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home : news : state news free March 21, 2019

Teacher licensing tests come under fire in Illinois
Looking for ways to ease the state’s growing teacher shortage, some Illinois lawmakers are again turning their attention to the battery of tests that prospective teachers must take to be licensed, arguing those tests deter many college students from trying to enter the profession.
Thursday, March 21, 2019


Men found crammed in SUV accused of entering US illegally
Fourteen men from central and South America were found crammed into an SUV that was pulled over last month on Interstate 64 in southern Illinois, authorities said Wednesday.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

2 charged in child abuse death of 2-year-old boy in Chicago
A woman and a young man from Chicago have been charged in the child abuse death of the woman’s 2-year-old son, who had sores and bruises on his body.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Former northern Illinois chief charged with eavesdropping
A former northern Illinois police chief has been charged with official misconduct for allegedly recording a conversation with her boss.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Semi-trailer strikes, seriously injures Illinois trooper
An Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured when a semi-trailer struck him and his squad car while he was responding to a multi-vehicle accident.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Supreme Court rejects re-sentencing for Chicago cop
The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected a bid to give a different sentencing to former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke for the 2014 on-duty killing of Laquan McDonald.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Proposal would give voters authority to force school boards into resource-sharing agreements
A state lawmaker is looking to give voters the authority to force their locally-elected school boards into resource-sharing agreements with other districts for certain administration offices and functions.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Preschoolers allegedly punished by standing naked in closet
Two teachers in Illinois are on paid leave as authorities investigate allegations that one forced preschool children to stand naked in a closet with the door open as punishment for misbehaving.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Contract to raze decrepit Cairo housing projects OK'd
Demolition of two complexes run by the troubled Alexander County Housing Authority in southern Illinois will begin next month.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Collinsville man charged in Edwardsville couple's killings
A 23-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of an Edwardsville couple.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Village okays immigration detention center
Trustees of a small village near Chicago are moving closer to allowing a private immigration detention center to be built in the area, despite pushback from activists and communities.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hundreds of homes have flooded as rivers breach a dozen levees
Hundreds of homes flooded in several Midwestern states after rivers breached at least a dozen levees following heavy rain and snowmelt in the region, authorities said Monday while warning that the flooding was expected to linger.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

State's high court lets Van Dyke sentence stand
The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would let stand a less than seven year prison sentence for a white Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald that many criticized as far too lenient. 
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lake Zurich park to become arboretum
The northwestern Chicago suburb of Lake Zurich is taking a barely used park and turning it into an arboretum.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Home care workers to get overdue raises
More than 40,000 employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services who provide senior care in the home and child care services will get long-overdue salary increases.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Illinois ag director lists broadband, economic development as priorities
Illinois’ new agriculture director says rural economic development and increasing broadband access are among his top priorities.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Treasurer: State cannabis industry could collapse if banking rules aren't updated
Illinois’ emerging cannabis industry could collapse if updates are not made to federal and state banking rules that threaten financial institutions with closure if they do business with the cannabis industry, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today.
Monday, March 18, 2019

C. Kennedy to headline university forum
Judson University says Caroline Kennedy will headline this year’s World Leaders Forum in suburban Chicago.
Monday, March 18, 2019

IDOC to break ground on mental health hospital
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Capital Development Board will be joined by state legislators, Joliet city leaders, and AFSCME 31 officials to break ground on a state-of-the-art Inpatient Treatment Center in Joliet. The event will take place Monday, March 18, 2019 at the Joliet Treatment Center at 10 a.m.
Monday, March 18, 2019

Southern Illinois Healthcare org is seeking trauma center designation
Southern Illinois Healthcare is taking steps to expand access to trauma care in the southern part of the state where the lack of trauma centers can add stress, cost and risk for those needing immediate attention.
Monday, March 18, 2019

25 job offers revoked after U o I back ground checks
Data shared with trustees show that the University of Illinois withdrew 25 job offers across its three campuses after doing background checks last year.
Monday, March 18, 2019

Illinois orgs prepare for 2020 Census
Experts in Illinois say preparations for next year’s U.S. Census are important because there’s a lot at stake, including billions in federal funding and congressional seats.
Monday, March 18, 2019

More Illinois high school grads enrolling out of state
Illinois high school graduates have increasingly chosen to enroll in out-of-state colleges and universities in recent years, according to new state data.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Illinois Chamber of Commerce celebrates Women's History Month with Women in Business Conference
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted about 150 attendees at its second annual Women in Business Conference March 15, 2019 at Pinstripes in Oak Brook, Ill.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pritzker's office releases tax estimate data
Fewer than 20,000 Illinois millionaires would account for 80 percent of an estimated $3.4 billion in added income tax revenue under a graduated tax plan being touted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, his office said in a release Friday.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Road closes for spring snake migration
A stretch of road in southern Illinois is closed to allow snakes and amphibians the chance to migrate to their summer homes.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Should state allow 12-year-olds to be home alone?
At what age should it be legal for a child to be at home alone, or to be caring for younger siblings?
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Judge rejects state motion to reconsider new trial for man
A central Illinois judge has rejected a state motion to reconsider granting a new trial to a man who has spent 27 years in prison for his father’s 1991 beating and stabbing death.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Are eggs good or bad for you? New research rekindles debate
The latest U.S. research on eggs won’t go over easy for those who can’t eat breakfast without them.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

UIC creates scholarship fund for slain ER doctor
The University of Illinois at Chicago has created a scholarship in memory of an emergency room doctor who was killed in a shooting at a Chicago hospital last year.
Saturday, March 16, 2019

Tobacco 21' bill clears Illinois Senate
A four-year effort by lawmakers and advocates to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois appears nearly complete now that legislation approved by both chambers heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
Friday, March 15, 2019

Prosecutors argue against new trial in 1991 stabbing death
Prosecutors are asking a central Illinois judge to reconsider granting a new trial to a man who has spent 27 years in prison for his father’s 1991 beating and stabbing death.
Friday, March 15, 2019

House panel advances bill to expand Medicaid coverage for early autism diagnosis, treatment
It’s been a decade since Illinois became one of the first states to pass legislation mandating private insurers cover the cost of autism diagnosis and treatment in children, and legislators are looking to expand that coverage. 
Friday, March 15, 2019

