Bill Wheelhouse

Anchor/ Economy Blog

Pages

Illinois Issues - 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:

Read more
Education Desk
7:11 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Community College President To Get Payout & A Building In His Name

Severances and bonuses seem to be a way of life for Illinois colleges and universities.

College of DuPage officials have voted to approve a  $762,000 buyout package for the school's president when he retires next year.
 
 The board of trustees accepted the severance deal Thursday as part a four-page agreement regarding the early retirement of President Robert Breuder next March.

Read more
Illinois Issues - The Scene
7:27 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Downtown Festivals Revamped

Downtown Springfield is going to make changes to its major summer events.   

The group says its doing away with it Taste of Downtown. 

Instead it will introduce the Downtown Bacon Throwdown in July.   The group is also planning to move the Old Capitol Blues and BBQ's Festival from August to early October.  

Hot weather has affected attendance, which put the  group in financial trouble this past year.

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
11:17 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Collecting On Line Sales Tax & A Springfield Manufacturer Expands On WUIS/SJR Business Report

Credit flickr/jmorgan

On this week's Business Report, Bill Wheelhouse talks with Tim Landis about a new effort to collect on-line sales taxes in Illinois; Nudo Products expands & Illinois has a new agriculture director.

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
7:32 am
Tue January 20, 2015

The Most In-Demand Jobs in Chicago

Crain's has an article of a dozen of the most in-demand jobs in Chicago.   Bartender (excuse me, "mixologist,")  is on the list.   

Read the article here

Illinois Issues - Economy
3:00 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Business Group Loosening Stance on Service Tax

Todd Maisch
Credit Il Chamber

  A leading business group is hinting that it could loosen  its stance on opposition to a service tax.

During the campaign, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a tax on certain services as a possible way to raise money.   The state Chamber of Commerce is gauging its members on what they could support when it comes to revenue for the state.

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
7:27 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Popcorn Is A Growth Business

Pre-popped bagged popcorn gets into my snack habit because its only a buck in the office vending machine.  Many other products cost a quarter more.   But popcorn is becoming a bigger business other than just a movie theatres.  Check this article out.

Illinois Issues - Economy
8:27 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Get Your Cuban Cigars

The ban on Cuba Cigars is over... sort of.    The Obama's administration easing of trade restrictions takes effect Friday.    It means Americans can bring $100 worth of tobacco into the United States.   So that can buy a few cigars.

Illinois Issues - The Scene
7:26 am
Wed January 14, 2015

New Head of Springfield Area Arts Council

Credit courtesy photo

The former executive director of the State Historical Society is now the head of the Springfield Area Arts Council.   Jon Austin started his job with the beginning of the new year. 

He also was founding director of the Museum of Funeral Customs. 

Austin replaces Penny Wollan-Kriel who retired in the fall.

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
11:00 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Menard County Hog Farm Hits Snag WUIS/SJR Biz. Report

Credit Bill Wheelhouse / WUIS / Illinois Issues

A large scale hog farm is on hold temporarily and low oil prices may be dampening business interest in fracking in Illinois on this week's WUIS/SJR Business Report.  Bill Wheelhouse chats with Tim Landis.

Read more
Statehouse
7:24 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Vinicky Discusses Quinn's Last and Rauner's First

Governor Pat Quinn will spend his final hours in office in Chicago while Bruce Rauner is inaugurated as the State's 42nd Governor in Springfield.

Bill Wheelhouse and Amanda Vinicky discuss final actions by the outgoing Governor and the first likely actions by the incoming Governor.

WUIS will have live coverage of the inaugural at 11:50 a.m.

Read more
Regional
11:30 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Cuba: Illinoisans Look Ahead And A Look At Some Cool Cars

Rich Berning

The recent Obama administration announcement of easing trade and travel restrictions certainly caught Rich Berning's attention.  The Springfield man had just visited the island nation in November.  Bill Wheelhouse, who visited Cuba in 1999 with Governor George Ryan, chatted with Berning.  We also have a few photos of those old American cars they keep running on the island.

Read more
Regional
5:11 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Springfield & Most Other Schools Closed Today

Most area schools are closed today due to the dangerous wind chills.   Springfield District 186 has canceled classes. No school in Chatham Glenwood and Rochester. All other public schools are closed in Sangamon County.  Schools are closed in Jacksonville & Lincoln.

Meteorologist Mike Bardou  says central Illinois will get
progressively colder. Springfield's temperature will fall from about 3 degrees
in the morning to about minus-7 in the afternoon, with wind chills of 22- to
32-below.

Business
11:03 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Another Pipeline Proposed For Area. WUIS/SJR Business Report

A Dallas-based company wants to build an oil pipeline through parts of central and western Illinois.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Tam Landis about that and other issues on this week's business report:

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
12:00 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Introducing The 'Economy' Blog

Credit mattpenning.com 2009 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Editor's Note: 
January marks a new phase in our journalism.  Due to the merger between WUIS and Illinois Issues, we now have a number of journalists that enable reporting on a beat model.  A beat allows a reporter to learn events and people more thoroughly than general assignment reporting.  Each reporter is focusing on key issues in the state.  We're calling it the "Illinois Issues Initiative." 

ILLINOIS ECONOMY
Bill Wheelhouse 

Read more
Illinois Issues - Economy
12:00 am
Thu January 1, 2015

The Fifth Inning - Illinois' Economic Recovery Is Just Warming Up

Mark Selvaggio, President of Selvaggio Steel in Springfield says workers compensation cost and unpredictable tax environment are slowing manufacturing.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

For fans of baseball, the midwinter tradition is underway — counting down the days until the pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

When evaluating Illinois’ recovery from the recession, James Glassman uses a baseball analogy. The head economist for commercial banking with JP Morgan Chase says Illinois has only reached the fifth inning in the recovery.

