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home : news : state news free September 15, 2019

Attorney: Back pay due to all lawmakers who served between 2009 and 2018
Illinois’ chief fiscal officer has a “clear duty” to pay lost wages to all members of the General Assembly affected by two statutes a Cook County judge ruled were unconstitutional, the attorney for two former Democratic state senators wrote in a court filing.
Saturday, September 14, 2019


Long-awaited repairs for Black Hawk statue set to begin
The first steps in repairing a century-old landmark in northern Illinois known as the Black Hawk statue are finally underway.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Fetal remains found in Illinois home of doctor who died
More than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains have been found at the Illinois home of a former Indiana abortion clinic doctor who died last week.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Legislators unveil bill to keep ethylene oxide emissions away from 'densely populated regions'
A coalition of advocacy groups and lawmakers from both parties unveiled a bill Friday that would phase out emissions of a cancer-causing gas in densely populated areas and near schools or day cares by 2022.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Illinois agency can help find unclaimed life insurance money
Illinois officials say residents have been able to collect more than $15 million from lost or unclaimed life insurance policies this year with help from the Department of Insurance.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Illinois part of antitrust investigation of Google
The advertising and other business practices of tech giant Google will be under heavy scrutiny in the coming months as part of a bipartisan investigation led by 50 attorneys general, including Democrat Kwame Raoul of Illinois.
Friday, September 13, 2019

U of I system says enrollment has reached a record high
The University of Illinois system is reporting enrollment at its three campuses has reached a record high of 88,861 students.
Friday, September 13, 2019

Hastert trying to take back admissions
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has sought to retract key admissions he made during his federal criminal case years ago that he sexually abused a then-high school student, a filing in an ongoing civil case alleges.

The document filed by lawyers for the accuser cites a 2018 deposition in which Hastert says his legal team crafted admissions that he had molested the teenager but that he didn’t agree with much of it.

Friday, September 13, 2019

State agencies advised to prepare for budget cuts
Illinois’ budget office has issued a memo warning agency heads they should be prepared to make significant cuts to next year’s budgets.
Friday, September 13, 2019

Raoul rejects settlement with OxyContin maker
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul this week said he would reject a settlement agreement with opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma under its reported current terms and announced a lawsuit against several other opioid manufacturers.

In April, Raoul's office filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the opioid OxyContin and defendant in thousands of other lawsuits from local municipalities and states affected by the opioid epidemic.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wife of alderman facing charges to be chief justice
The wife of a powerful Chicago alderman facing federal corruption allegations will become the Illinois Supreme Court’s next chief justice.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Chicago schools handling of sex abuse claims 'tragic'
Federal education officials on Thursday called Chicago Public Schools’ handling of sexual abuse complaints “tragic and inexcusable” and outlined corrective steps after a systemic investigation of the nation’s third-largest school district.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Court allows enforcement of asylum rule
The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Trump finds backing from Senate on border wall
A Republican-controlled Senate committee approved a Pentagon funding bill today, rejecting Democratic attempts to cut President Donald Trump’s border wall request and his moves to pay for the project without congressional approval.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Judge: Hastert victim broke terms of 3.5 million dollar hush-money deal
A former student who Dennis Hastert sexually abused decades ago breached an unwritten $3.5 million hush-money agreement with the former U.S. House Speaker by telling family members and a friend about it, an Illinois judge ruled this week.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Chicago: $213 million on police cases
Chicago has paid private attorneys $213 million to handle police or misconduct cases over the past 15 years, in addition to the $757 million paid to resolve the cases through judgments or settlements, according to a published report.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

U of I professor accused of exploiting Chinese students
A federal lawsuit filed against a former University of Illinois associate professor on Asian cultures accuses him of sexually and emotionally exploiting his Chinese students.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Urbana against Gary Xu seeks damages and unpaid wages on 10 allegations, including emotional distress, gender violence, involuntary servitude, forced labor and sex trafficking.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Raoul: Pharma deal should hold Sacklers accountable
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says any deal with Purdue Pharma for the role it played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis must hold the Sackler family, owners of the company, accountable.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Retired judge tabbed to fill court vacancy
The Illinois Supreme Court has summoned a retired judge to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Fifth District Appellate Court.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Woman sitting in house in Chicago shot by passing car
A Chicago woman is in critical condition after a bullet fired from a passing car pierced her front window and struck her in the head as she sat in her living room.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Mt.. Pulaski will celebrate its heritage this weekend
Join the Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site in celebrating the annual Mount Pulaski Fall Festival on September 13 and 14, with many of the festival activities centered around the Courthouse Square. There will be food and craft vendors and beer tents, contests, kids activities and special history events at the Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Some lawmakers wary of plan to move foster kids
The state of Illinois is about to overhaul the way it provides health care to an estimated 74,000 of the state’s most vulnerable children and young adults, and the prospect of that is making many lawmakers and health care providers nervous.

 At issue is a plan by the Department of Children and Family Services to place all of the children under its charge into a single managed care health insurance program, similar to those that now manage the bulk of the state’s Medicaid program, by Nov. 1.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Secure Choice program takes aim at 'retirement crisis'
More than 24,000 private sector Illinois workers have collectively stashed away more than $5 million in retirement savings since January as part of a new state program that increases access to retirement accounts for individuals whose employers do not already offer them.

Illinois Secure Choice was created by state law in 2015, requiring businesses with 25 employees or more to offer retirement savings plans or take part in the new program, which automatically enrolls workers in a state-created but independently managed retirement plan.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Illinois derailment causes fire and school evacuation
A freight train believed to be bearing a flammable liquid used in solvents derailed Tuesday in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, causing a fire that sent thick, black smoke into the air and prompted the evacuation of nearby schools and residences.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

State surveys crimes against LGBTQ
State officials are conducting a survey on crime against LGBTQ individuals that will help inform how to disperse funding and state and local policies. 
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Springfield to consider cannabis zoning and taxes
Officials in Illinois’ capitol city will begin debating regulations on growing and selling recreational marijuana before it becomes legal Jan. 1.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Uber adding 2,000 jobs in Chicago, mostly in freight
Uber plans to open a new office in Chicago and add 2,000 people to its area workforce over the next three years.

