Bill Wheelhouse

 

Bill is a former general manager, economy reporter, Harvest correspondent and Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois.  He has won several awards including the Associated Press Best Investigative Reporter. 

Bill traveled to Cuba in 1999 with then-Governor George Ryan and provided coverage of that trip from Havana. He has reported on national political conventions in 1988, 1996 and 2000. He has also contributed reports to NPR and other syndicated radio programs.

Bill moderated the weekly public radio talk show State Week after Rich Bradley retired. He served as an adjunct professor in the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Prior to arriving at NPR Illinois, he worked as a news director at the public radio station in Macomb and worked in both commercial radio and television.

Bill served two terms as President of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and is a past president of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcast Advisory Board. He was a member of the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.

He is a 1981 graduate of Rushville High School and a 1985 graduate of Western Illinois University. In 1999 he earned a Masters Degree in Political Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Having retired in 2016, Bill has rejoined the NPR illinois News Department to temporarily help cover the pandemic and its aftermath. 

flickr/markmoz12

Today on the Business Report Bill Wheelhouse talks with Tim Landis of the SJ-R about home sales in Springfield,  the number of people in Illinois with land lines  & a regulatory victory for a company wanting to bring power lines through the region.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democrats in the Illinois legislature fell one vote short of being able to undo governor Bruce Rauner's cuts to state daycare subsidies, with democratic state representative Ken Dunkin of Chicago facing criticism for allying himself with the republican governor.

Illinois Department of Revenue

There are efforts at the State Capitol to double the homestead tax exemption across Illinois.  

University of Illinois Chicago

City tries to figure out what's next after Fed's deny money for 10th street work.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Good news on the state budget: It seems the governor will finally meet with all four legislative leaders to discuss their differences. Bad news on the state budget: Gov. Bruce Rauner says he doesn't expect much to come of it. And yet: "I wouldn't give up hope so soon," House Speaker Michael Madigan said of the governor's remarks.

Krispy Kreme

Bill and Tim show they are good journalists by talking about Doughnuts, microbrew and meat.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois still has no budget plan and no progress on an agreement is in sight.  The state is spending far more than it's taking in, higher education and social services have largely been left out to dry, and Illinois' credit rating continues to be downgraded.  Meanwhile, Governor Rauner is beginning to face criticism from within his own party.  Kurt Erickson of Lee Enterprises joins the panel discussion this week.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

The former mayor of Springfield, Ossie Langfelder, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 89.

Bill Wheelhouse talks with long time State Journal Register political columnist Bernie Schoenburg about Langfelder.   

Also some oral history audio of Langfelder.

Check out Ossie Langfelder discussing his life.

University of Illinois Chicago

Tim and Bill talk about the latest on railroad improvements in Springfield and also doughnuts.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois’ comptroller says the state doesn't have the cash to pay into the public pension systems next month, the governor suggests selling the aging Thompson Center in Chicago, and the former head of Chicago’s public schools pleads guilty to charges of corruption.  WBEZ's Becky Vevea and Lauren Chooljian joins the panel.
 

On the WUIS/SJR Business Report,  A look at some of the area business news affecting you including a two weeks shutdown of rail service and the city of Springfield trying to sell the idea of a second lake as a regional water source.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois is now 100+ days without any agreement on or even negotiation towards a state spending plan.  One item on which there does seem to be agreement is a replacement for Illinois' retiring Auditor General.  Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Illinoisroute66.org

Tim and Bill chat about a big Route 66 memorabilia auction this weekend & a car dealership next to White Oaks Mall.

Law firms pushing farmers to sue Syngenta on this week's WUIS/SJR Business Report:

U.S Department of Energy

Illinois appears to have a lot of potential for growth in wind energy.     One area that some say is ripe for development is wind farms off the shores of Lake Michigan.   However one expert is not so bullish on the idea.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois' governor and legislative leaders haven't talked to each other in months, and the state continues to spend money without a budget.  Just how long can this continue?  Lee Enterprises' Springfield Bureau Chief Kurt Erickson joins the panel.

nasda.org

The four lane highway between Springfield and Taylorville should be complete by next year.  Bill Wheelhouse and Tim Landis chat about that on this weeks SJR/WUIS Business Report:

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, House Speaker Michael Madigan chastised two of his Democratic members after a failed attempt to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a union bill.  Mike Riopell of the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald joins the panel this week.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Despite House Speaker Michael Madigan's confidence that Democrats had enough votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of union contract arbitration legislation, he was one vote short.  The Governor and legislative leaders apparently haven't met in weeks and Illinois is no closer to any kind of agreement on a budget.  Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is talking about raising property taxes.  Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz joins the panel.

http://www.infouas.com/la-policia-de-california-dispuesta-a-emplear-drones/

Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner
Illinois Public Broadcasting

The Governor filed  a police report on his predecessor over a military sketch display.    The bad blood between Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn continued past the election.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald about a state police investigation into a missing tribute to vets.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, debate over whether Illinois municipalities should have the option to declare bankruptcy, mandatory state spending continues despite no agreement on a budget, and some odd numbers from this year's state fair.  The Chicago Tribune's Monique Garcia joins the panel.

A marijuana advocacy group is urging Illinois lawmakers to accept Governor Bruce Rauner's changes to a marijuana decriminalization plan. 

sj-r.com

On this week's report Tim and Bill discuss some hi-tech jobs coming to Springfield, a drop in soybean prices and some big piles of rubble.

Politicians and the party faithful flocked to the Illinois State Fair this week, with both Democrats and Republicans defining the continuing budget impasse as an epic struggle.  However, the struggle remains static, with no work toward an agreement.  Becky Schlikerman of the Chicago Sun Times joins the panel.

University of Illinois

Do you think downtown Springfield parking is a challenge? Study says about 50% of spaces are used.

That is among topics Bill and Tim discuss on this weeks biz report:

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Despite having no budget or actual spending authority in place, most state spending is going ahead anyway.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel this week.

NASA

Asbestos in a demolition project on Springfield's north end, Krispy Kreme coming to town and "Saving A Seal"

Illinois State Geological Survey- Sam Panno

During one of the heavy rains this summer, a motorist in Pike County was killed when he drove into an area of roadway that had collapsed.   A couple of years ago, a golfer in southwestern Illinois escaped serious injury when the ground collapsed underneath him and sent him into a 20 ft. crevice.     They were both the result of sinkholes, which can occur naturally in some parts of Illinois and can occur elsewhere due to man made causes.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Five weeks into the new fiscal year, and Illinois still has no spending plan in place.  While many state functions continue to shuffle along, many services and businesses are folding.   And there seems to be no end in sight.  Chris Mooney, Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, joins the panel.

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