State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

The woman who claims that an Illinois Senate Democratic leader sexually harassed her wants to know why Sen. Ira Silverstein faced no repercussions until after she went public this week.

The gender wage gap in the United States hasn’t changed much: On average, women overall still make 80 cents for every dollar a white male makes during a year. But this gap widens when women are broken down by racial group.  Latina Equal Pay Day is November 2--which raised awareness for the widest gap out of all racial groups.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara joined local Dreamers and leaders on a conference call Thursday to discuss why a legislative solution for Dreamers is so urgent for Illinois and America, and to call on U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, to pass a standalone Dream Act.

“We have invested in these young people through education, and they’re truly paying us back with being teachers in our community, engineers, small business owners,” McNamara said on the call. “I just don’t want to see us squander their talents and penalize cities such as Rockford and our entire nation. “

President Trump is eroding America’s credibility around the world by pulling out of agreements, former Vice President Joe Biden told the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday.

Biden hit on Trump’s foreign policy moves -- everything from pulling out of the Paris climate agreement to trying to dismantle the nuclear agreement with Iran and not being tough enough on North Korea and Russia.

A 2015 state law required high schools to develop concussion response procedures to protect student-athletes from further injury, but smaller schools may be at a disadvantage.

www.allthequeenshorsesfilm.com

The story of the nation’s largest case of municipal embezzlement hit the big screen this weekend. The subject seemed irresistible for a filmmaker: a bottomless well of money, corruption at city hall, gold-plated extravagance... and horses. But filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope had another reason for being drawn to the story of Rita Crundwell, Dixon’s former comptroller who stole nearly 54-million dollars from her hometown. Illinois Public Radio’s Susan Stephens explains.

Seth Perlman / AP Photo

 

Chicago Democrat Ira Silverstein is resigning his leadership position in the Illinois Senate. That’s following accusations he sexually harassed an advocate working with him on a bill.

Al Bowman, a former president of Illinois State University, has been tapped to lead the Illinois Board of Higher Education. His appointment comes as higher education institutions have seen their budgets slashed and enrollment decline, so it’s hard to know whether to congratulate him.

“You know, I’ve been getting that from people,” Bowman laughs.

He is going into his new job eyes wide open. Illinois ranked number two in the nation for net loss of college students.

 

The Illinois economy is still growing, but not as fast as the national economy.

An Illinois task force that's studying adult education is brainstorming potential goals and will determine what improvements or problems need to be considered. 

Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is calling for a new law that would give Congress a greater say before America could attack North Korea.

"I think what’s important is to realize that war is very much imminent in North Korea,” she said.

She says war would be “catastrophic" for people in the region, including thousands in the American military.

A crime-victims advocate told an Illinois House committee Tuesday that a powerful state senator sexually harassed her last year as they were working together on legislation, causing her so much mental anguish that she dropped 20 pounds and lost her hair.

Northern Illinois University officials are working with DeKalb officials to deal with several recent reports of gunshots in the area north of campus over the past few weeks. Police are actively investigating the cases.

On Wednesday, Acting President Lisa Freeman issued an email to the campus community announcing increased security measures around campus. She says NIU Police have positioned a mobile command unit to enhance police presence and its ability to respond on- and off-campus.

Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois has signed a research partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem . 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says collaboration between the University of Illinois and Tel Aviv University in Israel will make for groundbreaking technology and engineering initiatives.

The union that represents Springfield police officers says most of the force doesn't have confidence in the chief's ability as a leader.

University of Illinois police are looking for two men suspected of removing a branch of a menorah outside the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Ten agriculture-related projects that are looking for way to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce in Illinois will be sharing $550,000.

Every day, an estimated 140 people die of opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to health officials. President Donald Trump recently declared opioid addiction a public health emergency.

Unit 5 may still pursue some parts of a proposed farm-to-school program, but a school board resolution driving the idea has stalled, officials said Tuesday.

Want to know how your kid's school is performing compared to others? The Illinois State Board of Education today released graduation rates, test scores, and other metrics through its online school report cards. Results show that standardized test scores, graduation rates and participation in advanced placement courses are all inching upwards.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives says she’s taking on Governor Bruce Rauner in the upcoming Republican primary.

The former Wheaton city councilwoman and West Point graduate acknowledges it will be tough going up against Rauner’s vast personal wealth. But she says the governor has betrayed Republican principles, and wants to give voters a choice.

Nearly everyone will visit a cemetery at some point in their life - but most don't realize the rich diversity of history they have to offer. They contain insights about folklore, religion, art and society at large. So postulates Hal Hassen, who has been a cemetery enthusiast since his youth. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he would explore historic cemeteries. 

An Illinois State University doctoral student has been named the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

A Quad Cities area man has joined a possible rebellion within the Illinois republican party. State Representative Jeanne Ives from Wheaton might challenge Governor Bruce Rauner in next year's primary, and she's chosen as her lieutenant governor running mate, Rich Morthland.

The Trump administration’s proposal to raise entrance fees at popular National Park Service sites will not affect Illinois.
The Lincoln Ho

The Illinois Office of Tourism is planning to expand and open offices in China and Mexico to attract foreign visitors and help boost the state's tourism industry.

Authorities say a suburban Chicago middle school student has been charged with a hate crime after posting a threatening video on social media.

An Illinois museum has opened a theater where visitors can have conversations with Holocaust survivors through 3-D holograms and sophisticated voice recognition technology.

Eighteen western Illinois farmers pitched in to help harvest beans and corn belonging to a farmer who recently fell from his grain trailer and broke two vertebrae.

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