Romeoville man pleads guilty in 2014 baseball bat death
A suburban Chicago man has pleaded guilty to fatally striking a 55-year-old man in the head with a baseball bat.
Friday, March 15, 2019

Bill encouraging organ donation advances in state Senate
A bill aimed at promoting voluntary donation of organs such as kidneys or bone marrow from living donors is advancing in the Illinois Senate.
Friday, March 15, 2019

University of Illinois increases faculty as enrollment rises
The University of Illinois plans to hire hundreds of new faculty members at its three campuses as enrollment rises.
Friday, March 15, 2019

New bills target pharmacy middlemen for state regulation
As part of an effort to rein in the rising cost of prescription drugs in Illinois, Democratic state lawmakers introduced bills Wednesday to impose state regulations on a little-known industry, pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, who negotiate drug prices and benefits on behalf of insurance plans.
Thursday, March 14, 2019

ISP offers Physical Fitness Inventory Test Seminar
Illinois State Police (ISP) officials would like to invite all individuals who are interested in becoming ISP Troopers to participate in a Physical Fitness Inventory Test (PFIT) Seminar being held on Saturday, March 23, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Olivet Nazarene University in the Student Recreation Center located at One University Drive, Bourbonnais, Illinois 60914. 
Thursday, March 14, 2019

House passes bill requiring LGBT content in state-funded textbooks
The Illinois House on Wednesday passed a bill requiring public school textbooks purchased with certain state funds be nondiscriminatory and unbiased in their treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, and that they highlight the contributions that LGBT individuals have made to American history and culture.
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Groundbreaking on prison mental health center set for Monday
Illinois officials are planning a groundbreaking ceremony for a 200-bed hospital to treat mentally ill prison inmates.
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Plan for Chicago police, fire academy approved by aldermen
Plans to build a new Chicago police and fire academy will move forward despite protests by activists and the opposition of mayoral candidates
Thursday, March 14, 2019

14-year-old boy charged in 13-year-old boy's fatal shooting
Chicago police say a 14-year-old boy faces felony charges in the accidental shooting of a 13-year-old boy.
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Harris, Manar push effort to lower prescription drug prices
Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, is joining state Sen. Andy Manar to announce their efforts to rein in unfair insurance programs and regulate pharmacy benefit managers that dramatically increase out-of-pocket costs for patients at a press conference and rally on Wednesday March 13 at 2 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

1 killed, 3 injured in south suburban Chicago club shooting
Authorities say one person was killed and three others were injured in a shooting at south-suburban Chicago nightclub.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pritzker unveils tax calculator, calls for specific counterproposals to graduated tax plan
Passage of a statewide graduated income tax structure isn’t possible until after November 2020, but Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker continued to stump for such a proposal Tuesday, announcing the launch of an online “fair tax calculator” at a Chicago news conference.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

4-year-old boy, grandparents survive Illinois plane crash
Two adults and a 4-year-old boy were injured but survived a small plane crash in southern Illinois.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Coroner: Woman dead in central Illinois ditch was strangled
A coroner says a 35-year-old woman whose body was found in a central Illinois ditch was strangled.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Survey shows Illinois teacher shortages
The shortage of teachers in Illinois has gotten more serious over the past year, reaching into virtually every subject area and region of the state, and forcing schools to either cancel programs, enlarge class sizes or use teachers who are not fully licensed in a particular subject area.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Scherer legislation promotes work-based learning in schools
Working to improve job creation and economic opportunity, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is advancing legislation to create a work-based learning database in Illinois schools.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Census explainer: Hard to count communities
With up to two Illinois congressional seats and $1 billion or more in federal funding on the line if Illinois’ population is not correctly counted in the 2020 census, nonprofit groups warn that changes to the census format this year could exacerbate an undercount in already hard-to-reach communities.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Ex-Chicago officer convicted of shaking down drug dealers
A former Chicago police officer who was captured nearly 15 years after he fled while awaiting trial on charges that he ripped off drug dealers has been convicted in federal court. 
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

After 23 days, blind dog found OK in Illinois pasture
A blind dog named Callie has been found — more than three weeks after she dashed from her western Illinois home.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Underground line could carry Iowa wind power to Chicago
The company behind a proposed underground transmission line that would carry electricity generated mostly by wind turbines in Iowa to the Chicago area said Monday that the $2.5 billion project could be operational in 2024 if regulators approve it.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Smollett expected at hearing to discuss cameras in courtroom
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is expected at a Chicago hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Staffing and budget issues still haunt DCFS, union officials say
Labor officials who represent workers in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services say staff shortages in that agency have been making it difficult for case workers to keep up with a large volume of reports about abuse and neglect.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Bobcat harvest up 8 percent to 343 in Illinois this year
Illinois officials say 343 bobcats were taken by hunters and trappers this winter.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Illinois university's orientation class improves retention
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is starting to make strides toward improving retention through a program that offers freshmen a special orientation aimed at getting them acquainted with college life.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Missing southern Illinois woman dies of exposure
Authorities say a 19-year-old southern Illinois woman who went missing died of hypothermia due to exposure to the elements.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Kentucky-Illinois bridge closed by flooding has reopened
An Ohio River bridge linking Kentucky and Illinois that has been closed since Feb. 22 due to flooding has reopened.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Weekly Outlook: Corn at the halfway point
 URBANA, Ill. — The midpoint of the 2018-19 marketing year for corn arrived March 1. Typically, the market begins to focus on new crop acreage and production prospects.  Uncertainty regarding trade negotiations and lower use in domestic consumption categories may keep old crop consumption closer to the forefront than usual, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs.
Saturday, March 9, 2019

Add beauty to the garden with cool season annuals
URBANA, Ill. — Gardeners looking for high-performing cool-season annuals should consider alyssum, nasturtium, Swiss chard, snapdragon, pansies, and ornamental kale, according to Nancy Kreith, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
Saturday, March 9, 2019

2019 All-America Selection winners
URBANA, Ill. — Fluctuating weather patterns over the past few months have brought snow and rain, warmth and dangerously cold temperatures, ice and now flooding in parts of the state. These weather patterns can have an impact on our mental states, giving us the winter blues. The joy of garden planning, complete with garden catalog deliveries, can change those winter blues into spring green.
Saturday, March 9, 2019

ISP announce body of Brooke S. Naylor has been located
CARMI, Ill. — On March 6th, Illinois State Police Zone 7 Investigations requested the public’s assistance in locating a missing 19-year-old Harrisburg woman, Brooke S. Naylor.
She was last seen in Harrisburg on March 3, 2019. Her abandoned Chevrolet Malibu was located on the Eldorado Ridgeway Blacktop approximately halfway between Illinois Route 142 and Illinois Route 1.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Plan your vegetable garden early
URBANA, Ill. — If you’re itching for homegrown tomatoes this year, now is the perfect time to plan your vegetable garden. “Growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money at the grocery store, get some exercise, and teach kids where their produce comes from,” says Gemini Bhalsod, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
“For a successful vegetable garden, a little bit of planning can go a long way to tasty harvests.”

