State News

State News
7:02 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Gov. suspends funding for Capitol renovations

Illinois’ capitol was designed in the late 1800s. Critics are upset about the money spent restoring the statehouse to what architect J. Richard Alsop III calls its “period of historic significance,” with fixtures like this statue of a maiden – which cost approximately $40,000.
Credit Amanda Vinicky / IPR/WUIS

Governor Pat Quinn has suspended funding for future renovations at the Capitol, a pricey project that's already caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and raised questions about how it was allowed. 

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State News
6:54 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Quinn and Daley begin attacks

The Illinois gubernatorial primary might be months away, but two top Democratic candidates are already battling it out in public. IPR'S Lauren Chooljian reports.

Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley has laid out a laundry list of reasons why he thinks Governor Pat Quinn isn’t quote, "up for the job." Daley says Quinn hasn’t done enough to fix a backlog of FOID card applications, he accused him of not meeting with the joint pension committee, and says the governor hasn’t done enough to reduce unemployment.

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State News
6:44 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Illinois students underperform on state standardized tests

Newly-released results say Illinois students did not score as well on this year's standardized tests. But as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, officials say that's because they've made the tests tougher.

Many parents could see scores that say their child is not meeting state standards. The number of students meeting or exceeding Illinois' benchmarks on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test dropped from 82 percent last year to 62 percent this year.

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State News
10:51 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

IL Congressmen react to President’s speech on Syria

Some Illinois Congressmen are having mixed reactions to President Barack Obama’s speech about Syria.

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State News
1:31 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Campaign to build sculpture of Roger Ebert

Credit Jeff Bossert / IPR/WILL

When filmgoers attend Roger Ebert’s 16th annual film festival in Champaign next spring, they’ll be able to pose with the famous Urbana native. A fundraiser campaign aims to build a life-size sculpture of Ebert, and unveil it as part of the festival in late April, outside the Virginia Theatre.  The bronze tribute to the late Urbana native and longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic places him in the middle of three theater seats, giving the trademark ‘thumbs up.’

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State News
1:23 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Misconceptions of "Common Core" standards

As Illinois schools continue implementing the new "Common Core" educational standards, the changes are drawing criticism. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, Illinois' top educator says that's because of a misconception.

The Common Core curriculum has been in the works for years. Illinois adopted it in 2010. It's meant to provide clear achievement standards in language and math at every grade level.

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State News
7:22 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Bradley University among top Midwestern universities

Bradley University was named the fifth top university in the Midwest according to the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings.  The University’s College of Engineering and Technology is again listed among the best undergraduate engineering programs.

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State News
7:14 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Interview with outoing head of Il Chamber of Commerce

When a political battle in Springfield has implications for business, you can usually find the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in the fight. With members that include some of the biggest corporations in Illinois, and mom-and-pop businesses, too, the Chamber is involved in everything from tax policy to state spending.

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State News
7:05 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Lawmaker wants to change how gas is taxed

As gas prices rise and fall, there's one constant. However much you pay to fill your gas tank, it's taxed. Several proposals would change how.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky has more.    

In Illinois, gasoline is taxed twice, so explains Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo.

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State News
6:55 am
Tue September 10, 2013

John Deere expanding in Brazil

Deere and Company is planning a major expansion in Brazil. Monday the company announced it will spend 40 million dollars to add production of another line of tractors, the 8-R, at its plant in the city of Montengro. 

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