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home : news : state news free October 14, 2019

US pulls troops in Syria, threatens Turkey sanctions
The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos, cries of betrayal and threats Monday by President Donald Trump to hit Turkey with “big sanctions.”
Monday, October 14, 2019


11 are hurt after car crashes into hayride in Illinois
A northern Illinois woman has been ticketed for driving her car into a hayride wagon carrying 14 adult passengers, injuring 11 of them.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Department says a car driven by 22-year-old Kaitlin Minick of DeKalb slammed into the rear of the wagon being towed by a tractor. The accident occurred Saturday in Little Rock Township, about 50 miles  west of Chicago.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Bill would require lab testing of CBD items in Illinois
A proposed bill would require all CBD products sold in Illinois to meet testing requirements that would be developed by the state Department of Agriculture.

CBD is a cannabis extract that does not cause a high but is marketed as a healing remedy to alleviate conditions such as anxiety or chronic pain. The product’s regulation is so lax that even those in the industry have voiced concerns, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Deer mating season increases vehicle crash danger
Illinois’ transportation chief is warning motorists to be alert for deer on roadways during their mating season.

Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says above all, “Don’t veer for deer.” The first instinct when bearing down on a deer in the road is to swerve. But Osman says that could make a driver lose control and increase a crash’s severity.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Chicago teachers may test 'social justice' strategy
CHICAGO (AP) — A threatened strike by Chicago teachers would test a strategy employed by a growing number of urban teachers unions convinced that transforming contentious contract talks into discussions about class sizes and student services wins public support and can be a difference maker at the bargaining table.
Monday, October 14, 2019

Veto session: Lawmakers to push insulin pricing bill
SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers will aim to pass a law capping out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per one month’s supply when they return for the fall veto session, the bill’s sponsors announced Friday at a Chicago news conference.
Monday, October 14, 2019

Republican lawmaker files bill to reinstate death penalty
SPRINGFIELD — A Republican lawmaker has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime.
Monday, October 14, 2019

Sandoval resigns as Transportation Committee chair
Senate Democrats on Friday released copies of the full, unredacted search warrant that was executed on state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office Sept. 24, and it reveals a wide-ranging probe into possible corruption involving a red-light camera company, construction businesses, a large utility company and other Chicago-area politicians.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Oldest captive Asiatic black bear dies at Springfield zoo
Officials at a Springfield zoo say that the oldest living Asiatic black bear in captivity has died.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Alderman uses $400K from campaign fund to pay legal bills
Records show Chicago’s longest serving alderman has spent nearly $400,000 from his campaign fund to cover legal bills as he fights federal racketeering and other charges.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Pritzker unveils five-year economic plan, touts 'strong job growth'
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity introduced a five-year economic plan this week, focusing on six industries that can boost the state’s economy and a variety of programs to build its workforce and encourage population growth.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Task force recommends merging 649 local pension funds
A task force Democratic Gov. J.B.. Pritzker formed in February is recommending the state consolidate 649 suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds into just two, saying the move would generate billions of dollars in additional earnings over the next 20 years while cutting administrative costs.
Friday, October 11, 2019

Exelon gets 2nd subpoena
Exelon says in a new public filing that it and its electric utility, ComEd, have received a second federal subpoena asking about lobbying in Illinois and communications with a state senator whose offices the FBI recently raided.
Friday, October 11, 2019

165 more fetal remains found in Mercedes trunk
Indiana’s attorney general said Friday that 165 sets of fetal remains have been found in the Chicago area inside a car owned by a late Indiana abortion doctor, boosting the total number of abandoned sets of fetal remains discovered at properties linked to him to more than 2,400.
Friday, October 11, 2019

Mom: Boy charged with murder 'not a monster'
The mother of a 9-year-old Illinois boy who is charged with murder in connection with a mobile home fire that killed five people says the child is “not a monster.”
Friday, October 11, 2019

Illinois NPR objects to UIS harassment rules
A National Public Radio station licensed by the University of Illinois is objecting to a requirement that its reporters tell school officials about confidential complaints of university-related sexual harassment they receive.
Friday, October 11, 2019

Amazon to open 500-job center in Channahon, Ill.
Amazon has announced plans to open a fulfillment center in northern Illinois, creating more than 500 new, full-time jobs starting at $15 an hour with comprehensive benefits.
Friday, October 11, 2019

Support building for ban on red-light cameras
Bipartisan support appears to be building in the Illinois General Assembly for a statewide ban on red-light cameras.