The office will officially house the company’s freight business and a related engineering hub.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Durbin urges better regulation of vaping industry
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to better regulate the electronic cigarette industry in the wake of several vaping-related deaths, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois urged Monday.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fewer sites available for disabled hunters' event
State officials say fewer sites are available for a turkey and deer hunting event for hunters with disabilities because of improvement work at a northern Illinois state park.
Monday, September 9, 2019

Trial to begin in 9-year-old's killing that shocked Chicago
It stands as one of Chicago’s most horrific crimes, in large part because of small details that are impossible to shake: The promise of a juice box that lured the 9-year-old boy off a playground and into an alley, and the basketball he dropped when he was shot and killed there.
Monday, September 9, 2019

EPA, local governments clean up 600 tons of dumped tires
State regulators and local governments in northern Illinois have removed more than 600 tons of dumped tires.
Monday, September 9, 2019

UI creates shuttle between Urbana and Chicago
URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is spending $900,000 on four buses to shuttle employees and others between its Urbana/Champaign and Chicago campuses. The service is for faculty members, students and staff members traveling on university business.  The service is scheduled for launching on Oct. 31, and will offer three round trips daily between the two campuses. They will depart in the early morning, at midday and late afternoon.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Expanded gambling law tighter on ethics
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Gaming Board announced Friday that it had adopted new rules it said will strengthen existing ethical safeguards and require more people to file ethical disclosure reports as part of the casino license selection process.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Additional money for courts will benefit local gov't
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ judicial branch will use its first budget increase in six years in part to alleviate costs paid by local governments, court officials said.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Judge paves the way for reopening of Sterigenics
SPRINGFIELD – A DuPage County judge approved a consent order Friday that will allow Sterigenics, a medical supply sterilization company linked to increased cancer rates in the Willowbrook area, to reopen if it meets stringent new requirements.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

State gets $38M to fight opioid epidemic
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois and the city of Chicago are receiving nearly $38 million in federal grants to fight the opioid eipdemic.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Nurse-patient ratio advocates tout survey showing benefits
SPRINGFIELD – Advocates for a law that would limit the number of patients each hospital nurse is allowed to care for at one time are touting a new national survey that suggests such a rule would lead to better working conditions for nurses and better care for patients.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Lincoln grandchildren different than famous grandfather
ILLINOIS — Abraham Lincoln never met his grandchildren, since he was assassinated before any of them were born. Given the opportunity, they may not have been especially interested in meeting him, either.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Forum looks at state's role in creating atomic bomb
SPRINGFIELD — The road to modern nuclear plants, and to the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, began in Illinois, a connection that will be the focus of the next Illinois History Forum at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Saturday, September 7, 2019

Blackburn Alum was ground-breaking female reporter
For decades, female journalists were relegated to soft news and local coverage, rarely allowed to cover the biggest, hard-hitting stories. Blackburn College alum Louise Hutchinson, however, broke that mold, along with numerous gender barriers.
Friday, September 6, 2019

Illinois to receive $29 million to combat opioid epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released this statement after the Trump Administration announced Illinois would receive $29 million in federal grants to address the opioid crisis in the state.
Friday, September 6, 2019

Program to erase old pot charges aids 58 California counties
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Every California county prosecutor can now use new technology to erase or reduce an estimated 220,000 old marijuana convictions after voters broadly legalized the drug in 2016.
Friday, September 6, 2019

Study: Obama Center making neighborhoods too expensive
CHICAGO (AP) — The yet-to-be constructed Obama Presidential Center in Chicago is already having an effect on property values and the rent being charged nearby residents.
Former President Barack Obama plans to build the $500 million center in Jackson Park on the South Side.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Lawsuit after bartender is punched, run over is settled
CHICAGO (AP) — 7-Eleven has settled a lawsuit filed by the family of a Chicago bartender who was knocked unconscious outside one of the company’s stores, robbed by passers-by and fatally run over by a taxi.
Friday, September 6, 2019

Hunting guide who used electronic bird caller pleads guilty
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois owner of an outfitter service has pleaded guilty to federal charges that included deploying an electronic bird caller to lure geese into shooting range.
Friday, September 6, 2019

EXCHANGE: Efforts to make Urbana-Champaign ag tech center
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Keeping startup companies in town, touting national expertise in agricultural technology and “med tech,” and offering living costs and amenities to attract suburban Chicago retirees to Champaign-Urbana.
Friday, September 6, 2019

April trial date set in R. Kelly's federal case in Chicago
A judge Wednesday set an April 27 trial date in R. Kelly’s federal case in Chicago that accuses the R&B star of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

But Judge Harry Leinenweber left open the possibility of changing the date later after Kelly attorney Steve Greenberg said having to prepare for trials in three other districts meant the defense may not be ready by April.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Additional money for Illinois court will benefit local governments
Illinois’ judicial branch will use its first budget increase in six years in part to alleviate costs paid by local governments, court officials said.

This is the first time in almost 30 years the state’s courts were allocated the financial resources by the General Assembly to fully reimburse counties for salaries and probation services, an official said.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Catholics come to Capitol to protest abortion bills, high taxes
Catholic protestors rallied at the Illinois Statehouse Wednesday, denouncing lawmakers’ recent expansion of abortion rights and potential votes to further that agenda.
 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Illinois State enrolls largest freshman class in 33 years
Illinois State University says this year’s freshman class is its largest in 33 years.
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Chicago Teachers Union set date for strike vote
One day after the start of a new school year for about 350,000 students, the Chicago Teachers Union set a date for a strike authorization vote.
Thursday, September 5, 2019

UI: Student charged in noose incident not currently enrolled
The University of Illinois says a student charged with a hate crime for leaving a noose in a residence hall elevator is no longer enrolled at the school.
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law two bills making it easier to consolidate local governments and reduce property taxes. That’s good news. But before you buy stock in expandable wallets, two asterisks:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals Illinois license plates now available
St. Louis Cardinals fans can now show their loyalty on Illinois license plates.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

U of Illinois student arrested after noose found in elevator
The University of Illinois says a student has been arrested after a noose was found hanging in an elevator at a residence hall.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Police explorer post adviser charged with child pornography
A former adviser to a police explorer program outside Chicago is accused of possessing child pornography.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Former religious buildings repurposed as inns, coffee shops
When the congregation moved out of a century-old Methodist church in St. Louis, the building could have turned into a vacant eyesore. Instead, Lisa and Dan Macheca bought it and turned it into a bed and breakfast.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Illinois gets federal grant to improve maternal health
Illinois is getting $450,000 in federal funds to improve maternal health and reduce the number of women and babies who die during or shortly after pregnancy.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Chicago children's hospitals seeking Indiana payment boost
Chicago hospitals maintain they are being shortchanged by what Indiana’s Medicaid program pays for the treatment of severely ill or injured children at out-of-state hospitals.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Time for lawmakers, governor to declare statewide 'Jesse White Day'
In 1998, Jesse White was elected to lead an Illinois Secretary of State’s office that was mired in scandal.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

7 fatally shot in Chicago during Labor Day weekend violence
Gun violence over the Labor Day weekend has left seven people dead and another 34 wounded in Chicago.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Post office named for Illinois solider killed in Afghanistan
A western Illinois post office has been named in honor of a 26-year-old soldier who died while serving in Afghanistan.
Monday, September 2, 2019

Chicago police say gun violence lower despite weekend deaths
Chicago police say despite five people being fatally shot in less than 24 hours, gun violence in the city is declining.
Monday, September 2, 2019

State approves University of Illinois innovation center
State education regulators say the University of Illinois can launch its research and innovation center in Chicago.
Monday, September 2, 2019

Clean-energy affordable housing effort launches in Chicago
Robert "A.J." Patton and Erica Johnson were childhood friends growing up in public housing in Terre Haute, Indiana. Patton now lives in the upscale Chicago neighborhood that was once home to the Cabrini-Green public housing projects, and Johnson lives in Harlem, which in recent years has changed from a low-income African American neighborhood to a hip, expensive enclave. So they've both experienced living in low-income communities, and in gentrified neighborhoods where longtime residents were displaced.
Monday, September 2, 2019