Friday, March 8, 2019

Understanding and reversing winter damage to evergreens
URBANA, Ill. – Evergreen plants, which retain their leaves throughout the seasons, are some of the showstoppers of the winter garden, providing some much-needed color in otherwise bleak winter landscapes. Although evergreens do go into dormancy during winter, their foliage is subject to extreme exposure over the winter months, which can result in damage by spring.
Friday, March 8, 2019

ISP pursue and arrest wanted suspect
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — On March 7, 2019, at approximately 9:15 a.m. Illinois State Police (ISP) officials responded to the Extended Stay America Hotel in Rockford, Illinois to assist with reports of an Active Shooter.
Friday, March 8, 2019

Pritzker releases initial rates for income tax overhaul
SPRINGFIELD — Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker framed Illinois’ $3.2 billion structural budget deficit as having three possible solutions Thursday: a 15 percent across-the-board cut to state spending, including education; a 20 percent income tax increase on every Illinoisan; or his preferred solution of a graduated income tax structure, which he claims will lower taxes on 97 percent of Illinoisans.
Friday, March 8, 2019

Statewide capital bill unlikely to come by construction season
 SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Transportation was one among a variety of related local and state groups to talk about its funding needs for Illinois’ next major capital bill, which some lawmakers say they want by the end of the legislative session. 
Friday, March 8, 2019

Study: Illinois auto plant layoffs may trigger more job loss
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Fiat Chrysler’s decision to cut almost 1,400 jobs from a northern Illinois plant could trigger the loss of nearly 2,300 additional jobs across the region, according to a university study.
Friday, March 8, 2019

Illinois district considers physical education alternativea
ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — A school district in a Chicago suburb is considering a pilot program that will let students choose how they stay physically active instead of participating in a traditional gym class.
Friday, March 8, 2019

Shooting outside Chicago nightclub leaves 1 dead, 1 hurt
CHICAGO (AP) — Police say a shooting outside a Chicago nightclub left an employee dead and another man wounded.
Friday, March 8, 2019

Man arrested, charged 25 years after fatal Chicago shooting
CHICAGO (AP) — Murder charges have been filed more than 25 years after a deadly shooting on Chicago’s South Side.
Friday, March 8, 2019

House to condemn forms of hate after Omar words
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the House will vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy and other forms of hate after freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel sparked turmoil among Democrats.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Statewide bag tax advances out of committee
A bill levying a 7-cent tax on plastic and paper shopping bags advanced out of the state Senate's revenue committee Wednesday with its sponsor promising to bring an amended proposal back to the committee in the coming weeks.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Illinois filmmaker looking for extras
A southern Illinois filmmaker is looking for movie extras.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Could lose seat and billions if residents dodge census
The loss of two congressional seats and billions of dollars in federal funding are only two of the problems facing Illinois if it cannot get all of its residents to respond to the 2020 census.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Bill would penalize nursing homes for staff shortages
Senior care advocates promoted legislation Wednesday that is aimed at enforcing minimum staffing mandates, limiting the use of psychotropic drugs and heightening transparency for care violations at Illinois nursing homes.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lawmaker proposes confiscating guns of owners with revoked FOID cards
A state senator is proposing legislation that would tighten gun ownership laws in Illinois and require law enforcement officers to confiscate weapons and ammunition from people who have had their firearms permits revoked.
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Fire captain dead, 3 hurt in burning Illinois home collapse
Authorities say a fire captain has died and three other firefighters were injured following a partial collapse of a burning home in southern Illinois.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Schock to reimburse funds in exchange for dropped charges
Former Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois agreed Wednesday to repay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and to campaign committees in exchange for prosecutors dismissing his felony corruption case.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

New ISBE superintendent supportive of added education funding
During just her third day on the job, Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Carmen Ayala told a Senate appropriations committee Tuesday she was encouraged by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s public education funding proposal for fiscal year 2020.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Illinois to offer students new, shorter standardized test
The Illinois Board of Education says it is switching to a new standardized test this month for third through eighth graders across the state.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Chicago man charged in crash that killed 2-year-old girl
Police say a 21-year-old Chicago man who sped away from a traffic stop and then crashed, killing a 2-year-old girl who was thrown from the vehicle, has been charged with reckless homicide and several other counts.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

DCFS wants to improve policies after 2-year-old's death
The interim director of Illinois’ child welfare agency told a state House committee it’s taking steps to improve policies and practices after a 2-year-old Decatur girl died from starvation and deprivation.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Legendary Napa Valley vintner, Illinois native John Shafer dies
Legendary Northern California vintner John Shafer, who was part of a generation that helped elevate sleepy Napa Valley into the international wine powerhouse it is today, has died. He was 94.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Illinois among the states challenging Trump administration abortion rule
California and 20 other Democratic-led states announced they were challenging the Trump administration’s effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Illinois kids to get replacement test
Illinois third through eighth graders will be given a new, shorter standardized test called the Illinois Assessment of Readiness this month instead of the widely criticized PARCC exam, state officials said.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Above-average precipitation in February
Weather experts say February was cold and stormy in Illinois with above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Help available for gambling addicts
Illinois is launching a new state website aimed at helping people affected by gambling addictions.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Shriners Hospital replacing prosthetic stolen from 3-year-old
A children’s hospital in St. Louis is replacing a 3-year-old southern Illinois boy’s prosthetic leg that was stolen in a car break-in.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

132 laid off at Western due to budget
Western Illinois University has laid off 132 employees due to budget difficulties.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Illinois bill defines consent for sex ed classes
An Illinois lawmaker has proposed legislation that aims to provide a more comprehensive definition of consent for sex education classes in the state.
Monday, March 4, 2019