Those are devices that some municipalities install at intersections to detect drivers running through red lights or turning without coming to a full stop.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Governor Pritzker doubtful that energy reforms will pass in the fall session
A package of bills aimed at transforming the state’s energy landscape appears unlikely to move during the upcoming fall veto session after Gov. J.B. Pritzker was less than optimistic on the subject this week at an unrelated Chicago news conference.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Chicago police officers abusing parking privileges with department-issued placards
Chicago’s independent watchdog said the city’s police officers are abusing parking privileges with the help of department-issued placards that allows them to avoid parking fees and rules.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Officials find more fetal remains connected to doctor
Authorities in Illinois discovered additional fetal remains Wednesday stashed in a car that had belonged to a doctor who performed abortions in Indiana, a month after his death led to the discovery of more than 2,200 other sets of remains in his garage.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Gov. unveils five-year economic plan for Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has released a five-year economic plan for Illinois that builds on the state’s strongest sectors such as agriculture, health care and transportation.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

State military leaders call obesity rates a nat'l security threat
SPRINGFIELD – Current and former leaders of the Illinois Air National Guard said Tuesday the obesity rate in the United States has become a national security threat and they urged state lawmakers to invest more in early childhood education programs that focus on nutrition, health and physical activity.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

States attorney: Decision to charge 9-year-old 'heavy'
CHICAGO (AP) — A 9-year-old child accused of causing a mobile home fire that killed three children and two adults in central Illinois has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Burke case: Prosecutors turn over evidence
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors have unveiled the extent of their case against a long-time Chicago alderman facing federal racketeering and other charges.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wildlife observation deck opening
Experience the newly constructed Wildlife Observation Platform overlooking Friends Creek at Friends Creek Conservation Area on  Saturday, October 12. This free open house event will be held from 10 a.m.  to noon.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Woman dies after fall at Garden of the Gods
An Evansville, Indiana, woman has died after falling from a cliff at Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Boeing delivers just 26 planes in September
Boeing’s troubles are deepening as the grounding of the 737 Max jetliner approaches the seven-month mark.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Masonic Temple in the City of Aurora destroyed by overnight fire
An overnight fire in the city of Aurora has destroyed a historic Masonic temple that was abandoned more than a decade ago.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

9-year-old to face 5 murder charges in deadly fire
A prosecutor says a central Illinois 9-year-old will be charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with a mobile home fire that killed five people.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Girl, 9, dies after crash with tractor in northwest Illinois
MORRISON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a 9-year-old girl has died after the vehicle she was in crashed into a tractor in northwest Illinois.
Monday, October 7, 2019

Chicago wants public to weigh in on legal marijuana sales
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials are holding public meetings for residents to weigh in on the sale of recreational marijuana in the city.
Monday, October 7, 2019

Lincoln Home National Historic Site to host Trick-or-Treat Event October 18th
SPRINGFIELD — In cooperation with its Springfield partners, the Lincoln Home Employee Association will host a free “Trick-or-Treat” event for children 12 years old and under, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m, on Friday, October 18th. The event will begin at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site’s Visitor Center located at 426 South 7th Street in downtown Springfield. Children and parents are welcome to visit the park any time between these hours and view the site in a “different light.”
Monday, October 7, 2019

APL announces Oct. pet adoptions
SPRINGFIELD — The Animal Protective League (APL) will hold several pet adoptions during September with cats and dogs available at various locations. All animals for adoption will be spayed or neutered, microchipped and have received all age appropriate vaccinations by the time of their adoption.
Friday, October 4, 2019

Chicago museum gets $125 million gift
CHICAGO (AP) — The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago will add a donor to its name after getting a $125 million gift — the largest in its history.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