Read more
Health Desk
6:48 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Springfield Hospitals Competing For Trauma Patients

Credit northwestern.edu

Both of Springfield's major hospitals will be offering trauma care starting New Years Day.   

The State Journal Register reports that HSHS St. John's Hospital will compete with Memorial Medical Center in offering trauma care.  In the past the hospitals alternated annually providing care to those seriously injured. 

Read more
Business
10:59 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Illinois Home Sales & Prices Expected To Rise In 2015

2015 Illinois Home Prices To Rise Slightly
Credit Flickr/Images_of_money

A new report predicts an uptick in home sales in Illinois in the coming year. Although a number of potential homebuyers are still sitting on sidelines. The forecast for housing prices in the coming year shows some increases, but not the kind of gains experienced in the last couple of years. 

Geoffrey Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois says while the housing market continues to recovery, he says millennials would rather rent than buy.

Read more
2014 Pledge Drive Message
12:01 am
Thu December 18, 2014

2014 Year End Drive Message: Bill Wheelhouse

Regional
9:52 am
Tue December 16, 2014

WUIS-SJR Business Report The End of Times For Bel-Aire Motel

Postcard of the Bel-Aire in the heyday.
Credit Route 66 University

Bel-Aire Motel residents caught off guard by demolition announcement on this week's Business Report.

Tim Landis and Bill Wheelhouse also talk about the closing of a century old business in the community and the sales of Road Rangers in the area.

Read more
Business
12:17 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Workplace Fatalities Up In Illinois

Credit gcak12.org

The leading cause of on-the-job deaths in Illinois is vehicle accidents. 

172 people died on the job in Illinois in 2013, up  from the year before.   Almost a third of those deaths came from transportation accidents.   Laura Johnson is the Executive Director of the Iowa-Illinois Safety council.

"It really doesn't matter where your employee gets hurt does it? It is still a catastrophic event for your organizations. So we really push defensive driver training for our member companies".

Read more
Statehouse
11:14 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Officials Unclear On Filling Topinka Vacancy

State Comptroller's Web Site Remembering Topinka

With the death of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, it would seem that the next step is for the Governor to appoint a successor.  However, election officials are unsure about the process:

The constitution says the governor would choose someone to fill out the term until the next election. Except the term ends January 12  and an election has already been held.   State Board of Elections Director Rupert Borgsmiller says they are not sure how to handle it:

"Nobody knows at this point by looking at the  constitution and the election code itself"

Read more
Business
10:59 am
Tue December 9, 2014

WUIS SJ-R Business Report - Sale Of President Lincoln Hotel, Layoffs Starting At Benedictine

Tim Landis chats with Bill about the purchase of the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, layoffs at Benedictine University and Viper Mine Files Its Application for Expansion.

Read more
Statehouse
7:26 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Statehouse Summary- Same Day Voter Registration & Pension Appeal

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

The Illinois Senate has passed legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage. The legislation would by 2019 increase Illinois' minimum wage to $11 an hour for workers 18 and older. The bill won't impact Chicago's decision to raise its wage to $13 by 2019.  The House adjourned without voting on it.

Read more
Statehouse
7:12 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Madigan Says Court Could Rule On Pensions In January

Credit Marsy's Law for Illinois

Attorney General Lisa  Madigan says if the state supreme court agrees to an expedited hearing...  a ruling on the state's pension law could come by January,.

Read more
Education Desk
11:52 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience

Timothy Killeen
Credit WUIS/Bill Wheelhouse

Timothy Killeen, who has been selected as the next president of the University of Illinois travelled to the university's three campuses. Killeen who will be the 20th U of I President has been the vice chancellor for research at the State University of New York.   A researcher in geophysics and space sciences, he will start his new job in July.  He spoke about his goals and what he sees for the University's Springfield campus.

Read more
Statehouse
8:14 am
Wed November 19, 2014

U of I Selects New President

UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch welcomed new University of Illinois President-designate Timothy L. Killeen to campus this afternoon by presenting him with a UIS tie.
Credit UIS.edu

The University of Illinois system has hired State University of New York Vice Chancellor for Research Timothy L. Killeen as its next president.  

The university announced Wednesday that the 62-year-old Killeen will become president when current President Robert Easter retires in June.  

The 67-year-old Easter became president in 2012 during a period of turmoil.  
 Both of his predecessors, Michael Hogan and B. Joseph White, resigned under pressure. Easter is credited by many with overseeing a relatively calm period.  

Read more
Regional
6:57 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Hearing On Transmission Line That Would Come Through Region

An effort to bring a high voltage power line across Illinois and other states is getting a discussion tonight (Monday) in Missouri. 

That state's public service commission begins hearings on a request by Clean Line Energy partners to build a high voltage power line from wind turbines in Kansas to Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.      The  plan would bring the lines near Hannibal then through Pike, Greene and Macoupin  counties among others in central Illinois.

Read more
Statehouse
7:42 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Did Rauner Actually Call Madigan and Cullerton?

Credit brucerauner.com

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Bruce Rauner indicated he had called House Speaker Michael Madigan and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton.

However, a couple of reports indicated that neither Madigan nor Cullerton spoke with the Governor-Elect.   Reports in the State Journal Register and Chicago Sun Times say Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman has no record of any calls from Rauner

Read more

Pages