Ex-Chicago officer to go to trial 15 years after fleeing
A former Chicago police officer is to go to trial for federal drug and conspiracy charges more than 15 years after he fled and went on the run.
Monday, March 4, 2019

MacArthur Foundation launches $100M competition
A Chicago foundation is launching the second $100 million grant competition open to organizations that can identify a critical social problem and propose a lasting solution.
Monday, March 4, 2019

Lawmakers plan hearing after death o f Decatur two-year-old
Illinois lawmakers plan a hearing about the death of a 2-year-old Decatur girl who died from starvation and deprivation. Democratic state Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur says she requested the Tuesday hearing. She says legislators want to find out what happened and how to improve the system. The girl’s mother, Twanka L. Davis of Decatur has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in Ta’Naja Barnes’ Feb. 11 death.
Monday, March 4, 2019

Slaying of one of their own unnerves gangland reporters
Shawn Cotton no longer drives his $55,000, bright pink Corvette to work because he’s afraid it could get him killed like his friend. But there are two things he won’t leave home without: his bulletproof vest and the 9 mm pistol he slips into his pocket.
Monday, March 4, 2019

Heated battle ahead for abortion bill
Illinois is poised to provide greater access to reproductive health care and abortion procedures than any other state in the country.
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Scherer, Child Welfare Committee to hold hearing examining DCFS and death of Decatur child
State Rep Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, and members of the House’s top child welfare committee will examine the tragic case of Ta’naja Barnes, a two-year-old child from Decatur, and the response of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at a hearing on Tuesday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in room 122B in the Capitol.
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Drug industry takes heat in legislative hearing
Illinois lawmakers heard stories Friday about how the rising cost of prescription drugs is endangering the lives of many of the most vulnerable people in society – the poor, the elderly and people with HIV – while advocates for those people laid the blame squarely at the feet of big businesses.
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Study: Illinois marijuana industry will have to expand to meet legalization demand
A fully-matured adult-use marijuana program in Illinois could produce between $440 million and $676 million in annual revenue, and the expected demand would be far greater than the state’s current supply, according to a demand study released Friday.
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Fed court system in Illinois turns 200
The federal court system in Illinois where Abraham Lincoln argued cases before becoming president and where Al Capone saw his Prohibition Era crime spree come to an end is marking the 200th year since its founding. 
Friday, March 1, 2019

Midway visitors last week faced measles exposure
Travelers passing through Chicago’s Midway International Airport last week may have been exposed to measles.
Friday, March 1, 2019

Universities detail billions in construction needs
With talk of the first capital bill in nearly a decade permeating the Capitol, representatives of the state’s public universities and community colleges put in their wish lists at a House Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday.
Friday, March 1, 2019

Illinois filmmaking revenue grows by 12% in 2018
Spending and wages from the Illinois film industry were up 12 percent in 2018 from 2017, according to a release Thursday from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Film Office at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Friday, March 1, 2019

Ambitious sights set in clean energy legislation
A group of 45 mostly Democratic lawmakers is sponsoring legislation to move Illinois to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, and make the state’s power sector carbon-free by 2030.
Friday, March 1, 2019

State forecasters see modest economic growth next year, but warning signs ahead
The state of Illinois can expect to see moderate economic growth in the upcoming fiscal year that will lead to higher tax receipts for the state. But there are warning signs on the national horizon that could signal an economic downturn in 2021.
Friday, March 1, 2019

Study finds legal marijuana demand in Illinois would outpace the supply
A new study that state legislators commissioned has found legal recreational marijuana in Illinois could drive demand to far more than what licensed growers could supply.
Friday, March 1, 2019

State lawmaker pushes for textbooks that highlight LGBT contributions
A bill that would require school textbooks purchased with certain state funds to highlight the contributions of LGBT individuals to American history and culture is making its way through the Illinois House.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Republicans want details on rate structure of Pritzker's income tax plan
In the absence of public details regarding a rate structure for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax, opposing factions are painting starkly different pictures of the proposed change’s potential impact on the state and its residents.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

SIU-C takes steps toward creating nursing program
Officials at Southern Illinois University say the Carbondale school intends to create a nursing program.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Decatur woman pleads not guilty in death of 2-year-old
A central Illinois woman accused in the death of her 2-year-old daughter has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Contrasts abound for black women in Chicago mayoral runoff
A political outsider who campaigned on reforming Chicago’s police department after a white officer’s fatal shooting of a black teenager said Wednesday that voters likely had the high-profile case on their minds when they advanced her to an April runoff for mayor, assuring for the first time a black woman will lead the nation’s third-largest city.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Planned Parenthood says funds threat won't end their abortion referrals
Planned Parenthood of Illinois says it will continue providing abortion referrals despite the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding under a new rule enacted by the Trump administration.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Illinois House Democrats unveil bills to rein in drug prices
Democrats in the Illinois House unveiled a package of bills Wednesday they say would help control the spiraling cost of prescription drugs.
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Officials gear up for Illinois flooding
Officials staffing the state Emergency Operations Center in Springfield will be monitoring flooding in southern Illinois and will prepare to deploy assistance should local officials request it.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Insiders may have helped R.Kelly get underage girls
After R. Kelly met a girl celebrating her 16th birthday at a restaurant, it was his manager who handed her Kelly’s business card with the R&B star’s personal phone number on it, telling the teen that Kelly wanted her to give him a call, according to prosecutors.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Decade-old law binds state to change electoral process
On Tuesday, Capitol News Illinois reported on Springfield GOP Rep. Tim Butler’s bill to change how Illinois allocates its Electoral College votes for president. 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

First time: Chicago will elect black woman as mayor
A former federal prosecutor and a county board leader will face each other in a runoff to become Chicago’s first black female mayor after leading a large field Tuesday that included a member of the Daley family that has dominated the city’s politics for much of the last six decades.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Illinois hospitals seek reform of state's Medicaid managed care system
Hospitals in Illinois are complaining that slow payments and unnecessary denial of claims from the state’s privatized Medicaid system are putting both hospitals and their patients at risk, and they are asking state lawmakers to do something about it.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Emmanuel's successor: Voters getting a chance to pick Chicago's next mayor
There are 14 candidates — all promising to steer Chicago in a new direction — when voters cast ballots today for the city’s next mayor.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Springfield Republican wants to end 'winner takes all' in presidential votes
It is unlikely that Illinois will become the third state to change how it allocates its electoral votes for president, but that isn’t stopping some state lawmakers from trying.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Progressive income tax discussions could begin soon
Just three months removed from the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the nation’s history, divisive political ads could soon begin populating Illinois residents’ screens once again, this time relating to a “fair tax” – or a “jobs tax” – depending on whose ad is being seen.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Millikin University president plans to retire in 2020
Millikin University will conduct a national search for a new president after President Patrick White announced plans to retire next year.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Chicago-area man allegedly had machine gun, silencers
A Chicago-area man faces federal charges for allegedly possessing a machine gun, three silencers and ammunition.
Monday, February 25, 2019