New abortion clinic being built in Illinois near St. Louis
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Planned Parenthood has quietly been building a new abortion clinic in Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, as women concerned about the uncertain future of Missouri’s sole abortion clinic flock across the state line.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Illinois judicial branch announces its 'blueprint for the future'
SPRINGFIELD — A panel of Illinois judiciary members and stakeholders developed a three-year plan, announced Wednesday during an event in Chicago, designed to “improve the delivery of justice and better serve the public.”
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Pritzker calls on Sandoval to step down as chairman
SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday called on Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) to step down as chairman of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee in the wake of an FBI investigation into possible corruption and bribery involving public contracts.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Judge to weigh bias by Smollett special prosecutor
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge could decide this week whether the special prosecutor investigating possible conflicts of interest in Jussie Smollett’s criminal case has a conflict himself, the latest twist in a saga marked by turns and reversals since the “Empire“ actor reported a racist, homophobic attack that police say he staged against himself.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rep. Bourne appointed to new Firearm Task Force
LITCHFIELD — State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) has been named to serve on the newly created House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. Rep. Bourne was one of 12 House Republicans chosen by Republican Leader Jim Durkin for the 24 member task force recently established by House Speaker Michael Madigan. The chair of the task force says the purpose of the group is to review the issue of gun violence and make recommendations for reducing such violence in Illinois.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bill would let Illinois collegiate athletes get paid
An Illinois lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to allow college student athletes to sign endorsement deals, hire agents and benefit financially from the use of their likeness after California became the first state in the nation to pass such a law earlier this week.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Chicago teachers strike could be less than a week away
A Chicago teachers strike could be less than a week away if there isn’t a last-minute deal between the union and nation’s third-largest school district.

The Chicago Teachers Union has overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike as contract talks continue over issues including pay and benefits, class size and staffing shortages. Negotiations resumed with fresh urgency this week as the union’s delegates meet Wednesday to finalize a strike date. The earliest a walkout could take place in the district of nearly 400,000 students is Monday.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Money matters: How school funding inequities affect students and taxpayers
Education officials in Illinois say the state is making solid progress under its new evidence-based funding program in narrowing the wealth-based disparities among school districts, but an analysis of the first year of that program shows just how far the state still has to go.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Feds sought corruption evidence in search
A search of Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office and home by the FBI was focused on activities involving the politician and employees of the state Department of Transportation.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Map showing areas for pot licenses released
State officials have identified areas of Illinois where applicants to grow and sell marijuana legally would get preference under the law’s social equity provision.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sterilization co. linked to cancer leaving suburb
Sterigenics, a medical supply sterilization company linked to increased cancer risk in the DuPage County area, said Monday it plans to “exit its ethylene oxide sterilization operations in Willowbrook.”
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

State Board of Education plans budget hearings
The Illinois State Board of Education has scheduled four hearings in different parts of the state to gather input in the coming weeks for its budget request that will be sent to the governor and General Assembly in January.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Starved Rock crumbling after years of record-setting visitors
LASALLE, Ill. (AP) — You can’t hike into Tonti Canyon anymore. The trails are so badly eroded that officials at Starved Rock State Park decided they’re unsafe to tread.
Monday, September 30, 2019

Lincoln Library's rare books is focus of Oct. 10 presentation
SPRINGFIELD — What qualities define a rare book? Is it age, or value, or maybe the story of who once owned it? The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will discuss these questions Oct. 10 during a special look at the library’s Rare Book Collection.
Monday, September 30, 2019

Teacher portrays detective at Lincoln Museum
GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) — Sheryl Hinman of Galesburg has been teaching in one form or another for 50 years, and shows no signs of stopping.
Monday, September 30, 2019

Investigations touch Illinois powerbroker's confidants
One of the nation’s most powerful state legislators has for decades tended to shrug off the latest scandal involving Illinois politicians, but the sight of FBI agents hauling bags of evidence from an office on the Democratic side of the Capitol building this week may have startled the normally unflappable Mike Madigan.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Bill would discourage state employees from traveling to anti-abortion states for work
Illinois government employees should not travel for work to states that “criminalize reproductive health,” a northwest suburban Democrat said.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Why so much red ink in Illinois budgets?
In response to a recent essay of mine about our state’s parlous load of debt and unfunded obligations, a reader asked: Why so much red ink? The answer lies in an unsavory stew of human nature; our state’s political tradition of careerist politicians, and the political self-admonition of “not on my watch.”
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ronald McDonald house damaged during winter storm to reopen
A Ronald McDonald House in Chicago will reopen its doors this week after eight months of repairs to damage caused by a pipe that burst during frigid winter weather.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Illinois Wesleyan reports dip in enrollment
Illinois Wesleyan University says its enrollment is down slightly this fall compared to a year ago. 
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Industry groups push back against proposed bans
Business and industry groups are pushing back against legislative efforts to widely ban the use of ethylene oxide, a known cancer-causing gas, in most Illinois communities.
Friday, September 27, 2019

