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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is once again under scrutiny, the Pritzker administration issues a budget warning, and Cook County judges reelect their leader.

In 2017 Andy Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's classic horror novel It took the world by storm. 2 years later we get the epic conclusion to the horrifying story. Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back to do battle with the demon clown once and for all.

IMDB Page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7349950/

FEATURING: Jeremy Goeckner & Sara Baltusevich

UIS United

The faculty union at the University of Illinois Springfield today released a survey that amounts to a no-confidence vote against top administrators.

Chancellor Susan Koch, Provost Dennis Papini, and the four college deans scored approval ratings below 40 percent. The survey also asked professors whether they felt a “strong sense of belonging” and would be “happy to spend the rest of (their) careers” at UIS. Most of those responses were similarly negative.

100 dollar bill about to be cut with scissors
IGPA

State agencies are getting a warning from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget office: Be prepared to make significant cuts next year.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois 91.9 FM

Fall enrollment numbers at the University of Illinois Springfield dipped more than six percent this year compared to last, despite a larger freshman class. Overall attendance has been declining for the last few years.


On this episode of Statewide, many communities have seen the value of keeping and restoring their older theatres.  We take a trip to one town where the theatre is making new memories.  

We chat with Charlie Wheeler, the longtime journalist and professor who recently retired, for his views on statehouse reporting. 

And we learn why some women are turning to truck driving as a career.   That and more this week. 

office of state Rep. Daniel Didech

A new law will ensure individuals who are LBGTQ cannot be barred from serving on juries because of their sexual orientation.

Charlie Wheeler in the Speaker's Gallery of the Illinois House of Representatives in 2019.
Clay Stalter / UIS Campus Relations

Charlie Wheeler has been covering Illinois government for 50 years. As he retires from leading the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield, he reflects on the decline of the Statehouse press corps, the threat that poses to democracy, and the rays of hope in non-profit news.

(CC BY-NC 2.0) / Flickr: Dank Depot

Springfield’s City Council Tuesday debated rules for the sale of recreational cannabis, but some residents want the city to ban sales altogether. Under the new state-wide recreational cannabis law, cities and villages can allow the retail sale of the drug. Several cities, like Naperville, have already opted out.

via BlueRoomStream.com

Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services plans to put all 16,000 children in its custody on Medicaid health insurance. But at a hearing Tuesday, state lawmakers expressed skepticism, saying they’re worried those kids may fall through the cracks.

Pat Nabong, special to ProPublica

Former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Gary Gang Xu assaulted and threatened students while university officials downplayed complaints, a lawsuit says. He ultimately resigned, taking $10,000 as part of his separation agreement.

This article was produced in partnership with NPR Illinois, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

floridahealth.gov / Florida Department of Health

Over the summer, public schools across Illinois received kits designed to help staff members respond in the event of life-threatening injuries. Each kit contains Nitrile gloves, a MicroShield mask, QuikClot bandages, and a tourniquet — just enough supplies to help save one person from bleeding to death. Schools can receive up to five more free kits if they train more staff on a curriculum called STOP the Bleed

 

Mary Connelly, director of the state's medical emergency response team and a former emergency room nurse, says it’s the training that really helps. 

jawa9000 via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A new survey of Illinois hospital nurses shows a large majority feel overworked, undervalued, and even unsafe.

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

The Illinois Department of Corrections will implement a new publication review policy in October. The change comes after staff at the Danville Correctional Center removed more than 200 books from a college-in-prison program’s library at the facility earlier this year. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Naperville government prohibits recreational sales of the drug in the community. Corruptions charges are formally dropped against former Congressman Aaron Schock. And a vocal conservative lawmaker says he won’t seek reelection.

Vaping360 via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

There are rising calls for tighter restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in Illinois. They come as another death linked to vaping was reported this week.

A public health advocate and a state legislator want the state to ban flavored e-cigarettes and vaping in public.