Arrangements being made to pay R. Kelly's $100K bail
R. Kelly, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, remained jailed over the weekend as confidants make arrangements to pay the $100,000 bail needed to free him as he awaits trial for aggravated sexual abuse, his lawyer said.
Monday, February 25, 2019

Illinois man charged in shooting death in Missouri
A Chicago-area man is charged in the shooting death of a Columbia man who had fatally shot a community activist.
Monday, February 25, 2019

WIU history professor examines dockworkers' power in book
A Western Illinois University history professor has published a book on the power dockworkers have shown over time in the struggle for racial equality and social-justice issues.
Monday, February 25, 2019

3 killed when Amtrak train collides with car near Kalamazoo
Michigan State Police say three people were killed when their car collided overnight with an Amtrak train near Kalamazoo.
Monday, February 25, 2019

Pritzker's budget could irritate bond markets
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker offered an ambitious plan to lawmakers this week to pay down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, slow down payments into the state’s troubled pension systems while at the same time asking them to put together an ambitious, multi-billion-dollar plan to repair the state’s crumbling roads, bridges, airports and college buildings.
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pro-life law firm says Illinois could become the Abortion Capital of America if we're not on guard
SPRINGFIELD — Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker vowed to make Illinois “the most progressive state in the nation for access to reproductive health care,” and a conservative pro-life law firm based in Chicago agrees that will happen if Democratic-sponsored legislation becomes law.
Saturday, February 23, 2019

House Republicans to oppose graduated income tax
SPRINGFIELD – Republicans in the Illinois House said Friday they are unanimously opposed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to overhaul the state’s income tax structure, a key element in his plan to close the state’s long-term budget imbalance.
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Mini grants available for mental health first aid
ILLINOIS — The Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has two funding opportunities for organizations and residents in its 16-county service region.
Saturday, February 23, 2019

ISP, Legion prepare for youth police camp
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Police (ISP) and the American Legion announce plans for the 47th Annual American Legion Youth Police Camp (ALYPC) at Camp Lincoln, located 1301 North MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, Illinois, from June 23-28, 2019.
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Autism support group sensory-friendly movie Mar. 2
HILLSBORO, Ill. — Eisentraut Theatres and TASC/The Autism Support Connection have joined together to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities “Sensory Friendly Films.”
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pot revenue depends on unfiled legalization legislation
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year includes $170 million in new revenue from licensing fees for legalized recreational marijuana, but the details of such legislation are not yet finalized.
Friday, February 22, 2019

Catholic leaders: Abortion legislation is an affront to religious freedoms
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ Catholic leaders said Thursday proposed legislation pending in the General Assembly greatly expanding reproductive rights in the state treads on their First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
Friday, February 22, 2019

Bill would require schools to teach details of consent
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools might soon be teaching a new, fuller definition of what it means to give sexual consent.
Friday, February 22, 2019

Long road to recovery ahead for state's infrastructure
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers were given a rude awakening on Thursday about the condition of the state’s roads and bridges as they began preparing to put together what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar, long-term capital improvements plan.
Friday, February 22, 2019

It's maple syrup time at Lincoln Memorial Garden
SPRINGFIELD — Nature is generous. When a sugar maple flushes its winter-frozen plumbing with sweet sap, we receive a wonderful gift. The sap is a tree’s method of removing cold-formed bubbles that impede the movement of life-giving water from root to twig.
Friday, February 22, 2019

Suspect makes first court appearance in children's deaths
A western Illinois man has made his first court appearance in connection with an October house fire that killed two children.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Minnesota lawmaker seeks crackdown on fake hate crime claims
A Minnesota lawmaker wants tougher penalties for falsely reporting hate crimes in his state after an actor in Chicago was accused of doing so.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pritzker offers $38.7 billion 'balanced' budget
Gov. J.B. Pritzker made clear Wednesday that he believes solving the state’s long-term financial problems will require a new, graduated income tax structure that imposes higher taxes on upper-income Illinoisans.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Defense asks for July 1 trial in Chinese scholar case
Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China say they could be ready for a trial to begin July 1.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Body cameras proposed for officials doing Illinois business
A Republican in the Illinois General Assembly says all elected officials in the state should be required to wear body cameras while conducting government business.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Defense asks for July 1 trial in Chinese scholar case
Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China say they could be ready for a trial to begin July 1.
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack
“Empire” actor and R&B singer Jussie Smollett told Chicago police last month that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. Some key moments in the story:
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Task force touts work to combat sexual discrimination, harassment
With more in the works for the new session, 12 bills became law last year as a result of a yearlong investigation by the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Aurora shooting prompts efforts to tighten enforcement of Illinois gun laws
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and some state lawmakers said Tuesday that last week’s mass shooting at an Aurora manufacturing plant will lead to efforts to tighten enforcement of the state’s gun laws.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Truly balanced budgets have proved elusive in Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his first budget address today, laying out his spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, in a highly-anticipated speech before a joint session of the General Assembly.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Is this the year 'Tobacco 21' breaks through to become law?
Lawmakers and advocates have tried to hike the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois for three years, each time making the push first in the Senate. This session, advocates are trying a different approach.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Police: Tip that Smollett was with 'attackers' earlier
Chicago police are investigating a tip that on the night “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe, a department spokesman told The Associated Press Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Pritzker signs $15 wage into law
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure gradually hiking the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Police say gunman lied to get FOID card
Illinois State Police (ISP) say a man who fatally shot five people at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse lied about his criminal history in 2014 to obtain a card from the agency that allowed him to purchase a handgun.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Emergency declaration: Illinois among states suing
California and 15 other states filed a lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