LaHood chosen to chair Lincoln Museum board
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed former U.S. Transportation Secretary and retired Republican Congressman Ray LaHood as the new chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Directors.
Friday, September 27, 2019

Chicago teachers authorize leaders to call a strike
Chicago teachers have voted to authorize their union leaders to call a strike, setting the stage for a possible work stoppage next month in the nation’s third-largest school district, officials announced Thursday.
Friday, September 27, 2019

Illinois reports job gains and lower unemployment
Unemployment rates in all 14 metropolitan areas in Illinois dropped over the past 12 months as the state’s economy added more than 61,000 jobs, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday by state and federal labor agencies.
Friday, September 27, 2019

Traveling exhibit teaches about fight for freedom
The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area and Lincoln Home National Historic Site launch a new travelling exhibit as part of the Illinois Freedom Project; an initiative geared towards teaching youth the journey from slavery to freedom in Illinois. The exhibit features the stories of everyday people in Illinois who struggled against slavery and prejudice and became community, state and national leaders.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Illinois among states suing feds over endangered species
Seventeen states sued the Trump administration Wednesday to block rules weakening the Endangered Species Act, saying the changes would make it tougher to protect wildlife even in the midst of a global extinction crisis.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

State museum returning artifacts to Australia
The Illinois State Museum will return 42 culturally significant objects currently in its collection to Australian First Nations after ten months of consultation with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and Aranda and Bardi Jawi communities. AIATSIS, based in Canberra, Australia, partnered with the communities to research, identify, and request the unconditional repatriation of secret/sacred, ceremonial, and secular artifacts from museums around the world.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

New video launched to promote opioid helpline
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has announced the launch of a new statewide video campaign to bring awareness to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances. The Illinois Helpline connects individuals struggling with opioid use or other substance use, and anyone affected by the disease, directly with treatment and recovery options.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

State announces start of winter energy help program
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced that seniors and people with disabilities can begin applying for winter heating assistance on October 1st  through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Deported Army veteran returns to US
An Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018 arrived back in Chicago Tuesday for a final chance at becoming a U.S. citizen and living in the city he has called home since boyhood.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Foundation announces 'genius grant' winners
A poet, a legal scholar, a theater artist, a paleoclimatologist, an urban designer and a marine scientist are among the luminaries who have been named as this year’s MacArthur fellows. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Wednesday named 26 people who will each receive $625,000 over five years to use as they please. The Chicago-based foundation has awarded the so-called genius grants every year since 1981 to help further the pursuits of people with outstanding talent.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Chicago nurses returning to work
Nurses at University of Chicago Medical Center are returning to work after holding a strike following what they called a breakdown of contract negotiations between their union and the hospital.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

FBI agents search office of Sen. Martin Sandoval
FBI agents were seen Tuesday searching the Capitol office of state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, and later carrying boxes and a brown bag marked “evidence” into two SUVs.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A spoonful less sugar, tad more fat: US diets still lacking
CHICAGO (AP) — Americans’ diets are a little less sweet and a little crunchier but there’s still too much sugar, white bread and artery-clogging fat, a study suggests.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Vaping illnesses have state officials seeking answers
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois officials agree the growing number of severe respiratory illnesses related to vaping must be addressed, and in recent days, the state’s chief executive, top attorney and health expert have taken action. On Monday, lawmakers explored legislative options during a committee hearing in Chicago.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Census seeking citizenship data from driver's licenses
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office confirmed Monday it denied what appears to be the federal government’s latest attempt to gather data about noncitizens living in the United States, this time through driver’s license information.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Chicago teachers begin vote to authorize strike
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago teachers are voting on whether to authorize a strike next month as contract negotiations continue in the nation’s third-largest school district.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Public Lands Day celebration Saturday
CARLYLE LAKE — Join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Carlyle Lake Project to celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, 28 September 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Little Prairie Nature Trail, located in the West Spillway Recreational Area, Carlyle, Illinois.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

IL EPA issues construction permit to Sterigenics U.S., LLC
Following legislation passed by the General Assembly to impose the nation's strongest controls on ethylene oxide emissions, the Illinois EPA has issued a construction permit to Sterigenics U.S., LLC. The permit is the first step in a lengthy process and allows the company to begin construction necessary to ensure the facility complies with a strict new state emissions law that requires demonstrating 100 percent capture of all ethylene oxide emissions.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Government approves disaster relief in 27 of 32 requested counties
The federal government has approved Illinois’ request for disaster relief in 27 of 32 counties affected by flooding this year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office announced Thursday.

