News

Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court (via uis.edu)

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is again pressing Catholic church officials on the issue of abuse.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Illinois State Board of Education reports that the number of homeless students has climbed over the last few years.

 

There were  53,733 homeless students counted throughout the state in fiscal year 2016. That number grew by 56,881 by the end of this fiscal year.

 

Julie Dworkin, director of policy for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, says it’s hard to tell why the increase occurred .

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a measure aimed at shortening wait times at driver services locations. The new law will give drivers the option to renew their license plates for multiple years.


Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is recently renovated and has re-opened for tourists, who tend to go for the historical significance. There’s also a new reason for art enthusiasts to check it out.

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began Tuesday morning. 

Illinois Trophy Bow Hunters

As summer comes to a close, Illinois residents are getting closer to deer hunting season and a new law recently signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner is intended to improve safety by adding a new color to hunters' wardrobes.

What is the lasting impact of the budget impasse on higher education? 

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Texting and driving could cost you, quite literally, with a new law raising fines on motorists caught using cellphones.

University of Illinois officials before the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

During the past week, you probably caught a brief news story or two about the Illinois Innovation Network, or maybe Discovery Partners Institute. It’s worth your attention: In the current state budget, these two projects are slated to receive half a billion dollars.

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed several bills in the past week. One would have raised the cap on how much money people wronged by state government can recover — Illinois’ relatively low cap of $100,000 came to light after the deaths of more than a dozen residents of the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

Other vetoed bills would have raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, sought to improve relations between immigrant communities and the police, and set a minimum salary of $40,000 per year for new teachers.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Farm towns in Illinois could get access to high-speed internet with the help of new federal funding.

Nine companies are getting nearly $100 million from the Federal Communications Commission to bring internet access to small towns in the state.

The commission this week announced the subsidies, which are funded from a service fee on most internet and phone bills.

Wisper ISP, based in Mascoutah, Illinois, was awarded the largest grant, $35 million, to connect nearly 9,000 homes and businesses in southern Illinois.

Each week, Statewide brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.

Southern Illinoisan

This fall marks 35 years since Air Illinois Flight 710 crashed.   The commuter service flew to many smaller airports and provided a quick way for travelers to venture across the state.

That is until October 11, 1983.   The plane took off from Springfield, quickly ran into trouble and a half hour later went down in a southern Illinois farm field near Pinckneyville,  killing all 10 aboard.

A booth at the farmers market
The Land Connection

Organic product sales totaled around $50 billion and now account for more than five percent of total food sales in the United States, according to an industry survey. As the demand in Illinois grows, advocates are pushing for more support for organic farmers in the 2018 farm bill. 

Glenwood High School

Students at Glenwood High School in Chatham were evacuated after a threatening message was found written on a bathroom wall around 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Russell Hurst

Earlier this month, we reported on the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield and what's being done to remember and reconcile 110 years after the violence broke out. As part of that reporting, we spoke with Kelly Wickham Hurst, CEO and founder of the advocacy organization Being Black at School.

shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

When it comes to state spending, Illinois politicians are giving voters what they want. That’s the problem.

Joanne Johnson / Flickr

lllinois is in the grips of a severe teacher shortage, but late last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation to raise their wages. The bill would’ve ramped up the minimum salary to $40,000 by the year 2022. In a message explaining his veto, Rauner called that an “unfunded mandate.”

But State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who sponsored the legislation, says he hasn’t given up on the effort.

flickr/vibrant spirit

A 65-year-old LaSalle County resident has died from the West Nile virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. This is the first human death related to the virus reported in 2018. 

University of Illinois Springfield

It was announced on Tuesday that Innovate Springfield, a business incubator and social innovator that started four years ago, is now partnered with the University of Illinois Springfield.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Public health advocates and some state lawmakers spurned Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a bill that would have raised the legal tobacco age to 21.

Rauner axed the bill last Friday, though his own Department of Public Health supported it. While he called smoking “detrimental” in his veto message, the governor said Illinois couldn’t take the risk of losing tobacco sales tax revenue to neighboring states.

flickr/medicalmarijuana-information.com

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

Are Illinois residents able to readily and fairly access healthcare and education? Is there equal opportunity for economic growth?

Explore these topics and more with NPR Illinois at the Election 2018: Seeking Solutions Forum in Carbondale, Illinois at The Varsity Center. The forum is August 30th with light refreshments being served at 5:30 PM and the discussion beginning at 6.

The panelists will be answering questions from the moderator and from the audience during the one-hour question and answer forum. 

EpiPen
CC BY-SA 3.0

The EpiPen can be a lifesaver in cases of extreme allergic reactions, but there is a shortage of them across the country and Illinois is being impacted. 

https://admissions.illinois.edu/commitment

The University of Illinois today announced a new financial aid program designed to make enrollment at its Urbana-Champaign campus more affordable for middle-class students. They’re calling this program Illinois Commitment, and Kevin Pitts, vice-provost for undergraduate education, says the goal is to persuade families they really can afford to send their kids to the state’s flagship university.

 

“Illinois Commitment pledges to cover tuition and mandatory fees for all students who have a family income below $61,000 per year,” Pitts says.

Bruce Rauner
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner last week vetoed three pieces of legislation, earning the ire of immigration advocates and some lawmakers.

Katherine Coffey

Bedrock 66 Live! presents a double bill of garage rock and soul from two legends of the genres. Opening the show Wednesday night at 8 pm at Bar None (245 S. 5th St. Springfield) will be Atlanta's The Woggles. 

Rodney Davis
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Recent ratings from political analysts downgraded the likelihood that two Republican Congressmen in Illinois will win re-election.

In an off-presidential year, it’s no secret that candidates from the president’s party have a tougher time winning races. That’s one reason a project from the University of Virginia Center for Politics moved the re-election campaigns of Congressmen Rodney Davis and Randy Hultgren one notch closer to a toss-up.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Illinois and Springfield officials gathered in the capital city Sunday to dedicate a new plaza celebrating the state’s 200th anniversary.

The pedestrian walkway spans a block between the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois Executive Mansion.

Wikimedia Commons

A new law mandates the Illinois Department of Public Health to begin screening babies for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA, a neurodegenerative disorder linked to infant death. 

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