Suit settled in teen suicide that led to Illinois law change
A wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the parents of a suburban Chicago teenager who killed himself after being confronted at his high school about whether he made a video of himself having sex with a classmate has been resolved.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Car owner Hardy starts final DuQuoin race after 64 years
A Decatur stock car owner will start his final Ted Horn 100 race at the DuQuoin State Fair after 64 years in racing.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Chicago-area lawmaker pleads guilty to drunken driving
A Chicago-are lawmaker was pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Illinois governor pardons Army vet deported to Mexico
The governor of lllinois said Friday he’s erased the drug conviction of an Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018, a step that the man’s supporters hope will help him return to the U.S.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Judge throws out lawsuit challenging $14 billion in state bonds
A Sangamon County Circuit Court judge this week declined to hear a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of two of the state’s general obligation bond issuances, but the lead plaintiff in the case has vowed to appeal.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

IDFPR announces first "Same Site" licenses for adult use Cannabis
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced Thursday the first "Same Site" adult use cannabis licenses, which will allow an existing medical cannabis dispensary to obtain an adult use dispensing license. This license will permit the dispensary to begin adult use cannabis sales at that location starting January 1, 2020, provided the dispensary complies with local zoning rules or other local laws.
Friday, August 30, 2019

ISP urge motorists to drive responsibly during holiday
The Labor Day weekend signifies the end of the summer and one of the busiest driving periods of the year where millions of motorists are expected to hit the roadways nationwide. Illinois State Police (ISP) District 18, Commander Mark Gillock, is urging motorists to celebrate responsibly, and make safety their number one priority.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Probes of e-cigarette giant Juul underway in Illinois, DC
E-cigarette giant Juul Labs is facing mounting scrutiny from state law enforcement officials.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Woman falls on tracks, struck and killed by train
A 35-year-old woman has died in Chicago after she fell on train tracks and was struck by a train.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Illinois to suspend road work to ease Labor Day traffic woes
Illinois officials are suspending road work at dozens of sites around the state to ease traffic congestion for the Labor Day holiday.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Comptroller report shows state's finances in bad shape, but improving
The state of Illinois ran up a deficit of more than $7.7 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018. But as bad as that sounds, it was only about half as bad as the $14.6 billion deficit amassed the year before.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Bourne: Hunting education a new option for local schools
House Bill 3462, which was sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), was recently signed into law. This measure aims to improve hunting and gun safety for students by allowing school districts to offer hunter safety courses in their daily curriculum or as part of an after school activity.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Free and reduced price meals eligibility guidelines set for 2019-20 school year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced the eligibility guidelines for students to receive free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast, and after-school snacks through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The policy took effect at the start of the 2020 fiscal year on July 1, 2019. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the policy for each fiscal year to reflect any changes in the federal poverty guidelines.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

PR firm: 'Every iota' of Smollett claim true; police differ
Jussie Smollett’s PR team says “every iota” of his account of being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in Chicago is supported by police evidence despite police repeatedly saying it was all staged.  
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Farmers not happy with new corn ethanol rules
When President Donald Trump levied tariffs on China that scrambled global markets, farmer Randy Miller was willing to absorb the financial hit. Even as the soybeans in his fields about an hour south of Des Moines became less valuable, Miller saw long-term promise in Trump’s efforts to rebalance America’s trade relationship with Beijing.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Cook County group gets $6M grant to fight youth homelessness
A Chicago-area advocacy group will use a $6 million federal grant to fight homelessness among youths.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Chicago's mayor to deliver first State of the City speech
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will present a long-term financial plan and investments to help working families in her first State of the City address.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

ISP provides updates on FDLCA and FOID
The Illinois State Police (ISP) Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) is announcing the opening of the public comment period for rules regarding the Firearms Dealer License Certification Act (FDLCA), as well as providing a public update to the agency’s Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) efforts to date.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Group to help Chicago clear pot arrests before legalization
Chicago’s top prosecutor says a San Francisco-based nonprofit with the technology to analyze criminal records nearly automatically will help her county clear tens of thousands of convictions for marijuana possession before the drug becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Florida man accused of selling fake products at county fair
A Florida man has been accused of selling fake products at a northern Illinois county fair.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Final tally: 591 bills signed, 8 vetoed by governor
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed the final three bills of the 599 sent to him by the Illinois General Assembly during the spring legislative session.

 Per the final tally, Pritzker signed 591 of the bills into law, while vetoing seven and sending one back to the General Assembly with an amendatory veto. The General Assembly will return in late October and early November to discuss new legislation and consider overriding any of the vetoes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Girl, 16, fatally shot sitting in a car outside Chicago
Police say a 16-year-old girl has been fatally shot while sitting in a car outside a convenience store in a Chicago southern suburb. 
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Girl dies after part of display falls at Chicago-area store
Authorities say a 2-year-old girl has died after part of a store display fell on her at a suburban Chicago mall.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

San Francisco-based nonprofit to help Chicago clear pot arests before legalization
A nonprofit with the technology to analyze criminal records nearly automatically will help the county that includes Chicago clear tens of thousands of convictions for marijuana possession before the drug becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.

Code for America will provide a digital system to tackle the task at no taxpayer cost and in a fraction of the time it would take bureaucrats to slog through decades of cannabis arrests and convictions, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told The Associated Press in advance of announcing it Tuesday. California is using the organization’s “Clear My Record” program to erase tens of thousands of records in four of its counties, including Los Angeles County.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Three Illinois prison deaths over three days raise questions about drug use in jail
The deaths of three Illinois prisoners over three days from “probable intoxication” of an unknown substance have raised questions about drug use behind bars and whether inmates are watched closely enough, according to a published report.

Documents suggest lax supervision before at least one of the deaths that occurred in September of last year at Menard Correctional Center in Chester.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

New laws take aim at maternal death rate disparity
Illinois is taking steps to combat troubling maternal and infant mortality statistics after one lawmaker was moved to action by a series of reports which showcased the state’s and country’s maternal health shortcomings, particularly among African-American women.

 The lawmaker is Chicago Democrat Mary Flowers. The troubling statistics: Pregnancy-related complications kill more mothers in the United States than in any other developed country, and African-American mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Pro-life law firm: Raoul should 'stay in own lane'
An anti-abortion law firm official said Monday that Attorney General Kwame Raoul was “interfering” in Indiana’s health care regulation system when he filed a court document in support of an abortion facility trying to open there.