While the public assistance will allow county and municipal governments that have exhausted their available local resources to apply for grants and loans, a request for individual assistance that would benefit homeowners and business owners affected by flooding in 22 counties is still under review, Pritzker’s office said.

Monday, September 23, 2019

OSHA investigates worker's death
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a 46-year-old Illinois man who was found earlier this week at a steel company after likely falling from a silo taller than 60 feet.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Premature baby of Chicago woman fatally hit by truck dies
Authorities say a premature baby delivered after her mom was fatally hit by a truck in Chicago has died.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Kankakee asks city employees sign confidentiality agreements
A published report says Kankakee is requiring city department heads to sign confidentiality agreements.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Fort Massac State Park encampment planned for October
The annual encampment at Fort Massac State Park in southern Illinois will be Oct. 19-20.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Illinois issues 300,000 REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses
Illinois has issued about 300,000 state driver’s licenses that are compliant with a 2005 law aimed at strengthening rules for identification at airports and federal facilities.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Chicago man fatally shot during attempted carjacking
Chicago Police are searching for a man who shot and killed man during an attempted carjacking.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Lincoln Library: The movies of World War II - Fact vs. fiction
SPRINGFIELD — How much of “Tora! Tora! Tora!” matches the real events of Pearl Harbor? Were the D-Day seas really as calm as depicted in “The Longest Day”? Did Allied troops build and then destroy a bridge on the river Kwai? And how about all those love stories that found their way into so many Hollywood war movies?
Saturday, September 21, 2019

SUV drives thru Chicago-area mall, crashes in store
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — A man drove an SUV into a suburban Chicago mall on Friday, sending frightened shoppers scurrying and plowing over a kiosk before he crashed into a clothing store and was arrested.
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Illinois AG joins suit against limits to state's power
SPRINGFIELD — California’s ability to regulate the pollution limits of cars and light trucks should not be limited by the federal government, Illinois’ top lawyer argued in a joint court filing Friday, because those standards positively impact the health of his constituents.
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Illinois Rail Safety Week to be observed Sept. 22-28
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Pedestrian and motorist safety around trains and railroad tracks will be the focus of Illinois Rail Safety Week next week.
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Couple's Illinois castle reopening for public tours
SAVANNA, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois home of a couple who turned it into a castle adorned with art will reopen for public tours next month.
Saturday, September 21, 2019

Insurance policy payouts may fuel ranson ware attacks
CHICAGO (AP) — The call came on a Saturday in July delivering grim news: Many of the computer systems serving the government of LaPorte County, Indiana, had been taken hostage with ransomware. The hackers demanded $250,000.
Friday, September 20, 2019

Ex-gaming head engaged in prohibited political acts
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The former chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board allegedly engaged in prohibited political activity while heading the agency that regulates gambling, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office of Executive Inspector General.
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Officers sue over firings related to police shooting
CHICAGO (AP) — Four Chicago police officers fired after being accused of helping cover up the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald are challenging the decision with separate lawsuits.
Thursday, September 19, 2019

3 killed in Chicago shooting; attackers at large
CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities have identified three young men who were gunned down while standing outside a convenience store on Chicago’s West Side.
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fantasy sports, sex offender internet access on high court docket
GODFREY — Illinois’ highest court heard oral arguments Wednesday for two cases which delve into the relationship between existing laws and technology’s increasing role in society.
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Memorial Medical Center completes 1,000th kidney transplant
SPRINGFIELD — Carol Cummins brings her fellow residents, many of whom are in wheelchairs, to chapel services at Concordia Village every fourth Tuesday. You could never tell that the 79-year-old woman had a kidney transplant four decades ago.
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Free admission this Saturday to Abrham Lincoln museum
SPRINGFIELD — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will join institutions around the country in offering free tickets on Sept. 21 through a program organized by Smithsonian magazine.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Trial underway in murder of 9-year-old
CHICAGO (AP) — The trial of two men charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 slaying of a 9-year-old Chicago boy got underway Tuesday with a prosecutor noting the victim brought a basketball to a park while his alleged killers “brought guns.”
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Illinois opens 24 new investigations of clergy abuse
CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has opened 24 new investigations into alleged misconduct by Catholic priests amid concerns that cases turned over by the Archdiocese of Chicago weren’t properly reviewed.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

