State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

The sheriff in northern Illinois' Winnebago County says budget cuts mean he will lay off 64 reserve deputies on Oct. 20.

An Amtrak employee has pleaded guilty to a scheme in which he steered thousands of dollars in business from its "Polar Express" train ride to his wife's photo company.

A man exonerated in a killing for which he spent 15 years in prison has reached a $9 million settlement with investigators in northern Illinois.

It’s no secret that more and more children are being diagnosed with autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 1 in 68 children has autism spectrum disorder. That jumps to 1 in 42 for boys—almost five times more common than in girls.

Pawar Drops Out Of Democratic Gubernatorial Race

Oct 12, 2017

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar withdrew from the crowded Democratic race for Illinois governor today and announced he is launching a new political action committee.

In an email blast from his campaign office, Pawar noted that his campaign had raised $828,000 from 2,526 donors, but he said he would have to take on more personal debt or cut campaign staff to expand the campaign “to a scope that could earn the nomination.” He decided against either option.

Illinois State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, says she’s “livid” that advanced ambulances aren’t allowed to go to the emergency room operated by OSF Healthcare in Streator.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Radio

 

A public defender entered a “not guilty” plea Wed. for Brendt Christensen, the 28-year-old man accused of kidnapping and killing Yingying Zhang. 

A new measure has been introduced in Illinois as a response to the deadly summer rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville.
 
La Shawn Ford, a House Democrat from Chicago - is the sponsor of what is called the "Abolition of Confederate Symbols Act." He says no monument or image honoring the Confederate States should be on public property. 

A man accused in the abduction and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China is to be arraigned on new charges.

The University of Illinois is appointing a task force to develop policies to avoid issues with disruptions while maintaining free speech and a welcoming environment.

Soda Tax Not Done ---Yet

Oct 11, 2017

Cook County Commissioners took the final vote to repeal the controversial sweetened-beverage tax Wednesday. But it’s not gone just yet.

Illinois State University is getting a $12.5 million federal grant to help school principals.

Twenty-four people working in fields ranging from music to computer science have been selected as MacArthur fellows and will receive so-called "genius" grants of $625,000 to spend any way they wish.

A former worker implicated in the death of a 16-year-old resident of a northern Illinois youth home has reached a plea deal sparing him some prison time.

An Indiana group has won nearly $1 million in federal funds to boost efforts to use technology to bring healthcare to under-served areas in four states.

A measure has been introduced in Illinois as a response to the deadly summer rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville.

The Bloomington Police Department’s plans of equipping its officers with body cameras has lost a bit of momentum.

A Democratic candidate in the 13th Illinois Congressional District says he wants to do more for small businesses.

Advocates say Illinois’ treatment of prisoners with mental illness is so bad — the prison system is in a “state of emergency.” They’re asking a federal judge to intervene.

The University of Illinois Springfield plans to establish a center to study President Abraham Lincoln and his continuing relevance.

The initiative is one of several priorities for a $40 million fundraising campaign the university launched Tuesday.

Advocates say the treatment of Illinois prisoners with mental illness is so bad that the prison system is in a “state of emergency.” They’re asking a federal judge to intervene.

More than a year ago, the Illinois Department of Corrections agreed that it needed to improve its treatment of prisoners with mental illness. It settled a decade-old court case, but lawyers for the prisoners say the state isn’t improving quickly enough.

The former head of Chicago's police oversight agency plans to run for state attorney general.

Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills hadn't even been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

Western Illinois University officials say the school's water bottle refilling stations have kept more than 1 million plastic bottles out of landfills.

A lock of hair and other relics of former Pope John Paul II will go on display in suburban Chicago this week. 

When you’re running for elected office, you need to get people to sign your nominating petitions to get on the ballot. It can be a slog, with every waking moment pestering shoppers leaving grocery stores or asking your neighbors for their John Hancock.

Peoria Public Radio

Cook County officials are expected to take a major step toward repealing a Chicago-area tax on sweetened beverages. The county board's finance committee is meeting Tuesday to vote on a measure to repeal the unpopular penny-per-ounce tax. Commissioner Sean Morrison said last week he has enough "yes" votes to eliminate the tax effective Dec. 1 and withstand any potential veto.

A central Illinois gun-rights group said it's open to banning bump stocks -- if Congress gives gun owners other concessions. 

It’s been more than a week since the mass shooting in Las Vegas, but northern Illinois blood banks say local donations still may be needed in the weeks to come.

Many survivors still need surgeries after the attack, and blood donations have only a 42-day shelf life.

Some blood centers in northern Illinois have shipped donations before to areas in need, as they did after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They say they’re on standby to ship blood to Las Vegas.

About a hundred students traveled to Washington D.C. last week to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act. Among them was Bruna Cardoso, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate student,

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