 The state of Indiana denied Whole Woman’s Health Alliance’s license application to open a medication abortion clinic in part because the organization did not disclose information about its affiliates in other states. Fourteen other attorneys general signed on to the document Raoul submitted to the court in favor of the Alliance.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Judge: Chicago police can't withhold officers' photos
A Cook County Circuit judge ruled Aug. 16 that Chicago Police Department photographs of its officers are public and must be turned over in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Monday, August 26, 2019

Data indicates 4 remaining coal plants among worst polluters
Federal data indicates that four Vistra Energy coal plants still operating in Illinois were responsible for more than 80% of the sulfur dioxide that the power company emitted in the state last year.
Monday, August 26, 2019

New online tool to track Chicago gun suspects draws fire
After a recent bloody weekend in Chicago, the city’s top police officer reiterated something he’s said many times in recent months: People accused of gun-related offenses are too quickly and easily getting back on the street.

This time, Superintendent Eddie Johnson unveiled a new online tool aimed at illustrating his point by giving the public a quick way to see who’s been arrested on gun-related charges and whether they have posted bail.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Illinois Supreme Court is hitting the road
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court is going on the road.
The high court will hear oral arguments at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey on Sept. 18.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Illinois county slows wind farm plan along the Mississippi
VALMEYER, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois county repealed an ordinance that would enable the construction of wind farms, stalling a proposal to build 50 turbines along the Mississippi River.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Trooper serving warrant dies from gunshot wounds
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois State Police trooper died from wounds suffered early Friday while executing a search warrant in East St. Louis.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Aunt Martha's will accept fed funds
SPRINGFIELD — Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness, one of Illinois’ three family planning organizations, confirmed Friday it will accept federal funds it previously declined because its medical providers are now confident they can comply with new federal rules.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Illinois judge violates canons with lies and retaliation
ILLINOIS — DuPage County Circuit judge Patrick O’Shea violated the judicial canons when he misled police,  lied to the state judicial watchdog agency and when he retaliated against the court employees who complained of his conduct, the Illinois Courts Commission ruled on Wednesday.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Raoul asks court to allow abortion clinic to open
SPRINGFIELD — An abortion clinic in northern Indiana should be allowed to open, Illinois’ top lawyer argued in a court filing, because women crossing state lines to seek access to such care “can strain the health care systems in neighboring states.”
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Making healthy choices for kids when eating out
SPRINGFIELD — A fast-food meal is quick and convenient, especially when you and your kids are on the go for activities and events, but not all restaurants are created equal, said the coordinator for a local program that provides healthy lifestyle support for children and their families.
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Patient hospitalized after vaping has died
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) learned of the death of an individual who had recently vaped and was hospitalized with severe respiratory illness.
Friday, August 23, 2019

Lab trains workers who probe child abuse claims
CHICAGO (AP) — The troubling scene inside the dingy Chicago apartment seems real: dangling exposed wires, open pill bottles near a sleeping baby and a kitchen strewn with dog feces and cockroaches.
Friday, August 23, 2019

Illinois trooper shot in East St.L executing warrant
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police say a trooper has been shot while executing a search warrant in East St. Louis.
Friday, August 23, 2019

Du Quoin Fair: Harness racing tonight and Sat.
DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — The Du Quoin State Fair is about to start. The fair that runs through Sept. 2 opens Friday with a 5:30 p.m. ribbon cutting. 
Friday, August 23, 2019

Robber learns hard way his victim knew boxing
CHICAGO (AP) — A man looking to steal a cell phone may want to rethink his ability to size up victims after a woman he tried to rob turned to be a boxer who knows punching below the belt may be illegal in the ring but on the street it’s a pretty effective way to stop and opponent.
Friday, August 23, 2019

Shedd is free for Illinoisians on many Sept. days
CHICAGO (AP) — You won’t have to fish between couch cushions for money to get into Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
Friday, August 23, 2019

On the road with Lincoln the lawyer
SPRINGFIELD — Abraham Lincoln’s years of crisscrossing the Illinois prairie for his law practice proved incredibly helpful when he started thinking about a bid for the White House, as author Guy Fraker will explain at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Aug. 29.
Friday, August 23, 2019

Archaeologist to present 'Historical Tour of Sicily and Malta'
LEWISTON, Ill. — The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) will meet Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at the Dickson Mounds Museum beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Featured speaker will be Sharon Santure, retired USDA archaeologist, will present a talk titled "An Archaeological and Historical Tour of Sicily and Malta". This event is free and the public is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be available following the presentation.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Bill prohibits eviction based on legal status
SPRINGFIELD – People who rent homes or apartments in Illinois who are not United States citizens have new legal protections under state law.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Gov. signs new law today raising teacher pay to $40,000
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation raising teachers’ minimum salary to $40,000 over four years to address a statewide shortage of classroom leaders.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Gov vetoes school BB gun disciplinary bill; will work with sponsors
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Republican sponsors of a bill he vetoed Tuesday announced they will continue to work on legislation aimed at clarifying the state’s school code as it pertains to BB guns, air-powered guns and other similar weapons.

Pritzker used only his fifth veto on Senate Bill 2124, a measure state Sen. Chapin Rose, a Mahomet Republican and the bill’s sponsor, said was written to “close a loophole” in a state law, which he said ties school districts’ hands in dealing with incidences in which students bring BB guns to school to cause panic and disruption.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

All aboard! Amtrak route to New Orleans is now open
A summer filled with train disruptions for New Orleans visitors has reached its end as Amtrak has restored full service on its Chicago-to-New Orleans line.

The McComb Enterprise-Journal reports the line was restored Wednesday after months of terminating in Jackson, Mississippi.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Effect of family planning funds refusal unclear for Illinois orgs
It is unclear what effect the decision by Illinois’ three family planning organizations to decline millions of federal grant dollars will have on associated clinics in the state.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pritzker is reluctant to criticize Madigan on report
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is praising the release of a report on bullying and harassment in Michael Madigan’s office, but is sidestepping questions about Illinois House speaker’s leadership.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Checks worth millions written by Chicago still uncahed
A lawyer says Chicago has benefited from 22,000 uncashed checks worth $11 million, some going back to the 1980s.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lawsuit: Security guards had sex with Illinois students
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges two security guards who worked at a public high school in suburban Chicago had sex with female students, and the school failed to adequately protect girls from purported predators.

The 22-page suit says school officials knew or should have known the staffers posed a risk at the 3,600-student Evanston Township High School campus. The lawsuit was filed on the eve of a new school year beginning Wednesday, and months after the school settled litigation alleging a former drama teacher abused several male students in the 1970s and 1980s.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Report finds bullying in Madigan's office
Power in Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office has been too centralized and its environment has fostered an atmosphere that condones bullying, intimidation, hazing and long work hours with inconsistent direction, according to an investigative report released Tuesday.

The review by Maggie Hickey, a former state executive inspector general, said Madigan’s former chief of staff, Timothy Mapes, had too much authority, serving also as clerk of the House and executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Therefore, the report said, he discouraged complaints while creating a climate in which some staffers constantly believed their jobs were in jeopardy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Funding edges state senior care toward 'stability'
For senior care advocates in Illinois, a state funding increase is a reason for optimism after a prolonged period of government disinvestment that was marked by a crippling two-year state budget impasse which continues to impact social service providers.