More and better funding for mental health proposed
An Illinois advocacy group is pushing legislation it says would bring $50 million in new money to state mental health services over the next four years.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Man known for white crosses makes 5 for hometown
An Illinois man who has delivered more than 26,000 white crosses to sites around the U.S., largely to remember victims of gun violence, now finds himself doing the same in his hometown.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Aurora victims included plant manager and intern
The victims of an employee who started shooting after hearing he was being fired at a suburban Chicago industrial warehouse were co-workers that included a plant manager whose wife says he texted her “I love you, I’ve been shot at work,” and an intern in his first day on the job.
Monday, February 18, 2019

Judge okays cadaver dog, missing scholar
A federal judge has denied a request to exclude evidence about a cadaver-sniffing dog from the trial of a former University of Illinois physics student accused of killing a Chinese scholar in 2017.
Monday, February 18, 2019

Caterpillar to expand Chicago office to attract talent
Caterpillar,  known for its earth-moving equipment, plans to expand its Chicago office in an effort to attract top tech talent.
Monday, February 18, 2019

SIU Med. to begin new cancer specialist training
Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine is launching a new program to train doctors on how to care for patients with cancer and blood disorders, which officials hope will improve patient access to doctors and experimental treatments.
Monday, February 18, 2019

Chicago police said they are still seeking follow-up interview with Smollett
Chicago police said Sunday they’re still seeking a follow-up interview with Jussie Smollett after receiving new information that “shifted” their investigation of a reported attack on the “Empire” actor.
Monday, February 18, 2019

Illinois man being fired from job fatally shoots 5 workers
The frantic calls started pouring in at 1:24 p.m. A gunman was shooting people inside a sprawling manufacturing warehouse in Aurora, Illinois.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Former judge named Illinois legislative inspector general
The Illinois General Assembly has approved a former appellate judge to be permanent legislative inspector general and investigate complaints against lawmakers.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Kennel fire sparks animal rescue standards debate
A kennel in suburban Chicago that took in troublesome dogs is being criticized after a fire on the property killed 31 animals, although the operation’s head trainer remains a hero to some.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Chicago police release 2 men questioned in Smollett case
Chicago police released without charges two Nigerian brothers arrested on suspicion of assaulting “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett and said they have new evidence to investigate as a result of questioning them.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Pritzker names secnd Veterans Affairs director in 2 weeks
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed a state lawmaker as director of the state’s Veterans Affairs department after his first choice stepped down.
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Wage hike delivered
Illinois legislators moved quickly Thursday to deliver one of new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour — more than double the pay floor that most of its Midwestern neighbors require.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Chicago police and Fox dispute Smollett attack
Chicago police say local media reports that allege the attack against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was a hoax are unconfirmed.
Friday, February 15, 2019

New Illinois Progressive Caucus vows to champion liberal causes
A group of House Democrats have formed an official caucus they say will champion a liberal agenda “to provide a better direction” for Illinois.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Michael Avenatti says he has new video evidence against R. Kelly
Attorney Michael Avenatti said Thursday that he has given Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of R&B star R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Bill aimed at paring Mike Madigan's power stalls in the Illinois House
A bill intended to rein in House Speaker Michael Madigan’s outsized role in state politics was rejected by Democrats in a House subcommittee Thursday.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Raoul urges for tighter identity theft protections
Thirty-one state attorneys general, including Illinois’ Kwame Raoul, are advocating for tougher safeguards against identity theft in the Federal Trade Commission’s rulebook.
Friday, February 15, 2019

$2 B in new debt may be issued to solve problem
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration is putting together what it calls a comprehensive plan to restore the state’s pension system to financial health that might include issuing up to $2 billion in new debt and selling off state-owned real estate.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Fathers' rights advocates try again for equal parenting
Fathers’ rights advocates are making another attempt this year to push for a change in Illinois family law that sparked immense controversy in 2018, “equal parenting time” legislation.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Carbondale woman chronicles Southern Illinois' black Civil War soldiers
For 50 years, Corene McDaniel has walked through the rows of graves at Mound City National Cemetery to visit her father, who lies in rest there alongside thousands of other veterans.
Friday, February 15, 2019

Lawmaker wants tighter regs on late-term abortions
A Republican state lawmaker has proposed legislation to impose new restrictions on access to late-term abortions.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Illinois lawmaker proposes four to six new statues at Capitol complex
Would four new statues or six new statues look better on the Capitol complex grounds?
Thursday, February 14, 2019

SNAP benefits out early
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that March Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be issued early to Illinois customers. March SNAP benefits will be loaded into customers’ accounts on March 1st.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Illinois' helpline for opiod abuse hits 10,000 calls
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today that the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances has reached 10,000 calls. The 24-hour helpline is confidential, free and provides caring and non-judgmental support to people with substance use disorders, families and anyone who needs help.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wife says Chicago officer Van Dyke assaulted in prison
A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald was assaulted by inmates in his cell at a Connecticut prison, the officer’s wife said Wednesday.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lawsuit means Obama library plan no sure thing
Odds may still favor the eventual construction of former President Barack Obama’s $500 million museum and library in a public park along Chicago’s lakeshore, but it’s no longer a sure thing in the face of a formidable legal challenge by a parks-advocacy group.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Chicago 'Hamilton' exhibit opening 3 weeks late
The world premiere of an exhibit based on the Broadway hit “Hamilton” will be delayed three weeks in part due to recent subzero temperatures in Chicago.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rep. Kinzinger deployed to Mexican border with guard
Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has been deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border with his Air National Guard unit.
Thursday, February 14, 2019

2 dead after kidnapping and police chase that ended in Greenville, Illinois
Authorities say two people are dead following a kidnapping, attempted carjacking and lengthy police chase that started in Missouri and ended in southern Illinois.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Four Democratic lawmakers in Illinois propose expanding reproductive rights
Democratic lawmakers, surrounded by a coalition of advocates, announced plans to expand state reproductive rights at a news event Tuesday in Chicago.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bill aims to regulate homemade guns, blueprints
A bill introduced last week in the Illinois House would add several layers of state regulation to the production and distribution of 3D-printed and home-assembled guns and parts.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

