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that killed 12 residents of a western Illinois veterans home.

The University of Illinois plans to reduce off-campus crop research and may shut down several agricultural centers as part of a cost-cutting move tied to flagging state support.
The budget cuts will affect the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center near Vandalia; the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois; the St. Charles Horticulture Research Center west of Chicago; and the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near DeKalb.


Data from the Illinois Secretary of State's office show that more than 5,000 Illinoisans who were convicted of drunken driving four times and had their licenses revoked could legally drive again under a new state law.
 Gov. Bruce Rauner last month signed the measure, which would provide restricted permits if drivers prove they are drug and alcohol free for at least three
     More than half of the 5,085 eligible drivers live in the Chicago area.
 The Chicago Sun-Times reports ( ) the Illinois Secretary

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois' unpaid bills backlog could potentially jump past $8 billion by next year without a state budget. 


Illinois' transportation chief has delivered a tough review of the state's capacity to solve problems, saying it's planning ``for yesterday's transportation system.''  

Randy Blankenhorn has served as the secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation for seven months.  

He gave a speech in Chicago Wednesday that cited traffic congestion and sluggish movement of freight as examples of Illinois being too focused on the condition of state roads and bridges. He said the state is failing to look at the bigger picture.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a new commander of the Illinois Air National Guard.  

Brig. Gen. Ronald E. Paul of Springfield will serve as assistant adjutant general upon the retirement of Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro.

The post commands about 3,000 members of the Air National Guard under Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Hayes.  

Rauner says Paul has led airmen for 27 years in operations around the world. He says he has shown leadership ability and skill in building partnerships.  

History buffs in Hancock County hope to increase awareness of six area cemeteries where more than two dozen relatives of Abraham Lincoln are buried.  

At least 29 relatives are buried at the Majorville, Webster, Calvary, LaHarpe, Giddings Mound and St. Simon cemeteries in Hancock County. Many of them are cousins of the nation's 16th president.  

Univ. of Illinois

A former University of Illinois graduate student is suing the school's board of trustees and others, claiming administrators retaliated against her after she accused a visiting researcher of sexual harassment. 

University of Illinois

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman one week before the start of the season, citing preliminary results of an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment and inappropriate behavior.  

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Friday that the timing is unfortunate, but ``it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released.'' He says that could happen during the season.

Illinois authorities say eight residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy have confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease.  

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the cases Thursday, adding that there have been no known deaths related to the outbreak.  

The agencies say test results are currently pending for other residents.  
 They say they're working closely with the Adams County Health Department to identify and mitigate possible sources of the Legionella bacteria.

The University of Illinois will name the new court at the State Farm Center after longtime Illini coach Lou Henson.  

The university announced the move Monday, saying the Lou Henson Court will bear the 83-year-old former coach's signature.  

Henson is the winningest coach in the history of the University of Illinois. He won 423 games in 21 seasons. This year, he was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and is due to be inducted in November.  

Henson is also battling what he has called pre-leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy.  

Gill campaign

A former Democratic nominee in central Illinois's 13th Congressional District has announced an independent bid for the seat.  

Bloomington doctor David Gill said Tuesday that his ``independent campaign will be highly competitive, in spite of the obstacles built into the system by the two major parties.''  

Gill last ran for the seat in 2012 and lost by 1,002 votes to Republican Rodney Davis, now in his second term.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports ( ) no Democrat has announced plans to challenge Davis.  

University of Illinois

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise says she is resigning over concerns that what she called ``external issues'' involving her are a distraction to the university.  

University President Timothy Killeen said in an announcement Thursday he will appoint an interim chancellor to take over Wise's duties. Her resignation is effective Aug. 12.  

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A bipartisan legislative commission has rejected Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to close two state facilities.  

On a pair of 7-2 votes, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued non-binding decisions against shuttering the Illinois State Museum and the Department of Corrections' Hardin County Work Camp in southern Illinois.


Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a full appellate court in Chicago to rehear his appeal after three judges recently overturned five of his 18 corruption convictions.  

The imprisoned Democrat's lawyers filed the request Tuesday with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Mitsubishi Motors says it plans to stop U.S. production at its facility in central Illinois and sell the plant.
Dan Irvin, tthe company's North American spokesman, said Friday that the Japanese automaker reviewed its global supply chain and decided it was necessary to end production at the plant and find a buyer.


Budget cuts at Eastern Illinois University now include furlough days for 222 employees.  

The Mattoon Journal-Gazette and (Charleston) Times-Courier reports ( ) that EIU President David Glassman sent a letter to the university community on Wednesday detailing the furloughs.

Last month Glassman sent an email letting employees know that layoffs were possible in July.