But advocates for nursing homes and home-based senior care agree there is a long way to go to ensure long-term sustainability for Medicaid-funded senior care programs, especially as the baby boomer generation continues to age into long-term care systems.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Del Monte closing corn plant in northern Illinois
Del Monte Foods will close a corn-packing plant in north central Illinois, idling more than 600 full-time and seasonal employees.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

New security for gov's mansion tours is unveiled
New security measures will be put in place next month for tours of Illinois’ Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pritzker backs Planned Parenthood in pulling out of Title X
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined with Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights advocates Monday in denouncing the Trump administration’s new policy that blocks federal family planning money from going to any organization that provides or facilitates abortions.

 “The Trump administration’s gag rule is fundamentally wrong,” Pritzker said in a telephone news conference Monday. “This policy has caused a mess of confusion and uncertainty, destabilizing women’s health care nationwide and doing extraordinary harm to the lives of patients, particularly women of color.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

No charges for police officers in attack on a third officer
Two northwestern Indiana police officers won’t be charged for allegedly attacking and seriously injuring a third officer following a baby shower.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Gov nearing final week for bill action
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed more than 50 bills last week and has about one week remaining to sign the final 167 of the 599 total bills sent to him by the General Assembly this year.

 The most recently signed bills include a package of legislation affecting first responders, a bill striking down a 1998 state law pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions, a banking initiative of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza and a measure to allow graduate student teaching assistants to unionize.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Decatur officials hope new funding helps with vacant houses
Decatur officials hope new funding for neighborhood revitalization efforts will help address vacant houses.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Law lets state take action on climate
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a law allowing Illinois to take its own action to slow climate change.

The Democrat approved legislation this week that repeals the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998. It limited state action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Monday, August 19, 2019

$32M jail to open next year in Quincy
Construction crews are completing extensive electrical work on the new Adams County Jail that’s expected to open early next year.
Monday, August 19, 2019

Get to work, kids - but get a permit
Get to work, kids — but get a permit first.

The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding teenagers younger than 16 to obtain a work permit to work legally.

Monday, August 19, 2019

VA facilities to go smoke-free in Oct.
A smoking ban at Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care facilities will take effect later this year.
Monday, August 19, 2019

State health officials urge caution with blue-green algae
Environmental officials are urging residents to be cautious of blue-green algae growth along Illinois waterways.
Monday, August 19, 2019

Expert: Stars have aligned for creation of proposed suburban Chicago airport
The political and economic stars have aligned for the development of a suburban Chicago airport, according to a transportation expert.

Officials have spent years debating whether an airport in Peotone, located about 45 miles (71 kilometers) south of Chicago, should be built. This year’s state budget revived the proposal and allocated $162 million for road improvements that would connect Interstate 57 to the proposed airport site.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Illini hope beer sales at games boosts ticket sales
University of Illinois officials hope the start of beer sales in Memorial Stadium’s general seating areas boosts slumping ticket sales for home football games.
Monday, August 19, 2019

16-year-old is latest shooting victim in St. Louis
Authorities say a 16-year-old aspiring football player has been killed and an 18-year-old wounded in a St. Louis shooting.
Monday, August 19, 2019

Illinois state senator pleads not guilty to embezzlement
An Illinois state senator has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he took more than $250,000 in salary and benefits over three years from the Teamsters while doing little or no work.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Life or Death: IDOT unveils new ad for Scott's Law
The Illinois Department of Transportation is expanding its Life or Death Illinois campaign to include Scott's Law, calling attention to the need to protect first responders, emergency personnel and frontline highway workers. A new video that will air statewide comes after Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed legislation strengthening the law while bringing together stakeholders to find solutions to prevent future tragedies on Illinois roads.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Man charged with attempted murder of Illinois state trooper
A 43-year-old suburban Chicago man has been charged with attempted murder for shooting and wounding an Illinois State Trooper who serving a warrant at the man’s home.

Authorities say Volodymyr Dragan of Wheeling shot the 32-year-old trooper about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Chicago police recover 60 guns during raid on home
Chicago police officials say they were acting on intelligence when they seized more than 60 guns from a home on the city’s West Side.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

IHDA announces $2,500 Closing Cost Grant
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has launched a new, limited-time grant to help homebuyers across Illinois afford their closing costs. Through the new IHDA Advantage Subsidy program, IHDA will give eligible homebuyers an outright grant of either $1,500 or $2,500, depending on household income, to pay for closing costs associated with their home purchase. The grant can be layered with IHDA's current Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs, allowing homebuyers to receive anywhere from $8,500 to $12,500 in assistance when purchasing a home.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Scalise tells Illinois Republicans they can come back
One of the top Republican leaders in the U.S. House told the Illinois GOP Thursday that the state party can rebound, despite its devastating losses in the 2018 elections.
Friday, August 16, 2019

Chicago police launch 2 centers to process video evidence
Chicago police say they’re launching two new technology centers to help process video evidence faster.
Friday, August 16, 2019

Illinois payrolls hold steady in July
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that nonfarm payrolls were about unchanged over-the-month, down -400 jobs, and the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in July, down -0.1 percentage point from the prior month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The June jobs increase was revised from the preliminary report (from +11,400 to +7,600 jobs).
Friday, August 16, 2019

Chicago police recover 60 guns during raid on West Side
Chicago police says they’ve recovered 60 guns during a raid on the city’s West Side.
Friday, August 16, 2019

Illinois trooper wounded while serving traffic stop warrant
Authorities say an Illinois State Police trooper who was shot and wounded at a home in suburban Chicago was among a group of officers serving a warrant related to a traffic stop.
Friday, August 16, 2019

Ticks in Illinois found to have Heartland Virus
Last summer, a Kankakee County resident tested positive for Heartland virus, the first case reported in Illinois. In response to this human case, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) collaborated with the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Laboratory (INHS MEL) and Kankakee County Health Department to conduct the first environmental health investigation to a novel tickborne disease case. Ticks were collected from the area and sent to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Heartland virus testing. Heartland virus was detected in Lone Star ticks collected from Kankakee County.
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Illinois officials stress need for awareness of blue-green algae in Illinois lakes, rivers, streams and ponds
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health are reminding residents to exercise caution if they are planning activities on Illinois waterways, including lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. During summer months, water conditions are ideal for blue-green algae growth (also known as cyanobacteria), which are microscopic organisms that naturally occur in lakes and streams. Rapid growth of algae is referred to as a "bloom." While most blue-green algae are a natural part of our ecosystems and are harmless, some can produce toxic chemicals that cause sickness or other health effects in people and pets, depending on the amount and type of exposure. National news reports are stressing the dangers of algal toxin exposure following reports of illnesses and dog deaths after contact with blue-green algae blooms.
Thursday, August 15, 2019

IDOA showcases hemp at Illinois State Fair
In June the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) set aside a plot on the Illinois State Fairgrounds to educate fairgoers on hemp. Eight CBD plants and 100 Industrial Hemp plants were planted next to the U of I Master Gardner's located on 8th Street, behind the Swine Barn.
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Illinois seeking to bar ex-governor from practicing law
Eight years after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) was convicted of corruption, the state of Illinois seeking to bar him from practicing law.