State scores low on providing free school breakfasts to low-income students
According to a new report disseminated by the Illinois Hunger Coalition, the number of low-income Illinois students participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) increased during the 2017-2018 school year.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Analysis: $15 minimum wage no windfall for workers
Nearly a quarter of workers in Illinois would see their pay almost double under a proposal nearing final approval in the Legislature, but inflation will take a huge bite by the time the state’s minimum wage reaches $15 an hour in 2025.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Retailers: Wage hike 'an open invitation to move'
A group of downstate business owners on Monday warned of dire consequences should a $15 per-hour minimum wage hike which passed the Senate last week become law without changes.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

State lawmakers soon to turn attention to marijuana
Attention at the Statehouse is expected to begin focusing on one of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities — legalizing recreational marijuana — with the deadline for lawmakers to introduce new bills on Friday.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

30 acres in Illinois once owned by Lincoln head to auction
A 30-acre plot of farmland that Abraham Lincoln once owned in central Illinois is heading to auction.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Indiana lawmakers considering casino moves, sports betting
A shake-up of Indiana’s gambling laws being debated could see two new casinos being built and allow legalizing sports betting to start as early as next year.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Illinois adds 30 sites to national historic register
Illinois officials say the state had 30 properties added to the National Register of Historic Places last year.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Prosecutor in Laquan McDonald case holding news conference
Illinois’ attorney general is holding a news conference with the prosecutor who won a conviction against the white Chicago police officer who killed black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Faculty, staff to pay more to park at University of Illinois
Faculty and staff at the University of Illinois are going to have to dig a little deeper to pay to park at school.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Pritzker, Lt. Gov. Stratton release 11 transition reports
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker released his transition-team reports on his 20th day in office.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Nearly 60 percent of people give their partner an F for Valentine's Day
CHICAGO — With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, a new survey of 2,000 people found that nearly 60 percent of people give their partner an F when it comes to bringing the romance on February 14.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Chicago woman finds 15 half siblings through DNA test
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman whose biological father was an anonymous sperm donor has discovered via a DNA testing service that she has 15 half siblings.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Bright picture painted of state's college savings plans
SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dan McConchie can relate to how the two state managed college savings programs can help Illinois families.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Green energy group announces plan to move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy
SPRINGFIELD – Rep. Will Davis, a Hazel Crest Democrat, plans to introduce legislation in the next two weeks that would move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

State budget woes worse than previously thought
SPRINGFIELD – The state of Illinois faces a potential budget deficit of $3.2 billion in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1, far more than former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration projected late last year.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Snow goose spotting program for families Feb. 23
LEWISTOWN, Ill. — The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge will be co-hosting "Family Night: Snow Goose Spotting from the Tower" on Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, 19031 E. CR 2110N, Havana, Illinois.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Outdoor writer and wildlife photographer to present program on Illinois
LEWISTOWN, Ill. — Dickson Mounds Museum is hosting "Meet the Artist: Kevin Wright" on Sunday, February 24, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 p..m. Kevin Wright, an award-winning outdoor writer and wildlife photographer working out of central Illinois, is the focus of the Museum's latest exhibit, The Wandering Flatlanders: A Photographic Journey for Illinois Wildlife. He will talk about his work and experiences in the field.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Consider some financially responsible ways to use your screen time to save
CHICAGO — Apple’s Screen Time feature can tell you more about your iPhone usage than you may care to know.
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Ford to hire 500 at Chicago factories
CHICAGO (AP) — Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $1 billion and add 500 jobs at its plants in Chicago as the automaker launches three new SUVs.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Bloody handprint among evidence in the Chinese scholar's case at U of I
Prosecutors are building a case, partly on a bloody handprint and the responses of a cadaver-sniffing dog, that a former University of Illinois physics student killed a 26-year-old Chinese scholar in 2017 at his off-campus apartment.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Democrats send minimum wage bill to House
 SPRINGFIELD – A bill to raise Illinois’ minimum wage passed the state Senate on partisan lines Thursday after Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a personal appeal to Democratic lawmakers at a private caucus prior to the vote.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Former accuser continues push to change ethics investigations
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate on Wednesday began considering a joint resolution to appoint a new legislative inspector general at virtually the same time a prominent anti-violence advocate was having a news conference calling for it.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Proposal for uniform admissions standards ignites controversy
SPRINGFIELD – A proposal to automatically admit students to any public college or university in Illinois if they meet certain standards is running into opposition, primarily from the University of Illinois system.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Ford to invest $1 billion, hire 500 at Chicago factories
CHICAGO (AP) — Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $1 billion and add 500 jobs at its plants in Chicago as the automaker launches three new SUVs.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Prowl for Owls at Friends Creek in Argenta Feb. 23
ARGENTA, Ill. — Look for owls at night with Macon County Conservation District staff during an Owl Prowl at Friends Creek Conservation Area on Saturday, February 23 from 9-10:30 p.m.
Friday, February 8, 2019

Dominican Sisters prepare to welcome all for National Catholic Sisters Week
SPRINGFIELD — Raucous games, genteel teas, nature hikes, and a social media blitz are all on the schedule for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield's National Catholic Sisters Week activities in March. Oh yes, and there's Evening Prayer.
Here is what's on the schedule.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Democratic-controlled committee moves on wage increase
Two committee rooms one floor apart in the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday had concurrent discussions of a bill to hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Bill seeks to speed reporting of dispensing of opioids
Pharmacies in Illinois would have less time to report dispensing opioid medications and other controlled substances under a bill making its way through the General Assembly.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Institute for Rural Affairs recognized for innovation
Google has announced that the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University was named a winner of the Google Impact Challenge. The IIRA was recognized as one of 10 non-profit organizations in the state of Illinois with the most innovative projects in creating economic opportunity. The winning project from IIRA assists small towns in opening grocery stores so that residents gain access to fresh produce and meats. As one of the Google winners, the IIRA will receive $75,000 and training from the Google team to jumpstart its ideas.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Environmental groups push for fracking transparency
A coalition of environmental groups, backed by some Democratic state lawmakers, are making another attempt this year to pass legislation requiring more public disclosure about horizontal fracturing, or “fracking” wells in the state.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Bills' aim: More revenue thru closing tax loopholes
Admitting it will take two years to see any new revenue from a progressive state income tax, Fair Economy Illinois has ideas for raising money in the meantime.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

State GOP lawmakers aim to cut local property taxes
A bill that would slash local property taxes by 10 percent over the next two years has been introduced in the Illinois House.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