State lawmakers are seeking to cap insulin prices
SPRINGFIELD — Ten years ago, Megan Blair was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

HSHS St. Mary's holding Share Walk and service
Decatur — HSHS St. Mary's Hospital's 2019 Share Walk for Remembrance and Hope will be held Saturday, October 12 with registration as well as other activities starting at 9 a.m. and the walk beginning at 10 a.m. from Nelson Park Pavilion #2.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

State suspends law license of man accused of killing son
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials have suspended the law license of a suburban Chicago man charged in the beating death of his 5-year-old son.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Judge dismisses suit by groups opposed to TIF district
CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to eliminate creation of a $1.3 billion tax increment financing district to aid a Chicago development.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Chicago mayor calls for ban of flavored e-cigs
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has added her voice to the call for the banning of flavored electronic cigarettes in the city. Lightfoot on Monday called flavored e-cigarettes a “gateway” for children to get addicted to vaping and nicotine.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tax amnesty program begins Oct. 1
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois taxpayers who incurred tax liabilities between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2018 may be eligible for the one-time tax amnesty program. 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Change in law urged for Chicago casino
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Gaming Board said Monday that state lawmakers need to change a law they enacted earlier this year if they ever hope to see a casino developed in the city of Chicago.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Texas-based energy company agrees to close Illinois coal plant
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Texas-based Vistra Energy has agreed to shutter a coal power facility in central Illinois by the end of 2022 under a preliminary settlement with environmental groups that sued the plant in 2013.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Annual Railsplitting Festival this weekend in Lincoln
LINCOLN — This year’s Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held at five locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park, VFW Post 1756, Logan County Courthouse and The Mill Museum on 66.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trapping permit drawing Oct. 12 at Sangchris
CHANDLERVILLE, Ill. — A public drawing for the allocation of Jim Edgar Panther Creek (JEPC) State Fish and Wildlife Area trapping permits will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at the site headquarters, located approximately five miles southeast of Chandlerville. Registration for the drawing will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A chance for you to give Abe Lincoln a helping hand
SPRINGFIELD — Anyone who wants to help tell the world about America’s greatest president will get a chance when the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum welcomes new volunteers. A Sept. 24 information session will spell out how to join the team that greets visitors, assists at events, helps researchers and much more.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Many US women say 1st sexual experience was forced in teens
CHICAGO (AP) — The first sexual experience for 1 in 16 U.S. women was forced or coerced intercourse in their early teens, encounters that for some may have had lasting health repercussions, a study suggests.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Pigeon poops on lawmaker discussing pigeon poop
A pigeon apparently didn’t think much of a lawmaker’s ideas to address a messy situation at a Chicago Transit Authority stop known by some as “pigeon poop station.”
WBBM-TV reports that one of the birds did its business on the head of Democratic state Rep. Jaime Andrade as he was discussing the problem with a reporter outside of the Irving Park Blue Line station.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Teachers in Chicago inch closer to possible strike
Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district are inching closer to a strike that could happen as early as next month.

After rejecting the district’s latest offer, Chicago educators are back at the bargaining table negotiating issues including pay, staffing shortages and class size. The dispute follows teacher strikes this year over similar issues elsewhere, including in West Virginia, Denver, Los Angeles and Oakland, California.

Monday, September 16, 2019

After bankruptcy filing, Purdue Pharma may not be off the hook
Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in the first step in a complex, multibillion-dollar plan by the maker of OxyContin to settle thousands of lawsuits brought against it by state and local governments over the nation’s deadly opioid disaster.

The company and members of the Sackler family, which owns it, expressed sympathy but not responsibility.

Monday, September 16, 2019

DOI helps state life insurance consumers collect on policies
The Illinois Department of Insurance can help you find out if you're owed a portion of the millions of dollars in life insurance benefits that go unclaimed every year. So far in 2019, IDOI has helped consumers find and collect more than $15 million from lost or unclaimed life insurance policies.
Monday, September 16, 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

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

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

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













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