The Chicago Tribune reports the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission filed a formal complaint earlier this month citing Blagojevich’s conviction on federal corruption charges and requesting a hearing before a disciplinary panel.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

First human case of West Nile Virus in Illinois for 2019
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Illinois for 2019.  A Chicago resident in his 70s became ill in late July.

"Although the first human case of West Nile virus this year in Illinois has been reported a little later than we typically see, it is important to remember that there is an ongoing risk of disease from a mosquito bite," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  "West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it's important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home."

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pritzkers pay $75K for grand champion steer
In a classic duel of Pritzker vs.. Pritzker, the first lady won.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and First Lady M.K. Pritzker engaged in a bidding war at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday, with the governor’s wife placing the winning bid of $75,000 for a grand champion steer named Lucius.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Indiana man charged after shots fired at Chicago hospital
An Indiana man with a history of gun convictions has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities say he opened fire at a Chicago hospital.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mendoza signs executive order to focus on prevailing wage
With a $45 billion, six-year capital infrastructure plan becoming law earlier this year, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at refocusing enforcement of state prevailing wage laws for construction projects receiving state money.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lyft fined for not alerting Chicago about suspended driver
Ride-share company Lyft will pay a $10,000 fine for not alerting the city of Chicago about a suspended driver who was working for Uber when he allegedly killed a cab driver.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lake County sues vaping company for targeting teens
A northern Illinois prosecutor has sued the nation’s largest e-cigarette producer, contending the company intentionally targeted teenagers with a deceptive marketing campaign.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mourners at Chicago funeral remember soldier slain overseas
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral for a 24-year-old soldier from Chicago who was killed in Afghanistan just weeks into his first overseas tour.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Suspected carjacking ends with 1 dead, 5 arrested
Authorities say suspects in an attempted carjacking near the Illinois-Wisconsin border led police on a high-speed chase to Chicago 50 miles away after a man fatally shot one of them outside his home.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Pritzker signs bills expanding state's medical marijuana law
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker celebrated a pair of new laws Monday that expand the state’s medical marijuana program, including one that gives students more options for taking the drug at school.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Governor signs Manar's teacher shortage remedy bills
Two pieces of bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar that are designed to help eliminate Illinois’ teacher shortage were signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker last week.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lawsuit alleging jail inmate misconduct gets judge's OK
A federal judge in Chicago has given the green light to class-action lawsuits alleging indecent conduct by Cook County Jail inmates.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

USDA cuts forecast for Illinois crop production
This year’s Illinois corn crop could be as much as 17 percent smaller than last year’s crop, while soybean production could fall as much as 21 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Southern Illinois man guilty of lesser charge in boys' death
A judge has found a southern Illinois man guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death a toddler.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

8-year-old boy shot to death in St. Louis
Police say an 8-year-old boy has become the 11th St. Louis-area child killed in a shooting since June.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

6 wounded in drive-by shooting on Chicago's West Side
Authorities say a drive-by shooting on Chicago’s West Side wounded six people, including one who is reported in critical condition.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Chicago woman opens home to boys at risk of gang violence
A Chicago woman has transformed the lives of thousands of teenage boys in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city by providing a program to keep them off the streets.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Mural depicting labor history set to be torn down
For 33 years, the Bloomington-Normal labor history mural served as the backdrop for union meetings, rallies and political gatherings. On July 21, local artist Kari Sandhaas and her husband, local labor leader Mike Matejka, shared their memories of the wall that will soon be coming down with the demolition of the Laborers’ Local 362 old hall in Bloomington.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Closing arguments scheduled in trial of man in child's death
Closing arguments are scheduled in the murder trial of a southern Illinois man who is accused in the beating death of a 2-year-old boy.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Brothers wanted in fatal Elgin shooting in custody, charged
Two suburban Chicago brothers sought on arrest warrants issued in the fatal shooting of a man during an altercation last week are in custody.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Group finds more prehistoric artifacts at Illinois dig site
A group conducting an archaeological dig in northern Illinois has found pieces of broken pottery, projectile points and other artifacts dating to the 1600s.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Senior day at the State Fair is Monday
On Monday, August 12, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) will host a variety of activities for seniors, their families and friends during Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair. Events hosted by IDoA will be held in the air-conditioned Illinois Building located near the fairground's main gate. Fairgoers 60 years of age and older will be admitted to the fair for free.
Saturday, August 10, 2019

Municipalities seek clarification on pot
The state organization representing local units of government is asking leaders in the General Assembly to make clarifying changes to the recreational marijuana law before it takes effect Jan. 1.

 Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, said the 1,298 cities, villages and towns in the state need guidance on four aspects of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, signed into law by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in late June.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

AG Raoul to streaming companies: No cigarettes
Illinois’ top attorney is asking American video streaming services to avoid showing tobacco products in shows and movies to young viewers.
Saturday, August 10, 2019

Gov signs bill aimed at changing culture at work
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a measure aimed at preventing workplace sexual harassment and protecting victims who come forward.
Saturday, August 10, 2019

USDA declares ag disaster in all 102 Illinois counties
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared an agriculture disaster in all 102 Illinois counties, citing historic flooding across the state this year.
Friday, August 9, 2019

Illinois leaders say former Gov. Rod Blagojevich should stay in prison
Illinois political leaders from both parties on Thursday said former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich should remain in prison despite Republican U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement that he was considering commuting the sentence of the ex-governor.
Friday, August 9, 2019

Gov. Pritzker signs kennel safety law after fire that killed dozens of dogs
New legislation requires kennels in Illinois to always be staffed and have sprinklers or alarms that ring at the local firehouse, after a fire this year killed dozens of dogs.
Friday, August 9, 2019

Higher education officials say guardianship scam not widespread
Officials from several public universities in Illinois told a panel of state lawmakers Thursday they do not believe there is widespread abuse of court-ordered guardianships that have enabled some students from wealthy backgrounds to obtain need-based student financial aid.
Friday, August 9, 2019

Gaming Board chairman vows credibility, integrity
The new chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board said Thursday he has no illusions about how tough of a job lies ahead.
Friday, August 9, 2019

IDPH reminds families to schedule vaccinations
It is time to get kids ready for #VaxToSchool. As the upcoming school year quickly approaches and you start on your back-to-school plans, make sure your kids are up-to-date on their required vaccinations. Use the hashtag #VaxToSchool on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to encourage others to do the same.
Friday, August 9, 2019

Trump: 'Very strongly' considering Blagojevich commutation
President Donald Trump says he’s “very strongly” considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich), who is serving a 14-year prison term on multiple federal corruption convictions.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

House panel hears about higher ed guardianship financial aid controversy
Two Illinois House committees held a joint hearing today in Chicago on the subject of wealthy parents who put their teenage children into guardianship in order to qualify for financial aid.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Family and colleagues pay final respect to State Trooper Ellis
The Illinois State Police, family members and dignitaries gathered Wednesday to commemorate Trooper Gerald Ellis in the third such ceremony held at Memorial Park in Springfield in almost as many months.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

State urges emergency planning before school starts
Illinois officials are encouraging families to make preparing for an emergency part of back-to-school planning.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