'Tobacco 21' effort moves to Illinois Senate floor
Legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, chewing tobacco and other products in Illinois to 21 made it past its first legislative hurdle Tuesday.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Committee votes to increase teacher minimum wage
The minimum wage for Illinois teachers has been stagnant for nearly 40 years, but a bill which passed the state Senate’s education committee Tuesday would give it a big bump.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Leaked Pritzker memo details minimum wage increase
As Gov. J.B. Pritzker eyes the passage of a minimum wage hike prior to his Feb. 20 budget address, unofficial details have emerged about the proposed timeline of the increase and its direct costs to the state.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Cubs family patriarch apologizes for racist emails
The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

State's blood supply impacted by polar vortex
While Illinois residents are slowly coming out of hibernation as temperatures start to rise, blood centers across the state who lost thousands of donations because of the weather, are feeling the aftermath of this winter’s polar vortex and are urging people to come into to their local blood centers to help replenish the local blood supply.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

AG Raoul joins opposition to Title IX changes
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has joined 18 other state attorneys general in opposing changes to federal Title IX rules proposed by Betsy DeVos’ U.S. Department of Education.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Durbin proposes bill to prevent drug price spikes
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s office announced legislation to reduce the “monopoly period” of expensive pharmaceuticals when their prices suddenly spike.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Catholic bishops urge rejecting marijuana legalization
Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois will face stiff opposition this year from leaders of the state’s largest religious denomination.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

1 dead, 3 wounded in suburban interstate shootings
Police say a woman was fatally shot along an interstate in suburban Chicago several hours after a separate shooting along the same freeway wounded a man and two boys.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Snuffing out cigarette sales to those under 21? Fourth time could be a charm
Efforts to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois have been slowly spreading across the prairie state. Its supporters are “cautiously optimistic” the most recent legislative iteration, the fourth attempt in as many years, will find success this session.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

IEMA encourages public to prepare for earthquakes
On November 30, residents of Anchorage, Alaska experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.  To this day, residents continue to experience significantly powerful aftershocks. The event served as a stark reminder that earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world and at any time of day.  In fact, records indicate Illinois and several other states in the central United States were rocked by some of the largest earthquakes ever measured in North America.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

O'Hare busiest airport in US last year
O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the busiest airport in the U.S. last year, surpassing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the first time in four years.
Monday, February 4, 2019

U of I still in search of new chief diversity officer
The University of Illinois is extending its search for its first chief diversity officer after four finalists for the position didn’t work out.
Monday, February 4, 2019

UI considers how to protect faculty from trolling
The University of Illinois is looking for ways to protect faculty members from disruptive students who take online trolling into the classroom.
Monday, February 4, 2019

2 killed, 5 wounded in drive-by at Chicago bar
Two people were killed and five others wounded in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning outside a bar on Chicago’s far South Side, authorities said.
Monday, February 4, 2019

Manufacturer expanding
Medical equipment maker Baxter International, based in Illinois, is expanding a Mississippi Delta plant, with plans to add 50 to 100 new employees in about two years.
Monday, February 4, 2019

January in Illinois started out warm
January 2019 will be a month remembered by an unseasonably warm start, followed by a torrent of winter storms, and ending with a monumental Arctic air outbreak that shattered many record-cold temperatures across the state.
Monday, February 4, 2019

Lung Assoc.: Illinois lags in cutting use of tobacco
A new study by the American Lung Association says Illinois is not doing enough to reduce tobacco use.
Monday, February 4, 2019

Ex-South African President de Klerk to speak at ISU
Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk will speak at Illinois State University this month.
Monday, February 4, 2019

Central Illinois manufacturer to close this spring
A central Illinois glass and metal manufacturer has announced it will close this spring.
Saturday, February 2, 2019

State police step up enforcement over Super Bowl weekend
Illinois State Police say troopers are stepping up traffic enforcement for Super Bowl weekend.
Saturday, February 2, 2019

YouTube star charged with child porn pleads guilty
A YouTube singer with a huge teenage following has pleaded guilty to charges he coerced six underage female fans to send him sexually explicit videos.
Saturday, February 2, 2019

Capitol Briefs this week from Capitol News Illinois:
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is imploring the General Assembly to be realistic with revenue projections this year to avoid adding to the state's backlog of unpaid bills.
Saturday, February 2, 2019

Actor got home with rope around neck
Detectives have recovered more surveillance footage of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking in downtown Chicago before and after he says he was attacked by two masked men, including video of him arriving home with a rope around his neck, but they’re still searching for footage off the attack, a police spokesman said Thursday.
Friday, February 1, 2019

Chicago's court-monitored police reforms okayed
A federal judge on Thursday approved a far-reaching plan for court-supervised reforms of the Chicago Police Department, nearly two years after a U.S. Justice Department report found a history of civil rights violations by officers.
Friday, February 1, 2019

Group proposes removing lawmakers from redistricting
With the 2020 U.S. Census looming, time is short for a group of Illinois lawmakers and activists who want voters to support a new way of drawing the state’s political maps.
Friday, February 1, 2019

Lawmakers asked to give 'full faith and credit' to College Illinois savings plan
  Faced with a large funding shortfall and a shortage of new participants, the director of a state-run college savings program urged Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday to back the program with the "full faith and credit" of the state to guarantee that future bills will be paid.
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Plan introduced to bring SIU campus to downtown Spfld.
Southern Illinois University could establish a presence in downtown Springfield under a plan introduced in the legislature today by State Senator Andy Manar.
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Senate committee discusses path to $15 minimum wage
Divisions between business and labor interests were on display Wednesday at the Illinois Senate Labor Committee’s hearing on raising the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 per hour over an undefined period of years.
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Lawmaker wants panel to help agencies spend wisely
A Woodstock representative wants a private-sector commission to examine the spending habits and management practices of state agencies.
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Plunging temperatures send Illinois lawmakers home
Severe weather conditions have forced the Illinois House to cancel sessions the rest of the week.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Committee votes to reinstate classroom time mandate
There was general agreement at the Senate Education Committee meeting Tuesday that the definition of a "school day" is changing, but the committee voted unanimously to reinstate an old definition of the term  at least temporarily.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

House Rules Committee to maintain power in Illinois legislative process
The five-member Illinois House Rules Committee will maintain its power over the legislative process for the 101st General Assembly despite objections from Republican members of the committee this week.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019










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