State News

State News
7:53 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Debate over whether government should continue supporting sugar growers

Candy shop owner Rob Flesher says companies like his pay more for sugar thanks to government sugar supports.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

The average American consumes nearly 40-pounds of refined sugar a year. And behind all those sweet snacks, a stealthy and heated battle is taking place over whether the government should continue to help out sugar growers. Yes, this is a farm bill issue. But as Harvest Public Media's Bill Wheelhouse reports, it’s one that has a very direct impact on consumers’ wallets:

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State News
7:14 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Lisa Madigan's decision to not run for governor could shake up Republican leadership

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to run for re-election will have its biggest effect on the democratic primary for governor. But as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, it could also lead to a change in leadership among Republicans in the Illinois House.

State Rep. Tom Cross, a Republican from Oswego who's been House Minority Leader since 2002, says "many" people approached him to consider running for AG when it was thought Madigan was likely to run for governor.

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State News
7:07 am
Mon July 22, 2013

New law toughens penalties for drinking while driving a boat

Credit Iowa Department of Natural Resources

A fatal boating accident is behind a new state law that could deepen penalties for intoxicated drivers. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports.

A year ago, ten-year-old Tony Borcia went boating with his dad and siblings on the Chain of Lakes – a string of lakes connected by the Fox River, in northeastern Illinois.  

Tony’s mom, Margaret Borcia, says she’d taken her kids “tubing” many times – it’s a thrill to sit in an intertube pulled by a boat, bouncing over the waves. But this time, Tony fell off.  Before his family could pick him up, a speed boat struck and killed him.

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Government
3:18 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Madigan calls for investigation on himself

The latest person to call for an investigation into Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s dealings with Metra is House Speaker Michael Madigan. As IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports, his office released a letter Friday afternoon encouraging an official ethics investigation.


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State News
6:44 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Deadline for municipalities to to restrict assault weapons

It could be months before anyone can actually bring a gun outside the home.  But a separate provision of Illinois’ new concealed carry law has already taken effect.  Beginning this weekend, communities will no longer have the ability to enact restrictions on assault weapons. As Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky reports, the state has given municipalities until midnight tonight to act.

  

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Politics
7:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Kirk walks-back plan for mass gang member arrest

U.S. Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is repudiating a plan he floated earlier this year to do a mass arrests of 18,000 gang members.  IPR’s Robert Wildeboer reports: 


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State News
5:11 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

State group dedicated to grain bin safety

A state group dedicated to safe operations in grain bins wants to build a team of trainers to prevent tragedies like Wednesday’s death in Champaign County. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday on 55-year-old Roy McCarty of Sidney. Jeff Adkisson is with the Illinois Grain Handling Safety Coalition. He says there haven’t been many new developments in safety standards, but it’s key to make sure commercial grain operators and farmers are up to speed. Adkisson says he speaks from personal experience:

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Government
4:59 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

IL special pension committee meeting Friday

Illinois lawmakers on a special pension committee are scheduled to meet again Friday in Chicago. Members of the group say they're making progress toward a compromise, but as IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, some of their colleagues think they've found a way to reach a solution even faster:


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State News
6:26 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Food hubs helping struggling farms

Crates of food t be shipped out to businesses in Chicago and east central Illinois
Credit Sean Powers / Harvest Public Media

“Food hubs” are popping up across the country. These food processing and distribution centers make it easier for restaurants, grocery stores, and others to buy local food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are more than 220 of them in 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

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Business
5:05 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Ex Metra CEO addresses controversy

Metra's ex CEO answered questions Wednesday about political patronage and his controversial severance package.  IPR's Yolanda Perdomo reports: 


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