State spending $20 million to ensure census is complete
Illinois is giving out $20 million in grants to community organizations and local governments to help ensure all residents are counted in the 2020 census.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Cook Co. public defender blasts new guns crime website
Cook County’s top public defender says a new Chicago Police Department website that provides adult gun-related criminal charges is a “blatant intrusion” of defendants’ privacy and should be removed immediately.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Report: Illinois underfunds tobacco cessation program
Illinois compared favorably to other states in a report by a national advocacy group evaluating cancer reduction policies in all but one area — funding for its cessation program.
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Is pot safe when pregnant? Government-funded study seeks to find out, but critics says it's unethical
Pregnancy started out rough for Leslie Siu. Morning sickness and migraines had her reeling and barely able to function at a demanding New York marketing job, so like rising numbers of U.S. mothers-to-be, she turned to marijuana.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rock band with Confederate flag logo booked for DuQuoin fair is canceled
A southern rock band whose logo features Confederate flags was booked for the DuQuoin State Fair for two months before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s staff learned of the gig and abruptly canceled it, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Tom Cullerton replaced as labor committee chair
State Sen. Tom Cullerton was replaced as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, a move that comes four days after he was indicted on federal charges of embezzling money from a labor union.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Gov calls for federal action to address gun violence
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday called on congressional leaders, particularly Republicans, to push for strong federal gun control laws, including universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

New official Illinois map available at state fair
Just in time for the state fair, the Illinois Department of Transportation is releasing the new Illinois Official Highway Map, featuring an updated look that reflects the Geographic Information System technology used to create it – a development that will significantly reduce production time of future editions. The map, available at the IDOT tent at the state fair starting Thursday, includes route updates, Quick Response (QR) codes for transportation-related websites and useful links to help you make the most of your travels throughout Illinois.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

IEMA launches new Homeland Security Campaign
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recently launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Medicaid managed care reforms signed into law
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that people applying for Medicaid benefits in Illinois will see those applications processed more quickly, and health care providers will be paid more promptly, under a comprehensive reform bill now signed into law.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

DNA profile of unknown person indicted in infant's death
The DuPage County state’s attorney’s office has indicted the DNA profile of a person suspected in the death three years ago of an infant.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Feds: 'El Chapo' associate asked street gang to beat witness
A drug trafficker and close friend of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s sons offered $25,000 to members of Chicago’s Four Corner Hustlers street gang to severely beat another trafficker cooperating with prosecutors, government witnesses said Monday.   
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Chicago police find drugs, guns and another gator in raid
Chicago isn’t quite ready to say see you later, alligator.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that officers serving a search warrant at a northwest side house found a 3-foot alligator along with some guns and drugs. They turned the alligator over to animal control.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Crash spills hundreds of wine bottles on freeway in Chicago
A crash involving two semi-trucks scattered hundreds of bottles of wine on a freeway in Chicago.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A bloody weekend in Chicago leaves seven dead, and more than 40 hurt
A surge of weekend violence in Chicago that left seven people dead and more than 40 injured prompted the police department to dispatch dozens more officers to the street and forced one overwhelmed hospital emergency room to stop accepting patients for several hours.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Another Lollapalooza festival-goer dies this year
Officials say another Lollapalooza festival-goer has died again this year, for the second year in a row that the festival has been marked by a death.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Gentrification: Obama library brings elation but also fear of displacement
When word spread that the Obama Presidential Center was coming to the lakefront park Tara Madison has watched through her apartment windows for a decade, she was elated at the idea of a gleaming facility honoring the president she supported and reviving rough sections of her neighborhood.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Lawmakers call hearing in higher education financial aid issue
A pair of Illinois House committees have scheduled a joint hearing next week to explore recent news reports about wealthy parents exploiting a legal loophole in order to draw down more student financial aid for their children.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Inventor of Monopoly game called Macomb home
The property-collecting board game Monopoly is a staple in many American homes today. However, the concept for the game was actually derived from the board game The Landlord’s Game, created by Macomb native Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie more than three decades before Parker Brothers began manufacturing Monopoly.
Monday, August 5, 2019

State Fair officials hope lower prices boost crowd
Illinois State Fair officials hope lower ticket prices and infrastructure renovations will help boost attendance.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Cook County jail hosts international chess tourney
A unique two-day chess tournament will be held at Cook County Jail in Chicago this week.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Rare coins featured at state property auction
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs will host a live auction of unclaimed property at the Illinois State Fair.
Monday, August 5, 2019

IDPH warns of hospitalizations potentially tied to vaping
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health departments to investigate the hospitalization of three young people who experienced severe breathing problems after vaping.  Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 11 confirmed and seven suspected cases of severe pulmonary disease among adolescents, some of whom had to be intubated, who reported vaping.  These identified individuals experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.  Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Democrat Tom Cullerton indicted on 41 counts of embezzlement
SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois state senator was formally accused of collecting a salary as well as health and pension benefits from a labor union “for which he did little or no work” by a federal grand jury Friday in Cook County.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Manar's measure to help students pursue financial aid is signed into law
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) that seeks to increase Illinois' Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rate became law after being signed by Gov. JB Pritzker Friday.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Man who live streamed sexual abuse of child gets 33 years
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man who pleaded guilty to live streaming on the internet his sexual abuse of a child has been sentenced to more than 33 years in federal prison.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Illinois lawmakers seek more funds for affordable housing
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two Democratic Illinois lawmakers say more money is needed to address the need for more affordable, permanent and stable homes in the state.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Extreme heat may hurt farms and agriculture industry
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — As many as nine states could see heat indexes above 100 degrees for more than a quarter of the year by 2036, according to a new report.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

IDNR reminds dove hunters to scout sites
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding the state's dove hunters to scout sites before applying for permits as some hunting areas were unable to plant sunflowers due to an unusually cool, wet spring.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Illinois to offer Cardinals license plate
ILLINOIS — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that a new St. Louis Cardinals permanent Illinois license plate will be coming soon and available for purchase after Labor Day.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton is indicted on embezzlement charges
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois state senator has been indicted on federal charges that he took more than $250,000 in salary and benefits over a three-year period from the Teamsters while doing little or no work, prosecutors announced Friday.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Obama Foundation names former adviser as president
CHICAGO (AP) — One of former President Barack Obama’s senior economic advisers has been named the first president of the Chicago-based Obama Foundation.
Friday, August 2, 2019

AP recounts1934 killing of gangster John Dillinger
CHICAGO (AP) — Two relatives of notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger want his remains exhumed because they believe FBI agents possibly shot the wrong man in 1934 and the body buried in Indiana is not him. The FBI says that is a “myth” and there is overwhelming evidence that federal agents killed Dillinger outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago 85 years ago.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Lawmakers to investigate use of guardianship loophole
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers say they will investigate the use of a loophole in the state’s guardianship law that wealthy families took advantage of to qualify their children for college financial aid.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Illinois State Fair opens August 8 featuring a new look for the Coliseum and many new vendors
SPRINGFIELD — The 166th Illinois State Fair is set to open Thursday, Aug. 8, in Springfield, and fair officials said they expect this to be one of the best iterations in years.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Dickson Mound astronomy event Aug. 10-11
LEWISTOWN, Ill. — The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is hosting a free Family Astronomy Event and Perseid meteor shower viewing on August 10 beginning at 10:00 p.m. through the night until August 11 at 5:00 a.m. Families may enjoy learning about the night sky from Astronomer Kevin Manning’s presentation “Astronomy for Everyone.”
Friday, August 2, 2019

