Meredith Colias

Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Medical Marijuana Bill Touted as Country's Tightest: Illinois to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Rep Lou Lang speaks at a press conference on his medical marijuana bill.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

After voting to reject medical marijuana legislation three times in previous years, the Illinois House approved a bill in April. Sponsor Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat; worked to tighten the bill, which proponents call the most strictly regulated medical marijuana program in the country. “This bill is a very carefully drafted bill,” Gov. Pat Quinn said when he signed the legislation. He did not openly support the bill as it moved through the legislature but said he would keep an open mind if it reached his desk.

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Regional
1:57 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Vets Having Trouble Getting Jobs

Credit Flickr/U.S. Military Academy at West Point

The economy has proven difficult for many.  But one group in particular, returning veterans, is finding it especially hard to locate work.  Meredith Colias of Illinois Issues magazine wrote about the problem in the latest edition. 

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Ilinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Unemployed Veterans: Those Who Served in Post-9/11 Conflicts Discover Occupations Hard to Find

Brian Clauss, director of The John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center, trains pro bono attorneys.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

In a sluggish Illinois economy, one group is finding it surprisingly difficult to find work: veterans of post-9/11 conflicts.

Because the federal government invested millions of dollars into their training, one would think experienced combat veterans would be ideal candidates to fill jobs. But when they leave the military, many find themselves struggling to find work, taking lesser paying jobs or any menial work where they can find it.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Not-So Mighty Mississippi: Weather's Whims Determine How Well Barge Traffic Rolls on River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began using heavy equipment to remove nearly 900 cubic yards of limestone from the navigation channel at Thebes in Alexander County in December. Thebes is a focal point for the Corps because the river there is shallower and the riverbed turns to rock. A Corps spokesman called it “the controlling choke point on the middle Mississippi River.”
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Army Corps of Engineers blew up part of a levee in 2011 to divert rising Mississippi River floodwaters away from Cairo. Now, in early 2013, Corps engineers find themselves in completely opposite circumstances, cautiously taking measures to ensure that commercial shipping can continue as water levels drop. 

Recent severe drought conditions that destroyed crops across Illinois also threaten to shut down barge traffic on the country’s most important waterway for commercial shipping. 

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