State News

State News
6:56 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Some good news for Illinois' economy

News about Illinois' economy is typically bleak.  The state DOES have the second-worst unemployment rate in the nation, behind only Nevada. But as IPR's Brian Mackey reports, at least one outside observer is seeing at least a modest improvement.

Moody's Analytics is changing Illinois' rating from "at risk of recession" to "recovery." Moody's economist Steven Cochrane.

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State News
6:46 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Il Congressmen discuss possible U.S. military strike on Syria

Some Illinois Congressmen are more sure than others when it comes to authorizing a U.S. military strike in Syria. That will be at the top of the agenda when Congress reconvenes Monday. IPR'S Alex Keefe reports.

On the one hand, there are lawmakers like Bill Foster, a Democrat from Naperville. Foster says he’s leaning toward voting yes, but wants to make sure the scope of any U.S. military action isn’t too big.

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Government
5:35 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Quinn heads to Japan to promote IL business

Governor Pat Quinn is heading to Japan to promote investment in Illinois.Quinn traveling for the annual Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference, where he will speak with Japanese business leaders. He'll be joined by governors from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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State News
7:22 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Il Chamber of Commerce President retiring

Credit Amanda Vinicky / WUIS/Illinois Public Radio

The outgoing head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says the state's elected officials are not doing enough to create new jobs ... with one exception. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports. 

After twelve years as President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Doug Whitley's retiring next year. 

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State News
7:14 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Durbin and Bustos give update on Thomson Correctional Center

Credit Associated Press

Federal officials remain committed to opening a vacant prison in northwest Illinois. But securing funding remains a key roadblock in getting the facility in Thomson up and running.

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State News
7:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

U of I to research "Dark Energy"

University of Illinois researchers will have a role in what’s being called the largest survey of galaxies ever attempted.   IPR'S Jeff Bossert has more:

The U of I’s physics department helped to build the world’s largest digital camera to research ‘Dark Energy’ or the theory that the universe is not only expanding, but accelerating.  Data from camera images will be examined by the U of I’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  

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State News
2:04 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Rita Garman to likely be named the next Il Supreme Court Chief Justice

Credit Appellate Lawyers Association

The Illinois Supreme Court returns from its summer recess next week, and one of the items on the docket could be the announcement of its next chief justice. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, the court appears ready to name Rita Garman to the post.

Garman would be the second woman to head the Illinois Supreme Court, and in fact, only the second woman to lead one of Illinois' three branches of government. Based in Danville, Garman has been a lawyer since 1968, a judge since 1974, and on the Supreme Court since 2002. 

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State News
1:56 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

City of Dixon works to restore public trust

It’s been more than a year since the city of Dixon was rocked by the Rita Crundwell scandal. The former comptroller is serving a federal prison term for embezzling more than 50-million dollars from city coffers. With court proceedings on the back-burner, the community is debating how to move forward with a form of government aimed at restoring public trust. Illinois Public Radio's Mike Moen has more:

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State News
7:01 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Dekalb poet writes Syria-inspired poems

Dekalb poet, Susan Azar Porterfield
Credit WNIJ

Congress reconvenes next week to debate military action in Syria.  One person who’s closely watching developments is DeKalb poet Susan Azar Porterfield.   In 2003, during a period of peace, Porterfield visited Lebanon, Syria’s neighbor.  There she met a family from Syria, and continues to wonder what happened to them and their small child.  Porterfield wrote a poem about this family called, “By Heart: 

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State News
6:24 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Pension plan could be nearing completion

Legislators writing an overhaul of the state's pension systems could be nearing the end of their work. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky has the latest.                                                             

Feedback's been plentiful since late last month, when a draft of a pension plan drawn up by a bipartisan legislative committee was leaked.

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