Dental Foundation is offering community grants
NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is accepting applications for its annual community grants program that has awarded nearly $1 million over the past six years to Illinois organizations dedicated to improving children's oral health.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Millikin to host campus visit day Mon., Aug. 5
DECATUR, Ill. — Millikin University will host a campus visit day for prospective high school students on Monday, Aug. 5.
Friday, August 2, 2019

Illinois adopts new standards for language
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced that Illinois has adopted new learning standards for language. The Illinois Learning Standards for world languages promote cultural understanding, as well as language proficiency, s press release issued by the organization states.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Chicago spent $33,600 on hunt for alligator in city park
The city of Chicago’s efforts to wrangle an alligator who was found living in a park lagoon this summer cost more than $33,600.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Study says Illinois 'leans supportive' on abortion
Illinois was designated a state that “leans supportive” — one step more protective than neutral — toward abortion access by a national research group that supports reproductive rights.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

New state law aims for the safe closure of toxic coal ash pits
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a new state law this week aimed at ensuring safe closure of toxic coal ash pits and financial protections for taxpayers should the pits cause environmental disaster.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Governor Pritzker signs equal pay, criminal justice reform bills into law
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed bills into law Wednesday aimed at equalizing pay between men and women and expanding access to jobs in the health care industry for people in the criminal justice system.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Senator files bill banning cancer-causing ethylene oxide emissions
A suburban state senator filed legislation this week that would ban emissions of a known cancer-causing gas in Illinois by 2022. It also, he hopes, would decrease the likelihood that a Willowbrook medical supply sterilization company linked to increased cancer rates in its surrounding area would ever emit the chemical again.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Unlike in California, requiring pres candidates to release tax returns failed in Illinois
A new California law requiring presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns to qualify for the state’s primary ballot is similar to a measure an Illinois state senator called “the most clearly unconstitutional legislative proposal” he ever voted on.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Governor signs new bills to protect law enforcement officers, roadside workers
Drivers in Illinois who injure roadside workers or fail to obey construction zone signals now face the possibility of enhanced fines, and even jail time.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Top aides leave Dem campaign arm amid complaints
A mass departure of top aides shook the House Democrats’ campaign arm Tuesday, an exodus that followed complaints from Hispanic and black lawmakers that the organization’s staff lacked diversity and that came amid a war of words between the party and President Donald Trump over race.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pritzker: Fund SIU proportionally
Gov. J.B. Pritzker contends allocation of state funds to Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses should be done on a proportional basis with criteria that includes student population and building needs.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ex-Teamster leader pleads guilty in extortion case
A 59-year-old who was one of Chicago’s most powerful labor leaders has pleaded guilty to receiving over $500,000 in illegal payments and benefits, including the use of a yacht.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Researchers: Urban greening for better mental health
URBANA — As modern societies become increasingly urban, sedentary, and screen-oriented, people are spending less time in nature. We’re also more likely than ever to suffer from mental illnesses. A new article in Science Advances links the two phenomena, suggesting that adding natural elements to urban landscapes could improve mental health.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Two moms active in the anti-violence movement in Chicago gunned down
Two women who worked with other moms to try to stop gun violence in Chicago were shot to death.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Pritzker signs bill aimed at limiting high-interest consumer debt
Illinois residents who have had judgments entered against them for consumer debts will soon start paying less interest on those debts, and collectors will have a shorter timeframe in which to collect on those debts.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chicago ramping up security at Lollapalooza
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is promising a “robust security plan” to protect patrons at this weekend’s Lollapalooza music festival. Lightfoot’s promise Monday came a day after a shooting at a California food festival that killed three people and wounded 12.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Eastern Star group weaves plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless
Members of the Order of the Eastern Star Iris Chapter in Danville are doing their part to help the environment and those who might find it as their only shelter.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Michigan man dies in fall at state park
A coroner’s office has released the name of a 31-year-old Michigan man who died Sunday after falling about 31 feet from a bluff at Starved Rock State Park.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lincoln Park Zoo to stay free until mid-century
Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo will remain free to all until mid-century under an agreement zoo operators reached with the city’s park district.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chicago River museum gets 250k visitors
A sometimes overlooked Chicago River museum has reached the mark of 250,000 visitors.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Carbondale's panhandling ordinance faces scrutiny by ACLU
The city of Carbondale has received a second letter from the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups challenging its panhandling ordinance.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Trump proposal seeks to crack down on food stamp 'loophole'
Residents signing up for food stamps in Minnesota are provided a brochure about domestic violence, but it doesn’t matter if they even read the pamphlet. The mere fact it was made available could allow them to qualify for government food aid if their earnings or savings exceed federal limits.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Amtrak train strikes vehicle, multiple cars derailed
Amtrak says a train struck a vehicle on the tracks in northeast Illinois, causing several cars to derail.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Springfield's Paris Cleaners closing after 110 years
A dry-cleaning business that has operated in Springfield since 1909 is closing its doors.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Chicago shooting death of boy, 3, investigated as accident
Authorities say a 3-year-old boy has died after being shot in the head at a Chicago home in what police are investigating as a possible accidental shooting.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Immigrants prepare for expansion of deportation
CHICAGO (AP) — A sweeping expansion of deportation powers unveiled this week by the Trump administration has sent chills through immigrant communities and prompted some lawyers to advise migrants to gather up as much documentation as possible — pay stubs, apartment leases or even gym key tags — to prove they’ve been in the U.S.
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gov vetoes bill prohibiting waivers from Obamacare
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued his first veto on Friday, striking down a bill that would have prohibited the state from applying for federal waivers from the Affordable Care Act in order to reduce protections or coverage offered through the state employee group health insurance program.
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Counties request state funding after spring flooding
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois counties are evaluating the costs and requesting millions of dollars in federal aid after months of continuous flooding in the state’s southern towns along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Illinois 8th to lift sex-crime prosecution time limits
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday that makes Illinois the eighth state to remove time restrictions on prosecuting crimes of sexual violence.
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Illinois pheasant hunting info available online
Saturday, July 27, 2019

400 Illinois Nat. Guard troops are headed to Afghanistan
CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois National Guard is set to deploy about 400 soldiers to Afghanistan in what officials say is the largest mobilization of Guardsmen and women from the state in nearly a decade.
Friday, July 26, 2019

One Illinois veteran is hoping for an all-female 'honor flight'
LISLE, Ill. (AP) — Veteran Virginia “Ginny” Narsete has an ambitious goal: help organize the first all-female veteran “honor flight” from Illinois to the nation’s capital.
Friday, July 26, 2019












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