66 year old Julie Bartolome bid a tearful farewell to her loved ones in the Chicago area as she was sent back to her native Phillipines last month.  Our reporter was there when the matriarch of the family lost her battle with immigration authorities after more than 30 years in the United States. "Stay healthy, eat well," her husband Edgardo said she told him. "Don't cry." 

Also, we learn about tax increment financing and the development tool widely used and sometimes abused.

And, a discussion on the historic Old Slave House in southern Illinois. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Sally Deng, special to ProPublica

After NPR Illinois and ProPublica found that several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professors who violated policies were allowed to quietly resign and take paid leave with their reputations intact, lawmakers called for reforms.

TIF: The Swiss-Army Knife Development Tool

Sep 5, 2019

Analysis: University of Illinois Springfield Distinguished Public Finance Professor Kenneth Kriz co-edited a book that documents the evolution of tax increment financing, an economic and community development method widely used across the country, including in Illinois, which has more than 1,400 TIF districts in over 500 municipalities. 

The Rev. Edward Ohm speaks to an anti-abortion gathering Wednesday in the rotunda of the Illinois Statehouse.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A small gathering of anti-abortion activists prayed in the Illinois Capitol Building Wednesday. It comes as lawmakers are considering whether to further relax the state’s abortion laws.

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Mike Mozart - Flickr

Springfield residents will no longer be able to smoke electronic cigarettes in public places, like bars, restaurants and workplaces.

In a 10-0 vote, aldermen added electronic cigarettes and marijuana to a smoking ban approved in 2006, two years before a statewide law went into effect.

This is months ahead of a rollout of recreational marijuana in Illinois, which becomes legal in January.

Ward 9 Ald. Jim Donelan — who proposed the rules — says it’s a matter of public health.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Despite getting a 5 percent increase over last year’s state funding, the University of Illinois Springfield has announced a budget cut of up to 10 percent. The most immediate impact is the suspension of a program known as “desktop refresh,” which promises new computers to faculty and staff every four years.

Kristi Barnwell, a history professor and president of the union representing faculty, says this leaves her colleagues reliant upon equipment that no longer works.

Illinois State Board of Elections
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Tuesday marks the official beginning of campaign season in Illinois — the day potential candidates can start circulating petitions to get their names on the ballot.

In Illinois, people can’t really be political candidates until they collect enough signatures — anywhere from hundreds to thousands, depending on the office. State election law dictates when that process can begin; this year it’s Sept. 3.

Amtec Photos- Flickr: CC BY-SA 2.0 / <a href=http://www.amtec.us.com>Amtec</a>

The Illinois Department of Labor is gearing up to help business owners with the new ‘no salary history’ law, which takes effect Sept. 29. The measure prohibits employers from asking applicants what they made in a previous job. 

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new report from NPR Illinois and ProPublica shows the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has protected the reputation of several members of the faculty accused of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tenure crossed the 100-day mark. She marked the ocassion by giving a speech laying out the city's significant fiscal problems, but stopped short of saying precisely what she wants to do to fix them.

Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease / Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease

The state's Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) recently voted on recommendations by the Illinois EPA and the Pollution Control Board to update the state’s water regulations for the first time since the 1980s. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker holds giant scissors at the ribbon cutting for the Illinois State Fair in August 2019
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has broken his leg, and his office says he doesn’t know how it happened.

via Google Streetview

Several people in the Chicago suburbs are suing two medical companies for allegedly releasing unsafe levels of a cancer-causing gas into their communities.


This week, we recap an ongoing NPR Illinois/ProPublica investigation into complaints of sexual harassment on the University of Illinois' flagship campus.  Reporter Rachel Otwell details the findings.

After a deadly outbreak at the Quincy Veterans' Home, Illinois is taking steps to address Legionnaire's Disease.  But is the state on the right track?  An expert will join us.

And indications are that more mosquitoes could be in our future.  

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Jemiyah Beard is the owner of Mary's Master Cleaning Serivices in Champaign.
Christopher Fuller Photography

A recent report illustrates just how much harder it is for people who aren’t white to get small-business loans.

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